Family dramas are incredibly fun to watch, especially considering the wild interactions between family members and the initial interactions with their love interests. They are the dramas that guarantee to make you laugh like a madman, squeal like a schoolgirl, and then cry like a madman. I am naturally drawn to romance and therefore if a family drama doesn't have a solid romance then it is unlikely to rank high on this list; that is unless the plot is so good the romance takes a back seat. Family dramas tend to be on the long side, have multiple couples as they generously grant each family member a romance, and sometimes end with someone getting a health scare/cancer/dying. Overall family dramas are heartwarming and good material to invest your time which is why I find it important to watch a good one because imagine spending 40 hours on a dud (My worst nightmare).
WARNING, THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS
1. Family's Honor - My Rating 9.9/10 MDL rating is 8.2
If you love weekend family dramas and have not watched this one yet, then my recommendation is to put all your dramas on hold and start watching this incredible gem. Not only is this drama completely engrossed in Korean culture, but it is also done so in a way that made me wish I was born into a traditional Korean family. Family honor is a story about two families different as night and day. One family is wealthy, old money, filled with tradition, honor and dignity, while the other, in contrast, is new money rich, flashy, and badly mannered.
The Ha family provides the drama with lessons in Korean culture, and they are the more interesting of the two families sorely based on how rich and how they are well preserved in the culture. From their funerals, their weddings, and memorials it was fascinating to watch how sophisticated it was done in Korean culture. The Lee family, on the other side, brought us laughter with their antics in trying to fit into high society when it is so obvious that you can't take the ratchet out of the family. Their idea of family bonding was a game of go stop while betting money. Ha!
The romance between the two golden children of the families is the central plot and might I say one of the best romances of family weekend dramas. Dan Ah, the only daughter of the Ha family, is her family’s treasure, an old soul, filial, intelligent, kind, and dignified, but suffers from scars from the past. Dan Ah has decided to stop enjoying life, simply live through it depressingly till she dies of old age. That is until she meets hot, intelligent, and charming Lee Kang Suk, the oldest child of the Lee family. Kang Suk is the family’s brains and breadwinner under the pressure to help elevate his family’s name and wealth. Lee Kang Suk is able to bring Dah Ah out into the world and helps her feel emotions she had long built walls around.
Their romance is complicated by the fact that the families are in business together and how different they are from each other.
2. My Father is Strange - My ranking 9.8/10 MDL rating 8.7
My Father is Strange is definitely one of the most popular weekend family dramas out there. It is well-deserving of the popularity as it showcased by far the best family dynamic in a family weekend drama. The personalities of each family member were fun and if you were to ask me, this was the closest Kdrama family I have ever watched. It was a rare drama in which almost every family member in the family had a close relationship, even the black sheep that was Ahn Joong Hee. Father is Strange is a story of a loving father of 4 children who learns that he had a 5th child, famous actor Ahn Joong Hee who imposes himself to his new dad and siblings by moving in with them. Coincidentally, the middle daughter happens to be Ahn Joong Hee’s manager. The plot mostly centers around the father and the choices he makes for his family’s sake even when those choices end up hurting others.
The oldest daughter, the charming, intelligent, and hilariously confident Byun Hye Yeong, and her ex-boyfriend, the mama’s boy Cha Jung Hwan decide to give their love a good second try by moving in together behind their families' back. Cha Jung Hwan and Byun Hye Yeong are an entertaining couple to watch as they are both hilarious and nutty in a carefree way which helps them function at the same wavelength. They are basically at the soulmate level, and boy I can only hope to find a husband perfect for me as Jung Hwan is for Hye Yeong, personality-wise. They enjoy their romance in such a fun way from role playings (Hye Yeong - the queen/madam) and (Jung Hwan - her driver) to sexy makeout sessions in the office haha. The two may not have this incredibly epic, touching, heart-wrenching romance as the main couple in Family's Honor, but they had the most entertaining one to watch, and if I had to choose one to experience I would choose this one.
All the siblings had their own romance, but the one that was second best and, at times, maybe even the best was the middle daughter's relationship. I can't go into details without spoiling it, so all I can say is get ready to swoon.
The siblings had such amazing comradery and bond with each other I wonder if it's too late to turn my own into such an amazing unit. They ride and go hard for each other, and it is another point that really warms the heart. My favorite part of their relationship was how sharp and observant the maknae was at discovering all of her older sibling’s secret relationships and was the one to always expose them to the rest of the family. Another favorite moment is when all the sisters showed up to big bro’s wedding in white, looking prettier than the bride in a very squad goals fashion. Even Ahn Joong Hee, who struggles at first to fit into the family, eventually blends into the group of siblings which toggles my heart.
