1. Extraordinary Attorney Woo, 2. Mr. Sunshine, 3. It's Okay To Not Be Okay, 4. Vincenzo, 5. Strong Girl Bong-Soon, 6. The Uncanny Counter, 7. When The Camellia Blooms, 8. The World Of The Married, 9. Her Private Life, 10. Tell Me What You Saw. Korean dramas, or K-Dramas, are popular worldwide for their captivating storylines, exceptional performances, and empowering portrayal of strong female characters. In this article, Toplist'll explore the best K-Dramas with strong female leads.
- Extraordinary Attorney Woo
- Mr. Sunshine
- It’s Okay To Not Be Okay
- Strong Girl Bong-Soon
- The Uncanny Counter
- When The Camellia Blooms
- The World Of The Married
- Her Private Life
- Tell Me What You Saw
Extraordinary Attorney Woo
“Extraordinary Attorney Woo” tells the story of Woo Young-woo, a talented rookie lawyer who overcomes discrimination to secure her dream job at Hanbada, a prestigious law firm in Seoul. Despite facing rejection due to her high-functioning autism, Young-woo’s exceptional abilities, including a photographic memory and sharp intellect, make her an outstanding lawyer both inside and outside the courtroom. However, her unique social skills occasionally create challenges with her colleagues.
Despite these difficulties, Young-woo’s perseverance and unwavering determination enable her to excel in her cases. As she navigates through the complexities of her profession, she discovers acceptance from some of her coworkers, including her love interest, Lee Jun-ho. Young-woo’s story serves as an inspiration for anyone who has experienced adversity and can relate to the challenges she faces.
No matter the obstacles she encounters, Young-woo refuses to let them hinder the pursuit of her aspirations. Her character resonates with those who find solace in her resilience and ability to overcome societal barriers.
Original release: June 29 – August 18, 2022
Running time: 64 – 82 minutes
Directed by: Yoo In-shik
Stars: Park Eun-bin, Kang Tae-oh, Kang Ki-young
Watch here: https://www.justwatch.com/us/tv-show/extraordinary-attorney-woo
Image via justwatch.com
Video by Netflix Asia
The historical romantic melodrama “Mr. Sunshine” is a captivating K-drama that breaks boundaries with its strong and empowered female lead. Go Ae-Shin, played flawlessly by Kim Tae-Ri, is not merely a Joseon noblewoman living in the oppressive society of her time. Behind her exquisitely crafted facade, Ae-Shin secretly joins the Righteous Army and showcases her exceptional skills as a highly trained sniper. This multi-faceted character defies all expectations, proving herself to be on equal footing with her love interest, a Captain in the United States Marine Corps.
Ae-Shin’s incredible personality and fearless determination shatter traditional stereotypes, making her an inspiring symbol of empowerment and resilience. Her unwavering drive and unyielding spirit draw viewers in, making her one of the most captivating and unforgettable female leads in the realm of K-drama.
Mr. Sunshine, with its strong portrayals of complex and empowered female characters like Ae-Shin, sets a new standard for representation and gender equality in the genre. This exceptional series showcases the potential for women to be heroes in their own right while highlighting the struggles they face in a society that seeks to confine and suppress them. Through Ae-Shin’s captivating journey, viewers are reminded of the indomitable strength that lies within every woman.
Original release: July 7 – September 30, 2018
Running time: 80 minutes
Directed by: Lee Eung-bok
Stars: Lee Byung-hun, Kim Tae-ri, Yoo Yeon-seok, Byun Yo-han, Kim Min-jung
Watch here: https://www.justwatch.com/us/tv-show/mr-sunshine-2018
It’s Okay To Not Be Okay
Ko Moon-Young, played by talented actress Seo Ye-Ji, is undeniably a captivating character in the hit K-drama series “It’s Okay To Not Be Okay”. With her unique charm and slight quirkiness, she stands out in a good way, leaving a lasting impression on viewers.
Throughout her life, Moon-Young endured emotional abuse from her mother, in addition to struggling with an antisocial personality disorder. These challenges have shaped her into a complex individual with a captivating persona. As she grows older, she becomes a formidable force to be reckoned with, solidifying her status as one of the best examples of a strong female lead in K-dramas.
But Moon-Young’s strength goes beyond just her fashion sense. She fearlessly stands up for herself and those around her, even in the face of adversity. This is evident when she intervenes during an event where Moon Gang-tae’s brother is being verbally berated by a father. Moon-Young fearlessly steps in, swiftly pulling the father’s hair and demanding an apology, teaching him a much-needed lesson.
