6 new Korean dramas on Netflix: Lee Min-ho, Kim Soo-hyun, and Nam Joo-hyuk are back

Netflix recently announced eight “best-in-class” Korean shows that will stream on its platform within this year. The new shows include Time to Hunt—a thriller film set in a dystopian city and starring Lee Je-hoon, Ahn Jae-hong, Park Jung-min, and Choi Woo-Shik—and Twogether, a travel variety program hosted by Lee Seung-gi and Taiwanese actor Jasper Liu. The six remaining shows are Korean dramas.

Three of the six new Korean dramas on this list are dubbed as Netflix original series, which means that Netflix has the exclusive international streaming rights to them. On the other hand, the three other shows—which I prefer to call Netflix Korean dramas—are true Netflix Originals because they are commissioned and produced by Netflix itself. So far, a total of four Netflix Korean dramas got released, namely Kingdom (2 seasons), My First First Love (2 seasons), Love Alarm, and My Holo Love. We’re lucky there’s more to come!

1. Rugal

Rugal Poster 6
  • Original Broadcaster/Streaming Service: OCN
  • Premiere Date: March 28, 2020 (Korea/APAC/All English Speaking Countries/Latin America)
  • Premiere Date: May 24, 2020 (Japan/Rest of the World)

First off on the list is the crime thriller Rugal, about a promising detective whose life takes a sinister turn when a criminal group called ARGOS murdered his wife and permanently damaged his eyes. He thinks he has lost everything until Rugal, a special organization dedicated to getting rid of ARGOS, approaches him. He then receives an artificial eye transplant, making him a human weapon with a special ability that gives him an advantage in the fight against ARGOS. Choi Jin-hyuk (Justice) takes on the role of the detective while Park Sung-woong (When the Devil Calls Your Name) plays the leader of ARGOS. Rugal is one of the 13 new Korean dramas in March 2020.

2. Extracurricular

Extracurricular Poster 1 featuring Kim Dong-hee
  • Original Broadcaster/Streaming Service: Netflix
  • Premiere Date: April 29, 2020 (Worldwide)

Kim Dong-hee, who has been making waves recently through his role in Itaewon Class, is playing his first-ever lead role in Extracurricular. He just made his acting debut in 2018 through SKY Castle, and look where he is now! This Netflix Korean drama revolves around high school students who have chosen to commit a crime to earn money. Kim’s character is a model student who becomes a delinquent because of his determination to earn money for his college tuition by any means. Jung Da-bin (Should We Kiss First) and Park Joo-hyun also star in the series as two students who get caught up in the crimes of Kim’s character. Want more updates? See these intriguing character posters of the main actors.

3. The King: Eternal Monarch

Lee Min-ho in stills from The King Eternal Monarch
  • Original Broadcaster/Streaming Service: SBS
  • Premiere Date: April 2020

The King: Eternal Monarch is probably the biggest Korean drama that premieres in 2020, thanks to the popularity of its lead actors Lee Min-ho and Kim Go-eun, as well as writer Kim Eun-sook, who wrote the smash-hit dramas Mr. SunshineGoblin, and Descendants of the Sun. It is a romantic fantasy drama that centers on an emperor (Lee) ruling the alternate monarchy Korea and a detective (Kim Go-eun) living in a parallel world where Korea is a democracy. The two work together to close the door that connects their worlds but they end up facing another complication in the process—their growing affection for one another. Lee Min-ho and Kim Go-eun previously worked together with Kim Eun-sook in The Heirs and Goblin, respectively, and so did PD Baek Sang-hoon, who co-directed Descendants of the Sun. See the first stills from the drama featuring the five main actors, including Woo Do-hwan and Jung Eun-chae.

4. It’s Okay to Not Be Okay

Seo Ye-ji confirmed to star opposite Kim Soo-hyun in 'Psycho But It's Okay'
  • Original Broadcaster/Streaming Service: tvN
  • Premiere Date: June 2020

Previously called Psycho But It’s OkayIt’s Okay to Not Be Okay stars Kim Soo-hyun and Seo Ye-ji (Lawless Lawyer) as two people who end up healing each other’s emotional and psychological wounds. Kim Soo-hyun plays the role of a health worker at a psychiatric ward who seems to carry all the pain in life and devotes himself to looking after his disabled brother. He’s described as someone who does not believe in love, but his perspective starts to change after he meets Seo Ye-ji’s character. She’s a popular children’s book writer with an antisocial personality disorder. It’s Okay to Not Be Okay is Kim Soo-hyun’s first drama in almost five years, following his appearance in The Producers (2015) and mandatory military service from 2017 to 2019. It is one of tvN’s star-studded dramas in 2020, which also include Hospital PlaylistStranger 2Record of Youth, and Startup.

5. The School Nurse Files

Nam Joo-hyuk and Jung Yu-mi, lead actors of The School Nurse Files
  • Original Broadcaster/Streaming Service: Netflix
  • Premiere Date: To be announced; In production

Based on the 2015 award-winning novel School Nurse Ahn Eun-young by Jung Se-rang, The School Nurse Files tells the story of a fearless school nurse, played by Jung Yung-mi (Live), who has the supernatural ability to drive bad spirits away. She is appointed to a new high school where she ends up investigating mysterious incidents using unorthodox methods. Nam Joo-hyuk (The Light in Your Eyes) plays the male lead as a Korean literature teacher who teams up with the nurse in exorcising evil spirits. Interestingly, the TV adaptation is also written by Jung Se-rang, prompting fans of the novel to have high expectations of the live-action version. Webtoon-based drama Itaewon Class was also written by the same person who authored the webtoon, and its success is an indication that this Netflix Korean drama will most likely deliver!

6. Sweet Home

Main cast of Sweet Home
  • Original Broadcaster/Streaming Service: Netflix
  • Premiere Date: To be announced; In production

Director Lee Eung-bok, who had partnered with Kim Eun-sook to produce Mr. Sunshine,Goblin, and Descendants of the Sun, is also back this year with a new series from another writer. He’s never done something like Sweet Home before, so I’m excited to see how he’ll bring to life the drama’s source material—a popular thriller webtoon with the same title. The series centers on a reclusive high school student, played by Song Kang (When the Devil Calls Your Name), who moves into a new apartment after the tragic death of his parents. He faces another terrifying experience in his new place when he witnesses monsters that threaten to sweep away humanity. Lee Jin-wook (Voice 3), Lee Si-young (Liver Or Die), and Lee Do-yun (Hotel del Luna) round out the main cast of this Netflix Korean drama.

With the ever-increasing demand for Korean shows, especially Korean dramas, around the world, fans can expect Netflix to commission more and more Korean original series in the future. While waiting for the new Korean dramas listed above, you can watch the following series that are now available on the service: Itaewon ClassHyenaHi Bye, Mama!Hospital PlaylistKingdom Season 2My Holo Love, and Crash Landing on You.

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ONGOING KOREAN DRAMAS: Backstreet Rookie | It’s Okay to Not Be Okay | King Maker: The Change of Destiny | Memorials | My Unfamiliar Family | Once Again

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InternJang manages a team of writers to publish and promote content for Kdramapal every day. He began watching Korean dramas in 2014 and fell in love deeply with his all-time favorites Signal, Reply 1988, and Misaeng. His affinity for writing led him to start a blog and, later on, spearhead efforts to establish KDP as one of the most dependable sources of K-drama information online.