Those winter vibes.
Sometimes when you watch a K-drama that is set during the winter, it has the ability to make you feel nostalgic and emotional for no reason at all. And somehow that K-drama manages to really pull at your heartstrings, making you feel all warm inside. These kinds of K-dramas leave us feeling hopeful and make us believe in the ability to heal after some very tough, even traumatic times. Hopefully these stories will provide you with all the comfort and warmth this winter season!
And if you’re looking for some other winter themed K-dramas, make sure to check out this feature here.
Note: This list is in no particular order and there may be minor spoilers!
1. “My Mister”
“My Mister” stars Lee Sun Gyun as Park Dong Hoon and IU as Lee Ji An. Dong Hoon is a married man in his 40s who goes through a lot of stress as a result of work and family. Ji An is a young woman who has had to go through a lot of traumatic experiences, and as a result, has lost a lot of hope in life. The two meet in the workplace and form a very unusual bond where they seem to understand each other.
Something we all need to hear these days.
The depth of the script and relationships that unfold are so heartbreakingly necessary. Seeing Lee Ji An go through hell and back may not seem like the type of uplifting K-drama you want to tune into, but as a result of her relationship with Dong Hoon, there is hope and healing. IU’s portrayal of Lee Ji An is utter perfection and it is the drama that solidified her position as an elite actress. Although the relationship between Dong Hoon and Ji An is heartwarming, the love and responsibility Ji An has for her deaf grandmother despite her lack of resources is what really wins your heart.
Put your heart on the road to healing by starting the drama here:
2. “Prison Playbook”
“Prison Playbook” stars Park Hae Soo as Kim Je Hyuk, Jung Kyung Ho as Lee Joon Ho, and Krystal as Kim Ji Ho. Je Hyuk is a famous baseball player who beats up a man who was abusing his little sister. He gets sentenced to prison despite what the other man did, and the series delves into his prison life and the people he meets. Jung Kyung Ho’s character comes into play as he is a friend of Je Hyuk and also happens to work at the same prison that Je Hyuk is locked up in.
Although part of this series seems like it’s filmed in the dead heat of summer, it’s actually filmed in the cold, brisk winter. Maybe for this reason the series really touches the heart. It is truly rare that you get a K-drama set in the gritty confines of a prison. And if you think that it wouldn’t be interesting to get a glimpse into what life would be like in a Korean prison, think again. The series probably makes prison-life seem fluffier and more pleasant than it actually is, but it does a good job of sucking you into the lives of each of the characters. Seeing how each of them ended up in their situations and sometimes even sympathizing with them are what makes this drama an addicting watch.
3. “Romance Is a Bonus Book”
A more recent drama that deserves a spot on this list, “Romance Is a Bonus Book” stars Lee Jong Suk as Cha Eun Ho, a writer and editor of a publishing company, and Lee Na Young as Kang Dan Yi, a mother that’s trying to get back into the workforce. The two met when they were children, and in a twist of events, became best friends. Fast forward to when they’re adults, Dan Yi gets a divorce and has to find a job in order to support her daughter. She turns to Eun Ho to help her and Dan Yi ends up getting a job at the same company as Eun Ho.
“Romance Is a Bonus Book” might seem like a simple love story, but the budding relationship between Eun Ho and Dan Yi gives all kinds of butterflies and feels. Seeing Eun Ho having feelings for his long time best friend, after her very rough patch of hitting rock bottom, will heal your heart. There are several scenes where Eun Ho makes his feelings very known, which is bound to make your heart skip a beat. Side note: It’s also adorable seeing Lee Jong Suk getting to act with his favorite actress of all time, Lee Na Young!
After Mok Hae Won (Park Min Young) decides to leave Seoul and temporarily move to the countryside with her aunt, she meets her old high school friend Im Eun Seob (Seo Kang Joon). Eun Seob has been in love with Hae Won since he first met her and is happy to hear that she won’t be leaving for a while. The two become friends again, and as they get to know each other more, they start to fall in love.
