OTT platforms have brought the world a little closer with their roster of incredible entertainment from every part of the world, facilitating a whole new wave of globalization in the new digital age. In the absence of the restrictions of cable TV, a viewer in one part of the world can consume and appreciate art and entertainment from another. One of the biggest contributors to this has been the OTT giant Netflix and its Korean original shows.
In recent times, Netflix has upped its game in the arena of Korean entertainment with the huge and still rising popularity of the same. Besides bringing numerous classics on board, Netflix has also been churning out some incredible original content for fans worldwide.
If you’re a fan of K-Pop, K-Dramas, variety shows, and more, here are our picks for the best Korean shows, movies, and more that you can watch now on Netflix!
Let us know which of these you’ve already watched, which ones you’d like to watch next, and which ones you’d advise your K-entertainment-loving friends to watch!
Note: We are using the official summaries of the shows mentioned, as seen on Netflix.
1. “Doona!” – Drama
Cast: Suzy, Yang SeJong
Summary: A college student navigates life and school while dealing with a unique predicament — he’s living with a beautiful former K-Pop idol.
For: Fans of idol-related stories and melodramas.
Why Watch?: If you’ve always wondered what it must be like to live the glamorous life of a K-Pop idol, take a dive into the dark side with “Doona!” and you’ll leave with renewed empathy for your favorite K-Pop stars. As for the romance at the centre of the drama, it is truly warm and healing yet painful in a way that leaves a deep impression. The chemistry between Suzy and Yang SeJong is electric, making for some heart-fluterring scenes that will definitely give you butterflies.
2. “Bloodhounds” – Drama
Cast: Woo DoHwan, Lee SangYi, Kim SaeRon, Park SungWoong
Summary: Three friends working for a benevolent moneylender band together to take down a ruthless loan shark who preys on the financially desperate.
For: Fans of action and suspense.
Why Watch?: “Bloodhounds” is not just an action drama. It is a story of friendship, family, perseverance, and resilience. Woo DoHwan, Lee SangYi, and Kim SaeRon deliver stellar performances, and their dynamic is simply off the charts. The comedy peppered in throughout the series is refreshing, while the action scenes are cathartic, to say the least.
3. “The Devil’s Plan” – Variety Show
Cast: Ha SeokJin, SEVENTEEN’s SeungKwan, Lee SeeWon, Park KyeongRim, Suh DongJoo, Kwak JoonBin, Orbit, Guillaume Patry, Lee HyeSung, Cho YeonWoo, Suh YuMin, Kim DongJae
Summary: 12 contestants face off in games of wit, strategy, and wisdom over 6 nights and 7 days. Who will be crowned the ultimate victor?
For: Fans of brain/strategy games and reality shows.
Why Watch?: If you enjoy reality shows like “Big Brother”, you will love “The Devil’s Plan”. Contestants live together for seven days, within which time they must compete against each other in intricately designed games to win the ultimate prize. From teamwork to betrayal, twists and turns, eliminations, penalties, and more, this show is filled with entertainment that you do not want to miss.
4. “Kingdom” Seasons 1 and 2; “Kingdom: Ashin of the North” – Drama & Special Episode
When: 2019 – 2021
Cast: Ju JiHoon, Bae DooNa, Jun Ji Hyun, Kim SeongGyoo, Ryu SeungRyong
Summary: While strange rumors about their ill king grip a kingdom, the crown prince becomes their only hope against a mysterious plague overtaking the land.
For: Fans of horror, thrillers, and political dramas.
Why watch?: “Kingdom” is one of the best Korean Netflix original shows to date. This brilliant show takes modern fears and socio-political issues and plants them in Joseon, using the motif of the zombie to address important issues in society. There’s not a single dull moment in this entire show, over two seasons and one special episode and it’s definitely worth the sleepless nights.
