The 10 most heart-wrenching K-dramas from recent years
Are you someone who is more intrigued by sad K-dramas than the happier, more lighthearted ones? Then this list is perfect for you! Whether you want a series that lets you cry your eyes out or one that is darker and deals with more complicated emotions and people, we have a list of 10 K-dramas from recent years that will speak to you.
There is so much heartbreak in this story. From a cruel mother who always puts work before her daughter to a family that is destroyed by a news station's coverage of their father's death, there is no shortage of sad moments. The most heartbreaking moments happen between Choi Dal Po and his brother, who have the potential for a wonderful reunion and finally a happy ending only to have it taken away by wrong actions which were set into motion by their past. If you need a good cathartic cry, definitely watch this show. Don't worry though, it's not all doom and gloom. There are plenty of uplifting moments that give you hope.
A first love that is separated comes together again, only to be taken away from each other again with another set of sad circumstances. The most heartbreaking thing about this show is all the lies that are told to the female lead about her life and history. They create so much heartache not only for her, but for her first and true love as well as her son. The missed opportunities will have you weeping for what could have been. The series also doesn't shy away from tackling heavy subjects and never resorts to tying things in a neat bow just for the sake of a happy ending.
3. Empress Ki
If you're looking for a drama that will bring out every emotion in you, this is the one to watch. Empress Ki boasts 51 episodes of sadness, glory, happiness, glee, and finally utter despair. If you want a drama where the second lead wins the heart of the main female, your heart will rejoice when her heart turns to his. Don't expect it to be all happy from there on, though; tragedy strikes again and again in this series. As far as historical melodramas go, this is one of the best.
If you've ever dealt with someone who has Alzheimer's or dementia, you know how painful it is not only for the person going through it but for all those who surround them. Even harder is someone with early onset Alzheimer's. As Lee Seo Yeon slowly begins to lose her memory, the sadness is palpable that comes from forgetting and not being able to hold onto all those things you love.
5. Nice Guy
This is definitely one of those sad-in-a-good way series. There are A LOT of crazy plot twists in this show (see not only amnesia but double amnesia, not only blackmailing but double blackmailing....you get the point). But that is not what makes it especially good or bingeworthy. What has us hanging onto our seats and weeping with frustration is rather the internal battle that all these characters are facing. They are messy and flawed and often make mistakes that lead to heartbreaking situations. This show has spades of sadness in its characterizations and is so worth a watch!
6. Yong Pal
In this drama, betrayal after betrayal will leave you feeling desperately gloomy at the unkindness of humanity or at how greedy people can be for money and power. Although not melodramatic in that way where all characters are crying over their lost childhood love, this show has a much darker, more vengeful sadness. Having your brother put you in a coma to secure his place in a company would drive anyone insane, and thus the premise of this incredible show begins.
There is no sadder scene than the scene with Choi Young Do eating with Cha Eun Sang's mother and the incredibly sad and complicated emotions that he experiences at that dinner. Kim Woo Bin's performance in this series was outstanding and outshone both Park Shin Hye and Lee Min Ho, which is saying a lot about his acting abilities. This show's heart-wrenching moments all come from having complicated families and the effect that that has on these children who are slowly making their way to adulthood.
8. Bridal Mask
This series gives us Joo Won in one of his most fantastic roles yet. From one of the worst anti-heroes we have seen to a man who fights for the people and gives them hope, the characterization of Kang To is superb and dramatic and yet never feels unrealistic at any moment thanks to Joo Won's amazing skills as an actor. This is a show with a heartbreaking plot in the violence that is inflicted upon a people, relationships filled with complication and difficulty, and characters who struggle with who they are and what their purpose in life is.
Oh My Ghostess is a show with a lot of heart. There are so many sweet, romantic and hilarious moments that you'll find yourself laughing and grinning like a fool. But not minutes later you'll find yourself heartbroken and crying over the sadness of it all. Kim Seul Gi plays a ghost whose life ended tragically young. Her acting skills are superb playing a ghost who desperately wants to keep living, who eventually needs to learn to let go of the life she loved. Her story arc will leave you sobbing until the end.
10. Twenty Again
Choi Ji Woo has us sobbing alongside her in a number of scenes in Twenty Again. Dealing with the loss of a childhood and early adulthood that she never had the chance to experience and coming out of a marriage where she has been treated as if she were worthless, she swings from joy at getting to experience many of the things she missed to sadness at having to let go of so many of her dreams because they are no longer available to her. Choi Ji Woo shines in her portrayal of Ha No Ra and is especially moving in the tougher scenes where she lets her emotions be known.
Which K-drama have you watched recently that left you sobbing along with it? Let us know in the comments below!
Watch Choi Ji Woo in Twenty Again: