Korean entertainment is winning hearts everywhere, and this is the best time to learn more about Korea. So, amidst this big Korean wave, we will help you learn more about Korea’s culture and history through their amazing Historical dramas and movies. And especially for fans of period dramas, we have curated a list of the best Korean historical dramas and movies available on various Ott platforms. You will definitely find something good in this list.
Best Historical Korean Dramas & Movies on Netflix
1. Mr. Sunshine
- Genre: Historical, Romance, melodramatic
Mr. Sunshine is one of those Korean dramas which is indeed apt to be considered as the best Korean historical dramas. The drama is set in the second half of the 1800s. It was before the Japanese annexation of Korea.
Mr. Sunshine Plot:
It is about a young man Eugene Choi played by Lee Byung Hun. He was born into slavery in Korea’s Joseon dynasty, but after certain tragic events, he moved to the United States. He grew up there and worked there to become the United States Marine Corps Officer.
Eugene Choi was given a task/mission for which he had come to the Joseon dynasty. There, he fell in love with an aristocrat’s daughter, who was also a member of the righteous army.
Her name was Go Ae-shin. Kim Tae Ri played this character. All this while, he even discovered a plot that was being set to colonize Korea. The drama was such a hit the audience did binge-watch it, and it got 8 awards and other 8 nominations.
2. Rookie Historian Goo Hae Ryung
- Genre: Historical, Romantic Comedy, Drama
About Rookie Historian Goo Hae Ryung:
The story is about the patriarchal society of the Joseon Dynasty at the beginning of the nineteenth century. The main character is a strong and fearless woman, Goo Hae Ryung, played by Shin Se Kyung. Although the women’s community was not allowed to write historical records during those days, but she was different.
Goo Hae Ryung did not want to settle for this ideology. She followed the saying ‘one day at a time, ‘one step at a time’. She tried to create her own identity in the Joseon dynasty by trying to combat sexist thinking. And she also believed in proving to the world that everyone is equal, and while she was doing everything that she could do, her love life had also become active.
Goo Hae Ryung was being assigned as the personal historian for Prince Dowon (the character played by Cha Eun Woo). However, he had a story of his own; he used to write romantic novels, which was a secret. It is a kind of drama that has the perfect; historical touch, romantic comedy, and most importantly, the way it touched one of the most important issues of gender bias.
3. My Sassy Girl
- Genre: Historical, Romantic Comedy
About My Sassy Girl:
Gyeon Woo, a character played by Joo Won, was a scholar of the Joseon dynasty. He was given a task by the king that was to educate his daughter. The princess’s name was Hye Myung (a character played by Oh Yeon-Seo).
Her character was rude and unpleasant. Unknowingly, he became the protector of the princess. It has a light-hearted romance along with the main plot.
4. My Country: The New Age
- Genre: Historical, action, drama
About My Country: The New Age
This plot took place before the Joseon period, i.e., when the transition was taking place from the Goryeo Dynasty. It is about the story of two friends, Seo Hwi (a character played by Yang Se Jong) and Nam Seon Ho (a character played by Woo Do Hwan). Seo Hwi was the son of a commander who could never settle in for injustices, whereas Nam Seon was born into the lowest class; hence, despite being a smart and talented figure, he was being looked down upon.
These two had a great friendship, and even the movie revolves around the bond they shared. But, with every great bond comes a good amount of hurdles that people have to go through. They both landed into a misunderstanding and even became enemies because of the different opinions they both had.
The viewers loved their friendship and considered it to be powerful as it lasted through thick and thin. The plot of the story was quite deep. It was good to see how it was a story wherein the people were not fighting for the throne, but they were much beyond all that. What they were was for “their country”. The story took the viewers on a wild ride.
Best Historical Korean Dramas & Movies on Amazon Prime:
1. The Age of Blood
- Genre: Historical, Action
The age of blood was released on Jan 4, 2019.
The Age of Blood Plot:
Kim Ho was a once-proud swordsman for the king. After he had lost a battle, he was reappointed as a lower guard. The story was of the Joseon period. One day, when he had fallen asleep, a group of five armed men came, and a riot followed.
The drama won an award at; New York Asian Film Festival (2018): South Korea’s Hidden Voices. The audience was amazed by the story, and the action scenes/fight scenes were awesome.
Here is this short clip that attracted the public because of its suspense.