Cast: Park SeWan, Shin HyeonSeung, GOT7’s Choi YoungJae
Summary: New friends, new loves and new experiences mix together inside a colorful college dormitory in Korea that’s home to students from around the world.
For: Fans of lighthearted slice of life dramas, campus romances, and sitcoms.
Why watch?: “So Not Worth It” is Netflix’s first Korean sitcom and features a star studded cast of actors, idols, foreign actors/variety show stars and more.
Cast: Kim DongHee, Jung DaBin, Park JuHyun
Summary: A model high school student who’s steeped in a world of serious crime finds his double life upended when a classmate takes an interest in his secret.
For: Fans of psychological thrillers and realistic portrayals of society.
Why watch?: “Extracurricular” was a turning point for Korean dramas as it opened up a whole new arena for dark, gritty, and unconventional narratives based on some iota of truth in society.
When: 2019 – 2021
Cast: Kim SoHyun, Jung GaRam, Song Kang
Summary: In a world where an app alerts people if someone in the vicinity likes them, Kim JoJo experiences young love while coping with personal adversities.
For: Fans of bubbly campus romances who do not mind a bit of cheesiness.
Why watch?: “Love Alarm” is one of the most popular Korean Netflix original shows and for good reason too. Its novel concept, amazing cast, and story development will leave you hooked.
Cast: Lee JeHoon, Tang JunSang, Hong SeungHee
Summary: Finding life in all that’s left behind, a detail-oriented trauma cleaner and his estranged uncle deliver untold stories of the departed to loved ones.
For: Viewers who are looking for something different from the usual sweetness of Korean dramas and do not mind darker themes.
Why watch?: Despite being based on a rather grim theme, at the end of the day “Move To Heaven” is a heartwarming coming-of-age drama about family, friendship, and love. If you’re looking for memorable Korean Netflix original shows, this one will be right up your alley.
Cast: Jung YuMi, Nam JooHyuk
Summary: Wielding a light-up sword through the dark corners of a high school, a nurse with an unusual gift protects students from monsters only she can see.
For: Fans of supernatural and fantasy dramas.
Why watch?: This drama is full of adventure, action, mystery and thrill. Its bite sized format allows for it to be the perfect weekend binge.
Cast: Song Kang, Lee JinUk, Lee SiYoung, Go MinSi, Lee DoHyun
Summary: As humans turn into savage monsters and wreak terror, one troubled teen and his apartment neighbors fight to survive — and to hold on to their humanity.
For: Fans of horror and webtoon-based dramas.
Why watch?: This drama is based on an incredibly popular webtoon and does complete justice to the same. Each actor’s performance is strikingly brilliant, which contributes to the hard-hitting impact of the drama.
11. “Persona” – Drama
Cast: Lee JiEun (IU), Bae DooNa, Park HaeSoo
Summary: An exploration of different personas in an eclectic collection of four works by critically acclaimed Korean directors.
For: Fans of slow-burn stories that culminate to a more than satisfying conclusion.
Why watch?: Fans of intellectual storylines will definitely appreciate this work for its subtle nuances and gripping narratives. The cast is just the cherry on top!
12. “Night In Paradise” – Film
Cast: Um TaeGoo, Jeon YeoBeen, Cha SeungWon
Summary: Hiding out in Jeju Island following a brutal tragedy, a wronged mobster with a target on his back connects with a woman who has her own demons.
For: Fans of action thrillers.
Why watch?: This film will have you at the edge of your seat from start to finish as you find yourselves rooting for the unlikeliest characters.
13. “The 8th Night” – Film
Cast: Lee SungMin, Park HaeJoon, Kim YooJung
Summary: With prayer beads in one hand and an ax in the other, a monk hunts down a millennia-old spirit that’s possessing humans and unleashing hell on Earth.
For: Fans who love all things gore, horror, and some jumpscares.
