7 Non-Romantic Korean Drama Recommendations

Did you ever think that Korean dramas are too romantic and somewhat cheesy for your taste?

For those of you who think like this, here are 7 Korean dramas that don’t have romance but seriousness.

What drama would you like to watch first?

(Juvenile Justice)

A stubborn, cold judge who hates juvenile delinquents becomes a newly appointed judge of a juvenile court. Contrary to the idea that a judge should be impartial, she doesn’t hide her abhorrence towards juvenile delinquents. There, she deals with various cases of juvenile crimes.

  • 2022 / legal, drama, crime
  • Directed by Hong Jong-chan
  • Starring Kim Hye-soo, Kim Mu-yeol, Lee Sung-min, and Lee Jung-eun

비밀의 숲 1
(Stranger 1)

A prosecutor, who lacks empathy and social skills, takes charge of a murder case. The case seems to be a simple murder case, but turns out to be a huge, mysterious crime that involved a corruption conspiracy between the Prosecutors’ Office and a conglomerate. With a police lieutenant and other members, the prosecutor tries to unravel this giant murder case.

  • 2017 / crime, drama, thriller
  • Directed by Ahn Gil-ho and Yoo Je-won 
  • Starring Cho Seung-woo and Bae Doo-na

(Black Dog)

A woman becomes a temporary high school teacher (with a 1 year contract) at a private school. There, she’s considered a ‘fake teacher’ because she’s not a permanent teacher. Through her eyes, the drama brings the audience inside the teachers’ room and shows how  the system really works between teachers in Korea. 

  • 2019 / drama
  • Directed by Jin Mo-young
  • Starring Seo Hyun-jin, Ra Mi-ran, and Ha Jun


In 2015, a profiler finds a walkie-talkie with no battery in a trash can. Strangely, the walkie-talkie connects with a police officer living in the year of 2000. A profiler, living in the present, starts to solve old, unsolved crimes by communicating with the police living in the past through the walkie-talkie.

  • 2016 / crime, drama, thriller, fantasy
  • Directed by Kim Won-seok
  • Starring Son Lee Je-hoon, Kim Hye-soo, and Cho Jin-woong

(Incomplete Life)

Jang Geu-rae, who used to devote his entire life to becoming a professional Go player, fails to achieve his dream. With nothing he can do except playing Go, he gets hired as an intern at a large trading company. Now, he has to survive. Thrown into the harsh reality of Korean society, he meets new people and learns how to survive and adapt to a corporate culture. 

  • 2014 / drama, comedy
  • Directed by Kim Won-seok
  • Starring Im Si-wan, Lee Sung-min, Kang So-ra, and more

학교 2013
(School 2013)

Two high school teachers are in charge of classroom no.2 of the second grade, the toughest class of all. They face various problems that arise around the school. It shows the reality of schools where the authority of teachers has fallen down to the ground. 

  • 2012 / drama, teen
  • Directed by Lee Min-hong and Lee Eung-bok
  • Starring Jang Nara, Choi Daniel, Lee Jong suk, and Kim Woo-bin

(Golden Time)

A man, who’s been living as a teacher since graduating from medical school, returns to a hospital to complete his residency after witnessing deaths from a multi-vehicle collision. There, he mainly takes care of urgent surgical patients, who usually need fast and accurate decisions. It’s about the world of doctors and their behind-the-scenes stories.

  • 2012 / medical, drama
  • Directed by Kwon Seok-jang and Lee Yoon-hung
  • Starring Jeon Do-yeon and Song Kang-ho
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