If we thought Boys Over Flowers created the Korean wave then Squid Game was the signal that got everyone on board. Written by Hwang Dong-hyuk, Squid Game is a thriller that is created to get your attention. Nearly every main character holds a unique backstory that may or may not be held against them once they enter to play the games.
Drawing people from all over the world, Squid Game is a violent masterpiece that is already renewed for season 2.
While waiting for the second season, here is the scoop on some Asian dramas to watch after Squid Game!
1. Sweet Home
Sweet Home is an apocalyptic horror drama based on the webtoon that focuses on the residents of an apartment complex in Korea while monsters roam outside the walls. Song Kang as Cha Hyun Soo stars in this monster-infested drama. Once Hyun Soo and his neighbors catch sight of the world just outside their home, they are forced to be cautious of the monster just waiting to come out of them.
It seems that food isn’t the only thing pushing them into a corner when learning about the monsters in the hallways waiting for their next victim.
Sweet Home is a Netflix original series with quite a few familiar faces including Lee Do Hyun, Lee Si-Young, and Lee Jin-Wook. This series might not be filled with the classic zombies; however, its unique perspective on monsters is well worth the watch. Sweet Home is set to return for even more monster killing in season 2.
2. The Uncanny Counter
While Squid Game is more of a thriller, The Uncanny Counter is a supernatural mystery involving demon hunters who pose as noodle shop workers to catch evil spirits. Even though evil spirits become the center of the drama, there is plenty of room for character development and realistic CGI effects.
Adding in spirits and the afterlife might be a bit overdone in the entertainment industry, but The Uncanny Counter creates an addicting storyline that uses these elements perfectly. The actors that appear in this drama are Jo Byeong-Kyu, Kim Sejeong, Yoo Jun-Sang, and many others. Watch The Uncanny Counter on Netflix!
3. All of Us Are Dead
A Korean drama that reminds viewers of Train to Busan, this apocalyptic horror series is a zombie nightmare with a twist. All of Us Are Dead is based on the webtoon Now At Our School. It might seem like a regular school drama where students have to fight to stay alive but what happens when a certain science teacher has a secret up his sleeves?
Nearly every episode from this horrifying Netflix series is an intense ride as we learn that it might not be the best idea to become attached to characters. But Netflix has recently announced the second season that will focus more on the zombies. Watch Yoon Chan-Young, Lee Yoo-Mi, Lomon, and Park Ji-Hu in All of Us Are Dead!
Zombies meet the Joseon era in Kingdom! This Korean drama is centered around the Crown Prince (Ju Ji-Hoon) as he learns about a strange disease spreading throughout Korea. Following the death of his father, Ji-Hoon must take charge and try to save his people before it’s too late.
Although the drama involves politics and history, Kingdom explores the zombie genre and places an original twist on the ghoulish creatures. With the recent prequel to the series, Kingdom: Ashin of the North, fans learn more about the mysterious woman named Ashin who appears in the last episode of season 2. Stream Kingdom on Netflix now!
Extracurricular is a Netflix crime drama centered on Oh Ji-Soo who finds himself seeking an unusual job opportunity to make money for college. When he discovers that the girl he has a crush on knows about his undercover job, he does everything possible to make sure his life of crime doesn’t get revealed.
Even though Extracurricular is a toned-down drama in terms of suspense, viewers can’t deny their curiosity as to why Ji-Soo would accept a job involving prostitution.
6. Strangers From Hell
Strangers From Hell or Hell is Other People is a Netflix psychological thriller based on the webtoon with the same name. Yoon Jong-Woo decides to move to Seoul after the military to pursue an internship. However, he is unable to afford an average apartment with his paycheck and instead moves into a tiny room known as a goshiwan.
As soon as he moves in, he meets the other residents and immediately begins to question their sanity. The longer that Jong-Woo stays at the residence, the harder it is to keep himself together. Strangers From Hell realistically portrays the mental decline of Jong-Woo as he is forced to live with strange people. If you love thrillers and Lee Dong-Wook, be sure to put this k-drama on your list!
Vincenzo explores a Korean-Italian mafia lawyer who seeks justice after clashing with a conglomerate. This hilarious action-packed drama has some of the best actors in the industry including Song Joong-Ki, Ok Taecyeon, and Hwang Chan-Sung.
Vincenzo is a dark, action drama on the surface but brings in comedy and hints of romance for a memorable series. Vincenzo might not be as dark or violent as Squid Game but is bound to keep you on your toes through the action scenes.
8. Alice in Borderland
Alice in Borderland is a Japanese series that takes place in an alternate Tokyo where Arisu (Kento Yamazaki), Chota (Yuki Morinaga), and Karube (Keita Machida) play games for survival. Before appearing in the alternate world, all of them felt like outsiders that needed an escape from reality. Through their first game, the three friends realize that they must stick together.
Based on the manga with the same name, Alice in Borderland is filled with mind games and betrayal. While cheering on the main characters, the viewers are finding every chance to discover clues behind the master of the games. This may be the perfect drama to watch after Squid Game with their similar take on deadly games.
Happiness takes on a concept similar to Sweet Home in that most of the show is focused on the residents inside an apartment building. Jung Ji-Hyun and Yoon Sae Beom become the ultimate duo as they try to make sure everyone survives the zombie apocalypse.
