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What to Watch After "Mine"

Updated: Aug 1, 2021

With the high-society murder mystery Mine finishing its groundbreaking run, here is a list of k-dramas you may want to watch next for similar themes, or just to see more of its powerful lead actresses, Kim Seo-hyung and Lee Bo-young.

The high-society murder mystery Mine came to an unexpected yet satisfying close on Sunday, June 27. The series finale, fittingly entitled “Glorious Women” drew an impressive 10.5% viewership rating, and came in first place in its time slot across all channels.

The drama has made waves with its portrayal of strong women as they banded together to fight for what was rightfully theirs, as well as its progressive messages of acceptance and inclusivity. Mine has been praised for having the first lesbian female lead in a k-drama, with none other than the formidable Kim Seo-hyung essaying the groundbreaking role. Lee Bo-young also turned in a memorable performance as an embattled chaebol daughter-in-law.

As we bid goodbye to the residents of Cadenza and Rubato, upstairs and downstairs, we've put together the list below with our recommendations for k-dramas that can hopefully help fill the void.


If you want more high class drama...

The Lady in Dignity / Woman of Dignity (2017)

A homely and seemingly kind ahjumma with an unknown past is hired as the caregiver of a sick, old billionaire with three inept and greedy children—what could possibly go wrong? To fully enjoy all the twists and turns that The Lady in Dignity has in store, it’s best to know as little as possible, so that’s as much of a plot summary that we’ll provide.

From Baek Mi-kyoung, the same writer as Mine, The Lady in Dignity focuses on the greed and artificiality of the Gangnam class and those wish to fit in, so as with any upper-class makjang, be prepared to grit your teeth and feel your blood pressure rise while viewing this. But the frustration is more than made up for by the tight script, brisk pacing, and the masterful performances by its two female leads: Kim Hee-sun (Room No. 9, 2018; Alice, 2020) as Woo A-jin, the trusted daughter-in-law and moral center of the family, and Kim Sun-ah (My Lovely Sam Soon, 2005; City Hall, 2009) as Park Bok-ja, the anti-heroine caregiver whom you may just find yourself rooting for. Both actresses earned much acclaim and Baeksang Best Actress nominations for their roles. Much like Mine, the evolving dynamic between its strong female characters is one of the highlights of this drama.

This stylish yet scathing high-society takedown reigned as the highest-rated drama of cable channel JTBC until SKY Castle broke its record.

Available on Netflix.

Money Flower (2017)

If you took the classic Count of Monte Cristo revenge plot and mixed it with the Pygmalion story where a sculptor makes a figure so beautiful that he falls for it, you’ll have a rough idea of what the classy light makjang Money Flower is all about. Hallyu superstar Jang Hyuk plays Kang Pil-joo, an adoptee who grows up to become the right-hand man of a powerful chaebol. Little does his adoptive family know that Pil-joo has been planning to destroy the family as revenge for their past heinous acts. But because the best-laid plans often go awry, Pil-joo finds that he must choose between destroying the selfish family he has come to admire and living in peace with them and the woman he has reluctantly fallen for.

Available on Viu.

Graceful Family (2019)

When it came out in 2019, Graceful Family was the highest rated drama in MBN history (it has since been removed from the top spot by Bossam: Steal the Fate) and it’s not hard to see why. The series follows Mo Seok-hee (Im Soo-hyang) as she returns home from the US where she has been “exiled” for the last fifteen years. She is the only female heir of the MC Group, a large chaebol company that is so high-profile, it even employs a special team of experts to manage everything in the family including—and we do mean everything—from providing security, authorizing purchases, to covering scandals and managing family secrets. And when you’re an uber-rich family with very little scruples, there’s certainly a lot of secrets to be managed.

Intent on surviving her own family’s machinations, Mo Seok-hee enlists the help of lawyer Heo Yoon-do (Lee Jang-woo). Together they take on the ultra-rich and ridiculously opulent world of Korea’s 1%. This high-paced mystery drama keeps you guessing until the very end. And look out for the most absurdly entertaining funeral for a pet fish that has ever been staged. Picasso!

Available on Viu.

The World of the Married (2020)

Based on the BBC series Dr. Foster, The World of the Married took the tired and overused mistress plot and spun it into ridiculous ratings gold, both in Korea and internationally. The destruction brought by infidelity is lavishly played out, wonderfully oscillating between the exaggerated and the tragic, but is never cheapened. Strong performances abound from the entire cast, especially from two-time Baeksang Daesang (Grand Prize) winner Kim Hee-ae as the beleaguered Dr. Ji, keeps one watching despite the incredible stress it wreaks on all its viewers. (Pro tip: Don’t stop at episode 6!)

The World of the Married is built on a powerhouse combination of all our k-drama dreams: a realistic plot and pace, oblique dialogue, a brilliant level of unpredictability, and incredible humanity suffused in all its characters. You will find no caricatures here. You may hate the husband one moment, then feel sorry for him in another scene. Did we even think that a betrayed wife would also act against her interests and be capable of horrible things? A safer, more vanilla drama would say yes to keeping her “pure” and “good,” but not this R-rated drama. In fact, it is this level of honest imperfection in its characters, as well as the eternally shifting plot, that make this drama top-tier entertainment, and maaaan, The World of the Married is *chef’s kiss* fantastic from stressful start to stressful finish.

