Since the beginning of time, Korean dramas have received praise for their ability to engulf audiences in exciting settings full of romance, conflict, and memorable characters. Gender-benders have become an intriguing subgenre that captivates the viewers with powerful narratives, confusion, and humour. These shows give a new perspective on love and life. In this article, you will find Ten gender-bending K-dramas that are must-watches for all lovers of this genre. To watch them, you must be ready for emotional rollercoasters that will accompany you on voyages that question social standards and sexuality while providing nonstop entertainment.
1. Coffee Prince
Coffee Prince was one of the earliest gender-bender K-dramas to receive popularity among viewers. It is considered progressive for its time, as the male lead questions his sexuality as he starts falling for one of his employees. This employee is a girl who has dressed up as a boy just to make a living, and she is hired, in her appearance as a boy, to act as the gay partner of the owner. The act is to keep his grandmother off his back about marriage. The drama is cute and puts forward some important social messages that some fail to realise even today.
2. Secret Garden
Secret Garden is a 2010 drama starring Hyunbin and Ha Jiwon. It is a fantasy Gender-Bender where the two leads encounter some supernatural experience. As a result, their souls get exchanged. Thus, they are forced to live in each other's bodies under mysterious circumstances. The story gained popularity for being comedic and romantic. Although unconventional, it is a good watch, executed well.
3. The Tale Of Nokdu
The Tale of Nokdu is an intriguing drama about a man who disguises himself as a lady to enter a village exclusive to women. He intended to uncover the truth of his birth, which seemed tied to the village. The story shows an unconventional turn of a man dressing up as a woman instead of vice versa. It's an engaging and emotional drama about lost families and priceless friendships.
4. You're Beautiful
If you like cliche dramas with happy endings, this is the drama for you. You're beautiful stars Park Shin Hye and three members of the K-pop group F.T. Island. The story is about a girl who is forced to take up her twin brother's disguise. Since he is a K-pop idol, she has to become a part of his band while he recovers from a plastic surgery that went wrong. However, during the process, all the other members of the band fell in love with her.
5. The King's Affection
Undeniably, Park Eunbin has won a place in all our hearts with her excellent acting skills throughout her career. The dramas in the past few years have gained a lot of popularity as she picks up various kinds of characters from different walks of life. The King's Affection is an interesting drama where an outcast princess is forced to disguise herself as her brother, the crown prince, after his death. The drama also features SF9's Rowoon, and the two leads make a lovely pair with lots of chemistry.
6. Love In The Moonlight
Love in the Moonlight is an adorable story about a prince who finds himself falling for his eunuch. The catch is that this eunuch is a lady in disguise. Park Bogum and Kim Yoojung play the two leads in Love in the Moonlight. The actors do an excellent job making this romantic comedy a very entertaining watch.
7. Sungkyunkwan Scandal
At a time when women were not allowed to study or work, the female lead of the drama Sungkyunkwan Scandal did not back out of challenges. She earns money to support her family and dresses up as a man to get into a good university. The story is cute but also empowering. At one point, the female lead is also caught in a love trial, which is all the more entertaining.
8. Love Detective Sherlock K
Rom-com lovers, if you're looking for something light and sweet, then this one's for you! Love Detective Sherlock K is a drama where a woman dresses up as a man and opens a cafe—"Healing Cafe". It becomes a place where she listens to and advises about the love problems of her clients.
9. To The Beautiful You
To the Beautiful You is a sweet and nostalgic high school drama. It's about a bullied girl who decides to join an all-boys school. Of course, she has to disguise herself as a boy to fit in and get admission. This drama stars two K-pop idols, Sulli and Choi Minho.
10. Mr. Queen
Although not entirely gender-bender, this drama is as unique as one. It is about a man from the present world who somehow gets his soul transferred into the body of a queen from the Joseon Dynasty. It is an extremely funny and acclaimed drama for its unconventional manner. It shows the trials and tribulations of a man in the body of a woman. A must-watch for anyone looking for a good laugh!