Home Featured List Of Korean Joseon Drama 2021 | 12 Best Korean Historical Dramas To Binge Today

List Of Korean Joseon Drama 2021 | 12 Best Korean Historical Dramas To Binge Today

by song-i
list of korean joseon drama

If you think of Korean dramas, fluffy romances or thrilling zombie stories come to mind. But K-dramas are more than that. This list of Korean Joseon drama proves this.

What I love most about Korean historical dramas is that they offer a glimpse into Korean culture to a wider audience.

K-dramas are popular in countries like the US, UK, India, Japan, Singapore, and so many other countries.

These historical k-dramas teach the people there about the past, traditions, and rich culture of South Korea.

All while being super entertaining!

Related: Best Korean Dramas on Netflix

Related: List of Korean Romantic Movies

So you might be wondering what exactly is a Joseon drama? Joseon or Chosŏn is a Korean dynasty that spanned the course of five centuries – precisely from 1392 to 1897.

Most of the Korean historical dramas or Korean Joseon dramas are based during this time period. Hence the name. 

List Of Korean Joseon Drama 2021

Here is a list of Korean Joseon dramas that I happened to love. These are highly rated by both critics and audiences.

Mr. Queen  

Cast: Shin Hye-sun and Kim Jung-hyun

Number of Episodes: 20 episodes

Rating: 8.6

Year: 2020

Genre: Comedy

Mr. Queen isn’t your run-of-the-mill Korean Joseon drama, and this is what I love about it. Unlike most Korean historical dramas which are romances or political thrillers, this one is a comedy.

The story takes place both in the past and present simultaneously. It revolves around an up-and-coming chef in Seoul that is one day transported to the Joseon era.

Not only does he wake up in an era that is centuries older than his own. He wakes up as a woman… In the body of none other than the Queen!

The dark secrets he uncovers as a Queen in the Joseon era and the awkwardness caused by his modern life melting into his historical one is the crux of the story.

Mr. Sunshine 

Cast: Lee Byung-hun, Kim Tae-ri, Yoo Yeon-seok, Kim Min-jung and Byun Yo-han

Number of Episodes: 24 episodes

Rating: 8.8

Year: 2018

Genre: Romance and Melodrama

This Korean Joseon drama is set during the twilight years of the Joseon dynasty. It’s the late 1800s, just before the Japanese colonization of Korea.

The story revolves around Eugene Choi, an escaped slave who makes his fortune in America as a US Marine Corps.

When he returns to Korea on a mission, the unexpected happens. He falls in love with an Aristocrat’s granddaughter who is herself part of a political rebellion.

If you like your period dramas to be accurate, then you’ll love Mr. Sunshine! 

Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth 

Cast: Park Seo-joon, Go Ara, and Park Hyung-sik.

Number of Episodes: 20 episodes

Rating: 8.0 

Year: 2016

Genre: Coming of Age, Romance

If you don’t want to watch a complicated, political story and want something more lighthearted, you should give this historical Korean drama a watch.

It revolves around the Hwarangs, its titular group of elite warriors that are sworn to protect the kingdom and the royal family. 

What’s unknown to the other Hwarangs is that their prince and future king is among them too! 

This k-drama isn’t technically a Korean Joseon drama as it takes place in the 6th Century, during the rule of the Silla dynasty. 

But it’s a very modern show will lots of fun, romance, fluff, and other elements that make Korean dramas so popular worldwide. 

The King in Love 

Cast: Im Si-wan, Im Yoon-ah and Hong Jong-hyun

Number of Episodes: 40 episodes

Rating:8.3

Year: 2017

Genre: Romance

Oof, love triangles are the worst. Well, at least for the ones who live them. While viewers watching them have the most entertaining time.

And that’s what the King In Love is about, a love triangle between the King, his best friend, and the same woman they happen to love.

The story takes place in the Goryeo period. And the sets and costumes look so accurate and amazing, you will be transported to this era! 

I was bowled over by the lovely cinematography and background score while first watching this show.  

Queen for Seven Days 

Cast: Park Min-young, Yeon Woo-jin,  Lee Dong-gun

Number of Episodes: 20 episodes

Rating: 7.9

Year: 2017

Genre: Romance, Political 

This historical Korean drama has a real-life couple as its main characters. However, there is a bit of fantasy and fiction involved for sure.

Queen Chae Kyung was a real-life figure who was dethroned just 7 days after her coronation.

In the K-drama, Chae Kyung’s family is relieved through a prophecy about their daughter’s fate if she’s entangled with the royal family.

But destiny has other plans and Chae Kyung gets thrown together with King Yeok leading to a series of tragedies.

