10 Best K-Dramas That Will Get You Hooked From The First Episode

10 Best K-Dramas That Will Get You Hooked From The First Episode

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From heart-warming rom-com to dystopian hits, these are the best K-dramas that have managed to hook an audience from their first episode.

  • Fascinating premises and unique concepts instantly hook viewers in K-drama series like Crash Landing on You and Squid Game, offering gripping storylines and intriguing commentary.
  •  The chemistry between characters and engaging dynamics create addictive shows, such as Hometown Cha Cha Cha and Itaewon Class, that draw viewers in from the start.
  •  K-dramas like Sweet Home and Strong Woman Do Bong Soon combine elements of horror, action, and humor, making them irresistible and binge-worthy from the very first episode.

From heart-warming rom-coms to dystopian hits, some K-drama series have managed to hook audiences from their very first episode. Whether it's the intricate plotlines, relatable characters, or the perfect blend of humor and drama, each show has something about it that pulls in viewers right away. Together, these elements create immersive worlds that draw viewers into the lives of the characters, making it impossible not to binge-watch episode after episode.

Some of the best K-drama series of all time, like Crash Landing on You, have fascinating premises, showcasing an improbable love story between a South Korean heiress and a North Korean officer. Meanwhile, shows like Squid Game immediately throw viewers on a harrowing journey through a dystopian society where participants play deadly children's games for a chance at a life-changing cash prize. Each of these dramas, with their captivating first episodes, promises a completely addicting show, making them perfect starting points for anyone looking to dive into the rich world of K-dramas.

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10 Best K-Dramas That Will Get You Hooked From The First Episode

10. Business Proposal
An interesting character dynamic makes the show instantly addicting.

Business Proposal is a romantic-comedy K-drama that follows Shin Ha-ri (Kim Se-jeong), who agrees to pretend to be her friend, Young-seo, on a blind date, only to discover her date is none other than her boss, Kang Tae-moo (Ahn Hyo-seop), the newly appointed president of GO Food. Originally, Ha-ri planned to make Tae-moo repulsed by her behavior. However, the plan backfires when Tae-moo, unfazed, decides to marry Young-seo to escape his father's wishes for him to get married. Although the show falls victim to some rom-com clichés, the question of when Tae-moo will discover the truth makes the show instantly addictive.

10 Best K-Dramas That Will Get You Hooked From The First Episode

9. Sweet Home
The pilot episode ends in suspense, hinting at a character's coming transformation.

Sweet Home is a Korean action horror series set in a world where humans can transform into terrifying monsters at any moment. The show takes place when Cha Hyun-Soo (Song Kang), a loner contemplating suicide, is drawn into a nightmarish reality when his apartment complex becomes ground zero for a monstrous invasion and the apartment residents must band together in the locked-down building to survive. Sweet Home's monsters are brilliantly designed, and the series is jam-packed with fantastic action sequences that instantly draw in audiences. The episode ends with Hyun-Soo bleeding, hinting at his coming human-monster hybrid transformation, setting the stage for the rest of Sweet Home's gripping survival horror that asks what it means to be a monster.

10 Best K-Dramas That Will Get You Hooked From The First Episode

8. Hometown Cha Cha Cha
The light-hearted banter between the show's leads demonstrates their great chemistry.

The first episode of Hometown Cha Cha Cha follows Doctor Yoon Hye-Jin, who quits her city job due to problems with her boss and, after a series of misadventures and a viral mistake, finds herself in the coastal village of Gongjin. Here, she meets the multi-talented Hong Du-Sik, a quirky master of all trades. The two immediately clash but in the most playful of ways, including a hilarious scene involving a shoe exchange. Hye-Jin's career crisis back in Seoul pushes her towards a new beginning in Gongjin. The emerging chemistry between Hometown Cha Cha Cha's leads and the show's quirky humor makes it utterly bingeworthy.

10 Best K-Dramas That Will Get You Hooked From The First Episode

7. Itaewon Class
The show's engaging character dynamics captivate from the start.

Itaewon Class follows Park Sae-ro-yi (Park Seo-Joon), who confronts a colossal corporation responsible for his family's downfall. As Sae-ro-yi navigates the trials of setting up a bar in the competitive landscape of Itaewon, he draws strength from a close-knit group of friends, each bringing their unique support to his mission for justice. One of Park Seo-joon's best K-dramas, this underdog story captivates from the start, blending moments of heartfelt connection between dynamic characters with intense, revenge-fueled confrontations. The series was an instant hit and won Best Drama Series at the 25th Asian Television Awards.

