Who says a good K-Drama series needs romance? Quite surprisingly, there are a lot of really great ones that don’t have any love angle and they are among the best I’ve seen in my K-Drama journey. Being the emotional Scrooge that I am, there are times I just want a good plot sans romance.
1. Mouse – Mouse is a BRILLIANT series which keeps you guessing all the way to the end. Who’s the real psycho killer? You won’t know until you’re more than halfway through. The writing is so good you’re led to believe one thing only to discover later on that you thought wrong. This is so underrated it kills me. I’m mystified as to why people aren’t talking about it more when more mediocre works like Crash Landing On You are still being talked about today. Mystery, murder, suspense… Mouse has it all. The writing, the acting… everything is just SO PERFECT. Lee Seung-gi and Lee Hee-joon turn in Baeksang-worthy performances.
2. Blind – If you’ve seen Mouse and loved it like I did, you have to watch Blind. Like Mouse, there’s a serial killer storyline that keeps you guessing till the end. Well-cast, well-written, and well-acted, it’s not being talked about enough! It’s always the romances that get all the attention.
3. Law School – Though not about a serial killer, it is about the murder of a professor in the campus. Law School is a whodunnit. Another professor is suspected to be the killer and it’s up to his students to prove that he’s not. This series kinda makes you want to study law — it’s THAT good.
4. Signal – My gosh. This is another exceptional series which has detectives from the present time working with a detective from the past on the same unsolved case. They communicate via an old walkie-talkie. The plot, the pacing, and the performances are all SOOO GOOD. Signal actually earned 5 Baeksang Arts Awards nominations in 2016 and won 3 categories — Best Drama, Best Actress (Kim Hye-soo), and Best Screenplay. Definitely a must-see.
5. Again My Life – If you could get a redo of your life, would you go for it? Lee Joon-gi plays a brash prosecutor named Kim Hee-woo. He pisses off a corrupt politician and this gets him killed. A mysterious woman exuding grim reaper vibes offers him a second chance at life. Hee-woo decides to take it and spends his redo plotting the corrupt politician’s downfall. A good, solid series.
6. The Uncanny Counter – A disabled, orphaned teen is given the chance to become a counter, which is something like a ghost fighter / evil spirit hunter. He trains and works with a team of counters with different talents and skills. During the course of his work as a counter, he finds out that his parents did not actually die in an accident — they were murdered. Fast-paced and exciting with supernatural elements thrown in.
7. Move To Heaven – Move to Heaven is about a father and son-run trauma-cleaning business. Trauma cleaners clean out dead people’s stuff to “help them with their final move”. Move To Heaven is the name of their business. They put extra care in what they do, going as far as to carry out the dead’s last wishes. Each episode is self-contained but there is an underlying storyline about the boy and his family. It’s an emotional series that has made audiences cry.
8. Squid Game – Squid Game is about a game to the death where the one left standing can win 45 billion won. There are 456 players and each player is worth 1 billion won. Every time a player dies, 1 billion won is added to the prize pool. And players will die — because they bet their life on each and every game. Fast-paced and unique, Squid Game has the honor of being the most watched Korean series in the world.
So there, if romances aren’t your thing, there’s still a lot to see as these are not the only non-romantic K-Dramas out there.
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