The global fandom for K-content is continuing to grow, with over 60 percent of all Netflix members watching Korean titles last year.
“The global popularity of K-content has continued apace over 2022, with Netflix bringing a wider variety of stories and genres to fans around the world. Over the last year, Korean series and films have regularly featured in our Global Top 10 list in more than 90 countries, and three of Netflix’s most-watched shows ever are from Korea. This year, we’re pushing the envelope even further with the stories we tell and how we tell them. With this lineup of Korean titles, Netflix will continue to be the ultimate destination for compelling, diverse and must-watch Korean storytelling,” said Don Kang, VP of Content (Korea).
Looking ahead at 2023, Netflix is debuting a diverse array of Korean TV series, films and unscripted shows, including eye-popping original productions alongside returning fan favorites, in their biggest-ever lineup of Korean content. So, hang on to your seats, because it is, indeed a BIG lineup.
Love to Hate You
Love to Hate You is a romantic comedy about a woman who really hates losing to men and a man who harbors a deep mistrust of women, experiencing a warlike love and finding themselves healed through the experience. Kim Ok-vin plays Yeo Mi-ran, a rookie lawyer at the entertainment law firm Gilmu who detests losing to men while Yoo Teo plays the character Nam Kang-ho, a Korean A-list actor who deeply mistrusts women. Premieres February 10, 2023.
The Glory – Part 2
The Glory is a Netflix series that tells the story of a woman broken by school violence, and who has dedicated her life to a meticulous web of vengeance and those who are entangled in her plot. The series was announced to much fanfare as the project brought together writer Kim Eun-sook of countless hits, director An Gil-ho, a master of genre series, and a star-studded cast led by Song Hye-kyo. Part 1 was highly praised for its dramatic developments and passionate performances by the cast, even ranking first in the Global Top 10 (Non-English) TV charts in the week of January 2, ramping up anticipation for Part 2. Premieres March 2023.
Bloodhounds is a story about two young people who step into the world of loan sharks in pursuit of money and get caught up in a web of much darker forces. After his perfect performance in a dual role in The King: Eternal Monarch, Woo Do-hwan returns as Geon-woo, who jumps into the world of loan sharks to pay off his debt. Having intrigued viewers with his multi-faceted charm in Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha, Lee Sang-yi plays Woo-jin, who first meets Geon-woo as his opponent in boxing but ends up working with him. Meanwhile, actor Park Sung-woong plays vicious loan shark Myung-gil, who is driven solely by money in everything that he does while Heo Jun-ho plays Mr. Choi, who was once considered a legend among loan sharks, but now helps out the sick by lending money with no interest, bringing gravitas with their on-screen presence. Based on a Naver webtoon of the same title, the series is directed and written by director Kim Joo-hwan of Midnight Runners, promising to showcase refreshing chemistry among the cast and uninhibited action. Premieres Q2 of 2023.
Celebrity is a Netflix series that depicts the true reality of the glamorous and competitive life of celebrities encountered by Seo A-ri, who jumps into their world where fame will bring riches. The series is directed by Kim Cheol-kyu, who was nominated at the official competition of the first Cannes International Series Festival for Mother. Rising star Park Gyu-young from the Netflix series Sweet Home as well as The Devil Judge and Dali and the Cocky Prince plays Seo A-ri, who becomes a celebrity overnight with her bold moves that set her apart from all the other influencers. Kang Min-hyuk plays Han Jun-kyoung, the CEO of Korea’s leading cosmetic brand while Lee Chung-ah plays Yoon Si-hyeon, who has everything from elegance, class, and a reputable background. Premieres Q2 of 2023.
Queenmaker is a Netflix series that follows the story of Hwang Do-hee, a PR genius who used to oversee the Corporate Strategy Team in Eunsung Group, diving into an election campaign for human rights lawyer Oh Kyung-sook, nicknamed Ms. Rhino for having survived countless ups and downs, to get her elected as the mayor of Seoul. Kim Hee-ae, celebrated undoubtedly as one of the greatest actors in Korea for her powerful performances, plays PR genius Hwang Do-hee, while Moon So-ri, famed for her unparalleled presence through the diverse characters she has played, transforms herself into human rights lawyer Oh Kyung-sook in their historic first performance together in this Netflix series. Premieres Q2 of 2023.
