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[PICK] From Ghosts to Reincarnation to Aliens: Korean Fantasy Dramas for You

Edited by Hwang Hong Sun

Translated by Kim Hoyeun

Subjects like ghosts, spirits, and reincarnation are chilly but hard to resist. TV series that deal with these supernatural phenomena convey a unique pleasure to viewers who are tired of the existing monotonous materials. These dramas naturally melt the sentiments contained in history and legends and provide unique fun through differentiated worldviews. Let’s take a look at some of the best examples.

 

Goblin

Credit: tvN

Goblin depicts what happens when Ji Eun Tak, the “Goblin’s Bride,” appears in front of Kim Shin, the “Goblin” who has lived under the curse of immortality for more than 900 years. The drama captivated viewers with a sad love story between the two, as well as numerous famous lines and Gong Yoo and Lee Dong Wook’s bromance chemistry, recording the highest viewership on cable networks at the time. It created such a sensation that even three years later, Goblin is still mentioned as one of the best K-dramas.

 

Oh My Ghostess 

Credit: tvN

Oh My Ghostess, which features the fantastic chemistry between Park Bo Young and Jo Jung Suk, begins when Bong Sun, a timid young woman who works at star chef Sun Woo’s kitchen, is possessed by Sun Ae, the ghost of a lustful virgin. In order for Sun Ae to ascend to heaven, she must spend the night with a man with “strong energy,” and Sun Woo is just the one. The drama comically depicts the “R-rated” chemistry between the two and slowly builds up the romance. Park Bo Young showed off her two opposite and distinctive charms by flawlessly taking on the double role, and the drama also delivers unexpected tension as secrets related to Sun Ae’s death are revealed from the middle part. 

 

The Master’s Sun 

Credit: SBS

Rom-com has met with horror in a chilling but sweet way. The drama is about gloomy Tae Gong Shil, who started seeing ghosts after an accident, and Joo Joong Won, the stingy and greedy CEO who has the trauma over getting kidnapped, joining hands to deal with the terror and sadness brought about by the spirits. The ghosts that appear here and there are surprisingly horrifying, and the process of uncovering the story is thrilling as if reading a mystery novel. Of course, the romance between Joong Won and Gong Shil is a must-see. Seeing the two healing each other’s pain by overcoming their own traumas will put a smile on your face.

 

W

Credit: MBC

Korean fantasy drama has expanded its territory into a “webtoon world.” The drama deals with the clash between the real world and the webtoon world called “W,” and tells the story of the main characters in both dimensions meeting by chance and falling in love. A one-of-kind action and sad romance that cross the reality and webtoon are excitingly unfolded, and Lee Jong Suk’s stable performances and perfect visuals as if he popped out from the real cartoon were followed with favorable reviews. Later that year, the actor won the Grand Prize at the MBC Drama Awards.

 

My Love from the Star (also known as You Who Came from the Stars)

Credit: SBS

The appearances of Kim Soo Hyun and Jun Ji Hyun alone will not allow you to take your eyes away from My Love from the Star. The drama starts when Do Min Joon, an alien who landed on Earth 400 years ago, meets the biggest Hallyu star Cheon Song Yi, who looks just like the girl he knew. Do Min Joon’s superpowers add to the spectacle, and the plot to uncover villain Lee Jae Kyun’s conspiracy conveys the tension of a crime thriller. At the time of the broadcast, not only did the drama create an unbelievable sensation in Korea, but also in China. 

 

Hotel Del Luna

Credit: tvN

Even when “Ho-cance (hotel vacance)” became the new trend, there is a place you wouldn’t dare step into. It’s Hotel Del Luna, where the wandering spirits stay. Against the backdrop of Hotel Del Luna, the drama unfolds a story full of laughter and tears of the souls, ranging from a high schooler ghost who became a candidate to be the next manager to a ghost looking for a human husband and VVIP ghost. The “bickering romance” between CEOJang Man Wol and manager Goo Chan Sung brightens the overall spooky story, raising the expectations for what’s coming next.

 

Chicago Typewriter

Credit: tvN

Three young independence fighters who fought against Japanese colonial rule in the 1930s are reincarnated in 2017 as a bestselling author, the writer’s fan, and a ghostwriter. The three people who met without knowing their past lives find the hidden truth as they write a novel together. Chicago Typewriter successfully broke away from the cliches presented in works that dealt with previous lives and illustrated a unique structure. The story also candidly depicted the love and friendship that the main characters desperately wanted to protect despite the painful history under the Japanese colonial rule.

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