10 Korean Dramas Based on True Stories (2023)

Korean dramashave captured global hearts with their captivating stories and unforgettable characters. But what sets some of these dramas apart is their basis in true stories, blending fact and fiction into a mesmerizing tapestry. From stories of resilience to historical narratives, these K-dramas immerse fans in the lives of extraordinary people and the events that shaped them. With the help of a remarkable production, these K-dramas based on true stories came to life.



10 Narco-Saints: Suriname (2022)

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(Video) Top 7 Korean Movies Based on True Story | korean movies 2020 |

Follow the perilous journey of Kang In-gu, a political entrepreneur. Who is forced to assist the National Intelligence Service in their operation to capture Jeon Yo-hwan, a South Korean drug lord who has taken over Suriname. The real-life drug lord Cho Bong Haeng served as inspiration. After being accused of fraud in Korea in 1994, he fled the country and moved to Suriname. There he created a successful drug-trafficking business. He was finally arrested in 2009 as a result of a joint investigation by Korea, Brazil and the United States.

The real life events that inspirednarco-sanctuarythey were as exciting as the wild ride in the series.

9 Fight for My Way (2017)

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Ko Dong-man and Choi Ae-ra are childhood friends who were bothpassionate about their life goals. However, disaster struck when Dong-man suffered an unfortunate accident and had to give up his dream of becoming a professional Taekwondo athlete. Meanwhile, Ae-ra aspired to become a TV announcer, but ended up toiling at a local shop.

A mixed martial artist named Choo Sung Hoon and his wife, Yano Shiho, are said to have inspired the TV show's storyline.Fight my waysaid the show's writer. She decided to write about professional fighters and the ups and downs they experience after seeing Shihi cry during her husband's fight.

8 Hwarang (2016)

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Hwarangis another well-regarded K-drama with ais based on the true story. Set in the Silla Dynasty of ancient Korea, the story follows an elite group of young men known as the Hwarang. Those chosen to serve the king and protect the kingdom.

This would have been a typical occurrence in Korea between 57 BC. And in 935 AD During the Silla Kingdom. The packed cast of V, Park Seo-joon, Park Hyung-sik and more BTS draws the crowd. In addition, the themes of justice against the backdrop of historical events form a compelling plot.

Related:10 Korean Dramas Where Best Friends Become Lovers

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7 The Hymn of Death (2018)

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Set in the 1920s, the story follows Yoon Shim-deok, a famous Korean soprano, and her tragic love affair with her married colleague, Kim Woo-jin. Despite the social stigma attached to their relationships, sheboth fall in love. However, their relationship encounters many obstacles, such as Kim Woo-jin's wife and the disapproval of Yum SIM-deok's family.

The tragic love story of Korea's first soprano, Yoon Shim-deok, and literary critic, Kim Woo Jin, inspiredThe anthem of death. Yoon Shim-deok left behind a record titled "Eulogy of Death", which has been modified over time. This drama will leave the audience sobbing uncontrollably, so have a box of tissues ready.

6 Through the Darkness (2022)

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Based on author Ko Na-mu's autobiography, a police officer is recruited into the criminal behavior analysis team as a result of his innovative thinking. The series is based on his true storySouth Korea's first profiler Kwon Il Yong. He draws viewers into the various homicide investigations he has helped solve.

The tension and mystique of this drama justifies all the hype. Kim Nam Gil's transformation from regular cop to behavior analysis detective makes for the ideal story. It's an incredibly exciting story about an unlikely hero that you can't miss!

(Video) top 3 korean crime movies based on true events

5 Answer 1988 (2015)

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Five friends live in the Ssangmun-dong area. their lives toothat of their families, are depicted. The 1988 show's setting explores the everyday joys, struggles and obstacles the characters must overcome as they transition from adolescence to adulthood.

The character of Choi Taek, a Go player, was inspired by Lee Chang-ho, who was the youngest professional Go player at the age of 11. Lee Chang-ho was often called the "Stone Buddha" because he kept his cool. playing. This quality was demonstrated by Choi Taek, whose calm demeanor convinced everyone. The nostalgic and touching depiction of life in Korea at that time captures the audience's undivided attention.

Related:10 Korean Dramas That Should Be Adapted into Movies or Anime

4 De Keizerin Ki (2013)

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De keizerin Kiis a fictional account of itthe life of the infamous Empress Kiand goals. The teenage Ki was given to the Yuan Dynasty in China by the Goryeo Kingdom. Ki was born into a family of low officials. She rose through the ranks, first becoming the emperor's favorite concubine and then empress.

