Korean Dramas and Movies to Binge Watch With the Whole Family

It’s that time of year when the focus is all on the family, and it’s YOUR job to find activities to do together. Whether the gathering lasts a few days or a few weeks, there are more than enough options for awesome family friendly K-movies and K-Dramas that you can watch together.

All the K-Dramas and movies below are all available to stream in the US, so get your Korean snacks ready and enjoy them all!


1.“Be With You”

Romantic, touching, and endearing, this movie is sure to pull at your heartstrings. Son Ye Jin (Crash Landing on You) and So Ji Sub (Oh My Venus) are so adorably cute and the storyline centers on how a family deals with grief (but somehow isn’t too sad) which makes it the perfect family bonding movie.  


2.“Hospital Playlist Seasons 1&2”

Binge watching this top-rated K-Drama is perfect for some family holiday bonding.  Although the stories are centered in a hospital setting, it’s done so well that it actually cheers you up.  Especially the five best friend doctors perfectly illustrating the poignance of friendship. 


3. “Space Sweepers”

A fun, action-adventure movie starring Song Joong Ki (Vincenzo) and Kim Tae Ri (Mr. Sunshine) which keeps you interested the whole time.  What makes it stand apart from a regular space-action film is the story centers on a young girl (with supernatural talent) who wins your heart, and the hearts of the movie characters.  It turns the storyline in a mission-driven cause for space justice. 


4. “Sweet & Sour”

This movie is what I would call a realist’s romantic comedy.  Starring Jang Ki Yong (Now We Are Breaking Up), f (x) singer Krystal Jung, and Chae Soo Bin (I’m Not a Robot), the film depicts the honeymoon stage and rougher times in romantic relationships.  The ending may leave you feeling wistful, but pensive, because it shows a truth about the changes that can happen in romantic relationships. 


5. “Reply Series – 1997, 1994, 1988″

There are three series: 1997, 1994, and 1988. But if you had to choose one, it’s Reply 1988.  It’s a trip down memory lane for many of us.  My parents have shared that watching Reply 1988 gave them back a bit of the life they left when they came to the USA in 1974.  They loved being able to experience 1988 Seoul through the K-Drama and felt deeply connected to their heritage like never before.  How special this K-Drama is for our immigrant parents!   


6. “Hometown Cha Cha Cha”

The perfect family K-Drama especially over the holidays for cheer and joy.  (Remember I did a whole article on this K-Drama).  Quality family time is sure to be had binge watching together or even separately and talking about it is awesome too!  This K-Drama is like hot chocolate on a super cold day or that Korean dahm-nyeo (thick blanket) in the dead of winter.  It will warm you right up and make you feel cozy! 


7. “Tune in for Love”

Here’s a romantic melodramatic movie that I think is super touching.  Its notable stars Jung Hae In (Snowdrop) and Kim Go Eun  (Goblin) do the couple justice.  The movie has a nostalgic feel which makes you feel good, and you empathize with both characters’ experiences as they go through life. 


8. “Dear My Friends”

It’s not a usual thing to see the halmonis as main characters of a K-Drama.  Here’s a perfect chance to bond with your grandparents or aging parents because this K-Drama shows their experience.  It’ll be a validating experience for intergenerational bonding because it outlines the challenges and joys of the aging population.  Perhaps, it’ll stir up some conversation with your parents or grandparents that you may never have had before.  The holidays are a perfect time to talk.  This K-Drama provides humor where needed to offset serious issues like dementia.  But it’s a great holiday binge watch because it’s all about the family life cycle. 


Jeanie Y. Chang, LMFT, CCTP, CIMHP is a global speaker, author, executive leadership coach, and AAPI mental health expert.  She is the host of the YouTube channel, “Noona’s Noonchi” and podcast by the same name where she does deep dives into Korean dramas from a mental health perspective. Jeanie is the founder of Your Change Provider, PLLC® and creator of the trademarked mental health curriculum, Cultural Confidence®. 

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