AI Picks the Top 10 Must-Watch K-Dramas – Do You Agree?

AI Picks the Top 10 Must-Watch K-Dramas – Do You Agree?
Image credit: Netflix, tvN, SBS, MBC

With so many options out there, how do you decide which Korean dramas are truly must-watch?

We decided to consult an AI to help us create a list of the top 10 K-Dramas you absolutely can't miss. The results? Intriguing, to say the least.

How Does AI Make These Choices?

Before we dive into the list, let's talk about how this AI magic happens. Imagine your brain as a super-advanced computer that can process information, make decisions, and even feel emotions. AI, or artificial intelligence, is like a simpler version of that computer. It can analyze massive amounts of data, recognize patterns, and make predictions or decisions based on that data.

For this particular task, we fed the AI a variety of data, including viewer ratings, plot summaries, character analyses, and even social media buzz. The AI then used a method called "machine learning" to analyze this data. Think of it as teaching a computer to think like a human, but faster and without getting tired. The AI looked at different factors like plot complexity, character development, and emotional impact to rank these K-Dramas.

The List: AI's Top 5 Must-Watch K-Dramas

Alright, enough with the technical stuff. Let's see what K-dramas actually made the cut!

1. "Goblin" (2016–2017)

"Goblin" is not just a love story; it's a tale steeped in mythology and fantasy. The show follows Kim Shin, a 939-year-old immortal goblin who is searching for his bride to end his eternal life. Alongside him is the Grim Reaper, who is undergoing an existential crisis of his own. The drama masterfully weaves humor, romance, and tragedy, making it a rollercoaster of emotions for the viewer. Its cinematic visuals and haunting OST add another layer of depth, making it a must-watch.

2. "Reply 1988" (2015–2016)

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Set in the year 1988, this drama is a nostalgic trip back in time, focusing on the lives of five friends and their families living in the same neighborhood. "Reply 1988" is not just about youthful romance; it delves deep into the intricacies of family, friendship, and the struggles of daily life. The series has a way of making you laugh out loud one moment and tear up the next, all while keeping you guessing about the endgame couple. Its relatability and emotional depth make it a standout.

3. "Crash Landing on You" (2019–2020)

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This drama brings together two worlds—South Korea and North Korea—in a unique love story. Yoon Se-ri, a South Korean heiress, accidentally paraglides into North Korean territory and meets Ri Jeong-hyeok, an army officer. What follows is a heartwarming tale of love against all odds. The drama does an excellent job of humanizing its characters, even those from the "enemy" state, and offers a nuanced look at life in North Korea, something rarely seen in mainstream media.

4. "My Love from the Star" (2013–2014)

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This drama combines elements of romance, comedy, and science fiction, making it a unique entry in the K-Drama landscape. It follows Do Min-joon, an alien who has been living on Earth for 400 years, and Cheon Song-yi, a famous actress who becomes his neighbor. The drama explores themes of loneliness and the passage of time, all wrapped up in a compelling love story. Its blend of humor, romance, and a touch of the supernatural make it a captivating watch from start to finish.

5. "It's Okay to Not Be Okay" (2020)

This drama tackles the often-taboo subject of mental health in a sensitive yet compelling manner. It follows the lives of Moon Gang-tae, a healthcare worker in a psychiatric ward, and Ko Moon-young, a children's book author with antisocial personality disorder. The series is a beautiful exploration of healing and self-discovery, told through a fairy-tale-like narrative. Its bold approach to a sensitive subject matter, combined with stellar performances, makes it a groundbreaking K-Drama.

6. "Boys Over Flowers" (2009)

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Ah, the drama that many consider the gateway into the world of K-Dramas. "Boys Over Flowers" follows the life of Geum Jan-di, a girl from a modest background who ends up in a prestigious school filled with rich and privileged students. She catches the eye of Gu Jun-pyo, the school's most popular boy, and thus begins a tumultuous love story. While the drama has been criticized for glorifying toxic relationships, it remains a cultural phenomenon that introduced many to the genre.

7. "The Heirs" (2013)

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Another drama that focuses on the lives of the rich and privileged, "The Heirs" has been both loved and criticized for its portrayal of wealth and social status. It follows Kim Tan, a high school student who is the heir to a massive conglomerate, and Cha Eun-sang, the daughter of the family's housekeeper. The drama explores the challenges and pressures of being born into a life of privilege, but also raises questions about whether it perpetuates stereotypes.

8. "Playful Kiss" (2010)

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Based on the popular manga "Itazura na Kiss," this drama has been a subject of debate for its portrayal of gender roles and relationships. It follows the life of Oh Ha-ni, a high school student who is head-over-heels in love with Baek Seung-jo, the smartest boy in school. While the drama is a hit for its cute and romantic moments, it has also been criticized for reinforcing traditional gender roles and for its depiction of an imbalanced relationship.

9. "Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo" (2016)

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A historical drama with a twist, "Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo" is about a woman from the 21st century who gets transported back in time to the Goryeo Dynasty. She becomes entangled in the lives of the royal princes and finds herself in a complicated love triangle. The drama was praised for its production value and performances but criticized for its pacing and character development, making it a divisive pick among fans.

10. "Cheese in the Trap" (2016)

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Based on a popular webtoon, "Cheese in the Trap" follows the complicated relationship between Hong Seol, a hardworking college student, and Yoo Jung, her senior who appears perfect but hides a dark side. The drama was initially well-received for its complex characters and psychological depth but faced backlash for deviating from the source material and sidelining its main character in favor of secondary plots.