The drama's relationships may be fictional for the screen, but it's based on real people. Empress Qi, who challenged the establishment, has often been criticized in the annals of history for her cunning and lust for power. Rebellions, dynastic battles and rebellions make for dramatic stories.

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3 Taxi Driver (2021)

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Former special forcessoldier turned taxi driver, Kim Do-gi, drives for the Rainbow Taxi Company. However, the taxi company is not your typical taxi service. It also provides a special service to its clients by seeking retribution from those who have been wronged but cannot receive justice through the legal system.

He is seen working in cases where he isbased heavily on true stories. The Cho Doo-soon case, the release of a sex offender from prison, caused a public outcry. Another incident may be the trafficking of disabled people in Purple Island, Jeolla Province.

2 DP (2021)

10 Korean Dramas Based on True Stories (9)

Despite being based on Kim Bo Tong's webtoon,DPit is not fiction. The plot depicts his storyKorean Army Police Squadand their mission to capture deserters. This mission is assigned to Private Ahn Joon-ho and Corporal Han Ho-yul, who face a series of events during the drama that culminate in an adventure.

The intimidation, violence, confusion, and desertion that Kim Bo Tong experienced while serving in the military served as the basis for the story. Additional experiences that were not part of the webtoon were included by Kim Bo Tong as a co-writer for the K-Drama. The show highlights how undesirable the military is, especially in the context of South Korea.

1 Juvenile Justice (2022)

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Juvenile Justicefollows a newly appointed juvenile court judge in Yeonhwa District, Shim Eun-seok. An elite judge with a cold and distant personality who is known for her distaste for young people. She ignores the customs there and uses her own methods to enforce the law.

South Korea's Juvenile Law, which protects children under the age of fourteen from any form of criminal punishment for their actions, including murder, served as a template for the legal drama. Instead, they are sentenced to community service or a few years in a detention center. The courtroom drama conveys the idea that society is also responsible for the actions of young people.


10 Korean Dramas Based on True Stories? ›

Fight For My Way, Reply 1988, Signal, and Taxi Driver are some of the best K-dramas based on true stories. Which is the best drama based on real life? Move to Heaven is one of the best K-dramas that is based on a nonfiction essay called Things Left Behind written by Kim Sae Byul.

What kdramas are based on true stories? ›

Fight For My Way, Reply 1988, Signal, and Taxi Driver are some of the best K-dramas based on true stories. Which is the best drama based on real life? Move to Heaven is one of the best K-dramas that is based on a nonfiction essay called Things Left Behind written by Kim Sae Byul.

What is the No 1 Korean drama ever? ›

On the top of this list is “What's Wrong With Secretary Kim,” which has already become a legendary rom-com in just a few years! Park Seo Joon plays Lee Young Joon, a boss whose secretary, Kim Mi So (Park Min Young), is ready to quit working for him.

Which Korean drama is based on real serial killer? ›

Gap-dong is a Korean crime thriller show that's based on real-life Hwaseong serial murders. The storyline features a murder of a young girl by a man nicknamed "Gap Dong."

What is the most famous Kdrama? ›

1 The World of the Married

It stars Kim Hee-ae as a doctor and director of a hospital in the southern part of South Korea. Her husband, a film director, and she seem to have perfect lives, but everything spirals quickly after she accidentally discovers that her husband is cheating on her.

Are Korean dramas close to real life? ›

Yes, there are some aspects in the dramas that are very close to real life in Korea. One of the best examples I can quote is the life of high school kids. In South Korea, high school kids lead a very busy (busy might not even remotely cover it) lives. They sleep for 4 hours a day and work more than what is needed.

What is the Netflix series True Story based on? ›

So, how much of these match real events? Despite the title itself suggesting that the series is based on real events, True Story is a work of fiction, but there are some elements of the story that are accurate to Kevin Hart's real life.

What is the most viewed Korean movie? ›

List of Worldwide Highest Grossing South Korean Movies:
RankMovie NameDirector
1ParasiteBong Joon-ho
2The Admiral: Roaring CurrentsKim Han-min
3Extreme JobLee Byeong-heon
4Along With the Gods: The Two WorldsKim Yong-hwa
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Which Korean drama has the highest rating 2023? ›

The first 2023 K-Drama to see the top 50 cable dramas list is Alchemy of Souls Season 2, the follow-up to Season 1 (while both dramas aired in 2022, Season 2 finished airing in January 2023 and thus is included in this list).

