“Squid Game” Lover? Watch These K-Dramas Next

by Emma-Li Downer

5 mins read

In a show slump after watching “Squid Game” and want to watch another Korean drama, but don’t know where to start? Below are a few suggestions that you can find on Netflix. 

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

“Sweet Home”

If you are still in a Halloween mood or eager to watch a show with a bit of horror, hauntingly creepy monsters, moral dilemmas and a lot of uncertainty about who will survive until the end of the series, try  watching “Sweet Home.” 

The plot is based on a webcomic which follows Cha Hyun-soo (Song Kang), who  moves to a run-down apartment building after his family dies in an accident. He hopes to continue living as an outcast with the money his parents left him in their will, but the world plummets into an apocalypse when humans start transforming into ravenous monsters. Hyun-soo finds himself trapped in his new home, creating shaky alliances with his neighbors and struggling to survive. 

While the show is not a completely faithful adaptation of the webcomic it is based on, it still brings the suspense from the digital comic panels to life. The production quality is high, with realistic monsters and sharp cinematography. Characters have gripping backstories, and the premise of something close to a zombie apocalypse illuminates the different views people have about the value of a life.  

“Hospital Playlist”

If you want to recover from the quick-paced, edge-of-your-seat ride that“Squid Game” provides, try “Hospital Playlist,” with its two seasons of 12 episodes each. 

This show follows a group of five doctors who meet each other in medical school, become best friends and end up working in the same hospital 20 years later. Their friendship picks up where it left off, and they rely on each other as they save patients, lose others and live life. Another exciting plot point is that these doctors also revive their band from med school—and the music is great! 

There are so many funny moments between the five main doctors and the large ensemble cast of their families, patients and fellow doctors, nurses and residents. Yet, as with any medical drama, there are heart-wrenching scenes full of grief that are only made possible with the show’s gripping acting and emotional soundtrack. “Hospital Playlist” is one of the best Korean dramas I have watched, and I cannot recommend this show enough.

“Move to Heaven”

If you want something that gives you complex characters which make you invested in the story and asks you to evaluate what we owe our families, try “Move to Heaven.” 

The emotional series features Han Geu-Ru (Tang Joon-sang), a young man on the autism spectrum, as he helps his father run their company called “Move to Heaven”. It is a moving company which packs up and arranges the belongings of the deceased to deliver to their loved ones. Also referred to as “trauma cleaners,” Geu-Ru and his father often bring the living messages the dead couldn’t deliver within their final moments. Yet, when his father suddenly dies, Geu-Ru must now run “Move to Heaven” with his estranged uncle with a criminal record who harbors a bitterness towards his late brother.

Similar to “Squid Game” and “Sweet Home,” this show is on the short side with only 10 episodes. In each, we are introduced to a moving story that lacks a clear divide between black and white. I loved watching the relationship that builds between Geu-Ru and his uncle, and the focus on the episodic storylines did not take away from the overarching conflict of Geu-Ru struggling to cope with his own mourning. If you end up watching this one, make sure to have a box of tissues on deck.

These three Korean drama shows are a great way to delve deeper into the genre after being initially enticed by “Squid Game”. If you like any of these selections, there are a plethora of other storylines to explore not only on Netflix, but also on other streaming platforms.

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