15 Saddest Korean Dramas for When You Want a Good Cry13 min read

It’s been a protracted week, you’re unsure of your future, and also you simply want to observe a tragic present and let loose some cathartic tears for individuals who don’t exist. Nobody’s judging – we’ve all been there. Generally all we’d like is an efficient cry. Fortunately, there are many heartbreaking Korean dramas to select from. Fortuitously, a bunch of them are simply accessible on-line in methods they by no means would have been simply 10 years in the past.

With the success of the Oscar-winning Parasite, South Korea has develop into well-known for the motion and horror thrillers it is produced in the previous few years, however dramas have been in style for a lot longer. Some are wholly unrealistic melodramas, some are heart-wrenching explorations of human connection, and a few are simply enjoyable romps with a number of unhappy scenes thrown in for good measure. Many unhappy Okay-dramas have conquered the hearts of many on account of their transferring narratives and three-dimensional characters. To rejoice essentially the most memorable, we collect the saddest Korean dramas for audiences to cuddle up with.

15 ‘The Hymn of Dying’ (2018)

Forged: Lee Jong-suk, Shin Hye-sun, Sin Jae-ha

Within the Twenties, Korea was occupied by Japan, and liberation actions have been beginning to develop. That is the setting of The Hymn of Dying, a present that’s based mostly on Korea’s first soprano singer, Yun Sim-deok (Shin Hae-sun), and follows her relationship with the author Kim Woo-jin (Lee Jong-suk), in addition to the tragic finish they each come to.

Whereas brief and predictable, particularly if viewers are acquainted with the historic occasions it tackles, The Hymn of Dying is nonetheless a fantastic and insightful look right into a time in Korea not usually portrayed (regardless of being some of the attention-grabbing and tragic intervals in world historical past). With solely 6 episodes, it makes for an entertaining and binge-watchable collection.

Watch on Netflix

14 ‘Stairway to Heaven’ (2003 – 2004)

Forged: Kwon Sang-woo, Choi Ji-woo, Shin Hyun-joon

In 2003’s Stairway to Heaven, Childhood buddies Han Jung-suh (Choi Ji-woo) and Cha Tune-joo (Kwon Sang-woo) share a singular connection that later develops into love. As a result of Tune-joo’s father handed away in a automobile accident and Jung-suh’s mom handed away from eye most cancers, the characters bond over the same pains and traumas they underwent and a fantastic connection inevitably blossoms.

With an equal components heartbreaking and heartwarming narrative on high of plausible and relatable characters, Stairway to Heaven is taken into account a traditional of its style at present. Moreover, it’s assuredly one of many saddest Okay-dramas on the market due to its partaking premise and well-paced story. Little doubt, the gut-wrenching 2003 collection is unquestionably value trying out.

Watch on Viki

13 ‘Hello Bye, Mama!’ (2020)

Forged: Kim Tae-hee, Ko Bo-Gyeol, Lee Kyuhyung

Created by Yu Je-won and Kwon Hye-ju, Hello Bye, Mama! is a reasonably current Netflix comedy fantasy collection following a mom who passes away and begins a 49-day rebirth mission, in addition to a husband who has simply began dwelling a brand new life after conquering the agony of shedding his spouse.

On high of the emotional themes it tackles, this must-see 2020 Okay-drama is filled with impeccable performances and gorgeous cinematography whereas reflecting on loss and grief. As such, it sends out a helpful message about these themes, together with the significance of therapeutic. Though it’s not your common feel-good drama, Hello, Bye, Mama! is fantastically written and can doubtless play on audiences’ heartstrings to unimaginable and memorable outcomes.

Watch on Netflix

12 ‘Uncontrollably Fond’ (2016)

Forged: Kim Woo-bin, Suzy, Lim Ju-hwan

Attributable to its emotional narrative, Uncontrollably Fond is broadly thought to be the saddest Okay-drama. The present depicts the reunion of two former lovers who’ve now develop into a well-known actor and a documentary producer. As they encounter one another as soon as once more, recollections of their previous come flooding again, years after their painful separation.

Though it’s categorized as a comedy-drama, this transferring 2016 collection is assured to make viewers attain for the tissues. Starring Okay-pop singer Suzy Bae and that includes tons of emotional injury and unimaginable appearing, Uncontrollably Fond is a must-watch for anybody who enjoys a heart-wrenching story. It’s the excellent choose for love fanatics (although it nonetheless makes for an absorbing collection for any viewer who dares to test it out).

Watch on Hulu

11 ‘The Snow Queen’ (2006)

Forged: Hyun Bin, Sung Yu-ri, Im Joo-hwan

Hyun Bin and Sung Yu-ri in
Picture through Yoon’s Colour

From the touching soundtrack to Korean star Hyun Bin’s appearing, the 2006 Okay-drama is an emotional curler coaster that primarily goes down for a lot of the present. The premise itself tells followers what to anticipate: after the suicide of his finest pal, Han Tae-woon has given up his genius-level mathematical expertise in favor of boxing, till he meets a lady he met as soon as as a toddler, falling in love together with her solely to find that she was his finest pal’s youthful sister. The 2 of them assist one another by means of their grief.