- Genre: Historical, Mystery, Romantic
This Korean drama is also known as Saimdang, Memoir of Colors.
The story is about the character Seo Ji Yoon, who was a history lecturer. She spent the best years of her life learning for her Ph.d. . She worked under Min Jung Hak, the department chairman. Her aim was to be named a full-time professor.
Min Jung Hak finally trusted her and told her to write a thesis for his historical painting ‘An Gyeon’s Mount Geumgang’. This was when Seo Ji Yoon finally felt that her long-lasting wish might finally get fulfilled and she might become a full-time professor.
This was that part of the movie which made the fans get “clung” to the screen. Even though she thought those good days were ahead for her but things took a turn for the worse. Almost every part of her had started going down and down. Her husband, Jung Min Seok, became a fugitive. This was when his company crashed.
A Russian Mafia came after him and his wife, kids, and mother-in-law, Kim Jung Hee, to move out of their house. Nothing could have been worse than this situation. This was a tough deal to handle, but things did not end there. Seo Ji Yoon’s career was on the verge of crashing as well.
A graduate student questioned the authenticity of the Mount Geumgang painting, but she did not defend it the way she should have done. Min Jung Hook fired her. This was the time when she was literally at the bottom of her life. She then discovered a secret diary of Shin Saimdang.
Shin Saimdang was a Korean artist, calligraphist and poet. The diary talked about Siamdang’s relationship with painter Lee Gyeom. At this point of time, Ji Yoon was trying to get her career and, most importantly, her life back.
The drama had a very powerful impact on the K drama fans. It made them look at life from a completely different perspective now. It had so many relatable characters that they could sympathize and empathize with the characters in so many unsaid ways. The actors, plotline, cinematography, and all the other things were so on point.
- Genre: Historical Drama, Biography
Also known as The Book of the Three Hans. The country of origin of this drama is South Korea, however, it was filmed in China.
Jumong was the son of General Hae Mo Su and was raised by King Geum Wa. He was the founder of the ancient Korean Kingdom of Goguryeo in 37 BC. People had the best viewing experience when they first saw it because of the best screenwriting, screenplay, characters, plotline and cinematography.
Whatever benchmarks the audience earlier had Jumong fairly exceeded all of them. Jumong was as good as it could have been. It had a certain level of political drama. The play was the dramatization of history and showed the efforts of Jumong to reunite the kingdom so that he could drive out the invaders.
Even though the story had around twenty significant characters, but they were in a way that the audience got to know them and remembered them effortlessly. The main character, and the supporting character, all of them had an on-screen presence and essence, which was amazing. The way Jumong sat on the horse was as if he was born to saddle.
It was truly the highest quality of the fun and entertainment that the Korean drama offer. The audience till now hasn’t gotten bored of this movie. They would still watch it with the same curiosity, admiration, and dedication, for that matter, haha!
4. Gye Baek
- Genre: Historical Drama, Romantic
Also known as Gye-Baek. The country of origin is South Korea.
Gye Baek Plot:
The drama is about the life of General Gye-Baek of Baekee in the seventh century. He was born as the son of Mu Jin. He was a student at Baekje’s King Mu. His father was falsely accused, so he had to grow up just like a commoner in the market streets.
There, things took a turn. He met a merchant named Eun Go and fell in love with her. Once, he was caught fighting in the mountains. He was then enslaved and became a prisoner of war at Silla. However, when he met Uija and learned that there was a secret behind the death of his beloved father.
While sharing and spending time together, Gye Baek and King Uija had developed a strong friendship. But the dark hole was that they both had feelings for Eun Go at the same damn time. Baek’s loyalty to Baekje and King Uija had completed a history.
About Gye Baek:
After this scene, the audience was curious to know what happens next. They wanted to know if their friendship remained the same- tight & inseparable or if they landed into a conflict because of their liking for the same girl at the same time. However, the audience loved everything about this k-drama, from the plot to the character to the cinematography. Everything was on point.
There were many instances wherein the viewers came and had discussions about what would happen next in the mystery; they also had their opinions and perspectives about what should have happened. But long story short, the way each and every scene was directed, and shot was as perfectly imperfect.
No one minds watching this movie twice. It is truly said that every picture we see or every movie we watch becomes a tiny -very tiny part of us and always, ALWAYS teaches us something or the other, and we carry its lesson with us for a very long time. This drama won several awards in 2011.
Leave a Reply