Based on a popular webtoon, the series depicts a world set in 2071, where only one percent of the human race has survived and strict social stratification has been established in the deserted lands of the Korean Peninsula, where deliverymen play critical roles in society that has stopped functioning properly. Actor Kim Woo-bin plays 5-8, a legendary deliveryman who is unmatched by anyone, while Song Seung-heon plays Ryu Seok, the sole heir to Chun-myung Group, which controls the world by capitalizing on oxygen. Sa-wol, a refugee boy who aspires to become a deliveryman himself and looks up to 5-8, is played by Kang You-seok, who has been broadening his spectrum as an actor through performances in Start-up and Once Again, bringing fresh energy to the series. The series is directed by Cho Ui-seok, famed for his tightly-knit stories, sophisticated cinematography, and cathartic action through his works including Master, Cold Eyes, and The World of Silence. Premieres Q2 of 2023.
A Time Called You
A Time Called You is a time-slip romance where Jun-hee, missing her boyfriend who passed away a year ago, goes back in time to 1998 to meet Si-heon, who looks identical to her boyfriend. The series made headlines instantly after its announcement as the remake of Someday or One Day, a classic Taiwanese romance. Having starred in Business Proposal, Still 17, and Dr. Romantic 2, Ahn Hyo-seop plays the double role of Jun-hee’s boyfriend Gu Yeon-jun and his look-alike Nam Si-heon from 1998. Jeon Yeo-been of the Netflix series Glitch and the Netflix film Night in Paradise as well as series such as Vincenzo returns as Han Jun-hee and Kwon Min-ju. Jeon Yeo-been plays two characters that look the same but have completely opposite personalities, delivering delicate performances. Kang Hoon, a rising star from The Red Sleeve and Little Women, plays Jung In-gyu, who struggles between friendship and love after finding out that his long-time crush Min-ju likes his best friend Si-heon, depicting the young, pure love of an 18-year-old boy. Premieres Q3 of 2023.
Song of the Bandits
An action adventure set in the tumultuous period of Japanese colonial rule over Korea about a group of people who, for various reasons, end up in the lawless land of Gando and become united in protecting Joseon for the Korean people. Anticipation runs high for the intense drama that will unfold as different groups with their respective motives — including Japanese troops, the Korean Independence Army, hitmen, bandits, and Joseon migrants — face one another in the anarchic land of Gando during the 1920s. Writer Han Jung-hoon and director Hwang Jun-hyuk team up again for Song of the Bandits after having delivered spectacular, exhilarating action and drama with their previous projects, including Bad Guys: Vile City and Squad 38. Premieres Q3 of 2023.
D.P. Season 2
D.P. is a Netflix series that follows Jun-ho and Ho-yeol of the Deserter Pursuit unit in the Korean military as they encounter the realities unknown to them until they chase after the deserters with various backstories. The first season of D.P. was highly acclaimed for its social commentary and resonated with many audiences. The highly anticipated season 2 of D.P. brings together yet again director Han Jun-hee and the same main cast members from the first season, including Jung Hae-in and Koo Kyo-hwan, who respectively played An Jun-ho and Han Ho-yeol, the fantastic duo from the D.P. unit, Kim Sung-kyun, who played D.P. Unit Chief Park Beom-gu, and Son Suk-ku, who played Lieutenant Lim Ji-seop, bringing their teamwork and rock-solid chemistry back to the new season. Premieres Q3 of 2023.
Mask Girl is a story about Kim Mo-mi, an ordinary office worker by day who is insecure about her appearance and a live-streamer by night who covers up her face with a mask, as she becomes embroiled in an unforeseen incident and undergoes a dramatic turn of events. The original webtoon of the same title that the series is based on was beloved by many readers for its unpredictable twists, biting messages about lookism, and the effortless cross between thriller and black comedy. Actors Go Hyun-jung and Nana play the character Kim Mo-mi on different timelines while Ahn Jae-hong plays Kim Mo-mi’s colleague Ju Oh-nam, who has a crush on her, and Yeom Hye-ran plays Ju Oh-nam’s mother. Director Kim Yong-hoon, who drew the attention of the world with his feature debut Beasts Clawing at Straws, which won the Special Jury Award at the 49th International Film Festival Rotterdam, directs the series to deliver refreshing plot developments and a shocking story. Premieres Q3 of 2023. Premieres Q3 of 2023.
