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Soompi & Viki Staff Talk: What was the first drama that got you into the world of K-Drama?

Along with our recent feature on great catwalk K-dramas to show off to friends, some of our staff took the time to reflect on the K-dramas that first got us hooked (and ultimately here at Soompi and Viki).

Here are the stories from our team of K-drama lovers:

Ginny: “Princess Hours”

The first drama that brought me into the world of K-drama was “Princess Hours,” a 2006 series starring Yoon Eun Hye, Joo Ji Hoon, Kim Jung Hoon, and Song Ji Hyo. It is a live-action television adaptation of the manhwa and set in an alternate world where the Korean monarchy still exists. I cried when couple Shin Chae Kyung (Yoon Eun Hye) and Lee Shin (Joo Ji Hoon) were in crisis, and I felt for Lee Yool (Kim Jung Hoon) when he confessed his love to Shin Chae Kyung. When Shin Chae Kyung and Lee Shin fell in love with each other, I was happy for them as if they were my own friends. I listened continuously to “Maybe Love” and “Ice Pond” from the drama’s soundtrack as the songs vividly recreated the scenes in my memory. After falling in love with “Princess Hours,” I started watching more K-dramas to feel that emotional connection again.

Watch “Princess Hours” below:

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Natalie: “Coffee Prince”

New K-drama fans may have met Gong Yoo as the Guardian, but I met him as the owner of the “Coffee Prince” cafe. This drama features the young faces of the star cast, including Gong Yoo, Yoon Eun Hye, Lee Sun Gyun, Chae Jung An, Kim Jae Wook, and Kim Dong Wook. It tells the rather peculiar — unrealistic, really — story of Eun Chan (Yoon Eun Hye) and Han Gyeol (Gong Yoo) as they fall in love while working as a barista and cafe owner in Seoul. It was my first time watching a romantic comedy, so it shaped the definition of romance for my childhood. I remember concocting my own fairy tales, from meeting a dreamy boyfriend at work to sharing a hot bowl of Ramyun with a significant other. Sadly, drama is drama, and these things rarely happen in real life – but I’ll never forget the flutters I had when I was 10!

Watch “Coffee Prince” below:

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JJin: “Secret Garden”

“Secret Garden” was the very first K-drama that I was so emotionally invested in. It was a hit drama when it first aired in 2010. It is a romantic fantasy drama between rich and poor that is about soul swapping. between the main wires. Featuring two of my favorite actors Hyun Bin and Ha Ji Won, their chemistry was just amazing, and Hyun Bin became my first K-drama crush. This drama contains many typical K-drama cliches, but also some hilarious scenes and lines that break those cliches. Also, there are a lot of cute scenes that made my heart skip a beat, like the cappuccino and sit-up scenes. To this day, I still enjoy watching short clips of the drama on YouTube. If you watch “Secret Garden” now, you will notice that Son Ye Jin, who is Hyun Bin’s wife, also starred in the latest episode. Take a peek to see them in their twenties and when they themselves never even imagined they would end up getting married in 12 years!

Watch “Secret Garden” below:

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Bo: “School 2013”

“School 2013” ​​was the fifth installment of the hit “School” series which returned after a long hiatus of more than a decade since “School 4” ended in 2012. The series has always been a big stage for rising young stars, and you can reunite with some of today’s hottest actors, including Lee Jong Suk, Kim Woo Bin, and Shin Hye Sun in “School 2013,” and see how they were in this drama that brought them to life. propelled to stardom. Also a student at the time, I was really into this drama and felt sympathy for the friendship, worries, and dreams of the students of Seungri High School. “School 2013” ​​expresses the stark reality of what happens in Korean high schools, and the drama gives a warm hug to all young people growing up.

Watch “School 2013” ​​below:

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Yeon: “Heirs”

Although I remember watching dramas such as “My Lovely Sam Soon” alongside my mother when I was young, the first drama that really pushed me to watch K-dramas myself was “ Heirs”. Centered on the love story of chaebol heir Kim Tan (Lee Min Ho) and his family’s housekeeper’s daughter, Cha Eun Sang (Park Shin Hye), the drama is about elite high school students and also those who involuntarily become involved in their lives. The star-studded cast including Lee Min Ho, Park Shin Hye, Kim Woo Bin, Krystal, Kim Ji Won, Kang Min Hyuk, Kang Ha Neul and Park Hyung Sik combined with romantic comedy genius Kim Eun Sook with the words had me immediately hooked up. While some lines are admittedly a bit gritty, it’s the addictive charm of a Kim Eun Sook script, and the actors pull it off so well that I still enjoy rewatching the drama to this day.

Watch “Heirs” below:

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Half: “Full House”

I grew up in a big family, and it was very common to sit around the table and watch K-dramas while having dinner together. It was so fun to talk about the backgrounds of the main characters and the romance in the 2004 drama “Full House,” which stars top stars Rain and Song Hye Kyo. “Full House” follows the classic K-drama cliche of the main characters living together by contract, but their nerdy love and unique qualities of a 2000s drama mean there’s never a dull moment. Plus, it’s kind of fun to see their clothing styles that we would never wear now.

Watch “Full House” below:

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Sala: “You are beautiful”

Watching K-dramas was such a part of my life growing up that I don’t particularly remember which one was my “first,” but I do remember some classics like “Surgeon Bong Dal Hee,” “Coffee Prince,” and “Boys OverFlowers”. The one I remember most clearly is “You’re Beautiful,” which follows the story of Go Mi Nam (Park Shin Hye) joining Hwang Tae Kyung’s (Jang Geun Suk) rock band while disguised as his twin brother. The story hooked me with everything from the adorable script to the catchy OST and star-studded cast, including Park Shin Hye and Jang Geun Suk. From small details such as the iconic pig-rabbit doll that I still can’t forget, to K-pop elements that are naturally incorporated by idol actors such as FTISLAND’s Lee Hong Ki, CNBLUE’s Jung Yong Hwa and After’s Uee School, the drama easily captured a lighthearted vibe with heart-pounding romance. To be honest, I don’t remember all the plot details, but I still remember the laughs and the warm fuzzy feelings the drama delivered.

Watch “You Are Beautiful” below:

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Now we want to hear from you! What was your first K-Drama? Post the Viki image below on your own Instagram to share your story!

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