Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Where to Watch Korean Dramas

Friends frequently ask me where to watch Korean Dramas. Before I mention places I've watched them, you'll probably guess that they are shown in Korean--without subtitles (of course).

For Americans that need English subtitles, here are places I recommend:
  1. NetFlix. A limited number are available on this popular general service. Examples I know about include:
    • Secret Garden
    • My Girlfriend Is a Gumiho
    • City Hunter
    • You're Beautiful
    • Heartstrings
    • My Princess
  2. DramaFever. After you've exhausted what NetFlix has to offer, you'll probably want to move on to DramaFever. It's selection is much larger. In addition to KDramas, they also have Chinese, Japanese, and similar titles. To watch without advertisements, membership is $9.99 per month.
  3. Viki. I discovered Viki when I was in a hurry to see the latest Seoul broadcasts. New KDrama episodes that air on (say) Monday night in Seoul are generally ready with English subtitles in America on Monday night (thanks to Seoul being on the other side of the International Date Line from the United States. To watch without commercials, membership is $3.99 per month.
  4. A fairly recent entrant into the KDrama market, this service specializes in KDrama only. show some KDramas not available on any of the above services. One notable example is "King of High School," one of my favorites. Episodes with subtitles are generally available as soon as they are on Viki--and without the synchronization problems that Viki frequently has. will start charging membership fees "soon." For the time being, however, they are free.
  5. DramaFire. This service has some KDramas that are too old for the above services. One notable example I watched was "Bad Family."
  6. Hulu. I left this until last because I dislike their requirement that we pay to see commercials. I might have watched an episode or two of some KDrama on Hulu--before I discovered DramaFever. It was the commercials that pushed me to discover DramaFever and the others listed above.
I am aware of iOS and Android apps for all of the above except for DramaFire. The DramaFever and apps are my favorite, because they are the most stable.

Welcome to the world of KDrama. Good luck finding some that you enjoy!