18 K-Dramas That Serve Up the Same Cozy Vibes as Reply 1988
These shows are straightforward in their appeal: real emotions, relatable situations, and characters that feel like mates you've known forever.
Reply 1988 set the bar high with its mix of laughter, tears, and 80s throwbacks. It has been pretty hard to top, but the dramas on this list came pretty close.
1. Racket Boys (2021)
In a rural town, a down-on-his-luck badminton coach takes charge of a struggling youth team, where the players, each with unique backgrounds and personal challenges, train rigorously to compete at a national level, aiming to overcome obstacles and achieve their dreams in the sport.
2. Hometown Cha Cha Cha (2021)
After relocating to a seaside village to open her dental clinic, a former city dentist encounters a handyman with a knack for helping everyone in town; their initial misunderstandings pave the way for a romance filled with laughter and healing as they interact with the quirky villagers.
3. Reply 1988 (2015)
Set in a Seoul neighborhood in 1988, this series follows five friends and their families living on the same street, capturing their daily lives, struggles, and the blossoming of first loves, with a focus on the deep bonds formed during their youth.
4. Strongest Deliveryman (2017)
Chronicles the life of Choi Kang-soo, a deliveryman with a strong sense of justice, who rises from poverty to become the CEO of a food delivery app company; it's a story of love, ambition, and the struggles of the working class.
5. Itaewon Class (2020)
Park Sae-ro-yi seeks revenge against a powerful food conglomerate responsible for his father's death by opening a bar-restaurant in Itaewon; alongside his diverse team, they face business challenges and personal growth, striving for success and justice.
6. Go Back Couple (2017)
A married couple, deeply regretful of their life choices and on the brink of divorce, magically find themselves transported back to their college days in 1999, giving them a second chance to fix their relationship and make better decisions.
7. Reply 1994 (2013)
Set in the year 1994, the series centers around a group of college students living together in a boarding house in Seoul, navigating the ups and downs of youth, love, and friendship, with the backdrop of the era's key events.
8. Hospital Playlist (2020)
Focuses on five doctors who have been friends since medical school and are now working at the same hospital; it delves into their daily lives, the challenges they face in their respective departments, and the strength of their friendship.
9. Prison Playbook (2017)
A star baseball pitcher's life takes a sudden turn when he is convicted of a crime and sent to prison; inside, he must adapt to a new way of life and form unexpected friendships with fellow inmates, while navigating the complex prison hierarchy.
10. Our Beloved Summer (2021)
A documentary featuring a young couple during their high school days becomes famous, and years after their breakup, they are reluctantly brought back together to film a sequel, confronting their unresolved feelings and changes over time.
11. Rain or Shine (2017)
After surviving a tragic accident that took the lives of their loved ones, two individuals find solace and healing in each other's company, dealing with guilt and the pursuit of happiness amidst the aftermath.
12. My Father is Strange (2017)
A family's life is turned upside down when a young idol claims to be the son of the family head, leading to revelations, reconciliations, and the deepening of familial bonds as they all live under one roof.
13. Once Again (2020)
The story of the Song family, dealing with divorce, re-marriage, and the complexities of family relationships, as the members of the large family experience love, conflict, and reconciliation.
14. Crash Landing on You (2019-2020)
A South Korean heiress accidentally paraglides into North Korea and meets a captain in the Korean People's Army; their improbable love story unfolds as he decides to help her return to the South, facing numerous obstacles and dangers.
15. Twenty Five Twenty One (2022)
Set in the late 1990s and early 2000s, it tells the story of two young individuals who meet during a difficult economic period in South Korea and grow up together, experiencing the highs and lows of youth, ambition, and love.
16. Fight For My Way (2017)
Four childhood friends with unfulfilled dreams tackle the challenges of adulthood and pursue their passions in unconventional ways, proving that you don't have to be 'special' to achieve success and happiness.
17. Girls Generation 1979 (2017)
Set in the late 1970s, this coming-of-age drama focuses on the lives, loves, and friendships of high school girls, capturing the essence of youth and the nostalgic vibe of the era.
18. 20th Century Boy and Girl (2017)
Three women in their thirties reflect on their romantic lives and friendship since their teenage years, navigating love, career, and personal growth in modern-day Seoul.