Based on the novel written by Lee Do Woo, “I’ll Go To You When The Weather Is Nice” is a much-needed drama that shows how being independent and strong is not always what gets you through the tough times. Both Eun Seob and Hae Won have experienced trauma that has led them to be secluded and independent. It takes time, but they realize that they need to open up to the idea of leaning on others and getting help. This series has a way of showing the deepest of emotions when it comes to love through the character development of Eun Seob. It’s a beautiful story that will melt the coldest of hearts!
Watch the first episode below:
Choi Dal Po (Lee Jong Suk) and Choi In Ha (Park Shin Hye) are two aspiring reporters who are working hard to achieve their goals. Dal Po’s intentions of becoming a reporter are more for revenge, as the death of his mother was broadcast on national television by a malevolent journalist. As for In Ha, she has to figure out how to become a journalist without letting her “Pinocchio Syndrome” (inability to lie) affect her. Dal Po and In Ha have known each other since they were children, and Dal Po has always had feelings for In Ha.
“Pinocchio” is a classic story that has all the goodness of the traditional K-drama tropes: revenge, love triangle, and first loves. Not only are the main leads a reason to watch this drama, but the supporting actors, including Yoon Kyun Sang, Kim Young Kwang, Shin Jae Ha, Lee Pil Mo, and even a very young Nam Da Reum are present, and quite frankly, make the series exciting to watch. You’ll appreciate seeing all these current famous actors in smaller roles.
That infamous bread kiss!
Start watching “Pinocchio” now:
6. “Uncontrollably Fond”
Shin Joon Young (Kim Woo Bin) is a famous actor who fatefully meets No Eul (Suzy), a videographer for documentaries. She is put in charge to document Joon Young, but the two have some history. They had met in high school, and after a lot of miscommunication and missed opportunities, the two go separate ways without ever knowing the truth of each other’s feelings. No Eul has no intention of reigniting any feelings for Joon Young, but Joon Young seems to think otherwise. He’s determined to keep her close.
Get the tissues ready because this drama is a tearjerker. Many tears will likely be shed, but despite this, it’s worth the watch. The story touches on regret, death, the importance of family, and of course, love. It takes you through the entire journey of Joon Young and No Eul, making you both against and for their relationship. The series will play with your heart but ultimately win you over by the end. The cast is praiseworthy and because it’s been awhile since we’ve seen Kim Woo Bin on the small screen, it’s a definite worthwhile watch. Looking forward to his return to dramaland!
You can catch the first episode here:
7. “Radio Romance”
“Radio Romance” tells the story of a boy named Ji Soo Ho (Yoon Doojoon) and a girl named Song Geu Rim, (Kim So Hyun) who meet by chance in a hospital as teenagers. Soo Ho grows up to become a famous actor, alone and depressed, while Geu Rim grows up to be an aspiring writer for a radio station. They meet again as adults and Soo Ho remembers her as the first girl he fell in love with. And although their relationship is a love-hate one at first, they come to fall deeply in love with each other.
“Radio Romance” is a slow-burn drama, but one that is well worth the watch until the end. You’ll be surprised at the level of acting abilities that Yoon Doojoon demonstrates in this role, and you’ll appreciate various attributes of his character. His character has suffered emotionally for a very long time and is able to find peace through falling in love with Song Geu Rim. It’s a beautiful story that portrays the life of famous people so poignantly that you’ll be empathizing as well as relating to the characters. It’s the perfect series to watch during the winter!
Check out the first episode here:
Hey Soompiers, which of these heartwarming winter K-dramas is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below!
binahearts is a Soompi writer whose ultimate biases are Song Joong Ki and BIGBANG. She is also the author of “K-POP A To Z: The Definitive K-Pop Encyclopedia.” Make sure you follow binahearts on Instagram as she journeys through her latest Korean crazes!
Currently watching: “The Penthouse,” “The Uncanny Counter,” “Lovestruck In The City,” and “True Beauty”
All-time favorite dramas: “Secret Garden,” “Goblin,” “Because This Is My First Life,” “Star In My Heart”
Looking forward to: Won Bin’s return to the small screen