There’s nothing quite like a little bit of drama to stir up a K-drama love story. Sometimes the drama requires a bit of relationships that take a lot of twists and turns. A little bit of turmoil and angst is often necessary in the lovey-dovey world of K-dramas, right? Here are seven scandalous K-drama storylines that you just might find yourself enjoying.
Warning: Minor spoilers ahead!
1. “The World of the Married”
Storyline: A husband who gets another younger woman pregnant and the wife who vows to get revenge on them both.
Ji Sun Woo (Kim Hee Ae) is a doctor who is married to Lee Tae Oh (Park Hae Joon). The two have a son, and they seem like a solid family except that she finds out her husband is having an affair. She is caught in a whirlwind of lies and betrayal from several people, and it makes it impossible for her to trust anyone. She tries her hardest to discover the truth and to get revenge on her husband.
“The World of the Married” is one of the highest rated K-dramas on a cable network ever and for good reason. The anxiety that the series gives with all the betrayal, fighting, backstabbing, and passionate affairs really keeps your heart going. There are no heroes in the series, which makes for a heart-stopping watch. And we can’t fail to mention the beauty and talent that is Kim Hee Ae and her portrayal as the strong Ji Sun Woo who isn’t willing to back down without a fight. Her determination to get revenge and seek the truth really drives the story home and is what makes the series so successful.
Storyline: A poor piano prodigy falls in love with his much older teacher who is also married.
Yoo Ah In stars as a young pianist named Lee Sun Jae who falls in love with his piano teacher Oh Hye Won (Kim Hee Ae). There is quite a heavy age gap between the two, and the scandalous part is that the drama comes with a really passionate love affair that they share while Hye Won is still married to her husband.
The intense acting by Yoo Ah In and Kim Hee Ae really sucks viewers into the story, and it is eerily fascinating to watch. You can literally feel their jealousy and anger through the screen as they carry out their forbidden love affair. You really don’t know if you should be rooting for the couple or not! Also, you’ll never be disappointed by the acting chops of both these leads – they are obviously the best for a reason!
Start watching “Secret Love Affair”:
Storyline: A man and a woman fall in love with each other, but both are married.
Choi Soo Ah (Kim Ha Neul) is married to a pilot whom she doesn’t see too often. They have a daughter who gets sent abroad to go to school. She meets Seo Do Woo (Lee Sang Yoon) who also has a daughter who happens to know Soo Ah’s daughter. The two fall in love with each other and engage in an affair.
Despite the scandalous storyline, this series did surprisingly well in ratings, and it also won several awards at the 2016 KBS Drama Awards. Kim Ha Neul and Lee Sang Yoon are a dream team as they act alongside each other. They are able to convey so much intense chemistry, which adds to the angst of the feelings they have. It’s a forbidden love story in which the two are still married when they fall in love, but you still can’t help but love them together! It’s a series where your heart will be torn to shreds.
4. “Reflection of You”
Storyline: A married woman has an affair with her art teacher’s fiancé.
Jung Hee Joo (Go Hyung Jung) grows up poor and ends up marrying a wealthy man who loves her very much. The two have one daughter and one son together and seem to be living happily. However, it is gradually revealed that Hee Joo had an affair with the fiancé of one of her close friends, played by Kim Jae Young. This whirlwind of a story uncovers the emotion and complicated relationships that these friends and lovers have with each other.
“Reflection of You” is a dramatic series between several couples that will have your heart racing. What makes it so compelling to watch is not knowing the motives of the characters and what will happen at the end, and it’s easy to become intrigued by the forbidden romance. The unpredictability and eagerness of needing to know the outcome is what makes this series an edge-of-your-seat watch.
Storyline: A student and a teacher fall in love.
Kim Ha Neul plays Kim Chae Won, a teacher who fatefully meets Choi Kwan Woo (Kim Jae Won). They meet by chance and share a couple dates together, but they later discover that she is actually his high school teacher. What ensues is the two realizing that they can’t be together despite wanting to be.
“Romance” is a classic series that was very popular in Korea when it aired, mostly because of the mega popular leading man and woman. The storyline is a bit tough to swallow at first, as they fall in love with each other without knowing their ages and backgrounds, but the series eventually will draw you into their emotional relationship. Choi Kwan Woo wins over the hearts of many with his grand romantic gestures, proclaiming his love for Chae Won. It is so heartfelt and passionate! You’ll find yourself completely invested in the evolvement of their relationship until the very end.
Start watching “Romance”:
Storyline: Girl falls in love with stepbrother after reuniting with him years after parents’ deaths.
“Triple” tells the story of Lee Ha Ru (Min Hyo Rin) who is a professional figure skater. Ha Ru’s mother remarries, and she gets a new stepbrother named Shin Hwal (Lee Jung Jae). When Ha Ru turns 13, she loses both her mom and stepfather in a tragic car accident, which ends up separating Ha Ru and Shin Hwal. As adults, the two end up working at the same advertisement company together, and Ha Ru falls in love with him.
Lee Jung Jae playing Shin Hwal is a bit different from other characters that he played in the past. He also does not do K-dramas that often, let alone romantic ones, so it is definitely a worthwhile watch. The love story he has with Lee Ha Ru may seem scandalous, but it’s really very pure, and you see Ha Ru’s growth as a character. The relationship between the two is healing in many aspects as they are able to understand each other. You also have the added bonus of seeing a rookie Song Joong Ki involved in a love triangle with Lee Jung Jae. If you want to watch an older K-drama classic, this one can not be overlooked!
Start watching “Triple”:
7. “Tree of Heaven”
Storyline: Girl falls in love at first sight with her stepbrother.
Park Shin Hye plays Hana, a girl who lost her father and reunites with her mother who had been living in Japan. When the mother arrives back in Korea, she comes with her new husband and the husband’s son Yoon Seo (Lee Wan). Hana falls in love at first sight with him, but he wants nothing to do with her at first. This becomes the start of a complicated and emotional rollercoaster of a relationship.
This series was aired in various countries all over Asia, gaining a lot of popularity. While it is short in length, it manages to stir the angsty hearts of many fans. The way and intensity in which Yoon Seo loves Hana will break your heart and leave you longing for a happy end. “Tree of Heaven” is definitely not for the weak-hearted, as it is guaranteed to have you grabbing for tissues!
Hey Soompiers, are any of these storylines your favorite? Let me know in the comments below!
binahearts is a Soompi writer whose ultimate biases are Song Joong Ki and BIGBANG but has lately been seen obsessing over Hwang In Yeop. Make sure you follow binahearts on Instagram as she journeys through her latest Korean crazes!
Currently watching: “Twenty Five, Twenty One,” “Thirty-Nine,” “Forecasting Love and Weather,” “A Business Proposal,” and “Through the Darkness”
All-time favorite drama: “Secret Garden” and “Star In My Heart”
Looking forward to: Won Bin‘s return to the small screen