Netflix is working non-stop in setting the bar high in telling South Korea’s well-crafted tales to its global audience. Apart from showcasing the best of Netflix Korean dramas and movies, acquiring these projects allows the streaming giant to grow what the fans have known as a cultural phenomenon and strengthen its ties with Korea’s creative minds.
The empowering move also gives life to the words of Kim Min-young, Netflix’s Vice President of Content in Korea, Southeast Asia, Australia, and New Zealand: “We believe that great stories can come from anywhere and travel everywhere.” If you’re interested in knowing Korea’s latest stories, you’ve come to the right place! Below is an updated list of Netflix’s new additions to its Korean entertainment slate.
4 New Netflix Korean Dramas
The Uncanny Counter—now streaming
If you want a Netflix Korean drama that offers drizzles of comedy and fantasy, then you’re in for an awesome treat as The Uncanny Counter is just that! It follows a group of powerful individuals, called Counters, who are tasked with capturing evil spirits that have descended from the afterworld to attain immortal existence on earth.
The uncanny Counter refers to rising actor Jo Byung-gyu‘s (Stove League) character, who ends up becoming a demon hunter after witnessing a friend suffer injustice. Meanwhile, Yoo Jun-sang (Graceful Friends), Gugudan’s Kim Se-jeong (I Wanna Hear Your Song), and Yum Hye-ran (Mystic Pop-Up Bar) also transform into heroes endowed with unique abilities such as heightened strength, psychometry, and healing. When not busy saving the world, these Counters disguise themselves as ordinary employees at a noodle restaurant.
The Korean Netflix series is adapted from the webtoon “Kyeongirowoon Somoon,” which is available for free at Daum Webtoon except for its newly released chapters. Its episodes are originally released every Saturday and Sunday on cable channel OCN.
Lovestruck in the City—coming December 22
Lovestruck in the City highlights the young generation’s struggle to find true love and happiness amid their busy and competitive city life. It stars Ji Chang-wook (Backstreet Rookie) as a passionate architect and hopeless romantic who falls for a woman who stole both his camera and his heart, and Kim Ji-won (Arthdal Chronicles) as a freelance marketer who reinvents herself into another person and falls in love with him under her pretense identity.
Sadly, the drama will run for only 12 episodes, with each episode about 30 minutes long. Know these two interesting facts about the series:
First, it is the latest work of Park Shin-woo, the PD behind It’s Okay To Not Be Okay, Encounter, and Jealousy Incarnate.
Second, Lovestruck in the City is an original web drama by Kakao TV, a recently launched streaming service that takes on Netflix in Korea. Each episode of the drama is set to hit Netflix (outside Korea) two hours after being aired on Kakao TV.
Run On—now streaming
Run On revolves around people who find it hard to convey their emotions and communicate with others despite speaking the same language as them. If that didn’t sell you off just yet, read on and see if you can relate to the main characters.
Im Si-wan (Strangers From Hell) plays a former sprinter of the national team who missed his chance at a better career but would soon realize that there’s so much more to life than what he initially thought. Shin Se-kyung (Rookie Historian Goo Hae-ryung) takes on the role of a movie subtitle writer who takes all experiences positively and uses her passion to inspire her in big decisions.
Girl’s Generations Sooyoung (Tell Me What You Saw) portrays a sports agency CEO who becomes an independent person and proves that betrayal and pain can sometimes lead you to do great things on your own. Rounding out the main cast is Kang Tae-oh (The Tale of Nokdu) as a popular art student who prefers to live in the moment by pursuing the little things that make him happy.
Run On is JTBC’s newest series on its Wednesday-Thursday slot.
Sweet Home—now streaming
If a sweet romance like Run On is not your jam, try the upcoming horror-themed original Netflix Korean drama Sweet Home. Song Kang (Love Alarm) leads the cast as a bullied teenager who moves to a modest-looking residential complex after losing his entire family in an accident. His solitary existence turns nightmarish when residents of his building begin turning into monsters, and he has to figure out how to fight back along with other survivors.
