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The Most Intense & Disturbing K-Dramas That Will Test Your Sanity

What matters most in the world of entertainment is the impact it brings to the audience, and the power it holds to spread that impact.



It seems that instead of watching comedy or heartwarming Netflix shows to relax and get away from the harsh reality of this pandemic era, I am drawn to emotionally-disturbing Korean dramas. I find excitement in watching shows with intense plots, crazy characters, and mind-blowing twists because they put me on the edge of my seat. Whether it’s about wanting to be the top student in school, wanting to be the most powerful cult leader, or wanting to be the best wife, these shows that I’m about to share have characters who possess an insane desire. They would go to extreme measures to get what they want, regardless if someone ends up dead. In this article, I’d like to share the most intense and disturbing K-Dramas that will test your sanity.


1. The World of the Married

The World of the Married is a 2020 melodrama, romance, and family thriller starring Kim Hee-ae, Park Hae-joon, and Han So-hee. It is the highest-rated drama in Korean cable television history. The story revolves around a couple that seemed so happy and perfect, but when the wife learned of her husband’s betrayal, all hell broke loose as she aimed for revenge.

I’ve seen movies and series that tackle the same theme where the husband cheats on his wife, but this show is definitely on another level. I was highly impressed with the entire cast, and felt every bit of anguish that the female lead went through as a wife of a cheating husband, and a mother of a troubled child. I invested my emotions on this heavy drama and I don’t regret it!


2. Sky Castle

Sky Castle is a 2018 family satire, dark comedy, and mystery drama starring Yum Jung-ah, Lee Tae-ran, Yoon Se-ah, Oh Na-ra, and Kim Seo-hyung. It is the second highest rated drama in Korean cable television history. The story revolves around families who live in a luxurious residential building called Sky Castle. The wives are so obsessive about their husband’s success, as well as their children’s education, to the point that they will do whatever it takes to achieve the goals they have for their family.

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I watched this series because BTS member Suga mentioned it during one of his VLive broadcasts. I think for the most duration of watching this K-Drama, I felt sorry for the children of high-class or elite family because of the unbelievable pressure that they had to go through. I think that every sentiment of a child, and a parent in the Korean upper-class society was perfectly manifested in this series as an eye-opener to those who think that ranks and education are everything.


3. Save Me

Save Me also known as Rescue Me is a 2017 mystery and psychological thriller starring Ok Taec-yeon, Seo Yea-ji, Jo Sung-ha, and Woo Do-hwan. It is based on the popular Daum webcomic entitled, Out of the World by Jo Geum-san. The story revolves around a religious cult called Goseonwon disguised as a religious congregation that helps people. Nobody knows nor acknowledges that the congregation is not what it appears to be, until Im Sang-mi and her family were recruited as followers. Im Sang-mi’s brother commits suicide, which made her mother go insane, and her father’s only way to revive their family was to be a loyal follower of Goseonwon. When Im Sang-mi learns of the evil ways of Goseonwon, no one wants to believe her. She gets trapped as a follower, waiting for someone to save her.

I can’t even begin to explain how mentally draining it was to watch this show! I never expected that I’d be cursing all the time! I had so much anger towards the evil cult leader and his helpers, as well as the damn stupid worshippers of the congregation. I couldn’t believe that people would actually pay a hefty amount of money to be a member of a religious organization, only to be brainwashed and controlled physically, emotionally, and mentally. I felt emotionally tortured as I watched every episode of this show, hoping that Im Sang-mi would be saved, and that someone would finally expose the cult’s mind-boggling secrets.

© 2021 Shey Saints


Shey Saints (author) from Philippines on October 16, 2021:

Alison Lian, omg. If it's not too far from reality, that really sucks. Hope those cults get exposed and get shut down.

Alison Lian on October 15, 2021:

Oh I absolutely could not finish Save Me because it stressed me out too much. Crazy to think that this drama may not be too far from reality as well considering the amount of cults in South Korea.

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