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You're Seriously Missing Out If You Haven't Watched These 33 K-Dramas And Movies On Viki
BRB, rewatching Strong Woman Do Bong-soon for the hundredth time.
1. My Love Mix-Up! (2021)
Starring: Shunsuke Michieda, Riko Fukomoto, Ren Meguro
Genre: Based on a manga, romance, comedy
What It’s About: For longer than he'd care to admit, Sota Aoki (Shunsuke Michieda) has had a crush on his classmate Mio Hashimoto (Riko Fukumoto). Sitting next to her in class every day, Aoki wishes he could find a way to tell her how he feels but something keeps holding him back. Despite being unable to confess his feelings, he’s at least able to talk to her about other, simpler things. He’s even occasionally borrowed school supplies from her, which is why he didn’t think twice about asking to borrow an eraser from her when he found himself needing one during class one day.
Sota Aoki (Shunsuke Michieda) has had a crush on his classmate Mio Hashimoto (Riko Fukumoto) for as long as he can remember, but confessing has never seemed possible. Still, he sits next to her in class every day, so he didn’t think much of asking to borrow an eraser from her during class one day. Little did Aoki know that one simple eraser would change his life forever.
Aoki is devastated to find that Hashimoto had written the name "Ida-kun" on the eraser he’d borrowed. Realizing she’s interested in someone else, Aoki is so flustered that he drops the eraser. In a shocking twist, the very same Kousuke Ida (Ren Meguro) picks up the eraser and hands it back to Aoki, but not without first noticing his name on the eraser.
Now Ida is convinced that Aoki has a crush on him and Aoki is convinced that Hashimoto just wants to be friends, Aoki has no idea what to do next. Can he clear up the misunderstanding with Ida, or will fate take the wheel?
Adapted from the manga of the same name written by Wataru Hinekure, My Love Mix-Up! is a 2021 romantic comedy drama directed by Shogo Kusano and Tadaaki Horai.
2. Tale of the Nine-Tailed (2020)
Starring: Lee Dong-wook, Jo Bo-ah, Kim Bum
Genre: Fantasy, historical, romance, action, thriller
What it's about: Nam Ji-ah (Jo Bo-ah) is the producer of a popular television show that investigates everything related to the ~supernatural~. Lee Yeon (Lee Dong-wook) is a gumiho, or a nine-tailed fox spirit, who is assigned to kill evil spirits that try to sneak back to Earth. After witnessing the aftermath of one of such battles, Ji-ah's curiosity is piqued and she begins to follow Lee Yeon around in an attempt to discern who he truly is. However, what she doesn't expect to unearth is that the two share a long, painful history that spans lifetimes.
3. Juror 8 (2019)
Starring: Moon So-ri and Park Hyung-sik
Genre: Legal drama
What it's about: In this movie set in 2008, Kwon Nam-woo (Park Hyung-sik) is just trying to get his invention patented when he becomes part of South Korea's first-ever trial by jury. The supposedly open-and-shut case is thrown for a loop when its eight jurors begin to notice various inconsistencies between the testimonies and evidence provided. Together, they must work to uncover the truth behind the crime before they convict a potentially innocent man of murder.
4. Doom At Your Service (2021)
Starring: Park Bo Young, Seo In Guk, Lee Soo Hyuk
Genre: Romance, supernatural, fantasy
What It’s About: Tak Dong Kyung (Park Bo Young) has seen better days. Her days are long and consumed by her job as a webcomic editor. She lost her parents a few years ago in an accident, and she finds out that her boyfriend is cheating. But that’s not all–she’s also suffering from a terminal brain tumor. Determined to put an end to her misery, one night, she drunkenly shouts to the heavens wishing for the world to be doomed.
Her call summons Myeol Mang (Seo In Guk), a mysterious entity whose name means "Doom". He offers to make her wish come true if she is willing to pay the ultimate price and Dong Kyung agrees. Now, she has 100 days to live her life to the fullest before the grim reaper comes to take her soul. However, things are never as simple as they seem. Myeol Mang slowly finds himself growing fonder of this perplexing human woman and the boundaries between the mortal and immortal realms become increasingly unclear.
5. I'll Go to You When the Weather Is Nice (2020)
Starring: Seo Kang-joon and Park Min-young
Genre: Romance, drama, slow burn
What it's about: When Mok Hae-won (Park Min-young) is forced to quit her job as a cellist instructor, she's left with no other option than to move back in with her aunt in her old hometown. As she acclimates to her new, wintery surroundings in the countryside, Hae-won reconnects with neighbor and high school friend Im Eun-seob (Seo Kang-joon), who now runs a local bookstore. Though the two share some initially icy encounters, their hearts slowly thaw as a warm romance blooms between them.
6. Swing Kids (2018)
Starring: Do Kyung-soo, Park Hye-su, Jared Grimes , Oh Jung-se, and Kim Min-ho
Genre: War, musical, drama
What it's about: Set in 1951, Swing Kids follows the stories of five people who form a dance company while being held captive in a prisoner of war camp during the Korean War. Each member of the group has their own poignant backstory — Jackson (Jared Grimes), for instance, is an American Broadway star turned soldier, while Ro Ki-soo (Do Kyung-soo) is the brother of a famous North Korean soldier. Though they come from different backgrounds and speak different languages, the group forms a tight bond that defies all barriers through their shared love of dance. (Fair warning: As with all of Do Kyung-soo's work, you might want to have tissues nearby when watching this one!)
7. True Beauty (2020)
Starring: Moon Ga-young, Cha Eun-woo, Hwang In-youp, and Park Yoo-na
Genre: Based on a web-toon, romance, coming of age, comedy
What it's about: Years of being relentlessly bullied by fellow students and family members for being "ugly" have left high schooler Im Ju-yeong (Moon Ga-young) incredibly self-conscious. After binge-watching a ton of YouTube makeup tutorials, Ju-yeong learns how to use makeup in order to become more "beautiful," and as a result, her popularity at school skyrockets. With everything she's ever wanted now in her hands, will she be able to hide behind the makeup forever? Or will she learn to love herself for who she truly is? And how does fellow student Lee Su-ho (Cha Eun-woo), who has seen Ju-yeong without makeup on before, factor into her plan?
8. Train to Busan (2016)
Starring: Gong Yoo, Ma Dong-seok, Jung Yu-mi, and Kim Su-an
Genre: Horror, action, supernatural
What it's about: Distant father Seo Seok-woo (Gong Yoo) is taking a train with his young daughter, Su-an (Kim Su-an), from Seoul to Busan so that she can stay with her mother. What he doesn't expect is that their train will become a moving battleground against hordes of the undead as the zombie apocalypse spreads across South Korea. Joined by a ragtag group of lovable train passengers, Seok-woo must fight to get his daughter to safety.
9. Descendants of the Sun (2016)
Starring: Song Joong-ki, Song Hye-kyo, Jin Goo, and Kim Ji-won
Genre: Action, adventure, romance, drama
What it's about: Kang Mo-yeon (Song Hye-kyo), a doctor, meets Capt. Yoo Si-jin (Song Joong-ki) after he brings an injured thief to her hospital. The two share an undeniable spark, but their budding relationship is put on hold when Si-jin is deployed to the fictional country Uruk. When Mo-yeon is later transferred to Uruk as a medical volunteer, the two get a second chance at romance that simultaneously requires them to put their lives on the line to protect others.
10. While You Were Sleeping (2017)
Starring: Lee Jong-suk, Bae Suzy, Jung Hae-in, Lee Sang-yeob, and Ko Sung-hee
Genre: Romance, legal drama, fantasy, thriller
What it's about: While You Were Sleeping tells the stories of bright reporter Nam Hong-joo (Bae Suzy), clever prosecutor Jung Jae-chan (Lee Jong-suk), and jovial police officer Han Woo-tak (Jung Hae-in). While the trio initially start the show completely unaware of each other's existence, they slowly come together once they discover that they all share different perspectives of the same prophetic dreams. Using their precognition as a force for good, the trio band together to change the future, prevent crimes, and convict guilty criminals.
11. Train (2020)
Starring: Yoon Shi-yoon, Kyung Soo-jin, and Shin So-yul
Genre: Fantasy, sci-fi, mystery, thriller
What it's about: Punchy, hardworking detective Seo Do-won (Yoon Shi-yoon) has the magical ability to travel between parallel universes. Using his powers, he lives two very different lives — in one universe, he's committed to a life of justice, while in the other, he's the most corrupt detective possible. His worlds get twisted even further when the love of Do-won's life is killed in one reality, yet remains alive in another. Can he successfully hunt down her killer in one universe and protect her from the same fate in another all at the same time?
12. Strong Woman Do Bong-soon (2017)
Starring: Park Bo-young, Park Hyung-sik, and Ji Soo
Genre: Fantasy, romantic comedy, suspense, action
What it's about: Do Bong-soon's (Park Bo-young) family line has a secret: Every female child is born with superhuman strength. But Bong-soon isn't interested in becoming some kind of superhero; instead, she wants to create a video game that is inspired by her magical life. When she's given the chance to become the personal bodyguard of Ahn Min-hyuk (Park Hyung-sik), the CEO of a famous video game company, she jumps at the chance to prove her skills and secretly try to snag a position as a developer. However, it's Bong-soon who finds herself in mortal danger when a serial kidnapper hits the streets of Seoul.
13. My Love From the Star (2013)
Starring: Jun Ji-hyun, Kim Soo-hyun, Park Hae-jin, and Yoo In-na
Genre: Supernatural, romance, fantasy, comedy
What it's about: Do Min-joon (Kim Soo-hyun) is an alien (👽). Over 400 years ago, his spaceship crash-landed, and he has been marooned on Earth, waiting for his chance to return back home, ever since. With just a few months left to spare before he's beamed back up into space, Min-joon meets Cheon Song-yi (Jun Ji-hyun), a haughty actor who flips his whole world upside down. As the two grow closer and his remaining time on Earth dwindles down, Do Min-joon must decide whether to stay with Cheon Song-yi or return to his home planet.
14. Happiness (2021)
Starring: Han Hyo Joo, Park Hyung Sik
Genre: Idol Drama, fantasy, action
What it’s about: Officer Yoon Sae Bom (Han Hyo Joo) has been dreaming of the day that she could finally settle into her brand new high rise apartment, so when construction is finalized, she’s thrilled. Even better, her long-time friend and fellow officer, Detective Jung Yi Hyun (Park Hyung Sik) is moving into the building as well. Sae Bom is sure that life in this new home will make her happier than ever. Unfortunately, that happiness doesn’t last long.
A new infectious disease (eek) slowly begins to spread throughout the building while the new residents find themselves the object of terror and a source of city-wide panic. With no other way of containing the disease, the building and everyone who lives there is sealed off from the outside world. As the world around them struggles to make sense of what is quickly morphing into a full-on apocalypse, the uninfected residents' only chance of survival rests solely in their own hands.
Confused, isolated, and terrified, the residents have no choice but to find a way to overcome their distrust of each other, as it’s their only hope of surviving this living nightmare. But how can they do that when it seems at least one of them holds the secrets that could either save or destroy them all?
15. Are You Human Too? (2018)
Starring: Kang Seo-joon and Gong Seung-yeon
Genre: Sci-fi, mystery, romance, political drama
What it's about: When snooty heir Nam Shin (Kang Seo-joon) is left in a coma after a mysterious assailant tries to kill him, his place as the next leader of PK Group is put in jeopardy. In order to preserve his place in the company, Nam Shin's distant mother offers up a unique solution: She's created an android that looks just like Nam Shin and can replace him in his role until the real Nam Shin wakes up. Named Nam Shin-III, the robot is honestly too precious for this world, and his new bodyguard, Kang So-bong (Gong Seung-yeon), must not fall for his charm and must keep him safe from people who still wish Nam Shin dead.
16. Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo (2016)
Starring: Lee Sung-kyung, Nam Joo-hyuk, Lee Jae-yoon, and Kyung Soo-jin
Genre: Coming of age, romance, sports, college drama
What it's about: Inspired by the life of Olympic weightlifter Jang Mi-ran, Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo is the uplifting coming of age story you need in your life. Kim Bok-joo (Lee Sung-kyung) is a college student who dreams of becoming a professional weightlifter. While studying at university, she is reunited with her childhood friend Jung Joon-hyung (Nam Joo-hyuk), who is training to become a professional swimmer. Alongside an adorable group of supportive friends, the two athletes train hard to achieve their dreams and heal the wounds of their pasts together.
17. Now, We Are Breaking Up (2021)
Starring: Song Hye Kyo, Jang Ki Yong
Genre: Melodrama, romance, drama
What It’s About: Ha Young Eun (Song Hye Kyo) has made quite a name for herself in the fashion industry, and she loves what she does. But her pragmatic attitude that makes her great at her job makes her come off as cold when it comes to love. She doesn’t seem to mind how she’s perceived–until she meets Yoon Jae Kook (Jang Ki Yong), a popular freelance fashion photographer who she can’t get out of her head. He’s handsome, smart, and rich, but there’s something else, too.
Like a fairy tale, they find themselves falling in love – but will their story have a happy ending?
18. More Than Friends (2020)
Starring: Ong Seong-wu, Shin Ye-eun, and Kim Dong-jun
Genre: Romance, comedy, slow burn
What it's about: If you have a soft spot for "Oh no, I've just totally shut you down, only to realize that I love you way too late" type of K-drama plotlines, then More Than Friends is the show for you. When sunshine personified Kyung Woo-yeon (Shin Ye-eun) confesses her feelings to the popular, yet emotionally unavailable Lee Soo (Ong Seong-wu), he abruptly turns her down and leaves her heartbroken. Over the next 10 years, the duo remain friends and just nearly fall in love before something (read: Lee Soo's cruel remarks that belie his actual emotions) usually thwarts them from becoming a couple. Will these two star-crossed lovers finally get together, or will someone else steal Woo-yeon's heart away before Lee Soo can admit his real feelings?
19. What's Wrong With Secretary Kim? (2018)
Starring: Park Seo-jun and Park Min-young
Genre: Based on a web-toon, romance, comedy
What it's about: After working tirelessly as a secretary for her narcissistic boss, Lee Young-joon (Park Seo-jun), for nine years , Kim Mi-so (Park Min-young) is officially, totally, 180% done . The only person who's not up with the program is Young-joon, who is left stunned when she hands in her resignation. It just doesn't make sense in his mind, unless...Mi-so is secretly in love with him, and working with him every day is too hard to bear! Cue a hilarious attempt by Young-joon to win over Mi-so's heart so that she'll stay at the company, only for Young-joon to end up falling for her instead.
20. The Divine Fury (2019)
Starring: Park Seo-jun, Ahn Sung-ki, and Woo Do-hwan
What it's about: If you're making your way through this list and thinking, Enough rom-coms, give me something spooky! then I have a pick for you. The Divine Fury tells the story of Yong-hoo (Park Seo-jun), an MMA fighter who has a bitter relationship with religion after his parents die. Upon returning from a match in the US, Yong-hoo wakes up with stigmata (a painful religious mark in the center of his palm) and the ability to exorcise demons by straight-up punching their lights out. Under the tutelage of Father Ahn (Ahn Sung-ki), Yong-hoo uses his power to save innocent lives and to discover what's truly behind all this evil.
21. Live On (2020)
Starring: Jung Da-bin, Hwang Min-hyun, Noh Jong-hyun, Yang Hye-ji, Yeonwoo, and Choi Byung-chan
Genre: Romantic comedy, teen drama
What it's about: Baek Ho-rang (Jung Da-bin) is known at school for her thousands of followers online and for her chilly personality in person. As a result, she's someone who has a lot of supporters and haters all at the same time. When one of her darkest secrets is hinted at by an anonymous sender during one of her school's radio broadcasts, Ho-rang promptly panics and joins the student radio club to find the culprit. After joining the team, however, she slowly learns more about herself, friendship, and love along the way. What can I say? Love is in the ~airwaves~!
