Netflix has just released their Korean content slate for 2023.
The streaming giant’s 2022 lineup had a lot to live up to from last year, coming from the massive popularity of their 2021 original series “Squid Game.” In 2022, they saw massive success again with the zombie high school K-drama “All of Us Are Dead,” which topped PH Google searches and again sparked a lot of conversation online.
In K-dramas, stories aren’t meant to live past the 16-episode (or less) run time. The past few years of topnotch Korean content have proven that the region’s silver screen offerings are worth investing more episodes in, and it seems that the industry is now listening.
A number of successful Netflix originals are coming back with a second season this year, including “The Glory” starring Song Hye-Kyo and Lee Do-Hyun, “Sweet Home” starring Song Kang and Oh Jung-se, and “D.P.”, starring Jung Hae-In and Koo Kyo-hwan.
The streamer has also acquired several new shows set to premiere this year. See a list of some of the most anticipated picks below.
“Crash Course in Romance”
Jeon Do-yeon and Jung Kyung-ho star in the latest drama from “Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha” director Yu Je Won. The old-school rom-com follows Haeng-sun (Jeon Do-yeon), an ex-member of the national handball team who sacrificed her dreams in order to support her niece and brother. Now a banchan (side dish) store owner, Haeng-sun gets entangled with Chi-yeol (Jung Kyung-ho), a top math tutor with a condition that makes him feel sick when eating. As fate would have it, Chi-yeol visits Haeng-sun’s restaurant and discovers he can stomach her cooking. Romance ensues. Reviews of the first episode are in, suggesting that Director Yu Je Won has yet again mastered the formula for a feel-good-yet-dramatic show. Catch new episodes every Saturday and Sunday on Netflix.
The celebrity-meets-ordinary person trope is alive and well in the K-drama world, with the latest iteration starring Korea’s real-life A-lister Bae Suzy. The K-pop idol-turned-actress stars opposite Yang Se-jong (“Temperature of Love”) in the adaptation of Min Songa’s “The Girl Downstairs,” a webtoon about a university student who moves into a new apartment not knowing that an ex-idol lives downstairs. It’s a highly anticipated release from Director Lee Jung-hyo, whose previous work includes “Crash Landing on You” and “Romance is a Bonus Book.” The show is projected to be released in the third quarter of the year.
With an all-star cast led by Han So-hee (“Nevertheless” “My Name”) and Park Seo-jun (“Itaewon Class”), “Gyeongseong Creature” is set to be one of the biggest K-dramas of 2023. The creature thriller marks the first time that the two team up on screen, set in Japan-occupied Korea in 1945. Park Seo-jun plays Jang Tae-sang, the wealthiest man in Seoul and owner of the Golden Treasure Pawnshop, while Han So-hee plays Yoon Chae-ok, a sleuth infamous for her ability to track anyone down.
Premiering in the third quarter of this year, the Netflix Original “Mask Girl” is an adaptation of the webtoon of the same name by Mae Mi. Kim Mo-mi (played by Go Hyun-jung and Nana) is an office worker by day and a livestreamer by night. Insecure about her appearance, she wears a mask to cover up her face while streaming. Mo-mi eventually becomes embroiled in a chain of ill-fated events. The webtoon is described as “an effortless cross between thriller and black comedy,” so don’t expect this to be filled with the typical K-drama tropes.
What would you do if you found out that you had 200 days left on Earth? Set in a planet about to be destroyed by an asteroid, the new Netflix Original follows the stories of those living their remaining days on Earth. The series is based on the Japanese novel “"The Fool at the End of the World.” With Korea set up as a crisis zone, Ahn Eun-jin (“Hospital Playlist”) plays Jin Se-kyung, a home economics teacher who volunteers at the juvenile department of a municipal office, and Yoo Ah-in (“Hellbound”) plays Yoon-sang, Se-kyung’s lover and a researcher at a bio-engineering research institute. The drama premieres on Netflix in the fourth quarter of the year.