BY Adrienne Stanley | Jun 10, 2015 01:05 PM EDT
Summer has officially arrived in the U.S., which means re-runs and season finales on network television. Fortunately, Korean dramas provide an endless barrage of programming, with no hiatus periods. Now is the best time to catch up on recent K-Dramas and movies. Netflix currently offers highlights of the best shows and films Korea has to offer. These programs appear alongside titles that may appeal to friends or family that have yet to become K-Drama addicts. Here are 10 dramas and movies to kick off your summer marathon.
6 Dramas that Appeal to Most New K-Drama Viewers
1. "Coffee Prince"
"Coffee Prince," mastered the art of the girl who pretends to be a boy K-Drama trope. The 2007 series stars Yoon Eun Hye as Go Eun Chan, a 24-year-old tomboy, who accidentally lands a job as a barista at a cafe staffed entirely by men. Gong Yoo portrays Choi Han Kyul, a third-generation heir, who falls hopelessly in love with Eun Chan. "Coffee Prince" explores gender dynamics and societal views on homosexuality.
2. "Boys Over Flowers"
Lee Min Ho stars as Goo Joon Pyo, a teenaged conglomerate heir, who is the leader of the F4. The F4 represent the most powerful group of students at Shinhwa High School. Gu Hye Sun portrays Geum Jan Di, a poor but spunky student who is haplessly thrust into the glamorous world of Shinhwa High. Kim Hyun Joong, Kim Bum, Kim Joon, and Kim So Eun also star in the series.
3. "You're Beautiful"
"You're Beautiful" served as the breakout series for its main cast which included Park Shin Hye, Jang Geun Suk, FTISLAND's Lee Hong Ki, and Jung Yong Hwa of CNBLUE. Park Shin Hye stars in the dual roles of Go Min Nyeo and Go Mi Nam, who are orphans that were abandoned after their father died. Mi Nam becomes a K-pop idol while Min Nyeo pursues a life in the nunnery. Her pursuit a simple career is thwarted when she is forced to assume her brother's identity and begins to train as a K-pop star, in this hit Hong Sisters' drama.
4. "Playful Kiss"
Kim Hyun Joong stars as Baek Seung Jo, a popular but emotionless prodigy. His world is upended when one of the worst students in his high school reveals her crush, prior to moving in with his family. Jung So Min portrays Oh Ha Ni, a hapless and innocent girl who is in love with Seung Jo. The series is based on the Japanese manga, "Itazura Na Kiss."
5. "Secret Garden"
Hyun Bin and Ha Ji Won star in the 2010 supernatural hit, "Secret Garden." Ha Ji Won portrays Gil Ra Im, a stuntwoman who aspires to become a top film star. Chance encounters lead her to develop an unusual relationship with Kim Joo Wan, an obstinate CEO who has a perchance for flashy tracksuits. Hyun Bin stars as Kim Joo Wan, in the series. Yoon Sang Hyun, Yoo In Na, and Lee Jong Suk also appear in supporting roles.
6. "The Moon Embracing the Sun"
"The Moon Embracing the Sun" is a captivating supernatural period drama that sets itself apart from its contemporaries. Kim Soo Hyun stars as the Crown Prince, whose ascendance to the throne is fraught with heartbreak. Han Ga In portrays Heo Yeon Woo, the Prince's first love, who is believed to be deceased after she is selected to become the Crown Princess. The stellar cast includes Jung Il Woo, Song Jae Rim, Kim So Hyun, Kim Yoo Jung, and Yeo Jin Goo.
4 Must-See Blockbuster K-Movies
1. "Miss Granny"
"Miss Granny" is a 2014 family comedy starring Shim Eun Kyung, Na Moon Hee, Park In Hwan, and 2PM's Jinyoung. Shim Eun Kyung portrays Oh Doo Ri, an older woman who mysteriously transforms into a young person. She pursues her lifelong dream of becoming a popular vocalist, after joining a rock band. "Miss Granny" served as the source material for the 2015 Chinese film, "20 Once Again."
2. "The Thieves"
"The Thieves" is a 2012 blockbuster heist film which stars Lee Jung Jae, Jun Ji Hyun, and Kim Soo Hyun. Lee Jung Jae portrays Popie, the leader of a Korean heist team that travels to Macau to evade capture. The team embarks on another heist, which involves cooperation with a Chinese criminal ring. Jun Ji Hyun stars as Yenicall, an accomplished cat burglar, who is aided by Zampano (Kim Soo Hyun).
Big Bang's T.O.P stars Ri Myung Hoon, a privileged North Korean student who is sent to South Korea as an assassin. He struggles to protect his sister while pretending to be an ordinary high school student. Han Ye Ri and Kim Yoo Jung also star in the film.
4. "The Divine Move"
"The Divine Move" is a 2014 film noir which focuses on the criminal underworld of baduk or Go players. Jung Woo Sung stars as Tae Seok, a hapless professional baduk player, who is framed for the murder of his brother. Tae Seok emerges from prison with a revenge plan. His primary target is Sal Soo, the leader of the crime ring, portrayed by Lee Beom Soo. Choi Jin Hyuk also stars in the movie as Seon Soo, a ruthless player and assassin.
About the writer: Adrienne Stanley is a contributing writer for Kpopstarz, KDramastars, MTV Iggy and CJ Entertainment's KCON blog. Her passions include a love of K-pop and Asian drama. When she is not writing she is hanging out on Twitter (@retrogirladdy).
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