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5 Nostalgic K-Dramas You Have to Add to Your Watchlist

5 Nostalgic K-Dramas You Have to Add to Your Watchlist
IMAGE (LEFT TO RIGHT) Twenty Five Twenty One/tvN, Youth of May/KBS
Prepare your tissues when you watch these!

K-dramas set in the '80s and '90s will always have a special place in our hearts. It's nice to look back at the good old days when smartphones are not yet a thing and life was just simple. Aside from the nostalgia courtesy of time traveling, these series also have characters we can totally relate to and backstories that make us emotional. They're so raw and so real—they'll hit you right in the feels.

Here are five nostalgic K-dramas on Netflix and Viu:

1. Reply series (2012, 2013, 2016)

Where you can watch it: Netflix, Viu

South Korea's top screenwriter Lee Woo Jung and respected director Shin Won Ho are the masters of slice-of-life genres. They're behind Reply, a series of high-rating K-dramas with throwbacks that will tug your heartstrings. There's Reply 1997, which is an ode for all the K-pop fans out there. It revolves around Shin Won (Apink's Eunji) who's a fangirl of the boyband H.O.T (yup, the first-generation K-pop boy group!), as well as her high school friends.

The next installment in the Reply series is Reply 1994 and this one's all about life in college. The main characters here are six university students from different provinces in South Korea who live in the same boarding house.

Last on the list is the classic gem Reply 1988 which will remind you of your own barkada. Five friends (Hyeri, Park Bo Gum, Ryu Jun Yeol, Go Kyung Pyo, Lee Dong Hwi) grow up in the same neighborhood and their families know each other, too, like the back of their hands.


2. Twenty Five, Twenty One (2022)

Where you can watch it: Netflix

Looking for the inspiration to pursue your dreams? Twenty Five, Twenty One is just what you need! This coming-of-age K-drama highlights all the different parts of your life—your family, friendships, love story, and career. Kim Tae Ri plays the aspiring fencer Na Hee Do while Nam Joo Hyuk portrays a univ student named Baek Yi Jin. They're both ready to achieve their goals but when the IMF crisis happened in South Korea, Hee Do, Yi Jin, and the rest of their circle had to adapt to life's major changes.

3. Youth Of May (2021)

Where you can watch it: Viu

This drama never fails to make us sob. Youth Of May is a romance drama about a medical student named Hwang Hee Tae (Lee Do Hyun) and a nurse named Kim Myung Hee (Go Min Si). Their love story is all sorts of kilig but it's one painful ride, too—especially that it's set in May 1980 during the Gwangju Uprising (ICYDK, this period is significant as it shows South Korea's democratic movement). You will be touched by the characters' sacrifices in this series and witness what it's like to live in a dangerous setting.

4. Mr. Sunshine (2018)

Where you can watch it: Netflix

Here's a K-drama that had everyone searching for facts about South Korea's fight for independence. Netflix tells us that Mr. Sunshine is the story of "A young boy (Lee Byung Hun) who ends up in the U.S. after the 1871 Shinmiyangyo incident returns to Korea at a historical turning point, and falls for a noblewoman (Kim Tae Ri)." The character developments here are what you should look forward to, plus how the country struggled during this time.

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5. Go Back Couple (2017)

Where you can watch it: Netflix

What would you do if you woke up as your 20-year-old self? In Go Back Couple, Choi Ban Do (Son Ho Jun) and Ma Jin Joo (Jang Nara) are 38-year-olds who are married and have a child. Their long-term relationship reached a breaking point and everything in their life is just gloomy. One day, they return to their younger selves as university students, which allowed them to change their former decisions. Go Back Couple is a wonderful picture of a parent's unconditional love, and also it shows how some friendships are really for a lifetime.

* This story originally appeared on Cosmo.phMinor edits have been made by the editors.

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