Romantic comedies, or rom-coms, are a sub-genre of comedy and slice-of-life fiction, focusing on lighthearted, humorous plot lines centered on romantic ideas such as how true love can surmount most obstacles.
Some people find the plots of romantic comedies sub-standard, depicting scenarios that are highly unlikely in real life, such as a man and a woman having a misunderstanding, but eventually ending up happily together.
Others find such simple formats -- the basis of all rom-coms — to be the main draw of the genre. Rom-coms are most likely favored by many people because of their simplicity.
Romantic comedies offer people some mindless and comedic relief that can be a sweet escape from their tiring working lives, and the happily-ever-after endings leave viewers with a feeling of hope.
For those who've had their fill of Hollywood rom-coms, South Korean romantic comedy series can be a great alternative.
Here are 10 South Korean romantic comedy series that will light up your heart.
1. Oh My Venus
Oh My Venus is a television series starring So Ji-sub and Shin Min-a. The series has 16 episodes with a runtime of about 30 minutes each.
Synopsis: Kang Joo Eun, once known as the Venus of Daegu because of her beauty, has achieved her dream of becoming an attorney, but has gained a lot of weight. As a result, her boyfriend of 15 years breaks up with her. However, as misfortune strikes, Joo Eun meets Kim Young Ho, who saves her life on a plane.
2. Secret Garden
Secret Garden is a 2010 romantic comedy drama starring Ha Ji-won, Hyun Bin, Yoon Sang-hyun, and Kim Sa-rang. The highly rated 20-episode series has won a number of awards, including at the 2010 SBS Drama Awards.
Synopsis: The series revolves around the love story between Gil Ra-im (Ha Ji-won), a stuntwoman, and Kim Joo-won (Hyun Bin), CEO of a high-end department store. As their two different worlds collide, Ra-im and Joo-won gradually learn about each other. The story gets even more complicated and dramatic when Ra-im and Joo-won magically start switching bodies.
3. What's Wrong with Secretary Kim
What's Wrong with Secretary Kim is a 2018 Korean television series starring Park Seo-joon and Park Min-young. It is based on a novel of the same name by Jung Kyung-yoon, which was first published in 2013.
Synopsis: The plot revolves around the ambitious vice chairman of a major corporation, Lee Young-joon, and his highly capable secretary, Kim Mi-so. Misunderstandings arise when she announces that she will resign from her position after working for Lee for nine years.
4. Jealousy Incarnate
Jealousy Incarnate, also known as Don't Dare to Dream, is a 2016 television series starring Gong Hyo-jin, and Jo Jung-suk. It has 24 episodes with a runtime of about 30 minutes each.
Synopsis: Weathercaster, Pyo Na-ri (Gong Hyo-jin), and news anchor, Lee Hwa-shin (Jo Jung-suk), are long-time colleagues at SBC broadcasting station. Na-ri has had a crush on Hwa-shin for three years, but things change when she meets the perfect man Go Jung-won (Go Kyung-pyo), a chaebol heir and close friend of Hwa-shin.
5. Master's Sun
Master's Sun is a horror-romantic comedy starring So Ji-sub and Gong Hyo-jin. It has 17 episodes of 30 minutes duration each.
Synopsis: Joo Joong-won (So Ji-sub) is the cold and distant CEO of Kingdom, a conglomerate that includes a major department store and hotel. He meets the gloomy Tae Gong-shil (Gong Hyo-jin), who has started seeing ghosts after an accident. Their lives take a new turn as they discover whenever Gong-shil touches Joong-won, the ghosts that surround her disappear.
6. Love in Trouble
Love in Trouble, also known as Suspicious Partner, is a 2017 Korean television series starring Ji Chang-wook and Nam Ji-hyun. The series has 40 episodes of 30 minutes duration each.
Synopsis: The series revolves around Noh Ji-wook (Ji Chang-wook), a prosecutor, and Eun Bong-hee (Nam Ji-hyun), a prosecutor trainee, and how they work together on a mysterious case involving a sly, psychopathic killer. They find out how deeply connected they are by their past.
7. Oh My Ghost
Oh My Ghost is a 2015 Korean television series starring Park Bo-young and Jo Jung-suk. The series consists of 16 episodes, each with a runtime of 60 minutes.
Synopsis: An assistant chef, Na Bong-Sun (Park Bo-Young), doesn't have any friends because of her timid personality and low self-esteem. She has been seeing ghosts since childhood, and one day, she is possessed by the ghost of Shin Soon-Ae, a seductress.
Kang Sun-Woo (Cho Jung-Seok) is a star chef who Na Bong-Sun has a secret crush on. He begins to notice Na Bong-Sun after her sudden change.
8. The Secret Life of My Secretary
The Secret Life of My Secretary is a 2019 romantic comedy series starring Kim Young-kwang and Jin Ki-joo. The series has 32 episodes of 30 minutes duration each.
Synopsis: The series revolves around a romance between a perfectionistic manager of a mobile media company named Do Min-Ik (Kim Young-Kwang) and his hot-tempered secretary Jung Gal-Hee (Jin Ki-Joo). Do Min-Ik gets to know his friends and foes after losing his ability to recognize faces, and teams up with his secretary to try and solve the mystery, falling in love with her in the process.
9. 100 Days My Prince
100 Days My Prince, also known as Hundred Days Husband, is a 2018 romantic comedy starring Do Kyung-soo and Nam Ji-hyun. It is the seventh highest-rated Korean drama in cable television history.
Synopsis: The series revolves around the sudden disappearance of Lee Yool (Do Kyung-soo), the Crown Prince . He comes back to the palace 100 days later.During the days of his disappearance, the Crown Prince, who has amnesia, lives with Hong-Sim (Nam Ji-hyun), who runs the first private detective agency in Joseon.
10. She was Pretty
She was Pretty is a 2015 romantic comedy starring Hwang Jung-eum and Park Seo-joon. The series was a hit in South Korea, with a peak rating of 18.4 percent, and internationally, especially in China, as reported by The Korea Times.
Synopsis: The series is based on a true story about two past acquaintances who meet again after they've gone through a reversal of fortunes and appearances, set in the backdrop of a fashion magazine's publishing office.
Now, you can watch these Korean rom-coms for some lighthearted fun!
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