King’s Daughter, Soo Baek Hyang 

Cast: Seo Hyun-jin, Seo Woo, Lee Jae-ryong, Jo Hyun-jae, Jun Tae-soo

Number of Episodes: 108 episodes

Rating: 8.6

Year: 2013

Genre: Romance, Action

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The story takes place in the pre-Joseon period and revolves around, as the title suggests, King Muryeong’s daughter Soo Baek Hyang.

Righteous and simple, she prefers a quiter life while her ambitious half-sister, Seol-hee plots to become the princess.

The K-drama has over 100 episodes and will make you cry rivers. I definitely recommend watching it if you’re in the mood for something epic.

The Princess’ Man 

Cast:  Park Si-hoo, Moon Chae-won, Kim Yeong-cheol, Song Jong-ho, Hong Soo-hyun and Lee Soon-jae

Number of Episodes: 24 episodes

Rating: 8.1

Year: 2011

Genre: Romance, Action

Historical dramas often make for fantastic forbidden romances! Who can forget Romeo and Juliet, eh? 

The Princess’ Man has a similar plot as it tells the tale of Se-ryung, the daughter of the would-be king, and Kim Seung-yoo, the son of her father’s biggest rival.

Now that’s what we call complicated!

The Princess’ Man is shorter than most Korean historical dramas with just 24 episodes. And it manages to keep the romance front and center, despite the political plot.

Watch it for something short and sweet!

Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People 

Cast: Yoon Kyun-sang, Chae Soo-bin, Kim Ji-seok, Lee Ha-nui

Number of Episodes: 30 episodes

Rating: 8.2

Year: 2017

Genre: Romance, Melodrama

Another Korean Joseon drama that highlights the political struggles during that period is Rebel. The story is inspired by the tale of Robin Hood and focuses on the son of a servant, Hong Gil-dong.

Due to his status as a servant, Hong Gil-dong has no hopes of elevating himself in a classist Korean society.

He becomes the leader of a gang of thieves that take money from the despotic king Yeonsangun to give back to the poor.

Gil-dong is also in love with the King’s consort Jang Nok-su, who is his first love. 

Jewel in the Palace 

Cast: Lee Young-ae, Ji Jin-hee, Hong Ri-na, Im Ho, Yang Mi-kyung, Kyeon Mi-ri

Number of Episodes: 24 episodes

Rating: 9.1

Year: 2003

Genre: Drama

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Perhaps one of the most influential historical Korean dramas, Dae Jang Geum or Jewel In The Palace is both critically acclaimed and entertaining.

Unlike most dramas that concentrate on politics or romance, this show tells the (real) story of Jang-geum, the first female physician in the Joseon dynasty.

Apart from its feminist theme, The Jewel In The Palace is also known for placing the spotlight on Korean traditional medicine and Korean cuisine. 

Deep Rooted Tree 

Cast:  Han Suk-kyu, Jang Hyuk and Shin Se-kyung

Number of Episodes: 24 episodes

Rating: 8.3

Year: 2011

Genre: Mystery, Romance

best korean historical romance
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This Korean Joseon drama is based on the historical novel of the same name written by ee Jung-myung. It revolves around a slave turned royal guard called Ddol-bok.

Ddol-bok swears revenge on King Sejong for unknowingly causing the death of his in-laws and their slaves, the latter of whom were Ddol-bok’s family.

It also includes real historical details about the creation of the Korean alphabet Hangul and how the commoners in Korean society come to use it. 

Six Flying Dragons 

Cast: Yoo Ah-in, Kim Myung-min, Shin Se-kyung, Byun Yo-han, Yoon Kyun-sang, Chun Ho-jin

Number of Episodes: 50 episodes

Rating: 8.9

Year: 2015

Genre: Political Drama

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This historical drama focuses on the real-life character of Yi Bang-won, a prince who was to later become Taejong of Joseon, the third king of the Joseon dynasty. 

Six Flying Dragons dramatize his ascent to the throne and how he laid the foundation of the Joseon dynasty.

Empress Ki 

Cast: Ha Ji-won, Joo Jin-mo, Ji Chang-wook, Baek Jin-hee

Number of Episodes: 51 episodes

Rating: 8.5

Year: 2013

Genre: Romance

List of korean joseon drama
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If you want a riveting story with a strong female lead, this is it! 

Empress Ki chronicles the life of Gi Seungnyang, a commoner living in the Goryeo dynasty who overcomes the shackles of the class system and manages to rise to power.

She marries Toghon Temur, the Emperor of the Mongol Empire, and becomes Empress herself. 

But while the Emperor is deeply in love with her, gi Seungnyang still has feelings for her first love Wang-Yu.

Korean historical dramas aren’t just biographies or boring documentaries. 

The setting of these dramas might be during the Joseon era but the plot is always fresh and relevant. 

There are Korean historical romances, thriller dramas, and even political intrigues. So you’ll be spoilt for choice.

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