8 K-Dramas Similar to Netflix's 'Hierarchy'

8 K-Dramas Similar to Netflix's 'Hierarchy'

“Hierarchy,” the new K-drama on Netflix, only has one season, but those who loved the series can rejoice because there are many other similar K-dramas to check out. In recent years, Netflix has expanded its international selection, including Korean series. Netflix's best K-dramas, like "Squid Game," "Crash Landing on You" and "All of Us Are Dead," have paved the way for many other Korean series on the platform, including original titles like " Hierarchy”.

“Hierarchy” is a high school K-drama set at the fictional Jooshin High School. Here, almost all students are among the richest 1% in South Korea. Those who are not, the scholarship students, experience intense bullying and prejudice. However, the dynamics slowly begin to change with the arrival of Kang Ha. Although he puts on an innocent facade, Kang Ha came to Jooshin for one reason: to find out what happened to his brother. The best K-dramas to watch after 'Hierarchy' include other high school series, revenge tales, and more.

1- How To Buy A Friend

8 K-Dramas Similar to Netflix's 'Hierarchy' K-Selection

Although there are many dark K-dramas set in schools, "How to Buy a Friend" shares a lot in common with "Hierarchy." “How to Buy a Friend” tells the story of Heo Don-hyuk and Park Chan-hong. The two teenagers become friends after making a deal: if Don-hyuk protects Chan-hong from his stalker, Chan-hong must help find out why Don-hyuk's girlfriend killed herself. Although their relationship begins on a purely contractual basis, they eventually develop a true friendship.

Granted, “How to Buy a Friend” is much lighter than the Netflix hit “Hierarchy,” but their themes are similar. Like Kang Ha, Don-hyuk and Chan-hong have hidden motives. They begin their friendship with personal goals in mind. However, all three characters end up experiencing feelings they hadn't anticipated. Additionally, Don-hyuk's quest to understand his girlfriend's death recalls Kang Ha's determination towards his brother. In addition, both series address the theme of school bullying. In short, “How to Buy a Friend” offers a more positive version of “Hierarchy”.

2- The Penthouse: War In Life

The Penthouse- War in Life

Although “Hierarchy” takes place in a school setting, several K-dramas feature the same dark mood but in a completely different context. “The Penthouse: War in Life” is a perfect example. This 2020 K-drama follows the residents of Hera Palace and their talented children. Despite their wealth and success, the residents of Hera Palace are unhappy and hide countless secrets from each other. One of the biggest secrets is the identity of the murderer of the mysterious Min Seol-ah.

Although more adult-oriented than “Hierarchy,” “The Penthouse” offers the same level of mystery and intensity. In both K-dramas, viewers can't trust anyone, not even the main characters. When they finally discover the secrets that the characters of "The Penthouse" and "Hierarchy" have been hiding, it is both shocking and entertaining. One advantage of “The Penthouse” is that it follows both the adults at Hera Palace and their children. Following the children at the prestigious Cheong-ah art school, “The Penthouse” doubles the dose of drama and is even closer to “Hierarchy”.

3- Law School

8 K-Dramas Similar to Netflix's 'Hierarchy' K-Selection

For those looking for a new murder mystery in a school setting, “Law School” is the perfect successor to “Hierarchy.” This 2021 K-drama begins when a professor is mysteriously murdered during a mock trial at Hankuk University Law School. When another professor is wrongly accused of the crime, a class of law students and their professor band together to try to unravel the mystery and exonerate the professor. Throughout their investigation, they learn the importance of justice and truth in the legal field.

“Law School” and “Hierarchy” share one essential point: solving a murder. While Kang Ha conducts a secret investigation into his brother's death in "Hierarchy," the students of "Law School" work together to uncover the truth. For the audience, the twists and turns of the two series are equally captivating. “Law Schoo”l is another K-drama that, while perhaps a bit lighter than “Hierarchy,” is sort of the other side of the same coin. While Kang Ha acts as a lone wolf with dark intentions, the students of “Law School” offer a more optimistic vision of justice.

4- My Name

Netflix's New Original Revenge Drama, My Name, Lands Worldwide

Some viewers who loved "Hierarchy" might be looking for another K-drama with a fierce, morally ambiguous protagonist, and luckily, the perfect one already exists. 2021's "My Name" is a crime K-drama starring Han So-hee as Yoon-Ji-woo, a young woman who infiltrates a drug ring and the police to uncover the cause of the murder of his father. Based on this premise alone, Yoon Ji-woo and Kang Ha share similar backgrounds and motivations, making "My Name" a great replacement for "Hierarchy."

