What are the best K-dramas to watch for the Christmas holidays? For us, they’re the shows that help us mellow out and just relax at the end of a hectic year. That means a break from the brain-racking thrillers and tear-jerking dramas. This season, we’re all about feeling good and celebrating life, love, and family.
That said, here’s our selection of South Korean dramas you can easily enjoy while wrapped in a blanket, sprawled on your couch, and accompanied by some Korean comfort food.
My Love From the Star (2013)
Take your mind off of your worldly worries by plunging into this fun fantasy drama. It features a love line with an amusing contrast of personalities: a comical prima-donna and an aloof man-alien, played by Jun Ji-hyun and Kim Soo-hyun respectively. This award-winning K-drama has some powerful and emotional scenes, but the flash of humor will easily pull you out of the depression pit.
I’m Not a Robot (2017)
I’m Not a Robot is another rom-com with a whiff of sci-fi, this time involving robotic technology. The show follows the story of a wealthy young man (Yoo Seung-ho) who is allergic to human contact and falls in love with a humanoid robot (Jo Ji-ah)—except this robot is not what he thinks she is.
Weightlifting Fairy, Kim Bok-Joo (2017)
Compared to Nam Joo-hyuk’s hard-to-like character in Start-Up, his role in Weightlifting Fairy, Kim Bok-Joo is very easy to appreciate. He has lovely chemistry with female lead Lee Sung-kyung. Some of their cutest scenes also evoke Christmas feels, involving fairy lights, snowfall, and cuddly winter coats.
A Poem a Day (2018)
If you find yourself craving more of the romantic element of Han Ji-pyeong’s love letters from Start-Up, this is a nice K-drama to transition over. Starring Lee Yoo-bi, Lee Joon-hyuk, and Jang Dong-yoon, A Poem a Day is a soft and digestible hospital drama with each episode ending in a beautiful poem. It also has a uniquely presented love triangle that’s not too intense.
When the Camellia Blooms (2019)
Another multi-awarded K-drama that should be on your holiday binge list is When the Camellia Blooms, with its nice mix of romance, family, and suspense. The show mainly follows the story of Oh Dong-baek (Gong Hyo-jin), who’s faced with various struggles fitting into a small town as a single mother. At the same time, she’s also the target of a lurking serial killer.
The underlying message about women’s empowerment and family is heartwarming. Moreover, the bucolic bayside setting would make you dream of a holiday in the countryside, which is possible now that Coron, Palawan has reopened to visitors.
Reply 1988 (2015)
The holiday season is the best time to indulge in family-themed K-dramas, and Reply 1988 should definitely be on your watchlist. It’s the third and perhaps the best out of the Reply trilogy. It’s nostalgic, and it offers a nice glimpse into life in Seoul back when technology has not yet overshadowed human connection. Heartwarming but also fun to watch, the show may give you a renewed sense of appreciation for your family and friends.
Life is Beautiful (2010)
Life Is Beautiful is a secret gem among K-dramas. Set in the paradisal island of Jeju, the show stars Kim Hae-sook whom many know by now as the dearest grandma in Start-Up. The story revolves around a multigenerational family tackling different issues that are relatable and carefully resolved. If you have plenty of time to kill, this 63-episode K-drama is worth every minute.
When the Weather Is Fine (2020)
The winter setting of this more recent K-drama is enough to give you the holiday feels. But beyond that, this show is a must-watch if you just want something calm and mellow with a good romance. Starring Seo Kang-joon and Park Min-young, When the Weather Is Fine is about two people who become the source of warmth for each other as they seek and find contentment in life. It’s also another good show that showcases the simplicity and beauty of countryside life.
Ready for your holiday K-drama marathon? Don’t forget to stock up on snacks! Grab yourself some Korean BBQ from Wagyupsal, delectable cakes and pastries from Miss B, and DIY milk tea from Moonleaf on KKday!
Words by Rei Leano
Featured image from MBC