13 Best Korean Musical Dramas That You Must Watch

Updated on April 4, 2018
Xhyniie profile image

Xhyniie has been a Kpop fan for 3 years and K-drama fan for 14 years. She enjoys writing about the Korean entertainment industry.

I am addicted to musical K-dramas. The lead actors in these dramas are incredible. In fact, many bands and musicians became popular in the K-drama world. Let’s take a look at the most popular Korean musical dramas. These should give you a good sense of how talented these versatile actors can be.

13 Best Korean Musical Dramas

  1. The Musical
  2. Dream High
  3. Dream High 2
  4. Trot Lovers
  5. I Am Legend
  6. Beethoven Virus
  7. Shut Up Flower Boy Band
  8. Mary Stayed Out All Night
  9. KPop The Ultimate Audition
  10. Monstar
  11. Cantabile Tomorrow
  12. You're Beautiful
  13. Entertainer

The Musical
The Musical

1. The Musical

This drama follows the lives of people in the world of musical theatre, showing the passion and dreams among the producers, songwriters, and actors during a musical production.

It tells the story of Go Eun Bi, a spirited medical school student who dreams of becoming a musical actor, a kind composer/music director who discovers her talent, and the chief of a production company who considers musicals and the divas of musicals as nothing more than a means to make money.

What Makes "The Musical" Such a Great Series?

  • A truly great villain
  • A hero you can really root for
  • Fantastic vocal performances and choreography

Dream High
Dream High

2. Dream High

Dream High tells the story of six students at Kirin Art High School who work to achieve their dreams of becoming music stars in the Korean music industry.

First is Go Hye Mi, she is a student who had majored in classical music but has to give up her dream by entering Kirin Art High School to pay off her father's debt. However, she needs to get two other students to also come to the school in order for her to enroll in the school conditionally.

These two students are Song Sam Dong, who lives in the countryside, and Jin Guk, whom she accidentally meets while trying to escape from a loan shark. Yoon Baek Hee, formerly Hyemi's sidekick, becomes her rival in school because Hye Mi betrays her during an audition to enter the school.

What Makes "Dream High" Such a Great Series?

  • A cast of fun characters
  • Great signing and riveting songs
  • An entertaining storyline with real drama

Dream High 2
Dream High 2

3. Dream High 2

The story started when Kirin Art High School has been taken over by Oz Entertainment because of financial bankruptcy. Oz Entertainment then transfers over its own idol stars to Kirin High to avoid a law requiring under age entertainers to study for a set time. The competition then brews between the troubled students at Kirin High School of Art and the newly transferred idols from Oz Entertainment.

What Makes "Dream High 2" Such a Great Series?

  • Interesting metaphors and allusions throughout
  • Characters you really care about
  • A fun cast with diverse personalities

Trot Lovers
Trot Lovers

4. Trot Lovers

This drama is about a girl's journey to become a successful singer in the old-fashioned musical genre of trot. She can only do this with the help of a songwriter and music producer who detests trot.

Chon-hee, who is in her twenties, is the breadwinner of her household and she works to make ends meet while taking care of her father and younger sister. She inherited her singing talent from her trot singer mother. On her journey to become a singer, she meets Jang Joon-hyun, a genius songwriter/music producer with "top star" mainstream popularity and snobbish tastes in music, and Jo Geun-woo, the CEO of an entertainment agency.

What Makes "Trot Lovers" Such a Great Series?

  • A heroine you can really root for
  • Great storyline
  • Great direction and choreography

I Am Legend
I Am Legend

5. I Am Legend

This drama is about the lives of "ahjummas" that together search for happiness and personal fulfillment through music. They formed a rock band named Comeback Madonna.

The series featured real musical performances from the fictional Comeback Madonna Band – comprised by actresses Kim Jung-eun (vocals and rhythm guitar), Juni (lead guitar), Hong Ji-min (bass) and Jang Shin-young (drums).

What Makes "I Am Legend" Such a Great Series?

  • An empowering story
  • A fun cast of characters
  • It's so entertaining to watch rock played in a musical

Beethoven Virus
Beethoven Virus

6. Beethoven Virus

As cited in The Korea Times, the show drew attention for being the first Korean drama to depict the lives of classical musicians. They are shown as ordinary people who have big dreams.

The focus of the drama is on the life of Kang Gun-woo. He is a world-renowned orchestra maestro who is a perfectionist in his work. He is not an easy person to work with and is feared by all his players. By chance, he comes across Du Ru-mi, a violinist. Hd discovers that even without formal training, the young Kang is a musical genius. They soon get tangled in a love triangle, as Kang Gun-woo attempts to salvage a local orchestra.