A creature thriller set in the spring of 1945 — one of the darkest times in Korean history — about two young people struggling to survive as they face a monster born out of human greed. Korea’s top talents Park Seo-jun and Han So-hee team up for the first time through this series. Park Seo-jun of Itaewon Class and What is Wrong with Secretary Kim returns as Jang Tae-sang, the wealthiest man in Seoul and owner of the Golden Treasure Pawnshop. Han So-hee who has established a strong presence through Netflix series Nevertheless and My Name, transforms herself into Yoon Chae-ok, a sleuth infamous for her ability to track down anyone, even the dead. Writer Kang Eun K of Dr. Romantic & Director Chung Dong-yoon of Hot Stove League will spearhead this mega production. Premieres Q4 of 2023.
Sweet Home Season 2
Song Kang, Lee Jin-uk, Lee Si-young, Ko Min-si, and Park Gyu-young — the residents of Green Home who, in the previous season, delivered overwhelming tension as they risked their lives through bloody battles against their neighbors-turned-monsters — return again in season 2 to offer thrills and tension of a whole new different kind. Joining the cast in the new season are actors Yoo Oh-seon, Oh Jung-se, Kim Mu-yeol, and Jin-young, portraying the various dimensions of human nature and desires as they find themselves at a crossroads for survival. Having opened new horizons for K-content with its diverse creatures designed and built with a global dream team, Sweet Home Season 2 is ready to mesmerize audiences around the world once again with its expanded world and story. Premieres Q4 of 2023.
Doona! portrays the romance between Won-joon, an ordinary university student, and Doona, a former K-pop idol, as they cross paths in a shared house for students. The series is based on a webtoon beloved for the heart-pounding romance with a housemate who is a former K-pop idol and the nuanced depiction of emotions that bring the story to life. Having been consistently cited as the perfect cast for the role thanks to her background as a K-pop idol and beauty, Suzy creates amazing chemistry for a budding romance with Yang Se-jong, who has breathed life into each character he played.The series is directed by Lee Jung-hyo, who directed Crash Landing on You and Romance is a Bonus Book. After the sensation of Crash Landing on You, Director Lee Jung-hyo is now ready to present a beautiful, budding romance between those in their early 20s. Premieres Q4 of 2023.
Daily Dose of Sunshine
Daily Dose of Sunshine is a Netflix series that explores the world inside a psychiatric ward and the stories of people in it, as encountered by Da-eun, who has just become a nurse in the mental health department of a hospital. Director Lee JQ, creator of the K-zombie sensation All of Us Are Dead, which is the 4th most popular Netflix TV series (non-English) of all time, partnered with Netflix once again in this moving human drama. Actor Park Bo-young from TV series such as Doom at Your Service, Strong Girl Bong-soon, and Oh My Ghost returns as Jung Da-eun, who experiences personal and professional growth, unfazed by her struggles at work after being transferred from the internal medicine to the mental health department and caring deeply about her patients. Yeon Woo-jin from Thirty-Nine, Marriage, Not Dating, and the Matchmaker plays the quirky proctologist Dong Go-yun while Jang Dong-yoon, who has been broadening his spectrum as an actor through his performances in Search, The Tale of Nokdu, Mr. Sunshine, and School 2017 will play Song Yu-chan, Da-eun’s close friend who always bickers with her. Premieres Q4 of 2023.
Goodbye Earth is a Netflix series that depicts the planet in chaos, with 200 days left before an asteroid destroys it, and the stories of those living their remaining days on Earth. Ahn Eun-jin, one of the most in-demand actors in Korea who was in Hospital Playlist, plays Jin Se-kyung. Se-kyung was once a home economics teacher in middle school, but volunteers at the juvenile department of the Woongcheon municipal office after the news about the asteroid breaks, struggling in silence to protect the children. Yoo Ah-in, who mesmerized audiences around the world with his performance in Netflix series Hellbound returns as Ha Yoon-sang. A long-time lover of Se-kyung and a researcher at a bio-engineering research institute, Yoon-sang leaves the safety of the U.S. behind without hesitation and returns to Korea, a crisis zone, in order to stay by Se-kyoung’s side. Director Kim Jin-min of Netflix series Extracurricular and My Name teams up with writer Jeong Seong-joo of Secret Affair. Premieres Q4 of 2023.