The characters are undoubtedly what stands out essentially the most about this slice-of-life story — they’re all well-rounded, likable, and heartwarming even within the methods they cope with the laborious challenges life throws at them. That includes impeccable appearing performances, the fantastically shot The Snow Queen is properly value trying out.

The Snow Queen shouldn’t be obtainable to stream, lease, or buy presently.

10 ‘Good Physician’ (2013)

Forged: Joo Gained, Moon Chae-won, Joo Sang-wook

When an autistic man with savant syndrome enters a hospital as a pediatric surgeon, he virtually instantly encounters opposition. Regarded down upon for his autism by each his co-workers and his purchasers’ dad and mom and household, he has to seek out methods to show that he can work successfully with youngsters regardless of the obstacles he has to beat. Moreover, Good Physician has an American remake of comparable success.

Whereas not the saddest present on the market, usually throwing heartwarming and inspirational scenes into the combination, there are loads of Good Physician moments that correctly display precisely how harsh the world may be to individuals who don’t conform to what others see as regular. It will not be a fan favourite for audiences who aren’t into medical dramas. Nevertheless, it’s usually important for individuals who are.

Watch on Kocowa

9 ‘Winter Sonata’ (2002)

Forged: Bae Yong-joon, Choi Ji-woo, Park Yong-ha

The cast of Winter Sonata
Picture through Pan Leisure

One of many first Korean dramas to develop into in style internationally, Winter Sonata helped launch the present wave of Korean leisure media within the West. No surprise it grew to become what most subsequent dramas appeared to for their very own reputation. The story revolves round Joon-sang, who enrolls in a brand new highschool situated in a small city exterior of Seoul, with the only function of discovering his organic father.

The collection got here out in 2002 and is the mannequin for many romance Okay-dramas now. Because of this, wanting again, it comes throughout as somewhat cliché and predictable. Nevertheless, that doesn’t imply it’s nonetheless not an gratifying melodramatic collection. For followers of the standard unhappy Okay-drama romance TV collection, there are many transferring moments in Winter Sonata which might be assured to make viewers sob.

Watch on Kocowa

8 ‘Simply Between Lovers’ (2017)

Forged: JUNHO, Gained Jin-ah, Lee Ki-woo

A narrative of two individuals who regularly develop nearer after studying that they suffered by means of the identical tragedy as youngsters, Simply Between Lovers is genuinely heartbreaking. It presents one in every of actor Gained Jin-A’s finest roles as Ha Moon-soo, an architect devoted to stopping a tragedy just like the one she suffered from ever occurring once more. She represses her recollections till a slowly-developing friendship with Lee Gang-doo (Lee Jun-ho) permits them to each reconcile with the trauma that also impacts them.

There is no such thing as a doubt that the 2017 collection makes for an awesome one, particularly contemplating its cathartic and hopeful ending — one which could be very wanted after 16 episodes of highs and lows. This accessible present (obtainable for streaming on Netflix) is the proper Okay-drama for first-time viewers who wish to get into the style, as Simply Between Lovers gives audiences with a practical have a look at the connection of two three-dimensional, genuinely plausible characters that viewers can’t assist however like and relate to.

Watch on Netflix

7 ‘My Love From One other Star’ (2013)

Forged: Kim Soo-hyun, Jun Ji-hyun, Yoo In-na

Kim Soo-hyun and Jun Ji-hyun in My Love from the Star
Picture through HB Leisure

In My Love From One other Star, Min-joon (Kim Soo-hyun) finds himself, fairly actually, a star-crossed love when he falls head over heels for actress and star Cheon Tune-yi (Jun Ji-hyun). The one drawback is that Min-joon is an alien trapped on Earth and disguised as a good-looking and clever man who works as a professor.

Opposites entice in 2013’s My Love From One other Star, which is likely one of the hottest Korean dramas. A bittersweet ending solely provides to the attraction of the present, which is already current on account of Jun Ji-hyun’s improbable comedic timing and surprisingly emotional moments. The drama launched the male lead actor, Kim Soo-hyun, to new heights in his profession as an actor, and it was a cultural phenomenon.

Watch on Amazon Prime

6 ‘Kill Me, Heal Me’ (2015)

Forged: Ji Sung, Hwang Jung-eum, Park Website positioning-joon

It’s uncommon for a Okay-drama present to take a look at identification problems and abuse as a premise, however Kill Me, Heal Me efficiently dives into the depths of Cha Do-hyun’s (Ji Sung) previous and his subsequent Dissociative Id Dysfunction. It depicts a love story between the son of a rich household and his secret psychiatrist.

