Who says a show set in the 15th century can’t be trendy? Starring the hottest batch of Korean actors and actresses, here are the five historical rom-com K-dramas that are romantic, hilarious and binge-worthy!
1. ‘My Sassy Girl‘ (2017) – 16 episodes
Synopsis: When a cold-hearted scholar crosses paths with a sassy princess, he doesn’t realize that the girl he thinks is so wrong might just be the one that is right.
Plot: Gyun Woo (Joo Won) is a scholar. Studious and without any time for life’s nonsense, he pays attention only to the task at hand. And his job is to teach the crown prince. However, at the castle, Joo Won meets Princess Hye Myung (Oh Yeon Seo). Joseon era princesses train themselves to act feminine and graceful; this girl skipped training. Hyu Myung is a mess. She is loud, obnoxious and greets our hero by puking on him. The poor scholar doesn’t realize what he is in for, nor where his heart will take him. But is falling in love all that easy, when the object of your affections is so ridiculously sassy?
This is one of the few historical rom-com K-dramas that’s actually based on a movie.
2. ‘Sungkyunkwan Scandal‘ (2010) – 20 episodes
Synopsis: Based in the Joseon Dynasty, Sungkyunkwan Scandal revolves around the lives of a disguised young woman and her three male friends, who may or may not know her secret.
Plot: Kim Yoon Hee (Park Min Young) is a brilliant young woman at a time when women do not attend the university. Supporting her family by doing odd jobs at a bookstore, she grows increasingly desperate at the hands of her family’s debt. When her younger brother falls ill, she winds up entering Sungkyunkwan University disguised as a boy. Even though she’ll certainly lose her life when they find out that she’s a woman, Yoon Hee will do anything to help her brother. In school, she falls in love with Lee Sun Joon, the brilliant son of the Prime Minister. She also befriends Goo Yong Ha, a wealthy playboy, and street ruffian Moon Jae Shin. With all-male roommates, Yoon Hee will have to keep her wits about her so she goes undetected in this fascinating look into Korea’s most prestigious university.
The oldest of the historical rom-com K-dramas, “Sungkyungkwan Scandal” is a classic and worth watching especially if you’re a fan of Song Joong Ki or Yoo Ah In.
3. ‘Hwarang‘ (2016) – 20 episodes
Synopsis: A drama based on a true story about a legendary band of warriors known as “Hwarang” that would define a dynasty.
Plot: When a band of elite youth enter Hwarang to fight for justice and stop the nobles from conquering the throne, they soon realize that being a team of gorgeous poets isn’t all that easy. Queen Mother Kim Ji Soo (“Gangnam Blues” actress Kim Ji Soo) has ruled Silla since the king passed away. She has kept her son away from the throne to keep him safe. The king-in-waiting, though, is impatient for the throne, just like all the nobles around him. To counter the nobles and their scheming ways, the queen creates an elite team to shake up their hierarchy.
4. ‘Moonlight Drawn by Clouds‘ (2016) – 18 episodes
Synopsis: In an attempt to give men great love advice, Hong Ra On disguises herself as a man — but things take a weird turn when she unknowingly gives advice to the Crown Prince and begins to fall for him.
Plot: Hong Ra On (Kim Yoo Jung) has one of the most unique jobs in the Joseon Dynasty: she disguises herself as a man named Sam Nom and gives great dating advice to lovelorn souls seeking to woo that special someone.
Because of one of the letters she writes to help win someone over, she ends up meeting Lee Young (Park Bo Gum). But little does she know that Lee Young is actually the future Crown Prince Hyomyung. Lee Young, for his part, also doesn’t know that Hong Ra On is a woman. With both their interests in each other intensifying, things start to get more than a little weird. And those weird things get even weirder when Ra On enters the Royal Palace as a eunuch and becomes involved in a political power struggle.
Is this a dilemma a dating guru and handsome royalty can solve, or will the darkness of the clouds of greed and deception enshroud the love in the moonlight?
5. ‘100 Days My Prince‘ (2018) – 16 episodes
Synopsis: A crown prince suffering from amnesia winds up with a quick-witted detective. He’ll return to the palace in 100 days, but will his life ever be the same?
Plot: Crown Prince Lee Yool (EXO’s D.O.) is a perfectionist. Everything in his life is perfect, as is fitting of royalty. When someone tries to assassinate him, he survives, but suffers from temporary amnesia, unable to remember his identity. For 100 days, he lives life as a commoner. He goes by the name Won Duk.
When Won Duk meets Hong Sim (Nam Ji Hyun, Love in Trouble), the “old maid” of her village, they realize that they need each other. She needs a husband, and he needs someone to help him survive while his memory recovers. The two begin to fall for each other, but after 100 days, everything could change.
The newest of the historical rom-com K-dramas, “100 Days My Prince” is definitely worth checking out.
Where to watch: Viki
Alternatively, “Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo” is another historical K-drama worth checking out. It starts like any of the other historical rom-com K-dramas but gets more serious as the story progresses.
What’s your favorite historical rom-com K-dramas? Please comment below!