There’s really nothing quite like immersing yourself in the lived experience of another person, and one genre I’ve found that never ever fails to deliver on this is the slice-of-life genre.
That’s to say, the bulk of these Kdramas feature very relatable stories, we-developed characters, and there’s just this certain brilliance to the way the storytelling manages to capture the human experience that’s at once poignant and emotive.
If I haven’t lost you by now, then this is probably your jam. And, if this is your first foray into this genre, I can tell you for a fact that you’re going to absolutely love the slice of life Korean dramas on this list.
The moments of laughter, self-discovery, heartache, and profound love are simply snippets of the many mundane aspects of life, and you should absolutely get ready to add a few items to your watchlist.
Here are 14 amazing slice of life Kdramas that beautifully capture the highs and lows of life:
1. Itaewon Class
In a tragic twist of fate, Park Sae Ro Yi finds himself orphaned after his father’s fatal accident.
Fueled by a thirst for justice, he takes a daring step to avenge his father’s death by confronting Jang Geun Won, the son of Jangga Group’s powerful founder.
Unfortunately, his pursuit lands him behind bars, while the woman he loves, Oh Soo-ah, finds solace under the patronage of Jang Dae Hee.
Determined to turn his life around, Park Sae Ro Yi opens Dan Bam in vibrant Itaewon, driven by a dual desire for success and retribution.
However, his business skills prove to be lacking until a fateful encounter with the sharp-witted Jo Yi-Seo changes everything.
2. Age Of Youth
Set in the vibrant house of “Belle Epoque,” this beautiful slice of life Kdrama follows five lively girls in their twenties who embark on a journey of friendship and self-discovery.
With unique personalities and backgrounds, they navigate through their own personal challenges.
As their bond strengthens, they find solace in one another while facing the ups and downs of their eventful twenties.
And, together, they navigate relationships, dating escapades, and the whirlwind of life’s adventures – from juggling credits and part-time jobs to indulging in dreams and aspirations.
3. Be Melodramatic
Im Jin Joo, Lee Eun Jung, and Hwang Han Joo are three inseparable best friends navigating the joys and challenges of their thirties.
Hwang Han Joo, a single mother and head of a drama marketing team, strives to find harmony between her career and raising her child.
Im Jin Joo, an emotional drama writer with a quirky side, pours her heart into crafting scripts with a touch of literary flair.
Meanwhile, Lee Eun Jung, a documentary director and one-woman production team, experiences an unexpected breakthrough when one of her projects becomes an overnight sensation.
Together, they embrace the exhilarating rollercoaster of life in their 30s, and I honestly cannot recommend this more if you’re looking for an immersive slice-of-life Korean drama that feels like a breath of fresh air.
4. Hospital Playlist
In the vibrant world of the hospital, where life unfolds with every passing moment, five remarkable doctors share an extraordinary bond.
Friends for two decades, they embarked on their medical journey together in 1999, studying side by side.
Now, as colleagues in the same hospital, their camaraderie is further amplified by their shared passion for music, as they rock out together in their very own band.
Within these walls, life’s symphony plays on, harmonizing both healing and friendship.
If you’re in the mood for a unique medical Korean drama that always shows the range and depth of human emotions – pain, love, joy, and whatnot – then I can’t recommend this drama more.
5. Our Blues
Our Blues” is an upbeat, interconnected drama that follows different characters and their intertwining lives.
Lee Dong Suk, a Jeju Island native, makes a living selling mainland goods from his truck, and one day he crosses paths with Min Sun Ah, a mysterious girl seeking refuge on the island.
Meanwhile, ship captain Park Jung Joon falls in love with the lively diver Lee Young Ok.
And fish shop owner Jung Eun Hee reunites with her past lover Choi Han Soo when he returns to Jeju Island, realizing that city life isn’t for him.
Through these captivating stories, “Our Blues” portrays the vibrant tapestry of life and the power of connection, and I know that you’ll absolutely love this if you’re in the mood for an interesting and realistic slice-of-life Kdrama to keep yourself busy.
6. Prison Playbook
I know that this might not be the first drama to pop into your mind if you want to watch a slice-of-life show to watch on Netflix, but it really does fit the bill, as it explores friendship, resilience, and redemption.
In this gripping drama, famous baseball player Kim Je Hyuk faces a startling twist of fate. After defending his sister from a sexual assault, he’s sentenced to a year in prison.
There, he reconnects with his childhood friend Lee Joon Ho, now a prison guard and Je Hyuk’s biggest fan.
Soon, he’s meeting fellow inmates and experiencing life-changing events, and this compelling story unfolds within the confines of the prison.
7. My Liberation Notes
Set in Sanpo Village, where departures outnumber the residents, the Yeom siblings – Chang Hee, Mi Jung, and Ki Jung – yearn for a brighter future.
