A lot of networks in Korea are aiming to provide great series not only for their countries, but with every single fan of Korean Drama, One of the well-known in the industry of entertainment is the MBC network and below are the Top 15 List MBC Korean Drama series, check them with yourself and prepare yourself for the amusement!
1. Missing 9
“Missing 9” is one of my favorite MBC Korean Drama. After watching the first episode of Missing 9, I was seriously wondering if I should continue with the rest of the episodes. Episode 1 was not bad, but it was kind of scattered for me. The jumping-off its timeline from the present to the island was too frequent for my taste, thus it feels like when I was just starting to immerse myself in one sitting I was required by the story to be on the next. On the other hand, this constant jumping back and forth was also the reason why I kept watching.
These tiny glimpses of the lives of the characters made me want, as an audience, to know more. And speaking of characters, this story has a very well-thought-of set of characters. Shallow and simple on the outside, but complicated if one is to dig a little bit deeper. I was really fascinated to see the growth of the washed-up celebrity Joon Oh, and Jung Kyung Ho did this character justice.
But the one that I’m most impressed with is Choi Tae-Joon as Choi Tae-ho because I noticed that a murderous character tends to be overdone in most KDramas but is Missing 9 it was done with such finesse and moderation that it almost makes you hate him and fear him more. And although the ending might have veered off the believable path–with all the survivors enjoying a paint party with a murderer–I would still consider this series a must-watch.
2. I’m Not a Robot
One of Most favorite MBC Korean Drama. Before I started watching I’m Not a Robot I was really apprehensive about how it will pull off the science fiction/romance combination. Maybe simply because a romantic story involves a lot of emotions and robots are just the opposite of that.
But as I delve into the story, the line between unfeeling technology and human affection slowly disappeared. And I believe that is due to superb writing, effective directing and flawless acting.
These three reasons would make you forget that you have questions on the credibility of Kim Min-kyu’s allergic reactions and the need for at least a small medical proof that it did exist in the real world.
Chae Soo-bin is so good in this series that I sometimes forget that she is playing the robot Aji 3. She did it so well that it made me wish that robots are really that way. All in all, this show has all the elements of an effective KDrama; the cheesy lines, the all-too-predictable ending, the romantic banter, the great supporting cast, and a believable anti-hero. Combine these things into science fiction and we are ushering in the romantic drama of the future.
3. Dong Yi
One of those shows that I know would be great even before I started watching. Historical romance is one of the things that KDrama does best. Dong Yi has it all; suspense, romance, drama, adventure, very subtle comedy (which went almost unnoticed), and loads and loads of history. It’s like your own life wrapped up in the pageantry and grandeur.
I especially like this one because of how close it portrayed the reality of the love story between King Sukjong and Choi Suk-bin. It is well-acted which should be enough, but the whole production is a feast for the eyes itself. If you are looking for a historical drama that depicts an accurate representation of events, with actors playing their roles so well you sometimes believe that they are the characters themselves, Dong Yi should be number one on your list.
4. Empress Ki
What a visual feast! The costume, the landscape, the beautiful actors, even the way blood and wounds are captured, it was all so mesmerizing. One of the things that I like most about this show is how fast-paced it is. Having 51 episodes, one might think that there would be a number of “dragging” episodes, but no! Everything seems to move rapidly that the viewer will not have any time to be bored. On the downside, the character development (especially of the lead roles) was not able to keep up with the pace of the story. I am particularly disappointed with Empress Ki / Ki Seung Nyang character.
I was really rooting for her ambitious and vengeful self in the first few episodes. I was so excited about how she will put heart into these two very strong traits. However, at the end of the show, I can slowly feel the strength dissipating. Maybe it is because of the number of characters the show has. This is one of the shows that do not necessarily focus on the lead characters but takes the whole cast into every turn of the story.
Which is something that I like, but they could have taken it down a notch, and give a little bit more to the lead characters. But despite this, I was able to finish all the episodes and still enjoyed Empress Ki.
