One of my favorite genres within any media is a good romantic tale between two characters. Here are some of my favorite on-screen couples in Korean dramas that are paired up brilliantly as they’re just oozing with chemistry.
Yoon Se-Ri and Ri Jeong-Hyeok in “Crash Landing on You”
I will have to start off my number one with my favorite Korean drama from 2020, “Crash Landing on You” – a forbidden love story between a successful South Korean heiress and a North Korean soldier. After a crazy incident that led the main character Yoon Se-Ri to fall into (and when I say fall, I literally meant she fell from the paraglide due to a tornado – crazy right?) North Korea, into the arms of Ri Jeong-Hyeok as he was patrolling in the North Korean portion of the DMZ.
This drama is well-balanced with a mix of romcom and suspense. It left my heart pounding with excitement as Jeong-Hyeok was shooting at enemies to protect Se-Ri in one scene, then the next thing I know, my tears are flowing as Se-Ri bids her final goodbye before escaping back to South Korea. We cannot unsee Jeong-Hyeok and Se-Ri’s strong connection and on-screen chemistry with each that continues to grow each episode as there are many factors separating the two, including but not limited to family conflict as well as geographical differences. This popular couple even has their own fandom, and their fans even give them a ship name “RiRi”. And as of 2021, lead actors Hyun Bin and Son Ye-Ji confirmed to be dating in real life. Let’s all wish for their happiness.
Kim Bok-Jo and Jung Joon-Hyun in “Weightlifting Kim Bok-Jo”
This list would not complete without the Kim Bok-Jo and Jung Joon-Hyung pair on the list. “Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Jo” is a coming of age story about the ups and downs of college athletes who fall in love. They go through their hardships and breakups to discover something meaningful about themselves, and it feels like the viewers are growing up with them along the journey. Something I really loved about this relationship is the fact that this couple started off purely as a friendship (to me they were more like a comedy duo with their funny interactions).
Every episode is filled with heartwarming and enchanting moments as these college students are still trying to figure out their life, something I can really relate to. That’s why the romance in here is definitely a slow burn because it doesn’t show up until the later episodes. But it’s definitely worth it! The way their romance was built on top of their friendship really shows in the way this two support each other in their careers.
Im Ju-Kyung and Han Seo-Joon in “True Beauty”
My third pick might anger some of the fans out there, but I am a huge supporter of Im Ju-Kyung and Han Seo-Joon from True Beauty. This series is about a young girl who always had a complex about her bare face, and her solution is to use makeup to cover it up. Throughout her journey, she learns how to embrace her inner beauty instead of conforming to the beauty formed by society. And of course, our second male lead, Seo-Joon, is someone who loves Ju-Kyung simply for who she is, whether or not if she’s wearing makeup. However, his love will probably never be reciprocated because of Ju-Kyung’s love for Lee Su-Ho. But I still admire his dedication and caringness towards Ju-Kyung whenever she’s struggling through a hard time, he always supports her with all he has.
Fun fact, this Korean drama is an adaptation from the webtoon with the same name, and I have been too scared to watch the drama because I didn’t want to see the heartbreaking moment with Seo-Joon. This drama has been one of the most anticipated drama this year due to the success of the original webtoon, so I highly recommend this to you guys who might be interested in dipping their toes in a bit of the K-drama world.
Graphic via Canva