Romance is great, except when you’re in the mood for fistfights, shoot outs, serial killers, and gangsters. These action-packed mystery and crime K-Dramas are just what you need for a non-romantic night in.
1. Bad Guys (Season 1 and 2)
The best part about this show (besides the fight scenes) is that there are two seasons: Bad Guys and Bad Guys: Vile City. In Season 1, Detective “Mad Dog” Oh Gu-tak assembles an Avengers-style team of convicts (a hitman, psychopath, and a gangster) to hunt down criminals. Sometimes to catch a bad you, you have to be a bad guy.
In Season 2, prosecutor Woo Je-Moon picks up where the Mad Dog left off. In a society built on corruption and violence, he puts together a new badass team to bring down the most powerful man in the city.
If you like mysteries and time paradoxes, you’ll love Signal. In 2015, an arrogant criminal profiler joins forces with a veteran female detective to solve cold cases, while secretly trying to find out why he’s getting walkie-talkie calls from a cop living in 1989. The series is based on real-life unsolved murder cases in South Korea.
After getting a partial lobotomy as a teen, prosecutor Hwang Shi-mok is emotionless. Follow your heart or follow your head is never a question he needs to ask himself. He can’t be bribed and he won’t be stopped on his quest for justice. Hwang Shi-mok teams up with his exact opposite–a warm-hearted female detective–to bring corruption to light.
4. Liar Game
In this battle of wills, strangers are invited to join the reality show Liar Game, a survival game where participants have to out-trick each other to win millions. May the best liar win!
Signal fans are sure to love Tunnel too. A detective from 1986 ends up in 2017 after he chases a serial killer through a tunnel. He finds out that in the 30 years that have passed the serial killer hasn’t been caught, and even worse, he’s starting to kill again.
6. Life On Mars
When a data-loving, tech-savvy cop has an accident while investigating a serial murder case, he winds up in his worst nightmare: a time before smartphones where nobody knows what “forensics” is. It’s 1988, and he’s forced to work alongside an old school cop who doesn’t mind cracking heads to get answers. Did he really travel back in time, or is this a coma dream? This K-Drama will make you question what’s real and what’s not until the bitter end.
7. Voice (Season 1 and 2)
Like Bad Guys, Voice has two seasons, and they’re both worth watching. A top detective becomes jaded and purposeless after his wife is murdered by one of the most brutal serial killers in K-Drama history. He ends up joining forces with the leader of an emergency call center, whose father was murdered by the same man. She has a supernatural gift for identifying sounds, including the killer’s voice.
8. The Village: Achiara’s Secret
The smaller the village, the bigger its secrets. When an English teacher moves to Achiara, a peaceful village with an extremely low crime rate, she finds a buried body. Time to investigate!
9. God’s Gift 14 Days
A mother is given a chance to go back in time two weeks before her daughter is kidnapped and murdered. With the help of a former cop out to clear his name, she races against time while uncovering sordid secrets along the way.
The son of a man wrongly suspected of being a serial killer becomes a detective to find the real “Gap-Dong” 20 years his father committed suicide. The statute of limitations for the case may have run out, but his investigation is just beginning.