9 Must-see dramas written by Descendants of the Sun's Kim Eun Sook
Kim Eun Sook's latest mega-hit Descendants of the Sun is sparking massive amounts of buzz and praise around the world. While very impressive, it's an accomplishment that shouldn't be a big surprise for those who have followed her impressive career. She is well known for writing hit after hit, continuously breaking ratings records and captivating Korea with her exciting shows. But have you seen all of her amazing dramas? If you are a fan of Descendants of the Sun, be sure to check out her other fantastic dramas!
1. Lovers in Paris (2004)
The phenomenon that began the popular Lovers trilogy, Lovers In Paris is one of the highest-rated Korean dramas to this day. Kang Tae Young, the daughter of a poor film director, moves to Paris after her father dies. While dreaming of writing a screenplay, she takes a job as a housekeeper at the home of sophisticated, cynical millionaire Han Ki Joo, who has moved to Paris to recover from his recent divorce. With his sights on the position of Chairman in his father's company, the last thing on his mind is romance, and he quickly grows impatient with straightforward, spunky Tae Young and fires her. When an opportunity arises to help further his business plans, he hires her to pretend to be his fiancée. Gradually the two begin to develop feelings for each other, but misunderstandings quickly divide them. Faced with lives, circumstances, and transcontinental distances that seem determined to separate them, this is a story of two lovers overcoming chance, tragedy, and their own fearful hearts to discover if together they can make more than a beautiful memory in Paris.
2. Lovers in Prague (2005)
This is the second installment in the popular Lovers trilogy. Bright and beautiful Jae Hee is finishing up her time as a diplomat in Prague and attempting to get over a harsh break up from five years before. As the daughter of the Korean president, she must constantly try to keep a low profile, but when she meets lowly, quick-tempered detective Sang Hyun in Prague, romance blossoms between them. However, with the sudden reappearance of Jae Hee's ex-boyfriend and Sang Hyun's ex, things quickly get complicated. Torn by the difference in their social status, the president's daughter and the poor detective will have to fight to discover whether the love that brought them together in beautiful Prague can overcome all that would keep them apart.
3. Lovers (2006)
Drama veterans Kim Jung Eun and Lee Seo Jin (Yi San) lead this tie-in to Jung Eun's earlier drama hit Lovers In Paris, the third in a trilogy of dramas. Yoon Mi Joo is a poor plastic surgeon struggling to support her family and her father's orphanage on her meager salary. Ha Kang Jae is a mob leader whose world comes crashing down on him when he finds out that his long-term girlfriend, Park Yu Jin is pregnant. Reluctantly taking responsibility for the baby, he meets Mi Joo on the street one day and discovers that she is Yu Jin's neighbor. Mi Joo meanwhile mistakes Kang Jae for her good-for-nothing brother-in-law and impresses him with her feisty attitude. When she saves Kang Jae's life after he's stabbed in an attack, the two are thrown together, and slowly Mi Joo begins to thaw Kang Jae's heart—a heart unused to love after he grew up an orphan. Kang Sae Yeon, however, the son of Kang Jae's mob boss and his perpetual rival, is also in love with Mi Joo...
4. On Air (2008)
One of the highest-rated dramas of 2008, On Air explores the world of TV drama production where private and professional lives collide. Beloved superstar Kim Ha Neul (90 Days, Time to Love) stars alongside Song Yoon Ah (Hotelier). When Korea's thespian sweetheart Oh Seong Ah risks her career after she refuses to accept the SBC Grand Prize co-awarded to her because she doesn't want to share it. With her fans rallying around her, she decides to shake things up even more, and fires her hotshot manager Jin Sang Woo (Lee Hyung Cheol). Seong Ah hires Jang Ki Joon (Lee Bum Soo), a former top-notch manager who quit the business years ago, saving him from bankruptcy. Meanwhile, Seong Ah's nemesis, Seo Young Eun (Song Yoon Ah), a bestselling scriptwriter of generic love stories, is attempting to write her first "serious" script, but it is not well accepted by her usual director. Furious, she promptly fires him and turns to young, rookie director Lee Kyung Min (Park Yong Ha), who has his own ideas about what she should write...
