As a Korean drama fan, I can vouch that each popular Korean drama series brings with it a fresh storyline. Its refreshing to see fresh perspectives being presented that keep these best Kdrama cinematography interesting. Every hit Korean series is well crafted in terms of the lead actors. The dialogues, unfolding of the plot, the OST and the BGM. However, one of the most important element is the visuals.
You will agree that when we like a Korean drama, among the other things that we remember, the cinematography is something. Cinematography is naturally embedding into our viewing experience. It is the backdrop and the visuals that enhance the scene.You will inevitably remember the background in which the hero and heroine would have had their first kiss. The splashing rains in the backdrop when they would have had their first fight.
The dress in which the herione would have swept away the hero’s heart. The color of the hero’s shirt when he first proposes to the heroine.The final soothing scene when they make up. The list is endless.Here are 4 Korean dramas each with a very strong script and solid cast. But the best kdrama cinematography and its visuals elevated the viewers experience and is definitely something to look out for.
Descendants of the sun
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One of the most popular Korean dramas till date. The series is broadcast in 32 countries worldwide and translated into 32 languages. This Kdrama falls in the melodrama/romance genre. It depicts the love story of a South Korean Special forces army officer (Song Joong ki) and a doctor (Song Hye kyo).
The locations are a visual treat, shot in the dreamy islands of Greece. In the drama the location is an imaginary country ‘Uruk’. The clear waters of the sea and the lush green mountains are something you will remember for a long time. It is every woman’s dream to go on a drive in a motor boat across the sea in Greece by her man.
Zakynthos Island (Greece)
There is ample action in this Korean drama. The hardships soldiers face is seen, as they are bound to follow orders. One of the key incidents in the drama is a massive earthquake. The shooting is in the Taebaek Hanbo Coal Mine and Samtan Art Mine in South Korea. The set’s and shooting is so perfect that it almost looks like a movie set and not just a TV drama. The detailing is perfect and gives you a real feel of a disaster zone.
Watch Song Joong ki and Song Hye kyo battle out natural disaster in Descendants of the sun on Netflix
Guardian: The Lonely and Great God
Watch on Netflix
This is one of my personal favourites and perhaps Gong Yoo’s iconic drama till date, where he plays the titular Goblin. Its the fifth highest rated Korean drama in cable television history as of 2020. That’s a feat considering it was first telecast 3 and a half years ago.
It is the story of a 900 year old never ageing Goblin, who is in search of his destined bride (Kim Go eun). For only she can release him from his immortality. But things take a twist when the Goblin falls in love with his bride. Now he wishes to live and remain in his curse.
This Kdrama Goblin covers different era of time. There are war sequences dating back to the Goryeo dynasty of 13th century. The palace, costumes and war sequences give a real feel of the olden times. The shooting is in Gimje extensively, North Jeolla Province of South Korea & Naju Image Theme Park.The Goblin’s house is a spectacle in itself, that shooting is inside the museum of Unhyeongung’s Western House.
There is a special place of the Goblin and his bride, where he first falls in love with her. It is the picturesque Quebec city in Canada. Quebec was once reigned by the French and you will see all the French architecture of Chateau and old commercial streets in the drama.
There is stunning special effects in the series that adds to the “drama” effect. Right from the bue glowing dagger in the Goblin’s chest, the scene where he dies and literally vanishes as glowing particles, the scene where he meets God, with blowing clouds and the never ending desert. The special effects is the main factor why this drama notches higher and just is not another TV drama!
You cannot ignore the fashion quotient here. Gong Yoo as the Goblin might be 900 years old, but his fashion sense is as magnificent as his majestic past! You will see the likes of luxury brands like Bottega veneta,Giorgio Armani,Lanvin, Burberry and Fendi. He carries off the jackets, ovecoats and scarf simply like a pro.
Watch on Netflix
This Korean drama is as intriguing as the title name. The protaganist (Yoo Ah in) is a successful writer. During one of his trips, an antique typewriter attracts the actor.
Once the typewriter finds its way into his study, strange events happen in his life. He meets his biggest fan (Im Soo jung), gets into a writers slump, has a stalker threatening his life.
Contrastingly, the same typewriter also seems to be helping him as it types out a fresh novel and sends off to his publisher; helping him save face.
The Typewriter then reveals itself to be his best friend (Go Kyung pyo) from his past life.
In the past life, all these 3 main leads would be freedom fighters of 1930s period, fighting for Korea’s freedom from Japanese rule. There is still something unfinished from back then, that leads them to re-join again in current timeline.
This Korean drama is a unique dejavu Kdrama! The Kdrama shuttles between the 1930s and current day time lines. The sets design is so awesome that it will take you back in time. The pub, the feel of the space inside is the highlight of the series.
The costumes and hairdo especially of Yoo Ah in is in the 1930’s style. His looks are totally contrasting. He is a morose writer in 1930, who secretly leads a freedom fighting group. He wears geeky glasses and has long and tousled hair, looking totally love lost.
In the current era, he is stylish sporting clothes from the fashion houses of Valentino, Tom Ford,Double Lovers and Maison Margiela.
Then there is Yoo Ah in’s study room and house in the current day. It is rich, stylish, filled with books and gives you every reason to believe it can only belong to a dapper writer.
The set is beautiful and the shooting of scenes is across Seoul. SEOUL SEOUL 3080, Hannam-dong Book Park, Hanok village, Ikseon-dong, Seodaemun Prison History Museum and Hapcheon Image Theme Park
The Bride of Habaek
Watch on Netflix
You guessed it right! This Korean drama series is a love story of the Water god (Nam Joo hyuk) and an mortal human girl (Shin Se kyung). It is one of the interesting kdrama to watch in the Korean drama romantic category.
It is a refreshing storyline as the Water God comes to Earth to collect precious stones to be able to claim his throne and rule as the King of all elements – Sky, earth, Wind and Water. However, this hauty God does not come prepared for his trip to Earth & literally falls on Earth without his magical powers or any money! He then demands help from his destined moral servant Shin Se kyung, who is a psychiatrist.
This Korean drama’s storyline is a combination of comedy with adequate romance, where Shin Se kyung initially thinks Nam joo hyuk is mentally unstable, till she witnesses a few unexplainable incidents & then begins to fall for him. The storyline sticks to being a romedy and is not at all preachy!
As the story is about a mortal & immortal, it has special effects as an integral part of the plot. They do not go overboard and you like to watch the Water God’s water bubble and wind god’s angry flight into air. There is an imaginary alternate Water world created.The setting is beautiful and serene.
You will have dolphins and other water mammals flying in the background. The highlight is Nam Joo-hyuk’s make up and attire as the Water God.
It is so different and elaborate – he’s almost unrecognisable compared to when he comes to Earth as a human being! The beings in the Water world are again depicted as well endowed heavenly beings. The eye & hair make up are so well matched with the attire. It is a real neat job done by the team.
While the romance between the leads will keep you interested in this Korean drama, you will also appreciate how exquisite the visuals are. The best part about these visuals are that they are just appropriate… not overdone or under played.
So go on and treat your eyes to some stunning visuals from the comfort of your home! Be prepared to be dazed!