Edited by Seo Hayne
Translated by Yu Jin Kim
The recently-concluded JTBC drama Reborn Rich follows a loyal employee who gets murdered and reborn as the youngest son of the company and him seeking revenge on the conglomerate family. Alchemy of Souls: Light and Shadow returned with its second part four months after the first part’s wrap. It tells the story of individuals whose fate has been switched due to soul-changing magic. What makes these types of dramas attractive is that they tell captivating stories about a protagonist’s unfinished love and passion in their previous life. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at five Korean dramas about those who get to live their second lives.
Again My Life (2022)
Again My Life tells the story of a young prosecutor named Kim Hee Woo (played by Lee Joon Gi) who gets killed while investigating a politician. He comes back to life to seek justice for himself as a congressman. In the first episode, Hee Woo gets killed while investigating a corrupted politician named Jo Tae Sub (Lee Kyoung Young). Luckily, a grim reaper gives him a second chance to live, and he travels back 15 years into the past. While enjoying his college life, he begins to map out his revenge plan based on what he knows. Lee Joon Gi did a fantastic job of playing the college student role thanks to his youthful appearance. He also led the story with some great action scenes without using any stunt double. The drama received rave reviews as it gave great pleasure to viewers with its fast-paced storyline and satisfying revenge.
Bulgasal: Immortal Souls (2021)
Bulgasal: Imortal Souls follows a vengeful immortal man whose life became intertwined with that of a woman who has been living with a cycle of death and reincarnation for the last 600 years. Dan Hwal (Lee Jin Wook) has been known for being a cursed boy ever since he was very young and lost his family due to a monster’s attack. He gets cursed by a Bulgasal and chases after a woman named Min Sang Woon (Kwon Na Ra), who he thinks killed his family. However, another Bulgasal named Ok Eul Tae (Lee Joon) gets in his way. The complex relationship between the three gradually unravels as the story unfolds their hidden ties from the past.
Tale of the Nine Tailed (2020)
Tale of the Nine Tailed drew viewers’ interest by setting its protagonist up to be a male gumiho, a mythical nine-tailed fox often described as a female figure in traditional South Korean folklore. Lee Dong Wook plays a character who stays incredibly loyal to the one he loves, which gives us a reminiscence of his previous grim reaper role in Guardian: The Lonely and Great God. The drama unravels the story of the gumiho living in modern society, following the feelings he has been harboring for a female drama producer from her past life and the conflict he has with his step-brother. Thanks to those elements, the close chemistry between Lee Dong Wook and Jo Bo Ah as well as the bromance between Lee Dong Wook and Kim Bum caught viewers’ attention. The happily-concluded drama is set to return with season 2 this year. With Kim So Yeon joining the cast, the upcoming season will follow the story of the gumiho as he gets involved in an unexpected case that leads him to travel back in time to the year 1938.
Abyss is a fantasy romance drama marking the reunion of Park Bo Young and Oh My Ghost producer Yoo Je Won. The drama tells a love story of a man and woman who come back to life in new bodies after being murdered by strangers. The “Abyss” is a celestial object that can revive anything that has died, but the reincarnated bodies take on the appearance of that person’s soul. Mean people become ugly, and good people become attractive and young. Although the series was criticized for being poorly written and loosely held together, Park Bo Young managed to keep some loyal viewers tuned into the show.
Guardian: The Lonely and Great God (2017)
Guardian: The Lonely and Great God is indeed one of the most loved K-dramas of all time. Thanks to screenwriter Kim Eun Sook’s three years of hard work, the drama successfully tells the story of an immortal goblin who goes to find a human bride to remove an invisible sword from his chest and end his life. The story unfolds as a student named Ji Eun Tak appears in front of him and his grim reaper roommate with no memory of past. The show made headlines as it brilliantly depicted the fateful romance between the goblin and Ji Eun Tak and the grim reaper and Sunny (Yoo In Na). Gong Yoo and Lee Dong Wook’s bromance also tuned viewers into the show. It’s one of the nostalgic dramas that comes to mind on a cold winter’s day.
Editor Seo Hayne: I like actors as they faithfully lead through their long running-time. I also like idols who accomplish everything on stage within 3 minutes.