While we adore the larger-than-life theatrical experience of Marvel and DC movies, it’s time to pass the baton to Korean dramas and films for their intriguing plot lines, exquisite locations and of course, the gorgeous cast. K-dramas have taken over the world, with streaming giants like Netflix and Disney+ splurging huge sums to produce shows for mass consumption — and 2023 already promises a bumper crop of such content.
Thanks to ground-breaking shows like Squid Game, Hellbound, Snowdrop and All of Us Are Dead, the interest in K-dramas has risen in recent years, and now, there’s no looking back. With never-seen-before plots, spine-chilling moments and more, this genre is undoubtedly ruling the entertainment space.
For those waiting to familiarise themselves with K-dramas, 2023 has a lot to offer you. As for K-drama regulars who are waiting for sequels of their go-to shows, this year has you covered as well.
New instalments of popular K-drama series are gearing up for release, so we recommend you get your watchlist ready. Deep dive into Philippines’ casino world with Big Bet 2 or witness the battles on Jeju Island in the sequel of Island. Remember the fantasy drama Arthdal Chronicles? The series is also making a comeback four years after its release in 2019. Not to forget the revenge drama The Glory, in which Song Hye-kyo is all set to take down her bullies. The second season will answer many questions following the first instalment’s cliffhanger ending.
In short, there is a lot in store for you. So, snuggle in the cosy corner of your home on weekends as you binge-watch these highly awaited sequels in the coming months. We’ve curated a list of the best K-dramas making a comeback in 2023. Mark your calendars.
This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Hong Kong
(Main and Featured image: IMDb)
These K-dramas are making a comeback in 2023
Directed by: Ahn Gil-ho
Cast: Song Hye-kyo, Lee Do-hyun, Lim Ji-yeon, Yeom Hye-ran, Park Sung-hoon, and Jung Sung-il
Release date: March 10, Netflix
The revenge drama revolves around a former victim of high-school violence, Moon Dong-eun, who seeks revenge on her perpetrators. The protagonist takes up a teaching job at the elementary school of her oppressor’s child, setting the stage for an edge-of-the-seat drama. The show garnered popularity for highlighting pertinent issues and impeccable performances of the ensemble cast. Fans are waiting to witness what unfolds in the second season.
What to expect from season 2: One can expect Dong-eun’s love interest and fellow teacher Yeo-jeong to be involved in her plan, rather than being a silent spectator. The second part will consist of eight episodes like the first season. Lastly, the ensemble cast remains the same.
Image credit: theglorynetflixtv/ Instagram
Directed by: Kim Kwang-sik
Cast: Lee Joon-gi, Jang Dong-gun, Shin Se-kyung, Kim Ok-vin
Release date: Early 2023
The fantasy drama takes us back to the Bronze Age, exploring the mythical land of Arthdal where the inhabitants face power struggles, explore love and more. The series is believed to be based on the story of Dangun, who founded the first Korean Kingdom of Gojoseon.
What to expect from season 2: Ta Gon’s Kingdom of Arthdal and the Ago Union will face a great war amid all the tension and power struggle. Tan-ya will also be seen in the role of a great spiritual mother. The second instalment is set eight years after its predecessor, with Lee Joon-gi and Shin Se-kyung also joining the cast.
Image credit: arthdalchroniclesofficial/ Instagram
Directed by: Kang Yoon-Sung
Cast: Choi Min-sik, Son Suk-ku, and Lee Dong-hwi
Release date: February 15, Disney+
The series follows Cha Mu-sik, a man who climbed the ranks to become a casino king in the Philippines. However, he gets tangled in a murder case. Cha must get back in the game with his life hanging by a thread. With the arrival of Son Suk-ku’s detective, things are surely getting interesting in the second season.
What to expect from season 2: Cha Mu-sik will face a bigger crisis this time around, with one of the previews showing him surrounded by NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) members. His life is in shackles as he bears the brunt of three murder charges.
(Image credit: dlehdgnl/ Instagram)
Directed by: Bae Jong
Cast: Kim Nam-gil, Lee Da-hee, Cha Eun-woo, and Sung Joon
Release date: February 24, Amazon Prime
Set against the backdrop of Jeju Island, the series follows a supernatural demon who’s trying to destroy the world and is confronted by three protagonists ready to take down the evil force. The first part premiered as recently as December 30, 2022. So, if you haven’t watched the show yet, the time is now.
What to expect from season 2: Season 1 ended with the demise of Yohan’s younger brother. Fans are expecting to see him track down Gong-tan for putting his sibling through the worst. Season two will also reveal how Gong-tan has been raising a team of demons, of which Yeomji is a part.
