7 Slow Burn K-Dramas To Watch In Winter

Something in the Rain

These are those slow shows without the crazy ups and downs. You have to watch carefully to catch all of the feelings. These shows are not for everyone and, to be honest, I need to be in the right mood to watch them. Only the most skilled actors and directors can make these shows successful. The actors need to have the subtle acting skills to convey emotions without the usual theatrics and cinematography needs to be captivating and be consistent with the story. The music needs to be on point and is definitely less forgiving of bad musical scores in these types of Kdramas.

When the Weather Is Fine

This one is my favorite of this category. It’s about Mok Hae Won (Park Min Young) who is a cello teacher in Seoul but she gets into shit with some rich people for standing up for another child from a less affluent family. She leaves her life and Seoul and moves back to the small town that she grew up in, Book Hyun Village. She meets an old classmate Eun Sub (Seo Kang Joon) who runs a bookstore near her old house where her aunt is currently living.

Hae Won and Eun Sub had tragedies that happened in the past and both feel lonely because of them.

This show actually deserves to be reviewed in a separate post and I will get to it when I make time to re-watch it. This show is the perfect healing show you didn’t know you needed. Hae Won removes herself from the hustle and bustle of city life and takes time to heal in her past wounds. Hae Won’s character is not likable at the beginning as she comes off as a bit of a city snob even though she spent her high-school years in Book Hyun Village. She eventually becomes a warm and loving person through the course of the drama as she heals old wounds. Eun Sub is shy and sweet but also has a dark past. He is the perfect compliment to Hae Won. The two of them have fantastic chemistry and I loved seeing these two amazing actors paired up.

Hae Won’s aunt and mother appear cold and believe in doing things for themselves and checking in with family once in a while. They never really have any warm exchanges and accept this is how they are with each other. They love each other but after everything they went through together, they stopped getting overly emotional around each other.

This show has a very slow start. It took me a while to get past the 5th episode but once I did, the flood gates opened. It’s worthwhile to keep watching. It is a beautifully made show about how two people can bring comfort and happiness to each other by letting go of their pain together. If you need all those warm and fuzzy feels, watch this show.

Something in the Rain

Something in the Rain

There are parts about this show that I loved and other parts I did not love. This is the Nuna romance, direct translation of the Korean title is “The Pretty Nuna Who Buys Me Food” and I have no idea where “Something in the Rain” came from. The show does always looks like it’s raining, it’s about to rain, or it just finished raining. Feeding someone is a love language for Koreans. We usually ask, “Did you eat?” instead of “How are you?” to be people that we love most and mothers just say, “sit down and eat”.

It’s about a woman Jin Ah (Son Ye Ji ) who works for a coffee company and just broke up with her boyfriend. Her mom is obsessed with Jin Ah getting married but Jin Ah isn’t 100% sure what she wants to do. She runs into her best friend’s younger brother, Joon Hee (Jung Hae In), when he returned from the US. He is warm and light-hearted, a huge contrast from the trash men she has been dealing with her in life. She always saw him as a goofy child but started seeing him as a man.

There are a lot of things going on around Jin Ah at work and at home. At the first company dinner they showed, her senior colleagues were making jokes about her breasts. After being sexually harassed and sexist comments from senior male colleagues, Jin Ah finally says something about it and tries to do something to change the environment at work,

This show touches on multiple issues that women have to face at work and at home and how Jin Ah deals with all of them. Joon Hee is like a comforting sense of relief for her. All of her worries and stress suddenly melt away when she’s with Joon Hee. Son Ye Jin and Jung Hae In have fantastic chemistry. I love how realistic the romance felt.

There are a lot of things about this show I did not like, for example how her company handled her grievances and how her best friend reacted to her dating Joon Hee. This is definitely a slower-paced show there are no real crazy swings. These shows are all about the feels.

This type of show is not for everyone but if you want a sweet and romantic show about a simple love story, give this one a go. Bonus: This show has the best fall and winter coats.

A Piece of Your Mind

This is another Jung Hae In slow burner. He plays Moon Ha Won, an AI programmer, and the female lead is played by Chae Soo Bin, as Han Seo Woo, a sound engineer. The two of them have tragic pasts and are both very lonely people with no immediate family. Ha Won at least had a family to take care of him after his parents passed. Seo Woo on the other hand had to fend for herself. Despite how hard her life was, her character is very happy and positive but her loneliness is still painful and felt as a viewer.

The Korean name of the show is “Half of a Half” because Ha Won was in love with a girl for 10 years who didn’t feel the same about him. He loved her even after she married someone else. He believed that he was satisfied with only having part of someone’s heart and it was enough to sustain him. Despite him being in love with someone else Seo Woo starts to fall in love with him. The Half of a half theory starts to get tested.