22. Guardian: The Great and Lonely God (2016)
Starring: Gong Yoo, Kim Go-eun, Lee Dong-wook, Yoo In-na, and Yook Sung-jae
Genre: Fantasy, romance, drama, historical
What it's about: There's a good chance that if you're a K-drama fan, then you've watched (or at least heard of) Guardian before, but if you haven't yet, then this is your chance to do so. Also known as Goblin , the show centers on Kim Shin (Gong Yoo), a Goryeo dynasty general who is wrongfully killed and sentenced to live forever as a Goblin. The only way he can truly be freed from his immortal coil is to have the sword in the center of his chest removed, but the only person who can remove it from his chest is his bride. Enter Ji Eun-tak (Kim Go-eun), a sweet-as-can-be high schooler who has some special powers of her own. Then toss in a socially awkward grim reaper (Lee Dong-wook); a cuddly, rich heir as the Goblin's assistant (Yook Sung-jae); and a cheeky restaurant owner (Yoo In-na), and the result is a charming, emotional drama you'll find yourself rewatching over and over again.
23. My ID Is Gangnam Beauty (2018)
Starring: Im Soo-hyang, Cha Eun-woo, Kwak Dong-yeon, and Jo Woo-ri
Genre: Coming of age, romantic comedy
What it's about: After years of being bullied throughout school for being "unattractive," shy and softhearted Kang Mi-rae (Im Soo-hyang) gets plastic surgery so that when she starts college, she will be beautiful and accepted by her peers. While she might initially get the reaction she wanted, there's one student on campus who couldn't care less about how beautiful she is: Do Kyung-seok (Cha Eun-woo). With him at her side, Mi-rae soon discovers the importance of loving one's self and that unfair beauty standards shouldn't be allowed to define your self-worth.
24. Welcome to Waikiki (2018)
Starring: Kim Jung-hyun, Lee Yi-kyung, Son Seung-won, and Jung In-sun
Genre: Comedy, found family
What it's about: This is the feel-good, laugh-out-loud drama that you've been looking for. Welcome to Waikiki centers on three friends — Kang Dong-gu (Kim Jung-hyun), Lee Joon-ki (Lee Yi-kyung), and Bong Doo-sik (Son Seung-won) — who decide to open up their own guesthouse, named Waikiki, in the Itaewon neighborhood of Seoul in order to one day fund their dream of making a movie together. When a single mother named Han Yoon-ah (Jung In-sun) moves in, the group suddenly must work together to take care of not only the guesthouse but an adorable baby named Sol, too.
25. Dream High (2011)
Starring: Bae Suzy, Ok Taec-yeon, Kim Soo-hyun, Ham Eun-jung, Jang Woo-young and Lee Ji-eun
Genre: Musical, comedy, romance, teen drama
What it's about: Dream High focuses on the lives of six students studying at the renowned Kirin High School who all come from different backgrounds, yet share the same dream of becoming K-pop idols. As tensions rise and fall between the students, each must overcome their own personal struggles and learn what it takes to become a star performer. If you're a fan of K-pop, then you might see some friendly faces in this show's cast — including IU, Suzy of Miss A, and Woo-young and Taec-yeon of 2PM.
26. Flower of Evil (2020)
Starring: Lee Joon-gi, Moon Chae-won, Jang Hee-jin, and Seo Hyun-woo
Genre: Thriller, action, drama
What it's about: Baek Hee-sung is everything that someone would want in a husband — he is an excellent father, is dashingly handsome, and has a calm, cool, and collected temperament. At least that's what his detective wife, Cha Ji-won (Moon Chae-won), believed until she began investigating a grizzly string of murders in town. The more she digs into the case, the more suspicious of him she becomes, and Ji-won is forced to question what kind of secrets her so-called perfect partner might be keeping from her, and the implications for their lives.
27. W: Two Worlds (2016)
Starring: Lee Jong-suk and Han Hyo-joo
Genre: Romance, action, drama, thriller
What it's about: The fictional web-toon W tells the story of Kang Chul (Lee Jong-suk), an expert sharpshooter whose whole world is torn apart when he is wrongly accused of killing his whole family. When he's finally proved innocent, Kang Chul makes it his life's goal to track down the mysterious person who killed them. In the real world, Oh Yeon-joo (Han Hyo-joo) is the daughter of the author of W , who accidentally falls into the world of the web-toon and is suddenly face-to-face with a very real Kang Chul. Together, the duo must uncover the identity of the mysterious killer before it's too late.
28. Do You Like Brahms? (2020)
Starring: Park Eun-bin, Kim Min-jae, Kim Sung-cheol, Park Ji-hyun, Lee Yoo-jin, and Bae Da-bin
Genre: Musical, romance, comedy
What it's about: At age 26, Chae Song-ah (Park Eun-bin) decides to forgo a career in business in order to properly explore her love of the violin. Despite her family's disapproval of her choices, Song-ah reapplies to her former university's school of music and is accepted. There, she meets a group of fellow musicians who are equally passionate about music and the comfort it brings — like talented pianist Park Joon-young (Kim Min-jae) — and learns that it's never too late to reach for your dreams.
29. He Is Psychometric (2019)
Starring: Park Jin-young, Shin Ye-eun, Kim Kwon, and Kim Da-som
Genre: Fantasy, thriller, mystery, romantic comedy
What it's about: After surviving a traumatic event, Lee Ahn (Park Jin-young) suddenly finds himself with the gift of psychometry — meaning that he can see the past of a person or object just by touching them/it. (Hence the title!) Ahn uses his visions, shown through very cool visual effects, for the greater good by helping to solve cases and making sure the culprits are held accountable for their crimes. He works with his caretaker, prosecutor Kang Sung-mo (Kim Kwon); the investigator Eun Ji-soo (Kim Da-som); and the ~secretive~ Yoon Jae-in (Shin Ye-eun) to investigate a long-unsolved case that has touched each of their lives.
30. A Piece of Your Mind (2020)
Starring: Jung Hae-in, Chae Soo-bin, Lee Ha-na, and Kim Sung-kyu
Genre: Romance, drama
What it's about: From its color palettes to its music choice to its slow-burn romance — A Piece of Your Mind is one dreamy drama. Moon Ha-won (Jung Hae-in) is a softhearted AI programmer who is still hopelessly in love with his childhood friend from Norway, Kim Ji-soo. While working a late-night shift at a recording studio to complete his latest AI project, he meets Han Seo-woo (Chae Soo-bin), a classical music recording engineer who is friends with Ji-soo. Together they learn the real meaning of love and help to heal each other's poignant past.
31. A Taxi Driver (2017)
Starring: Song Kang-ho and Thomas Kretschmann
Genre: Historical drama, based on a true story
What it's about: Based on the real-life events of the Gwangju Uprising in 1980, A Taxi Driver tells the story of taxi driver Kim Man-seob (Song Kang-ho), who agrees to drive German journalist Jürgen "Peter" Hinzpeter (Thomas Kretschmann) to Gwangju for a large sum of money. While he is initially dismissive of the intensity of the riots during the drive down, Man-seob's perspective is changed forever when the duo enter Gwangju and are thrown into the heart of the uprising.
32. Find Me In Your Memory (2020)
Starring: Moon Ga Young, Kim Dong Wook
What It’s About: As a handsome and well-dressed man, Jeong Hoon (Kim Dong Wook) has become adored as a news anchor for one of the country’s most popular broadcasting stations. However, despite his pleasing appearance, he gradually becomes abrasive with his interviews and makes people uncomfortable with invasive questions.
He has hyperthymesia, a condition that allows him to remember nearly every moment in his life. But he wishes he could forget the woman he loved who suddenly disappeared eight years ago.
One day, Jeong Hoon crosses paths with Yeo Ha-Jin (Moon Ga Young), a top actress and model who is his opposite: she has forgotten her past, so she lives how she pleases.
33. The Wailing (2016)
Starring: Kwak Do-won, Hwang Jung-min, and Chun Woo-hee
Genre: Horror, supernatural, mystery
What it's about: Looking for a slow-burn, spooky horror film? Then you need to watch The Wailing . Police officer Jong-goo (Kwak Do-won) is assigned to investigate a series of mysterious murders occurring in the small town of Gokseong. They all follow the same pattern: The person becomes randomly sick and then kills anyone they can. When Jong-goo's young daughter beings to show signs of sickness, it becomes a race against the clock to save her and find out just who — or what — is behind this.
34. The Tale of Nokdu (2019)
Starring: Jang Dong-yoon, Kim So-hyun, Kang Tae-oh, and Jung Joon-ho
Genre: Based on a web-toon, historical, romance, comedy
What it's about: Set during the Joseon dynasty, The Tale of Nokdu tells the story of Jeon Nok-du (Jang Dong-yoon), a clever noble who follows the leader of a group of assassins after they attacked his home the previous night. What he could never have foreseen is that they would lead him to an unknown village that's occupied entirely by women! In order to figure out the truth behind the attack, Nok-du decides to go undercover as a woman, thus creating Nok-soon . Can he figure out who's behind the attack before his identity is revealed?
35. Hotel del Luna (2019)
Starring: Lee Ji-eun and Yeo Jin-goo
Genre: Fantasy, supernatural, romance, comedy
What it's about: Jang Man-wol (Lee Ji-eun, aka IU) has been the owner of the mysterious Hotel del Luna for over a millennium. Located in the Myeong-dong neighborhood of Seoul, the hotel acts as a middle ground for the dead and helps them transition into the afterlife. The only person who isn't allowed to pass on is Man-wol; running the hotel is the penance she must pay for the inconceivable sins she committed when she was alive. And speaking of lifetimes, Koo Chan-sung's life is forever changed when he returns to Seoul, only to become the assistant manager of the Hotel del Luna. Once there, he begins to piece together the truth behind Man-wol's painful past.
36. Extraordinary You (2019)
Starring: Kim Hye-yoon, Rowoon, Lee Jae-wook, Lee Na-eun, Jung Gun-joo, Kim Young-dae, and Lee Tae-ri
Genre: Based on a web-toon, romantic comedy, fantasy, teen drama
What it's about: What do you do when you discover that you're not the main character of your own life? That's exactly what happens to Eun Dan-oh (Kim Hye-yoon) when she discovers that her whole life up until this point has been as an extra in the popular comic Secret . Not the main character or even a supporting friend, but an extra! Finding herself stuck in a loveless relationship and desperate to change her fate, Dan-oh begins changing the plot of Secret so that she can actually experience true love.
37. I Am Not a Robot (2017)
Starring: Yoo Seung-ho, Chae Soo-bin, and Um Ki-joon
Genre: Sci-fi, romance
What it's about: Kim Min-kyu (Yoo Seung-ho), the chairman of KM Financial Company, is allergic to humans. I'm not kidding — if he touches another person, he develops a fast-spreading rash over his entire body that requires immediate medical attention. As a result, he's lived a very lonely, isolated life away from the general public. In an effort to get Min-kyu to keep one of their products, his best friend and business associate sends him AG3, a humanoid robot. The problem? The robot short-circuits just before it's delivered and inventor Jo Ji-ah (Chae Soo-bin), whom the robot is modeled after, must take its place and convince Min-kyu that she's an all-intelligent robot!
38. Encounter (2018)
Starring: Song Hye-kyo and Park Bo-gum
Genre: Adventure, romance
What it's about: Cha Soo-hyun (Song Hye-kyo) is the recently divorced daughter of a prominent politician and has lived every day of her life according to someone else's standards. Tired of playing by the rules of someone else's game, she travels to Cuba and meets the bold, freewheeling Kim Jin-hyuk (Park Bo-gum). The two get swept up in a whirlwind summertime romance unlike any other, but when they meet face-to-face in ~the real world~ back in Seoul, will they stick together or will their differences be too great to overcome?
Do we share some of the same favorites? Let me know what your favorite K-dramas on Viki are in the comments below!
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15 steamy k-dramas you should watch today.
K-dramas like Love & Leashes are full of passion and romance, but what are some other similarly hot and steamy K-drama series?
Directed by Park Hyun-jin, the Netflix romantic comedy Love and Leashes introduced many Western audiences to the world of steamy K-drama shows — but it's far from the only one. Love and Leashes ' BDSM spin on the classic romantic K-drama made it a somewhat shocking discovery for viewers unfamiliar with how quickly the genre has developed over the years. In the past, K-dramas have earned a reputation for being highly polished soap operas. Though many Korean dramas still fit this category, the storytelling has evolved significantly, and even some of the most seemingly traditional K-dramas put their own unique spins on conventional romantic tropes.
Nowhere is this more true than in the steamiest K-dramas streaming online today. Love and Leashes is just one of the many sexy, steamy, or spicy K-dramas that subvert typical expectations about the genre. The steamiest K-dramas aren't just about sex — they tackle intimacy, companionship, social taboos, love, and other themes in ways that less racy and steamy romantic K-dramas cannot . For those looking for Korean dramas that break away from the usual fare, here are the shows and movies that are turning up the heat in the romance genre.
Related: 10 Highest Rated K-Dramas On TV, Ranked By Nielsen Ratings
15 Something In The Rain (2018)
- Stream now on Netflix
In Something In The Rain, 35-year-old Jin-ah is a successful single woman who begins to fall in love with her best friend's younger brother when the latter returns from abroad after three years. The two slowly fall in love while getting to know each other and navigating their age gap, inevitably telling their respective families and others about their romance. What makes Something In The Rain a steamy Korean drama is the way it realistically tackles the South Korean taboo of younger males dating older females. This gives even the most classic rom-com scenes - like sneakily holding hands under the table or walking in the rain — a new lease on life.
14 Her Private Life (2019):
- Stream now on Netflix, Prime Video, and Viki Rakuten
Sung Deok-mi is an art gallery curator who is secretly a zealous fan of the K-pop idol, Cha Shi-an. A steamy K-drama for fans who like K-pop , Her Private Life begins when false rumors surface about Sung Deok-Mi and Cha Shi-an dating. After the idol's wild fanatics threaten Sung Deok-Mi, she pretends to date her boss Ryan Gold, a retired artist who manages the gallery. When the two are forced to keep up appearances at work and elsewhere, what starts out as make-believe eventually turns into a real romance. Apart from being a steamy Korean drama, this also results in funny scenes like Ryan ignoring a deliveryman to passionately kiss Deok-Mi.
13 My Secret Romance (2017)
- Stream now on Viki Rakuten
The K-drama My Secret Romance follows Cha Jin-wook and Lee Yoo-mi, who meet at a Gangwon-do resort, with the former working there as a bellhop under his father's orders and the latter there for her mother's wedding. The two hit it off and spend the night together. Fast forward three years and Yoo-mi is now working as a nutritionist at Jin-wook's company. The two start off rocky with Jin-wook being hard on Yoo-mi just to be near her. However, when the two finally start to warm up to each other again, it turns into a steamy Korean drama riddled with passion, misunderstandings, and love.
12 The World Of The Married (2020)
- Currently unavailable for streaming.
A K-drama spin on the popular BBC One series, Doctor Foster, The World Of The Married follows the life of successful psychiatric doctor Ji Sun-woo, who for all intents and purposes seems to be leading a perfect life with her husband, Lee Tae-oh, and their son, Lee Joon-young. But her world is turned upside down when she learns that Tae-oh is having an affair with the young Yeo Day-Kyung — and her “friends” have been hiding it from her. While decidedly one of the steamiest K-dramas, The World of the Married is also heartbreaking. Tae-oh and Day-Kyung deliver unforgettable intimate scenes that perfectly capture the excitement of forbidden lust.
Related: 5 Best Korean Remakes Of American Movies/TV (& 5 Vice Versa)
11 A Witch’s Romance (2014)
- Stream now on Prime Video
Ban Ji-yeon is a 39-year-old woman who has given up on love in the steamy Korean drama, A Witch’s Romance . However, her heart begins to thaw when she meets 25-year-old Yoon Dong-ha, and the two embark on a December-June romance. Another spicy K-drama that's not afraid of the South Korean social taboo regarding older women dating younger men, A Witch's Romance also deals with the effects of tragedy. While Ji-yeon's war photographer husband disappeared before her wedding day, Dong-ha lost his girlfriend to a heart problem. The prevailing intimacy of the passionate scenes between the two betray their growing feelings of love for one another.