(Image credit: yohanskelp/ Instagram)
Directed by: Lee Dan
Cast: Lee Je-Hoon, Kim Eui-Sung, Pyo Ye-Jin, Jang Hyuk-Jin and Bae Yoo-Ram
Release date: February 17, SBS
The interesting tale takes us through the life of a taxi driver, Kim Do Gi, working for Rainbow Transportation company. However, this driver is only seeking revenge on behalf of the customers who’ve been wronged, coming face to face with mafia bosses and corporate bullies.
What to expect from season 2: The second season will continue with the Company serving justice to people, set in what appears to be Vietnam. Kim will get assistance from Ahn Go Eun, who became a police officer at the end of the first season. Actor Shin Jae Ha is also joining the cast.
(Image credit: taxidriver_sbs/ Instagram)
Directed by: Yu In-Sik
Cast: Han Suk-kyu, Ahn Hyo-Seop, Lee Sung-Kyung, Byeon Woo-Min
Release date: April 2023
Given the popularity of the first two seasons, there’s no doubt that the third instalment will be equally entertaining. The series revolves around a surgeon, who disappears after a traumatic incident and emerges again with a new identity as he enrols in a countryside hospital. Doctor Kim Sabu is back with his dream team in season 3 and we can’t wait to see the drama unfurl.
What to expect from season 3: The third season will pick from the events of the second one, with Han confirmed to return. Actors Lee Sung-kyung and Ahn Hyo Seop will also be returning this time around. With Doldam Hospital now an independent entity, thanks to doctor Kim, things are about to change drastically.
(Image credit: koreanupdates/ Instagram)
Directed by: Han Jun-Hee
Cast: Jung Hae-In, Koo Gyo-Hwan, Kim Sung-Kyun, Son Suk-Ku
Release date: Third quarter of 2023, Netflix
First released in 2021, the military drama follows Joon Ho and Hyo Yeol, members of the D.P. who’ve been delegated the task of capturing army deserters. The series highlights pertinent issues in South Korea revolving around the military.
What to expect from season 2: The first season concluded on a suspenseful note, posing many questions about the main characters’ futures. We saw Suk-Bong holding Hwang Jang-Soo hostage with the intent to kill him. However, Jun-ho’s intervention saves the deserter. Suk-Bong is left with no choice but to kill himself in front of the militia. The new season will chronicle another adventurous ride as the protagonists continue their quest.
(Image credit: IMDb)
Directed by: Han Dong-hwa
Cast: Lee Sung-Min, Kim Shin-Rok, Jung Jin-Young, Kyung Soo-Jin
Release date: 2023, Disney+
If thrillers are what tingle your excitement, this show will keep you hooked till the end. It follows Kim Taek-rok, a detective who’s ready to retire after a glorious career in the police force. However, destiny has other plans. The detective, in his early stages of dementia, gets framed for a murder, while the real murderer blackmails him.
What to expect from season 2: Lee Sung-min will reprise his role as the veteran detective, while Jung Jin Young will join the cast. Jung will essay the role of Ki Do Hyung, one of the most celebrated detectives in Korea, who’s fairly straightforward in his dealings. Meanwhile, Kim will lock horns with a new enemy.
(Image credit: IMDb)
Directed by: Yoo Sun-Dong, Park Bong-Sub
Cast: Jo Byung-gyu, Kim Se-jeong, Yu Jun-sang and Yum Hye-ran
Release date: 2023, tvN
Looking for a goosebump-inducing series to add to your watchlist? The Uncanny Counter offers just that. It follows a squad called ‘Counters’ who are endowed with special abilities as they embark on hunting down evil spirits. The noodle shop superheroes are back in their red suits, with more thrilling moments.
What to expect from season 2: The first instalment ended on a good note with So Mun bidding adieu to his parents’ spirits and the ‘Counters’ not being reprimanded by the Council. New threats loom for the ‘Counters’, however, this time, fans may witness romantic encounters between Mae-ok and Jang-mul as well as So-mun and Ha-na. Hyuk-woo will also be an important character to look out for.
(Image credit: IMDb)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Question: What Korean dramas are coming out in 2023?
Answer: ‘Call It Love’. ‘The Glory 2’ and ‘Big Bet 2’ are some of the K-dramas coming out this year.
Question: What are the Most Anticipated K-dramas of 2023?
Answer: ‘Crash Course in Romance’, ‘Love to Hate You’ and ‘The Glory season 2’ are among the most anticipated K-dramas releasing in 2023.