Netflix dropped The Black Knight on 12 May 2023, worldwide, and took our breath away. While it has been quite some time, but for some of us, it has been a bit too difficult to let go and move on. So, we understand if you are on the lookout for K-dramas like The Black Knight.
Markedly, it may be Kim Woo-bin’s extraordinarily deep voice or all the Mad Max Fury-esque desert driving; but something keeps pulling us back into the dusty, dismal, and somber pretext of the show. If you are obsessed with K-dramas, check out the catalog of K-dramas, trust us, it will serve to help!
Anyways, if you are feeling the withdrawal kick in already from The Black Knight, we have just the thing for you. With our handpicked selection of K-dramas like The Black Knight, you won’t have to skip a beat before jumping into some seriously epic post-apocalyptic dystopias.
So, hold onto this list, clasp your copy of Animal Farm, and snuggle with your favorite device to munch on our top picks of the 10 Best K-Dramas like Black Knight.
The Black Knight: Overview
Black Knight is a grimdark K-drama set in the context of a comet injury to Earth, leaving it in ruins. The destruction is such that only a minuscule percentage (1%) of the population survived.
This event strips Earth of its environmental vitality, rendering it seemingly inhabitable. This forced people to move underground and live in artificial environments that regulate oxygen and other life-sustaining elements. However, even in this moment of peril, class and social divisions persist.
And a dystopia was born.
The leadership in the Korean Peninsula separated people into General, Special, and Core districts. This was done in the name of the scarcity of basic resources and unequal access to resources (including oxygen).
Not everyone made it into these districts and had to live in miserably toxic upper Earth. This existence was without access to clean air, oxygen, and other necessary resources for survival. These unfortunate ones were the refugees.
In this kind an artificially created world based on alienation, discrimination, and scarcity, the leadership depended on the labor and services of Deliverymen (a group of courier-like servicemen, taking essentials of life to people chosen to stay in the three districts by traversing the dangers of the desert).
The Black Knight follows an exceptional Deliveryman and his coterie as they try to take down the establishment (Cheonmyeong Group). This group was responsible for developing the three districts and segregating people, by monopolizing oxygen and other supplies.
The color and emotional tone of The Black Knight is grim and dusty. Yet the element of resistance from below explicates something of a human conscience of the agency. It reveals how people can sense the sinister forces that are responsible for driving the subaltern citizen into a miserable life.
The government in this one plays a refreshingly positive role, as does the military intelligence. The main antagonist is articulated as the Capitalist forces of Cheonmyeong Group. These forces are portrayed as willing to kill refugees to stifle their chances of a better life that their technology guarantees (ironically).
10 Best K-dramas Like The Black Knight
Here is our far from procrustean list of the best K-dramas like The Black Knight that will bring more dystopias, apocalyptic realities, and distortions your way. Hang onto these recommendations!
The Devil Judge (2021)
Cast: Ji Sung, Kim Min Jung, Park Jin Young (Got7), Park Gyu Young
Genre: Mystery, Crime, Dystopian, Law
Number of Episodes: 16
If you are looking for something that fits the dystopian mold of The Black Knight like a glove, The Devil Judge is the endgame.
Like The Black Knight, this drama is set in the aftermath of a calamity that has befallen the human race (It is a post-pandemic world here). This show also pulls every trope of the perfect dystopia there is, but situates it in the present context.
The attempt to overturn, challenge and bring down the political aristocracy that was sustaining itself by camouflaging its profits-seeking under social welfare schemes- are common themes in both The Black Knight and The Devil Judge.
It follows the complicated and tense partnership between two judges, one who is extremely popular (and seasoned) and the other a newbie rookie Judge, as they take on a corrupt and colluding ruling elite. The premise of The Devil Judge may be old, but its unfolding is inexcusably morose.
The lasting bromance between Ji-sung and Jinyoung’s characters adds a certain tension to the dynamic of our protagonists.
Cast: Park Hyung Sik, Han Hyo Joo
Genre: Sci-fi, Thriller, Action
Number of Episodes: 12
How do you pursue happiness when the world is falling apart under the weight of another virus?
How do to keep chasing it when this virus drives someone you love mad with a thirst that can’t be satiated with water alone?
Happiness is a drama that expresses in its name the contradiction with the somber source material of its plot. If The Black Knight features the jarring reality of a post-apocalyptic event, Happiness documents how a new physiological danger can threaten human existence.
When a pill to treat pneumonia backfires and begins to affect human beings such that they start feeling thirsty beyond control and start biting off people, there begins the tale of another zombie apocalypse in the making.
Happiness serves as a zombie romance and thriller, with a look at how even when faced with the end of the world as we know it, class differentiation and stratification still pervade and persist.
