Ever since Netflix committed to bringing made-in-Korea stories to the world, the globally adored Korean dramas have seen a rapid increase in number on its platform. There are now over a hundred titles in Netflix US and over 230 in the Philippines. Did you know that at least five of these were made by Netflix itself? They are original Korean dramas that are available exclusively on Netflix. In other words, you won’t even see them on any of the major broadcasters in South Korea. Below is the complete list of original Netflix Korean dramas that were produced and released so far.
Set with a new batch of young, rising stars, Extracurricular follows the lives of four young students on their dangerous path of crimes and consequences. Starring Kim Dong-hee on his first-ever lead role, this intense, action-packed thriller series centers on his character as a straight-A high school student with a dark secret as a way to support his expensive dream. Discovering this dangerous secret is another straight-A student Bae Gyu-ri (Park Joo-hyun), who voluntarily entangles herself as an accomplice of Oh Ji-soo (Kim Dong-hee) as an act of rebellion towards her parents. Also joining the cast are Jung Da-bin and Nam Yoon-soo as Seo Min-hee and Kwak Ki-tae, respectively. The school bully Min-hee and her boyfriend Ki-tae get mixed up with the duo in a string of crimes. This original Netflix K-drama has gained mixed feedback from the audience, sparking discussions on the terrifying reality of youth crimes happening in the society. It premiered worldwide last April 29.
Kingdom Season 2 (2020)
The huge success of the apocalyptic thriller Kingdom has prompted for a second season, which has also gained huge positive ratings from the viewers. There are rumors regarding the franchise renewal for another season, but Netflix has yet to confirm for a third season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The show is set back in the Joseon period, where a man-eating outbreak has caused people to turn into zombies. Continuing where it left off in the first season, the characters are still on the run from the zombie legions. However, the discovery of a resurrection plant is now at the forefront as the anticipated breakthrough to stop the apocalyptic outbreak. This original Netflix Korean drama reached 2 billion KRW (approximately 1.7 million USD) production cost per episode. Writer Kim Eun-hee, who’s responsible for the hit series Signal back in 2016, is the storyteller behind the success of this historical and horror combined series. She said the story is inspired by a 19th-century court document that recorded an unidentified epidemic outbreak that caused tens of thousands of people dead in the capital.
My Holo Love (2020)
Featuring a human and AI romance, My Holo Love is an emotional romantic drama starring Yoon Hyun-min and Ko Sung-hee. The show centers on So-yeon (Ko Sung-hee), who, as a result of her prosopagnosia (face blindness), chose to carry on with an isolated life. But this begins to change when she starts utilizing the AI program assistant Holo. Holo’s appearance is based on its engineer, Ko Nan-do (Yoon Hyun-min), but two are polar opposites in terms of personality. The writer, Ryu Yong-jae, was said to have drawn the inspiration behind the story after watching a computer program beat a former professional Go player during a historic match back in 2016.
Love Alarm Season 1 (2019)
Based on a webtoon by Chon Kye-young, Love Alarm is set in the near future where dating and courtship have turned complete digital. The story depicts a mobile dating app that rings when a person within a 10-meter radius has romantic feelings for another app user. Starring Kim So-hyun, Jung Ga-ram, and Song Kang, the series centers on our female lead Kim Jo-jo (Kim So-hyun) as she finds herself entangled in an unexpected love triangle with two of the school’s popular boys. This original Netflix Korean drama became a commercial success, making it to the list of Netflix’s top releases of 2019. On October 29, 2019, the series was confirmed for a second season.
My First First Love Season 2 (2019)
With a new story arrangement and plot lines, the second season of the hit romance series My First First Love now focuses on a new and fresh take on first love but set with the same characters, who received praise for their undeniable onscreen chemistry and impressive rookie acting skills. The new season will take off where the story ended during the first season, where our young characters are still exploring the premise of first time romance while experiencing the challenges and responsibilities of growing up. It depicts everything that K-drama fans want in a young adult romance show, and the second season is set to rival its predecessor’s ratings and expectations.
My First First Love Season 1 (2019)
Depicting the warm feelings and struggle of every first love experience, My First First Love centers on a group of young friends who live under one roof and struggle with their experiences of first love. The coming-of-age series is based on an original web drama titled “Because It’s the First Time” (2015). Starring Ji Soo, Jung Chae-yeon, Choi Ri, Kang Tae-oh, and Jung Jin-young, the show received praise from viewers for its relatable plot. The young audience who are experiencing young love for the first time are able to relate to the story, and the older generation of viewers are taken to reminisce on their very first love. Because of its success, this original Netflix Korean drama was renewed for a second season (see item above).
Kingdom Season 1 (2019)
All hell has broken loose, and a kingdom is bound to meet its end. The groundbreaking zombie thriller Kingdom follows a crown prince during a medieval period on a suicide mission to discover a web of political conspiracies while a mysterious man-eating outbreak has set the whole kingdom on a survival rampage. Starring Ju Ji-hoon, Bae Doo-na, Ryu Seung-ryong, Kim Hye-jun, Kim Sang-ho, and many more, the show combines several genres, including historical, political, thriller, mystery, and apocalyptic. The tense-filled combination has set fans on the edge of their seat with the progression of the plot. With the collaboration of two of the top Korean storytellers, award-winning writer Kim Eun-hee and box office hit director Kim Seong-hun, the show is expected to reach more milestones with its intense story line and heart-stopping scenes as Netflix’s first ever K-drama original.