7 K-Dramas With Female Leads That Will Inspire You
These stories prove that women can be feminine and strong at the same time.
It often happens that when we watch K-dramas, particularly romantic ones, we can't empathize with the main characters who are portrayed in an unsympathetic light.
This is especially true for female leads, who are often either too naive, clueless, and completely out of touch with their emotions and sexuality, or are portrayed as rude tomboys and tired femme fatales.
If you want a story with a protagonist who breaks out of these unrealistic stereotypes, here are seven great examples.
See You in My 19th Life (2023)
IMDb Rating: 7.7/10
The protagonist of the drama is feminine, strong, balanced, mature and caring. This undoubtedly comes from her background: she has been reincarnated numerous times and remembers all her past lives. After her 18th life ends prematurely and the 19th begins, she decides to reconnect with the man from her past life.
One Spring Night (2019)
IMDb Rating: 7.9/10
The female lead is independent and doesn't care what society thinks. She knows what she wants for herself and is not afraid to follow it, even if it means trading a long-term relationship for an affair with a single parent.
The Rational Life (2021)
IMDb Rating: 8.0/10
The main character is a career woman in her 30s, and the way she navigates office politics and the hardships of living in a patriarchal society is truly inspiring. Throughout the story, she is faced with a romantic choice. One man is who society deems appropriate for her, and the other is who her heart goes to.
Itaewon Class (2020)
IMDb Rating: 8.2/10
The story is mainly about revenge. It revolves around a man who has spent three years in prison and now wants to become a successful businessman and take revenge for the death of his father and his own imprisonment. Along the way, he is helped by his manager, a multi-talented, highly intelligent and inspiring woman.
Under the Queen's Umbrella (2022)
IMDb Rating: 8.5/10
The protagonist of the drama is a Joseon queen who is determined to transform her sons from mischievous troublemakers into proper royals worthy of their high position. The queen is an inspirational mother figure who can be tough on her children, but cares deeply for them. She is super savvy and navigates palace politics without ever losing her moral compass.
Twenty-Five Twenty-One (2022)
IMDb Rating: 8.6/10
Set in 1998, this is the story of a fencing prodigy who pursues her dreams and big ambitions despite the challenges life throws at her. She is empathetic, consummately passionate and enthusiastic, yet discerning and mentally tough, which makes her a compelling lead.
My Dearest (2023)
IMDb Rating: 9.0/10
The beautiful love story between two people from noble families living during the Qing invasion of Joseon is enhanced by the charming female lead. She is cheeky, playful and feminine, and at the same time extremely strong mentally, compassionate, fearless and takes initiative.