What Makes "Beethoven Virus" Such a Great Series?

  • Great composition
  • Fantastic directing
  • Beautiful dramatic scenes throughout

Shut Up Flower Boy Band
Shut Up Flower Boy Band

7. Shut Up Flower Boy Band

This is the second installment in cable channel tvN's new line of youth-targeted programming. Shut Up Flower Boy Band is an atypical musical drama. It is gritty, relentless, and highly stylized to the punk sentiment—but it always has heart.

Joo Byung-hee is the crazy, free-spirited leader and vocalist of the popular underground rock group, Eye Candy. Joining him is Kwon Ji-hyuk, chic Lee Hyun-soo, playboy Kim Ha-jin, silent Jang Do-il and baby-faced Seo Kyung-jong. When their delinquent-ridden school is forced to close down, they debate whether it's even worth returning to high school at all. However, due to an outside confrontation with their new school's current ruling band, Strawberry Fields, Eye Candy decides to attend Jungsang High out of spite so they can rule the school once again.

What Makes "Shut Up Flower Boy Band" Such a Great Series?

  • So much handsome eye-candy
  • Great dancing
  • The actors have phenomenal voices

Mary Stayed Out All Night
Mary Stayed Out All Night

8. Mary Stayed Out All Night

The story revolves around the life of Wi Mae-ri, a stubborn young woman with no dating experience. She looks like her late mother, but her hot temper comes straight from her deadbeat father. Her father's business failed and this causes her some troubles. Because she can't afford college tuition, she temporarily stops attending college, and without any special skills, starts to work odd jobs such as taxiing her friends around for a small fee.

One day, she accidentally hits musician Kang Mu-gyul with her car and, by chance, they become friends. Mae-ri's father proposes that she marry his rich friend's son Byun Jung-in to pay off their debts. When her father forges the couple's signatures on a marriage registration; she pretends to have already married Mu-gyul. Instead of accepting that, her father proposes a deal. She's given the choice to spend 100 days with both of them and afterward, she can decide who she wants to marry. From there, a love triangle forms...

What Makes "Mary Stayed Out All Night" Such a Great Series?

  • The story is very emotional and you really root for the protagonist
  • The characters evolution throughout, making the story engrossing
  • Great songwriting throughout

KPOP The Ultimate Audition
KPOP The Ultimate Audition

9. KPOP The Ultimate Audition

This drama revolves around the journey of people who dream of becoming an idol.

Woo Hyun, is the arrogant and mean leader of the most popular idol boy band in Korean. He looks so sweet to his fans, but he is really a bad boy. Seung-Yeon dreams of becoming a hip-hop legend, but she plays classical piano at a music school in England. One day, she decided to play Beethoven in her own way and the school kicked her out. Seung-Yeon returns to South Korea without telling her parents about what happened to her in England. She hides out at her best friend, Ji-woo’s house.

The present members of M2 are graduating, so Sunny Management decided to add new M2 members. The company decided to holds an audition, which Ji-Woo takes part in. Due to being nervous, Ji-Woo fails his audition. luckily, his fans opposed the decision by rallying outside the company’s office. This leads to a second round of auditions in which applicants must post their videos on Sunny Management’s website.

Ji-woo’s audition video is posted on the internet. And Seung-Yeon also posted her own video. The president of Sunny Management holds a press conference and announces that they will pick new members of M2 through fan voting. A survival audition is then held. Seung-Yeon, who is one of the applicants, has decided to dress up as a boy in order to join a male idol group.

What Makes "KPOP The Ultimate Audition" Such a Great Series?

  • It's a very fun storyline
  • Great story for teaching kids about perseverance
  • Phenomenal songwriting

Monstar
Monstar

10. Monstar

Monstar is the first drama series produced by music channel Mnet.

The story revolves around the lives of seven ordinary teenagers who are injured psychologically and heal themselves through the power of music.

Seol-chan, is a member of the popular K-pop group Men in Black. One day he is provoked into pushing a crazy diehard fan. The scene is witnessed by some students and the footage goes viral. His reputation plummets. To solve this scandal, his agency advised him to quietly attend school until things blow over.

He meets Min Se-yi, a new transfer student from New Zealand, who draws attention in the school for both her talent and oddness. Misunderstandings occur between Seol-chan, Se-yi, Jung Sun-Woo and their other classmates. But in the midst of all the chaos, they find a common interest which connects them to each other: music. In line with this, they formed a band named Color Bar.

Through music, they learn to soothe the pain inside them and to open each of their souls.

