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New Year, New K-Dramas: A List of Must Watch Shows

new-year,-new-k-dramas:-a-list-of-must-watch-shows

A new year means new dramas to binge-watch. From Gong Yoo’s space adventures to Son Yejin experiencing a charmed life, we can’t wait for these shows.

This was a great year in K-drama-land. Both Song Joongki and Song Hye-kyo made comebacks (the jury’s out on what they think of each other’s respective dramas, though), Ik-jun and Song-hwa finally got together after years of pining on Hospital Playlist and of course, Squid Games made a world-wide splash.

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The only thing that would be even better is confirmation of Dear M.’s air date but alas, we can’t all get what we want out of the world. Justice for Jaehyun!

It’s too early to tell if any of the upcoming dramas will top this year’s offering, but there are some major names in these upcoming shows so if anything, the excitement meter is up, and we all can’t wait.

Here’s a list of the most buzz-worthy shows that are coming up in the new year.

The Silent Sea

Imagine a future, “when the planet suffers from a lack of water and food caused by desertification.” The future is thirsty, but thankfully not for lack of Gong Yoo, because that is the synopsis of his latest drama The Silent Sea, out on Netflix on Christmas Eve.

Yoo plays Han Yoon-jae, a soldier for a space agency selected for a team with Song Ji-an (Bae Doo-na) and Ryu Tae-seok (Lee Joon, making his post-military drama comeback).

Their mission is to retrieve a sample from an abandoned space station, presumably to help kick start the earth into working again. The series is based on The Sea of Tranquility, a short film released in 2014 by the same director of the movie series.

Money Heist 

A remake of the beloved Spanish TV drama, the Korean version will have cultural and language shifts to give a localized flavor.

However, all the things we love from the original are all still here, from The Professor and the country-specific character names, albeit with different personalities, as per Jun Jong-seo, who plays Tokyo in the remake, told Dazed Korea

Names you will recognize are Squid Game’s Park Hae-soo, and Park Myung-hoon, who was part of 2019’s most major Korean cultural touchstones: Parasite and Crash Landing On You

The Youngest Son of a Conglomerate

New Year, New K-Dramas: A List of Must Watch Shows
Song Joongki

Song Joongki is in a drama with themes of family, revenge, and hostile takeovers. You would be forgiven for thinking that you have found a time machine and are once again re-watching the first episode of Vincenzo, but this is the plot of his upcoming drama called The Youngest Son of a Conglomerate.

Also in the cast is Hospital Playlist’s Shin Hyun-been, Song’s fellow Vincenzo cast-member Jo Han-chul, and making her K-drama debut is SNSD’s Tiffany Young.

Thirty, Nine

New Year, New K-Dramas: A List of Must Watch Shows
Jeon Mi-do, Son Yejin, Kim Ji-hyun

A slice-of-life type drama featuring three best friends on the cusp of turning 40, Thirty, Nine stars Son Yejin in her first drama since Crash Landing on You, along with Hospital Playlist’s Jeon Mi-do and Kim Ji-hyun, last seen in Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha.

Cha Mi-jo (Son) is the head of a Gangnam aesthetic clinic who has everything she has ever wanted in life. Blunt but loveable Jung Chan-young (Jeon) had dreams of becoming an actress but settled on becoming an acting teacher instead. Jang Joo-hee (Kim) is a shy department store cosmetics manager who has yet to experience a romantic relationship.

Rounding up the cast are some very cute guys on their way to probably seduce these noonas: Yeon Woo-jin, Lee Moo-saeng, and Lee Tae-hwan. We can’t wait!

Our Blues

New Year, New K-Dramas: A List of Must Watch Shows
Shin Min-a, Kim Woo-bin

The cast list of Jeju island-based drama Our Blues reads like a veritable who’s who in K-drama land. Lee Byung-hun (IrisMr. Sunshine), Cha Seung-won (Athena: Goddess of WarA Korean Odyssey), plus real-life lovers Shin Min-a (Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha’s female lead) and Kim Woo-bin, making his triumphant return after nasopharyngeal cancer treatment (unfortunately it seems like they won’t be together in this show, but it was shot in beautiful Jeju so they probably had a good time).

Irascible island bumpkin Lee Deong-seok (Lee) sells things out of his truck on the island. He meets Min Sun-a (Shin), who moves to the island to escape her past. Choi Han-soo (Cha) moved to the mainland before return back, complete with city airs. He runs into his first love Jung Eun-hee (Lee Jung-eun), who runs a fishing store.

Bright and personable haenyeo (female diver) Lee Young-ok (Han Ji-min) is followed by persistent rumors. She meets ship captain Park Jung-joon (Kim Woo-bin), a kindhearted man who is looking to settle on the island. These meetings set up a story that I’m sure will be healing and soothing to watch.

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