10 It's Okay To Not Be Okay (2020)
It's Okay to Not Be Okay is an emotional, romantic, and steamy Korean drama that follows the lives of three individuals. Moon Gang-tae lives with and takes care of his autistic older brother, Moon Sang-tae. The brothers move around a lot after Sang-tae witnessed the murder of their mother when he was young. In every new town, Gang-tae works in the psychiatric hospital, and there he encounters Ko Moon-young, a famous author who has antisocial personality disorder. Moon-young realizes that their pasts overlap and becomes romantically obsessed with Gang-tae. Together, Gang-tae, Moon-young, and Sang-tae unravel their shared past in one of the most poignant, complex, and emotional K-dramas in recent history.
9 Love and Leashes (2022)
Entering into a contractual relationship, Jung Ji-woo and Jung Ji-hoo are two coworkers in the Netflix K-drama Love and Leashes. What makes Love and Leashes unique even among the steamiest K-dramas is that it explores communication, respectful boundaries, and romantic feelings in a relationship hinged on hardcore BDSM. It's a steamy rom-com that lovingly plays with the most common tropes in K-drama . For instance, Ji-hoo only brings up his secret interest in BDSM to Ji-woo after she accidentally discovers a kinky collar he ordered at work. Nonetheless, Ji-woo turns out to be a quick learner, masterfully stepping into the stilettos of a dominatrix eager to please the man she's beginning to fall in love with.
8 Nevertheless (2021)
Nevertheless follows two singles who have trouble being in relationships and are non-believers in love. Park Jae-eon is a known flirt who's not into being in a committed relationship, and as for Yu Na-bi, her terrible past has made her disillusioned with love. In a twist of fate, they decide to enter into a relationship with each other and to give commitment a try. As the two explore a semi friends-with-benefits setup, they begin to fall in love and change their cynical outlook. This steamy K-drama is all about the tension of weighing whether the other feels the same way. Na-bi even has an intensely passionate dream about Jae-eon.
7 What's Wrong With Secretary Kim? (2018)
- Stream now on Hulu and Viki Rakuten
When Lee Young-Joon, a vice-chairman of a major corporation, learns that his very capable secretary Kim Mi-so will be resigning after nine years, Young-Joon decides to do whatever it takes to make sure she stays by his side in What's Wrong With Secretary Kim? This includes setting up a fireworks show just for her and giving her thoughtful gifts reminiscent of the time they've enjoyed working together. However, this is no ordinary K-drama about falling in love with the boss . As he stalls her leave at every turn, the two begin to fall in love and heal each other from their past shared traumatic experiences, resulting in some of the steamiest K-drama scenes.
6 Another Miss Oh (2016)
- Stream now on Netflix and Viki Rakuten
This K-drama follows the story of Park Do-kyung, who is left at the altar by his fiancé, Oh Hae-young. When Do-kyung later learns that she's to be married, he goes out of his way to ruin her wedding plans. However, it's soon revealed that the woman's life he's just ruined is not “his” Oh Hae-Young, but another Miss Oh. As Do-kyung gets close to this “other” Hae-young, the two begin to fall in love. However, after seeing Oh Hae-young with her former fiancé the previous night, Do-kyung is not very happy to see her the next day, which eventually culminates in one of the steamiest kissing scenes in K-drama .
5 My Name (2021)
Ji-woo is the daughter of a gangster who witnessed his father's murder. Obsessed with revenge, she trains herself to rise in the ranks of his father's gang, whose leader was his best friend. She then infiltrates the police under the name Hye-jin, and she and her partner Pil-do uncover shocking truths about her father. While mainly a noir-inspired crime series, Ji-woo/Hye-jin and Pil-do navigate sexual tension from the moment they meet in this steamy K-drama. After surviving a crucial fight and shootout, Pil-do dresses Ji-woo/Hye-jin's wounds, an intimate moment that leads to not just passionate lovemaking, but rare tender respite for two people who've been fighting all their lives.
Related: My Name Cast & Character Guide
4 Eve (2022)
Lee La-el is the heir of a chaebol — a family-owned Korean corporate conglomerate — whose genius scientist father was killed when she was a child. Now 28 years old, La-el sets out on a mission of revenge against one of the men responsible for her father's death, the 41-year-old Kang Yoon-gyeom who is also a chaebol heir. La-el seduces Yoon-gyeom to orchestrate his divorce from 45-year-old Han So-ra, the daughter of the country's most powerful politician. However, after Yoon-gyeom and La-el share some of the most realistic and steamiest kissing and love-making scenes in K-drama, they fall in love, threatening to throw a wrench in La-el's ₩2 trillion revenge plan.
3 Somebody (2022)
Calling Somebody one of the steamiest K-dramas would be an understatement. Kim-sum is an extraordinarily talented app developer who has Asperger syndrome. When her AI-assisted dating app Somebody gets involved in a series of murders, Kim-sun tracks down the killer, Sung Yun-oh, and their instant connection leads to a passionate romance. Compared to any other steamy Korean drama on this list, Somebody contains the most actual sex scenes, which includes full-frontal nudity and explicit lovemaking. Meanwhile, Kim-sum's only friends Gi-eun and Mok-won — a veteran cop and a shaman — investigate the murders committed by Yun-oh.
2 Hit The Spot (2022-2023)
Hee-jae is a friendly and considerate person who knows next to nothing about romance. The same can be said of her best friend Mi-na, but at least Mi-na knows a thing or two about sex. When their workplace Play Books — an erotic book and toy shop — need new hosts for a sex and romance podcast, Hee-jae and Mi-na take on the challenge of their lives. From the graphic sex scenes that open this steamy Korean drama to the characters having frequent conversations about sex, toys, and doing the deed itself, Hit the Spot takes viewers on a titillating ride as Hee-jae and Mi-na discover and unleash their sexuality.
1 You Raise Me Up (2021-present)
Apart from being one of the most binge-able spicy K-dramas, You Raise Me Up is a rom-com with lots of heart. Already suffering from erectile dysfunction, Do Yong-shik experiences the most awkward reunion with an ex when he discovers that his urologist is Lee Ru-da, who was his first love. What's even more awkward is that Ru-da bragged about her first love to her overconfident boyfriend Do Ji-hyuk, who is not impressed by Yong-shik. However, Yong-shik and Ru-da slowly rekindle their feelings for each other, leading to some very realistic, intimate, and heavy kissing scenes. Even with its hilarious premise, this steamy K-drama balances comedy and intimate scenes very well.
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The 150+ Best K-Dramas On Viki, Ranked
Korean drama fans rejoice! If you are dying to get your Korean drama show fix in a free and legal way without any interruptions and with a guarantee of quality, Viki is your new best friend !
Now that you know about Viki, we have a good way to kickstart your Kdrama marathon! Here is the list of best Korean dramas to watch on Viki! Once you are done with all of these, you maybe questioning your origin of birth (you are probably the child of a gazillionaire and your significant other is probably the enemy's child!).
What's Wrong with Secretary Kim
In a tale of romance and ambition, a dedicated secretary is thrown off when she announces her intentions to quit her job. The narcissistic vice-chairman is determined to discover the reason behind her unexpected decision, leading to an engaging battle of wits and ultimately, an undeniable chemistry between them.
Is What's Wrong with Secr... Worth Your Time?
- # 5 of 308 The Best Korean Dramas Of All Time
- # 3 of 144 The Best Romantic Comedy K-Dramas Ever
- # 3 of 154 The Most Romantic Korean Dramas Ever
Guardian: The Lonely and Great God
An immortal goblin seeks solace in the form of a human bride who can finally put him to rest. However, the arrival of a clumsy high school student as his potential bride serves to complicate matters when they both find themselves entangled in a web of emotions and supernatural occurrences.
Is Guardian: The Lonely a... Worth Your Time?
- # 10 of 308 The Best Korean Dramas Of All Time
- # 9 of 144 The Best Romantic Comedy K-Dramas Ever
- # 8 of 154 The Most Romantic Korean Dramas Ever
Is Twinkling Watermelon Worth Your Time?
- # 228 of 308 The Best Korean Dramas Of All Time
- # 12 of 15 The Best New Shows About Time Travel
- # 25 of 70 The Best Korean Dramas Of 2023
Strong Woman Do Bong-soon
Blessed with immense strength, our heroine finds herself unexpectedly employed as a bodyguard for a gaming company CEO. As she navigates her newfound role, the discovery of a serial kidnapper in her neighbourhood forces her to confront her own powers while also dealing with an unlikely love triangle.
Is Strong Woman Do Bong-s... Worth Your Time?
- # 1 of 308 The Best Korean Dramas Of All Time
- # 2 of 144 The Best Romantic Comedy K-Dramas Ever
- # 4 of 154 The Most Romantic Korean Dramas Ever
Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo
Follow the journey of a talented weightlifter aiming for the gold medal as she experiences first love, friendship, and rivalry. Overcoming body image struggles and societal pressures, she learns to embrace her unique strengths, discovering that love and success can be found in unexpected places.
Is Weightlifting Fairy Ki... Worth Your Time?
- # 3 of 308 The Best Korean Dramas Of All Time
- # 5 of 144 The Best Romantic Comedy K-Dramas Ever
- # 6 of 154 The Most Romantic Korean Dramas Ever
Hotel Del Luna
Unravel the mystery surrounding a cursed hotel that caters exclusively to spirits. When a human manager is begrudgingly brought in to run the establishment, he works alongside the eccentric and fashion-savvy ghost owner, tackling the challenges of the supernatural world and their personal demons.
Is Hotel del Luna Worth Your Time?
- # 21 of 308 The Best Korean Dramas Of All Time
- # 20 of 144 The Best Romantic Comedy K-Dramas Ever
- # 7 of 116 The Best Fantasy & Supernatural K-Dramas Ever
Descendants of the Sun
Experience the whirlwind romance of a soldier and a doctor who, despite facing life and death situations, continue to find their way back to each other. Set against the backdrop of war and disaster relief missions, this heart-wrenching story shows that love truly conquers all.
Is Descendants of the Sun... Worth Your Time?
- # 11 of 308 The Best Korean Dramas Of All Time
- # 56 of 144 The Best Romantic Comedy K-Dramas Ever
- # 7 of 154 The Most Romantic Korean Dramas Ever
He Is Psychometric
A young man with the ability to read people's secrets through touch finds himself embroiled in a criminal investigation. Alongside a resourceful detective, the duo uncovers hidden truths, while also navigating their growing feelings for one another.
Is He Is Psychometric Worth Your Time?
When a surgical resident is magically transported into her favorite comic book, she becomes entangled in a thrilling adventure with the dashing and mysterious hero, who needs her help to save his world. But as reality and fiction intertwine, can they find their way back to their respective lives or will they remain trapped between two worlds?
Is W: Two Worlds Worth Your Time?
- # 13 of 308 The Best Korean Dramas Of All Time
- # 16 of 144 The Best Romantic Comedy K-Dramas Ever
- # 11 of 154 The Most Romantic Korean Dramas Ever
The Legend of the Blue Sea
A mermaid's transition from the sea to the modern-day world results in unexpected friendships, heartbreak, and a centuries-old love story that transcends time. In a battle against greedy antagonists, our aquatic heroine must learn to navigate human relationships with the help of a genius scam artist.
Is The Legend of the Blue... Worth Your Time?
- # 6 of 308 The Best Korean Dramas Of All Time
- # 10 of 144 The Best Romantic Comedy K-Dramas Ever
- # 20 of 84 The Best Historical KDramas Of All Time
While You Were Sleeping
Follow the interconnected lives of three individuals who discover that they can predict future events through their dreams. With this newfound power, they must work together to prevent tragedies from happening, all while navigating their tangled relationships and personal struggles.
Is While You Were Sleepin... Worth Your Time?
- # 7 of 308 The Best Korean Dramas Of All Time
- # 13 of 154 The Most Romantic Korean Dramas Ever
- # 15 of 116 The Best Fantasy & Supernatural K-Dramas Ever
A skilled "night courier" takes on an assignment that leads him to cross paths with a determined reporter and a reclusive hacker, unearthing a decades-old conspiracy. Bonding over their mysterious pasts and shared desire for justice, the trio forms an unlikely alliance in pursuit of the truth.
Is Healer Worth Your Time?
- # 15 of 308 The Best Korean Dramas Of All Time
- # 24 of 124 The Best Korean Crime Dramas Ever
- # 9 of 154 The Most Romantic Korean Dramas Ever
I Am Not a Robot
In a touching story about love and understanding, a reclusive businessman falls for a woman he believes to be a robot. As they work side-by-side, they break down each other's emotional walls, uncovering deep secrets, and questioning what it truly means to be human.
Is I Am Not a Robot Worth Your Time?
An accidental meeting between an intelligent yet prickly prosecutor and a skilled martial artist quickly leads to a blossoming romance, marred by a murder case with personal implications. As they work together to untangle the web of lies and deceit, their relationship is put to the test.
Is Suspicious Partner Worth Your Time?
- # 14 of 308 The Best Korean Dramas Of All Time
- # 13 of 144 The Best Romantic Comedy K-Dramas Ever
- # 34 of 124 The Best Korean Crime Dramas Ever
Fight My Way
Four close friends struggle to achieve their ambitions and break free from mundane routines. Through heartache, unemployment, and love triangles, they show that even ordinary people can accomplish extraordinary things with unwavering determination and support from loved ones.
Is Fight My Way Worth Your Time?
My Love From The Star
Imagine falling in love with an alien who's been living on Earth for centuries. This out-of-this-world tale follows the secret romance between a top actress and her otherworldly neighbor, as they navigate the perils of fame, jealousy, and intergalactic dangers.
Is My Love from the Star... Worth Your Time?
- # 16 of 308 The Best Korean Dramas Of All Time
- # 11 of 144 The Best Romantic Comedy K-Dramas Ever
- # 14 of 116 The Best Fantasy & Supernatural K-Dramas Ever
Travel back in time with a modern-day chef who unexpectedly wakes up in the body of a Joseon era queen. Surrounded by scheming enemies and a conflicted king, our newly appointed royal must adapt to palace life while trying to find a way back to her own world.
Is Mr. Queen Worth Your Time?
Touch Your Heart
Witness the unlikely relationship between a perfectionist lawyer and a disgraced K-drama actress who, in an attempt to restore her image, starts working as his secretary. As they become entwined in both work and love, they learn to overcome their personal battles and find healing in each other.
Is Touch Your Heart Worth Your Time?
- # 55 of 308 The Best Korean Dramas Of All Time
- # 14 of 144 The Best Romantic Comedy K-Dramas Ever
- # 20 of 154 The Most Romantic Korean Dramas Ever
Embark on an adventure with a group of elite young warriors tasked with protecting the ancient Silla Kingdom. As they navigate friendship, loyalty, and love, these brave souls are tested by a brewing power struggle and political intrigue.
Is Hwarang Worth Your Time?
- # 46 of 308 The Best Korean Dramas Of All Time
- # 42 of 144 The Best Romantic Comedy K-Dramas Ever
- # 16 of 84 The Best Historical KDramas Of All Time
A young reporter with the peculiar condition of hiccuping whenever she lies, joins forces with a man seeking revenge against the news media. Together, they strive to uncover the truth and challenge the darker side of the journalism industry.
Is Pinocchio Worth Your Time?
- # 31 of 308 The Best Korean Dramas Of All Time
- # 37 of 144 The Best Romantic Comedy K-Dramas Ever
- # 27 of 154 The Most Romantic Korean Dramas Ever
Kill Me, Heal Me
Delve into the mind of a man who harbors seven distinct personalities as a result of childhood trauma. It's up to his dedicated psychiatrist, who becomes entangled in a heart-wrenching love triangle, to help him find a path to healing despite unpredictable setbacks.
Is Kill Me, Heal Me Worth Your Time?
- # 29 of 308 The Best Korean Dramas Of All Time
- # 2 of 29 The 25+ Best K-Dramas On Prime Video, Ranked
- # 28 of 144 The Best Romantic Comedy K-Dramas Ever
Venture into the world of elite high school students from wealthy families as they face the challenges of love, friendship, and ambition. Amidst the pressure to uphold their status, these privileged teens learn what it means to make sacrifices for those they love.
Is The Heirs Worth Your Time?
- # 33 of 308 The Best Korean Dramas Of All Time
- # 21 of 159 The 150+ Best K-Dramas On Netflix, Ranked
- # 43 of 144 The Best Romantic Comedy K-Dramas Ever
She Was Pretty
A chance reunion between two childhood friends sparks an unexpected romance, as the once-attractive man now suffers from insecurities, while the shy girl has grown into a stunning beauty. As they work together at a fashion magazine, they realize that true connection goes deeper than looks.
