The Soompi & Viki Staff Talk series is back with a new edition about an increasingly popular concept in K-drama world: dramas with multiple seasons!
Check out the favorites of some of our staff members:
Warning: minor spoilers ahead
JJin: “Yumi’s Cells” Series
It is not very common for K-dramas to have more than one season, and I personally did not prefer multiple seasons because it can lead to the plot dragging out needlessly. The “Yumi’s Cells” series, however, completely changed my view with its solid plot composition. Those who have not seen the drama may expect it to be a sugar-coated rom-com, but it actually deals with many relatable aspects of life including relationships, career development, and more. Despite the romance not working out as expected, the characters find happiness by achieving their life goals with love and encouragement from ex-lovers, friends, and family. Watching the two seasons will have you rooting for Yumi (Kim Go Eun) to truly choose what is best for her. We don’t know if “Yumi’s Cells” will return for another season, but I’m sure I’m not the only one who wishes to see Yumi’s happy life as a successful writer and with the love of her life!
Watch “Yumi’s Cells”:
And “Yumi’s Cells 2”:
Sala: “Dr. Romantic” Series
It’s guaranteed that a K-drama with more than one season is bound to be good, but of all the great stories with multiple seasons, my favorite would have to be the iconic “Dr. Romantic.” The popular series follows the stories of realistic doctors working at the rundown Doldam Hospital in the countryside. In addition to Han Suk Kyu as the titular Dr. Kim, the first season starred Yoo Yeon Seok and Seo Hyun Jin, while the second season starred Ahn Hyo Seop and Lee Sung Kyung. The currently on-going Season 3 saw the return of Doldam Hospital family members, featuring yet again a star-studded cast. I was so excited to hear the announcement that “Dr. Romantic” would be returning for Season 3, and the drama definitely did not disappoint with its classic heartwarming stories that really touch people’s hearts. The show asks difficult questions at times that make viewers question humanity, but Dr. Kim and the Doldam crew always manage to find a way to deliver an uplifting message that leaves us feeling hopeful and nostalgic and wanting to always continue to support Doldam Hospital and everything they stand for.
Watch “Dr. Romantic”:
And “Dr. Romantic 2”:
Yeon: “Welcome to Waikiki” Series
When I think of K-dramas with multiple seasons, my favorite would have to be the “Welcome to Waikiki” series. The first season tells the story of three friends Dong Goo (Kim Jung Hyun), Joon Gi (Lee Yi Kyung), and Doo Sik (Son Seung Won) who are running a failing guesthouse while trying to achieve their individual dreams. In the second season, Joon Gi returns along with Woo Shik (Kim Seon Ho) and Ki Bong (Shin Hyun Soo). The best part about this drama is that it’s just absolutely hilarious, and there is not a single bland moment as the friends run into all sorts of trouble while working toward their dreams and running the guesthouse. Also with diverse female characters such as Han Yoon Ah (Jung In Sun), Kang Seo Jin (Go Won Hee), Min Soo Ah (Lee Joo Woo), Han Soo Yeon (Moon Ga Young), Kim Jung Eun (Ahn So Hee), and Cha Yoo Ri (Kim Ye Won), there’s plenty of romance and friendship drama to spice things up. A must-watch that will always bring you laughter when you’re feeling down!
Watch “Welcome to Waikiki”:
And “Welcome to Waikiki 2”:
Ginny: “School” Series
Most big K-drama fans have probably seen at least one drama of the “School” series that first launched in 1999, but if you haven’t yet, it’s definitely worth a go! The “School” series includes a little bit of everything from friendship and romance to academic pressure, personal growth, and more. My personal favorite is “Who Are You” (aka “School 2015”), which tells the story of a high school student named Lee Eun Bi (Kim So Hyun) who experiences amnesia after an accident and finds herself in a different school. She encounters her twin sister’s classmates Han Yi An (Nam Joo Hyuk) and Gong Tae Kwang (Yook Sungjae) and becomes entangled in a web of secrets and mysteries. Kim So Hyun portrays the twin roles so well, and the love triangle will have you hooked on the plot. If you enjoy “Who Are You,” it’s also worth checking out the other seasons such as “School 2013,” “School 2017,” and “School 2021.” Each season features different characters and storylines while maintaining the common theme of school life!
