For those who love to binge watch television series, there is a lot to choose from when it comes to South Korean dramas or kdramas. Ranging from 16- 20 1 hour episodes, kdramas offer the viewers a chance to connect with the struggles of the characters on a deeper level.
If you are new to kdramas, here are five action thrillers that offer just the right amount of suspense, excitement, surprise, anticipation and anxiety to keep viewers engaged through the final episode.
First episode date: December 1, 2018
Number of episodes: 16
Description: Fantasy thriller. Investment firm CEO Yoo Jin-woo (Hyun Bin) travels to Granada, Spain where he becomes deeply involved in an innovative augmented reality game while searching for its cryptic creator.
Why I Love This Series: A mixture of sci-fi, fantasy and chivalry, this series brings the ultimate augmented reality experience to life with the integration of real-life characters into the game. Through the introduction of new weapons and special items, CEO Yoo Jin-woo levels up and becomes even more driven to overcome dangerous obstacles and complete the questing hero's journey.
2. The K2
First episode date: September 23, 2016
Number of episodes: 16
Description: Political action thriller. Former Blackstone mercenary soldier Kim Je-Ha (Ji Chang-wook) has his reasons for becoming a bodyguard for Choi Yoo-Jin (Song Yoon-ah), the wife of presidential candidate Jang Se-joon (Jo Sung-ha). He is given a special assignment to guard Go An-Na (Im Yoon-ah), the secret daughter of the presidential hopeful. Assigned the code name "K2", Kim Je-Ha must deal with other& hostile bodyguards and the many threats to the candidate's campaign.
Why I Love This Series: Kim Je-Ha is no-nonsense and lives on his terms. His strategy and combat skills make him both liked and loathed by those who cross his path. The series offers much in the way of political intrigue and memorable action sequences with K2 serving as the fulcrum upon which the personal storylines pivot.
3. Three Days
First episode date: March 5, 2014
Number of episodes:16
Description: Political action thriller. On the run from the authorities, President Secret Service agent Han Tae-kyung (Park Yoo-chun) teams up with police constable Yoon Bo-won (Park Ha-sun) to find the missing President of South Korea while pursuing clues surrounding an assassination plot.
Why I Love This Series: Inspired by the real-time American series 24, this narrative weaves an intricate and action-packed story of a president facing his past, the men and women who protect him, a staff pursuing their own agendas, and the hidden political forces that decide the fate of the presidency. Themes of honor and loyalty permeate the series and provide the tension as the accountability of each of the characters comes into question.
4. Two Weeks
First episode date: August 7, 2013
Number of episodes: 16
Description: Crime action thriller. Small-time gangster Jang Tae-sang (Lee Joon-gi) is a man who has been living a meaningless life and never thinks toward his future. Suddenly framed for murder, he finds himself on the run with just 14 days to prove his innocence while staying alive to save his daughter's life.
Why I Love This Series: Finally finding meaning in his life, Jang Tae-sang evades the police, the prosecutors and those who framed him. Unable to trust anyone, his ability to hide becomes more difficult. As he falls into the hands of different players who underestimate his determination, he transforms from the man he was into the man he aspires to be. As Jan Tae-sang's daughter Seo Soo-jin, child actress Lee Chae-mi's appearance throughout the series adds an element of innocence to an otherwise intractable situation.
First episode date: October 14, 2009
Number of episodes: 20
Description: Espionage action thriller. Special forces buddies Kim Hyun-jun (Lee Byung-hun) and Jin Sa-woo (Jung Joon-ho) join the National Security Service (NSS) - a South Korean black ops agency. As they take on the secret terrorist organization IRIS, they find themselves at odds with their supervisor Choi Seung-hee (Kim Tae-hee), the NSS and each other.
Why I Love This Series: This series offers a unique blend of espionage, betrayal, romance, and action to create a memorable and tragic story. While the conclusion may shock, it is a logical outcome of the tale, and it allows for reflection in the sequel Iris II: New Generation.
The following playlist features the trailers for each of these dramas.
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