Original release: June 20 – August 9, 2020
Running time: 70 – 85 minutes
Directed by: Park Shin-woo
Stars: Kim Soo-hyun, Seo Yea-ji, Oh Jung-se, Park Gyu-young
Watch here: https://www.viki.com/collections/3131152l-its-okay-to-not-be-okay
Image via viki.com
“Vincenzo” is a highly captivating K-drama series that took Netflix by storm in 2021, and it effortlessly stands out as one of the best K-dramas with a strong female lead. While the central plot centers around the enigmatic Vincenzo Cassano, a former Italian consigliere making his way back to South Korea, it is the formidable Cha-Young (Jeon Yeo-Boon) that steals the spotlight.
Cha-Young, a former prosecutor working at a firm representing the corrupt Babel Group company, discovers that her father’s murder was orchestrated by none other than this very organization. Determined to bring about justice, she teams up with Vincenzo (Song Joong-Ki), embarking on a thrilling journey of twists and turns. Amidst Cha-Young’s infectious and carefree demeanor lies an unwavering determination to dismantle Babel Group, shielding her loved ones at all costs. Her ability to seamlessly switch between laughter-inducing moments and spine-chilling intensity only further captivates audiences.
With Cha-Young’s relentless pursuit of justice and Vincenzo’s charismatic presence, Vincenzo has undoubtedly become a must-watch K-drama that leaves viewers on the edge of their seats, eagerly awaiting each thrilling twist and turn.
Original release: February 20 – May 2, 2021
Running time: 85 minutes
Directed by: Kim Hee-won
Stars: Song Joong-ki, Jeon Yeo-been, Ok Taec-yeon, Kim Yeo-jin, Kwak Dong-yeon
Watch here: https://www.justwatch.com/us/tv-show/vincenzo/season-1
Strong Girl Bong-Soon
“Strong Woman Do Bong Soon” is a heartwarming and empowering South Korean drama that revolves around the life of a young woman named Bong Soon. What sets her apart from others is her extraordinary supernatural strength, which she inherited from the women in her family. However, in a society that expects women to be delicate and fragile, Bong Soon faces numerous challenges.
Despite these societal expectations, Bong Soon embraces her incredible power and finds her true purpose in life – becoming a personal bodyguard for a CEO named Ahn Min Hyuk. Through her role as a bodyguard, Bong Soon not only protects Min Hyuk but also unearths a deeper connection with him, leading to a blossoming and heartwarming romance.
What makes this K-drama truly unique and inspiring is that it not only showcases Bong Soon’s physical strength but also her resilience, intelligence, and determination to fight against injustice. As the story unfolds, Bong Soon’s character development shines through, proving that true strength comes from within.
Original release: February 24 – April 15, 2017
Running time: 60 minutes
Stars: Park Bo-young, Park Hyung-sik,Ji Soo
Watch here: https://www.viki.com/tv/32311c-strong-woman-do-bong-soon
Video by iflix Malaysia
The Uncanny Counter
The plot of “The Uncanny Counter” centers around a team of four “Counters” – ordinary humans possessed by spirits from the afterlife. These spirits grant them enhanced abilities and a healthy body in exchange for their help in capturing escaped evil spirits. These malevolent entities target individuals with murderous desires, feeding off their spirits once they act upon their dark impulses. When the group’s strongest member passes away, an 18-year-old disabled student named So Mun joins the Counters, taking up a job at their hideout, Eonni’s Noodles.
“The Uncanny Counter” features two strong female leads who each possess unique strengths. Choo Mae-ok, a mother who tragically lost her child, gains the power of healing from her spirit partner. She serves as the group’s guiding force, offering warmth and guidance to her fellow Counters. On the other hand, Do Ha-na, the lone survivor of her family’s poisoning, possesses physical strength and the ability to sense information through touch. She is a formidable fighter, providing a sharp contrast to Mae-ok’s nurturing role.
Original release: November 28, 2020 – Present
Directed by: You Sun-dong, Park Bong-seop
Stars: Jo Byeong-kyu, Yoo Jun-sang, Kim Se-jeong, Yeom Hye-ran, Ahn Suk-hwan, Yoo In-soo
Watch here: https://www.justwatch.com/id/tv-show/the-uncanny-counter/season-2
Video by Netflix K-Content
When The Camellia Blooms
In the heartwarming K-drama series “When the Camellia Blooms”, audiences are captivated by the empowering journey of Oh Dong-Baek, portrayed brilliantly by Gong Hyo-Jin. Oh Dong-Baek stands out as a resilient and admirable character, making her an idolized strong female lead in the realm of Korean dramas.
