[PICK] Best Romantic Comedy K-Dramas – �’� Non-Fantasy Genre

Edited by Hong Hyun Jung
Translated by Kim Hoyeun

It feels like we haven’t don’t much this year due to COVID-19, but it’s already November. Soon, the Christmas season, when you feel the most lonely (if you don’t have a boyfriend or girlfriend), will come around. Actually, I already feel a bit empty. To make matters worse, we didn’t have much to laugh about this year. So why don’t we binge-watch romantic comedies that make you smile for the time being? Let’s try to refresh our daily lives by watching dramas that have moments of laughter, excitement, and tears.


Fight for My Way (2017)

Credit: KBS

Fight for My Way shows no prince charming or beautiful princess common in romantic comedies. Longtime friends Ko Dong Man and Choi Ae Ra were born with a “plastic spoon” in their mouths. Ko Dong Man, who dreamed of making it into the national team as a taekwondo athlete, had to give up his dream after making one mistake, while Choi Ae Ra aspires to become a television anchor but works instead at the information desk of a department store. Fight for My Way follows the two as they develop their friendship to love. It cheers for the dreams of young people who are having a hard time and relieves the weight of reality with a heart-fluttering romance. Maybe that’s why. You will find yourselves absorbed in the stories of real-life youth.


Because This Is My First Life (2017)

Credit: tvN

It is a romance drama that wittily reflects on the reality where working hard and saving money to buy a house is considered a fantasy. The story starts as Yoon Ji Ho, who is financially struggling, and Nam Se Hee, who owes a lot on his mortgage, become housemates and start their “contract marriage” to satisfy each other’s needs. While empathically examining the many problems that young people face today, including buying one’s house, a notion of preferring a son to a daughter, sexual harassment in job, marriage and employment, the drama continues its cheerful and lively atmosphere of romantic comedy. Every character is quite realistic, and among them, Ji Ho, completed by Jung So Min with her matured emotional acting, stands out. This drama is the youth itself that conflicts and frustrates between reality and ideals.


She Was Pretty (2015)

Credit: MBC

Hwang Jung Eum completely and utterly transformed her appearance. She Was Pretty, which made headlines for Hwang Jung Eum’s freckled cheeks and frizzy hair, starts as Hye Jin, whose looks and fortunes have drastically changed since her teens, realizes that her new boss is her first love Sung Joon and desperately tries to find her identity. The drama cheerfully depicts Hye Jin’s turbulent intern life as she often gets scolded for her sloppy work and is always on edge worrying that Sung Joon might find out her true identity. Hwang Jung Eum’s presence as she shows off her tomboy and lovely charms while giving big laughs here and there is certainly unrivaled.


What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim (2018)

Credit: tvN

Narcissist Lee Young Joon is so self-absorbed that he barely acknowledges the people around him, making it impossible for others to bear him except his secretary Kim Mi So. One day, he is left in a state of shock when Mi So announces her plan to resign. Young Joon will do whatever he can to make sure Mi So stays by his side. What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim puts Park Seo Joon and Park Min Young, who show high “synchro rate” with the characters from the original webtoon, at the forefront, and completes a bouncy and jovial romance by unraveling a cartoon-like background with witty and deft production. Park Min Young, who was as firm as Mi So, who was not easily swayed by Young Joon’s efforts, and Park Seo Joon’s confident portrayal of narcissist Young Joon created a great chemistry.


Don’t Dare to Dream (2016)

Credit: SBS

I’m sure we all felt jealous at some point in our lives. Jealousy is the irresistible “disgrace” that anyone goes through when we love someone. Don’t Dare to Dream (aka Jealousy Incarnate) tells a funny and touching love story between a full-time news anchor and a temporary weather girl. What happens when Lee Hwa Shin, who has a proud, competitive and macho personality, and Pyo Na Ri, who has no money or connections but had a crush for Hwa Shin for 3 years, find themselves in a situation where the tables have turned? Lee Hwa Shin, who left as a correspondent, returns to the network after three years, and as soon as he does, Go Jung Won, a gentle heir, walks into Na Ri’s life, putting an end to her crush. Now, a love triangle with intense jealousy unfolds.


Her Private Life (2019)

Credit: tvN

Sung Deok Mi, an elegant chief curator at a museum, is actually a fanatic fangirl of an idol. Deok Mi’s love for Cha Shi An rules every moment of her, but her secretive double life is shaken when Ryan Gold, the art gallery’s new director, saunters into her life. Her Private Life evokes curiosity with its fresh background of a romance between a woman who fangirls an idol and a man who fanboys the woman, and the chemistry between the two actors was impressive enough to say that they have pioneered a new genre called “adult romance.” Kim Jae Wook first took the lead role in a rom-com and successfully showed off his languid, sexy adult man charm as well as unexpected cuteness we never saw before, while Park Min Young once again made a hit with her unique vibratious presence.

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