Available on Netflix and Viu.

Misty (2018)

Kim Nam Joo delivers a flawless performance of the flawed -- and incredibly complex -- broadcaster Go Hye Ran in Misty, a drama centered on one woman's fight to survive the cutthroat (and often misogynistic) world of Korean broadcasting and politics. Not many k-dramas deal with the unpalatable realities of women in Korean workplaces, or even touch sensitive issues such as abortion, female-initiated adultery, and divorce, but that is exactly what Misty is all about, and only a few veteran actresses like Kim Nam Joo could have pulled it all off with the requisite nuance and finesse. Helmed by World of the Married director Mo Wan-il, the drama further gilds the lily of Hye-ran's performance with incredible cinematography and topnotch visuals, making Misty a sharp and stylish commentary on the price some women have to pay to fulfill their most honest ambitions.

Available on Netflix.

The Penthouse Seasons 1, 2, and 3 (ongoing)

The classy -- and crass -- residents of Hera Palace band together to make the year’s biggest makjang drama a certified ratings juggernaut. The Penthouse is the batsh*t crazy tale of how far the rich will go to maintain their status, and how the poor are poor because the abusive rich help keep them that way. Three seasons strong, the show has enough insanity, crazy fashion, and injustice to drive you up a wall.

Available on Viu.


If you want more of Lee Bo-young...

I (Can) Hear Your Voice (2013)

After testifying in court to convict a murderer when she was 15 years old, Jang Hye-sung (Lee Bo-young) went about her life struggling to finish school and ultimately become a lawyer. The more she learned about the law, the more cynical and jaded she became. As an adult, her goal revolves around money and having an easy life-- until she's reunited with the child she saved from a murderer. No longer a child, Park Soo-ha (Lee Jong Suk) has dedicated his life to fulfill a promise he made to Jang Hye-sung (even though she doesn't remember him). With his ability to hear the thoughts of people around him, Park Soo-ha helps Jang Hye-sung put criminals behind bars all the while falling deeper in-love with the noona (older female) he swore to protect.

Available on Netflix and Viu.

When My Love Blooms (2020)

A classic melodrama of first loves, painful goodbyes, and second chances, When My Love Blooms stars the charming Lee Bo-young and Yoo Ji-tae (Healer) as Yoon Ji-soo and Han Jae-hyun, former college sweethearts who meet again by chance 25 years later, when their sons get into a fight at the same school.

The drama goes back and forth between two time periods: the mid-1990s—where he is a radical student activist from a working class family and she is a sheltered member of the bourgeoisie, and the present day— with him as an anti-labor chaebol executive and her as a struggling, working class single mother. Over a languid, atmospheric 16 episodes with soaring violin crescendos and almost dream-like cinematography, we learn how they found themselves on paths so divergent, not just from each other, but from who they used to be. And of course, if the star-crossed lovers can find their way back to each other despite the many obstacles in their path.

Jeon So-nee and Park Jin-young turn in utterly adorable performances as the young versions of the lead characters.

Available on Netflix and Viu.

Mother (2018)

Adapted from a Japanese drama and written by Jung Seo-Kyoung, a frequent collaborator of legendary filmmaker Park Chan-wook, Mother is the story of an elementary school teacher (Lee Bo-young) who runs away with one of her students (Heo Yool) when she realizes the child is being abused at home. Every bit as suspenseful as it is dramatic, this Baeksang Arts Award-winning drama is about so much more than child abuse; it is a beautiful story that examines the many faces of motherhood, and the question of what makes a mother a mother. Read our full review here.


If you want more of Kim Seo-hyung...

SKY Castle (2018)

Just how far would you go to get your child in an Ivy League university? SKY Castle takes a look at wealthy, suburban families as they spare no expense, lie, cheat, and manipulate their way for their child’s entrance to Korea’s top universities. The suspenseful and riveting series follows four families who live in the posh and luxurious neighborhood Sky Castle. (SKY is also an acronym of the three most prestigious universities in Korea: Seoul National University, Korea University and Yonsei University.)

It’s desperate housewives meets tiger mom on overdrive in this second highest-rated cable show (of all time!) in Korea. With powerful performances by its female-led cast (Yum Jung-ah, Lee Tae-ran, Yoon Se-ah, Oh Na-ra, and Kim Seo-hyung as the high-end tutor, Coach Kim), the show not only racked up ratings, but forced the viewing public to engage in a conversation about Korea’s demanding school system that sees already-stressed out students go to "cram school" (entrance test preparation schools for high schools or universities) for several hours every night after regular school. It’s a nail-biting, hair pulling, finger-wagging experience for any viewer, with some surprising dark comedy thrown in. Shoutout to the brilliant soundtrack by Ha Jin.

Available on Netflix.

Nobody Knows (2016)

Nobody knows is a heavy drama that deals with murder and the aftermath of sexual assault. Kim Seo-hyung, in one of her more difficult roles, plays the jaded lead detective trying to track down the murderer of her childhood friend, only to realize that evil has no expiry date. Like the acclaimed crime thriller Stranger, Nobody Knows

is cinematic, atmospheric, and intense, and is unafraid to deal with difficult topics such as suicide, abuse, self-harm, and cult behavior. Consider yourself warned.

Available on Viu.


Which of these are you planning to see?

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