The 2015 collection gained a number of awards for its impactful storyline. Evidently, the topic it brings up is poignant and related, and the primary character’s completely different personalities are all well-portrayed, changing into completely different characters themselves. A thriller, comedy, and romance multi functional, Kill Me, Heal Me doesn’t shrink back from the sadder moments that come up, which is why it stays probably the greatest of the bunch. It may be totally loved with a subscription to Viki.

Watch on Kocowa

5 ‘Youth of Might’ (2021)

Forged: Lee Do-hyun, Go Min-si, Lee Sang-yi

Youth of Might is about in the course of the Gwangju Rebellion of Might 1980, some of the vital occasions in South Korea’s current historical past, with lasting results at present. The collection depicts the democratic scholar rebellion within the metropolis of Gwangju in opposition to the insurance policies of the present authoritarian authorities, which resulted within the reported loss of life of 170 residents, although the quantity is contested to be a lot greater.

Whereas portraying the romance between a nurse and a medical scholar in Gwangju, this Okay-drama achieves its aim of spreading consciousness of the methods regular life was disrupted that 12 months by the rebellion, in addition to the tragedy it precipitated amongst harmless individuals. Not solely is Youth of Might an entertaining watch, however it is usually instructional.

Watch on Kocowa

4 ‘Goblin’ (2016)

Forged: Gong Yoo, Kim Go-eun, Lee Dong-wook

Gong Yoo and Kim Go-eun in
Picture through Hwa&Dam Photos

In some unspecified time in the future, Goblin was really one of many most-watched exhibits in South Korea, rapidly changing into a cultural phenomenon and profitable a number of awards. Starring one in every of South Korea’s high actors, Gong Yoo, this supernatural thriller presents a romance between a Joseon Dynasty-era navy officer and a modern-day younger lady, a recurring trope in trendy Okay-dramas.

Like My Love from the Star, a lot of the angst on this present attracts from Kim Shin being immortal and falling in love with a mortal lady, and the longing he feels to lastly break the curse of immortality he’s been positioned below. Goblin is an undeniably fascinating collection with an intriguing relationship at its middle — the quantity of people that watched it helps show the purpose.

Watch on Viki

3 ‘Moon Lovers: Scarlet Coronary heart Ryeo’ (2016)

Forged: Lee Joon-gi, Kang Ha-neul, IU

Historic interval items are plentiful amongst Korean dramas, however not all of them have as many unhappy moments as Moon Lovers: Scarlet Coronary heart Ryeo. Within the unhappy Korean drama, a modern-day lady will get transported again to Korea’s Goryeo Dynasty and finally ends up navigating the sophisticated political conditions that outcome when she’s drawn right into a love triangle with two princes preventing for the throne.

Moon Lovers‘ writers efficiently handle to get to the center of the drama, totally exploring the feelings such a tense state of affairs would evoke in a lady used to the comforts of contemporary life. Whereas it could take a number of episodes to get used to the characters, the story is definitely intriguing and worthwhile.

Moon Lovers: Scarlet Coronary heart Ryeo shouldn’t be obtainable to stream, lease, or buy presently.

2 ‘It is Okay to Not Be Okay’ (2020)

Forged: Kim Soo-hyun, Website positioning Yea-ji, Oh Jung-se

It is Okay to Not Be Okay is a extremely in style and beloved Okay-drama revolving round Moon Gang-tae (Kim Soo-hyun), an orphan caregiver who lives along with his autistic brother (astoundingly performed by Moon Sang Tae). Nevertheless, when Gang-tae begins working at a psychiatric hospital, he comes throughout a well-known delinquent author (Website positioning Ye-Ji) who his brother completely loves. Quickly sufficient, surprising feelings between the 2 come up.

Along with its stunning visuals and wonderful appearing performances, this 2020 drama (which, at instances, offers off robust Tim Burton, fairytale-like vibes in the very best method) gives viewers with an equal instances heartwarming and extremely unhappy storyline reflecting on familial bonds, psychological well being, and all of the stigma that surrounds it. For that reason, It is Okay to Not Be Okay is assuredly among the many most touching of all Okay-dramas.

Watch on Netflix

1 ‘Mr. Sunshine’ (2018)

Forged: Kim Tae-ri, Lee Byung-hun, Ahn Yeon-suk

In Mr. Sunshine, audiences are launched to somewhat little one (grown into a captivating man performed by Lee Byung-hun) who’s born into slavery however escapes to america in the course of the 1871 Shinmiyangyo (U.S. expedition to Korea) due to a tragic expertise. Later, as an officer in america Marine Corps, he returns to Joseon, the place he meets and finally falls for the daughter (Kim Tae-ri) of an aristocrat.

Whereas the collection identify is actually Mr. Sunshine, this fascinating Okay-drama doesn’t fall wanting providing a few emotional moments, taking a particular spot among the many saddest of its style. Along with its intriguing and interesting premise, Mr. Sunshine additionally advantages from nice appearing and breathtaking cinematography.

Watch on Netflix

NEXT: The Finest Revenge-Themed Okay-Dramas Like Netflix’s ‘The Glory’

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