In your twenties, you will probably finish school, begin to define your work identity, and maybe even meet the love of your life. In fact, your twenties are so important that clinical psychologist Meg Jay calls it the defining decade. We’ve picked some Korean dramas and films in which you could vicariously explore romance, friendship, and work life of twentysomethings. “The Best Hit” actor Lee Se Young says her character “represents all twentysomething-year-olds who work hard.” And “Because It’s the First Time” is the twenties version of the hit series “I Need Romance.” Scroll down for more Korean TV shows for twentysomethings.
1. ‘The Best Hit’
Drama – 32 Total episodes | KBS2 | 2017
Starring Yoon Si Yoon and Lee Se Young
Yoon Si Yoon (“Mirror of the Witch”) and Kim Min Jae (“Romantic Doctor,” “Teacher Kim” and “Goblin: The Lonely and Great God”) star in a variety drama that shows how growing up means life giving you a few hard hits. When a young idol prone to scandal meets a model student who dreams of singing, their lives will come together to form the perfect kind of musical chaos.
The Best Hit is directed by actor Cha Tae Hyun (“Producer”) and Yoo Ho Jin (“2 Days, 1 Night”), both of whom are directing a drama series for the first time.
2. ‘Reply 1994’
Drama – 21 Total episodes | tvN | 2013
Starring Go Ara and Yoo Yeon Seok
Generation Y, meet Generation X: on the heels of the success of “Reply 1997,” ’90s nostalgia continues with a prequel set in 1994. Journey with a group of college students as they discover the now legendary—then new—K-pop group Seo Taiji and the Boys, as well as the Korean Basketball League, “new” technology, and grungy fashion trends. Sometimes you’ve just got to look to your past in order to appreciate the present. Every generation is sure to find something to love in this field trip back into time!
Feature Film – 115 Minutes | 2015
Starring Kim Woo Bin and Lee Jun Ho
Kim Chi Ho (Kim Woo Bin), Lee Dong Woo (Lee Joon Ho) and Kang Gyung Jae (Kang Ha Neul) have been best friends since high school, but can their close bonds survive the challenges of growing up? Amidst shifting priorities, these friends learn important lessons in love and life, proving that while girls and work can be confusing at any age, it’s especially challenging when you’re a 20-year-old guy.
4. ‘Age of Youth’
Drama – 12 Total episodes | JTBC | 2016
Starring Han Ye Ri and Park Eun Bin
Han Ye Ri (“Six Flying Dragons”) and Park Eun Bin (“Choco Bank”) head an ensemble comedy about friendship, love, and college tuition. University student Yoon Jin Myung (Han Ye Ri) is busy supporting herself both academically and financially, so she understandably has a severe shortage of sleep and little time for drama. Unfortunately, living with four roommates has its share of drama.
Song Ji Won (Park Eun Bin), whose drinking habit does nothing to tame her bright personality; Jung Ye Eun (former KARA member and “Secret Love” star Han Seung Yeon), who is completely devoted to her boyfriend and is very clear on what she does and does not like; Kang Yi Na (“Descendants of the Sun” actress Hwa Young), whose popularity comes almost exclusively from her stellar good looks; and Yoo Eun Jae (“Yong Pal” alum Park Hye Soo), who is rather timid but has a very unique taste in men. Together, they navigate the many challenges that life will throw their way because, well, what else are roommates for?
5. ‘Twenty Again’
Drama – 16 Total episodes | tvN | 2015
Starring Choi Ji Woo and Kim Min Jae
Due to an unplanned pregnancy, Ha No Ra (Choi Ji Woo) married young and dropped out of school. But after two decades as a housewife, she finally gets the chance to experience college. If you think going to classes with her 20-year-old son Kim Min Soo (Kim Min Jae) and his girlfriend (Son Na Eun) is awkward, think again. Further complicating things, her husband (Choi Won Young) and her first love (Lee Sang Yoon) wind up being her professors.
6. ‘One Way Trip’
Feature Film – 93 Minutes | 2016
Yong Bi (Kim Ji Soo), Sang Woo (Suho), Ji Gong (Ryu Joon Yeol from “Reply 1988”) and Doo Man (Kim Hee Chan) are the closest friends you will ever meet. Between university entrance exams and athletic scholarships, they are all busy enjoying their youth. Before Sang Woo leaves for the army, he and his buddies travel to Pohang together. There, while drinking on the beach one night, they see a man savagely beating his wife. Acting as good citizens, they run in to help her. But these friends don’t realize just how high a cost they will have to pay for doing the right thing.
7. ‘Because It’s the First Time’
Drama – 8 Total episodes | OnStyle | 2015
Starring Choi Min Ho and Park So Dam
Yoon Tae Oh (Choi Min Ho) is a free-spirited college freshman who hosts his rooftop for his five friends. Amongst this diverse group is his childhood friend, Han Song Yi (Park So Dam). As he starts to fall for her, another friend (Kim Min Jae) starts to develop feelings for her as well. Will this love triangle be the downfall of an otherwise perfect group?
Which Korean TV shows for twentysomethings did we forget to include? Tell us below!