Korean dramas, also known as K-dramas, are like sweet treats for our eyes and hearts. Some of them are like mini-adventures that last just eight episodes. Explore these ten excellent Korean dramas that tell their story in just eight episodes. Despite being short, they're packed with excitement and emotions.
1. My Name
Yoon Ji-woo (played by Han So-hee) is a determined young woman seeking revenge for her father's sudden death. To uncover the truth, she joins a crime gang led by Choi Mu-Jin (played by Park Hee-Soon). With Mu-Jin's help, she becomes a secret agent, entering the police force using the name Oh Hye-Jin. Working in the drug investigation unit with her partner, Detective Jeon Pil-Do (played by Ahn Bo-Hyun), Ji-Woo sets her plan to uncover her father's death. This story unfolds with a woman seeking vengeance, gaining the trust of a powerful crime boss, and navigating the police force to solve the mystery of her father's demise.
This show is all about the National Tax Service and the folks working there. Hwang Dong-Ju (played by Im Si-Wan), leads a team in division 5, chasing after money that's kept secret from taxes. His team has the cheerful Seo Hye-Young (played by Go Ah Sung), and their boss, Oh Young (played by Park Yong-Woo). On the other side, we have In Tae-Joon (played by Son Hyun-Joo), running a local tax office. He's very ambitious but took a not-so-nice path to get to the top, doing things that weren't right while keeping a big ego. It's a tale of taxes, money, and ambition in the world of tax folks.
This epic story, based on the popular novel “Pachinko," follows a Korean immigrant family's journey through four generations, leaving Korea during challenging times to build a better life. It all starts with Kim Sun-Ja(played by Minha Kim), raised in Korea under Japanese rule, who falls in love with Koh Han-Su(played by Lee Min Ho). Their paths intertwine with a priest named Baek Isak, leading to a significant life change for Sun-Ja as she had to move to Japan. Fast forward to 1989 in New York, Baek Solomon (played by Jin Ha) is determined to climb the corporate ladder. The tale highlights struggles, dreams, and the unwavering spirit of a family striving for a brighter future, navigating a world full of challenges and opportunities.
4. One Ordinary Day
One ordinary day, Kim Hyun Soo (played by Kim Soo Hyun), a bright university student, ends up in a life-changing situation. While heading to meet friends, he unwittingly picks up a mysterious and sad-looking girl, Hong Guk Hwa, in his father's taxi for a regular cab. This chance encounter spirals into a nightmare when he is falsely accused of a violent murder of that girl. Despite his innocence, everyone sees him as the prime suspect. In this dire situation, a struggling lawyer, Shin Joong Han (played by Cha Seung Won), comes forward to help him. Together, they fight the justice system to prove Hyun Soo's innocence, revealing a gripping tale that explores crime, law and a biased legal system. The drama is a remake of the BBC series "Criminal Justice," offering an intense look into the criminal justice system through the lens of a woman's murder and the lives entangled in it.
5. The Killer’s Shopping List
Ahn Dae-Sung (played by Kwang-Soo Lee) is a kind-hearted guy with a great memory. He dreams of becoming a public official but struggles with the exam. He keeps trying, cheered on by his mom and his girlfriend, Do A-Hee (played by Seol-Hyun Kim), who's a police officer. Dae-Sung works at his mom’s (played by Jin Hee Kyung) store named MS Mart store near Seoul. One day, a murder happens nearby apartments and A-Hee, being a cop, investigates the murder. She finds a clue, a receipt from their store (MS Mart). Dae-Sung, and his mom join in to help solve the mystery. Even though they're not experts, they're determined to solve the puzzling case and catch the culprit.
6. The Silent Sea
In a future where Earth is dried due to desertification, Han Yun-Jae (played by Gong Yoo), a space agency soldier, is chosen along with scientist Song Ji-An (played by Bae Doona) for a moon mission. They aim to retrieve a mysterious sample from an abandoned lunar research station. The team discovers hidden truths about the mission and the deadly sample—a peculiar element that replicating like a virus when in contact with living cells, resembling water. They face unexpected challenges, including a superhuman girl immune to the lunar water's effects, while dealing with potential betrayal from within the team.
7. The Fabulous
Four close friends chase their dreams in the glamorous fashion world while dealing with their jobs, love troubles, and exciting nights out. The story follows people dedicated to the fashion industry, working hard to succeed and find love. Ji Woo-Min (played by Choi Minho) is a skilled photo enhancer, but he lacks passion in his job. Pyo Ji-Eun (played by Chae Soo-Bin) has always dreamed of working for fashion and now manages a luxury brand promotion agency. Despite the challenges in the fashion world, she keeps a positive attitude. The Fabulous shows the lives of young adults in Seoul's fashion scene, juggling work, personal matters, and relationships in this competitive environment.
8. A Superior Day
Lee Ho-Chul (played by Jin Goo)is a firefighter and a loving family man. One day, he gets a terrifying message claiming his neighbor, Kwon Shi-Woo, is a serial killer. The sender kidnaps Ho-Chul's daughter and threatens to harm his daughter unless Kwon Shi-Woo (played by Lee Won-Geun) is killed within 24 hours. Ho-Chul is unaware of why the sender is targeting Kwon Shi-Woo. Kwon Shi-Woo appears normal but is a dangerous psychopath. Ho-Chul is caught in a dangerous game between the hitman and the alleged serial killer.
9. Birthcare Center
Oh Hyun Jin (played by Uhm Ji-Won) is a successful businesswoman who becomes a new mom. She expected having a baby would be easier, but it turned out to be hard. She goes to a fancy birth care center for new moms to get help. However, she's surprised to find out she's the oldest mom there and feels embarrassed because she doesn't know how to take care of her baby. Thankfully, the other moms in the center help and inspire her. One mom, Jo Eun-Jung (played by Park Ha-Sun), is like a parenting expert, and another, Choi Hye Sook (played by Jang Hye-Jin), is the knowledgeable manager of the center who knows a lot about taking care of babies. Together, they form friendships and grow stronger through this experience.
10. Live On
Baek Ho Rang (played by Jung Da-Bin) is a popular and attractive high school girl, famous on social media and admired by everyone. However, she's distant and has few friends. A mysterious person online threatens to expose her secrets, prompting her to seek help from Go Eun Taek (played by Hwang Min-Hyun), head of the school's broadcasting club. To get his help, she joins the club and unexpectedly finds friendship among its members. Together, they try to solve the mystery, and along the way, romance and friendship blossom in the club. In K-dramas, shorter series with only eight episodes can still deliver enchanting Korean storytelling, emotions, and excitement, showing that less can be more for our entertainment.