Is She Was Pretty Worth Your Time?
- # 35 of 308 The Best Korean Dramas Of All Time
- # 1 of 29 The 25+ Best K-Dramas On Prime Video, Ranked
- # 24 of 144 The Best Romantic Comedy K-Dramas Ever
My ID Is Gangnam Beauty
This tale of self-discovery follows a young woman who undergoes plastic surgery to escape her past, only to find that her new life isn't quite the dream she imagined. Navigating university life and an unexpected romance, she learns the true meaning of confidence and inner beauty and that appearance isn't everything.
Is My ID Is Gangnam Beaut... Worth Your Time?
- # 91 of 308 The Best Korean Dramas Of All Time
- # 52 of 144 The Best Romantic Comedy K-Dramas Ever
- # 45 of 154 The Most Romantic Korean Dramas Ever
Who Are You: School 2015
A case of mistaken identity turns a bullied high school student's life upside down when she awakens with no memory of her past after a suicide attempt. As she navigates a new life with newfound popularity, mysterious secrets continue to haunt her.
Is Who Are You: School 20... Worth Your Time?
Oh My Venus
A unique love story unfolds as a stubborn lawyer transforms himself into a fitness coach to help a recently heartbroken woman lose weight and regain her confidence. Through laughter, tears, and sweat, they prove that opposites can indeed attract, and that even the most unlikely pairings can create magic.
Is Oh My Venus Worth Your Time?
- # 37 of 308 The Best Korean Dramas Of All Time
- # 17 of 144 The Best Romantic Comedy K-Dramas Ever
- # 19 of 154 The Most Romantic Korean Dramas Ever
A body-swapping tale that brings together a wealthy yet arrogant CEO and a talented stuntwoman. As they struggle to adapt to each other's lives, they realize that love knows no boundaries, and true happiness is found in understanding and acceptance.
Is Secret Garden Worth Your Time?
- # 53 of 308 The Best Korean Dramas Of All Time
- # 48 of 144 The Best Romantic Comedy K-Dramas Ever
- # 49 of 116 The Best Fantasy & Supernatural K-Dramas Ever
Dr. Romantic 2
Discover life inside a small-town hospital where an enigmatic surgeon, known as "Dr. Romantic," trains a new generation of medical professionals. As these doctors navigate the complex world of medicine, they learn the importance of camaraderie, empathy, and the power of human connection.
Is Dr. Romantic 2 Worth Your Time?
Her Private Life
An art gallery curator's secret obsession with a K-pop idol collides with her professional life when a former artist-turned-director discovers her secret. As the two clash and come together, they learn that their shared love for art can also extend to each other.
Is Her Private Life Worth Your Time?
- # 105 of 159 The 150+ Best K-Dramas On Netflix, Ranked
- # 18 of 144 The Best Romantic Comedy K-Dramas Ever
- # 28 of 154 The Most Romantic Korean Dramas Ever
When a high school student becomes an overnight sensation for her stunning makeup skills, she struggles to maintain her newfound popularity while hiding her insecurities. As she navigates friendships, romance, and an unwanted rivalry, she discovers the true meaning of beauty.
Is True Beauty Worth Your Time?
Boys Over Flowers
Plunge into a whirlwind romance as a spirited girl from a humble background captures the hearts of four wealthy young men who rule their elite private school. Entangled in a web of love triangles and envy, friendships are tested, and true love prevails.
Is Boys Over Flowers Worth Your Time?
- # 38 of 308 The Best Korean Dramas Of All Time
- # 28 of 159 The 150+ Best K-Dramas On Netflix, Ranked
- # 50 of 144 The Best Romantic Comedy K-Dramas Ever
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The 10 Steamiest NC-17 Movies You Can Stream Right Now
Where to Stream:
- Nymphomaniac: Vol. I
- Decider After Dark
'Fellow Travelers' Sex Scenes: Matt Bomer Dominates Jonathan Bailey in a Steamy Display of Power
'burning betrayal's pornographic sex scenes make it netflix's steamiest erotic thriller since '365 days', stream it or skip it: ‘burning betrayal’ on netflix, a hornier-than-thou brazilian erotic thriller, sexy horror movies and tv shows to watch on netflix, amazon, hbo, and more.
The universe of movie ratings is a complicated and often random thing. How come you can say the s-word an seemingly infinite amount of times and get a PG-13, but slipping in an f-bomb guaranteed an R-rating? However, few things are more complicated and interesting than the relationship between sex, nudity, and R-ratings.
As The Hollywood Reporter ‘s Pamela McClintock once explored , the line between a steamy R-rating and a disastrous NC-17 is a fine one. It all comes down to thrust counts, whether or not your main couples are monogamous, and how much nudity you show for how long. If it feels completely subjective and a bit insane that’s because it is. Below are 10 films that were hit with the box office-ruining NC-17 rating for being too sexually provocative. From films so controversial they inspire outrage to this day to surprisingly steamy (and ironic) documentaries, this list and the reasons for these ratings will probably make you blush a bit.
‘Blue Is the Warmest Color’ (2013)
Rating: NC-17, Rating accepted
Why was it NC-17: It’s not really a big surprise that this French film got a NC-17 rating. This emotional coming-of-age film features several sex scenes, but it’s the extended scene between Adèle and Emma that probably probably pushed the censors over the edge. Not only is there near-full nudity (a big red flag for censors) and lots of oral sex (another red flag), but the big sex scenes also happen between two women. Historically, same sex scenes are held to a much more intense sexy standard.
Where to stream Blue Is the Warmest Color
‘Y Tu Mama Tambian’ (2001)
Rating: NC-17, Released as NR
Why was it NC-17: This film was released without a rating in the United States because the film’s creators and producers knew if they tried to market it, it would receive an NC-17 rating. Between the movie’s threesome, nudity-filled scenes, and intense drug use, the creators were right. However, the release of Y Tu Mama Tambian prompted Roger Ebert to criticize the MPAA for infantilizing creators’ work.
Where to stream Y Tu Mama Tambien
‘Nymphomaniac Vol. I and Vol. II’ (2013)
Why was it NC-17: Where do you even start with Lars von Trie r’s ode to sex addiction? Not only are there multiple full nude scenes but the movie basically embraces group sex. If a movie was designed to soar past the R rating but not be porn, this would be it.
Where to stream Nymphomaniac Vol. I
Where to stream Nymphomaniac Vol. II
‘Original Sin’ (2001)
Rating: NC-17, Edited for R rating
Why was it NC-17: So far the movies on this list have been steamy, NC-17, and good. Original Sin doesn’t fall into the latter category. Once described as a “disaster of a soft porn movie,” this Angelina Jolie flick. But why did the movie get the NC-17 rating? The answer is perhaps the silliest one yet — too many pelvic thrusts. Turns out that the MPAA does count these things.
Where to stream Original Sin
‘The Dreamers’ (2003)
Why was it NC-17: It all comes down to about two and a half minutes. However, those two minutes make a big difference. The full version of this Bernardo Bertolucci romantic drama features an extended masturbation scene, a full penis shot, a full vagina shot, and a lot more thrusting.
Where to stream The Dreamers
‘La Grande Bouffe’ (1973)
Why was it NC-17: There are a lot of comedic depictions of sex and over-eating in this Italian-French cult classic. However, what likely stopped this movie about a group of friends eating themselves to death was ‘70s censors. Though they would likely be fine today, the movie’s many sex scenes were just a bit too risque at the time.
Where to stream La Grande Bouffe
Why was it NC-17: This movie about the seedy life of a Las Vegas stripper holds a special place in ratings history. It was the first and only NC-17 film to get a wide release. However, that doesn’t mean that Showgirls is a good movie per se. The erotic drama is consistently listed as one of the worst films ever made. It was likely a few of the sex scenes and Elizabeth Berkley ’s full frontal shot that earned the film its historic rating.
Where to stream Showgirls
‘Last Tango in Paris’ (1972)
Why was it NC-17: Bernardo Bertolucci’s erotic drama actually earns an especially controversial place on this list. When the film was first released, it was so graphic that it was given an X rating. However, when the anal rape scene was removed, the film was given an NC-17 rating. But the controversy doesn’t stop there. It was recently revealed that the butter scene was filmed without giving Maria Schneider any warning, making a morally gray scene even more disturbing.
Where to stream Last Tango in Paris
‘This Film Is Not Yet Rated’ (2006)
Why was it NC-17: Sometimes the world can be a very funny place. This documentary exploring the complicated ins and outs of the MPAA’s rating system included a lot of footage of NR and NC-17 films. Obviously, the MPAA wasn’t cool with those movies when they were first released and they weren’t cool when they were in documentary form in 2008.
Where to stream This Film Is Not Yet Rated
‘Zack and Miri Make a Porno’ (2008)
Rating: NC-17, Successfully appealed for R rating
Why was it NC-17: Kevin Smith ’s Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks -led sex comedy was originally given a disastrous NC-17 rating. However, after Smith appealed the decision (and Rogen complained a lot), that rating was later changed to R. So what offended the MPAA so much? There was a bit too much thrusting in one scene and the poop scene was a bit much.
Where to stream Zack and Miri Make a Porno
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Every Live-Action R-Rated DC Movie, Ranked Worst To Best
Posted: November 4, 2023 | Last updated: November 4, 2023
- DC has had success with both family-friendly and R-rated movies, with projects like "Shazam!" and "Green Lantern" delivering colorful adventures, while others like "Joker" delve into darker and more adult-oriented themes.
- "Watchmen" successfully adapted its challenging source material, receiving positive reception despite losing some subtlety in the move to live-action.
- "Birds of Prey" was a fun romp with great visuals but fell short in its portrayal of Harley Quinn's associates, not quite giving a few of them enough to do.
Most of DC 's cinematic outings have fallen into the family-friendly PG or PG-13 rating categories, but the brand has also had success with a handful of movies that earned an R. The earliest DC movies, most notably Adam West's Batman and the Christopher Reeves-starring Superman series, were bright and colorful adventures appropriate for the whole family. Despite DC's reputation for leaning darker than Marvel, that's still remained somewhat true to this day, with projects like Shazam! , Green Lantern , and a bevy of animated projects delivering bright, colorful characters and stories.
However, some of the best DC movies have leaned into the affordances granted by an R rating to deliver more adult-oriented projects that lean into the gritty and often violent worlds portrayed in DC Comics. Not all of these projects are superhero movies, either, with a few adapting more down-to-earth stories told in graphic novels from DC's imprint brands. Not all R-rated DC projects are created equal, however, with a few standing above the rest as particularly memorable and enjoyable movies.
Related: How To Watch DCEU Movies In Order (By Release Date & Chronologically)
Watchmen Valiantly Attempts To Adapt Challenging Source Material
Rated r for strong graphic violence, sexuality, nudity, & language.
For decades after the original limited series comic was released in 1986-87, Watchmen was considered "unfilmable" for several reasons. Chief among them is that the classic story is a mixed-media project, mixing the main comic with an internally spliced, separate graphic novel and pages of journal entries. Zack Snyder, who would famously go on to guide the early stages of the DCEU, took a stab at the property and delivered a surprisingly faithful film that, while not without its problems, was widely met with a positive reception.
Related: Every Upcoming DC Movie In 2023 And Beyond
The story, which centers around the mysterious death of the morally-question hero The Comedian and ends with a grand, controversial conspiracy to usher in an era of peace, is largely kept intact, and the significant changes to the end of the movie - replacing the fake alien squid attack with a framed Doctor Manhattan - is arguably an improvement. However, subtlety is lost in the move to live-action, and it's a viable complaint to say that the increased action and borderline super-strength seen in the movie works against the central themes of the original work. Even as the bottom of DC's R-rated movies, Watchmen is still well worth checking out.
Birds Of Prey Is A Fun Romp, But Little More
Rated r for some sexual and drug material|, language throughout, & strong violence.
Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn was first introduced in the commercially successful but generally disappointing Suicide Squad , and after her performance was met with such positive reception, the villain-turned-anti-hero got her own team-up movie in the form of Birds of Prey . The film does a lot right - Bird of Prey 's costumes and sets are vivid and engaging , and Ewan McGregor delivers a perfectly campy performance as Black Mask. Where the movie loses points is in its portrayal of Harley's associates. Huntress is done fairly well, but Black Canary and Cassandra Cain are given painfully little to do and only barely resemble their comic book counterparts.
Joker Delivers A Bold New Version Of A Famous DC Villain
Rated R For Strong Bloody Violence, Disturbing Behavior, Language, & Brief Sexual Images
While DC movies have a long history of exploring the more grounded side of the superhero genre - especially after Nolan's ground-breaking Dark Knight trilogy - Joker takes the concept to another level. Completely devoid of anything even bordering on superheroes, Joker tells the dark and painful story of Arthur Fleck as he slowly descends into violent villainy. The project is an intense character study, though it's understandable that it's too far removed from the source material for some . Without its title and with a few name swaps, Joker could very well have been a completely stand-alone project. Time will tell if the upcoming Joker: Folie à Deux follows suit.
The Suicide Squad Lives Up To The Promise Of The Premise
Rated r for strong violence and gore, language throughout, some sexual references, drug use, & brief graphic nudity.
James' Gunn's The Suicide Squad delivers the violent, hilarious adventure that was promised with the similarly-titled Suicide Squad . Focusing largely on a new team of villains and returning fan favorites Harley Quinn and Rick Flag, Gunn shows once again his talent in mixing absurd characters, high-octane action, and genuine character moments. Even the film's final act, which raises the stakes as the Suicide Squad takes on the gigantic Starro, keeps the conflicts and action personal - something even the best superhero movies sometimes fail to do well.
A History Of Violence Is A Grounded Story About Escaping The Past
Rated R For Strong Brutal Violence, Graphic Sexuality, Nudity, Language, & Some Drug Use.
As its name implies, A History of Violence is a gripping story about how the sins of one's past can be seemingly impossible to truly escape from. The movie, based on the 1997 graphic novel by John Wagner and Vince Locke, follows Viggo Mortensen's mild-mannered Midwestern diner owner as a robbery suddenly cracks open his attempt to live a new life apart from his violent past. As the past and present clash, the movie presents a fascinating character-forward narrative that begs the question of whether people can really change and if second chances are fully deserved .
V For Vendetta Is Both Timely And Timeless
Rated r for strong violence & some language.
V For Vendetta , adapted from the 1980s serialized comic of the same name, succeeds in the difficult task all dystopian projects face - being at the same time timely, timeless, entertaining, and backed by a potent allegory . Taking place in a year-agnostic post-war London under the thumb of an over-controlling government, V for Vendetta follows the titular masked revolutionary V and his initially unwilling prisoner/partner Evey as they enact an elaborate and public plan to overthrow the totalitarian state. Anchored by fantastic performances from Hugo Weaving and Natalie Portman, V For Vendetta remains a classic 18 years after its release.
Road To Perdition Is A Fascinating Mob Movie About Grief & Revenge
Rated r for violence & language.
Based on the 1998 graphic novel by Richard Piers Rayner and published by DC imprint Paradox Press, Road to Perdition tells a heartbreaking story of fathers and sons through the lens of Great Depression-era mobsters. Hanks plays wonderfully against type as a brutal enforcer seeking revenge against his former mob boss, and the cast is filled out by an impressive list of names, including Paul Newman, Daniel Craig, Stanley Tucci, Jude Law, and Taylor Hoechlin. A tight script is backed up by wonderful cinematography, making Road to Perdition the best R-rated DC movie to date and a project that proves DC isn't only about superheroes.
Key Release Dates
Aquaman and the lost kingdom, joker: folie a deux, superman: legacy, the batman - part ii.
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Echo might be the most R-rated thing the MCU’s done yet
Kingpin, Daredevil, and Echo return to the MCU in 2024
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The first trailer for Marvel Studios’ Echo is full of surprises. It’s shockingly violent, as we watch Kingpin beat a man half to death, and see his adoptive daughter Maya Lopez (the eponymous Echo) throwing savage blows and snapping the necks of street-level scum. There’s even a very brief Daredevil cameo. (OK, that last part is not really a surprise; we knew that Charlie Cox and Vincent D’Onofrio would return as Matt Murdock and Wilson Fisk, respectively, for Echo .)
