Netflix has done a lot for the tv and movie industry. But the biggest impact it has had is introducing the world to the best Korean shows.
In what probably came as a huge shock to everybody, the Korean survival drama, Squid Game, became Netflix's most-watched series EVER.
It was the top-viewed program in 94 countries and was viewed by more than 142 million households. More than 1.65 billion viewing hours were notched up during its first four weeks from launch.
And once people realised how good Korean shows are, they started searching them out and watching them in their millions.
So just what are the best Korean shows on Netflix? We have compiled a list of our twelve favourites. Crossing genres from drama, mystery and horror, there is definitely something for everyone on this list.
So sit back, relax and enjoy the best Korean shows streaming on Netflix right now.
OUR LIST OF THE BEST KOREAN SHOWS
Why Are Korean Dramas So Good?
If you've fallen down the rabbit hole of Korean dramas, you know exactly who addictive they can be. But why are they often so much better than the regular tv shows we are used to watching?
There are a couple of major differences between the way shows are created in Korea versus in the US or the UK. Firstly there is normally only one director who works on the show from start to finish.
That is also true of the show's writer. In the US there tends to be a whole roomful of writers for each episode but in Korea, there is just one writer. So the tone, the characters, and the plot all have the same voice. THis tends to make the show more coherant and engaging.
When it comes to the way the shows are written, generally only the first three or four episodes are written in advance. Filming then continues as the series is airing. This means that scripts can be changed last minute based on the audience's reaction.
Smaller characters that are growing in popularity can often be given more lines and plots that are not working can have a direction change.
Often major changes can be made with only a few hours notice before filming. But the more they are tweaked, the more the audience love them and so do we!
K-Drama Plots and Genres
Traditionally, almost every prime-time K-drama followed certain well-liked plots and formats. These tended to be around topics such as romance, friendship and family values.
However, as the audiences have grown worldwide, newer shows are branching out and tackling more difficult subjects such as issues with Korean society, gender inequality and classism.
The likes of Little Women, Extraordinary Attorney Woo and Squid Game have all become hugely successful by incorporating both more tried and tested and newer concepts in their storylines.
Why Do Some K-Dramas Have So Many Episodes?
Most American prime-time shows are given around 20-22 episodes per season. Dropped weekly they run for about half of the year and are created to fit a one-hour time slot.
Again, the major difference with K-Dramas is that each episode is created to fit a two-hour time slot. That's why when you stream them they are always around 1 hour and 20 minutes long.
Monday through Friday from 7pm-9pm is usually reserved for daily dramas. And frequently, the biggest shows are aired on back-to-back nights with two episodes per week.
This in turn means that shows can have a much larger number of episodes depending on how long it is scheduled to air for.