Although their ages and situations differ, the two characters sneak into new places to get answers about the murders of their loved ones. Ji-Woo and Kang Ha not only share stories, but also secret and mysterious personalities that are similar. Additionally, like in “How to Buy a Friend,” Ji-woo finds herself attached to other people, despite her commitment to a darker cause. “My Name” is a more action-packed series than “Hierarchy,” with Han So-hee's character delivering intense fight scenes.

5- Tempted

8 K-Dramas Similar to Netflix's 'Hierarchy' K-Selection

If it was the love triangle of "Hierarchy" that made it so interesting, this 2018 series is the ideal follow-up. “Tempted” is a dark romance K-drama that tells the story of Eun Tae-hui and Kwon Si-hyeon. Si-hyeon's rich friends convince him to seduce poor, hard-working college student Tae-hai to prove his loyalty to them. However, the plan quickly falls apart when Si-hyeon and Tae-hai actually start to fall in love. Si-hyeon's group of friends implodes just as Tae-hai finally discovers the truth of the situation.

Just as “Hierarchy” deals with murder, it also follows heartbreak. Kang Ha's love quadrangle is the main problem that separates him from his main goal of finding out what happened to his brother. “Tempted” takes that intrigue and amplifies it. The series delves deep into the complex relationships between friends and lovers. Additionally, like “Hierarchy,” “Tempted” has a dark atmosphere and a significant focus on class differences. So, “Tempted” offers even more romantic drama than “Hierarchy” suggests.

6- Revenge Of Others

8 K-Dramas Similar to Netflix's 'Hierarchy' K-Selection

In “Revenge of Others”, we follow the story of Ok Chan-mi, a young woman who refuses to believe that her brother committed suicide. She therefore decides to look for him by joining her school. There, she meets Ji Soo-heon, a boy driven by the same desire for truth, regardless of the risks. Together, they seek answers to their questions.

“Revenge of Others” and “Hierarchy” share very similar narrative threads. Both Chan-mi and Kang Ha suffer from the loss of their brothers, and so decide to change schools to find out the truth. There, they find as many allies as enemies. Unlike “Hierarchy,” “Revenge of Others” does not address issues of harassment and class differences, which makes the series a little lighter. However, Chan-mi shares the same dark side as Kang Ha, which makes this series just as morally complex and compelling.

7- The Glory

8 K-Dramas Similar to Netflix's 'Hierarchy' K-Selection

The notion of “Hierarchy” can be labeled in many different ways, but there is no denying that the series can be considered a revenge K-drama. One of the best revenge dramas to emerge in recent years is “The Glory.” This 2022 thriller tells the story of Moon Dong-eun, a woman seeking revenge on her high school bullies. She becomes the homeroom teacher to her main stalker's child, and that's where her revenge plan begins. “The Glory” is partially based on true events, where a South Korean student was assaulted and extorted by her classmates.

In many ways, “The Glory” feels like Kang Ha didn’t exact his revenge for another decade. This series, like “Hierarchy”, is as captivating as it is disturbing. At times, Dong-eun's actions are as horrible as those of his harassers. Unlike the other K-dramas on this list, this is a complete thriller. So, for viewers who want a more adult version of “Hierarchy,” “The Glory” is the ideal option.

8- Extracurricular

8 K-Dramas Similar to Netflix's 'Hierarchy' K-Selection

One of the best K-dramas to watch after "Hierarchy" is 2020's "Extracurricular." This crime drama follows Oh Ji-soo, a high school student who secretly runs security for an illegal prostitution service. Things start to get complicated when Ji-soo discovers that some of his classmates are also involved in the operation. Ji-soo must juggle her life as a normal young person with her dangerous and unhealthy side job. Inevitably, the two aspects of his life begin to intertwine.

While other K-dramas share storylines and themes with "Hierarchy", "Extracurricular" is the best choice because it is a completely new story that provides a similar feel. Although Kang Ha's plot is quite different from Ji-soo's, both series have feelings of risk, gravity, and anticipation. The audience supports the main characters, even as they question their morals. Plus, high school and romance come into play. Overall, “Hierarchy” and “Extracurricular” are two K-dramas that definitely need to be watched together.

Which Kdrama would you add to this list?

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Surprising that Heirs is not mentioned


'Bitch and rich' is similar to 'Hierarchy' because they both have as subject the system of equal opportunities, the scholarship students who attend a prestigious rich school without counting the story of a murder where the main character rich is suspected of having committed the murder which is the whole plot of the drama.
For me 'Hierarchy' is a mix of 'Revenge of others' and 'Bitch and rich' (where Yeri from Red Velvet plays)

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