8 KDramas Like The Red Sleeve You Must See

Adapted from the eponymous novel, ‘The Red Sleeve’ narrates the tale of a royal court romance. This historical Korean drama series delves into the intricate dynamics between the King of Joseon, driven by his commitment to his nation over personal affection, and a court lady determined to safeguard the life she has embraced. Notably, the narrative unfolds from the perspective of the court lady herself.

Starring Lee Jun-ho, Lee Se-young, and Kang Hoon, this romantic drama show offers a fictionalized portrayal that revolves around the lives of King Jeongjo and his royal consort Ui-bin Seong. If you couldn’t catch enough of this period drama, here are eight more similar recommendations you should consider checking out. You can watch most of these KDramas like ‘The Red Sleeve’ on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.

8. Shine or Go Crazy (2015)

Released in 2015 and directed by So Hyung-suk and Yoon Ji-hoon, ‘Shine or Go Crazy’ is a South Korean TV series that draws inspiration from Hyun Go-woon’s novel of the same name. The show unfolds a romantic narrative set in the Goryeo period, focusing on the love story between a Goryeo prince and a Balhae princess.

The central character, Wang So, is born into Goryeo’s royal lineage but is marginalized due to a prophecy forecasting his role in drenching the nation in blood. Consequently, he’s cast away from the palace and ostracized by his royal kin but finds love and acceptance in Shin Yool, the princess of Later Balhae. If you’re left craving the perfect blend of historical and romantic elements similar to ‘The Red Sleeve,’ you should check out ‘Shine or Go Crazy.’

7. Moon Embracing The Sun (2012)

Helmed by Kim Do-hoon and Lee Seong-jun, ‘Moon Embracing the Sun’ is a historical-fantasy drama series adapted from Jung Eun-gwol’s novel of the same name. The narrative unveils a touching tale of love between a Joseon Dynasty monarch and a female shaman, entwined with the complexities of political intrigue and power struggles.

The storyline notably parallels Jane Austen’s work ‘Persuasion,’ even encompassing an eight-year separation akin to that of the young lovers in the novel. Both ‘Moon Embracing the Sun‘ and ‘The Red Sleeve’ share historical settings within the Korean Joseon Dynasty, weaving romantic narratives amid palace intrigue and royal relationships.

6. Queen In-Hyun’s Man (2012)

The focal point of ‘Queen In-Hyun’s Man’ revolves around Choi Hee-jin, an unfamiliar actress who finds herself entangled in a romance with Kim Bung-do, a scholar from the Joseon Dynasty who time-travels 300 years into the 21st century. Directed by Kim Byung-soo, the South Korean drama series shares a blend of historical and romantic elements, echoing the narratives of characters from different eras with entangled love stories that transcend time and societal constraints, much like the essence of ‘The Red Sleeve.’

5. Sungkyunkwan Scandal (2010)

Helmed by director Kim Won-seok and scripted by Kim Tae-hee, ‘Sungkyunkwan Scandal’ draws inspiration from Jung Eun-gwol’s acclaimed 2007 novel ‘The Lives of Sungkyunkwan Confucian Scholars.’ In a time when women are barred from education and work, Kim Yoon-hee (played by Park Min-young) ingeniously assumes the identity of her brother, Kim Yoon-shik, to provide for her family’s needs.

Akin to ‘The Red Sleeve,’ ‘Sungkyunkwan Scandal’ explores the challenges of gender roles in historical societies, as female protagonists navigate disguised identities and societal constraints to achieve their goals and contribute to their families. Additionally, both dramas dive into romantic elements against the backdrop of court intrigue and political dynamics.

4. The Princess’ Man (2011)

The Princess’ Man’ is a South Korean period drama series directed by Kim Jung-min and Park Hyun-suk. It portrays the forbidden romance between the daughter of Grand Prince Suyang and the son of Kim Jong-seo, who is Suyang’s political opponent. Princess Se Ryung, characterized by her strong-willed and progressive nature, is the daughter of Grand Prince Suyang with aspirations for kingship.

Se Ryung’s affection develops for the son of her father’s nemesis, leading their love story to become entangled amid his pursuit of the throne. So, if you’re craving a tale of fierce and forbidden romance amid political rivalries in a historical setting after ‘The Red Sleeve,’ ‘The Princess’ Man’ ticks all the boxes for that.

3. Empress Ki (2013-2014)

Directed by Han Hee and Lee Sung-joon, ‘Empress Ki’ is a South Korean historical drama television series that features Ha Ji-won in the lead role of the titular Empress Ki. The storyline centers on Ki Seung-nyang, a woman born in Goryeo who defies the era’s class limitations to rise to influence. It follows her journey as she weds Toghon Temür, the emperor of the Yuan dynasty, to become an empress, choosing this path over her initial love interest, Wang Yoo. If you’re seeking the story of a formidable woman navigating intricate historical and political terrains following ‘The Red Sleeve,’ then ‘Empress Ki’ should be your next watch.

2. Love in the Moonlight (2016)

Love in the Moonlight,’ helmed by Kim Seong-yoon and Baek Sang-hoon, unfurls as a coming-of-age tale and youthful romance within the 19th-century Joseon Dynasty. Adapted from the web novel ‘Moonlight Drawn by Clouds,’ the series garnered remarkable praise for its exceptional production quality, performances, and music.

It encapsulates the journey of Crown Prince Lee Yeong (Park Bo-gum) as he evolves from a youth to an esteemed ruler, all while cultivating an unexpected bond with eunuch Hong Ra-on (Kim Yoo-jung). Set in the backdrop of the Joseon dynasty, akin to ‘The Red Sleeve,’ ‘Love in the Moonlight’ also features romantic elements centered around characters from different social backgrounds.

1. Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo (2016)

Under the direction of Kim Kyu-Tae, ‘Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo’ is a South Korean TV series adapted from the Chinese novel ‘Bu Bu Jing Xin.’ The plot revolves around Go Ha-jin, a modern-day woman aged 25 who accidentally undergoes time travel to the Goryeo Dynasty. In the year 941, she awakens as Hae Soo, situated amongst the numerous princes of the Wang dynasty, reigning under King Taejo.

As the narrative unfolds, Hae Soo becomes inadvertently entangled in palace intrigues and the power struggle between the princes vying for the throne. To quench your thirst for a historical drama with a time travel element where modern characters find themselves transported to the past, getting embroiled in the complexities of palace life and romantic relationships amid political dynamics after watching ‘The Red Sleeve,’ ‘Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo’ fits the bill perfectly.

Read More: Best Korean Dramas