More surprising is how Echo will roll out. All episodes of the next Marvel Studios series will drop at once on Jan. 10, 2024, on both Disney Plus and Hulu. Echo will only be available through Hulu until April 9, 2024, however.
Also, it looks pretty good? Echo appears to bring back the vibe of Marvel’s Netflix-produced shows like Daredevil , Jessica Jones , and Punisher for more street-level, bare-knuckle action. Like those series, Echo will be rated TV-MA. In fact, the show’s first trailer tells viewers to “set your Disney Plus profile to TV-MA to stream.”
Echo is set after the events of Marvel Studios’ Hawkeye , where Alaqua Cox’s Maya Lopez/Echo made her live-action debut. Reportedly, the series will feature a plotline in which Matt Murdock, the blind attorney and secret vigilante Daredevil, will be searching for an old ally, supposedly Jessica Jones, the Marvel Comics character played by Krysten Ritter.
Echo is a deaf Native American woman with the power to perfectly copy another person’s movements. She made her debut in the pages of 1999’s Daredevil #9. Echo was created by David Mack and Joe Quesada.
Charlie Cox’s Daredevil will get his own stand-alone series on Disney Plus as well, Daredevil: Born Again , which will supposedly see the return of Jon Bernthal’s Frank Castle , aka The Punisher. Marvel’s R-rated adventures will extend to theaters next year , with the release of the next Deadpool movie starring Ryan Reynolds as Wade Wilson and Hugh Jackman reprising his role as Wolverine , now gloriously yellow .
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37 Most-Rated K-Dramas Of All Time On Viki
Viki has been bringing K-drama lovers quality content for many years now. The love and appreciation that viewers have for an inclusive platform that is able to provide accessibility to various shows has been endless. With the long history of Viki and K-dramas, there are certain titles that prove to be consistently popular. These K-dramas have garnered over 100,000 ratings each, showing that these dramas have been the most popular among Viki users over the years. Here are those 37 dramas!
Ratings updated on April 3, 2023.
1. “ What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim ” (2018) 486,502 ratings / ★9.7
On the top of this list is “What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim,” which has already become a legendary rom-com in just a few years! Park Seo Joon plays Lee Young Joon, a boss whose secretary, Kim Mi So ( Park Min Young ), is ready to quit working for him. Devastated and lost, he tries to win her back, and in the process, he ends up falling in love with her.
Talk about hot and heavy—Park Seo Joon and Park Min Young have the most-watched K-drama kiss scene of all time. Their chemistry was through the roof, and it provided all the conventional K-drama tropes that keeps all viewers emotionally invested and excited. The very adorable way in which Lee Young Joon draws people into his “aura” is especially hilarious; seeing an arrogant CEO fall head over heels in love with his secretary is the perfect romantic tale!
Watch “What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim” here:
2. “ True Beauty ” (2020~2021) 406,107 ratings / ★9.6
Moon Ga Young plays Lim Ju Gyeong, a girl who feels that she is unattractive, so she takes it upon herself to become an expert in makeup. When she goes to a new high school and meets Lee Su Ho ( Cha Eun Woo ), the two end up falling in love. There is also the added bonus of Hwang In Yeop ‘s Han Seo Jun, who also happens to fall in love with Ju Gyeong.
The success of this particular series is a no-brainer. Seeing the visuals in the main cast alone is enough to send anyone into a frenzy! On top of this, the webtoon was a huge success, and fans couldn’t help but completely agree with and love the casting of the characters. At the time, rookie actor Hwang In Yeop also gained a huge following after the series ended, giving him almost 10 million additional followers on Instagram. The success of this series was monumental!
Watch “True Beauty” here:
3. “ While You Were Sleeping ” (2017) 286,857 ratings / ★9.6
“While You Were Sleeping” involves Nam Hong Joo ( Suzy ), who can see the deaths of others in her dreams. She has tried desperately to prevent them but has failed numerous times. It is a curse that she is unable to get rid of.
“While You Were Sleeping” is a series that has the perfect amount of suspense and romance. While viewers were trying to figure out the outcome of the mystery that surrounded the storyline, they were also pleasantly preoccupied with the blossoming love story between Jung Jae Chan ( Lee Jong Suk ) and Nam Hong Joo. And with the addition of Han Woo Tak ( Jung Hae In ) to complete the love triangle, viewers were in eye-candy heaven.
Start “While You Were Sleeping” here:
4. “ W ” (2016) 275,922 ratings / ★9.6
Oh Yeon Joo ( Han Hyo Joo ) has created the ideal guy of her dreams, but he doesn’t exist in real life. He only exists in the world of a comic book that her dad helps to create. When a supernatural force brings her into Kang Chul’s (Lee Jong Suk) world, they are able to fall in love with each other, but when she is forced back into the real world, he can’t follow. The two must figure out how to be with each other even though they are worlds apart.
Another Lee Jong Suk drama, this series is unique in that it involves the merging of the comic book world and the real world. The computer graphics are so cool to watch, and Lee Jong Suk pulls off being a real life comic book character flawlessly. With the success of the series, it’s no surprise that it is one of the most watched on Viki, especially with the powerhouse pairing of Lee Jong Suk and Han Hyo Joo – that one handcuff scene had everyone squealing!
Watch “W” here:
5. “ Strong Woman Do Bong Soon ” (2017) 248,885 ratings / ★9.7
“Strong Woman Do Bong Soon” stars Park Bo Young as an aspiring game maker who was born with super strength. She meets Ahn Min Hyuk ( Park Hyung Sik ), the CEO of a game company, who happens to be in need of a bodyguard. He ends up hiring Do Bong Soon with the added bonus of letting her develop a game while she works for him.
This is the Park-Park couple that people will never get over. Park Bo Young and Park Hyung Sik were quite possibly the most adorable K-drama leads of all time, which is why it’s no surprise that the series is one of the most popular on Viki. The way in which Ahn Min Hyuk gazes at Do Bong Soon while wearing his heart on his sleeve is almost too much for rom-com fans to handle!
Watch “Strong Woman Do Bong Soon” here:
6. “ Doom at Your Service ” (2021) 224,914 ratings / ★9.5
“Doom at Your Service” is a fantasy romance that simultaneously broke hearts while giving us the heartfelt romance between Myul Mang ( Seo In Guk ) and Tak Dong Kyung (Park Bo Young). With Myul Mang’s negative and pessimistic outlook on human life and Tak Dong Kyung’s spiral into a dark period in her life, the two find comfort in each other.
This dark but romantic series follows a grim reaper falling in love and is oddly intriguing. It draws you into the supernatural world, and along with the budding romance between Dong Kyung and Myul Mang, there’s a lot of angst to last for days. The emotional depth and lines in the series are thought provokingly beautiful, and Park Bo Young and Seo In Guk had amazing chemistry!
Watch “Doom at Your Service” here:
7. “ Heirs ” (2013) 210,414 ratings / ★9.5
In “Heirs,” Cha Eun Sang ( Park Shin Hye ) is a high school student who can’t seem to catch a break. She tries to track down her sister who abandoned their family in the U.S. and she meets Kim Tan ( Lee Min Ho ) in the process. When she returns to Seoul, she has the opportunity to attend an elite private school filled with chaebols. She decides to attend and ends up meeting Kim Tan again. He makes it very clear what his intentions are, and he becomes very persistent in trying to win her affections.
Besides Park Shin Hye and Lee Min Ho, this drama’s all-star cast also includes Kim Woo Bin , Kang Ha Neul , Park Hyung Sik, Kim Ji Won , Krystal , and Kang Min Hyuk . This series brought about all the feels for viewers, and some of the memorable lines written by Kim Eun Sook remain legendary to this day!
Watch “Heirs” here:
8. “ My ID is Gangnam Beauty ” (2018) 192,449 ratings / ★9.4
Kang Mi Rae ( Im Soo Hyang ) has always been self-conscious about her physical appearance, so she decides to get plastic surgery. On the first day of college, Mi Rae runs into Do Kyung Suk (Cha Eun Woo), a handsome boy whom she used to go to elementary school with. Kyung Suk recognizes Mi Rae pretty quickly, and he starts to realize that his feelings for her are more than just surface level.
One of the most romantic confession scenes is in this series, when Do Kyung Suk reveals his feelings to Mi Rae while getting poured on in the rain. Although the storyline seems superficial at first read, the message of it is deep and meaningful. The evolving relationship between the two as well as Mi Rae figuring out her true passion and identity is a theme that is relatable to many.
Watch “My ID is Gangnam Beauty” here:
9. “ Hotel Del Luna ” (2019) 179,870 ratings / ★9.6
“Hotel Del Luna” was a highly anticipated K-drama starring two megastars, IU and Yeo Jin Goo . The series is also written by the Hong sisters, which gave viewers another reason to be excited as they’ve written a lot of other successful K-dramas. IU plays Jang Man Wol, the CEO of a hotel that has ghosts as guests, while Yeo Jin Goo stars as Goo Chan Sung, an assistant manager who was promised to the hotel by his father.
This series can be freaky at times, but the romantic tales involving the characters really make it an enticingly interesting watch. With IU and Yeo Jin Goo as the main leads and plenty of scenes of the two being awfully cute together, it’s no surprise that the series was a hit. Man Wol’s calm and collected demeanor was so badass, and seeing Goo Chan Sung in the palm of Man Wol’s hand was too adorable.
Watch “Hotel Del Luna” here:
10. “ Kiss Goblin ” (2020) 178,238 ratings / ★9.2
Ban Sook ( Bae In Hyuk ) is a goblin who is told that he needs to kiss a human 10 times in order to become human. His willingness to become human is so great that he decides to take on this task. As he goes on this journey, he meets Oh Yeon Ah ( Jeon Hye Won ), a strong-willed girl who takes it upon herself to help Ban Sook achieve this goal of kissing 10 humans.
This series is a web drama that will have you invested until the end. Seeing Bae In Hyuk’s character go from a dark and unhappy goblin into one who falls in love is the exact type of love story that you need. There is a plethora of scenes that bring the heat as the goblin tries to break free of his curse by kissing women, but the chemistry with Oh Yeon Ah in particular is one that is bursting.
Watch “Kiss Goblin” here:
11. “ Mr. Queen ” (2020~2021) 169,536 ratings / ★9.7
“Mr. Queen” stars Shin Hye Sun as Kim So Yong, a queen in the Joseon period. One day, she wakes up as a male chef named Jang Bong Hwan from modern times, trapped in the body of the queen. Despite this sudden change, So Yong must find a way to adjust to her new situation and new life with her husband King Cheoljong ( Kim Jung Hyun ).
“Mr. Queen” took many people by surprise in the way it was able to draw viewers in to Kim So Yong’s comedic and hilarious situations. If you need a light-hearted and funny series to watch, this one is guaranteed to have you laughing until your stomach hurts. You’ll also appreciate the impeccable acting skills of Shin Hye Sun, who always seems to deliver perfect performances every single time.
Watch “Mr. Queen” here:
12. “ Tale of the Nine-Tailed ” (2020) 167,634 ratings / ★9.6
“Tale of the Nine-Tailed” is about a male gumiho named Yi Yeon ( Lee Dong Wook ) who has adjusted into city life centuries ago. He meets a fiery and strong producing director named Nam Ji Ah ( Jo Bo Ah ). She is determined to track him down because she feels he is connected to the death of her parents.
The success of this series was astonishing as people couldn’t get enough of the star-crossed lovers. Seeing the two try not to develop feelings for each other, but wanting so desperately to be with each other was the angst and love story we didn’t know we needed. Lee Dong Wook is always a delight to watch in any role he takes on as he has a presence that draws viewers in, and the impression that viewers had of him with Jo Bo Ah was exceptionally strong. Fans are obviously already excited for the upcoming new season!
Watch “Tale of the Nine-Tailed” here:
13. “ Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo ” (2016~2017) 165,183 ratings / ★9.7
With dreams of becoming a college weightlifting champion, Bok Joo ( Lee Sung Kyung ) isn’t afraid of doing whatever it takes to achieve those goals. A strong girl with strong determination, Bok Joo isn’t easily distracted, but when she meets Jung Joon Hyung, played by Nam Joo Hyuk , life gets a little more complicated.
Who didn’t giggle and get butterflies while watching this series? It has quite possibly become more famous years after, and the love and support for this drama only continues to grow. The very quirky pairing of a female weightlifter and her swimmer boyfriend Jung Joon Hyung is all too irresistible. Seeing how much they love each other and are willing to support each other despite the stressful situations that arise from being professional athletes is so heartwarming to see!
Watch “Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo” here:
14. “ Hwarang ” (2016~2017) 157,878 ratings / ★9.7
“Hwarang” tells the story of a group of knights who are very pretty and also fight very well. When Aro ( Go Ara ) meets Moo Myung (Park Seo Joon), the two develop a romantic relationship. But Moo Myung is best friends with Aro’s older brother, and since her brother passes away, the meeting between Moo Myung and Aro is much more emotional. Then you have the Crown Prince, Sam Maek Jon (Park Hyung Sik), who charms his way into Aro’s heart. Although she does find him intriguing, she can’t help but fall in love with Moo Myung.
Many will know “Hwarang” for the obviously visually appealing eye candy that we were blessed with. The cast line up was almost too hard to believe as you had Park Seo Joon, Park Hyung Sik, SHINee’s Minho , and BTS’s V in the mix. It’s also the origin of how the Wooga Squad came to be. The series was a delight to watch mainly because of the bromance, but the love triangle and character development of Moo Myung was also worthwhile. You’ve really got nothing to lose with this one!
Watch “Hwarang” here:
15. “ Flower of Evil ” (2020) 156,471 ratings / ★9.7
Lee Joon Gi stars alongside Moon Chae Won in the mystery thriller “Flower of Evil.” Baek Hee Sung (Lee Joon Gi) is a perfect husband and doting father to a little girl. To the visible eye he is perfect, but there’s another life he leads—one filled with murder, deceit, and lies. His wife Cha Ji Won (Moon Chae Won) is a detective and is in the midst of a cat-and-mouse hunt that will lead her to her husband as the prime suspect.
There are many reasons why “Flower of Evil” has made it to this list, and there’s no really no surprise that this series has done so well. The edge-of-your-seat cliffhangers, character development, and obvious superb acting by the two main leads—it’s the perfect series. It’s a crime/thriller in genre, but viewers were also surprised that the romance aspect of the storyline was very much swoon-worthy. It is the perfect mix of various genres.
Watch “Flower of Evil” here:
16. “ Guardian: The Lonely and Great God ” (2016~2017) 154,087 ratings / ★9.7
This drama involves a goblin (played by Gong Yoo ) and his bride (played by Kim Go Eun ). The two embark on a whirlwind of a romance and are faced with a lot of serious and supernatural obstacles that jeopardize them from being together.
“Guardian: The Lonely and Great God” (also known as “Goblin”) is another series that earned most-loved status on Viki. With the brilliant writing of Kim Eun Sook and an A-list cast, the success of this series was inevitable. Not only was the main OTP a catalyst for the success of the series, but the bromance involving Gong Yoo and Lee Dong Wook has gained legendary status.
Watch “Guardian: The Lonely and Great God” here:
17. “ Her Private Life ” (2019) 153,467 ratings / ★9.5
“Her Private Life” is the hit K-drama rom-com starring Park Min Young and Kim Jae Wook . The series involves an artist by the name of Ryan Gold (Kim Jae Wook) who falls in love with an art curator named Sung Duk Mi (Park Min Young), also a fangirl of the idol group member Cha Si An ( ONE ).
Ryan Gold continues to hold the title of being one of the most sweetest boyfriends in K-dramaland. His earnest and sweet heart, as well as his dashing good looks, made him quite the popular character. And when you have this perfect character plus the added romance and sizzling chemistry with Park Min Young, it’s no wonder this drama was a success. It’s a definite re-watch even after you’ve watched it the first time!
Watch “Her Private Life” here:
18. “ Descendants of the Sun ” (2016) 152,313 ratings / ★9.7
In “Descendants of the Sun,” Song Joong Ki stars as Yoo Shi Jin alongside Song Hye Kyo as Kang Mo Yeon. Yoo Shi Jin is an army captain who falls head over heels for Dr. Kang. They embark on a whirlwind of a romance despite their different backgrounds. Although they want to be with each other, Yoo Shi Jin’s job consistently puts his life at risk, which is difficult for Mo Yeon to handle.