10 Best K-Dramas That Will Get You Hooked From The First Episode

6. Strong Woman Do Bong Soon
The show's premise is filled with humor, action, and heart.

Strong Woman Do Bong-soon follows Do Bong-soon, a woman with superhuman strength, born into a family where this power is a legacy passed down through women. Her life takes a turn when she becomes the bodyguard for Ahn Min-hyuk, a chaebol heir and CEO of a gaming company. The show weaves a tale of Bong-soon navigating her dual life, protecting Min-hyuk while chasing her dreams as a video game developer and dealing with the challenges her strength brings. The premise of Strong Woman Do Bong-soon sets up a show filled with action, humor, and heart, making it an irresistible watch from the first episode.

10 Best K-Dramas That Will Get You Hooked From The First Episode

5. All Of Us Are Dead
The show's questioning of human morality offers a fresh take on the zombie genre.

In All of Us Are Dead, a high school becomes the epicenter of a zombie apocalypse, plunging students into a fight for survival. The outbreak blurs lines between ally and enemy, as students navigate a treacherous landscape of betrayal and camaraderie. Set against the backdrop of teenage angst, the series delves into themes of humanity, cruelty, and coming of age. Despite familiar tropes, All of Us Are Dead captivates with its intense pacing and character dynamics, offering a fresh take on the zombie genre. It questions what it is that makes a monster, making viewers ponder where humanity ends and savagery begins.

10 Best K-Dramas That Will Get You Hooked From The First Episode

4. Guardian: The Lonely and Great God / Goblin
The split storyline that spans across different ages is truly captivating and unique.

In Guardian: The Lonely and Great God, also known as Goblin, an immortal goblin, Kim Shin (Gong Yoo), searches for his bride, Ji Eun-Tak (Kim Go-Eun), to end his curse of eternal life. The story switches between two storylines, from a skeptical modern-day encounter back to the historical bravery and tragedy of Kim Shin, a warrior turned immortal being. Set against both historical and modern backdrops, the story of Guardian: The Lonely and Great God weaves through themes of love and destiny, exploring the bonds that link them beyond the constraints of time. The show's captivating premise and unique split narrative are captivating from the get-go.

10 Best K-Dramas That Will Get You Hooked From The First Episode

3. Squid Game
The show's dark and dystopian premise is a big part of its massive success.

The Netflix phenomenon Squid Game immediately hooks audiences with its intense and dystopian premise. Seong Gi-hun (Lee Jung-Jae), a debt-ridden man, enters a deadly game for a chance at financial salvation. The horror unfolds during a twisted version of "Red Light, Green Light," where movement after the command results in instant death by a sniper. The child's game becomes a terrifying massacre, showcasing the extreme lengths to which desperation can drive a person. Squid Game episode 1's horror lies not just in the graphic violence but in the chilling portrayal of human desperation, making it a gripping start to the series.

10 Best K-Dramas That Will Get You Hooked From The First Episode

2. Twenty-Five Twenty-One
The show wonderfully portrays ambition, friendship, and the wonder of youth in its pilot episode.

In the first episode of Twenty-Five, Twenty-One, Min-Chae, seeking escape from a failed ballet audition, discovers her mother Hee-Do's diary, leading to flashbacks of 1998. Amid the IMF crisis, young Hee-Do, a passionate fencer, faces her school's fencing club closure due to financial cuts. Determined to pursue her dream, she attempts to transfer to Tae-Yang High to compete against her idol, Ko Yoo-Rim. Hee-Do then meets a kindhearted paperboy grappling with his family's bankruptcy. Their burgeoning friendship, along with Hee-do's ambition to be the best fencer she can be, instantly makes Twenty-Five, Twenty-One's engaging story full of youthful wonder.

10 Best K-Dramas That Will Get You Hooked From The First Episode

1. Crash Landing On You
The show's fascinating concept is instantly gripping.

In Crash Landing on You, South Korean CEO Yoon Se-Ri paraglides into North Korea due to a tornado, crashing into a tree and eventually encountering Captain Ri Jung-Ryeok, a North Korean officer. Since its premiere, Crash Landing on You has achieved critical acclaim in South Korea, becoming the third highest-rated K-drama on cable television. All of Crash Landing on You's episodes are strikingly good, receiving incredible scores from critics and audiences, but the pilot especially stands out for introducing such a fascinating premise for a K-drama. The clashing of two individuals from two very different worlds creates a poignant commentary on North and South Korea's relationship.

Keywords: Best K-Dramas | Kdramas | Korean dramas | Korean series | Cinema | Asia | Asian movies

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