5 K-Dramas That Will Have You Desperately Missing Your Friends

You may be wondering “Why would I voluntarily watch a show that will make me desperately miss my friends?” Well other than reminding you of the important moments, these shows are a bundle of joy that will surely brighten up your day. 

Before watching them I hadn’t realized how much I missed my friends. It dawned on me that I had taken for granted the times when my close friend was living in the room next to mine, or when I could see my favorite faces every day. 

All the dramas on this list have amazing friendships that will have you in awe and wishing you had what they had (and most of us do). I love watching these kinds of sweet wholesome dramas as it never fails to lighten my mood.

As we’ve seen with the cult classic Friends, there is just something about watching a group of friends thriving together that puts a smile on even the grumpiest of faces.  

Well whether you are looking for a show to make you smile or just something fun to distract yourself, these wonderful friendships will bring you as much joy as they have brought me. 

All these shows can luckily be found on Netflix so you can check some out today! 

Racket Boys (2021)

Video from The Swoon via Youtube

Fairly new on Netflix I was surprised how good this show was! It was a lot of laughs and wholesome moments. Most of all it had the best friendships. 

Racket Boys are about a group of boys who are on a badminton team together, led by their slightly irresponsible but caring coach Yun Hyeon-jong (played by Kim Sang-Kyung). 

The show’s premise is the boys overcoming every obstacle imaginable to be able to compete in national-level competitions. They battle internal conflict, budding romances, and trials of friendships to make it to the top. 

This is a light show with occasionally serious tones as it deals with heavy topics such as bullying and mentions of suicide. Every episode ends with the characters growing in some way and learning life lessons. 

The way their friendships grew stronger from the first episode till the last is truly amazing. My favorite character from the show is Yun Hae-Kang (played by Tang Joon-Sang). 

The way he grows from an arrogant city boy who couldn’t be bothered about badminton to remembering his passion for it is inspiring. Although he remains a cocky character with his trademark line “It’s me, Yun Hae-Kang,” he also shows he is a colorfully caring person who wants to do right by his team. 

And the way the rest of the boys include him in the group and develop a friendship with him is heartwarming. I love the way Racket Boys portrays different kinds of dynamics in friendships.

There is the wholesome relationship of Lee Yong-Tae (played by Kim Kang-Hoon) and Na Woo-chan (played by Choi Hyun-Wook) where the two are very doting to one another. 

And their polar opposite Hae-Kang and Jeong In-Sol (played by Kim Min Gi) who have a cat and dog dynamic. The two dynamics side by side makes for an interesting perspective on the different kinds of friends one could have. Within the group, the friendships do get complicated however the team remains supportive and loyal to one another. 

I love this show and highly recommend it to anyone who loves the anime Haikyu!! as it has a similar vibe. But I will say Racket Boys is slightly lighter than Haikyu!! 

It is a show that reminded me of my days in high school where times were simpler and some would argue, tougher. It is an amazing show about young friendships set in the competitive world of sports.  

Prison Playbook (2017)

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Let me be the first to admit when I saw this title I didn’t expect the show to be what it was, but I am so grateful for giving it a chance. 

This show has easily become one of my top favorite K-dramas. The way you don’t know what to expect and how the show balances humor with realism is stellar. 

Prison Playbook is centered around Kim Je-Hyuk (played by Park Hae Soo) a baseball player who is incarcerated after he assaults his sister’s attacker. This show begins as he goes to prison to serve his sentence. 

Some might find Je-Hyuk dry but I actually really liked that his blunt humor juxtaposed the loud overt humor of the other characters. I like that his unique quirks made him stand out from the rest and it made the times when he did express himself all the more impactful. 

Part of the show’s charm is that each character Je-Hyuk encounters brings about a new experience and situation he has to adapt to. 

This show is on this list because of the undeniable friendship between Je-Hyuk and Lee Jun-Ho (played by Jung Kyung-Ho), his secret best friend who happens to be a guard at the same prison. 

Funnily dubbed “Kim Je-Hyuk’s biggest fan” by the others around them, Jun-ho protects and cares for Je-Hyuk every chance he gets. Every time I saw their interactions I would text some of my best friends telling them “I’d do exactly what Jun-ho did for Je-Hyuk if you were ever in prison.” 

This show was undeniably a pleasure to watch and I highly recommend it to anyone who looking for a show to put you in the feels.

This show does deal with heavy topics and has complex plot twists that kept me on the edge of my seat. However even after all that the show always put me at ease and made me feel content with each episode. 

