Five drama recommendations… for girls’ night
by DB Staff
This week we bring you drama recs for girls’ night — in other words, great female-centric stories about life, love, and friendship. Dramaland does it well (though not terribly often), and this is one sort of theme that everyone rejoices over when it comes around, and reaches for more of when it’s offered.
Age of Youth (2016)
Any mention of dramas centered around female friendships will always bring to mind Age of Youth. Following five girls as they confronted the ghosts of their pasts and healed from them, this drama portrayed the trials and tribulations of growing up and navigating life as a young adult in such a relatable manner. With a solid ensemble cast, and standout performances from Han Ye-ri as the diligent Jin-myung, and Park Eun-bin as the boisterous Ji-won, this heartfelt coming-of-age drama captured my heart and never let go.
Every character has their unique quirks and flaws, which caused many a conflict at first, ranging from Eun-jae’s misinterpretations of her housemates’ behavior to the recurring conflicts between the diametrically opposite Yi-na and Ye-eun. Still, the Belle Epoque girls eventually learned to embrace one another’s idiosyncrasies. They may bicker and quarrel, but when push comes to shove, they’ll have one another’s backs no matter what. Sometimes that means whacking your friend’s awful boyfriend with your purse, and sometimes that means pulling an all-nighter to cover your friend’s convenience store shift. I love that even with romance arcs thrown into the mix, the girls’ friendships are always at the front and center of the show. Ji-won may have been the one to wear the Wonder Woman costume, but every one of these girls are heroines in their own right. –@solstices
Buam-dong Revenge Club (2017)
I will use any opportunity to talk up this gem of a drama. I’m always up for female-centric stories of friendship, and Buam-dong Revenge Club (more commonly known as Avengers Social Club) is one of my all-time favorites. It’s heartwarming and hilarious watching this endearing trio of women bond as they bumble their way toward revenge against the men who’ve done them wrong. Throw Jun in the mix as their teenage partner-in-crime (and the brains behind the operation), and you have one memorable drama.
Lee Yo-won, the ever-wonderful Ra Mi-ran, and Myung Se-bin play our leads who are as different as they come in terms of class, personality, and circumstance. But amidst their quest for revenge, they form a lasting friendship born of support, trust, and understanding that’s lovely to see. And as a bonus, there’s also a sweet stepmother and stepson relationship. Although there is some heavy subject matter (one of the women is abused), it’s not a grim drama – in fact, it’s primarily a comedy. The drama is only 12 episodes, so it has time to develop the story and characters without overstaying its welcome. Awesome female friendships, hilarity, found family, and women coming into their own – what’s not to love? –@quirkycase
Search Query: WWW (2019)
A girls’ night in dramaland wouldn’t be complete without the powerful trio from Search Query: WWW. Ta-mi, Ga-kyung, and Hyun are at the top of their professional game, but when life gives them lemons, they’re the kind of gals who grasp them in their fists and juice them with their bare hands. The thing I admire about this trio is that they’re assertive and go after what they want, whether it’s being the driving force behind the number one search engine in the country, taking the lead and actively pursuing a man, or finally getting free of a corrupt and oppressive mother-in-law. It’s a refreshing portrayal of women in a medium that often paints its leading ladies as needing saving, either professionally, financially, or from an evil ex-boyfriend.
K-dramas often pit women against each other, too, making them catty rivals who seemingly hate one another for the sake of drama. While the loyalties between these three women are sometimes strained — as they are on opposing sides as business rivals — they eventually come together and prove that strained friendships can be mended and healed. And like the queens that they are, they ride off into the sunset looking fierce — sunglasses on and convertible top down. –@DaebakGrits
Be Melodramatic (2019)
There are many things to love about Be Melodramatic, and the great female friendships are certainly near the top of that list. Our three leading ladies are long-time friends and roommates who have been through thick and thin together, and their love for each other is evident. They’re quirky, a bit of a mess, yet strong in their own ways and like the best kind of friends, make each other even stronger.
Romantic chemistry in a drama often gets the spotlight, but friendship chemistry can really make a drama shine. This drama wouldn’t have worked had Chun Woo-hee, Jeon Yeo-bin, and Han Ji-eun not had strong chemistry as our central trio. They’re great individually and together, lighting up the screen with their hilarious antics (that oppa scene with Han-joo had me in stitches) and delivering on the emotional moments (Eun-joo seeing herself on camera and realizing she needed help was gut-wrenching). I loved watching this group of friends support each other and grow amidst the absurdities of life. If you’re in the mood for a slice-of-life style quirky dramedy with strong female characters and friendships at the core, Be Melodramatic is well worth the watch. –@quirkycase
The One and Only (2021)
Ahhh, nothing brings a group of women together quite like the murder of a man who really, really deserved it. In the case of The One and Only, the dead man in question definitely had it coming, so I don’t feel morally conflicted about rooting for In-sook, Se-yeon, and Mi-do. All terminally ill and living out their final days in a women’s hospice facility, this trio decides to rid the world of some evil on their way out the metaphorical door.
The events of that night predictably lands them in some hot water, but the heart of this drama isn’t the suspenseful story arc of them trying to avoid arrest and another less benevolent killer. Instead, it’s about how these very different women form an unlikely friendship — under some extraordinary circumstances — and choose to leave the world on their own terms. There’s also a terrific ensemble cast of women in the form of the other hospice patients who occasionally lighten the mood with their matchmaking antics, but they also drive home the message that life is fleeting but infinitely better with a posse of friends by your side. –@DaebakGrits
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- Premiere Watch: Moonshine, The One and Only, The Silent Sea
- Search Query: WWW: Episode 1
- The three ladies of tvN’s Buam-dong Revenge Social Club
- Be Melodramatic
- Age of Youth: Episode 1