K-dramas 2023: The 10 most exciting South Korean shows coming out this year

New shows about romance, crime and a woman being turned into a chicken nugget are set to be released soon

From left, Nam Joo-hyuk; Bae Suzy; Park Seo-joon; Kim Hee-ae; and Ji Chang-wook all have TV shows coming out this year. Getty Images
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A new year means new television shows to look forward to and the popularity of South Korean drama is continuing to soar.

In 2021, Netflix invested $500 million into content produced in the country and, on the back of the successes of shows such as Squid Game and Hellbound, is expanding its offerings this year.

Disney+ has also stepped up its programming, so there's plenty to look forward to from the two platforms, including an unusual tale of a woman accidentally being turned into a chicken nugget and the story of a woman who still grieves for a lost love.

Here are 10 shows being released this year to keep on your radar.

Mask Girl, Netflix

Cast: Go Hyun-jung, Ahn Jae-hong, Yeom Hye-ran

Based on a webtoon of the same name, the show tells the tale of ordinary office worker Kim Mo-mi (Go) who is insecure about her appearance but loves her body. She works as a video streamer but wears a mask to cover her face. Her colleague Joo Oh-nam (Ahn) is a huge fan of “Mask Girl” and once he discovers her identity, develops a crush on her. However, both are soon involved in a shocking case.

A Time Called You, Netflix

Cast: Ahn Hyo-seop, Jeon Yeo-been, Kang Hoon

The series follows Han Jun-hee (Jeon) whose boyfriend Gu Yeon-jun (Ahn) died one year ago. She is having trouble getting over his death and still grieves for him. One day, she is transported back in time to 1998 and finds herself as high school student Kwon Min-joo. There, she meets fellow student Nam Si-heon, who resembles her late boyfriend. The series is an adaptation of the Taiwanese show Someday or One Day.

Vigilante, Disney+

Cast: Nam Joo-hyuk, Lee Joon-hyuk, Yoo Ji-tae

The drama follows Ji Yong (Nam), a university student training to join the police force so that he can avenge the death of his parents. On the weekends, he becomes a vigilante, tracking down and punishing criminals. Meanwhile, reporter Choi Mi Ryeo and investigator Jo Heon are tracking his actions. The series is also based on a webtoon of the same name.

Chicken Nugget, Netflix

Cast: Ryu Seung-ryong, Ahn Jae-hong, Kim Yoo-jung

The comedy series, based on the webtoon Fried Chicken by Park Ji-dok, revolves around a young woman Choi Min-ah (Kim), who uses a mysterious machine to help with her fatigue, and is accidentally turned into a chicken nugget. Her father and an intern who has a crush on her try to turn her back into human form, only to discover some dark secrets along the way.

The Worst of Evil, Disney+

Cast: Ji Chang-wook, Wi Ha-joon, Im Se-mi

Set in the 1980s, the crime-action drama follows undercover police who infiltrate a massive criminal organisation responsible for the illegal drug trade between South Korea, China and Japan. Ji stars as lead officer Kang Joon-mo, with Lim as Yoo Eui-jung, a narcotics officer. Meanwhile, Wi plays Jung Ki-cheol, the leader of the criminal enterprise.

Moving, Disney+

Cast: Ryu Seung-ryong, Han Hyo-joo, Jo In-sung

The series tells the story of high school students Kim Bong-seok, Jang Hee-soo and Lee Gang-hoon, who have superpowers inherited from their parents. Bong-seok can fly, Hee-soo has athletic abilities and the power to regenerate from injuries and Gang-hoon has power and speed. The students try to hide their secrets and their parents struggle to protect them from being used by others. The show is based on a webtoon of the same name by Kang Full.

Doona!, Netflix

Cast: Bae Suzy, Yang Se-jong

The show is based on the webtoon The Girl Downstairs by Songah Min. The series follows Joon (Yang), who moves into a new apartment on his first day of college. He discovers that Lee Doo-na (Bae), the former main vocalist of a popular idol group, is living downstairs after she announces her student retirement. Although Joon initially tries to avoid her, he finds himself growing more and more curious about her.

Call it Love, Disney+

Cast: Kim Young-kwang, Lee Sung-kyoung

When Shim Woo-joo’s (Lee) unfaithful father dies, he leaves his mistress in charge of the family home. Woo-joo is kicked out onto the streets, but plots ways for revenge on her former stepmother. Things become complicated when she falls for her stepmother's son, Han Dong-jin (Kim). Together, the two of them will have to learn to heal and put aside their mutual revenge plans for the sake of love.

Gyeongseong Creature, Netflix

Cast: Park Seo-jun, Han So-hee, Kim Soo-hyun, Kim Hae-sook, Jo Han-chul, Wi Ha-joon

The series is set in Gyeongseong (known today as Seoul) in 1945 and follows people who battle monstrous creatures who have been created out of human greed. Jang Tae-sang (Park) is the wealthiest, most-connected person in the city and he puts money before justice. However, that changes when he crosses paths with Yun Chae-ok (Han), who is investigating a series of missing person cases.

Queen Maker, Netflix

Cast: Kim Hee-ae, Moon So-ri, Kim Tae-hoon, Ryu Soo-young

The story follows two powerful women who live different lives but combine forces for the same goal. Hwang Do-hee (Kim) is an expert in the consulting field and hopes to make Oh Seung-sook (Moon) the next mayor of Seoul. Seung-sook is a labour rights lawyer and popular YouTuber but has no interest in authority. However, thanks to “Queen Maker” Do-hee, she becomes determined to be the next mayor.

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Updated: January 16, 2023, 10:02 AM
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