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6 Classic K-Dramas That Launched Korea's Biggest Stars And Helped Spread The Korean Wave

By Carlo Rodriguez | January 05, 2017 05:29 AM EST


The Korean Wave is experiencing a massive resurgence after hit 2016 dramas like "The Descendants of the Sun," "The Legend of the Blue Sea," and "Goblin" have captured million of hearts in Asia. This resurgence has placed Korean dramas back in the limelight once again after a slight decline or 'slowing down' in the last few years.

If you have been a fan of Korean dramas since the advent of the Korean Wave, then you would definitely remember the classic dramas that played a great role in popularizing Korean dramas in Asia and the rest of the world.

Here are some of the classic dramas that you should definitely binge watch courtesy of Koreaboo.


Set in an alternate modern-day Korea, "Princess Hours" tells the story of the Korean crown prince Lee Shin (Ju Ji Hoon), his commoner bride Chae Kyeong (Yoon Eun Hye) and the challenges they overcome together as the future rulers of Korea.

Princess Hours was so popular that the producers developed a spin-off series, "Prince Hours," while also catapulting actress Yoon Eun Hye into Korean Wave stardom.


You probably know Gong Yoo today as the star of the hit TV series "Goblin" and the critically acclaimed film "Train to Busan" but what you probably didn't know is that "Coffee Prince" was the show that launched him as a leading man and Hallyu star. Coffee Prince also made Yoon Eun Hye as the highest paid actress of 2007.

Coffee Prince tells the story of a tomboyish woman named Andy (Yoon Eun Hye) who dresses like a guy and lands a job in a coffee shop owned by Gong Yoo's character, Arthur, who subsequently falls in love with Andy.

The series in itself contains homoerotic elements which makes it all the more interesting.


Based on the popular Japanese manga, "Hana Yori Dango," "Boys Over Flowers" is a teen drama that swept through Asia and launched Lee Min Ho into international stardom. The show is about a common school girl who gets accepted into a school for the elite wherein she attracts four of the most popular guys in the school.


"Secret Garden" made the actor Hyun Bin a household name and co-starring Ha Ji Won, the series is about a chaebol and a stunt woman who swap bodies.


"Full House" aired way back in 2004 and it instantly became an Asian phenomenon, reaching number 1 in several countries. The series stars the King of K-pop himself, Rain and "Descendants of the Sun" star Song Hye Kyo, launching her as one of the most popular Korean actresses in Asia. Song Hye Kyo just recently bagged a daesang award together with her Descendants co-star Song Joong Ki in the recently concluded KBS Drama Awards, KBS reports.

Full House is about a famous actor and an aspiring writer who agree to a fake marriage.


"Winter Sonata" is credited as the series that launched the Korean Wave and is successful all throughout Asia. The series tells the bittersweet romance between an aspiring musician (Bae Yoong Joon) who loses his memories and the girl he left behind (Choi Ji Woo). Winter Sonata has its own anime adaptation.

Tagged :  korean dramas, Korean wave, hallyu, Gong Yoo, winter sonata


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