Hospital Playlist (2020)

Video from The Swoon via Youtube

Step aside Grey’s Anatomy, there is a new medical-themed drama that is gonna steal everyone’s hearts. This show follows 5 doctors who have known each other since medical school. The show is centered around their lives as established doctors in the present day. 

There are a lot of moments where the characters actually handle medical emergencies but the show is focused on how they live their lives. Essentially it is a slice-of-life drama where we get to see serious doctors in the thick of it and the lives they live after they’ve put down the scrubs. 

I appreciated the way Hospital Playlist attempted to be as realistic as possible when dealing with the medical elements of the show. The medical elements and characters of the show seemed to coexist with one another, without one overwhelming its counterpart. 

At the end of the day, the spotlight is still on the characters. In each episode, there is an unraveling of a character’s personality, and the situation they face as doctors help them grow significantly. 

The chemistry of the cast is undeniable and I get the sense that they are genuinely a group of friends who care for one another. This show specifically made me recall all the times I had been stressed at work one minute and laughing about something silly with my friends the next. 

This is a show I would highly recommend for anyone looking for a warm show that is both compassionate and emotional. As an added bonus there is a second season! Both are available on Netflix.

 Reply 1988 (2015)

Video from Viu Philippines via Youtube

Set in the 1980s this drama follows 5 childhood friends as they grow up and realize their dreams. There are several reasons why I love this drama but the biggest is that it is a beautiful medley of subplots that work together well. 

What I mean by this is that each character has a journey of their own and the show explores this while still maintaining the cohesiveness of the main plot. There is something about this show that makes you feel like their journey is your own and you can relate to their struggles.

The ensemble of this cast is cosmic. The way each character leaves an impression on you is a testament to the wonderful writing and the skills of the cast. Even the moms and dads of this show made me wish I knew them in real life. 

Reply 1988 seems to focus on the community as a whole rather than just the group of friends. The show is charismatic, big-hearted, compassionate, and warm. 

It reminded me of the times I was in my awkward phases growing up and my friends were right there with me. The journey we take to become who we are as adults (and the journey we are still on as adults) is captured perfectly in this drama. 

The nostalgic setting and vibe of the show will definitely make you smile while reminiscing. 

 Welcome to Waikiki (2018)

Video from iflix Malaysia via Youtube

The show starts off with three men who are running a failing business, the Waikiki Guesthouse. After finding a baby (Sol) in one of the rooms the characters are thrown into absolute chaos. 

The show progresses as three women are introduced and the adults find themselves living together under one roof. This show is far from plot-heavy and is littered with many cute moments. 

Welcome to Waikiki does have drama and romance but it is mostly focused on how the 6 adults find themselves in outrageously hilarious situations. The show relies heavily on slapstick humor, precarious situations, and the ridiculous reactions of the characters.

It can be quite childish to some but I found the show very refreshing as it was fully committed to the ridiculousness. For example, in the first episode, there is a whole story arc where a character only communicates through finger gestures and it ends with a kiss. I won’t give too much away but from this moment on I was hooked. 

It is just a simple funny show whose aim is to make you laugh, cringe and feel warm inside. 

The three men, Lee Joon-ki (played by Lee Yi-Kyung), Bong Doo-Sik (played by Son Seung-Won), and Kang Dong-Gu (played by Kim Jeong-Hyun) are undeniably chaotic and funny. 

I love the way Dong-Gu is the grumpy pessimist, Joon-ki doesn’t know when to stop talking while Doo-Sik is caught between the two.

The three women are a barrel of laughs as well. Han Yoon-ah (played by Jung In-Sun) is the mother of baby Sol and has a knack for making everyone uncomfortable with her obliviousness. 

Whereas Kang Seo Jin (played by Won-Hee Go) is her honest roomie who roughly keeps the boys in check. Lastly, Min Soo Ah (played by Lee Joo-Woo) is the most ‘normal’ character of them all, at least at first. 

This show for me was good friends and good humor which was all I needed. There is even a Welcome to Waikiki 2 starring the popular second lead of Netflix’s Start-Up, Kim Seon-ho

This concludes the list of shows. In my opinion, all these shows deserve a chance and they are incredibly entertaining. Maybe they might make you desperately miss your friends or simply put a smile on your face but you won’t regret giving them a try. 


Judith Louis is a content writer under Headliner by Newswav, a programme where content creators get to tell their unique stories through articles and at the same time monetize their content within the Newswav app.
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Judith Louis
Author: Judith Louis

A movie enthusiast with a passion for writing