Dystopian K-drama series have gained significant popularity in recent years. This is due to their unique blend of captivating storytelling, suspenseful plot twists, moral dilemmas, and exploration of human nature in extreme circumstances.
Dystopian K-dramas blend genres like sci-fi, thriller, and romance to attract diverse audiences. Despite the often depressing and challenging plotlines … What keeps viewers hooked are the efforts of the characters to survive and maintain hope. It gives audiences something to root for.
Here are our picks for some of the best dystopian K-drama series around right now, as well as our reasons why you should watch them:
1. BLACK KNIGHT
In Black Knight, viewers are transported to a futuristic and oppressive version of Korea set in the year 2071. Within this new world, the destiny of humanity hangs in the balance, and it all hinges on the endeavours of delivery man 5-8 (played by Kim Woo-Bin) who braves the severe air pollution to transport vital oxygen. As 5-8 and his fellow refugees challenge the oppressive system they live under, their journey unfolds, highlighting their struggles, sacrifices, and the pursuit of justice in a world filled with despair.
Black Knight is filled with well-choreographed action sequences, and a gripping storyline focused on social injustice and overcoming the odds. The series’ CGI-heavy scenes are also a unique concept in today’s K-drama scene.
2. ALL OF US ARE DEAD
Next up in our favourite dystopian K-drama series to watch list is All of Us Are Dead! Considered one of the best zombie series of 2022, All of Us Are Dead focused on a group of high school students who are trapped in their classroom when a zombie outbreak happens. The teenagers are forced to take out their undead schoolmates in order to survive. They soon come to the realization that the biggest threat they face might come from within.
A talented cast of young actors like Yoon Chan-Young, Park Ji-Hu, Cho Yi-Hyun, and Park Solomon make the audience question how they would react if someone close contracted the zombie virus. The series has been greenlit for a second season, although no further details are available.
Hellbound presents a terrifying world where religious fanaticism takes hold. Bolstered by the fact that supernatural beings appear out of nowhere and condemn people to hell. Amidst this terrifying reality, a religious organization known as The New Truth begins to oppress the people… As a small group of survivors try to find a way to save the condemned.
The series became a global sensation due to its intense subject matter, and with a season-ending that featured the resurrection of a ‘condemned’ character, hopes are high that a second season will finally answer some of the burning questions behind these strange happenings.
Set in an alternate version of the Joseon Dynasty, Kingdom explores the question of what would happen if a zombie outbreak were to take place in the past. The plot follows Crown Prince Lee Chang (Ju Ji-hoon) as he and a small band of allies must battle the undead all the way to the royal palace, while also having to fend off attacks by his enemies within the palace.
The series has intense fights with hundreds of extras and explores the infection’s origins. Kingdom has two blood-soaked seasons and a standalone movie called Kingdom: Ashin of the North. The series is one the best zombie franchises out there at the moment. Hopes are high for an eventual announcement of a third season, although no official news has been released yet.
5. DUTY AFTER SCHOOL
A sudden and violent alien invasion forces the Korean government to announce that all college and high school students will be trained as reserve forces. The teenagers, who were originally preparing for their school exams, must now undergo intense military drills and weapons training, and will soon have to come to grips with the reality of their situation.
The series not only offers an interesting premise but also delves into the concept of forcing children to bear arms. It also looks at the tough choices we must make in life-or-death situations.
6. SQUID GAME
No list about a dystopian world would be complete without mentioning Squid Game. Set in a world where desperate people are forced into deadly games, all for a chance to earn the jackpot of a lifetime, the show brought home the realities of poverty and class differences in a capitalist society, and the depths to which humanity is willing to plunge in order to get out of it.
Having become a worldwide phenomenon, Squid Game has been greenlit for a second season, with several of the main cast returning to reprise their roles.
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