I didn’t love this show. I found it a little too slow for a slow love story. Although I love both Chae Soo Bin and Jung Hae In, I found this show a bit pretentious. I also didn’t love that Seo Woo went through all of these tragic events and she is expected to remain bright and happy despite her bleak past and lonely existence. I would give their chemistry a 5-6 out of 10. Chae Soo Bin and Jung Hae In both fantastic actors but the story just didn’t do it for me. I couldn’t understand Seo Woo’s obsession with Ha Won’s first love to the point that she wanted to be best friends with her. Maybe it was her loneliness pulling her towards another sad person.

If you have nothing else to watch or you’re waiting for the next episode of a different show, you can check this one out.

Just Between Lovers (Rain or Shine)

I loved this KDrama so much. It was so beautiful. Another love tied from a tragic incident. Kang Doo (Lee Jun Ho) and Moon Soo (Won Jin Ah) were in the same accident as children and they run into each other again as adults. Moon Soo works as an architect and is working towards her license and she ends up working for the company that built the mall that collapsed. Her parents got divorced after her sister died in the mall collapse and she is trying her best to keep her mother together and clean up after her. Kang Doo lives a little bit differently. He works a bunch of odd labor jobs and is always getting himself in trouble. His only family member is his sister who is a resident in her intern year. He too ends up working for the same company that built the crappy shopping mall.

This story was obviously drawn from the Sampoong Mall collapse that happened in Seoul in 1995 due to crappy construction. I feel like this mall collapse is used for a lot of k dramas. There was a similar storyline Chocolate and they make a reference to it in Reply 1994. They even call the mall in this Kdrama “SMall”.

This show was beautifully done. It’s another healing story of two broken people. Despite being in the same tragic accident and losing family, Moon Soo and Kang Doo took very different paths in life but end up together. I don’t know how they did it but the cinematography was so beautiful. They didn’t use the typical cherry blossoms or ocean backdrops. They somehow made a construction site and an average city street look beautiful. They focused on the raw emotions of all of the characters. The side characters were so captivating as well as you go through their painful lives. Ma Ri (Yoon Se Ah from Sky Castle and Gentleman’s Dignity) was one of my favorite side characters. She came from a really hard life and abusive relationship but made her way out. She works as a madam in a sketchy karaoke bar. Despite the type of work she does, she always remains dignified and loyal to her people. Won Jin Ah and Lee Jun Ho have fantastic chemistry. The character development is fantastic all around. I was rooting for some of the villains at some points and hoping that they also find happiness. This show is definitely worth watching.

Do You Like Brahms?

do you like brahms

I’ll be honest, I did not like this show. It’s about a girl Song Ah (Park Eun Bin) who enters a prestigious music school despite being at a disadvantage because she only played violin as a hobby growing up. Everyone else at the school dedicated their entire lives to whatever instrument they are playing. She meets Joon Young (Kim Min Jae) who is an accomplished and famous pianist. I won’t go too deep into the synopsis because nothing really happened. Song Ah gets flack from her teachers and her family about leaving her stable job and going into music school. She is fighting the odds to fulfill her dreams of being a violinist but nothing really happens. She doesn’t develop or become a better violinist. Ok, so maybe the writers wanted to make it realistic. Fine. Let’s move to the love story. Kim Min Jae and Park Eun Bin are such cuties and I love both of them in different shows but the combination of the two had ZERO chemistry.

I tried really hard to like this show and watched the whole thing but it didn’t take. You can skip this one.

Chocolate

kdrama Chocolate

Tearjerker, every episode. I didn’t like the male lead but I enjoyed the show. I have a post designated for this show here. This is a definite must-watch.

Misaeng

Misaeng

This is an excellent show that often slips through the cracks of KDrama lovers’ watchlists based on a webtoon. This show gives us the rawness of cutthroat office life for a trading company. Jang Geu Re (Lim Si Won) enters a trading company as an intern and he is a massive underdog because he doesn’t speak multiple languages and the only skill he has is playing Go (baduk). He got into the company through a connection and everyone knows this. He needs to figure out a way to make it through and stay on as a regular employee.

This K-drama goes through the ups and downs of office life. It doesn’t hide any of the ugly parts of office life. The dirty politics, sexual harassment, and physical abuse that goes on in the competitive office. The biggest merit of this show is the character development of everyone in the office. The first-day Geu Re goes to the office he puts on his dad’s old suit that doesn’t fit him much like he’s going into a job that doesn’t suit him. He gets put in the black sheep sales team with the team leader who doesn’t play the political games with the higher-ups and the team gets shitted on for it.

This show is genius in how they make such mundane everyday things, like eating lunch in the cafeteria, into a dramatic scene. They have a fantastic cast. This show is definitely worth watching.

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