There is no doubt that all things Korean have taken over the world by storm. And, when it is about binge-watching, it’s a whole world in itself. From Korean drama series to Korean movies, various streaming giants including Netflix are literally flooded with content. With another eventful year drawing to an end, we have rounded up some of the most awaited Korean dramas and movies of 2023 that fans are waiting for eagerly.
2022 saw some incredible K-dramas that enthralled the audience and global viewers. From the zombie horror series, All Of Us Are Dead to the office romance drama Business Proposal, the hearty rom-com Forecasting Love and Weather and the courtroom drama Juvenile Justice, the themes and subjects have been as diverse as the brilliant performances of the stellar cast.
With the majority of this year’s releases raising the bar high, it is time to look forward to the upcoming K-drama series and Korean movies releasing in 2023. While some favourite titles such as Uncanny Counter and D.P. are being reprised for a second season, a lot of fresh content is in the pipeline. Some much-awaited titles include A Time Called You, Queen Maker and Mask Girl.
From thriller and mystery to romance and comedy, 2023 can be forecasted to be yet another joyride in terms of Korean content hitting the screens and Korean TV. Though most of the information and details are kept under wraps, we can safely say, after a power-packed year that was, fans can expect to be glued to the screens and binge-watch new stuff pretty regularly in the coming year too.
Check our complete list on K-dramas to watch!
Here are some of the best K-dramas and movies to look forward to in 2023
A Time Called You
Directed by: Kim Jin-won
Cast: Jeon Yeo-Been as Han Jun-hee and Kwon Min-joo, Ahn Hyo-seop as Ko Yeun-jun and Nam Si-heon and Kang Hoon as Jung In-gyu
Synopsis: Based on the Taiwanese drama, Someday or One Day, this upcoming 12-part K-drama series of 2023, follows Jun-hee grieving over her late boyfriend Yeun-jun who passed away a few years back. One day, under some mysterious conditions, Jun-hee time travels in the past and ends up as a high school student named Kwon Min-joo in 1998. Destiny tricks her when she finds that the school’s most popular boy Si-heon resembles her deceased boyfriend. Things get further complicated when his best friend In-gyu develops feelings for Min-joo.
Directed by: Kim Yong-hoon
Cast: Go Hyun-jung as Kim Mo-mi, Aahn Jae-hong as Nam Joo-oh and Yeom Hye-ran as Kim Kyung-ja
Synopsis: Based on the webtoon of the same name, Mask Girl is one of the most anticipated K-dramas with a reported episode count of seven. It revolves around Mo-Mi who is an ordinary office worker with a tremendous inferiority complex about her looks. However, she is proud of her attractive body and hosts an internet broadcast with a mask on. Her colleague Joo-Oh has a one-sided crush on the masked girl. When she gets involved in a series of dramatic events, he too gets caught up in the tangle. And, after he goes missing, his single mother Kyung-ja sets out on a frenzied search.
The Girl Downstairs
Directed by: Lee Jeong-Hyo
Cast: Bae Suzy as Lee Doo-na and Yang Se-jon as Lee Won-joon
Synopsis: Based on the webtoon Lee Doona (2019), the upcoming Korean drama series rolling out in 2023 The Girl Downstairs has a phenomenal star cast. As a college freshman, Won-joon enters a new apartment on his first day of college but finds out that his downstairs neighbour Doo-na is a former celebrity who has quit her profession to pursue studies. Unwillingly though, he finds himself falling for her.
Directed by: Choi Jeong-yeol
Cast: Nam Joo-hyuk as Kim Ji-yong, Yoo Ji-tae as Jo Heon and Lee Joon-hyuk as Cho Gang-ok
Synopsis: Dwelling on the crime and action genre, Vigilante is based on an eponymous webtoon that follows a police academy student named Kim Ji-yong. He loses his mother at the hands of notorious criminals at a young age and vows to take revenge. He forms an underworld organisation and becomes a vigilante and kills the lawbreakers, while the Metropolitan Investigation Unit Team hunts him down.