This Korean drama spends more time on character development than the flesh-eating zombies. However, we can’t help but love the show for the emotional bonds formed by the characters.
Hellbound is a dark fantasy revolving around creatures that come to deliver people to hell. The condemnations of individuals inspired the uprising of a religious group that believes in divine justice. Right off the bat, the monsters are flying through the streets to bring someone to hell.
Most of the drama highlights society and religious beliefs. Yoo Ah-In is the leader behind the religious group that believes people’s sins send you directly to hell. It is not clear where these monsters come from, but it is terrifying when you have a countdown for a brutal death.
A Netflix show with just about every genre, Vagabond is about a stuntman involved in an airplane crash. He then discovers a corrupted scandal as he partners up and forms an unlikely romance with Go Hae-Ri (Suzy).
Vagabond boasts intense fighting scenes and moments where Cha Dal-Gun (Lee Seung-Gi) looks like superman with his strength. A great show to watch after Squid Game, this crime drama has the perfect blend of romance, action, and thriller.
12. Mr. Sunshine
Eugene Choi stars in this drama about a poor boy who travels to the United States. Mr. Sunshine is a historical drama about a Korean man who assimilates into the American military and falls in love with an aristocrat’s daughter. Under the romantic spotlight, lies a dark scheme in his home country, Korea.
Mr. Sunshine may just be a historical romance but if you love Eugene Choi in Squid Game, you may like this Korean drama!
This thriller-romance series is about a grim reaper who finds himself failing to comply with the rules sent by heaven. Han Moo-Gang takes a liking to Kang Ha-Ram and is punished by the heavens. Similar to Vagabond, there is no shortage of suspense, action, and romance.
Even though Ha-Ram is a mortal, she is able to see the shadows of death. As Ha-Ram and Moo-Gang come together, they make it a mission to save people’s lives.
14. Flower of Evil
Flower of Evil is another Korean drama filled with secrets. Baek Hee Sung (Lee Joon-Gi) has a dark past that he tries to hide from his detective wife. His secret fails to stay under wraps when unexplained murders start to take place.
Baek Hee Sung goes through a number of near-death experiences throughout the drama, while still trying to maintain his family. A crime drama that will have you rooting for Lee Joon-Gi, Flower of Evil is a suspenseful masterpiece.
15. My Name
Nevertheless’ Han So-Hee stars as a woman set on revenge in My Name. After finding out about the murders committed by her father, she befriends a crime boss to help her enter the force. In stark contrast to Han So Hee’s role in Nevertheless, she plays the bold and strong, Yoon Ji-Woo.
My Name showcases a new perspective of crime and thriller with a woman starring as the main character. We also can’t forget Ahn Bo-Hyun, a detective who partners up with Ji-Woo.
16. Dark Hole
Written by Jung Yi-Do, Dark Hole takes the supernatural and horror genre and turns it on its head. This k-drama on Viki is about survivors who fight against mutants that were formed from the mysterious sinkhole.
Dark Hole is reminiscent of Hellbound in the strange creatures that appear out of nowhere. Kim Ok-Jin and Lee Joon-Hyuk star in this fantasy and thriller.
17. The Silent Sea
A group of space explorers is sent on a mission to the moon to recover samples from an abandoned research facility. When Han Yun-Jae (Gong Yoo) and his crew discover the samples, they come across an abnormal girl.
Doctor Song Ji-an becomes the main forefront in finding out the substance that could’ve caused people to die at the facility. Most space or sci-fi shows tend to focus more on the technical side but The Silent Sea is a slow unraveling of people’s darkest secrets.
18. Beyond Evil
A crime drama focused on Lee Dong-Sik and Han Joo-Won, Beyond Evil is a chase for the truth. When a murder takes place similar to an old cold case, the policemen make every effort to solve it.
Beyond Evil not only explores the unexplainable murder but touches on the secrets that Joo-Won (Yeo Jin-Goo) and Dong-Sik (Shin Ha-Kyun) may be hiding.
19. Bulgasal Immortal Souls
Bulgasal Immortal Souls or Immortality is a Netflix original centered on a man who becomes intertwined in a nightmare. When Dan Hwal (Lee Jin-Wook) was a kid, he first saw a woman who helped him escape the villagers. It is not until he’s older, that he discovers that the woman (Kwon Nara) is part of the cycle of death and reincarnation.
Dan Hwal wants to find out the truth behind the woman. However, his curiosity may just be the end of his normal life. Even though Bulgasal is a far cry from Squid Game, they both nicely unpack secrets that are otherwise not worth learning about for the sake of survival.
20. Juvenile Justice
Juvenile Justice often reminds fans of Criminal Minds or Law & Order as they all lay emphasis on solving cases. This legal drama explores complex cases within the juvenile court with Shim Eun-Seok as the center while she openly expresses her knowledge of justice and punishment.
Juvenile Justice is an emotional slap to the face when it comes to the legal world. Watch on Netflix now!
Hope you loved this post! For more Korean dramas to watch after Squid Game, visit these:
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- Top 10 Most Memorable Korean Dramas
- Top 10 Reasons to Watch Playful Kiss