This one comes as really no surprise. “Descendants of the Sun” is one of the big dramas that brought on the Hallyu wave of international fans and stardom. With Song Hye Kyo and Song Joong Ki taking on the reins as the main leads, there was no stopping the drama’s success.
Watch “Descendants of the Sun” here:
19. “ Personal Taste ” (2010) 147,772 ratings / ★9.3
Park Gae In ( Son Ye Jin ) is having the worst luck in life. Her boyfriend not only breaks up with her, but she’s also on the brink of losing her job. So when a potential roommate named Jeon Jin Ho (Lee Min Ho) offers to move in to help her out financially, she can’t decline. Gae In starts to rely on Jin Ho for emotional support, but what she doesn’t know is that Jin Ho is not actually gay and that he has feelings for her.
The fact that Lee Min Ho and Son Ye Jin are the stars of this K-drama is enough of a reason for it to have gained so much love over the years. Plus, with the friends-to-lovers trope involved in the story, the eventual confession and kiss scene is all too much to handle. The romantic-comedy feel of the series and seeing Gae In go from rock bottom to living her best life brought so much satisfaction by the end that it continues to be a well-loved series!
Watch “Personal Taste” here:
20. “ Oh My Venus ” (2015~2016) 147,394 ratings / ★9.7
So Ji Sub stars in “Oh My Venus” as a hotshot trainer named Kim Young Ho, while Shin Min Ah plays a lawyer named Kang Joo Eun who wants to lose weight. Young Ho ends up falling in love with Joo Eun, and the two engage in a passionate romance.
When you think hot and steamy OTPs, Shin Min Ah and So Ji Sub definitely take the cake. Their chemistry is palpable. And with the scenes of the two working out and doing judo together on the mat, it’s no wonder people loved the series so much! There are also a few supporting actors who gained recognition through this series and are popular today, which only emphasizes how much love it has received over the years.
Watch “Oh My Venus” here:
21. “ My Roommate is a Gumiho ” (2021) 146,416 ratings / ★9.6
Shin Woo Yeo ( Jang Ki Yong ) is a 999-year-old nine-tailed fox who is also a professor at a university. He accidentally meets Lee Dam ( Hyeri ), a student at the same university, who ends up swallowing his magical bead. The two must live together in order for him to figure out a way to get the bead out of her.
This fantasy series had viewers on an emotional rollercoaster, wondering if the two main leads will be together by the end. There are many obstacles that they go through that kept viewers on the edge of their seats. Seeing Lee Dam try to sort through her feelings and fight fate in order to follow her heart was emotionally draining at times, but it was so rewarding by the end!
Watch “My Roommate is a Gumiho” here:
22. “ Suspicious Partner ” (2017) 144,103 ratings / ★9.5
In “Suspicious Partner,” Ji Chang Wook plays a successful lawyer named No Ji Wook who helps a young woman named Eun Bong Hee ( Nam Ji Hyun ). Bong Hee is trying to get off a murder case that she is wrongfully accused of. Despite their completely opposite personalities and Ji Wook being a bit repulsed by her in the beginning, the two end up falling in love.
Ji Chang Wook’s dramas always seem to garner a lot of love! One of the highlights of this series was seeing Eun Bong Hee fall in love with No Ji Wook and him also realizing his feelings for her. As much as he hates to admit it, he falls head over heels for her, and it’s so sweet to see!
Watch “Suspicious Partner” here:
23. “ Happiness ” (2021) 138,108 ratings / ★9.7
“Happiness” stars Park Hyung Sik as Jung Yi Hyun, a detective, and Han Hyo Joo as Yoon Sae Bom, a tactical agent of the Gyeonggi Police Station. The two were classmates in high school and end up in an apocalyptic situation with people are getting infected with a virus that turns them into zombie-like creatures. The two fight for their lives and for others.
This series is such a delight to watch. It not only gives you thrills from seeing the flesh-eating zombies chase the tenants in the apartment, but it also features a great love story. One of the best parts of this drama is seeing how much Jung Yi Hyun is willing to do for Yoon Sae Bom – those puppy dog eyes though!
Watch “Happiness” here:
24. “ Melting Me Softly ” (2019) 132,607 ratings / ★9.3
“Melting Me Softly” stars Ji Chang Wook as Ma Dong Chan and Won Jin Ah as Ko Mi Ran. Ma Dong Chan is a variety show producer who gets the opportunity to be frozen for 24 hours. But instead of waking up after a day, he wakes up 20 years later. When he discovers that Mi Ran was also frozen for 20 years, the two work together to try and figure out what happened.
Are we really surprised to see another Ji Chang Wook title? Many of us probably remember “Melting Me Softly” for that hot and steamy kiss scene that involves a shower. There is really no cooling this couple down throughout the series as their characters learn to depend on each other and eventually fall in love. The buildup of emotions that was further fueled by the adorable second lead Bomin , who plays Hwang Ji Hoon, also left viewers feeling so cathartic by the end.
Watch “Melting Me Softly” here:
25. “ Semantic Error ” (2022) 129,469 ratings / ★9.7
This campus romance stars DONGKIZ’s Jaechan as Chu Sang Woo and Park Seo Ham as Jang Jae Young. The two students are completely opposite in personality and are rather annoyed with each other when they first meet. But this progresses into a change in their relationship, involving some very intense feelings and romance.
There’s something about this BL drama that won over the hearts of many. The series is based on a popular web novel, webtoon, and animation series, so the expectations were incredibly high! The tension between Jae Young and Sang Woo was filled with so much angst, and there was consistent hope that the two would realize their feelings.
Watch “Semantic Error” here:
26. “ Uncontrollably Fond ” (2016) 128,008 ratings / ★9.4
Shin Joon Young ( Kim Woo Bin ) is a famous actor who fatefully meets No Eul ( Suzy ), a videographer for documentaries. She is put in charge to document Joon Young, but the two have some history. They had met in high school, and after a lot of miscommunication and missed opportunities, the two went separate ways without ever knowing the truth of each other’s feelings. No Eul has no intention of reigniting any feelings for Joon Young, but Joon Young seems to think otherwise. He’s determined to keep her close.
What can we say? Sometimes viewers need a good cry. This series is not the most happiest of K-drama stories, but it is an epically romantic one. And when you have two powerhouse stars as the main leads, it’s only a given that their series will be one of the most watched and highest rated on the platform. The chemistry between the two was bursting, and the angst of their storyline made it hard not to binge. One fair warning for those who haven’t watched—don’t forget the tissues!
Watch “Uncontrollably Fond” here:
27. “ The Legend of the Blue Sea ” (2016~2017) 126,085 ratings / ★9.6
When Heo Jun Jae (Lee Min Ho) first meets Shim Chung ( Jun Ji Hyun ), he notices that she is a bit of an oddball. She is fascinated by the world around her and has some trouble fitting in. What Jun Jae doesn’t realize is that Shim Chung is actually a mermaid. The mischievous and bad boy Jun Jae also begins to realize that his feelings for her are pretty deep.
There really is nothing more satisfying than seeing Jun Ji Hyun showcase her very comedic and natural acting abilities through her various roles. She’s a star for a reason, and it definitely shows in “The Legend of the Blue Sea.” Plus, when you have Lee Min Ho starring alongside Jun Ji Hyun, the series really has all the ingredients necessary for success.
Watch “The Legend of the Blue Sea” here:
28. “ I Am Not a Robot ” (2017-2018) 122,976 ratings / ★9.6
Yoo Seung Ho as Kim Min Kyu and Chae Soo Bin as Jo Ji Ah are two main leads I would love to see again on the small screen. When Min Kyu gets himself a robot, he finds himself getting attracted to it. But it is later revealed to him that his robot is, in fact, a human. The two engage in a heartbreaking trial of broken trust and longing to be with each other.
When watching this series, the heartfelt warmth and butterflies felt is so strong. It’s an easy watch that viewers can get sucked into and get lost in the romance between a pretend robot and her owner. The chemistry between the two leads is both adorable and steamy, and seeing how they eventually fall in love is so sweet! It’s a must-watch romantic comedy that had people completely invested.
Watch “I Am Not a Robot” here:
29. “ Touch Your Heart ” (2019) 121,445 ratings / ★9.6
When Kwon Jung Rok (Lee Dong Wook) first meets Oh Yoon Seo ( Yoo In Na ), the two completely butt heads. They are opposites in personality and professions; Jung Rok is a well-respected attorney, and Yoon Seo is a famous celebrity. Yoon Seo begins working as Jung Rok’s secretary to get more acquainted for a future acting gig, and as much as he despises this situation, he reluctantly agrees.
Otherwise known as Sunny and the Grim Reaper, the demand for Lee Dong Wook and Yoo In Na to reunite in a series was so strong after “Guardian: The Lonely and Great God.” Their chemistry in that series was so strong and unforgettable that people couldn’t help but get emotional over the inevitable heartbreak of their romance. “Touch Your Heart” managed to redeem all the heartbroken fans while also giving all the butterflies.
Watch “Touch Your Heart” here:
30. “ My Love From the Star ” (2013-2014) 120,883 ratings / ★9.5
“My Love From the Star” is a drama that took all of Asia by storm. Kim Soo Hyun stars in this drama as Do Min Joon, an alien with a chip on his shoulder who falls in love with the vain and outrageous actress Cheon Song Yi (Jun Ji Hyun).
It is not surprising seeing this gem of a K-drama on this list as it was one of the major K-dramas responsible for sparking the Hallyu phenomenon across Asia. There was something about seeing a mega-famous star falling in love with an alien that tugged at the heartstrings of everyone. The romantic lines, outrageous humor, and heartfelt scenes were absolutely perfection and have continued to stand the test of time.
Watch “My Love From the Star” here:
31. “ Boys Over Flowers ” (2009) 119,715 ratings / ★9.4
Gu Jun Pyo (Lee Min Ho) has got all the characteristics needed to be a chaebol. He’s good-looking, charming, popular, has a lot of friends, and is pretty arrogant. So it’s no wonder when Geum Jan Di ( Ku Hye Sun ) transfers to his school that he treats her horribly. He bullies her, which in turn makes his fellow classmates bully her too. It takes a destined event and transformation for Jun Pyo to realize that his hate for her may not actually be hate but genuine feelings of affection.
Lee Min Ho’s whopping fourth drama on this list, “Boys Over Flowers” is a K-drama classic and is a gateway series for many international fans. It’s really no wonder that this one is considered one of the most-loved K-dramas on Viki. When you have the original F4 and all the K-drama tropes you could think of, whether you hate to admit it, it’s a series that will go down as being one of the most popular of all time.
Watch “Boys Over Flowers” here:
32. “ Are You Human Too ?” (2018) 115,022 ratings / ★9.6
Nam Shin ( Seo Kang Joon ) is the son of an elite and wealthy family. After an unfortunate accident, he falls into a coma, and his mother creates a robot that looks exactly like him and names him Nam Shin III. The robot learns human mannerisms and takes the place of Nam Shin who is bedridden.
This sci-fi romantic K-drama is jam-packed with cliffhangers. It has viewers on the edge of their seats, which is why the series did so well. It’s also no surprise that Seo Kang Joon was able to take on this dual role so perfectly. You can see him transform into the human and robot so effortlessly which makes the whole sci-fi and romance genre mash-up so fun to watch!
Watch “Are You Human Too?” here:
33. “ Cinderella and Four Knights ” (2016) 114,213 ratings / ★9.5
“Cinderella and Four Knights” is like a fairytale K-drama involving a girl named Eun Ha Won ( Park So Dam ) who gets a job working at a mansion filled with rich, good-looking men. She ends up in a relationship with Ji Woon ( Jung Il Woo ) despite signing a contract to not fall in love with any of the boys living in the mansion.
This series is a classic romantic comedy that touches your heart. Park So Dam’s character Eun Ha Won is so easy to fall in love with, and seeing how much the other boys she lives with also admires her is the perfect feel-good series. This guilty pleasure series has all the ingredients to make for that fairy-tale story—the bad boy, the arrogant rich boy, the poor female lead. With the predictable but classic K-drama storyline, the series sets viewers up for all the butterflies!
Watch “Cinderella and Four Knights” here:
34. “ Sh**ting Stars ” (2022) 105,641 ratings / ★9.5
In “Sh**ting Stars,” Lee Sung Kyung plays Oh Han Byul, the head of a PR team who is trying to keep negative press from happening to the stars in her agency. Kim Young Dae plays Gong Tae Sung, one of the top stars at the agency. The two engage in a whirlwind of a romance that shows what it’s like to date under the public eye.
This series is a newer one as it just came out in 2022, but it managed to win over the hearts of many. After riding off the success of “The Penthouse,” Kim Young Dae acquired a huge fanbase, which brought about the success of this series. Additionally, girl-crush Lee Sung Kyung is always a win when it comes to K-dramas, so it was a given that people would watch this one! The story touches on forgiveness and second chances, which provided so much healing.
Watch “Sh**ting Stars” here:
35. “ Playful Kiss ” (2010) 102,695 ratings / ★9.3
“Playful Kiss” is a classic rom-com starring Kim Hyun Joong as Baek Seung Jo and Jung So Min as Oh Ha Ni. It is set in a high school, and Seung Jo has stellar grades with a very high IQ whereas Ha Ni gets poor grades but has a big heart. The two clash at first but develop strong feelings for each other.
This series is based off the Japanese manga book and Taiwanese drama. It garnered a huge fan base and a lot of viewers from all over the world as people were familiar with the fun storyline. The over-the-top scenes and classic K-drama tropes that viewers are so familiar with provided a comforting and swoony watch. People also loved seeing Kim Hyun Joong and Jung So Min as rookie actors!
Watch “Playful Kiss” here:
36. “ 30 But 17 ” (2018) 102,202 ratings / ★9.6
Gong Woo Jin ( Yang Se Jong ) hasn’t been the same since a tragic accident that happened when he was younger. He finds it difficult to connect with people as an adult, and self-improvement is definitely not something he really cares about. Then he meets Woo Seo Ri (Shin Hye Sun), a girl who wakes up from a coma after 13 years. The two discover that their fate with each other goes far back. During this destined discovery, they lean on each other for emotional support.
A great part about this series was seeing Yang Se Jong in a rom-com role alongside the very talented Shin Hye Sun. Fans immediately fell in love with the two and their long romantic tale. The journey of the two overcoming their past trauma also gives comfort and healing, which many would unexpectedly find solace in.
Watch “30 But 17” here:
37. “ So I Married the Anti-Fan ” (2021) 100,675 ratings / ★9.3
“So I Married the Anti-Fan” stars Choi Tae Joon as Who Joon, a top star who is very arrogant and full of himself. Girls’ Generation’s Sooyoung stars as Lee Geun Young, a magazine reporter who despises Who Joon and is his ultimate “anti-fan.” Destiny brings them together as they are offered to participate in a reality show where a celebrity and his anti-fan are to live together. They both accept the offer as a result of some difficult personal situations, and they obviously fall in love!
When it was announced that this series was going to hit Korean airways, no one could have anticipated just how long it would take for it to premiere. Fans were literally waiting years for this series to come out, and when it finally did, we weren’t disappointed! Seeing Choi Tae Joon make the transformation into an idol was enjoyable to see as well as the natural chemistry he had with Sooyoung!
Watch “So I Married the Anti-Fan” here:
Hey Soompiers, which of these most-loved K-dramas on Viki is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below!
binahearts is a Korean-Canadian published author, content creator, and influencer whose ultimate biases are Song Joong Ki and BIGBANG, but has lately been seen obsessing over Hwang In Yeop. Make sure you follow binahearts on IG as she journeys through her latest Korean crazes!
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What Happens Later
Willa and Bill are ex-lovers that will see each other for the first time in years when they both find themselves snowed in, in-transit, at an airport overnight. Willa and Bill are ex-lovers that will see each other for the first time in years when they both find themselves snowed in, in-transit, at an airport overnight. Willa and Bill are ex-lovers that will see each other for the first time in years when they both find themselves snowed in, in-transit, at an airport overnight.
