What to Watch During Reading Week: 10 Shows From 10 Genres

What to watch now that you've finished binge-watching Squid Game.


This Reading Week (November 8-12, 2021), I plan to watch and rewatch a bunch of shows—not that I didn’t any other reading weeks, but this time I get to write an article about it. Yay to productivity! On a serious note, this list consists of Korean, Japanese and Chinese shows and is an opportunity to amp up your language skills and learn more about other cultures.

So, if you’re looking to try a new show and if Squid Game opened you up to a whole new world of TV shows, this is your handy starter pack:

Action: My Name


In case you missed it, My Name is another Korean drama that trended on Netflix's Top 10 list alongside Squid Game. This gritty eight-episode series follows a woman who — in a bid to find her father’s killer — joins the largest drug ring and infiltrates the police under its leader’s direction. The plot, though occasionally predictable, is nothing short of addictive. Watch on Netflix or check out the trailer.

Post-apocalyptic Fiction: Attack on Titan


Attack on Titan, despite its share of controversies, deserves a watch. One step into this world and you’ll find visceral storytelling, flawed characters, epic music and not-so-subtle commentary on war, fascism and anti-Semitism. It’s a survival anime and a conflicted interrogation of freedom. The last of humanity lives within three giant walls to escape man-eating humanoids known as Titans. After his hometown is destroyed, Eren Yeager sets out to obliterate all Titans, unravelling in its path a startling chain of unprecedented truths. Watch on Netflix / Crunchyroll or check out the trailer.

Drama: Itaewon Class


At its core, this 16-episode K-drama is an enjoyable underdog story. A few years after being released from prison, a man opens a restaurant and seeks to avenge his father’s death. If you don’t watch K-dramas nor dig Squid Game’s artful gore, Itaewon Class is the perfect lead-in as it covers a range of thematic ideas we all grapple with as humans. And let me just say — this show is worth a watch for its songs alone! Watch on Netflix or check out the trailer.

Dark Fantasy: Jujutsu Kaisen


I. Love. Jujutsu. Kaisen. This anime has the best overall cast of any show! I love the voice acting, the animation’s moody palette style and the opening song that I just can’t seem to sing no matter how hard I try! To save his friends, Itadori Yuji swallows a cursed talisman and becomes the host of an ancient powerful curse. Under the guidance of the strongest Jujutsu sorcerer (the iconic Gojo Satoru y’all), he enrols in a private school to track and exorcise curses. Watch on Crunchyroll or check out the trailer.

Comedy: Mr. Queen


A 21st-century chef, Jang Bong-hwan, wakes up in the body of Queen Cheorin of Joseon era and quickly adapts to palace life through his wit and culinary skills. The comedic timing of this K-drama was spot-on at times. I had so many laugh-out-loud moments while watching Bong-hwan’s daily shenanigans. Watch on Rakuten Viki or check out the trailer.

Court Intrigue: Nirvana in Fire


Twelve years after his family was executed for treason, a man returns with a changed appearance and a carefully plotted revenge. In the process, he secretly aids his childhood friend ascend the throne. Occasionally dubbed as the Chinese Game of Thrones or Count of Monte Cristo, Nirvana in Fire starts out slow but becomes an engaging tussle of wits as each layer of scheme peels off. Watch on Rakuten Viki.

Thriller: Erased


After becoming the prime suspect for his mother’s murder, a man gets transported 18 years into the past. His ability becomes both a blessing and a nightmare woven into a painfully heightened reality as he attempts to change the events leading up to his mother's death. Genre fans settle in for the anxiety-ridden ride. Watch on Netflix.

Historical Epic: Story of Yanxi Palace


If you’re looking for a feisty, no-nonsense female lead, Story of Yanxi Palace is for you. The C-drama follows Wei Yingluo, a fictionalized version of Qing Dynasty’s Empress Xiaoyichun, who enters the palace as maid — to investigate her sister’s death — but ends up becoming one of its most powerful women. Her rise through the ranks is satisfying to watch as she defies the rigid rules imposed by the imperial palace and craftily tackles its schemes. Watch on Amazon Prime Video.

Romance: Scarlet Heart Ryeo


A modern-age woman travels back in time and wakes up in the year 941. Fighting her way to survive in this new world, she befriends the princes of that era, but slowly becomes entangled in their power struggles. Scarlet Heart Ryeo has its flaws but as my first Korean TV show ever, it marks the beginning of my love for Korean culture and entertainment. Watch on Youtube or check out the trailer.

Crime: Signal


A detective from 1989 and a profiler from 2015 team up to solve cold cases after finding out they can communicate via a mysterious walkie talkie. Loosely inspired by real-life incidents in South Korea, Signal deftly brings out a sense of foreboding with its parallel timelines. Watch on Netflix.

About Shars

Shars is a third-year Economics and Psychology student. She's currently interning with External Relations at the U of A — although she believes her true vocation to be pro-binge watcher or foodie (just kidding!) A quote that she always comes back to: "If I work hard, I can eat delicious things!"