And don’t forget to check out our carefully selected list of Kdramas like Happiness, when you finish every drama on this list.
Duty After School (2023)
Cast: Shin Hyun Soo, Choi Moon Hee
Genre: Sci-fi, Thriller, Action, Alien Apocalypse
Number of Episodes: 6
This one comes as no surprise on our list. Duty After School features the harsh reality in Korea when mandatory conscription was flagged off by the President to preserve the strength of the military to fight aliens.
Yes, you read it correctly. Aliens. More specifically, almost beautiful-looking alien-insect things.
So, similar to The Black Knight, this drama deals with a calamity that has befallen Earth and its constituents. That calamity was environmental destruction in the former, and alien invasion in the latter.
This show carries great character development even if it doesn’t always make its characters the most intellectually sound people at times. It’s about preserving life and survival in the face of mortal danger, similar to The Black Knight.
It has a second part coming up soon. Don’t miss out on catching up. We gave you a fair head start.
The Silent Sea (2021)
Cast: Bae Doo Na, Gong Yoo, Lee Joon
Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Sci-fi
Number of Episodes: 8
The Black Knight and The Silent Sea are two K-dramas with similar aims. They both pose relevant questions about resource use by human beings.
While they take divergent articulations of our futures to bring home just how miserable life can be if we continue with our current habits and tendencies, they reveal the same things: that most environmental, social and technological trajectories and issues of our present carry with them the potential of bringing forth catastrophe.
Both shows ally with science fiction to make these points. However, while The Black Knight is steeped in the dusty domains of the desert, The Silent Sea on the other hand is situated in the rather majestic Lunar environment.
The Silent Sea deals with the question of water, the realities of its scarcity, and how far technology can take us in the face of such scarcity. Netflix paid the big bucks on this one from the cast to the CGI.
This is a possible option to cling onto in order to escape the allure of The Black Knight.
Cast: Joo Ji Hoon, Ryu seung Ryong, Bae Doo Na, Kim Sung Gyu
Genre: Horror, Thriller, Historical, Political,
Number of Episodes: 6
If The Black Knight takes us on a spin for an alternate and futuristic rendition of how things will look if the human race somehow manages to survive an apocalyptic disaster. Then, Kingdom takes us back in time, with its historical drama and political intrigue as a zombie epidemic breaks out.
It has managed to not just situate the gruesome nature of a possible zombie apocalypse, but it has also succeeded in depicting it in all of its gore and bloody realism.
Not unlike The Black Knight, this one is wedded to exceptional cinematography, perhaps exceedingly so than the former.
This drama combines palace politics, the dilemmas of being a Crown Prince, and the difficulties of being a physician in the face of epidemics and trench warfare to combat zombies with effortless ease and appeal.
Like our protagonist from The Black Knight, “5-8” portrayed by Kim Woo-bin, the Crown Prince as a character holds a peculiar charm, a slightly outlandish fervor despite his title.
Sisyphus: The Myth (2021)
Cast: Park Shin Hye, Cho Seung Woo
Genre: Mystery, Sci-fi, Action
Number of Episodes: 16
Produced jointly under the aegis of JTBC and Drama House, Sisyphus: The Myth is a complex blend of science fiction, romance, dystopic cyberpunk, action-thriller, and drama.
What happens when someone comes back from a dystopian future marred by nuclear catastrophe, to prevent the events and inventions held responsible for the tragic future to become what they will?
In between articulating time travel logic and logistics, engineering marvels, the chemistry between the main leads, and stellar Lara Croftean action sequences; this show gives you a lot to bite. If these are the themes you enjoy, you can also check out Top 10 Recently Released Kdramas with less than 10 or 10 episodes.
While the tone of this one is different from The Black Knight, the action and future dystopia bring enough commonality to bridge that gap. Thematically speaking, The Black Knight and Sisyphus: The Myth are different sides of the same coin.
One moves forward to set things right in the face of destruction. The other moves backward in time, to go back to a neutral temporal context to set things right before the destruction of the future ensues. Both shows construct the narrative around the decisions of female protagonists, that have agency and kick ass.
In a climate of polarised perspectives on the success of the show in portraying what it sought to, missing out on this drama just for that reason would be foolish. So, let us know in the comments which side of the reaction spectrum you fall on.
Squid Game (2021)
Cast: Lee Jung Jae, Wi Ha Joon, Park Hae Soo, Jung Ho Yeon
Genre: Drama, Action, Thriller
Number of Episodes: 9
This drama’s popularity is partly responsible for all the dystopian, dark, and unsettling K-dramas that have been commissioned or underway by the Korean entertainment industry since its release.
The primary protagonist gets pulled into a sinister version of a Korean childhood game- Squid Game- the namesake of the show when he is faced with mounting debt and harsh circumstances in life. He takes on the opportunity to seek a better life by competing against others like him, in what turns out to be a game of life and death.
