The abundance of South Korean dramas, better known as K-dramas, available on Netflix coupled with the dedicated fanbase of the most popular ones make it nearly impossible to filter out underrated shows that are quite literally hidden gems in the diverse world of K-dramas.
It is no secret that K-dramas, in general have continued to set the bar high when it comes to engaging storylines, complex dynamics among three dimensional characters, along with critical stakes – all of which only get better in the following list of underrated K-dramas available to watch on Netflix.
1. Prison Playbook (2017)
The heartfelt drama gives a glimpse into the world of prisoners, their families as well as chronicles the lives of duty officers working in the correctional facilities. The story begins after a superstar baseball pitcher, Kim Je-huk, played by Park Hae-soo, is incarcerated for assault after saving his sister from a sexual assault incident.
2. My Mister (2018)
My Mister stars K-pop idol IU in a unique role of a struggling young woman Lee Ji-an, who strikes an intimate bond with a much older supervisor of hers, Park Dong-hoon, played by Lee Sun-kyun. The show tackles stigma surrounding age-gap romances in the real world, shedding light on complicated family dynamics.
3. Hot Stove League (2019)
The drama centers on a failing baseball team who are confronted with an unwelcome intervention in the squad in the form of their general manager Baek Seung-soo, played by Namkoong Min. Hot Stove League tells a heartwarming tale of leadership, teamwork, and coming together in the times of need.
4. Misty (2018)
Misty revolves around a successful news anchor Go Hye-ran, played by Kim Nam-joo, who is forced to work with her estranged husband Kang Tae-wook, played by Ji Jin-hee, to absolve herself of suspicion over the murder of one of her former lovers.
5. When My Love Blooms (2020)
When fate brings together estranged lovers decades later, things only get much more complicated. Though, their timeless love for each other was always meant to stand the test of time. Yoo Ji-tae and Lee Bo-young star.
6. Jealousy Incarnate (2016)
Also known as Don’t Dare to Dream, the romance drama is set in a workplace setting, featuring a love triangle between a weather caster, Pyo Na-ri, played by Gong-jin, news anchor, Lee Hwa-shin, played by Jo Jung-suk, and his friend Go Jung-won, played by Go Kyung-pyo. After an elaborate back and forth, Pyo Na-ri realizes her first choice was really the only right choice for her after all.
7. The King: Eternal Monarch (2020)
Lee Min-ho and Jeong Tae-eul star in a historical romance drama as modern-day Emperor of the Kingdom of Korea Lee Gon and a feisty detective Jeong Tae-eul, respectively. When the two come across each other in parallel worlds, uncomfortable truths are unveiled, scars are healed, and new relationships blossom.
8. My Liberation Notes (2022)
My Liberation Notes follows a somber tale of three siblings as they struggle to find a way out of their stale lives. Their lives take a turn when the youngest of the three Yeom Mi-Jeong, played by Kim Ji-Won comes across a drunk stranger Mr. Gu, played by Son Suk-ku, loitering in their village.
9. Happiness (2021)
An apocalyptic thriller centers on the aftermath of a failed treatment drug “Next” which causes a worldwide pandemic known as the Lytta Virus, a.k.a. “mad person disease.” Han Hyo-joo stars as a detective at the Special Operations Unit Yoon Sae-bom, who is caught in the middle of a doomed world.
10. Welcome to Waikiki (2018)
A comedy series follows a trio of men struggling to keep their titular guesthouse open. Plot thickens in a series of hilarious events when a single mother walks into the guesthouse with a baby.