From Run On to Reply 1988, 10 slice-of-life Korean dramas you must watch if you like Hometown Cha Cha Cha and Hospital Playlist

This article was last updated on April 16, 2022

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Are you currently watching Hometown Cha Cha Cha and missing Hospital Playlist, and wondering what you will do once the drama wraps up next week? Don’t worry; we have got you covered to fill up the gap. The slice-of-dramas run at their own pace, take their time in revealing the story, but that is where the beauty lies! These dramas enable us to take a break and appreciate multiple facets of life. Who knows, one might walk away with a few gems of advice after watching a certain drama.

From Run On to Reply 1988, 10 slice-of-life Korean dramas you must watch if you like Hometown Cha Cha Cha and Hospital Playlist

If you like slow-burn dramas, along with a healthy dose of slice-of-life stories, then these dramas are a must-watch for you!

RUN ON (2020)
It’s the drama that brought us the lovely pairing of Im Si Wan and Shin Se Kyung. Run On is one of the most progressive and slow-burn dramas. The drama has shown us an asexual character, gay and bisexual representation who is unafraid of their identity. Gender sensitivity is one of the aspects of how the show tackles conversations. It also showed us that trial and error often happen in life, and it is okay to feel shaken. The romance between the main leads is a passionate slow-burn story. Whenever they are on screen, not only do they give us memorable moments, but also show a healthy relationship between two unique individuals.

MY MISTER (2018)
IU and Lee Sun Kyun star in this unusual yet charming drama. IU plays Lee Ji Ahn, a young woman who has lost hope in her life, and Lee Sun Kyun plays Park Dong Hoon who is frustrated with his life. These two distraught people cross paths and form an unlikely bond. There is growth, resolution, and acceptance in the drama. The drama is full of emotional rollercoasters, and also shows the tight-knit relationships that serve as a source of comfort and strength. There is no romance in the drama, but the emotional connection between individuals is much more meaningful to watch.

A contract marriage leading to the romance between the leads is not a new story, but the picturization in this drama is quite delightful. On one hand, we have an awkward Nam Se Hee and on the other hand, we have an aspiring drama writer Yoon Ji Ho, played by Jung So Min. The leads are different in many ways but are also compatible with each other. They enter into a contract marriage just to have a house, and this cohabitation drama soon turns towards romance. The drama begins with a slight comedy of errors and soon takes a turn towards a meaningful leap. The drama also tells the story of two side couples who fight their own battles in society. What makes this drama a delightful watch is the way that they have presented the problems and also their solutions.

The director Shin Won Ho, who made dramas like Hospital Playlist and Reply series, also made Prison Playbook. Park Hae Soo, whom we recently saw in Squid Game, played the role of a prisoner Kim Je Hyuk, a baseball player who gets arrested and sent to jail because of using excessive force on a man. Jung Kyung Ho played the role of Lee Joon Ho. Je Hyuk’s childhood friend and former baseball player is now working as a prison guard. The drama tells the story of Je Hyuk’s time in the prison and his experiences with his cellmates. There’s a depth to each character and their story, and the story is fleshed out intricately.

REPLY 1988 (2015)
One of the most popular dramas from the 2010s, Reply 1988 is a truly heartwarming drama. Set in the 1980s Seoul, South Korea, the drama tells the story of five childhood friends in a neighbourhood. The drama traces the lives of these five friends and their families as they face life’s one situation at a time. Each episode is quite long, sometimes even two hours long. The director takes his time and presents the characters in a wonderful frame of nostalgia. The drama brought Lee Hyeri, Ryu Jun Ryeol, Park Bo Gum, Go Kyung Pyo, and Lee Dong Hwi a lot of fame and attention. There are two more dramas in the Reply series, namely, Reply 1994 and Reply 1997 but Reply 1988 has been crowned as fan favourite out of the three.

Im Si Wan, Kang So Ra, Kang Ha Neul, Kim Dae Myeong, Byun Yo Han and Lee Sung Min star in this office drama. The drama was quite loved amongst the Korean audience for depicting office life beautifully. Misaeng: Incomplete Life has its silly, joyous, and memorable moments. Although it tells the story of office-goers, the drama also traces the lives of these said office-goers thus giving depth to the character. It makes the audience understand the character even further.

Starring Park Min Young and Seo Kang Joon, it is a story about a slow-burn romance, forgiveness, love, and healing that takes place around the small countryside. Cellist Hae Won is a warm-hearted person living in Seoul but has grown tired of city life. She has closed the door for love as well after series of experiences. She decides to return to her hometown, which is the countryside. She reunites with her school friend Eun Seob who runs a bookstore close to her house. He lives his life at his pace and slowly they begin to find themselves attracted to each other.

This show ended up showing a pretty different side of the rising star Song Kang. It revolves around a ballet prodigy who is pretty close to giving up on his dreams but eventually finds inspiration anew when he takes on his oldest student yet—a 70-year-old retiree who finally decides to pick up his ballet shoes and chase his dreams. Based on the popular webtoon of the same name, the series stars Park In Hwan, Song Kang, and Na Moon Hee.

Kim Min Jae and Park Eun Bin star in university-centric slow-burn romance. The story revolves around two students in their 20s who attend a classical music university in order to pursue their dreams. Song Ah goes against her family to get accepted in the university to pursue music where she originally majored in business. She is seven years older than her classmates and finds the new life pressuring and daunting. Joon Young is a talented pianist who started playing the piano when he was six. He’s been friends with Jung Kyung, the granddaughter of Kyunghoo Group’s CEO, for a long time, and is in love with her. When he decides to keep his distance from Jung Kyung, he meets Song Ah. Thus begins the story of friendship, finding yourself, healing, and love.

This is easily one of the best dramas to come out this year. It revolves around a young boy with Asperger's Syndrome. He works for a company named Move to Heaven that offers the service of arranging the belongings of the deceased, and the people around him. Upon his release from prison, an ex-convict becomes the guardian to his nephew thinking it’ll be an easy ride. But as he works alongside him in the family’s trauma cleaning business, he realizes there may be more to this job—and more to the idea of family—than he first thought. The show stars Lee Je Hoon, Tang Jun Sang and Hong Seung Hee.

ALSO READ: Enjoying Hometown Cha Cha Cha? Here are 7 must-watch Korean dramas of the dimpled-beauty Shin Min Ah

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