Passion, growth, excitement, engaging banter, and sizzling chemistry in spades — these enemies to lovers kdrama series have it all. And if you’ve a hankering for some good old-fashioned romantic bingeing this week, we can’t think of a better trope to get the popcorn going for. Here’s looking at a few popular titles.
A popular theme that can be found in everything from the classic Pride and Prejudice to hit period drama Bridgerton, the enemies-to-lovers trope is timeless. In fact, tales that see two people go from rolling their eyes at every instance to not being able to take them off each other have captured many a romantic heart.
And considering how amour is the lifeblood of Hallyu entertainment, it’s no surprise that enemies to lovers kdrama series have amassed a loyal fanbase. After all, who doesn’t enjoy slow-burn romance, rib-tickling banter and the delicious anticipation of watching the attractive leads gradually develop feelings for each other? Here’s our pick of the best will-they-won’t-they K-dramas of passion.
These enemies-to-lovers K-dramas are as binge-worthy as they come:
Her Private Life
This popular series follows a talented yet under-appreciated gallery curator, Sung Duk Mi, who moonlights as an ardent fan of a K-pop singer. Her life walks this tightrope quite efficiently until a series of unfortunate events see a new boss walking into the picture. In focus? Ryan Gold, a renowned artist who’s arrogant and runs a tight ship. The two get off to the wrong start, with Duk-mi branding him temperamental and a lunatic. Gold, meanwhile, doesn’t have the best opinion of her either. What follows is hilarious banter and misunderstandings, all leading up to exciting pretend-dating. Throw in dreamy dates and sizzling chemistry and you’ve got yourself an absolute binge-worthy K-drama.
Hometown Cha Cha Cha
A classic feel-good K-drama, Hometown Cha Cha Cha follows star dentist and big city girl Yoon Hye-jun who moves to a seaside village to set up her own dental practice. Also in the picture? Small-town jack-of-all-trades Hong Do-sik. The two immediately lock horns, with the former believing the latter to be eccentric and the latter pegging the former as high-maintenance. The two banter through the course of the first few episodes, especially as Hye-jun adjusts to a different way of life. Along the way, they offer viewers heartwarming developments, sweet romantic gestures, and rib-tickling humour. A classic opposites attract tale – the acting performances are stellar and the cinematography is worth writing home about as well. If there’s one show you shouldn’t miss out on, it’s this one.
My Love From The Star
A wildly popular fantasy K-drama, My Love From The Star follows Do Min-joon — an alien who was stranded on earth for 400 years. Cynical about humans, he works on ways to return to his home planet. Enter popular actress Chun Song-yi who’s got a youthful spirit. Right at the outset, the two are quite annoyed with each other, with Min-joon coming off as arrogant and Song-yi seeming vain and a bit out-there. Not to mention, the chaos of the latter’s life is not quite compatible with the under-the-radar existence the former leads. Slowly, however, the two discover their feelings for each other, paving the way for some dreamy romance coupled with intriguing themes of immortality and reincarnation. Watch for the chemistry between the leads, stay for the supernatural themes in this enemies to lovers kdrama.
A binge-worthy K-drama, Suspicious Partner follows prosecutor Noh Ji-wook and his trainee Eun Bong-hee. The former is known to be arrogant and standoffish, feared by most in the courtroom. The latter is a rookie, passionate about law but prone to being naive. They get off on the wrong foot, with Bong-hee mistaking Ji-wook for a pervert in the subway train. When they get to working together, he tests her limits – having her work round the clock with little to no appreciation. Things take a mysterious and exciting turn when Bong-hee gets arrested for murder. Her only hope? The prosecutor and boss that doesn’t think too highly of her. The show is quite engaging, with well-written and executed plot twists to spotlight political practices and injustice. Not to mention, the romance is sweet as it blossoms as well and there’s plenty of banter to keep you chuckling. Don’t miss out.
I Am Not A Robot
Min Kyu is the largest shareholder of a successful finance company. He’s also intelligent and good looking. The only catch? He’s allergic to people and has to live in seclusion — facts that make him rather irritable and insufferable. Also in the picture is the independent go-getter Jo Ji-ah who hustles to make her dream of inventing something out-of-this-world come true. Part of her rolodex of jobs is that of a personal shopper. When she’s asked to get Min Kyu something and is then told off for missing a minor detail and not paid for her job, she pegs him as difficult. They banter often as the shopper and the client, which naturally makes way for dreamy romance sequences — especially when Min Kyu realises she doesn’t trigger his symptoms. The plotline is clever, witty, and engaging, with incredible character development. It’s no surprise why it’s so popular.
Nice Guy (The Innocent Man)
A tale of passion and revenge, this enemies to lovers kdrama will keep you hooked. It follows Kang Ma-roo, a promising medical student who meets Jae-hee, a reporter at a broadcasting company. The two fall in love and are torn apart by a tragedy that results in Ma-roo taking the blame for Jae-hee and serving time in jail. Unfortunately, he later discovers he’s been betrayed and seeks revenge once he’s released. A part of his plan? Seducing Seo Eun-ki, the rich heiress and now step-daughter to Jae-hee. The trope here goes beyond the simple enemies-to-lovers. Eun-ki and Ma-roo start off on false pretences, with the latter quite focused on causing damage. However, somehow, the two discover romance and fiery chemistry that’s worth a watch.
Mad For Each Other
Another fun, lighthearted series, Mad For Each Other follows an ex-detective with irregular, fiery temper and a quirky woman who manages to annoy those around her. They both seek professional help, crossing paths more often than they’d care to. Bothered by this, they try to stay out of each other’s way, only to discover they’re next-door neighbours. The two get on each other’s nerves in the most eccentric, hilarious ways — only slowly discovering their affection for each other. This one will have you reaching for the popcorn and is the perfect show to watch over the weekend.
These K-dramas are the stuff of guilty pleasures (Wattpad, anyone?) wrapped in high production values and engaging scripts. And if that’s not a win-win, we don’t know what is. Happy bingeing!
(All images: Netflix)
This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia India