Gender Bender

kdramarecs Oct 13, 2019
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  • You're Beautiful
    1. You're Beautiful

    Korean Drama - 2009, 16 episodes

    You're Beautiful definitely belongs on the list. My favorite Hong Sisters dramas are the ones where they don't try to keep a firm hold on reality and kick the crazy up a notch. A nun who pretends to be her twin brother and joins a k-pop boyband is a great example of that. - u/Dedemao

    You’re Beautiful - It’s about a nun-in-training that agrees to pretend to be her twin brother temporarily and joins a super popular boyband in his place. The other members have various reactions to “him” as she tries desperately not to be found out. I love this drama, despite its obvious silliness: it’s got an overall lighthearted tone, but it manages to really pull at my heartstrings and make me care deeply about all the characters every time I revisit it. I didn’t mind the idea of the main guy ending up with the girl the first time I was watching it (something that doesn’t always happen for me), but I still absolutely adored the two secondary guys, as well. The supporting cast is great, too, and the music is awesome!  - u/LostBoyofNeverland

  • Kill Me, Heal Me
    2. Kill Me, Heal Me

    Korean Drama - 2015, 20 episodes

    I'm stretching a little, but Kill Me, Heal Me vaguely could be in this category since the main male lead has multiple personalities and a couple of them are female. The gender bending is only present in a few scenes, but I figured any drama that includes Ji Sung running through Seoul in a skirt and hair bow belongs on this list. - u/Dedemao

    Kill Me Heal Me While not a drama focused on gender, this drama's use of gender stereotypes to showcase the complexity of human personality and psyche is rather interesting and can be a great basis for conversation on how gender stereotypes affect perceptions of the utility and consequences of one's actions. Plus, Ji Sung also manages to capture the essence of fan-girl spirit when he delivers that immortal line of "If he's handsome, he's an oppa!"  - u/myweithisway

  • To The Beautiful You
    3. To The Beautiful You

    Korean Drama - 2012, 16 episodes

    To The Beautiful You - A girl is pretending to be a boy while she is attending a boy only sports academy in Korea. She's enrolled the school in order to help her idol become a top athlete again. It's naive, fluffy and a gender bender all in one. - u/Imerim

    To the Beautiful You - This drama focuses on a girl living in America that decides to disguise herself as a boy to attend the same all-boys school in Korea as her idol, an Olympic high jumper. When she gets there, she’s thrilled discover that he’s her roommate, but his reaction is decidedly less enthusiastic. She also soon learns that he’s given up high jumping after suffering from an injury, and is determined to get him back into it. The premise is ridiculous, and the two main characters are only decent, but the supporting cast are all phenomenal and the overall story is still really enjoyable.  - u/LostBoyofNeverland

    To the Beautiful You was kinda fun, BUT, the second lead was like 10 times better than the main lead, and the girl (in this case "boy") was literally soulless, I mean the only reason she went to an all-boys school was because of her idol/crush.  - unknown

  • Sungkyunkwan Scandal
    4. Sungkyunkwan Scandal

    Korean Drama - 2010, 20 episodes

    Sungkyunkwan Scandal - Brilliant woman wants to study but can only enter the university as a man. - u/VerityPushpram

    Sungkyunkwan Scandal - This is a historical drama about an unusually intelligent commoner girl that (also) pretends to be her brother, but here her reasons are far more practical: she needs to earn money to support her family, and her brother is too sick to work, so she uses his name for a job instead. Through some trickery by a morally-upright scholar, she ends up stuck attending a highly prestigious university where women are strictly forbidden. From then on she has to deal with one difficult situation after another, not the least of which is having male roommates and making an enemy of the student council president, who has powerful family connections. This is an awesome drama that’s also pretty lighthearted in tone, but it feels a little more realistic (or at least not as blatantly absurd) as the main characters grapple with difficult moral questions and make decisions that affect their lives. The cast are all great and make me care about their characters, and the series has a nice mix of action, drama, romance, and even mystery.  - u/LostBoyofNeverland

  • K-POP - The Ultimate Audition
    5. K-POP - The Ultimate Audition

    Korean Drama - 2012, 14 episodes

    K-POP Extreme Survival - The premise will probably draw comparisons to You’re Beautiful, but get past the superficial similarities and this drama stands on its own. It’s about a girl that decides to enter a contest to find the next members of an incredibly popular boyband to prove that she has what it takes to make it in the industry. She does well and becomes a finalist, but keeps getting into trouble with the current leader of the band who may or may not be leaving once the new members are chosen. The main girl in this drama is one of the strongest female characters I’ve seen in a K-drama: she takes the initiative, isn’t afraid to go after what she wants, and doesn’t allow herself to be walked all over by anyone. I love her. The rest of the cast is pretty good too, and the music, while not the best I’ve heard, is still catchy. The biggest drawback of this drama is that it didn’t do well when it first aired, so it got cut from sixteen(?) episodes down to fourteen. As a result the ending couldn’t really wrap anything up and left everything unresolved, but if you know that ahead of time it helps prepare you for it.  - u/LostBoyofNeverland

  • Secret Garden
    6. Secret Garden

    Korean Drama - 2010, 20 episodes

    A rich man and poor woman swap bodies periodically, stuff ensues. It's really awesome and was the first K-Drama I ever watched. Tied for my favorite K-Drama, it's just a really awesome romance in my opinion. Only one thing ever bugged me in it, and it was a medical thing (don't want to discuss it because of spoilers).  - u/lucidzero

  • Coffee Prince
    7. Coffee Prince

    Korean Drama - 2007, 17 episodes

    Coffee Prince: A poor girl crossdresses in order to land a job at a new coffee shop run by a slightly spoiled rich heir. As the coffee shop gets running, the entire crew gels together to become a makeshift family, helping each other out. During the process, the girl falls in love with the rich heir and he in turn becomes attracted to her, without knowing her real gender. He struggles with his feelings and sexuality, which leads to one of the best love confessions ever. The drama really does a good job at exploring the complexity of attraction and how relationships past and present affect each other. This is a really great classic and one of Gong Yoo's best performances.  - u/myweithisway

  • Love in the Moonlight
    8. Love in the Moonlight

    Korean Drama - 2016, 18 episodes

    A girl pretending to be a guy gets on the bad side of some bad guys and ends up being "castrated" and sent to live as a palace eunuch. She falls in love with the crown prince, but their relationship is kinda complicated. This one is loads of fun and piles of cute.  - u/eroverton

    Moonlight Drawn by Clouds - Young girl is forced to live as a boy. Ends up as a palace eunuch. Enter gorgeous Crown Prince.... u/VerityPushpram

    Moonlight Drawn by Clouds - great historical gender bender that mixes young (three-way) romance with the drama of the royal court. - u/UkEuropeEarth

  • Nail Shop Paris
    9. Nail Shop Paris

    Korean Drama - 2013, 10 episodes

    Nail Shop Paris belongs in the "so bad it's almost good again" category.  So much WTF.  - u/forlornreverie

    Fight me, Nail Shop Paris is a goddamn masterpiece.  - u/Bubbles_the_Titan

    If you love yourself, for utter lols you will watch Nail Shop Paris first, it’s so bad it’s good ????  - u/Consuela_no_no

  • Splash Splash LOVE
    10. Splash Splash LOVE

    Korean Special - 2015, 2 episodes

    Splash Splash Love - Modern-day high school student time travels into the past and gets entangled with a young king. In order to survive, she crossdresses as his eunuch and puts all of her high school math and physics education to use. Adorable, short love story that's perfect for a raining day. - u/myweithisway

  • Chicago Typewriter
    11. Chicago Typewriter

    Korean Drama - 2017, 16 episodes

    Chicago Typewriter - This drama, set in two time periods,  starts in modern times with a famous author, his writer's block, the "Ghost writer" who is there to help him, and of course, a girl who gets thrown into his life.  In the 1930's parts of this drama, a spunky girl is saved by freedom fighters and grows up with the group.  She becomes useful as a sharpshooter disguised as a guy.  Trying to protect her identity involves one of the best kiss scenes in Kdramaland.  - u/LcLou02

  • Mr. Sunshine
    12. Mr. Sunshine

    Korean Drama - 2018, 24 episodes

    Mr. Sunshine - Eugene is sent on an assasination mission and sees another sharpshooter on the rooftop who is also out to kill the man.  It takes a while before he realises who "he" is... Thus begins a thing called love. - u/LcLou02

  • Please Come Back, Mister
    13. Please Come Back, Mister

    Korean Drama - 2016, 16 episodes

    Another gender bender sort of is "Come Back Mister". I saw this less than a month ago and it was a delightful watch. One of the leads is a male gangster turned sexy female Oh Yeon Seo who was also lead in Hwayugi. - u/qqwerpy

  • Empress Ki
    14. Empress Ki

    Korean Drama - 2013, 51 episodes

    Empress Ki - This is a 50 episode historical epic starring Ha Ji-won, following her rise from slave to empress. She grew up disguised as a boy and she's a badass archer, that impresses all the men around her, who of course fall in love with her before they discover that she is really a girl.  - u/GSV_Zero_Gravitas

  • Mr. Queen
    15. Mr. Queen

    Korean Drama - 2020, 20 episodes

    Mr. Queen - A man on the runaway’s soul gets trapped in a Queen from Joseon Era who is the FL and chaos ensues. It’s a hilarious historical drama and even with all the palace politics the FL’s character and acting just makes you laugh and enjoy the drama. ML and FL had great chemistry and they start off as enemies but their relationship’s development was amazing. I also loved the friendships in this drama. If you’re having a bad day, week or month then this drama is perfect to lighten you up with its humor!  - u/Fatooz

    Mr. Queen is a gender bender drama where a present day chef named Jang Bong Hwan gets teleported into historical Joseon into the body of a Queen. This drama is a romantic comedy with several funny scenes which make viewers wanting for more. Mr. Queen, or Queen Cheorin, will take viewers on an amusing and bittersweet journey while figuring out how he can go back to the present! - u/dramafan1

  • Ma Boy
    16. Ma Boy

    Korean Drama - 2012, 3 episodes

  • Gu Family Book
    17. Gu Family Book

    Korean Drama - 2013, 24 episodes

  • Queen Seon Duk
    18. Queen Seon Duk

    Korean Drama - 2009, 62 episodes

  • Gunman In Joseon
    19. Gunman In Joseon

    Korean Drama - 2014, 22 episodes

  • The Tale of Nokdu
    20. The Tale of Nokdu

    Korean Drama - 2019, 32 episodes

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