- Steven Dietz
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- Hal Liggett
- 14 User reviews
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The 10 Best R-Rated Fantasy Movies, Ranked
My Beautiful Dark ****ing Fantasy.
There are plenty of family-friendly fantasy movies out there, and it's easy to see why. It's good to get young minds racing with imaginative stories and fantastical worlds, but in no way is the fantasy genre one exclusively enjoyed by younger people. There are fantasy fans who remain attached to the genre and its immense possibilities as they grow older, and this has led to numerous fantasy movies excelling while targeting older audiences.
The following movies all belong within the fantasy genre, either wholly or sometimes in part (in other words, fantasy blended with other genres), and are all R-rated. The R-rating has its equivalents outside the U.S., but is used there to signify movies that are intended for audiences 17 years or older; essentially, just those who are adults, or close to it. Some of the greatest R-rated fantasy movies are ranked below, starting with the very good and ending with the very best.
10 'The Fall' (2006)
An expertly made and visually gorgeous fantasy film that's unafraid to get quite dark , The Fall is one of those films that's currently not old enough to be a true classic, yet not recent enough to feel particularly new or newsworthy. It's stuck in a bit of a no man's land for now, and that's not helped by the fact that it's also not available on streaming services and is out of print when it comes to physical media. That ought to change, because it's a movie with tons to offer.
The Fall has a similar framing device to The Princess Bride , with it centering on an adult telling a child a fantastical story filled with spectacular adventure and sweeping emotions. Unlike that classic, however, The Fall is a good deal more violent and deals with some relatively intense themes. It's not the most gruesome or heavy R-rated fantasy movie by any means, but it does ultimately earn such a rating.
9 'The Northman' (2022)
With The Northman , Robert Eggers strayed away a little from the folk horror/psychological thriller stuff that made him well-known and instead made a large-scale, brutal, action/fantasy epic. It's a story all about getting revenge no matter the cost, following one man whose father was murdered by his uncle when he was just a boy, leading him to grow into a man who's wholly devoted to seeking vengeance for such an act.
It's based on the legend of Amleth, which itself inspired Hamlet , meaning The Northman doesn't shy away from having a good amount of violence and a relatively high bodycount, when all is said and done. The protagonist's quest for revenge might not have as many fantastical elements as most fantasy movies, but it still fits within the genre, and is undeniably not family-friendly thanks to its relatively frequent scenes of violence and sexual content.
Watch on Peacock
8 'The Green Knight' (2021)
Though Disney's The Sword in the Stone remains one of the most popular movies to deal with King Arthur , other films with comparable premises aren't always family-friendly. The original tales surrounding King Arthur and various other characters surrounding the Knights of the Round Table can get pretty full-on and adult-oriented at times, which is made apparent when watching movies like the recent (and underrated) The Green Knight .
The lead character in The Green Knight is the nephew of King Arthur, Sir Gawain, following his encounter with the titular creature and the year-long quest it sends him on. It's an eerie and oftentimes disturbing fantasy film, and one that should absolutely be avoided by younger viewers... but more mature audiences who are willing to see something a little weird, different, and occasionally confronting ought to give it a shot.
Watch on Fubo
7 'The Crow' (1994)
The Crow is one of the greatest cult classics of the 1990s , and also might well stand as one of the finest supernatural thriller/fantasy/action movies of all time. Its story is all about vengeance, but puts a twist on such a premise by having the character who's out for revenge attempting to avenge his own violent death - along with that of his fiancée - after he's suddenly brought back from the dead.
It's unapologetic about getting dark and violent throughout, and there's a chance people watching it today might find it all a bit aggressive with just how much it screams '90s both aesthetically and musically. Yet it's all done in a stylish and very confident way that's hard to resist, blending a simple but absorbing story with wonderful visuals and hard-hitting action to striking effect.
6 'Excalibur' (1981)
There's an argument to be made that Excalibur is the greatest R-rated fantasy movie of all time , or at least the "most" R-rated of the bunch. It's once again a fantasy movie aimed at adults that tackles the Arthurian legend, though unlike The Green Knight , the focus here is on the life and (violent) times of King Arthur, showing how he rose to the throne and underwent a search for the Holy Grail.
It's the kind of wild movie you'd expect from director John Boorman , whose films were just about always uncompromising and sometimes even controversial (as is the case with Deliverance and particularly with Exorcist II: The Heretic ). It's safe to say then that Excalibur might not be to everyone's tastes, but it's a gutsy and out-there film and is worth highlighting for the fact it's also one of the boldest and bloodiest fantasy films in history.
5 'The Shape of Water' (2017)
Guillermo del Toro is a director who loves dark and disturbing fantasy as much as he loves gothic horror (he also likes giant robots punching giant monsters in their giant faces). The Shape of Water saw him making another fantasy movie aimed at adults, but one with a slightly sweeter edge than some of his darker and more despairing films. He found a huge amount of success after releasing it, particularly at the Academy Awards.
It's a movie about a janitor who works at a strange scientific lab during the 1960s, and the way her life changes forever when she finds herself drawn to a strange fish-man who's being experimented on there. The Shape of Water's certainly aimed at adults when it comes to its themes, racier scenes, and some of its occasionally grisly violence, but it's undeniably emotional and unique, standing as one of the best fantastical movies in recent memory.
Watch on DirecTV
4 'The Double Life of Véronique' (1991)
The Double Life of Véronique keeps things mild when it comes to fantastical elements, and is perhaps more focused on being a romantic drama over anything else. Still, the story is presented in a strange and somewhat dreamlike manner, and there is a sense of fantasy at play with its story about doppelgängers ; two women who live apart and are not related, but look identical.
It's one of the most celebrated films by Krzysztof Kieślowski , who's perhaps best known for his Three Colors trilogy . The Double Life of Véronique sees him get a little more mystical and otherworldly than usual, though the fact that the film remains centered on everyday, grounded drama ensures it remains emotional and relatable, even when it deals with more mysterious and inexplicable phenomena.
Watch on Criterion Channel
3 'The Lighthouse' (2019)
Three years before the release of The Northman , Robert Eggers made The Lighthouse , which counts as both a great R-rated fantasy film and a great R-rated horror movie . It gets more surreal and fantastical as it goes along, with it starting as more of a psychological drama/dark comedy over anything else. Narratively, it centers on two lighthouse keepers who go mad from the isolation that comes with residing on a tiny island with no one else around.
Both Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe give career-best performances here, with each being capable of excelling in scenes that can be funny, horrific, intense, and bizarre. The Lighthouse is small in scale but very ambitious in what it aims to do throughout its runtime, and is undoubtedly successful at blending all the genres it tackles. As such, it's quite possible to call it Eggers's best film so far.
Watch on Showtime
2 'Fanny and Alexander' (1982)
Ingmar Bergman's most famous fantasy film is also what's probably his most famous film full-stop: 1957's The Seventh Seal . However, for present purposes, it can't count here, as it was initially unrated in the U.S. and was later given a TV-PG rating, at least according to IMDb . But the other widely loved Bergman film to delve into fantasy, Fanny and Alexander , was R-rated, so that qualifies here.
It's an ambitious and epic film that easily ranks among the best of the 1980s , telling a story about a large family and the way various lives are forever altered by a sudden tragedy. Things take place from the perspectives of the titular characters, a young boy and his sister, with the former's link to the supernatural world and ghostly figures giving Fanny and Alexander enough fantastical elements to count as both a great family drama and a fascinating low fantasy movie.
1 'Pan's Labyrinth' (2006)
One final dark fantasy movie directed by Guillermo del Toro worth highlighting would have to be Pan's Labyrinth . This takes place in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War , and sees a young girl retreating into a disturbing fantasy world to escape from her even more fearsome stepfather, the villainous Captain Vidal .
With its twisted creatures, acts of evil in both the fantastical and real world, and bursts of graphic violence, Pan's Labyrinth will probably unsettle and sadden plenty of adult viewers. As such, younger viewers should stay away until they get older, but for those viewers who are already of age, this is about as essential as fantasy movies get. It's a gripping modern fairytale, perhaps the greatest film del Toro's ever made, and arguably the best R-rated fantasy movie of all time, too.
NEXT: The Best R-Rated Movie Musicals, Ranked
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10 Best Japanese Drama On Viki 2022
Looking for the best Japanese drama on Viki ? Read further to know more about the top J-dramas recommended on Viki that you can watch and enjoy with your friends and family.
Japanese TV dramas are best suited for short binges because they usually only have a single season and very few short episodes.
Which are the best Japanese dramas on Viki?
Coffee and Vanilla
In time with you, takane and hana.
- Hey Sensei, Don’t You Know?
When One Day I Will Sleep?
Secret unrequited love, the flower and the beast.
- Scum’s Wish
One Page Love
If you are a fan of k-dramas, you will develop a liking for the cheesy storylines and charming characters of these Japanese dramas.
Viki has a huge chunk of Japanese dramas that you can access for free.
- Related: Best Japanese dramas to watch on Netflix
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- Related: Best Japanese dramas on Amazon Prime
If you are looking to kill time at home, you should definitely check out these light-hearted shows that are thoroughly entertaining. Let us look at the best Japanese drama on Viki.
Best Japanese Drama On Viki: Summary
Top Japanese Drama On Viki
Starring: Dori Sakurada, Fukuhara Haruka | Genre: Romance | No. of Seasons: 1
This was originally adapted from the Japanese manga series created by Takara Akegami is the best Japanese drama on Viki.
The story revolves around the life of Risha Siragi who is quite popular in university. She hails from a small town but she moved to the city for education.
She is fancied by so many male students in the university but she was never interested in any of them until she met the businessman Fukami Hiroto. It’s a cute J-drama to watch.
She is attracted to this dashing stranger and finds herself irresistibly drawn to him. It’s also one of my favourite dramas of all time.
The drama takes us through their love story and the ups and downs of their lives. It only aired for a single season and it is ten episodes long.
The main characters are played by the talented duo, Dori Sakurada and Fukuhara Haruka . It’s the best Japanese drama on Viki to watch with friends.
Related: Check out these best Japanese shows to understand Japan better!
Starring: Adachi Rika, Shirasu Jin | Genre: Friendship, Family, Romance | No. of Seasons: 1
The story is about Mitari Yo who is a manager at a shoe-making company and Ishida Ren who is working in urban development. It’s the best Japanese drama on Viki in the romance genre.
Their friendship dates back to their high school days and they have been best friends for many years now.
When Mitari turned 29, they made a wager for 300,000 Yen. Whoever gets married first will receive the amount from the other person but it has to happen before Mitari turns 31.
The duo meets a lot of people in their life who could be potential partners. This drama is on the top of any Japanese romance drama recommendations.
Who will finally take the 300.000 yen? Will the friendship grow into something beyond the platonic love that they had for each other? The story will get you hooked until the end.
The show has sixteen episodes and only ran for a single season, like most Japanese dramas.
The main characters are portrayed by Adachi Rika and Shirasu Jin along with other talented actors like Asaka Kodai and Sakuma Yu supporting them.
Starring: Mahiro Takasugi, Aisa Takeuchi | Genre: Friendship, Business, Comedy | No. of Seasons: 1
In Takane and Hana , Hanna is forced to go on a blind date because her sister who was supposed to meet the date refused to go.
She is forced to go for the date to avoid any bad name that may come to the family.
This is where she meets Saibara Takane and she immediately and all her intentions for the date changes. Takane is a 26-year-old heir of the Takaba Group. He is handsome, successful and charming because of which he is desired by a lot of women.
But on the other hand, he can also be a selfish snob and he was least interested in the blind date. But things changed as soon as they met each other and he gained interest in Hanna’s fiery personality.
This romantic comedy takes us through the love story of two people who are polar opposite to each other and it is thoroughly entertaining. This viki Japanese drama is so engaging and cute.
The show stars Mahiro Takasugi, Aisa Takeuchi and Junki Tozuka. It’s the best Japanese drama on Viki for a date night.
- Related: TV Streaming Option in Japan
Hei Sensei, Don’t You Know?
Starring: Fumika Baba, Eiji Akaso | Genre: Business, Romance, Life | No. of Seasons: 1
Hey Sensei, Don’t You Know ? Is the best Japanese drama on Viki if you want to learn about business in a fun way. Hanai Ao is a popular romance manga writer who is extremely dedicated to her work.
She is extremely hardworking and devotes most of her time to creating mangas. She also has a huge fan following, thanks to her work.
However, she has had little luck with love since she never got to fall in love or experience a relationship, and this is something that her editor keeps nagging about.
Facing the pressure and constant nagging, Hanoi takes a walk where she contemplates her appearance in a store window.
She then decides to spruce up her look and approaches a charming stylist with who she falls in love.
The drama takes us through Hanai’s journey of balancing work and relationship.
It is a short drama with only six episodes and it has stars like Fumika Baba and Eiji Akaso playing the lead characters. Hey Sensei, don’t you know season 2 is also coming so yay!
Starring: Morikawa Aoi, Masaki Nakao | Genre: Romance, Life, Mature | No. of Seasons: 1
Kakafukaka is definitely the best Japanese drama on Viki for teens stepping into adulthood. Aki Terada’s seemingly perfect life comes crashing down when she catches her boyfriend cheating on her.
So she breaks up with him and moves into an apartment where she finds out that one of her new housemates is her long lost love, Tomoya Hongyo.
Soon enough, they picked up where they left off earlier. Things started getting heated up between them when Tomoya asked her for an unusual favour. Her landlord, Taichi Hase also gains an interest in her and asks her to marry him.
Will Aki decide to go with Tomayo or Taichi? The show only runs for a single season and has 10 episodes. Definitely, I would recommend this best Japanese drama on Viki to all teens.
The main roles are portrayed by Morikawa Aoi who plays the role of Aki Terada and Masaki Nakao who plays the role of Tomoya Hongyo.
Starring: Karen Otomo , Yuta Koseki | Genre: Fantasy, Supernatural | No. of Seasons: 1
One of the best J-dramas on Viki, When One Day I Will Sleep ? Is great for people who are into mystery and thrillers.
Morino Hotaru has a huge crush on her classmate, Otaka Ren but she has never had the courage to confess her feelings. One day she goes on her school trip with Ren and her best friend where her bus meets with an accident.
When Hotaru gains consciousness after being knocked off by the accident, she meets a man who is dressed in Black. He introduces himself as Kuro, a grim reaper and announces that Hotaru has passed away in the accident.
However, she has a deadline of 49 days in which she has to let go of three different attachments she has in the earth realm. If not, she would forever be bound as a ghost in this world and never be able to rest in peace.
This is a very short drama with only six episodes so you can binge-watch and finish it in a single day. The leading actors in this show are Karen Otomo and Yuta Koseki.
Starring: Nomura Shuhei , Sakurai Hinako | Genre: Romance Drama | No. of Seasons: 2
As the title says, this is another story of unrequited love and the pain it causes. Eight-year-old Taka meets Mayu while getting hospitalised for his rare heart condition.
They became really tight and one day promised each other that they would marry after turning twenty.
However, fate had some cruel plans and Taka soon finds out that his disease is terminal and he wouldn’t live beyond twenty.
He deliberately starts ignoring Mayo after discharge to spare her of the pain of living with a terminally ill partner.
Mayu is hell-bent on re-connecting with Taka and she joins the same exclusive high school where Taka enrolled himself.
Will Taka finally reveal the truth about his disease? Will the duo be able to face the impending disaster?
The show stars Nomura Shuhei as Takuma Kakinouchi and Sakurai Hinako as Mayu Taneda and it is seven episodes long. It’s the best Japanese drama on Viki for a good binge watch.
Starring: Yurika Nakamura, Yosuge Sugino | Genre: Romance, School, Youth | No. of Seasons: 2
This drama is based on the 2012 manga series “Hana ni Keda Mono” and is the best Japanese drama on Viki for high school people. Kumi Kumakura joined a new school and meets the handsome and charming Kakizono Hyo at school.
She becomes smitten by him and kisses him. But she soon realises that he is notorious for being a womaniser. Although she is disappointed in this discovery, she realises that her feelings are genuine and she cannot just let go of him.
The more she gets to know him, the more she realises that there is much more to him than these reputations. Unlike most Japanese drama series, the series runs for two seasons.