Why watch?: We cannot talk about the best Korean Netflix original shows without this horror masterpiece. This film will satisfy all horror fanatics with its chilling storyline, incredibly well-made scenes, and especially amazing CGI work. Remember to cancel out the scare with a comedy later because this film will haunt you in your nightmares.
14. “Time To Hunt” – Film
Cast: Lee JeHoon, Ahn JaeHong, Choi WooShik
Summary: Wanting to leave their dystopian world behind for a faraway paradise, three outlaws plot a money heist — and draw the attention of a vicious killer.
For: Fans of thrillers and action films.
Why watch?: Remember to breathe while watching this film because danger lurks at every corner. “Time To Hunt” is the very definition of a film that will have you nervously rocking back and forth until the end.
15. “The Call” – Film
Cast: Park ShinHye, Jun JongSeo, Kim SungRyoung
Summary: Connected by phone in the same home but 20 years apart, a serial killer puts another woman’s past — and life — on the line to change her own fate.
For: Fans of thrillers and murder mysteries.
Why watch?: This film is a rollercoaster of twists and turns that will leave you trying to patch hints together until the bigger picture is revealed.
16. “Space Sweepers” – Film
Cast: Song JoongKi, Kim TaeRi, Jin SunKyu
Summary: Chasing after space debris and faraway dreams in year 2092, four misfits unearth explosive secrets during the attempted trade of a wide-eyed humanoid.
For: Fans of space adventure stories with a tinge of deep emotions.
Why watch?: This film will give you laughter, tears, excitement, and warm your heart with the sweetest tale of a chosen family, up in space.
17. “Sweet and Sour” – Film
Cast: Jang KiYong, Chae SooBin, Jung SooJung (Krystal)
Summary: Faced with real-world opportunities and challenges, a couple endures the highs and lows of trying to make a long-distance relationship survive.
For: This film is for everyone!
Why watch?: This film is a mind-blowing piece of solid writing, amazing acting, and perhaps the most intriguing plot twist ever that is sure to leave you thinking about it for the rest of the day.
18. “BLACKPINK: Light Up The Sky” – Documentary Film
Summary: Record-shattering Korean girl band BLACKPINK tell their story — and detail the hard-fought journey of the dreams and trials behind their meteoric rise.
For: This is for BLINKs (of course) and K-Pop fans in general as well as those who are interested in the inner workings of the K-Pop industry.
Why watch?: This docu-film is an enlightening glimpse into the world behind the glitz and glamour that comes from being the world’s biggest K-Pop group. Even if you’re not a BLINK, you need to watch this.
19. “Busted!” – Variety Show
When: 2018 – 2021
Cast: Yoo JaeSuk, Park MinYoung, Lee SeungGi, EXO’s SeHun
Summary: Tackling different mysteries in each episode of this game show, seven sleuths get closer to solving the biggest one of all: What happened to Project D?
For: Variety show fans, K-Drama fans and K-Pop fans alike!
Why watch?: This variety show features your favourite K-Drama stars, variety show experts and K-Pop idols all in one fun investigative show that will brighten up your day with laughter and entertainment.
20. “Twogether” – Variety Show
Cast: Lee SeungGi, Jasper Liu
Summary: Paired together for an unforgettable trip across Asia, stars Lee Seung-gi and Jasper Liu become buddies as they connect with fans and local cultures.
For: This show is for everyone who’s trying to cope with the quarantine blues.
Why watch?: Go on a virtual vacation with your favourite K-Drama and C-Drama stars Lee SeungGi and Jasper Liu from the comfort of your own home. Not only is this a travel reality show but it is also full of love and laughter that will rejuvenate you and leave you feeling all sorts of happy feelings. “Twogether” is a must-watch.
Which of these Netflix original shows is your favourite?
※You can vote multiple times without sign in.
BLACKPINK: Light Up The Sky
Note: This poll was first opened in August 2021. “Doona!”, “Bloodhounds” and “The Devil’s Plan” have been added to the poll in November 2023.