Kaye Tinga, Charles Tiu, and Kara Gonzali share their favorite K-dramas, recommendations, and the type of stories they love to binge watch in one sitting.
If you’re new to Korean dramas or haven’t dipped your toes in the genre yet, we asked society’s K-drama fans what they can recommend. Kaye Tinga, Charles Tiu, and Kara Gonzali have seen several series over lockdown and even share the Korean actors they love to see on screen.
Here are their favorite shows and why they felt gripped by their storylines. You can possibly find the series that can get you obsessed with the Korean wave, much like many Filipinos of all ages.
Out of the many K-dramas that Tinga enjoyed, she considers Cunning Single Lady her favorite one. “It is a divorced-to-reunited romantic comedy,” she shares. “It even reminds me a bit of classic separated-to-reunited films like The Philadelphia Story or His Girl Friday—simple yet sweet.”
Tinga saw the 2014 show after her daughter’s recommendation when she looked for something light and easy to watch. She adds that the “straightforward and simple” storytelling of the show drew her in. “The charm and comedic skills of the actors (Lee Min-jung and Joo Sang-wook) really shine,” Tinga says.
In fact, she finished the 16 episode series in one sitting. “There are a handful of series that I’ve watched the first two or three episodes of, sometimes I even go halfway through the series, only to drop because it doesn’t work for me,” Tinga continues. “But after I started Cunning Single Lady, I could not stop watching until I finished it.”
Right now, the mom of four is watching Mine, a show that’s more difficult to follow compared to her favorite series. However, it’s why she thinks it’s more compelling.
Tiu enjoys feel-good love stories for K-dramas, which is why he lists Crash Landing On You and Encounter as his top picks.
“[It was my then-girlfriend and now wife, Sari,] who kept asking me to watch [Crash Landing On You], and I gave in once during the lockdown last year and just couldn’t stop from then,” Tiu shares. “[I guess] with all the time during the lockdown, I was able to watch a lot!”
After seeing several dramas in lockdown, the CNN Philippines anchor names Hyun Bin (Secret Garden, Crash Landing On You) and Park Seo Joon (Itaewon Class, What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim?) his favorite Korean actors. Tiu also mentions Son Ye Jin (Crash Landing On You), Song Hye Kyo (Encounter), and Bae Suzy (While You Were Sleeping) as his favorite K-drama actresses.
For the other K-Dramas Tiu loved, he lists Itaewon class, She Was Pretty, It’s Okay To Not Be Okay, Descendants of the Sun, Reply 1888, Mine, Sky castle, and The Last Empress.
Gonzali shares that My Love From Another Star, her favorite K-drama, is a balance of romance, comedy, and life lessons.
“Its plot is about finding a compromise in making things work because if there is a will, there truly will be a way,” she says. “It also has sentimental value to me because this is the K-drama, my fiance, Mark, and I were so invested in that we even scheduled our viewing sessions when I was in the States for a vacation, and he was back home.”
On what prompted her to start watching the show, Gonzali says that its actors drew her in. “I’m a huge fan of Kim Soo-hyun and Jun Ji-hyun. I didn’t even have to think twice about watching it,” she shares. She adds that after appearing in My Love From Another Star, many of its actors began working on other shows, “it’s so much fun seeing them grow as actors and actresses and portray such various roles.”
These days, the model and licensed physician are watching Hometown Cha-cha. It’s an unexpected pairing (Kim Seon-ho and Shim Min-a), but they seem to make it work. They have such pleasant chemistry, and I feel like if you’re looking for a feel-good show, this is one to make you smile,” Gonzali says.
For her recommendations, she says that Legend of the Blue Sea, It’s Okay Not To Be Okay, W: Two Worlds, and Hwarang are all so great that she has watched each series more than once.
Banner Photo from @crashlandingonyou on Instagram.