5. City Hall (2009)
A cynical, arrogant politician takes a young woman from a small town and turns her into a political powerhouse, and ends up falling in love along the way. Shin Mi Rae is a junior secretary in the mayoral office in Inju City. After years of making coffee and running errands, she has no plans beyond remaining neutral and keeping her job. Enter Jo Gook, a high-profile, rising political star mysteriously sent to take over as deputy mayor. Jo Gook has his eye on a run for the presidency of South Korea and he's not exactly thrilled about being banished to a small town, but he quickly adapts, and sees Mi Rae as a potential asset. When Mi Rae wins a beauty pageant and demands the prize money her corrupt boss has stolen, she is promptly fired and Jo Gook sees his opportunity. Taking her under his wing, he propels her into the political arena and introduces her as the newest—not to mention youngest and most female—candidate for the mayoral office. Up against her ex-boss and other corrupt government officials, will she still have what it takes to rise to the top and win a few hearts on the way?
6. Secret Garden (2010)
This quirky, high concept drama follows a neurotic businessman and a passionate stunt woman who come to possess each other's hearts and bodies...literally! Kim Joo Won is the arrogant, eccentric heir to a large company. Poised to inherit a large department store, he constantly rejects the girls his matchmaking mother sends his way. When he meets Gil Ra Im, a beautiful, driven stunt-woman, she changes his life, as he becomes fascinated by her strength and vulnerability. Ra Im wants nothing to do with this oddball, drawn more to his pop-star cousin Oscar, whose music she admires. Ra Im and Joo Won are thrown together when, due to a magical accident, they end up switching bodies. Now, they'll have to live each other's lives, coming to know each other (and themselves) in the process better than they would have thought possible...
7. A Gentleman’s Dignity (2012)
Described as the "male version of Sex in the City", Kim Do Jin (Jang Dong Gun) is a playboy architect who refuses to admit he's getting old; Im Tae San (Kim Soo Ro, God of Study) finds himself in a complicated relationship with a cold-hearted woman; Choi Yoon (Kim Min Jong, Athena) is a timid lawyer, struggling to get over the wife he lost seven years ago; and Lee Jong Rok (Lee Jong Hyuk, Chuno) is a vain man who married an older woman for her fortune. Kim Do Jin finds love at first sight when he continuously crosses paths with Seo Yi Soo (Kim Ha Neul), a local high school teacher. The only problem is, Yi Soo has her sights set on one of Do Jin's best friends!
8. Heirs (2013)
A worthy successor to the international hit Boys Over Flowers, Heirs follows a group of privileged, elite high school students as they are groomed to take over their families' business empires. These wealthy students seem to have everything under control–except their love lives. Kim Tan (Lee Min Ho) is heir to the Empire Group sent to study abroad in the U.S. In reality it's a form of exile, as his elder half-brother back home (Choi Jin Hyuk) schemes to take over the family business. While in the States, Kim Tan bumps into Cha Eun Sang (Park Shin Hye), who's arrived from Korea in search of her older sister. He feels himself falling for her, never realizing that she's the daughter of his family's housekeeper. When his fiancée Rachel Yoo (Kim Ji Won) arrives to bring him back to Korea, his heart is torn between love and duty. Meanwhile, Rachel's half-brother Choi Young Do (Kim Woo Bin) develops his own crush on Eun Sang. Who said being a rich, beautiful high school student was easy?
9. Descendants of the Sun (2016)
And last, but not least, is the currently airing drama Descendants of the Sun! It's love at first sight for special forces Captain Yoo Shi Jin (Song Joong Ki) when he meets a beautiful doctor (Song Hye Kyo) who treats his wounds. Over before it can truly begin, the two separate due to their opposite values -- one being a soldier who takes lives, and the other a doctor who fights to save them. Almost a year later, a fateful reunion takes place in Uruk, causing them to work together. Can Shi Jin and Mo Yeon overcome their biggest hurdle, or was it never meant to be?
Have you seen them all? Which of Kim Eun Sook's dramas is your favorite? Share your thoughts below!