Watch “School 2013”:
“Who Are You” here:
“School 2017” below:
And also “School 2021”:
Winnie: “Poong, The Joseon Psychiatrist” Series
“Poong, The Joseon Psychiatrist” is a rare historical drama with more than one season, and I found it an absolute delight to watch. The series tells the story of Yoo Se Poong (Kim Min Jae), a well-known internal medicine doctor who gets expelled from the royal court after getting caught up in a conspiracy. When he meets Seo Eun Woo (Kim Hyang Gi) and Gye Ji Han (Kim Sang Kyung) in the strange and beautiful village of Gyesu, he works to become a true doctor who heals the heart. The first season shapes all the lively characters that live in the village, and you will find yourself enjoying or even tearing up at the stories of even minor characters. In Season 2, there is further development of Se Poong and Eun Woo’s relationship as they also work to overcome the difficulties of societal status. With a mix of everything from romance to comedy, mystery, and suspense, it’s a pleasant drama that shouldn’t be missed out on!
Watch “Poong, The Joseon Psychiatrist”:
And “Poong, The Joseon Psychiatrist 2“:
Seyeon: “Dream High” Series
Those who love K-dramas and K-pop would love “Dream High” as much as I do. An iconic Korean school drama series, “Dream High” follows students at Kirin Arts School chasing their dreams of becoming K-pop idols. Both seasons are filled with charming characters and their journeys of vocal and dance training. Besides well-known cast members like Suzy, IU, Kim Soo Hyun, members of 2PM and GOT7, Park Seo Joon, and more, it is also really fun to look for secret cameos. As JYP Entertainment participated in producing the drama, you’ll be able to spot idols and former trainees from the company including TWICE’s Nayeon, DAY6’s Young K, MONSTA X’s Shownu, and more. My favorite part of “Dream High” though would have to be the amazing OST. In addition to the classic “Dream High,” songs like IU’s “Someday,” Kim Soo Hyun’s “Dreaming,” and HA:TFELT’s “Hello To Myself” are still in my playlist.
Watch “Dream High”:
And “Dream High 2”:
Somni: “Taxi Driver” Series
Fans of the American series “Law & Order” might also enjoy the Korean “Taxi Driver” series! The difference is that in “Taxi Driver,” those who dig into crimes and deliver vengeance on behalf of victims are a team of skilled people disguising themselves as a taxi service, and they seek justice in their own way outside the law. While each episode introduces vicious criminals and crime cases that are likely to be seen on the news, one can still enjoy watching knowing that these criminals will reap what they sow in the drama. Personally, I find Kim Do Gi (Lee Je Hoon) as an unprecedentedly charming character that only “Taxi Driver” can present. With the Season 2 finale breaking 20 percent in viewership ratings, the drama is already confirmed to return for a third season. So make sure to check out Kim Do Gi sending a refreshing blow to the bad in Seasons 1 and 2 before the third season arrives!
Watch “Taxi Driver”:
And “Taxi Driver 2”:
Heejo: “A-TEEN” Series
My favorite drama series would have to be “A-TEEN,” a web drama that beautifully encapsulates the rollercoaster ride of being a teenager and went viral in Korea. The story revolves around high school friends Do Hana (Shin Ye Eun) and Kim Hana (Lee Naeun), presenting a moving tale of friendship and unrequited love amidst challenges of teenage life. Unlike many other teenage dramas, “A-TEEN” avoids tragic or sensational plots, focusing instead on the realism of adolescence. It takes viewers on an immersive journey through the ups and downs of teenage years, reminding them of a time when every moment felt significant and sincere. The cast of “A-TEEN” is also a standout feature, including Shin Ye Eun who rose to major stardom through the drama. The journey continues in Season 2, promising more character development and unexpected twists.
And “A-TEEN 2”:
Natalie: “Reply” Series
The “Reply” series, which consists of “Reply 1997,” “Reply 1994,” and “Reply 1988”, has been a long-time fan favorite in the K-Drama world. As the name suggests, the series takes you back to nostalgic times that both those who have experienced it and those who have not can equally love. One fun experience you can enjoy while watching the series is figuring out who will be endgame for the female lead. All three dramas of the series begin in modern day and show the now grown-up characters having a cute reunion, but they keep things just ambiguous and mysterious enough so that the viewer cannot know who ends up with who. Now it’s your job to figure out who the endgame couples will be and distinguish false alarms from true love! This format was such a great hit in Korea when the series first aired, and viewers would have friendly battles about the final husband all the time. There is no particular order in which you have to watch the series, but my personal favorite is “Reply 1988.” The plot really keeps you on your toes on whether Deok Sun (Hyeri) will end up with Jung Hwan (Ryu Jun Yeol) or Taek (Park Bo Gum). Also, Hyeri’s acting in the drama is simply iconic, and she portrays her character so well. Even if you are not familiar with ‘80s and ‘90s South Korea, the “Reply” series is sure to get you hooked.
Watch “Reply 1997”:
And “Reply 1988”:
What is your favorite K-drama with multiple seasons? Let us know in the comments below!