As a single mother, Dong-Baek faces relentless judgment and criticism from the close-knit community she resides in. In a society where having a husband is perceived as a norm, her decision to navigate the challenges of parenthood alone is met with disdain and reproach. However, her strength lies in her unwavering sense of self-worth and determination. Dong-Baek defies societal expectations, refusing to let the opinions of others define her or her journey as a mother.
What enchants viewers about Dong-Baek is her ability to hold her head high, radiating a sense of pride in her ability to raise her child with love and grace. With every step she takes, Dong-Baek inspires audiences to embrace their individuality and not be deterred by societal conventions. Her resilience sparks a sense of empowerment that resonates deeply with viewers, igniting their flames of courage and self-acceptance.
Original release: September 18 – November 21, 2019
Running time: 35 minutes
Directed by: Cha Young-hoon
Stars: Gong Hyo-jin, Kang Ha-neul, Kim Ji-seok
Watch here: https://www.justwatch.com/us/tv-show/when-the-camellia-blooms
The World Of The Married
“The World of the Married” offers a captivating and intricate storyline that delves into deep emotions, navigating through a complex web of relationships and showcasing the strength of its female lead. With its dramatic sequences and engrossing plot, this K-drama stands out as one of the finest in its genre.
As “The World of the Married” unfolds, viewers are taken on a rollercoaster ride of unexpected twists and turns. Sun-Woo bravely tries to maintain a facade of strength while internally battling her emotions. Through her journey, she confronts her flaws, finds solace in unexpected places, and learns to navigate the complexities of love, trust, and forgiveness.
Original release: March 27 – May 16, 2020
Running time: 75 – 92 minutes
Directed by: Mo Wan-il, Kim Sung-jin
Stars: Kim Hee-ae, Park Hae-joon, Han So-hee, Park Sun-young, Kim Young-min
Watch here: https://www.justwatch.com/in/tv-show/the-world-of-the-married
Her Private Life
“Her Private Life” delves into the life of Seung Duk-mi, a remarkable chief curator admired for her immense talent at the prestigious art museum. Though always maintaining an air of professionalism, she harbors a clandestine passion – she is an unabashed fan girl of Cha Shi-an, a captivating member of the renowned White Ocean boy group. Secretly, she manages a highly successful fan site dedicated to him, all the while concealing her true identity from the world.
However, when whispers of romantic involvement between Duk-mi and Shi-an swirl around, her new director, Ryan Gold, proposes a solution to quash the idle gossip. He suggests a “fake dating” scenario, to dispel any notions of a real relationship between the two.
As one of the best K-dramas with strong female leads, Duk-mi’s character shatters the stereotype that a successful, professional woman cannot have her interests and hobbies, particularly those that may be considered immature by societal standards. She reminds us that pursuing one’s passions, regardless of others’ opinions, exhibits immense strength and individuality. Duk-mi’s story serves as an inspiration for those who dare to embrace their true selves and follow their unique paths, free from judgments and societal expectations.
Original release: April 10 – May 30, 2019
Directed by: Hong Jong-chan
Stars: Park Min-young, Kim Jae-wook, Ahn Bo-hyun
Watch here: https://www.viki.com/tv/36550c-her-private-life
Tell Me What You Saw
When it comes to praising strong female leads, “Tell Me What You Saw” certainly deserves a mention. In this remarkable K-drama series, we are introduced to two exceptional women who leave a lasting impression – Cha Soo-Young (played by Sooyoung) and Hwang Ha-Young (portrayed by Jin Seo-Yeon). However, it is Soo-Young who possesses a unique ability that sets her apart, making her an indomitable force.
Soo-Young, a dedicated police officer, possesses a photographic memory. The moment she lays her eyes on something, it becomes permanently etched in her mind. This innate talent proves to be invaluable as she becomes instrumental in tracking down a notorious serial killer, teaming up with a seasoned criminal profiler to solve the complex case. The intensity and suspense of this gripping thriller keep viewers on the edge of their seats throughout.
On the other hand, Ha-Young emerges as a fearless leader who commands respect. Her exceptional combat skills and unwavering determination make her a force to be reckoned with. She fearlessly takes down criminals, employing any means necessary to ensure justice is served. Both women exude strength and resilience, proving that they can hold their own in any situation, never backing down from a challenge.
Original release: February 1 – March 22, 2020
Directed by: Kim Sang-hoon
Stars: Jang Hyuk, Choi Soo-young, Jin Seo-yeon
Watch here: https://www.viki.com/tv/36926c-tell-me-what-you-saw
Video by Video 4Fun