3. What Happens to My Family? - My Rating 9.6 MDL Rating 8.3
Father is Strange and What Happens to My Family are a lot alike in the way that they have such incredibly loving fathers deserving awards for lovingly parenting. What Happens to my Family is an example of showcasing that parenting is a lifelong job, even when your kids grow up to be adults there is no retirement there. This is a story about a father who decides to sue his three children for being ungrateful, disrespectful, and unfilial (lmao I need to make sure my mother never watches this). However, I have never reached the level of disrespect that the three children in the family showed their father, especially the oldest son who deserved a spanking. The father’s storyline drives the drama’s plot as the central figure, and he is a parent who is desperate for his children to wake up and see what is important in life. I need to warn you that you are going to cry while watching this drama and reflect on your own interactions with your family.
This is also one of those dramas where the romances were not incredibly extraordinary but still very much enjoyable. However, it ranks high on the list for its overall message of the treasure we have in the unconditional love we receive from our parents, and for its balance on humor and angst.
The main romance could be said to be between the headstrong and independent daughter, Cha Kang Shim, and her delightfully neurotic boss, Moon Tae Joo. Theirs is an odd romance, and their oddness comes mostly from Moon Tae Joo and his very lovable and hilariously weird personality.
My favorite romance in the drama is between the screw-up maknae, Cha Dal Bong, and the country girl next door, Kang Seo Wool. Dal Bong is most like his father out of all of his siblings in that he is gentle, and a wholesome person who initially makes some bad choices in his life but matures finely into a man to make his father proud with the support of the level headed Seol Wool. What is refreshing about their love plotline is that, by episode 3, we already know they both have an interest in the other.
The older brother also has a romance line with the daughter of the owner of the hospital he works at. While this couple annoyed me at first, mostly due to how spoiled the girl was and douchey the guy was, I ended up enjoying the character development that came as a result of her interacting with the Cha family and his from realizing his father’s support.
The siblings in this family are not very close to each other, and the youngest is the closest to the father while the other two maintain their distance. You can really see how much he aspires to be the man his father is, even when the father is blind to it. I think it's the fact that they are not a very close family that makes it very heartbreaking to watch. Once sued by their father, you begin to see them spend more time together to gather their strength against a common enemy and, even beyond the lawsuit, the siblings begin to gather together to keep secrets and plan out other things behind their father's back, even when it is for his benefit.
4. Five Enough - My rating 9.4 MDL Rating 8.4
Five Enough is a story about a blended family in the conservative Korean society, and I am all here for it! A widower, Lee Sang Ta, lives with the parents of his wife who passed away, his two children and his sister in law. This makes for an awkward situation when he meets and falls for Ahn Mi Jeong, his divorced co-worker with three children of her own. Lee Sang Tae’s former in-laws, who are determined to keep him in the family by marrying someone of their choosing, find themselves for a field day when they learn that he has already found love in Ahn Mi Jeong.
I personally loved this drama for its side romance between Lee Sang Tae, the shy and innocent youngest sister who is an elementary school teacher, and the nutty, conceited but delightful Kim Sang Min, who is a famous pro golfer. While big bro’s storyline became much more fun to watch after he got married, his romance with Anh Mi Jeong was slightly stressful to watch initially mainly due to the monumental obstacles that got in the way. Little sis Lee Yeong Tae’s relationship is fun to watch from the first moment she meets Lee Sang Min, the obstacles they face in the relationship all the way to their last scene in the drama.
Lee Yeon Tae has a character development in the drama that is fun to watch and which can be credited to Lee Sang Min’s shamelessness, for he knows what he needs to be to make up for her over-shyness. I love how he takes on the role of her love coach in their relationship, telling her to text him when she misses him and marks their first day on the calendar. Slowly, we see Yeon Tae blossom and begin to take initiative in the relationship in very swoon-worthy moments. Theirs is my personal favorite romance on this list. It is definitely a romance that carries the weight in the drama.
In terms of the familial relationships, the Big bro’s father in law’s relationship with Ahn Min Jeong’s daughters is the sweetest thing on television. It was such an unexpected storyline, but the second thing that made me love this drama. I love the lengths Grandpa goes to make it up for the girls. His in-laws are a bit of a pain to watch, they are also very similar to the Lee family in Family's Honor in the way they are new money and struggle to let go of their tacky habits (something their grandchildren's teacher notices).
The Lee family in Five Enough is very supportive of their children and are proud of their oldest and youngest especially. Again, this is another drama with a doting and award-winning father for he is always there for his children, and even when everyone is against Lee Sang Tae's romance, he stands by him. Even more cute is the fact that despite Kim Sang Min's shameless personality, the Lee couple welcomes him with open arms and encourages his romance with their daughter.
5. Smile, You My rating 9.5 MDL Rating 8.0
Smile, You was the beginning of my obsession with Jang Kyung Ho. It was the second family drama I had ever watched and was absolutely hilarious. It tells a story of Seo Jung In of an heiress of a rich family who loses all their money but plans to continue the façade of being wealthy just until she marries into another rich family. Alas, the groom’s family finds out on the wedding day and he dumps her in her beautiful wedding dress. Fallen from grace the entire Seo family moves in with their chauffeur’s family and must now adjust to their new reality. Smile, you cover so many complicated topics mostly involving the addiction of money and luxury that at times lead us into doing shameful acts to attain it.