Directed by: Han Jun-hee
Cast: Jung Hae-in as Private Ahn Joon-ho, Koo Kyo-hwan as Corporal Han Ho-hyeol, Ji Jin-hee as Goo Ja-woon, Kim Sung-kyun as Sergeant First Class Park Bum-gu
Synopsis: A Korean military drama series D. P., the acronym for Deserter Pursuit, is based on a webtoon named A Dog’s Day (2015). The high-voltage drama follows active frontline army soldiers who break away from camps and go on adventurous missions.
About the show: The six-episode first season ended on a high note and painted a vivid image of structural abuse, political connections and what goes on in the army and showed Joon-ho walking away while five weeks of conscription still left. On the other hand, Ho-hyeol disobeys his senior Bum-gu in front of all juniors which might strip down his position. The upcoming second season is expected to take up from this point.
The Uncanny Counter 2
Directed by: Yoo Sun-dong and Park Bong-sub
Cast: Joe Byeong-kyu as So Mun, Yeom Hye-ran as Chu Mae-ok and Yoo Jun-sang as Ga Mo-tak
Synopsis: Based on the webtoon Amazing Rumor by Jang Y, this supernatural Korean drama series of 2023 follows a group of noodle shop workers by day and demon hunters by night. So Mun is a young 18-year-old high school student who met with a car accident and lost his parents when he was young. One day he learns about the Counters and after a slew of uncanny events, the spirit of one Counter enters him and imparts strange abilities. When a powerful evil force threatens them, both So Mun and the other Counters must break the rules and unite.
Directed by: Jung Dong-yoon
Cast: Park Seo-joon as Jang Tae-sang, Han So-hee as Yun Chae-ok and Wi Ha-joon as Kwon Joon-taek
Synopsis: Based in 1945 Gyeongseong (old name of Seoul), the Korean drama series releasing in 2023, follows a couple of city residents during the Japanese rule who encounter devilish creatures born out of greed.
About the show: Considering the incredible star cast, this is one of the highly anticipated K-dramas of 2023. Such is its sheer popularity and strength that a second season is also confirmed even before the first season has rolled out.
Directed by: Byun Sung-hyun
Cast: Jeon Do-yeon as Gil Bok-soon, Sol Kyung-gu as Cha Min-gyu and Esom as Cha Min-hee
Synopsis: Bok-soon is a professional killer who finds it tough to strike a work-life balance, especially with a 15-year-old daughter. Min-gyu steps in as the CEO of the company Bok-soon works for. He is the one who has taught her all the skills needed in the trade making Bok-soon the most dreaded killer in town. Corporate rivalry, personal relationships and maintaining a dual life are the main themes of this Korean movie.
The Roundup: No Way Out
Directed by: Lee Sang-yong
Cast: Don Lee or Ma Dong-seok as Ma Seok-do, Lee Joon-hyuk as Lee Jun-hyuk and Aoki Munetaka as Riki
Synopsis: The third instalment of one of the most famous and popular Korean movies, The Roundup: No Way Out is a sequel to Lee’s 2022 action blockbuster The Roundup and sees Don Lee reprise his role as the beefed up tough cop as he joins forces with the Regional Investigation Unit to hunt down notorious Japanese Yazuka gangsters while they wreak havoc in Korea.
Directed by: Oh Jin-seok
Cast: Kim Hee-ae as Hwang Do-hee and Moon So-ri as Oh Seung-sook
Synopsis: One of the much-awaited Netflix original K-dramas of 2023, Queen Maker is about two powerful and strong-headed women who have different approaches and opinions but come together to fight for justice. Do-hee is a trusted strategic planning team manager at the Eunsung Group who takes care of public views and tackles tricky situations. Seung-sook is against the Eunsung Group and is running to become Mayor and provide justice to the mass. What happens when these two come head-to-head is sure to make for an interesting watch.
(Main and featured image: Courtesy D.P./ IMDb)