Behind your Touch (WT)
Ye-boon, who has always dreamed of becoming a vet in the small town of Mujin in Chungjeong-do, is instead stuck doing the nitty-gritty work to make ends meet, like delivering calves and vaccinating halibuts. Then one day, she was given psychometric powers during one of her visits to a cow farm. She encounters the passionate detective Jang-yeol, who mistakes her for a pervert and attempts to tackle her. Subsequently, Jang-yeol relies on Ye-boon and her powers to solve his cases, from petty crimes to serial murder. The two grow closer as they solve each case, one by one.
Crash Course in Romance
A romantic comedy between a hotshot instructor Chi-yeol, who works at the Daechi District known as the education hotspot in Korea, and an ex-handball national team athlete Haeng-sun, who now runs a side dish store near him. Haeng-sun belatedly enters the private education field for a rigorous college entrance exam for her nephew and unexpectedly gets involved with Chi-yeol. Soon they find their bittersweet romance to become scandalous due to the fame of Chi-yeol.
The Good Bad Mother
A single mom who has been widowed at a young age, Young-soon runs a pig farm, and raises her son Kang-ho by herself. She becomes a “bad mother” – hard on her son because she doesn’t want him to grow up penniless nor powerless. Thanks to her discipline, Kang-ho grows up to be a prominent prosecutor, but loses his memory due to an unfortunate accident and becomes a 7-year-old again. Young-soon decides to become a “bad mother” again for Kang-ho in this comforting and touching comedy series that tracks the journey of recovery between mother and son.
King the Land
Graceful, charismatic, intelligent, and chic, the heir of King Group Gu-won has everything but memories of his mother. In an attempt to recover his memory, he returns to King Hotel. Known as King Hotel’s queen of smiles and hospitality, Cheon Sa-rang worked her way up from the front desk to now work at the glamorous “King the Land” space, where she meets Gu-won. Actor Lee Jun Ho plays Gu-won, and actress Lim Yoon A plays Cheon Sa-rang.
Destined with You
Big-time lawyer Shin-yu has to secure the temple located at the skirts of Onju Mountain because of a curse that’s been in his family for 350 years. Then one day, a YouTuber who trespasses the temple dies of an accident, and Hong-jo, a passionate civil servant of Onju City appears before Shin-yu to demolish the temple. “The long-standing curse will end. The owner of the wooden box appeared…” Eun-wol, the shaman who has guarded the temple for over 60 years, gives permission for the demolition to Hong-jo, and the wooden box that was hidden deep inside the temple lands in Hong-jo’s hands. There is a forbidden document inside the wooden box, which gives Shin-yu hope that the spells can free him from the curse by Hong-jo. He takes on the job as lawyer for Onju City to stay close to Hong-jo. This series portrays the force majeure romance between Hong-jo, who happens upon the document that was bound for over three centuries, and Shin-yu, who is the scapegoat of the document.
See You In My 19th Life
Based on the webtoon of the same name, See You In My 19th Life is a spirited love story that comes back to life between Ban Ji-eum, who has the extraordinary ability to remember her past lives, and Moon Seo-ha, whom she is destined to meet. Ban Ji-eum has no attachments to her previous lives, but when she loses Moon Seo-ha to an accident after meeting him in her 18th life, she begins her 19th life to reconnect with him.
JUNG_E portrays a desolated earth in the 22nd century that is no longer inhabitable due to climate change. Amid the chaos, an internal war breaks out in the shelter built for human survival. Victory – meaning the end of the war – now hinges on finding a way to clone the legendary mercenary JUNG_E into a scalable robot. Orchestrated by Director Yeon Sang-ho of Train to Busan, Peninsula, and Hellbound, and with a colorful cast – Kang Soo-youn, Kim Hyun-joo, Ryu Kyung-soo — JUNG_E portrays a unique theme combined with dystopia, cloning, and technology. Premieres January 20, 2023.
