9 best IU Korean dramas to watch: Hotel del Luna, Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo, more

IU, also known as South Korea’s little sister, has shown her impeccable versatility as a singer and actress. Here are some of IU’s Korean dramas that are must-watches.

Updated on Apr 23, 2024  |  10:00 PM IST |  161.2K
IU in Hotel Del Luna and Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo; Image Courtesy: tvN, SBS
IU in Hotel Del Luna and Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo; Image Courtesy: tvN, SBS

IU, born Lee Ji Eun, is a multifaceted South Korean artist renowned for her prowess in both music and acting. Rising to fame with her breakout role in teen drama Dream High, IU has since captivated audiences with her versatile performances in hit Korean dramas such as My Mister, Hotel del Luna, and the fantasy epic Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo. 

Alongside her acting endeavors, IU has solidified her status as a chart-topping singer-songwriter, with numerous number-one hits and critically acclaimed albums, making her a powerhouse in the Korean entertainment industry.

Here are top 9 Korean dramas starring IU to add to your watchlist

1. Dream High

  • Cast: IU, Bae Suzy, Kim Soo Hyun, Ok Taecyeon, Jang Wooyoung, Hahm Eun Jung
  • Director: Lee Eung Bok, Kim Seong Yoon
  • Runtime: 65-70 minutes
  • Seasons: 2
  • Release Date: January 3, 2011


Dream High isn't just a drama; it's a melodic journey through the dreams and aspirations of six students at Kirin High School, all striving to become K-pop idols. From heartwarming friendships to bitter rivalries, the series intricately weaves together themes of passion, determination, and personal growth against the backdrop of the cutthroat entertainment industry. 

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With a stellar cast and catchy tunes, Dream High not only captured the hearts of teenagers but also struck a chord with viewers of all ages, leaving behind an unforgettable symphony of dreams and desires.

2. You Are The Best

  • Cast: IU, Jo Jung Suk, Go Doo Sim, Lee Mi Sook
  • Director: Yoon Sung Sik
  • Runtime: 80 minutes
  • Seasons: 1
  • Release Date: March 9, 2013


In You Are the Best!, the intricate threads of love, loss, and self-discovery are woven together to create a rich tapestry of familial bonds and personal growth. From the tender moments of affection to the heart-wrenching trials of betrayal and forgiveness, each character navigates their own path toward understanding and acceptance. 

As secrets unravel and relationships evolve, the series invites viewers on a poignant journey of resilience and redemption, reminding us that true happiness lies in embracing our vulnerabilities and embracing the strength within ourselves.

3. Bel Ami

  • Cast: Jang Keun Suk, IU, Lee Jang Woo, Han Chae Young
  • Director: Lee Jae Sang, Jung Jung Hwa, Shin Yong Hwi
  • Seasons: 1
  • Release Date: November 20, 2013


In Bel Ami, the allure of beauty masks the complexities of relationships and the pursuit of identity. Dokgo Ma Te, with his striking looks, embarks on a journey orchestrated by Hong Yoo Ra, a woman entangled in her own web of desires and deceptions. 

Alongside him is Kim Bo Tong, whose ordinary appearance belies her extraordinary love for Ma Te. As the trio navigates the murky waters of love, ambition, and family secrets, they uncover the true meaning of beauty and the power of genuine connections amidst a world obsessed with appearances.

4. The Producers

  • Cast: Cha Tae Hyun, Gong Hyo Jin, Kim Soo Hyun, IU
  • Director: Seo Soo Min, Pyo Min Soo
  • Runtime: 80 minutes
  • Seasons: 1
  • Release Date: May 15, 2015

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The Producers takes audiences behind the scenes of the glamorous world of television production, offering a glimpse into the chaotic yet captivating lives of those who work tirelessly to entertain the masses. From seasoned veterans like Ra Joon Mo to ambitious rookies like Baek Seung Chan, each character brings their own quirks and ambitions to the table. 

Amidst the hustle and bustle of the KBS building, egos clash, friendships form, and secrets unravel, painting a colorful portrait of the entertainment industry's inner workings.

5. Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo

  • Cast: Lee Joon Gi, IU, Kang Ha Neul
  • Director: Kim Kyu Tae
  • Runtime: 60 minutes
  • Seasons: 1
  • Release Date: August 29, 2016


Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo weaves a mesmerizing tale of love, betrayal, and political intrigue against the backdrop of the Goryeo Dynasty. Through the eyes of Go Ha Jin, transported back in time to inhabit the body of Hae Soo, viewers are drawn into a complex web of relationships among the royal princes. 

From the enigmatic and misunderstood Wang So to the charming Wang Wook, each prince vies for power and affection while Hae Soo navigates the treacherous waters of palace politics. With its captivating storyline and compelling characters, this series immerses audiences in a world where loyalty and ambition collide.

6. My Mister

  • Cast: Lee Sun Kyun, IU
  • Director: Kim Won Seok
  • Runtime: 90 minutes
  • Seasons: 1
  • Release Date: March 21, 2018


My Mister delves into the depths of human struggle and resilience, painting a poignant portrait of two souls grappling with life's adversities. Burdened by financial woes and a troubled past, Lee Ji An finds solace in her unlikely connection with Park Dong Hoon, a man navigating his own challenges. 

As their lives intersect, they discover unexpected kinship, offering each other solace amidst their trials. With its raw portrayal of hardship and redemption, this series captivates audiences with its emotional depth and compelling characters, reminding us of the transformative power of compassion and understanding.

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7. Hotel del Luna

  • Cast: IU, Yeo Jin Goo
  • Director: Oh Chung Hwan
  • Runtime: 73-94 mintues
  • Seasons: 1
  • Release Date: July 13, 2019


Hotel del Luna beckons viewers into a mystical realm where the living and the departed converge. Nestled in the heart of Seoul, this ethereal establishment serves as a haven for ghosts with unfinished business presided over by the enigmatic Jang Man Wol. As secrets unfurl and destinies intertwine, the series weaves a captivating tapestry of redemption, love, and the eternal struggle between past and present. 

With its rich storytelling and compelling characters, Hotel del Luna invites audiences on a hauntingly beautiful journey through the realms of the supernatural and the human heart.

8. Broker

  • Cast: Song Kang Ho, Gang Dong Won, Bae Doona, IU, Lee Joo Young
  • Director: Hirokazu Kore-Eda
  • Runtime: 129 minutes
  • Seasons: 1
  • Release Date: June 8, 2022


Broker delves into the shadows of society, exploring the complex moral dilemmas surrounding the underground trade of abandoned infants. Ha Sang Hyeon and Dong Soo navigate a precarious existence, exploiting the vulnerability of baby boxes for profit. However, their world is upended when a young mother, So Young, confronts them, leading to an unexpected journey to find a home for her child. 

As detectives Soo Jin and Lee close in, the film delves into themes of redemption, justice, and the profound bonds of parenthood. With stellar performances and gripping storytelling, Broker offers a poignant reflection on the human condition and the lengths we go for love and survival.

9. Dream

  • Cast: Park Seo Joon, IU
  • Director: Lee Byeong Heon
  • Runtime: 125 minutes
  • Seasons: 1
  • Release Date: April 26, 2023


Dream is a heartwarming tale that transcends the boundaries of sports and social status. Park Seo Joon shines as Yoon Hong Dae, a disgraced football player turned reluctant coach for a team of homeless individuals. Lee Ji Eun (IU), who portrays Lee So Min, adds to the narrative with her portrayal of a struggling filmmaker. 

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Together, they embark on a journey of redemption and self-discovery as they navigate the challenges of coaching and documentary-making. Through laughter, tears, and unexpected camaraderie, Dream reminds us of the power of teamwork, resilience, and the pursuit of dreams against all odds.

Conclusion

From the melodic highs of Dream High to the poignant depths of Dream, IU's journey through Korean dramas has been nothing short of captivating. She brings a unique blend of talent and authenticity with each role, leaving an indelible mark on viewers' hearts. 

Whether she's portraying a struggling musician or a haunted hotelier, IU's versatility shines through, making her a beloved icon in the realm of Korean entertainment. As we delve into the intricate narratives of these top dramas, we're reminded of the timeless allure of IU's performances and the enduring power of storytelling.

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ALSO READ: 7 Gong Yoo movies and TV shows that are a must-watch for fans: Train to Busan, Goblin, and more

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About The Author

Saumya is Journalism & Mass-Communication graduate with a specialization in digital journalism. She comes with nearly a

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Credits: tvN, SBS
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