8 Makjang Series to Binge Watch That’ll Leave You Wanting More
Nov 29, 2022   •   Edgardo Toledo
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Nov 29, 2022   •   Edgardo Toledo
The K-drama sphere is full of well-thought-out series from various genres from romance to thrillers. This includes makjang dramas that aren’t scared to break the status quo — sometimes, a little too much. The word “makjang” means “to take things too far” or a “ridiculous situation.” Makjang dramas are series that transcend extreme or unrealistic life situations, in other words, plot points that are way too similar to classic Pinoy teleseryes (betrayals, revenge — the works). If you’re looking for a new drama to binge, check out these entertaining recommendations.
The Penthouse: War in Life is probably one of the most iconic makjang dramas that ever graced South Korean television. It’s a tale of three families living in Hera Palace, an affluent residential tower called. The show tackles the fight for power and how rage can push people to do unimaginable things. It’s chock full of characters seeking revenge, intense confrontations, and rich people casually breaking their expensive stuff in almost every episode. Watch it on Netflix.
Starring Jang Na-Ra and Choi Jin-hyuk, The Last Empress is set in a universe where South Korea is in a constitutional monarchy. Aside from corruption and revenge-driven plotlines, this K-drama is also never short of melodramatic dialogues and unpredictable plot twists that’ll leave your mind blown. Stream it on Netflix.
The fact this comedy-drama has a character slapping someone with a fistful of kimchi is probably enough to consider Everybody Say Kimchi a makjang. But hilarious kimchi theatrics aside, the series follows the life of Yoo Ha-Eun after she was betrayed by her husband and how she overcomes the adversities standing in her way. Everybody Say Kimchi has over 100 episodes, so prepare for one crazy roller coaster ride.
If you’re a long-time K-drama fan, you know that academic competition and power go hand in hand in many K-drama series, plot-wise. Sky Castle sheds light on how the education system and parents can be so ruthless. Watch how parents scramble to get the service of a tutor with a 100% success rate in getting students accepted. Oh, and the plot also includes abusive parents and murders on the side. Juicy. Watch it on Netflix.
This 2009 K-drama hit is more of a watered-down makjang but it still has some over-the-top elements. Let’s see; a nun disguises herself as her twin brother and joins a popular boy band. She also has a love interest that’s somewhat connected to her mother. And then there are two of his bandmates who also have feelings for her. If You’re Beautiful’s plot isn’t crazy for you, we don’t know what is. Watch it on Netflix.
Yoon Ma-ri almost has a perfect life ’til she abandoned everything because of her abusive husband, Kang In-wook. With the help of kind and dashing plastic surgeon Seo Jung-won, she decided to change everything about her, including her face. Can she escape her unforgiving past and find happiness? Well, that’s for you to find out. Seo Jung-won and Kang In-wook’s fight for Yoon Ma-ri’s love also makes for such a dramatic arc. Available on Viu.
During its run, there was a running joke that Princess Aurora became a “survival drama” because there were just too many characters suffering an unfateful demise. The use of foul language on the show was also deemed too excessive by the Korea Communications Standards Commissions. Despite the controversies, Princess Aurora got a 30-episode extension. That’s a testament to how much people enjoy this drama! Check it out for yourself. Watch it on YouTube.
At this point, it seems like a makjang drama isn’t complete without betrayal, characters coming back to life, and revenge. Temptation of Wife has all these elements, which tells the story of Eun-jae seeking revenge against his ex-husband Gyo-bin and paramour Ae-ri for ruining her life. Despite the provocative theme, people love the ~*iconic*~ confrontations of Eun-jae and Ae-ri because, how can you not? The two ladies embody what mortal enemies look like. This K-drama is so well-loved that it even has a Filipino adaptation starring Marian Rivera, Dennis Trillo, and Glaiza de Castro.
Do you know any other makjang dramas? Let us know in the comments!
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