Enter Mr. Goo, a mysterious newcomer with an air of burdens and secrets, and as rumors swirl around his reclusive nature and solitary habits, curiosity sparks within the timid Mi Jung, the youngest of the Yeom siblings, prompting her to take a brave step forward and initiate a meeting with him.
Guys, I’m literally restraining myself from dropping any spoilers, but this slice of life Kdrama had me bawling my eyes out a good number of times. Watch it with a towel or a box of tissues.
8. Work Later, Drink Now
Ahn So Hee, Han Ji Yeon, and Kang Ji Gu relish their post-work hangouts, bonding over drinks, and these three vibrant women, all in their 30s and happily single, have diverse careers.
So Hee, a talented broadcasting writer, shares her experiences alongside Ji Yeon, a passionate yoga instructor, and Ji Gu, an energetic YouTuber.
Joining their lively circle is Kang Buk Gu, a TV variety show PD, who happily embraces the company of these fantastic ladies.
Together, they create a delightful blend of friendship, laughter, and shared adventures in their relatively mundane lives.
This amazing slice of life Kdrama didn’t only deliver on the realistic plot and well-formed characters, but it also showed female friendship at its most painful, sweetest, and most vulnerable – I recommend!
9. My Unfamiliar Family
As the middle child in a drifting family, Kim Eun Hee sees their slow separation.
Her older sister, a former patent attorney, and her sensitive younger brother contribute to the shifting dynamics, and with a hard-working but distant father and a mother ready for a new chapter, Eun Hee longs for intimacy but keeps her feelings hidden.
Instead, she confides in her close college friend Park Chan Hyuk, who feels more like a brother than her actual siblings. Seeking love advice from him, she ventures back into the dating scene.
But, when unexpected events arise, will her family or friends step up to support her through the storm?
This makjang is everything you could wish for in a beautiful slice-of-life Korean drama, and you really don’t want to miss it.
10. Diary Of A Prosecutor
This slice-of-life Kdrama follows the daily grind of overworked prosecutors as they tackle an array of cases passed on by the police.
There’s Lee Sun Woong, a seemingly laid-back prosecutor with hidden depths, and Cha Myung Joo, an ambitious prosecutor who unexpectedly finds herself transferred to a branch office from her successful position at the Central District Prosecutor’s Office.
This is one of those Korean dramas where you can’t help but just marvel at the depiction of the simplicity of life, and all the accompanying mischief.
I really enjoyed this drama, and I have a good feeling you will too.
11. Dear My Friends
Park Wan is a dedicated translator whose adventures unfold alongside her mother, Jang Nan Hee, and her group of elder friends – Jo Hee Ja, Moon Jung Ah, Oh Choong Nam, and Lee Yeong Won.
As their twilight years unfold, these spirited individuals embark on a journey of self-discovery, navigating relationships, family dynamics, and the unique challenges of aging.
Park Wan becomes their confidante, gathering inspiration for a novel that encapsulates their shared life journey, and this heartwarming drama of friendship, resilience, and the timeless pursuit of fulfillment quite literally redefined “wholesome”.
12. Lovestruck In The City
Lovestruck In The City follows Park Jae Won, an architect who becomes captivated by a mysterious woman, and as she disappears like a fleeting dream, he yearns for her presence.
Enter Lee Eun Oh, an ordinary woman who reinvents herself as Yun Seon Ah, captivating Jae Won’s heart.
This slice-of-life Kdrama explores self-discovery and urban life in a very delightful way.
In this riveting drama, you’ll get to delve into the world of the police force as they navigate the complexities of justice, experiencing moments of joy, sorrow, and pain.
Yeom Sang Soo is determined to make his mark as a public official but constantly faces misfortune and conflicts with his superiors, and then there is Han Jung Oh, a courageous female officer fighting against male chauvinism.
Together, they join forces with unwavering spirit to solve various incidents, highlighting the resilience of these dedicated officers.
14. Twenty-Five Twenty-One
Finally, this list would be terribly incomplete without this sweet, romantic slice-of-life Korean drama that absolutely rocked me to my heels.
Na Hee Do, a high school fencer, strives to overcome the disbandment of her team caused by the South Korean financial crisis, and despite the difficulties, she perseveres and joins the national fencing team.
Baek Yi Jin’s father’s bankruptcy due to the crisis drastically changes his life from wealth to poverty, and while balancing studies and part-time jobs, he works as a sports reporter for a broadcasting network.
If you’ve ever wondered what a mesh of the slice-of-life and romance genre would be like, this is it in all its glory. I absolutely loved this drama, and I just know you will too.
And, that’s that!
Guys, every single drama on this list is amaze-balls, and I can tell you for a fact that you’re going to enjoy them if you try them.
If you want some more recommendations, please check out the related post below, and I’m sure you’ll find something.
Please let me know if I missed any drama in the comment section below, and if you’d like to add some more recs for readers, drop it in the comments below!