5. W (Two Worlds)
Is one of those shows that stays with you long before you finish watching all of the episodes. It has a unique storyline for a KDrama and it’s full of twists and turns throughout, and it is not short of comedic scenes. What made this show unique is the extent of separation the two main characters has.
Ordinarily, a couple is separated by social status, or by familial and political affiliation, or faith, or even principle. But in W (Two Worlds), Oh Yeon-Joo and Kang Chul are literally in two different worlds. This set-up enables the story to develop very strong characters.
Lee Jong-suk did an exceptional job portraying a man who just realized that his whole life is a figment of another man’s imagination. And Han Hyo-Joo made Oh Yeon-Joo a character to love both for her strength and tenderness. I really loved this show that I might rewatch it two or three years from now.
6. Flower of the Prison Flower
is a period drama with a perfect blend of all the elements I would expect from such genre. It has hateful villains, persistent heroes and heroines, political intrigue, historical depiction and a very little romance (if one can call it that).
What I love most about this show is the consistency of the bad guys and the good guys. The writers deferred from the all-too-familiar plot twist, but instead focused on the story of Ok-nyeo. Because of this, I, as a viewer, was able to be with her in every struggle and cheered with her in her triumphs. Although there are times that I almost shout just to edge her on to reveal her true identity and stop people from stepping over her.
I was also surprised by the things that I’ve learned about the Joseon era. For most of the period drama, it was always a conscious effort for me to learn and understand the way things are done in that depicted period. For this one, all historical learnings came in effortlessly. This is one of my favorites.
7. Hospital Ship
If there’s one thing almost unbelievable about Hospital Ship, it is the fact that a single ship could contain such good looking medical staff. From the nurses, dentists, doctors, etc. If I was looking for a realistic medical drama, this definitely needs to have some changes. But since I’m only after the authenticity of the medical scenes, I finished watching the show definitely satisfied.
The character development was done in a tasteful way, with each medical situation exposing one character’s background or difficult situation. I especially like how Ha Ji-won portrayed the cold and detached Song Eun-Jae. She was so effective in her acting that there are times that I feel like I cannot connect with Song Eun-Jae because of her distant personality.
Kang Min-hyuk made me love Kwak Hyun because of his organic portrayal of the warm and compassionate doctor. The rest of the cast completed the picture and made Hospital Ship a medical romance worth anticipating every week.
If there MBC Korean drama is that I will remember for the rest of my life, it would be Jumong. A historical period drama that has enough suspense to keep me glued, romance to warm my heart, injustice to make me mad and drama to make me cry, Jumong for me is the creme de la creme of Korean period drama.
It is a well-casted show with everyone fitting perfectly to the role that they are playing. Song Il-gook brilliantly portrayed the founding monarch’s journey from a weak and submissive prince to a strong and compassionate king. Han Hye-jin as Lady Soseono is just perfect! Historically, the show was able to effectively fill the gaps of Jumong’s life that were lost in history.
For me, it was remarkable how the show was able to create connectivity between those factual events and the made-up ones. Visually, Jumong with its superb cinematography and production design is a feast for the eyes.
9. Kill Me Heal
Me As someone who is personally fascinated with multiple personality disorder, I cannot wait to start on Kill Me Heal Me. After watching the show, I was not disappointed, in fact, I was more than satisfied. It has the perfect mix of comedy, drama, romance, and suspense. The center of the story was business heir Cha Do Hyun, who was perfectly portrayed by Ji Sung.
A character with a dissociative disorder (also known as multiple personality disorder) is a very hard one to play but Ji Sung did a superb job. You can easily distinguish the seven personalities just by his subtle movements and facial expression.
That, for me, is a mark of an exceptional actor. The concept of the show is not really unique, but the simplicity by which the complexity of the story was told made this show different from shows of the same plot. And although the ending is a bit of a stretch for me, the overall storytelling more than made up for it.