The series also features actors Lee Jin-wook (Voice 3), Lee Si-young (SF8: Blink), and Lee Do-hyun (18 Again). In the run-up to its December release, Sweet Home dropped eerie character stills of its cast which are drumming up interest in the show.
Watch this drama for two reasons:
First, it is an adaptation of a popular and highly-rated webtoon of the same name.
Second, leading the drama’s production team is Lee Eung-bok, the director behind global hits like Mr. Sunshine (2018), Guardian: The Lonely and Great God (2016-2017), and Descendants of the Sun (2016), along with some of the best special effects teams from Hollywood and the South Korean film industry.
Still need convincing? Watch Song Kang fight in this spine-chilling teaser.
Sweet Home is the seventh original Korean drama of Netflix, following The School Nurse Files, Extracurricular, My Holo Love, Love Alarm, My First First Love (2 seasons), and Kingdom (2 seasons).
3 New Netflix Korean Movies
The Call—now streaming
First on the list is the thriller film The Call, led by two fantastic actresses—Park Shin-hye and Jeon Jeong-seo. The movie explores an obsessive relationship between two women who are connected through a mysterious phone call. Park Shin-hye plays the 28-year-old Seo-yeon, who finds a phone in the rural childhood home that connects her to a woman named Young-sook, portrayed by Jeon Jeong-seo, and the two become friends. However, the catch is that while Seo-yeon lives in the year 2019, Young-sook lives in 1999. When the two women learn that their lives and deaths are connected, friendship gives way to something much sinister as Young-sook reveals her dark side.
The Call was originally supposed to get a domestic theatrical release, but the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the Korean movie to premiere on Netflix instead. This is Park Shin-hye’s second film to release on Netflix this year, the first being K-zombie thriller #Alive. Meanwhile, this is Jeon Jong-seo’s first project since starring in the acclaimed 2018 thriller Burning. Interestingly, both actresses have worked with Yoo Ah-in in their most recent films.
Did you know? Jeon Jong-seo is set to headline the Korean remake of Money Heist, a popular Spanish crime drama that is also available on Netflix.
What Happened to Mr. Cha—coming January 1, 2021
Like the celestial bodies, stars reach their peak and fade away. So what happens when a megastar gets past his prime days? What Happened to Mr. Cha is a comedy film about an actor who was once the talk of the town in the 90s but now struggles to get back to his glory days. Cha In-pyo (The Gentlemen of Wolgyesu Tailor Shop) plays the titular character Mr. Cha, blurring the lines between his real self and the fictional character in the film.
What Happened to Mr. Cha is a project made by About Film, which also produced the 2019 blockbuster movie Extreme Job—now the second most-viewed South Korean movie of all time.
Now, the next Korean movie is literally last but not least.
Space Sweepers—coming in the first quarter of 2021
If you’re not too inclined to find out how things will turn out for the has-been megastar Mr. Cha, getting a glimpse of what might happen to the rest of the planet in the year 2092 might tickle your fancy. Space Sweepers is set in the year when Earth has become bleak, and the human race has been divided unfairly between the privileged who can live life as usual in lavish habitats, while people belonging to the 95% are forced to struggle in the barely habitable planet. The Netflix Korean movie tells the story of Spaceship Victory’s crew, whose oddly mixed members live off the danger of flying at immense speeds while salvaging and selling off space debris.
But when the unlikely team—composed of a genius, money-grubbing pilot (Song Joong-ki), an ex-space pirate captain (Kim Tae-ri), an ex-con space engineer (Jin Seon-kyu), and a reprogrammed robot (Yoo Hae-jin‘s voice)—comes across a 7-year-old weaponized humanoid and decides to strike a dicey deal, all hell breaks loose in space.
Jo Sung-hee, who helmed and co-wrote Space Sweepers, reportedly started writing the story 10 years ago, taking inspiration from a story, told by his friend, about the dangers of space junk.
That’s it! Make sure to bookmark and return to this page later to stay updated on what new Korean dramas and movies are coming to Netflix.
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