What Makes "Monstar" Such a Great Series?

  • Great story of friendship and love
  • Shows the power of music to change us
  • Beautiful songs throughout

11. Cantabile Tomorrow

This is the Korean adaptation of the Japanese manga Nodame Cantabile. Honestly, I watched this because of Joo Won and Shim Eun-Kyung (I first saw her on Miss Granny). She is a really great dramatic actress. The lead actor also plays the lead role in Good Doctor and 7th Grade Civil Servant. He is a very talented actor as well.

The story revolves around the life of two university piano major students, Yoo-Jin and Nae-ll. The two meet when Yoo-jin gets drunk and falls asleep on Nae-ll's doorsteps. This unexpected meeting results in Nae-ll falling in love with Yoo-jin and following her around the university. This drama has romance and comedy as well. There's something for everyone.

What Makes "Cantabile Tomorrow" Such a Great Series?

  • Great drama
  • Fantastic piano music throughout
  • Great humor sprinkled throughout

12. You're Beautiful

This is the best musical drama that I can recommend to you. What makes it different is that it is a gender-bender drama. This drama is so beloved that they have actually performed a mini-concert to thank their fans. Park Shin-hye plays the role of twins (one is a nun and the other is a singer). While one twin is abroad (Go Mi-nam), Go Min-nyu has to pretend to be his brother in order to join A.N. Jell.

A.N. Jell is a popular boy group in South Korea headed by its handsome leader, Hwang Tae-kyung. Its members include Jeremy and Kang Shin-woo. The story revolves around the life of its band members.

This story is very exciting and involves a love triangle. There are also funny moments that will make you laugh loudly. Surely, you will never be bored watching this drama.

What Makes "You're Beautiful" Such a Great Series?

  • Very dramatic, yet still humorous
  • Riveting story
  • Excellent vocal performances

13. Entertainer

This is a musical drama in which Ji Sung plays the director of KTOP Entertainment. At the peak of his career, he chooses to become independent, but then faces a lot of hardships and loses everything he has. On his way to putting his life back together, he meets Kang Min Hyuk, a talented high school student and promises to turn him into a big star. What complicates the story is that Min Hyuk is an ex-convict. After many ups and downs, Ji Sung finally debuts the band, Entertainer, and the drama takes off from there.

What makes it different from previous musical dramas is that one of the main characters is an ex-convict. In addition, his sister is also a member of the band. Can you give me a drama with the same plot?

What Makes "Entertainer" Such a Great Series?

  • Unique plot
  • Characters you really care about
  • The music perfectly matches the story

Done watching these dramas? Which musical drama would you recommend to other fans?

See results

Questions & Answers

    Comments

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      • profile image

        Niyati Nakhva 

        4 weeks ago

        This list is incomplete without The Liar and His Lover

      • profile image

        Vile 

        3 months ago

        Who can help me remember a Korean drama about two sisters twins. One is a very popular singer and dancer. Another sister is a running. Popular sister dies. Another sister is trying to be like a sister?

      • profile image

        Vile 

        3 months ago

        Who can help me remember a Korean drama two sisters twins. One is a very popular singer and dancer. Another sister is a running. Popular sister dies. Another sister is trying to be like a sister?

      • profile image

        ERNEST MERCY 

        7 months ago

        OH K POP ulimate audition is the best and i also agree that k pop is the best musical korean drama and the best break dance that i have watch so far

      • Ramona Louis profile image

        Ramona Louis 

        9 months ago from London, United Kingdom

        I also do agree that Heartstrings is the best musical Korean drama, should definitely be on the list. :)

      • profile image

        Iskara 

        13 months ago

        I think you forgot the best musical k drama Heartstrings.Park shin hue and Jung yong hwa are in this DRA and it has the perfect fusion of western and traditional Korean music.One of my most favorite k drama.please add it on No.1

      • profile image

        Genevieve 

        14 months ago

        Add Your Commentwhere the hell is heart strings.

      • profile image

        Genevieve 

        14 months ago

        Add Your Comment ...well the hell is heart strings.

      • profile image

        aak 

        14 months ago

        where the hell is heartstrings?????

      • profile image

        vathana 

        15 months ago

        cantabile tomorrow is the best

      • profile image

        18 months ago

        Yeah!!where the hell is heartstrings

      • profile image

        Amun 

        20 months ago

        Dream high is the best

      • profile image

        Storm 

        24 months ago

        What about Pageturner

        this is the only beter then Dream hight Dorama i wached.

      • profile image

        [ ] 

        2 years ago

        What about Heartstrings?

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