K-dramas are known for their well-crafted and engaging storylines. They often revolve around relationships, personal growth, and societal issues. Romantic comedies are particularly popular, featuring a mix of humor, heartwarming moments, and romantic tension. Historical k-dramas explore Korea’s rich history and culture, often incorporating elements of palace intrigue, political conflicts, and romance. Other genres delve into thrilling mysteries, action-packed plots, or thought-provoking narratives.
There are certain shows that are actually based on true stories here we have picked 10 best ones for you that are based on real life events.
1. Signal (2016)
“Signal” is a highly acclaimed South Korean drama series that aired in 2016. It gained significant popularity for its unique story-line, compelling characters, and intense suspense. The drama combines elements of crime, thriller, and fantasy genres. The drama draws inspiration from some notable incidents and cases that occurred in South Korea’s history. For example, it references the Hwaseong serial murders, which took place between 1986 and 1991 and remained unsolved for many years.
If you’re a fan of crime thrillers with a touch of time travel and strong character development, “Signal” is definitely worth watching.
2. Fight For My Way (2017)
“Fight For My Way” is a popular South Korean drama series that aired in 2017. Also known as “Third-Rate My Way,” The drama revolves around the lives of four friends who are in their late twenties and struggling to pursue their dreams while facing societal pressures and setbacks. The main characters include Ko Dong-man (Park Seo-joon), Choi Ae-ra (Kim Ji-won), Kim Joo-man (Ahn Jae-hong), and Baek Seol-hee (Song Ha-yoon).
The story of the drama is loosely based on the life of a mixed martial artist Choo Sung Hoon and his wife, Yano Shiho.
3. Reply 1988
“Reply 1988” is a South Korean drama set in the late 1980s. It follows the lives of five childhood friends and their families in a Seoul neighborhood. The drama beautifully captures youth, friendship, and family bonds, while exploring themes of love, dreams, and nostalgia. With a strong ensemble cast and heartfelt storytelling, “Reply 1988” became a critically acclaimed and popular series, resonating with viewers across generations.
The show features the story of a Baduk player named Choi Taek played by Park Bo Gum that character actually inspired by Lee Changho. Lee is considered one of the greatest baduk players in history and dominated the baduk world during the 1990s and early 2000s, earning numerous titles and setting various records.
“Hwarang” is another true story based South Korean historical drama set during the Silla Dynasty. It follows a group of elite warriors known as Hwarang and their journey filled with friendship, romance, and political struggles. The drama features a talented cast and offers a mix of action and romance within a historical backdrop. The series features a talented ensemble cast, including popular actors such as Park Seo-joon, Park Hyung-sik, Go Ara, and Choi Min-ho.
5. Taxi Driver
“Taxi Driver” is a South K-drama about a special taxi service that seeks revenge for victims failed by the justice system. While the drama touches on real societal issues, it is not based on a true story. The series explores themes of vigilante justice and corruption, providing an action-packed and suspenseful viewing experience.
6. Move To Heaven
“Move To Heaven” is a South K-drama draws inspiration from the essay “Things Left Behind” written by Kim Sae-byul, a former trauma cleaner. While the specific cases and characters are fictional, it explores the emotional journeys of a young man with Asperger’s syndrome and his uncle as they uncover the stories and memories left behind by the deceased. The series emphasizes themes of healing, understanding, and cherishing human connections.
7. Queen For Seven Days
“Queen for Seven Days” is a South Korean drama based on the true story of Queen Dangyeong of Joseon. The drama explores her short-lived reign, the challenges she faced, and the political intrigues of the time. It offers a captivating portrayal of historical events and figures from the Joseon Dynasty.
8. The Hymn Of Death
“The Hymn of Death” also known as “Death Song,” is based on a true story. The drama is inspired by the life of Yun Sim-deok, a Korean soprano who lived in the early 20th century. Yun Sim-deok was the first professional female singer in Korea and gained fame for her remarkable talent. The series explores her tragic love story and societal challenges, offering a glimpse into her life and legacy.
9. Juvenile Justice (2022)
Another drama which is loosly based on true events. Sim Eun Seok is an elite judge with a prickly personality who hates juvenile offenders. After she gets assigned to a local juvenile court, she tries to balance her aversion to minor offenders with firm beliefs on justice and punishment, as she goes out of her way to break custom and administer her own ways of punishing the offenders.
10. The Red Sleeve (2021)
The historical k-drama is Adapted from the novel “The Sleeve’s Red Cuff” (옷소매 붉은 끝동) by Kang Mi Kang (강미강) that documents the relationship between the King of Joseon, King Jeongjo, and a court lady Seong Ui Bin—who rejected his proposals to become his concubine twice.
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