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Korean TV for kids or teens? The Great Doctor?


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Are there any Korean dramas or other shows that would be suitable for older kids? My DS is close to 13 and would really like to watch some but I can't find any good reviews like you can find w/ Parents in Mind or Common Sense Media. I think I'm pretty middle of the road w/ what he can watch. He loves Doctor Who, Atlantis, Merlin, Xena, Elephant Princess, and stupid Disney teen shows. We don't let him watch things like Glee, Walking Dead, Big Bang Theory, Battlestar Gallactica, or Supernatural. We also made him quit watching Princess Tutu after a while because it got too weird. He likes history, sci-fi, and fantasy, so I thought I'd try him with The Great Doctor. Would that be suitable for kids? I'm previewing the first episode now and it seems ok, but I don't want to let him start if it gets inappropriate later. 



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I just finished watching with all my dds ages 11, 14, and 18. I thought it was fine for us.


A few things off the top of my head(not sure what your criteria are): one of the palace workers mentions that after drinking he sleeps with his wife. There is character of ambiguous gender, I guess, who flirtss with the general a lot.


These were all fine with me. I loved that show, and wad sad when it ended. The ending was so so good.

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Most Korean dramas are not racy at all, and so IMO I can't really think of any not appropriate for a 13 year old. Some Korean movies have a lot of torture and gore though, so be more careful there.


My boys watched "Queens classroom" with me recently, they liked it. Nearly all child cast, having lived in Korea and seen the school issues first hand through their friends, it was extra interesting to us. They got all into "Queen of Ambition" too, the character is so evil in what she does to get ahead. They don't care for the historical dramas mostly, but they liked a few, now I must wrack (rack?) my brain to remember the names.

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I've watched tons of dramas.  And most encourage modesty, respect for elders, taking care of those younger than you, courtship rather than dating (holding hands is huge, a kiss is almost like we're getting married now).  Now some shows are for adults and a lot of sageuk (history ones) will have fighting, blood and some torture.


I haven't seen all of The Great Doctor (Faith) but am currently watching it with my husband.


Some that a 13 year old boy might like that I have watched and are probably OK by most standards (I will star the ones I know are on Netflix, others may be on Hulu):


Boys over Flowers (some bullying in early episodes but that is part of the theme is to end that)*

City Hunter (lots of action, but more of a punishing the bad guys)*

Coffee Prince (a girl is mistaken as a boy and works for a coffee shop whose draw is cute boys)

Commitment (movie, violence because you are dealing with North/South spies)*

Flower Boy Ramyun Shop 


I Hear Your Voice (boy can hear people's thoughts and helps an attorney)

Inspiring Generation (about Koreans in Shanghai before WWII so there is lots of street-fighting)

My Girlfriend is a Gumiho

Rooftop Prince (time-travel one)

School 2013 (about issues in school and how every one tries to deal with them, very touching)

Shut-up and Let's Go (One of my all time favorites, great lessons about friendship) *

Sungkyunkwon Scandal (so much fun)

The Bridal Mask (about Koreans under Japanese rule and the rise of the liberation movement, violence and torture)

To the Beautiful You (really cute about a girl in an all-boys school)

You Who Came from the Stars (big hit of the year)

You're Beautiful (a novice-nun pretends to be her brother in a boy band)


Of currently airing shows he might enjoy:


You're all surrounded (about rookie detectives, a comedy and so funny)


Hope this helps. 

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What they said.  

I can't really think of any that wouldn't be appropriate off the top of my head.

The ones I've seen (which may repeat some of the above posters; my favorites/recommendations are starred):


*School 2013 - explained above, for once there is no romance element at all (not that the romance elements are anything inappropriate lol, it was just refreshingly different), loved this one

Heirs (a bunch of rich kids in high school.  Actually not all that bad, but not as good as some others in this genre)

You're Beautiful (nun-in-training pretends to be her brother in a boy band due to his circumstances.  A cute, funny love story.)

*Gu Family Book - LOVE THIS ONE!!  One of my top favorites.  A bit of a supernatural element, as the main character is half gumiho/nine-tailed fox.  Some violence but nothing crazy.  But seriously, it's SO good!!

Marry Him If You Dare (ok.  A pretty pointless one, basically this girl is trying to live her life and her future self comes back and tries to change her fate.  The one show where I couldn't decide whether she should be with the first or second male lead - apparently they couldn't decide, either. :rolleyes: )

*I Hear Your Voice - Another great one.  Lee Jong Suk became one of my favorites after School 2013, and in this one he can hear people's thoughts if he looks in their eyes.  

To The Beautiful You (girl pretends to be a boy to go to a sports school with her favorite athlete, who was injured and has decided to quit.  A silly love story.)

*The Master's Sun - Another top one!  The main character can see ghosts.  Again, SO GOOD.  I think I watched it in it's entirety in 4 days.

Faith (took forever.  Slow moving historical drama, though there are elements of it I loved.  Overall I just wish they would have condensed it into fewer episodes, as it didn't move along quickly enough for my taste.)

I am Sam (the biggest weirdness with this show is that she ends up falling for her teacher.  And vice versa, though it's later.  Overall, though, I liked the show.  It's probably one of the oldest on this list, had a lot of current stars in it when they were younger - cute!)

Secret Garden (the first k-drama I ever watched.  Girl and guy end up switching bodies.  So perfectly cheesy and I loved it.)