Who is South Korea's most famous serial killer? ›

Lee Choon-jae
Lee Chun-jae
BornJanuary 31, 1963 (age 60) Hwaseong, Gyeonggi, South Korea
Other namesKorean Zodiac Killer
Criminal statusIncarcerated
Criminal penaltyLife sentence for murder and rape (eligible for parole after 20 years)
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What is the Korean Netflix show about killing? ›

When a software developer creates a dating app that a serial killer uses to find his next targets, she's drawn into a dark world of romance and murder. Watch all you want. A series from director Jung Ji-woo (“Eungyo”) starring Kim Young-kwang, Kang Hae-lim, Kim Yong-ji and Kim Su-yeon.

What is the best Korean serial killer documentary? ›

Perhaps the best serial killer documentary to come from South Korea, The Raincoat Killer: Chasing a Predator in Korea recounts a bloodbath that Yoo Young-chul carried out with such barbarity that it can send a chill down the spines of even the most hardened people.

What is the most watched Kdrama on Netflix? ›

1. Squid Game. Not hearing anything about this show that made history in both Korean and International media would have been virtually impossible in the last two years. As the most watched show ever on Netflix, with at least 2.2 billion hours viewed, "Squid Game" has broken a series of records and received a few Emmies ...

Who is the highest paid Kdrama actress? ›

Top 10 highest paid Korean actresses of all time
  • 1. Lee Young Ae. Lee Young Ae is one of the biggest names when it comes to Korean actresses. ...
  • Song Hye Kyo. ...
  • Go Hyun Jung. ...
  • IU. ...
  • Bae Suzy. ...
  • Jun Ji Hyun. ...
  • Choi Ji Woo. ...
  • Kim Tae Hee.
Apr 25, 2023

What is the most watched Kdrama on Netflix of all time? ›

1. Squid Game – 1 season (2021 – present) The show that launched Korean shows on Netflix into new living rooms worldwide, Squid Game is a brutal yet thrilling drama series with heart. It set records when it came out in 2021, reaching number one in Netflix's top 10 in 94 different countries, including the US and UK.

Do Americans watch Korean drama? ›

Some 18 million viewers in the United States stream Korean dramas. The U.S. accounts for five- to six-percent of the international viewership, according to the Korea Creative Content Agency (KOCCA) — a government agency that monitors Korean entertainment.

Do they drink real alcohol in Korean drama? ›

“Drunken scenes” almost always appear in Korean dramas and movies. Most of the actors pretend to be drunk and act, but rarely do they really drink and shoot. “Actually, I might have been really drunk filming that scene!” We introduce behind-the-scenes episodes based on interviews and making-of videos!

What is the best series based on a true story? ›

10 Gripping TV Shows Based on Real Life Stories That You Must...
  • Narcos. ...
  • Chernobyl. ...
  • The spy. ...
  • When they see us. ...
  • Unorthodox. ...
  • Black Bird. ...
  • Mindhunter. ...
  • Unbelievable.
Mar 20, 2023

What is the saddest movie based on a true story? ›

10 Saddest Movies Based on True Stories
  • 8 Schindler's List.
  • 7 Fruitvale Station.
  • 6 Braveheart.
  • 5 Flags Of Our Fathers.
  • 4 Letters From Iwo Jima.
  • 3 Titanic.
  • 2 United 93.
  • 1 12 Years A Slave.
Mar 15, 2023

What good true stories are on Netflix? ›

Drama Movies Based on Real LifeExplore more
  • 3096 Days.
  • Lost Girls.
  • Blow.
  • The Highwaymen.
  • All Eyez on Me.
  • Eat Pray Love.
  • Seven Years in Tibet.
  • Lion.

What is Korea No 1 on Netflix? ›

Yu Jae-seok, Lee Kwang-soo and Kim Yeon-koung travel all over Korea to learn from the best traditional masters in a bid to become the No. 1 Apprentice. Watch all you want. Yu Jae-seok, Lee Kwang-soo and Kim Yeon-koung show off their comedic chemistry as they travel across Korea.

Who is the most watched Korean actor? ›

Question: Who are the most popular K-drama actors? Answer: Among the most popular K-drama actors are Song Hye-kyo, Song Joong-ki and Lee Min-ho. Each of them are better known for their television appearances than big screen performances.

Which Korean movie won an Oscar? ›

Among its numerous accolades, Parasite won the leading four awards at the 92nd Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best International Feature Film, becoming the first non English-language film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture.