On the surface of it, the premise of Squid Game may seem to be situated in the natural and rational world, but once the stakes of the circumstances are revealed, this one becomes very brutal very fast.
Like The Black Knight, this drama also features the steering class inequalities and privileges, unmasking their truly ugly nature.
The very fact that something like this game came to be underway in the fictional Korean drama reveals just how far gone the social complex is of the society depicted in the show.
The cinematography of Squid Game is in its element. You have cliffhangers, good acting, and something disturbing that can have an introspective impact besides just entertainment as a consumer of K-dramas.
Cast: Kim So Hye, Yang Dong Geun, Lee El, Kim Joo-hun
Genre: Sci-fi, Action
Number of Episodes: 4
This is not your typical hour-long multi-episodic drama with ample screen time to develop and imagine the plot of how a technologically advanced future might look; and the challenges that would ensue in that future.
But it does its job well in the crisp advertisement-style episodes, 7 minutes long each. The year is 2053. Technological advancement has hit the roof. AI is your best friend.
But the pollution is out of bounds, air quality has deteriorated, and rain is a distant dream. Much like The Black Knight, this minimalistic drama presents a take on how human beings survive in conditions of environmental degradation that have made the Earth practically inhabitable without the use of technology.
This snippet-size drama doesn’t hesitate to hit the viewers with the melancholy of a future without the vitality of resources and Earth, as well as the human connection itself. With dependence on technology for not just basic survival but also emotional and psychological companionship, the future looks not just dismal but also lonely.
Produced under the aegis of Samsung, Ambergris goes the full mile into exploring the detrimental effects of overexploitation and misuse of the environment in a haze for technological advancement, a thread that is found in The Black Knight as well.
Watch this one if you want quality in brevity; if you want to explore the nature of a semi-apocalyptic future that awaits human existence if it continues to neglect the environment and by extension itself.
All of Us Are Dead (2022)
Cast: Park Ji Hoo, Yoon Chan Young, Lomon, Jo Yi Hyun
Genre: Sci-fi, Thriller, Horror
Number of Episodes: 12
As is apparent from this list, the zombie apocalypse has been articulated so many times over the years, that it takes a very special kind of series to successfully pull it off. And All of Us are Dead cut no corners when it gave us a compelling plot line of a world at the cusp of crippling under a Zombie-virus.
Like The Black Knight, All of Us Are Dead is concerned with human and Earthly disasters, albeit a bit differently.
The former is grappling with a world hanging by a thread to survive an apocalyptic comet crash. The latter documents how a world was stuck by a zombie breakout, with an impending apocalypse.
Both are shows about survival in the face of testing odds. Both shows deal with ways in which governmental measures tend to alienate common folk. Like The Black Knight, All of Us is Dead shows how ordinary people are capable of doing the extraordinary. It exemplifies collective action in the face of dire consequences.
Honorable Mention: AORB (2019)
Cast: Choi Woo Shik, Lee Jun Eun
Genre: Sci-fi, Fantasy, Thriller, Adventure
Full disclosure people, this one is not a drama. But an interactive choice-based special short film, released online under the aegis of Cass. (Cass is a South Korean liquor company, known for its locally brewed variants).
Conceptually, the articulation of a dystopia in AORB is authentic, and for that reason similar to The Black Knight.
State surveillance, technologically driven control, and following a pre-mandated routine like robots: it’s the perfect archetype of a world where the values of individual agency and decision-making have been turned upside down.
Even though it deals with dark themes depicted variously in media, there’s more to it. There is something fresh about this short film. Give it a watch, if the dreary and dusty surveillance-laden world of The Black Knight gave you pause.
This one has a dystopian aesthetic nailed down.
The Black Knight left sci-fi dark dystopian genre enthusiasts with an insatiable curiosity for more. Perhaps a drama with more episodes, or one with a deeper treatment of the tropes and post-apocalyptic dystopian social complex. These might do the trick.
Hence, we must oblige and uncover K-dramas like The Black Knight. Not only does that help us pay homage to the drama itself, but also brings forth new experiences. Happy watching folks!
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FAQS “K-dramas Similar to The Black Knight”
No. Season 1 of The Black Knight concluded the drama.
The Black Knight will appeal to viewers interested in dark, grim, dystopian, cyberpunk, and apocalyptic//post apocalyptic genres associated with science fiction and alternate histories.
At the end of The Black Knight, the deliverymen succeed in their coup against Cheonmyeong Group and Ryu Seok. The finale portayed a gradual improvement in the air quality of Earth.
Yes. The Black Knight is streaming on Netflix, subject to region-specific availability.
No. The Black Knight does not feature romance by any stretch of the imagination.