Is Korean wave the new ball game for the OTT audience?
From politics and period pieces to crime shows and romance, the 'Korean Wave' is the new attraction on OTT platforms
Korean dramas have steadily fostered a connect between India and South Korea through the medium of entertainment. K-Dramas, as they are popularly referred to, have struck a chord with Indians for many reasons, primarily cultural similarities between the two, such as the respect both show towards the elderly, commitment in relationships, bonding through food, prioritising family duties and allegiance towards the community—all things showcased through their scripts. Add to that relatable storytelling, a polished cast and opulent sets. If you’ve not watched one till now, it’s high time. Here are some K-Dramas (popular, new and upcoming ones) worth watching.
CHIEF OF STAFF
Release: June 2019
A political drama, Chief of Staff documents the journey of an ambitious assistant—Jang Tae-joon—and how he plays the power game from behind the scenes. With a star-studded cast comprising Lee Jung-jae, Kim Kap-soo and Shin Min-a, the show has found favour with global audiences. While two seasons have been aired so far (with the second airing in December, last year), the show hasn’t been officially renewed for a third season yet.
CRASH LANDING ON YOU
Release: December 14, 2019
Also known as Fall on You, it can be thought to be the biggest hit this year from the industry. This love story between a South Korean fashion entrepreneur and a member of the North Korean elite has received rave reviews from both critics and audiences. With leading international media houses naming the show to be among the best Korean series out there, it still remains to be seen whether the show will return for a second season.
DO YOU LIKE BRAHMS?
Release: August 31
A musical drama featuring two students, Do You Like Brahms? stars popular Korean actor Park Eun Bin with Dr Romantic-fame Kim Min Jae. The romantic series revolves around the lives of students who study at a prestigious music academy. The show has created interest already on account of the lead pair’s charisma.
LIES OF LIES
Release: September 4
The daughter-in-law of a powerful family, Ji Eun-Soo, gets convicted for the murder of her husband. After the sentence, she begins to search for her daughter and attempts to become a part of her life again. This emotional drama stars actors Lee Yoo-ri and Yeon Jung-hoon.
RECORD OF YOUTH
Release: September 7
This young-adult romance will see Park So-dam, who charmed audiences worldwide in Academy Award-winning Parasite, play the lead with Korean star Park Bo-gum. The series is eagerly awaited as it marks the return of these two actors to the small screen. Record of Youth will revolve around a model who harbours aspirations to become an actor. Reports suggest that the series has been picked up by Netflix for global audiences.
THE SCHOOL NURSE FILES
Release: September 25
As the name suggests, it is about the adventures of a nurse with supernatural powers. A Netflix Original, the series has the My Dear Desperado star Jung Yu-mi and Nam Joo-hyuk of Coffee Friends fame in key roles. Based on the 2015 award-winning novel, School Nurse Ahn Eun-young, this series is directed by Lee Kyoung-mi who earlier directed an episode of the anthology—Persona—for the streaming platform.
TALE OF THE NINE-TAILED
Also known as the Tale of Gumiho, this urban-fantasy drama will tell the tale of a male Gumiho (a mythical creature, part of Korean legends and tales), that has settled in the city. A TV producer is on his trail to hunt him down. The series stars Korean actor Lee Dong Wook (Guardian: The Lonely and Great God) and Kim Yong Ji, who was recently seen in Netflix’s The King: Eternal Monarch.
Starring Uhm Ji-won (The Cursed, Missing), this series is about older women having children. While Hyeon-jin is the youngest board member at work, she is the oldest mother at a postpartum care centre. The show revolves around her and the other mothers, as they adjust to motherhood. While the show was initially supposed to air in August, the pandemic pushed the release to November.
Release: To be announced
Director Lee Eung-bok, known for the series Mr Sunshine, has adapted a popular Korean horror cartoon as a series for Netflix. Cha Hyun-soo moves into a new apartment after losing his family and begins to witness strange happenings as people turn into monsters based on their desires.
Hyun-soo is played by Song Kang, who starred in Netflix’s hit series Love Alarm. This graphic-heavy series is speculated to be Netflix’s most expensive K-Drama production yet. While a date hasn’t yet been confirmed, reports suggest it is expected to release in the last quarter of 2020.