What Korean drama woke up after 20 years? ›

Synopsis. Ma Dong-chan (Ji Chang-wook) and Go Mi-ran (Won Jin-ah) take part in a 24-hour experiment where both are frozen. Things don't go as expected and they wake up from the frozen capsule 20 years later instead of 24 hours.

What Korean drama should I watch? ›

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Question: Which are the best K-dramas to watch in 2022? Answer: 'Business Proposal,' 'Forecasting Love And Weather,' ' Ghost Doctor,' 'Twenty Five, Twenty One,' 'Juvenile Justice,' 'Grid,' and 'All Of Us Are Dead' are some of the best K-dramas that you must watch in 2022.

Which Korean drama is trending now 2023? ›

Here is our preview of the nine most exciting K-dramas debuting in May 2023.
  • My Perfect Stranger. ...
  • All That We Loved. ...
  • Tale of the Nine-Tailed 1938. ...
  • Race. ...
  • Black Knight. ...
  • Oh! ...
  • One Day Off. ...
  • Delightfully Deceitful.
Apr 29, 2023

What is the main crimes in South Korea? ›

These international linkages have started to include drug trafficking, financial fraud, weapons smuggling, and human trafficking. Organized transnational crime has become a major concern facing not only Korean government, but also the international community.

Who is the biggest gangster in South Korea? ›

The most infamous "mobster" during this period was Kim Du-han, the son of a famous Korean independence fighter and insurgent leader Kim Chwa-chin, a freedom fighter against Colonial rule.

Who is the most wanted criminal in Korea? ›


In which Korean drama girl can see death? ›

Hyeri's character Baek Dong Joo has the supernatural ability to communicate with the dead when she touches them, and it is unclear whether this power is a blessing or a curse. However, unless she fulfills the deceased's last wish, she is forced to spend the whole day with no luck.

What is the Korean series where everyone dies? ›

All of Us Are Dead consists of one season with twelve episodes at a run time of 53 to 72 minutes. The full series was released in all Netflix worldwide markets on January 28, 2022. No.

Why are Korean series so popular on Netflix? ›

A chance to experience a new language and culture

For many people, watching Korean TV has reminded them that there is a whole new world out there. It has piqued interest in learning Korean with reports that sign-ups for Korean on apps like DuoLingo have soared. And that's part of the popularity too.

Who is the most recognized serial killer? ›

The most prolific modern serial killer is arguably doctor Harold Shipman, with 218 probable murders and possibly as many as 250 (see "Medical professionals", below). However, he was actually convicted of a sample of 15 murders.

What is the old Korean movie about serial killer? ›

Development of the film was confirmed in September 2002, after CJ Entertainment purchased the rights to Kim's play, which is loosely based on South Korea's first confirmed serial murders.
Memories of Murder
Release dateMay 2, 2003
Running time131 minutes
CountrySouth Korea
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What is the Korean crime drama in 2023? ›

Han River (2023) is a series about police officers who deal with various incidents and accidents that occur at Han River, starring Lee Sang-yi, Bae Da-bin, Kwon Sang-woo, Kim Hee-won, and Shin Hyun-seung. The series will be directed by Kim Sang Chul and is expected to premiere in the second half of the year on Disney+.

Which country watches Kdrama the most? ›

As for the countries tweeting the most about K-content in 2022, the leading country is South Korea.

What Korean drama is coming to Netflix 2023? ›

Other new series this year run the gamut of romance (A Time Called You, Behind Your Touch (working title), Crash Course in Romance, Destined with You, Doona!, King the Land, Love to Hate You, See You In My 19th Life), social commentary and intrigue (Bloodhounds, Celebrity, Mask Girl), drama (Daily Dose ofSunshine, ...

Who is the richest Korean celebrity? ›

Rank 1 on the list with a net worth of 117 million USD is Kim Soo Hyun.

Who is the highest paid male actor in Korea? ›

Kim Soo Hyun

The number one on our list of highest-paid Korean actors is Kim Soo Hyun, the actor is mostly known for his dreamy roles in Korean dramas including, 'The Producers,' 'My Love from the Star,' 'Dream High,' and 'Moon Embracing the Sun.

Which Kdrama has the most expensive cast? ›

Sunshine, Kingdom, Snowdrop, The King: Eternal Monarch, Sweet Home, Vagabond, Legend of the Blue Sea and Crash Landing On You are some of the most expensive Korean dramas of all time.