10. Gu Family Book
Another MBC Korean drama. Gu Family Book. A half-human / half gumiho in frantic search of a book that contains the secret for him to become completely human. From the onset (after the first two episodes) the viewer is presented with a naughty but lovable Choi Kang-chi. As the story develops Lee Seung-gi was able to take me with him on his journey as Choi Kang-chi. I love the fact that the story seems to flow consistently throughout the show and that each episode was paced equally.
I also like the romance aspect of the show where Dam Yeo-wool and Choi Kang-chi are constantly skipping around the subject of their feelings for each other. A half-man / half-monster trying to be human and falling in love along the way, what a perfect mix for a romantic story.
11. Lucky Romance
A romantic comedy that started off from superstition and luck, Lucky Romance is one of those light-hearted shows that put a smile on your face. I particularly like one because of its likable characters that were brilliantly played by Hwang Jung-eum and Ryu Jun-yeol as Shim Bo-nui and Je Soo-ho respectively. Seeing how love can blossom between a very superstitious woman and a very straightforward technology advocate gives me this light-as-a-feather excitement.
The comedic encounters between the characters were so refreshing that even during their serious arguments and conversations, you can’t help but smile. The production team also made sure that the environment that both characters find themselves in be as simple as possible without comprising the complexity of their respective jobs and daily lives. Lucky romance is a feel-good movie that is worth watching on a slow-paced day.
12. Moon Embracing the Sun
This MBC Korean Drama is one of those few historical dramas that put so much weight on the romance aspect of the show. Sure, they’ve thrown a bit of political conflict here and there, social issues over here, but there is no denying that this is a romantic story. It is quite fascinating to see how in love the King is and it makes one wonder if a real king in the real-world really loves that much. But the best aspect of the show for me is the child actors.
Yeo Jin-goo, Kim Yoo-Jung, Lee Tae-Ri, and Kim So-Hyun did such an amazing job that it sort of backfired on their adult counterparts. After watching the children, you will have such high expectations on the portrayal of their adult characters that there are times you see them as a bit lacking. Except of course for the “King”. No one could have played King Taejong as well as Kim Soo-Hyun. The comedic and dramatic balance of the show I think is what endeared it to the viewers.
13. One Spring Night
Watching One Spring Night you cannot help but appreciate how well-constructed the story was. It started with two people in a long relationship but is not ready for marriage. was presented in a very casual way, but at the same time, this casualness made you feel the struggle within for both of the characters. Then came another guy.
He is not someone that would catch your attention, not some millionaire, not an heir, not even a celebrity. He is just another ordinary guy, not totally different from the first guy, but somehow our lead character feels something for him that she did not feel for the other. Han Ji-min brilliantly played the logical yet conflicted Lee Jeong In and seeing Yoo Ji Ho with his child will surely melt anyone’s heart.
14. Can You Hear My Heart
is a story of two people pretending either to protect themselves or the people they love. From the title, one would expect a very soapy drama slowly building into a happy ending. But that would be wrong. This is a show made up of plots that build up into another plot. In other words, there is so much going on that sometimes you will forget your soap opera expectation about this show.
The characters were well played that you cannot help but sympathize with them even if you question the reasons behind their actions. But that is not to say that you will immediately love and consume this show. To be honest, it takes a few episodes before the show started to grow on me. But as soon as it did, I’m hooked.
15. Marriage Contract
Because of the fact that “contract marriages” is a favorite narrative in Korean dramas, a show has to have a lot of edges in order to stand out. For Marriage Contract, the chemistry between Han Ji-hoon, Kang Hye-soo, and the adorable Cha Eun-Seong is that edge.
Despite the predictability of the story, the actors’ delivery was so authentic that you could almost feel their pain. The delivery was so believable that you end up being invested in their emotions and end up rooting for them in every turn. This sets this show apart from other “contract marriage” kind of shows and would make you want to know what happens next.
Thank you for reading the top 15 Best MBC Korean Drama.
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