A real-crime thriller following an ordinary woman whose entire life is upended after she loses her phone containing her personal information. With the worst possible things happening after the main character loses her phone containing everything, including her social security number, banking information and the details of her personal life, this movie will present a ringing sense of spooky reality and horror to viewers today who cannot live without their phones. Yim Si Wan, who has already established himself as a talented actor with his role of the menacing antagonist in Emergency Declaration, will once again prove himself an on-screen chameleon as he plays Jun-yeong, who commits heinous crimes after stumbling upon the smartphone. Startup marketer Na-mi, who loses her phone, finds it, and becomes entangled in unimaginable schemes, is portrayed by Chun Woo Hee, who has a stellar track record of portraying colorful characters with her unparalleled acting. Premieres February 17, 2023.
Boksoon leads a double life — she is both a mother of a teenage daughter and a legendary professional killer at top-tier killing agency MK. Caught between the mission of killing someone and the mission of raising someone, Boksoon refuses to complete an assigned mission and is thrown into an inevitable fight. Premieres Q1 of 2023.
Teacher and student, but legendary rivals Cho Hoon Hyun (Lee Byung-hun) and Lee Changho (Yoo Ah-in) play the match of their lifetime in the game of Go. At a time when the game of Go was more popular than the World Cup, global legends Cho Hoon Hyun and Lee Changho engage in a heated game of Go in The Match where black and white stones are placed silently but dynamically. Lee Byung-hun portrays Cho Hoon Hyun, who is both strict and warm with Lee Changho, whom he takes in as a student when Changho was just 10 years old as he showed much promise, right after Cho Hoon Hyun won the grand slam. Yoo Ah-in takes on the role of Lee Changho, a student who works tirelessly to exceed his monumental teacher Cho Hoon Hyun. Lee Byung-hun and Yoo Ah-in, who are known to bring their own interpretations to characters across any genre or plot, collaborate for the first time in The Match, adding to the hype of what to expect in this game between teacher and student. Premieres Q2 of 2023.
A crime action film on the nerve-wracking war between Won-ho, who is still pursuing Mr. Lee’s organization and the disappeared “Rak” after the bloody fight at Yongsan Station, and Brian, who has reappeared, and a new character “Big Knife.” Believer 2 follows Won-ho’s investigation of looking for “Rak,” who disappeared after Brian’s incarceration, while getting to the core of the elusive drug cartel. Director Baik, who has already received praise for sophisticated cinematography and sensational directing in The Beauty Inside, showcases a different side of his directing in this film. Actor Cho Jin-woong portrays Won-ho, the persistent detective who has been tracking down the drug cartel for a long time; Cha Seung-won portrays Brian, who considered himself Mr. Lee as a hidden character within the organization; and Kim Dong-young and Lee Joo-young play Manko and Lona, the deaf siblings who are genius at making top-quality drugs. New character “Big Knife” is played by Han Hyo-joo, who is beloved for her wide spectrum of filmography spanning from mellow, action to comedy, and will immerse in a completely different kind of character for this film. Premieres Q4 of 2023.
This film depicts the beautiful and ruthless revenge by Okju, a former bodyguard, for Minhee, her best friend. Ballerina is directed by Lee Chung-hyun, who shocked the Korean film scene with his short film Bargain and demonstrated sensational directing in mystery thriller Call, with its interesting genre and colorful characters. Ballerina will present viewers with trendy and stylish action scenes and visuals, and garner attention for its refreshing cast lineup composed of Jun Jong-seo, Kim Ji-hun and Park Yurim. Jun Jong-seo portrays Okju, a former bodyguard who has no physical limits when it comes to her self-defense skills, swordsmanship, agility with guns and motorbikes. The so-called “Choi,” who is the subject of revenge, is portrayed by Kim Ji-hun, who has a wide spectrum of acting skills and the ability to immerse in any character. Handsome, fit, and intelligent, he is set to play the antagonist of Okju. Rising star Park Yurim, who won the 94th Academy Award for her role in Drive My Car directed by Ryusuke Hamaguchi, will play the ballerina Minhee. Moreover, the versatile musician Gray who can produce, compose, rap and vocalize, takes on the role of music director, making his collaboration with Director Lee Chung-hyun even more intriguing. Premieres Q4 of 2023.