The main characters are portrayed by Yurika Nakamura as Kumi Kumakura and Yosuko Sugino as Kakizono Hyo.
Starring: Miyu Yoshimoto , Dori Sakura | Genre: Psychological, Romance, School | No. of Seasons: 1
In Scum’s Wish , Mugi Awaya and Hanabi Yasuraoka seem to have the perfect high school romance. They are both 17, popular, good-looking and seem to have bright futures ahead. Scum’s Wish is the best Japanese drama on Viki for couples.
However, their seemingly perfect love story holds a dark secret. They are both in love with other people. Mugi is in love with a woman who was his tutor when he was young and Hanabi is in love with a teacher at school.
They find solace in each other while suffering from their unrequited love but promised to not fall in love with each other. How far will their arrangement take them? Will they ever get together with the objects of their affection?
The main roles are played by Miyu Yoshimoto and Dori Sakurada and the drama is twelve episodes long.
Starring: Hashimoto Kanna , Yuki Furukawa , Ono Ito | Genre: Romance, Mature | No. of Seasons: 1
In One Page Love, Minase Akari is on holiday with her family when she meets Morita Ikumi, the son of the owner of the guest house where her family stayed. They soon eventually become inseparable and form a strong romantic bond.
One day they were watching a rare meteor shower. They eventually knew that they would part ways but vowed to reunite at the same spot in four years. Want some romance in life? This is the best Japanese drama on Viki for you!
Will the promise be kept by the lovers four years later? Will the feelings stay the same or will they move on?
The show stars actors like Hashimoto Kanna, Yuki Furukawa, Ono Ito, and Hamada Tatsuomi.
Which is the best Japanese drama on Viki?
I’ve watched a lot of Dramas on Viki but I found Coffee and Vanilla to be the best one for it’s plot, characters and story progression.
Coffee and Vanilla is an adaptation of the Japanese Manga series by Takara Agegami. This Japanese drama is about a college student looking for love who falls in love with a 30 years old businessman with a dark past. It has one season with 10 episodes. It’s available to watch on Viki.
These are some of the top recommendations of drama that everyone should watch. They teach a lot about love, life, friendship and a lot more.
Hope this list of the best Japanese drama on Viki helped you!
- Amazing Romantic Japanese Dramas To Watch
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Vanilla and Coffee
Director: Smith Kenjiro Tsubakimoto Hiroto Totsuka
Date Created: 1970-01-01 00:33
Written by Ava Sato
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Foe review: Paul Mescal and Saoirse Ronan bring sultriness to their on-screen marriage but it’s spoiled by earnestness
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"I don't want a robot living with my wife," protests Paul Mescal's beleaguered grunt in Foe, banging his fist on a table with all the conviction of a sketch comedy performer trying to keep from cracking up in front of a live studio audience.
It might sound like high farce, but Australian filmmaker Garth Davis's ambitious, sometimes mysterious sci-fi romance is deadly earnest in its delivery.
It's a film that is bravely, and admirably, committed to the kind of big emotional swing that unfortunately proves to be its undoing.
Based on the 2018 novel by Canadian writer Iain Reid, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Davis ( Lion ; Mary Magdalene ), Foe poses that age-old question: What if your partner was replaced with a replicant?
Mescal and fellow compatriot Saoirse Ronan play an unlikely Mid-Western American couple in 2065, where — as a title card all but copied-and-pasted from Blade Runner informs us — climate change has rendered the planet uninhabitable, the population is moving to off-world space stations, and "simulants" have been created as substitutes to humans.
Factory worker Junior (Mescal) and diner waitress Hen (Ronan) are among the few holdouts on Earth, stubbornly clinging to their rustic farmhouse in a magic-hour America that looks suspiciously like regional Victoria. (The film was shot there, and in parts of South Australia, early last year, with Mescal also delighting Melbourne celebrity spotters by seamlessly blending in with the mullets of the inner north .)
Late one night, they're visited by an enigmatic, vaguely threatening stranger, Terrance (Aaron Pierre), a consultant from an off-world government initiative who informs them that Junior has been selected to travel to a space station for two years, leaving Henrietta alone.
To observe the couple ahead of their separation, Terrance moves into the farmhouse's guest room, complicating an already fraying marriage.
It all seems both a little off, and a little familiar. Does Hen know Terrance? Why is Junior acting so out of character?
Foe arrives as the latest in a mini zeitgeist of movies tangling with the hot topic of artificial intelligence, following the camp antics of M3GAN ; and the action epic The Creator , also set in 2065. (Mark your calendars for the robot invasion, I guess.)
But Davis is less interested in asking existential questions about technology than he is in using science fiction as a jumping-off point to explore a human relationship in flux.
For a while, at least, the film holds the audience in a captive trance, simmering with a sense of intrigue and menace. We're never quite sure which version of Hen and Junior we're about to encounter, a slipperiness that Ronan and Mescal play in a state of sultry, sweaty dissonance.
With its uncanny setting and strange accents, Foe can often seem abstract and otherworldly, with Hungarian cinematographer Mátyás Erdély ( Son of Saul ) shooting the Australian outback — all surreal red salt flats, wild horses and burning barns — to resemble a dream unfolding out of time.
Once Terrance reveals the overarching plan, however — that the off-world corporation will replace Junior with his synthetic clone to keep Hen company while he's away — the movie takes a dramatic turn for the accidentally comedic, lapsing into increasingly cornball dialogue and trite visual motifs. (Not to mention the billionth use of Skeeter Davis's all-purpose apocalyptic anthem, The End of the World.)
Oscar nominees Ronan and Mescal are both charismatic, gripping performers, and they give Hen and Junior a rich sense of lived-in love and loathing. But despite the stars' best, hot-and-bothered exertion, Davis and Reid's screenplay eventually hangs them out to dry.
The film's overheated dramatic climax is — albeit unintentionally — one for the ages, a perfect storm of great ideas run aground on terrible execution: gruesomely sincere performances, laugh-out-loud lines and a maudlin violin score wailing away at every turn.
Still, Foe is, in many ways, too odd and too precious an object to deserve the critical scorn it's going to attract.
As someone who's generally a sucker for this kind of bravely earnest sci-fi, I almost feel the need to be protective of Davis's film, or at least hope that it finds its defenders.
Foe is in cinemas now.
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Meg Ryan Wrestles With the Rom-Com
She always had concerns about the happily-ever-after ideals of the genre. Now as a director she’s pushing its boundaries to examine issues of aging and regret.
It’s been seven years since Meg Ryan was last onscreen, and she didn’t really miss it. “I feel like I had the ride, the Hollywood ride,” she said. Credit... Chantal Anderson for The New York Times
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By Melena Ryzik
Reported from Summerland and Santa Barbara, Calif., near Meg Ryan’s home
- Published Oct. 28, 2023 Updated Oct. 29, 2023
Meg Ryan was hurting.
Not metaphorically. The actress and one-time rom-com queen was actively sore, having spent the morning, one of many, unpacking and moving herself into a home she’d long been renovating in Montecito, Calif.
Persevering through the painful twinge, making order out of the past — really, finding comfort in the present — are the sneaky subcurrents of Ryan’s new movie, “ What Happens Later ,” a wily rom-com that she co-wrote, stars in and directed. A two-hander opposite David Duchovny, it distills moviedom conventions and plays with a different emotional palette; Ryan grappling with her own cinematic brand. It is only her second foray behind the camera and the first time she has appeared onscreen in seven years.
She hasn’t missed the spotlight. “I feel like I had the ride, the Hollywood ride,” she said over a restorative soup lunch on a foggy day. “I kind of went to the moon already. So I don’t have giant ambitions to be back in that.”
Though she’d always done dramatic work, it was romantic comedy that brought Ryan megastar status in the ’80s and ’90s: Nora Ephron’s “Sleepless in Seattle,” “You’ve Got Mail” and “When Harry Met Sally …” (which Ephron wrote and Rob Reiner directed) were all form-defining blockbusters, still beloved today. Returning to the genre at this point in her career is both safe and gutsy. She knows how to play the beats; how to deflect them, too. (Early in the new film, Duchovny’s character, looking to charge his phone in an airport, unplugs a digital billboard. A retro-looking ad for “Rom Com” blinks off.) But Ryan, 61, may also face intense scrutiny for her choices, her humor, her looks, her very state of being.
That, too, doesn’t seem to faze her. “It took me this long to have something to say,” she told me, adding: “My interest in this movie isn’t about Hollywood’s perception of me. I’m not interested in controlling that. I don’t think I can.”
Instead she wanted a story that asked vulnerable, wounded questions: “Do you think about the one — what would happen if I ever saw him or her, after all this time? What would we say to each other? Will we forgive?” But she wanted to wrap it all in what she has called the confection of romantic comedy .
SHE ARRIVED FOR OUR LUNCH cloaked in black comfortwear: joggers pushed up to her calves, sneakers, T-shirt — errand clothes with a nubby jacket nonchalantly thrown atop. She took off her large oatmeal-colored hat and round sunnies (Diane Keaton vibes) and sought out a quiet side table, across from the row of lemon trees in the restaurant’s garden, where she, as a serial renovator , gladly talked about design. “I love the idea of space, and space holding you,” she said. “I love the different ways you can conduct light.”
Her gamine features — blond hair enviably waved, eyes a bright lagoon blue — are gently leavened by age and, in Hollywood fashion, cosseted by wealth. Lightly guarded, she was still charming, and playful. Because of a hip issue, she walked with a slight limp; rather than try to mask it, she wrote it into her “What Happens Later” character, who breezes past it with a remark about being old and doesn’t let it stop her from dancing.
In the film, out Nov. 3, Bill and Willa are opposites-attract paramours who split up in their 20s and have their meet-cute when they bump into each other at a regional airport in their 50s. They get snowed in. Banter ensues. No one and nothing else enters the picture, except time, personal history and the disembodied voice of the airport announcer, whose messages get increasingly pointed.
Those touches gave it a magical realist twist that was all Ryan, Duchovny said. (Because of an interim agreement between SAG-AFTRA and the film’s producers, the actors are allowed to give interviews during the strike.)
Especially since they shot almost entirely overnight, in an off-duty airport or at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ark., the whole production felt mystical. “She doesn’t make anything look difficult, and that doesn’t mean it isn’t,” Duchovny said in a phone interview. “As much as we hated physically working nights , there was a mood that descended that was good for creating . Real life faded away.”
That was intentional: “We worked the entire time as if the script was a dream,” said Ryan’s friend Kim Gillingham , an acting and dream coach who was on set every day as a sounding board for the two performers.
Another friend, Sally Franson , a novelist, also went over ideas with Ryan early on. “She was thinking about, where can the rom-com go in 2023?” Franson said. “If you enchant” the audience, “you lead them into a period of high immersion.”
The project — based on a play by Steven Dietz , “Shooting Star,” originally adapted with Kirk Lynn — came to Ryan during the pause of the pandemic, when she grew interested in the setup of two people “under glass,” as she put it, “who stop, and you see what happens.” Her character is New Age-y; Duchovny’s is stolid.
“I just think David’s so funny as an anxious person,” she said, “just how thoroughly bothered he was by everything.” They got to know each other as they workshopped the material over six months of video calls. “I had never done that much work on a script before,” Duchovny said. “It was great. She kept tinkering with it.”
The film is dedicated to Ephron, who died in 2012 and whose imprimatur is in the dialogue and pacing along with, Ryan said, her sense of kismet.
Yet with the notable exception of Ephron’s films and Nancy Meyers’ Meryl Streep-Diane Keaton-kitchen envy oeuvre, most rom-coms are concerned with dewy, dopey, unformed youth.
This worried Duchovny, who is 63. The characters in “What Happens Later” bring the weight and disappointments of midlife. “They can’t go through those younger rom-com moves — they can’t appear stupid or stunted,” he said. “And yet they can’t also be jaded or boring. It was really that dance of, how do we make it legitimate for adults?”
Even then, he wondered if there was an appetite to see mature people grasping at connection. “There’s something in us that gets angry when we see people who are old hoping, you know?” he said, adding, “That’s the resistance that we push against in the movie. But lo and behold, we have ‘The Golden Bachelor’ now to show us the way.”
Ryan wrote the movie following her long on-off relationship with the rocker John Mellencamp; she ended their engagement in 2019. Did that have anything to do with her interest in lovers who haunt each other for years? Not specifically, she said. “But in the idea of, some people go round and round” and never get it right. “And maybe they don’t need to.”
“To be my age and to be looking back on things — so many of these stories are about looking forward into a happily ever after,” she said. “And there’s just totally different questions up for grabs here.”
It’s not, of course, lost on her that rom-coms are what sold us on happily ever after (“a crazy idea”) in the first place. And that having the former poster girl for the genre puncture it with regrets or sadness is, to paraphrase her expletive, a mind-twister. “In my way, I feel like it’s a badass little movie,” she said with pride.
She cursed more than I’d expected and leaned into unorthodox pleasures. Learning that I had never been to the area, she pointed me to a Vedanta temple with a curving ocean view, designed, she noted, by one of the first prominent female architects in California. “It’s so surprising,” she said, and insisted on giving me the address, up near the mountains. “No matter what, you’ve got to go over the hill, because it’s sunny.”
RYAN GREW UP in Connecticut, one of four siblings with a math teacher father and a homemaker mother. Her parents split when she was a teenager, and her mother — who became a theater teacher — helped get her into commercials. By the time Ryan was 21, she had landed the soap “As the World Turns.” A small role in the original “Top Gun” (1986) got her noticed; three years later, “When Harry Met Sally …” made her a part of cinema history .
Gillingham met her in the ’80s, at a Los Angeles acting studio run by Peggy Feury, whose roster of students included Sean Penn, Nicolas Cage and Lily Tomlin. Ryan back then had the “same incandescent freedom” as Willa, her “What Happens Later” character, Gillingham said — an attitude she has retained.
“I’ve never known Meg not to be engaged in some creative project or other,” Gillingham said. “She’s just always curious, and awake, and exploring creatively.”
Ryan has a son, the 31-year-old actor Jack Quaid ( “The Boys” ), with her former husband, Dennis Quaid (they divorced in 2001). In 2006, she adopted her daughter, Daisy, now a college student. Parenting was one reason she stepped back from performing.
Another was that — having been on sets or in the Los Angeles celeb bubble for years — she felt underdeveloped as a person. Not that she didn’t appreciate some aspects of fame. “There’s an openheartedness toward me,” she said. But she also felt as if she were “roped off.” She moved to New York, seeking a less filtered experience: “You can’t get a cab. You’re standing there in the rain.” (After a decade or so, she and Daisy returned to California, to be closer to Jack, in 2020.)
Unlike most actresses of her generation, Ryan had been guided by female filmmakers, including Jane Campion (“In the Cut”). She had long wanted to write and had shown Ephron her first screenplay. Ephron responded with some positives and also some critiques. But Ryan had been studying, taking Robert McKee’s screenwriting workshop, “becoming a detective of how stories work,” Franson, the novelist, said.
“Ithaca,” her 2016 directorial debut, was a World War II coming-of-age drama, adapted from a William Saroyan novel, which Ryan saw as a story about how communities once helped boys grow into men. (She and her son co-starred in it.)
The long break between directing projects wasn’t exactly intentional, she said. “I was trying to get things set up, but they weren’t happening.” The fraught economics of Hollywood now are such that even Meg Ryan had to scramble to get a Meg Ryan movie made: “What Happens Later” had a budget of about $3 million, and a lot of called-in favors. They didn’t have the money for test screenings; the whole thing hung on Ryan’s instincts.
Forty years into her career, she has found the path to hone them. At sunset, I drove up to the temple Ryan had recommended. In the golden California light, it was otherworldly, cinematically beautiful: perched underneath the Santa Ynez peaks and hidden in the tree line, with an unbroken vista of the Pacific Ocean.
Over the bird song outdoors, I could hear bells and women chanting inside. Ryan likes to go there, by herself, and walk around in peace.
“I just want to feel my way through things,” she said.
Melena Ryzik is a roving culture reporter and was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2018 for public service for reporting on workplace sexual harassment. She covered Oscar season for five years, and has also been a national correspondent in San Francisco and the mid-Atlantic states. More about Melena Ryzik
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