Shows Like ‘Doctor Slump’ If You Liked Netflix’s K-drama


Doctor Slump is finally over, and we’re left with a lot of hope after 16 episodes of pure bliss. As we say goodbye to the show with a massive hole in our hearts, we’ve gathered for you a list of K-dramas with either a similar vibe, some of the same stars, or just a hint of the same kind of spice. If you love kimchi, you probably like a kimchi jjigae almost as much as a kimchi jeon, but here you’ll get a taste of kimchi cheese toast as well (kkkk).  These shows are equally motivating and may help in driving you out of whatever kind of slump you’re in. In Doctor Slump, two individuals who once excelled in their respective fields find their lives taking an unexpected downturn after career mishaps. Amidst their lowest moments, they cross paths, offering each other solace and support. The show dwells on the emptiness of the relentless pursuit of success, something we’re probably all guilty of. However, we’re not all lucky enough for it to lead to a blossoming romantic relationship like the one between Ha-Neul and Jeong-Woo. So, we stick our noses into the lives of unrealistic K-drama characters, who may be flawed but have our love the same. 

Twinkling Watermelon 

Even though this show has the fantasy element of traveling to the past, Twinkling Watermelon is more relatable than most TV shows you may have seen. It’s a dramatic representation of familial relationships in the most wholesome package, with four up-and-coming stars who will leave you with wide smiles for days. The show follows Eun Gyeol, a high school student with deaf parents, who has a natural talent for music. Struggling to make his father understand his pursuit of music, Eun Gyeol finds himself in a unique instrument shop that transports him back to 1994 (ah, the blissful years). There he encounters Ha Yi-Chan, Choi Se-Kyung, and Yoon Chung-A, leading to the formation of a band named Watermelon Sugar (Harry Styles, who?). Watch the show to see if he manages to go back to the present and convince his father that he can make it. Twinkling Watermelon is just as emotional and funny as Doctor Slump.

It’s Okay to Not Be Okay 

I don’t think I’ll ever stop talking about this show. I suppose this was the moment the Korean entertainment industry realized that mental health is a subject we’re all interested in. The show stars Kim So-Hyun and Seo Ye-Ji in leading roles, and the first thing you need to know is that their chemistry is over the charts. This is a show that is unique, emotional, and absolutely mesmerizing. Oh, and the fashion game is like no other. Ko Moon-Young for president, everybody. Now, though this show is more in the surrealistic realm, it’s just as thought-provoking as Doctor Slump. Additionally, we love a flawed character, and these characters are more than flawed, but that’s what makes them so absolutely loveable. If you haven’t already seen this masterpiece, it’s time to binge-watch it immediately. 

Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha

Now, it’s likely you’ve heard of this, or you’ve probably even seen it. But if you haven’t, I urge you to watch this one because I promise you will be reeling with joy by the end of it. If you’re a fan of the enemies-to-lovers trope, this show does it even better than Doctor Slump. Additionally, you’ll probably never stop saying “jjajangna chincha” every time someone annoys you—a great way to learn a new language, no? A warning though: the female lead of this show is genuinely quite annoying, but that’s what makes this pairing work so fantastically. Also, you’ll probably need a box of tissues for the occasional emotional dose you’ll be fed. Don’t let that mess with you, though; you’ll thank me when you actually watch the show! 

The Heirs 

Now, this show is nothing like Doctor Slump. The only reason it’s on this list is because it has the leading pair of the show, Park Shin-Hye and Park Hyung-Shik, playing classmates. I know you’re thinking, “That’s why they look so comfortable together on screen!” and you bet. Though there are some problematic elements in this show, if you want to see Park Shin-Hye do her thing as she does so fantastically and watch a comical and young Park Hyung-Shik be an annoying brat, you’re going to love this one. If you’re going to miss this pairing, then don’t think twice and simply watch The Heirs for a gala time with peak 2013 drama. 

Hello, My Twenties 

A late-coming-of-age story is always entertaining, especially if you yourself are a late bloomer (don’t worry, I won’t tell if you don’t). This show may not be in the same league as Doctor Slump, and it does have its low moments; however, it’s got the bestest second lead, Park Yoon, as one of the love interests in this show. If you liked him as the kind-hearted Dae-Yeong in Doctor Slump, you will especially love him in Hello, My Twenties. This is a show about young women trying to find their way in the world, and I don’t think I need to say any more for you to be invested in this story. If you’re one who loves female friendships and appreciates the chick-flick-ness of K-dramas, then go for this one, and you won’t be disappointed. 

Flower Boys Next Door 

Now, I wanted to include some old shows for the new K-drama fans because there are some little gems you may have missed out on. Park Shin-Hye has been in the industry for a really long time. She started off as a child actress (you’ve got to see a little PSH in The Evil Twin, she’s just adorable), who has come a long way. Though she has starred in many popular shows in recent years, there’s one that is very underrated and quite unique. Flower Boys Next Door came out at a time when the Korean wave was about to hit the world. This is not the best show you’ll ever watch; don’t have any high expectations, but it’s got a very subtle calming effect on the viewer, thanks to the character Park Shin-Hye plays. If, like me, she’s your K-drama bias, give this one a go. PS: It’s got a few familiar faces that you may take some time to recognize. 

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Ruchika Bhat
Ruchika Bhat
When not tending to her fashion small business, Ruchika or Ru spends the rest of her time enjoying some cinema and TV all by herself. She's got a penchant for all things Korean and lives in drama world for the most part.

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