Slice of Life Dramas: Reply 1988 and Dear My Friends

10 Relatable Slice-of-Life K-Dramas About Life and Growing Up

Here are dramas that help you go through the pains of growing up!

A lot of people would agree that K-dramas tend to give us an unrealistic perspective of the world. It can be in terms of finding love, navigating through relationships, or just dealing with life in general. And while many dramas tend to revolve around these tropes, there also happens to be a great number of slice-of-life titles that move away from this mold, and give us a more realistic view of the pretty and the ugly aspects of life and growing old.

Finished binge-watching these fantasy dramas and want to now move on to the slower-paced and relatable slice-of-life genre? Here are 10 titles that you should add to your lists right now:

Reply 1988

What even is this list without Reply 1988? While all of the other Reply series are technically of the slice-of-life genre, nothing really beats the story and relationships of Reply 1988. The drama follows 5 childhood friends as they go through the pains of growing up, falling in love, and finding their dreams. The story also highlights the relationship of their families as they all live in the same neighborhood.

This drama stars Girl’s Day’s Hyeri, Ryu Jun Yeol, Park Bo Gum, Go Kyung Pyo, and Lee Dong Hwi.

Where to Watch: Netflix / Viu

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Age of Youth / Hello, My Twenties

Age of Youth is the story of five girls in their 20s, all living in a house called “Belle Epoque.” The drama follows their struggles as they navigate through their relationships, part-time jobs, debt, and all the other issues that come with being in their 20s.

The first season of the drama stars Han Ye Ri, Ryu Hwa Young, Park Eun Bin, Han Seung Yeon, Park Hye Soo, and more. Ye Ri, Eun Bin, and Seung Yeon also reprise their characters for season 2. Joining them are Ji Woo, Choi A Ra, and Kim Min Seok.

Where to Watch: Netflix

Be Melodramatic

Be Melodramatic centers on Im Jin Joo, Lee Eung Jung, and Hwang Han Joo — three best friends who are all in their 30s. This drama shows their struggles as they try to be successful in the Korean entertainment industry while also dealing with love, friendship, and grief.

Chun Woo Hee, Han Ji Eun, and Jeon Yeo Bin star in this drama. Joining them are Ahn Jae Hong, Gong Myung, and Lee Joo Bin.

Where to Watch: Netflix / Viu

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Dear My Friends

Dear My Friends is a slice-of-life drama highlighting a group of friends who are all in their twilight years. The story is told through the point of view of Park Wan — a translator who’s constantly brought by her mother to their reunions. Wan then shares to the viewers the lives of these elders as they tell her the struggles they face because of their age, their life journeys, and how they continue to rediscover themselves through various kinds of relationships.

Go Hyun Jung star in this drama as Park Wan. The drama also stars Kim Hye Ja, Na Moon Hee, Go Doo Shim, Park Won Sook, and Yoon Yeo Jung, Joo Hyun, and Shin Goo.

Where to Watch: Netflix

Misaeng: Incomplete Life

In Misaeng, Jang Geu Rae is a young man who enters a trading company as an intern after failing to be a pro baduk player. He is often bullied by other interns and superiors, as he got into the company with only a high school diploma and a recommendation from one of the bosses. The drama follows him as he tries to adapt to the corporate culture. This is through the help of his boss, his fellow interns, and the principles he learned from baduk.

Im Siwan, Lee Sung Min, Kim Dae Myug, Kang So Ra, Kang Ha Neul, and Byun Yo Han star in this drama.

Where to Watch: Netflix

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Prison Playbook

Prison Playbook is about famous baseball star Kim Je Hyuk, who’s arrested for using excessive for on someone who was sexually assaulting his sister. It’s there that he reunites with Lee Joon Ho, his childhood friend who’s now a prison guard at the penitentiary. The drama shows Je Hyuk and the other prisoners’ mundane life inside, as well as their friends and family outside.

Park Hae Soo and Jung Kyung Ho star as the leads of this drama. Joining them are Jung Hae In, Choi Moo Sung, Park Ho San, and more.

Where to Watch: Netflix / Viu

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K-Drama Files: ‘Prison Playbook’ is the Heartwarming Slice-of-Life Drama You Need Right Now

Live

While Prison Playbook focuses on the life of prisoners, Live revolves around the things that happen police force. The drama also shows the joy, sorrow, and pain that come with working in the police force as they try to protect justice. It’s about centers on Yeom Sang Soo — a police officer who often runs into conflict with his superior — and Hang Jung Oh — a female officer fighting misogyny in the workplace — as they work together to solve incidents.

The drama comes from the same writer as Dear My Friends. It stars Lee Kwang Soo, Jung Yu Mi, Bae Sung Woo, and Bae Jong Ok.

Where to Watch: Netflix

My Mister

My Mister comes from the same director as Misaeng. It’s about Park Dong Hoon, a middle-aged engineer who seems to live a good and successful life. Despite this facade, he’s unhappy, with two brothers relying on him, and a wife who’s in a secret affair with his boss. Things take a turn for him when he meets Lee Ji An, a young woman in her 20s who, like him, is carrying a burden of her own. As the two form a friendship between them, they end up helping and making each other’s lives a bit more bearable.

Lee Sun Kyun, IU, Park Ho San, Song Sae Byuk, and Lee Ji Ah all star in this drama.

Where to Watch: Netflix / Viu

ALSO READ
K-Drama Files: ‘My Mister’ and Its Story of Loneliness

Because This is My First Life

In this drama, a house-poor man and homeless woman decide to be housemates as the perfect solution to their problems. Nam See Hee is a single man who owns his house but has a lot of debt to pay, while Yoon Ji Ho is a homeless single woman who’s given up on dating because of her financial problems. Things don’t go smoothly for them as their arrangement is affected by society, their family, and their varying perspective on love and marriage.

Lee Min Ki, Jung So Min, Esom, Kim Ga Eun, Kim Min Seok, and more star in this drama.

Where to Watch: Netflix / Viu

When the Weather is Fine

When the Weather is Fine is about Hae Won who moves back to her hometown after growing tired of her life in Seoul. It’s there that she meets Eun Seob, a bookstore owner who likes to live a life of routine. As they get to know each other, they end up changing the lives of one another for the better.

This drama stars Park Min Young and Seo Kang Joon. Joining them are Lee Jae Wook, Kim Hwan Hee, Moon Jung Hee, and more.

Where to Watch: Viu

Which of these K-dramas will you be watching first? Let us know in the comments!

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TV Show Info

My Mister
Drama
Be Melodramatic
Romantic Comedy
Prison Playbook
Comedy, Drama
Reply 1988
Comedy, Drama, Family
Live
Drama
Age of Youth
Drama, Romance, Youth
Dear My Friends
Comedy, Drama

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