Which KDrama has the most episodes? ›

Long KDrama
  1. A Bird That Doesn't Sing. Korean Drama - 2015, 100 episodes. ...
  2. A Bluebird Has It. Korean Drama - 1997, 64 episodes. ...
  3. A Daughter Just Like You. Korean Drama - 2015, 120 episodes. ...
  4. A Faraway Nation. Korean Drama - 1996, 48 episodes. ...
  5. A Good Day for the Wind to Blow. ...
  6. A Good Supper. ...
  7. A Happy Woman. ...
  8. A Hundred Year's Inheritance.
Jun 17, 2020

Which Korean drama is autism based? ›

It's Okay To Be Not Okay

The lives of the three main protagonists are interwoven in this heartbreakingly beautiful K-drama. Moon Sang-Tae's autistic character is portrayed by Oh Jung-Se in a very hopeful and brave way. Despite his disability, Moon Sang-Tae has never allowed anyone to feel sorry for him.

Which Kdrama is based on BTS? ›

Youth (Korean: 유스) is an upcoming South Korean television series based on the BTS Universe, starring Seo Ji-hoon, Noh Jong-hyun, Ahn Ji-ho, Seo Young-joo, Kim Yoon-woo, Jung Woo-jin, and Jeon Jin-seo.

Are there any K-dramas based on books? ›

​The King in Love. This Korean series is one of the few youth historical dramas out there. It is based on the novel of the same name by Kim Yi-ryung. It is a story of a love triangle set in the Goryeo dynasty.

Is Empress Ki a real story? ›

Empress Ki is a fictionalized account of Yuan Dynasty's Goryeo born Empress Gi/Qi. The best part of the show was the acting. The two main leads Ha Ji Won (Empress Ki) and Joo Jin Mo (Wang Yu) were wonderful as well as the other cast members.

How does South Korea view autism? ›

Discrimination against people with disabilities, including autism, is illegal in South Korea, but it persists.

Who is the autistic actress in Korea? ›

Oh Yoon-ah (born October 14, 1980) is a South Korean actress and a former racing model.

What Korean drama has identity disorder? ›

'Kill Me, Heal Me' k-drama is Cha Do Hyun who suffers from dissociative identity disorder as a result of a terrible childhood incident and goes through a recovery process in the drama. He now has seven personas due to this. Despite receiving therapy and treatment for years, his problems do not get better.

Which Kdrama should I watch? ›

Answer: 'Business Proposal,' 'Forecasting Love And Weather,' ' Ghost Doctor,' 'Twenty Five, TwentyOne,' 'Juvenile Justice,' 'Grid,' and 'All Of Us Are Dead' are some of the best K-dramas that you must watch in 2022. Question: Which are the best Korean TV shows to watch in 2022?

Has any BTS member been in a Kdrama? ›

It's Definitely You by Kim Taehyung (V) and Jin for Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth.

What is JK's favorite Kdrama? ›

BTS's Jungkook is a fan of K-drama Twenty Five Twenty One.

What does the K in K-Drama stand for? ›

K-drama, or Korean drama, refers to scripted TV-shows produced in Korea, in Korean language. The dramas are aired on Korean television, as well as being available through online platforms.

Does Disney make K-dramas? ›

Does Disney Plus USA have Korean drama? The USA premiere date for the Korean drama 'Snowdrop,' starring Blackpink's Jisoo, has been announced by Disney+ USA. Snowdrop starring Jung Hae-In and Blackpink vocalist Jisoo will air in the United States on February 9th.

Who was the last queen of Korea? ›

Empress Sunjeonghyo became a Buddhist in her later years. She died childless on 3 February 1966, aged 72, at Nakseon Hall, Changdeok Palace, Seoul from a heart attack. She was given a state funeral and a private Buddhist funeral.

Did Empress Ki have a child with the Emperor? ›

Empress Gi or Empress Ki (Hangul: 기황후, Hanja: 奇皇后; 1315–1370(?)), also known as Empress Qi (Chinese: 奇皇后) or Öljei Khutuk (Mongolian: Өлзийхутаг; Chinese: 完者忽都), was one of the primary empresses of Toghon Temür (Emperor Huizong) of the Yuan dynasty and the mother of Biligtü Khan (Emperor Zhaozong), who would become an ...

How much of The Empress on Netflix is true? ›

Is The Empress Based on a True Story? Yes, The Empress is based on the true story of Empress Elisabeth “Sisi” of Austria, who married Emperor Franz of Austria in 1854 at the age of 16 (per History.com).


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