*Dream High - probably won't be interesting to some.  A high school for music students to become pop stars, lots of music and stuff.  Still one of my all time faves, the second k drama I ever watched.

*City Hunter - My absolute, #1 favorite.  I'm trying to convince DH to watch it!  

Boys over Flowers (the quintessential Cinderella story.  Hysterical, though in the end it is just a love story.  LMH's hair is horrid. :lol: )

Playful Kiss (girl is in love with guy in high school for, like, ever.  Their parents turn out to be friends and when her house falls in an earthquake - which is oh-so-realistic-not-really - she and her dad move in with them.  Another love story.)

*Heartstrings - two college students, in two different paths of study - western music and traditional Korean music.  What starts as a bit of a rivalry turns into a love story.  Pretty good.

Flower Boy Ramen Shop (not bad, but pretty typical.  Female lead is torn between this high school student - who she taught as a student teacher at the beginning of the show - and the guy who her father left in charge of his ramen shop and taking care of her.)

*Level 7 Civil Servant - pretty good but it got a little dry (as did Faith - I felt like that show could have been 16 episodes instead of 24!) 

Flower Boy Next Door (reclusive editor caught spying on the cute guy across the street - with binoculars! - and then becomes the object of affection of the guy who caught her.  Also lives next to a couple other guys, one of whom has interest in her, as well.)

*Iris - CIA type stuff.  The main characters are a bit older, so they do have a more serious romantic relationship, but they never show anything - you just know it happens.  A little more violent, and not brilliantly acted (except TOP, who plays one of the villians. Spoiler: I seriously nearly cried when he died.  I'm not sure what that says about the good guys, if one of the bad guys was my favorite!!)

*Shut Up Flower Boy Band (Shut Up and Let's Go) - another one of my top ones.  LOVED this one SO MUCH!!!  High school boys in a band together.  I always have a thing for the high school/music ones.  <3


Some I'm currently watching:

Angel Eyes (not bad, but not really an action drama lol...more of a tragic love story)

*Doctor Stranger - might be pretty good, LJS again, but I've only watched one episode so I can't say for sure how it is for younger audiences.

Emergency Couple (only watched a few episodes thus far, may be too boring, and the main characters are divorced and older, so I'm not sure where that will go maturity wise)

Golden Rainbow (a different style of show - more episodes, and I'm still on the ones where the kids are younger.  Some intrigue and stuff, but I'm getting annoyed with some of the characters already.  planning on sticking through it as much as I can, though, because I rarely don't finish a show)

Shining Inheritance (one of the originals, pre-Boys Over Flowers.  Has Lee Seung Gi in it, who is another one of my favorites.  I've almost finished it, it's a Cinderella Story, as a lot of them are)

Personal Taste (guy pretends to be gay - inadvertently at first - so he can live in this house that he thinks will help him land a contract for his job.  Of course, he falls for the girl who lives there, while pretending to be gay... etc.  I've made it about halfway through.  It's another older one.)

Cinderella's Sister (only a couple episodes in.  Not sure about it yet.)

King 2 Hearts (so beyond annoyed with the female character in it that I don't know if I can finish it.  A pretend world where South Korea is a monarchy, they cooperate with North Korea for something, and the spoiled prince falls for a North Korean girl, who is beyond ridiculous and stupid.  I love Ha Ji Won, but I seriously HATE this character.)


I have about 50 others in my queue on Dramafever that I haven't watched yet lol...

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Thank you for all of the feedback. He was excited when I told him I'd put some on netflix for him to watch. I definitely don't want him watching anything w/graphic torture. We won't let him watch 24 either. What about The Great Queen Seondeok? It says Tv-14 on the description.

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I would prewatch the last episode of Queen Seonduk because one of the main characters has an epic death scene. I didn't find it over the line graffic because it was not as realistic as American shows. My girls all watched it with me and were fine because it was obviously theatrical. If he would be fine with that scene then the rest of the show should be fine. This was the first Korean show I watched and sometimes I think it ruined me for a lot of others because it was so well done!  Here is the death scene:


Just fyi that in Personal Taste the main characters sleep together at the end. It's very tame by American standards, but shocking for a kdrama since handholding and hugging are usually such a big deal.

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Thank you for all of the feedback. He was excited when I told him I'd put some on netflix for him to watch. I definitely don't want him watching anything w/graphic torture. We won't let him watch 24 either. What about The Great Queen Seondeok? It says Tv-14 on the description.

The graphic torture is not nearly as graphic as American TV, but I'd still check it out to see if it's past your limits.

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Thought of a few more. 


Unstoppable High Kick ( a fun sitcom about a three generations living together.  30 min long episodes and should be on Hulu since it's on Dramafever.)


If you are OK with a little action, there is a trio of casino centered dramas done by the same team:  All In, Swallow the Sun and Triangle.  They are about guys who follow their dreams.  The only things are that All In and Swallow the Sun have some of the worst action by American that I have ever seen on film but it's a short-lived thing and Triangle is currently airing.  They are probably some of my all time favorites.


I forgot about Heirs because although I love Woo Bin, I was disappointed in the main story live although I loved some of the side stories.  The friendship between the mom's was epic.


I also never finished either Dream High or Heartstrings.


eta:  (had to leave for a bit)

Also, if you can find it, Running Man is a really fun variety show that you may enjoy as a family.  They usually have a game of tag (rip the nametag off) on most episodes and have challenges or treasure hunts and feature Korean celebrities.  A lot of people really enjoy it.

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