REALITY & VARIETY SHOWS
themselves on their physiques, regardless of age or sex, to determine the one person with the “perfect physique.” The process of coming down to the last one standing on an unprecedentedly enormous set where only the 100 exist shows fierce competition in its rawest form, making Physical:100 an entirely new type of survival entertainment show. Premieres January 24, 2023.
Siren: Survive the Island
Siren: Survive the Island is a combat survival entertainment show where 24 women of top combat power and strategic thinking form 6 teams divided by career groups and fight one another. Entitled “Siren,” which means both “warning sound” and “beautiful temptress,” this show involves women with extraordinary physical capabilities and skills for strategies including police officers, firefighters, bodyguards, stuntwomen, military women, and athletes who form teams according to their jobs. One team will emerge as the winner after a mission that puts their limitations to the test. For 6 nights and 7 days, their fight for survival on an unknown island requires aggressive mind games and tight teamwork. The extreme situations and unexpected twists and turns will add to the immersive nature of the show. Moreover, the vast scale of the location on a huge uninhabited island, the seamless plot development, and the background stories and relationships between the participants will have viewers hooked on this combat survival entertainment show. Premieres Q2 of 2023.
19/20(Nineteen to Twenty)
19/20(Nineteen to Twenty) is a reality entertainment show that tracks the fresh and youthful lives of Generation Z in their last week of being 19 just before they turn 20. During that final week, they attend “19 School” to learn practical things about adult life and prepare for adulthood. Then on January 1, they all stay at “20 House,” a space where they are independent from their parents and teachers. 19/20 garners much attention as these 19-year-olds, who are on the cusp of adulthood, create unexpectedly vivacious and nostalgic moments throughout the show. KYUHYUN, actress Kim Ji-eun, and LEE SUHYUN from AKMU participate as emcees. Producer Kim Jae-won who is writing history in reality entertainment shows with his Single’s Inferno orchestrates the show. Premieres Q3 of 2023.
Netflix, the go-to platform for quality Korean zombie content, unveils a new type of zombie universe entertainment show for the first time. In Zombieverse, participants must complete quests to survive in Seoul, which has been turned into a zombie world. The art team from All of Us Are Dead and the zombie action choreographer from Kingdom work behind the scenes, adding to the anticipation of how realistically and thrillingly the zombie universe will be portrayed. Their endeavors to survive until the end by completing quests such as looking for food, transportation, or a safe haven; or deciding whether to save a colleague who has been infected by a zombie, will keep viewers at the edge of their seats. Premieres Q3 of 2023.
The Devil’s Plan
Devil’s Plan is a mind game survival entertainment show that awards up to 500 million Korean won to the winner. Participants including celebrities and influencers and recruits of this game begin with the devil’s suggestion to take off their social masks and reveal one’s true identity. The show is directed by maestro of mystery and genre entertainment producer Jeong Jong-yeon with past works such as Great Escape with its vast filming set and seamless storyline throughout every season; The Genius which has unexpectable development and plot twists in every episode; and High School Mystery Club with its immersive storytelling and unparalleled chemistry among participants. As many fans have awaited his collaboration with Netflix, all eyes are on what Devil’s Plan has in store for them.
In the Name of God: A Holy Betrayal
In the Name of God: A Holy Betrayal is an eight-episode true-crime documentary that explores the self-proclaimed ‘messiahs’ in modern Korean history and the shocking events behind them. Premieres March 3, 2023.
Yellow Door: Looking for Director Bong’s Unreleased Short Film (WT)
Yellow Door: Looking for Director Bong’s Unreleased Short Film (WT) is a documentary tracing the quest for the Oscar-winning director Bong Joon-ho’s unreleased short film, Looking for Paradise. This 22-minute film was screened for some 10 members of cinephile club Yellow Door on Christmas, 1992, and has never been seen since. In the process of getting to the bottom of Bong’s mysterious film-making debut, Yellow Door (WT) pieces together the memories of the only witnesses to the film, and recreates an era of avid movie lovers. Premieres Q4 of 2023.
Check out all these Korean series, films, reality shows and more, once they start streaming on Netflix!