Some Recommended Korean TV shows for the learners! :D For fun(!)-filled learning!

Hello, wonderful Korean learners! :D Just wanted to share some links where you can watch some Korean TV shows that you may find interesting as well as informative!

Am doing this as I want your Korean learning journey to be fun-filled and relaxing rather than just practice, practice, practice boot camp all the time. ;p

In French, there is a fantastic video series called "French in Action" by Yale University/Wellesley and in English, there is a video series called "Follow Me" by BBC. Both help the learners gradually improve in a very relaxing manner. Sadly I could not find a Korean equivalent yet.

However, it seems some Korean TV shows can serve such purpose quite well though they were never intended for learners of Korean language but average Korean native speakers. Believe you will find them manageable since:

  • many captions, subtitles are frequently used (I think that is due to Korean TV show producers benchmarking heavily from their Japanese rivals) to make you feel comfortable while you improve your listening skill

  • not only Koreans but expats also appear (in fact, some of them are done 100% by expats who speak intermediate or advanced Korean)

Just want you to give it a chance from time to time and see how much you understand. It is not the end of the world even you do not understand much in the beginning. Yet, something tells me that many of you will be quite surprised that your command of Korean is a lot better that what you originally thought of. ;p

1) Welcome! First time in Korea? (어서와 한국은 처음이지?)

2) My expat friend (나의 외사친, again 외사친 seems a youth slang for expat friend)

3) SBS "The Travelers Guide To My Room" (내방 안내서)

4) Where is my friend's home (내 친구의 집은 어디인가?)

5) Remote Island Teacher (섬마을 썜, 쌤 is a pseudo-slang for teacher, 선생님, I think)

6) Abnormal Summit (비정상회담) You might find it a bit more difficult than the rest as topics discussed are diverse. Majority of the show participants are expats either studying or working in Korea at the moment who speak intermediate or advanced Korean.

7) Oppa Thinking (오빠 생각, Thinking about my brother)

If you are deeply interested in K-POP and Korean showbiz folks, this might be the one for you.

8) Real Men (진짜 사나이)

If you want to try something very different... You might find this a bit more difficult than the others it is a reality show where civilian celebrities experience the Korean military life for themselves.

*By the way, some links might not work for the country you reside due to copyright issues. Was able to watch them all as I often use a VPN called zenmate.

January 24, 2018


I’m a sitcom kinda guy, but Korea doesn’t really do sitcoms anymore. BUT... if you can find Hello Franceska, I couldn’t recommend it more.

January 25, 2018

Well spotted! You can indeed say that again! lol

All of sudden, Korean TV sitcoms are all gone. When the US TV sitcoms like "Friends" were doing great globally, Korean TV folks were indeed inspired and followed this global trend. They used to make their own things but not anymore. Even some of the notable Korean actors and actresses who used to play only serious roles in their entire life turned out to be super hilarious on sitcoms so I guess it's a great loss.

Don't know what exactly happened, all I can tell is Korean showbiz is not as fair and transparent as it used to be. Some comedians like Yoo JaeSuk has been earning $20k+ per each show when this guy is no longer funny nor creative at all. Several Korean celebrities like him took advantage of Korean tradition to hand over cash to the concerned party when there is a funeral or wedding. He deliberately handed over unconventionally large amount whenever there was a perfectly excusable event (ex. funeral or wedding) concerning people in the press & showbiz decision makers (ex. producers, writers) In return, people like him get paid too much and continuously get roles and his/her own shows when viewers are becoming sick and tired . :(

Anyway, the one that is closest to "Hello Franceska" yet recently produced one would be this. Yet the issue is that the sitcom is based on what's happening in the Korean military. lol Alas, it would be as hard as understanding stand up comedies.

  • Blue Tower (푸른 거탑)

January 25, 2018

I clicked a few of the links and I could recognize most of them as being very popular here in Korea.

In addition to being good for Korean practice, they will definitely introduce you to the local customs and culture.

One thing I've noticed is that slapstick humor is still very popular in Korea, as opposed to the US and Europe maybe. At least, that's my impression.

So, watching these shows may even help you understand Korean thinking.

January 27, 2018

Well, I once met an American guy who was on a secondment to McKinsey Company's Seoul office. He spoke Korean quite well as his mother was a Korean American. Yet he could not enjoy comedies in Korean since he knew the language but the underlying context. lol Likewise, many Koreans still do not link the issue of paedophilia with the Catholic church. Those who criticise Catholic are mostly due to many Korean Catholic priests and Catholics being overly left wing to a level of being somewhat very pro-DPRK or they are simply atheists.

"One thing I've noticed is that slapstick humour is still very popular in Korea, as opposed to the US and Europe maybe. At least, that's my impression. " = You can say that again! lol, Wish Korea had hilarious folks like Louis CK, Trevor Noah Ricky Gervais.

Think Korean comedians deliberately refrain themselves from doing stand-ups as if they touch seemingly contentious topics such as radical feminism, LGBT, PC (Political Correctness) they usually face very organized cyberbullying nowadays. For example, the below is a typical product of Korean feminism that has been lost for decades now:

January 28, 2018

I didn't know the extent of such cyberbullying. I indeed hope standup comedy will grow in Korea over time, but maybe it'll take some time.

January 28, 2018

Well, unlike the most countries in the world, defamation(모욕죄) is criminal as well as civil offence in Korea. Most countries do not treat it as a criminal or civil offence since such can obviously undermine freedom of expression and speech.

Even in case of slander, it is also outrageous in Korea. In the majority of developed countries, one can file a civil lawsuit against someone for a slander only if his or her reputation was unjustly damaged due to a deliberate lie. If one is telling the truth one cannot be sued obviously. However, in Korea, one speaking the truth can be filed for a civil suit. :(

There are many side-effects of this such as 1) Average workload of Korean police has become simply murderous due to handling all those slanders and defamation cases when they really have to pay more police attention in preventing and solving more serious crimes.

2) Freedom of speech, expression in the cyberspace as well as the real world are significantly challenged.

3) There is all kind of people(ex. politicians, senior government official) abusing the law to silence and/or blackmail others

January 29, 2018

I'm OBSESSED with Fight My Way. I watch it whenever I have the time... It's not on your list, but it's definitely helping with my learning. I use VikiTV. Lots of ads, but for the first few episodes there was a thing where it had the Korean subtitles, and below the English subtitles, and you could pause the episode, and click on a word in the Korean subtitles to find out how to pronounce it and what it meant. I didn't use it much, because when I started watching I didn't want to learn Korean, but I'll definitely use it in the future.

January 29, 2018

lol Speaking of K-Dramas, there are so many so I must have missed this. ;)

February 11, 2018

It says "fight my way" on Viki and then "Fight FOR my way" on DramaFever... I just say Fight My Way :P I also watch Weekly Idol, but rather inconsistently and not really with intention of learning :P because I'm watching for my idols XD

February 18, 2018
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