Since I happen to value romance above all else, I ranked this drama #5, however, it probably deserves to be at number 3. The show does a great job showcasing that in life there are far more valuable things compared to money, like a brotherhood, unconditional family love, support, and good health. The screengrabs don't do this family justice as they are HILARIOUS, probably the funniest family on the list. Throughout the drama, each family can be found wearing tracksuits, repping their family’s color: green for the Kang family and red for the Seo family. While the relationship between the parents of the leads is usually not very fun in this drama, that may have been my favorite feature of it.
Our main leads Seo Jung In and Kang Hyun Soo are just the cutest things to watch when they sneak around behind their family. They are even more so when they go public, especially the time when they got pregnant. It is just pure laughter.
6. Once Again My rating 8.9 MDL Rating 8.7
Weekend drama, surely, never fails us with interesting topics. This one especially tells the story about the Song family whose 3 children all get divorced, plus the youngest whose marriage gets annulled. Divorce, although becoming more common in the S.Korean society, is still quite frowned upon, therefore you can only imagine the parents’ turmoil. The head of the family, Song Young Dal, not only struggles with his family, but he is also tormented by the little sister he lost when they were children.
The romances in the drama are actually quite fun to watch especially my favorite between the two youngest who happens to fall for 2 brothers. To be accurate, Song Nahee falls for her ex-hubby, or maybe it's better to say she never gets over him at all, as their reason for divorce was because she didn't want to get to a point where she hated him. Their marriage had been filled with a series of misunderstanding plus some heavy mother-in-law drama. Song Dahee, on the other hand, begins to spend more time with her former brother-in-law’s brother and finds herself opening her heart to him.
The only thing I personally was not a fan of was that the drama did not tie up its loose ends satisfactorily. I would have loved to see the dad’s sister and her man progress a bit further and have more focus on the mom’s sister and her marriage. Most importantly the oldest daughter and her romantic interest had some things I was interested in seeing how they would figure out, but the show did not give us a glimpse of their future.
7. My Husband Got a Family- My rating 9.3 MDL Rating 8.1
And boy, does he! This is a drama about a woman who finds herself a man who is distant from his family to avoid having drama with the mother in law. Her husband is Terry who was adopted by a family residing in the U.S., but a twist plays her fool when she discovers that her husband's biological family is the annoying neighbor next door. If you are in the mood for laughter, then this show right here is a great start. While all the shows in this list will guarantee you a good belly laugh, this one is pure comedy.
The husband’s biological family is huge, including a grandmother in law, father in law and mother in law who live next door with three sisters in law and one little niece. Then, upstairs lives uncle in law, aunt in law and their teenage son (father in law’s side of the family). The mother in law also has two sisters who live separately from the whole gang. Personally, I would have recommended moving to a different city and allow hubby to visit his family whenever he wanted lol.
It is a very touching moment to see the family finally reunited with their lost son who they have yearned for 30 years, and that is no joke.
The show ranks middle on the list as it gets a bit draggy, unlike the ones above it, and the female lead���s romance, although sweet, shows her as a little domineering. Another romance that was as frustrating as it was sweet was the one between the family’s middle daughter and her boss. The frustration comes from her lack of knowledge in her love interest feelings towards her even when he makes it obvious, or even her own towards him.
8. Seo Yeong, My Daughter My rating 8.9 MDL Rating 8.1
My Daughter Seo Yeong is the story of a daughter who has reached her wit’s end with her troublesome father who is a great cause of his family’s struggles and continuously proves to be irresponsible. Seo Yeong’s anger towards her father is understandable because she loses what is important to her because of her father’s recklessness. When she is introduced into a chaebol family, she makes it known that she was an orphan and has no parents, cutting her father out of her life in the process. This drama is, especially, fun to watch because a good amount of time focuses on the parents and their own internal romance issues. The main romance is, of course, between Seoyoung and the oldest son of the chaebol family she becomes a part of.
9. All About My Mom My rating 8.8 MDL Rating 8.0
This is a drama that showcases just how much mothers and daughters can take each other for granted, and how sometimes it takes the daughter getting married to find a way to appreciate each other. When Lee Jin Ae meets and falls for Kang Hoon Jae, she discovers that he is the son of the woman she works for. Hwang Yeong Seong isn't too happy about her precious son marrying one of her underlings and does her best to come in the way of their relationship. You can count on weekend family dramas to discuss complicated family relationships, and just how significant it is to have the unconditional love of a parent. I, honestly, love how filial piety is an important aspect of Korean culture and, therefore, explains why family dramas are structured the way they are.
|I'll leave number 10 to your suggestions.|