K-drama fanatics, prepare to swoon. Netflix is adding to its ensemble of quality Hallyu content yet again!
“There’s just so much love for Korean content in this region, especially in Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Netflix started adding Korean titles three years ago and we’ve seen how that has attracted new audiences who are discovering the Netflix viewing experience for their K-drama viewing,” said Minyoung Kim, Director of Content, Korea, Netflix. “Fan favorites like Korean Odyssey, Something in the Rain, What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim are all part of our growing library and today, we are pleased to be working with Korean talent and creators on the second season of original titles like Kingdom and My First First Love.”
Since 2018, Netflix’s library of Korean content continues to grow, boasting of popular rom-coms like Romance Is a Bonus Book and thrillers like Memories of the Alhambra. 2019 saw Netflix’s new Korean original films and dramas rise with hits like Abyss, Arthdal Chronicles, and One Spring Night, all of which are exclusively available to Netflix members in the Philippines.
Now onto the new! Here, six promising K-dramas that you would no doubt obsessively binge-watch soon. We warned you.
1. Svaha: The Sixth Finger (May 30)
Svaha is a mystery thriller, starring veteran actor Lee Jung-jae (Along With the Gods: The Two Worlds, Along With the Gods: The Last 49 Days) and up-and-coming actor Park Jung-min, best known for his performance in the indie film Bleak Night and Dongju: The Portrait of a Poet. The film is a tapestry of subplots woven like a puzzle with Pastor Park (played by Lee Jung-Jae) hired to expose a religious cult. He learns about the murder of a young girl, whose body was found following a tunnel accident and starts to connect the pieces to his investigation. Unfolding in parallel, religious fanatic Na-han's (played by Park Jung-min) dangerous obsession with another young girl slowly builds a mystery that rattles and confuses Pastor Park.
Svaha is written and directed by Jang Jae-hyun, known for the hit supernatural thriller The Priests (2015) that sold over 5.4 million tickets at the box office in Korea.
2. Chief of Staff (TBA)
Chief of Staff is a drama series about the world of political aides who are normally outside the spotlight. It portrays aides as the real players in politics, whose desire for power can sometimes be stronger than that of the lawmakers they serve.
Jang Tae-jun, played by Lee Jung-jae, is the chief of staff to a four-term lawmaker. He graduated at the top of his class from the police academy, but he did not want to be a police lieutenant. If it were not for Jang’s excellence, persistent intuition, and cool judgment, the lawmaker could not have become the floor leader of his party. Jang's ambitions don't stop there, though. The bigger dreams he has are hidden in his soft smile.
Kang Seon-yeong, played by Shin Min-ah (Oh My Venus, My Girlfriend Is a Nine-tailed Fox), is a lawyer-turned-politician, serving as the spokesperson for her party. Kang is resolute and gentle, and always carries herself with confidence and strong determination. The fact that she became a lawmaker by proportional representation challenges her future in politics at times, but she is not swayed by what others think, nor does she give up because of her fears.
Chief of Staff is directed by Kwak Jung-hwan (Ms. Hammurabi, The K2, The Slave Hunters) and is written by Lee Dae-il (Life on Mars, Bring It On, Ghost).
3. Designated Survivor: 60 Days (TBA)
A Korean adaptation of the American TV show Designated Survivor, Designated Survivor: 60 Days is the story of a politician who ascends from the position of Minister of Environment to President as an explosion at the National Assembly kills everyone in the Cabinet who is ahead of him in terms of the presidential succession.
Park Mu-jin, played by actor Ji Jin-hee from the popular TV series Jewel in the Palace, is a scientist-turned-politician who struggles to fit in politics. Park is the acting president for 60 days, and during this period, albeit inexperienced and unwilling, he tries to uncover the truth behind the attack.
Lee Joon-hyuk, best known for his performance in the highly-praised TV series Stranger, plays an independent lawmaker, Oh Young-seok, who is not only charming but also full of confidence and young energy, which comes off as a stark contrast to Park. Han Ju-seung, the Chief Presidential Secretary, is played by Heo Joon-ho (whom Netflix fans will recognize from the first season of Kingdom). Han is calm, composed, and tends to draw a clear line between private and public matters, which in turn creates tension between him and Park.
Designated Survivor: 60 Days is written by Kim Tae-hee who is known for the beloved TV series Sungkyunkwan Scandal, and is directed by Yoo Jong-seon, whose filmography includes What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim and Descendants of the Sun.
4. My First Love - Season 2 (July 26)
Netflix Korean original series My First First Love, directed by Oh Jin-seok, is launching a second season on July 26, which in fact marks the 100th day since the first season premiered in April!
The new season launch was also announced by the five main cast, namely Jisoo, Jung Chae-yeon, Jinyoung, Kang Tae-oh, and Choi Ri, on their respective social channels. The upcoming season of My First First Love will continue to portray how the five characters grow as young adults. The love triangle involving Tae-o, Song-i, and Do-hyeon will put them in a spot where they would need to figure things out between friendship and love. Hun and Ga-rin, meanwhile, take one step closer to their career dreams.
5. Love Alarm (August 22)
Love Alarm is a Netflix original series set to launch in the third quarter of this year. It is a story of friends who find themselves caught in between what they truly desire and what a mobile app says they would want. The app is designed to send an “alarm” when someone who has romantic feelings for you comes within a 10-meter radius.
Kim Jo-jo, played by Kim So-hyun (Who Are You: School 2015, Hey Ghost, Let’s Fight, Radio Romance) is a girl with positive spirit despite some painful family history, and she finds a new love by using the app. Hwang Sun-oh, played by new face Song Kang, likes Jo-jo, and he has it all: model-like looks and wealth. Lee Hye-yeong, played by another rookie actor Jung Ga-ram, is good friends with Sun-oh, and he also likes Jo-jo.
Love Alarm is based on a popular Korean webtoon of the same title by Chon Kye-young, whose other works like Unplugged Boy and Audition have a strong following in Korea.
6. Vagabond (September 2019)
Vagabond is an action-packed Korean espionage drama series starring Lee Seung-gi (The King 2 Hearts, A Korean Odyssey) and Bae Suzy (Architecture 101, While You Were Sleeping).
It's a story about stuntman Cha Dal-geon, played by Lee Seung-gi, who gets involved in a tragic airplane crash and ends up discovering a national corruption scandal in the process. Bae Suzy plays Go Hae-ri, the eldest daughter of a deceased marine, who decides to work for the National Intelligence Service as a secret ops agent in order to support her mom and younger siblings, despite having hoped for the simpler life of an ordinary civil servant.
Vagabond is Lee and Bae’s second time playing opposite each other since their leading roles in 2013's Gu Family Book. It boasts of some spectacular filming locations outside Korea, such as Lisbon, Portugal, and a few spots throughout Morocco. Its production quality is also topnotch, packed with detailed cinematic action scenes and impressive VFX. The series is directed by Yoo In-shik (Mrs. Cop, Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim) and co-written by Jang Young-chul and Jung Kyung-soon, This is the trio’s fourth collaboration to date.