Any fan of K-dramas knows that Korean dramas are serious about heart-fluttering, cutesy romances. But what K-dramas also do quite well is give you serious action-packed, thrilling stories that go way beyond romance and engage you fully. So, for your viewing pleasure, here are seven non-romantic K-dramas that will wow you.

1. Taxi Driver (2021)

Taxi Driver is inspired by a series of heinous crimes that took place in South Korea. Kim Do-gi is a Korean Military Academy graduate and lived his life as an honest officer in the Special Forces. His days were spent in agony though because his mother was murdered by a serial killer when he was young. Because he could not avenge his mother’s murder, Do-gi now works for Rainbow Taxi, a secret organisation that avenges victims the law didn’t protect.

Do-gi becomes a star performer at Rainbow Taxi and delivers satisfying revenge. But he also runs into prosecutor Ha Na who is looking into the organisation and its unlawful activities. Taxi Driver questions what justice really means. Does revenge embody true justice, or should you let the law take its own course? The show received immense praise and has been renewed for a second season which is due in 2023.

Watch it on Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Viki

2. Mouse (2021)

What if psychopaths could feel remorse and guilt for their actions and what if they could be identified in advance? Those are the themes Mouse primarily deals with. This dark and twisted series follows a rookie police officer Jung Ba-reum who comes face to face with a serial killer. The serial killer’s ruthless crimes have left the entire nation in chaos and fear, and Ba-reum and his partner Ko Moo-chi are on the hunt to find the truth. Mouse is not an easy watch. It is a psychological, crime thriller with sci-fi elements that will keep you on the edge of your seat but is so dark that you’ll feel like you are stuck in a perpetual night. Watch it at your own risk.

Watch it on Viki

3. The Uncanny Counter (2020)

The Uncanny Counter follows four demon hunters through the fictional city of Jungjin as they take up the task of banishing evil spirits that escape from the afterlife to gain immortality. Ga Mo-tak, Do Ha-na, and Choo Mae-ok are demon hunters who pose as workers at Eonni’s Noodles which serves as their hideout. Soon, a high-school student So Mun also joins them as the fourth Counter to fight bloodthirsty demons.

The Uncanny Counter is a good mix of horror, comedy, action, thriller, and fantasy. With a solid plotline and some commendable performances, this is one non-romantic K-drama that is sure to keep you hooked. And if you love the show, it is also renewed for a second season.

Watch it on Netflix

4. Itaewon Class (2020)

Itaewon Class is based on the webtoon of the same name and stars Park Seo-joon, Kim Da-mi, Yoo Jae-myung, and Kwon Nara in prominent roles. Park Saeroyi’s life is turned upside down when he is expelled from school for punching a bully and loses his father in an accident caused by Jang Geun-won. In his grief, Saeroyi attempts to kill Geun-won, and it leads to his imprisonment. This incident also motivates Saeroyi to make a name for himself and provide tough competition to Jangga Group.

Once he is out of prison, Saeroyi sets up DanBam, a bar-restaurant in Itaewon. Helping him are Jo Yi-seo, a highly intelligent young girl who becomes the manager of DanBam, Choi Seung-kwon, Saeroyi’s cellmate in prison who also ends up working at DanBam, and Ma Hyeon-yi, a transwoman who works as a cook at DanBam. Kim To-ni, a Guinean-Korean also joins the team as a part-timer.

Itaewon Class perfectly captures what it means to make it to the top from scratch through sheer hard work and perseverance, despite resistance from people with money and power. The show has a good mix of emotional depth, powerful performances, a groovy OST, and a mere sprinkling of romance to satiate the romantics.

Watch it on Netflix

5. D.P. (2021)

D.P. or Deserter Pursuit is based on a webtoon by Kim called D.P Dog’s Day. Starring Jung Hae-in, Koo Kyo-hwan, Son Seok-koo, and Kim Sung-kyun in prominent roles, the series follows a team of Korean military police who catch military defectors. The series brings to light the darker side of the military, especially the widespread bullying and hazing. It also puts the focus on the mindset of “survival of the fittest” and how every act is a competition and the supposed weakest person is thrown to the mercy of the superiors and peers to go through traumatic experiences. When Private Ahn Joon-ho is added to the team of officers that apprehends the defectors, he is forced to ask himself whether those who leave have no other choice.

D.P. deals with some pretty heavy issues and doesn’t shy away from showcasing grim reality. But it is also sprinkled with some humour and a good dose of bromance to keep it balanced. This non-romantic K-drama should definitely make it to your weekend watchlist.

Watch it on Netflix

Related: Bros Before Beaus: 7 Korean Drama Bromances You Would Hate To Miss Out On

6. My Name (2021)

After her father is murdered, Yoon Ji-woo is on a mission to avenge his death. In her quest for revenge, Ji-woo joins Korea’s biggest drug ring and works with Choi Mu-jin. Under Mu-jin’s trust and guidance, she infiltrates the police force and partners with Jeon Pil-do. My Name follows Ji-woo in her hunt to find her father’s murderer, even if it means she turns into a monster in the process. She is willing to go to any lengths to get what she wants and doesn’t hesitate to get down and dirty. The series is sinister, violent, and action-packed, but it is also heartbreaking and suspenseful enough to keep you emotionally engaged.

Watch it on Netflix

7. My Mister (2018)

It is not often that you come across a series that is rated so highly that most people would recommend you watch it. My Mister, despite being seemingly gloomy, is one such series. Lee Ji-an is a debt-ridden young woman who is looking after her sick and deaf grandmother while working a part-time job. On the other hand is Park Dong-hoon, a middle-aged engineer whose brothers are still unemployed and whose wife is having an affair with his boss. Soon, the paths of Dong-hoon and Ji-an cross, and together, they form new relationships, while keeping some secrets from each other, but ultimately healing each other from their past.

My Mister, at a glance, may seem like a drab and bleak show, and it’s definitely not for the weak-hearted. It will make you shed bucketloads of tears, but it will also warm the cockles of your heart. This is not a show to be binge-watched in two days, rather it is a show you watch over a couple of weeks. Allow yourself to fully immerse in the story and feel all the emotions and don’t try to rush through them all. That’s the best way to enjoy My Mister.

Watch on Netflix or Viki

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Related: 6 Healing K-Dramas Of 2021 That Feel Like A Warm Embrace

 

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