A remake of a popular 2017 Chinese drama, A Love So Beautiful (2020) is the Korean version of the youth romantic drama. Kim Yo Han‘s first starring drama role pairs him with So Ju Yeon (Dr. Romantic 2 (2020) and 2nd male lead Yeo Hoe Hyun. For those not familiar with the original, this is a familiar story of a young girl who confesses to the cold, brainy student. A Love So Beautiful (2020) airs December 28 on Netflix.
Synopsis: Cha Heon is a student at Chun Ji High School who has both good looks and brains. He appears to be a cold character, but he is actually someone with a warm heart who is awkward at expressing himself well.
Shin Sol Yi is a bright and bubbly 17-year-old who has a crush on Cha Heon. She openly confesses her love to Cha Heon continuously, and she is a clumsy but lovable character.
Woo Dae Sung is a talented swimmer who transfers to Chun Ji High School and falls for Shin Sol Yi. He does not express his feelings for her and quietly stays by her side. (Source: Soompi
There really seems to be only one drama debuting this week with an interesting poster and so I’m introducing you to kdrama Sweet Home (2020). It stars Song Kang (Love Alarm (2019)) as a loner who moves into a mysterious apartment building where a monster (gulp) lives. This horror drama also stars some other well known actors such as Lee Jin Wook, Lee Shi Young, Lee Do Hyun, Go Min Shi, and Park Gyu Young. I wonder if this will have sequels because it only has 10 episodes. This will be English subbed on Netflix USA and airs on December 18, 2020.
Synopsis: Hyun Soo, a loner high school student who lost his entire family in a terrible accident, moves to an old apartment complex called Green Home. Driven by despair, he gradually realizes the secret of the Green home. The fact that a monster trying to drive humanity out of various forms of distorted human desires surrounds the Green home, including himself, and that the residents of Green Homes are trapped in them. (Source: MyDramaList) ~~Adapted from a webtoon of the same name by Kim Kan Bi and Hwang Young Chan.
Not a big fan of love triangles, but this kdrama has an intriguing premise about a girl becoming a beauty overnight. True Beauty (2020) is based on a webtoon and stars Moon Ga Young (Find Me in Your Memory), Cha Eun Woo (Rookie Historian Goo Hae Ryung) and Hwang In Yeob (18 Again). This romantic comedy airs on tvN on Dec 9, and should be English subbed.
Synopsis: It is a romantic comedy about a high school girl Im Ju Gyeong, who rises to pretty girl fame after she masters the art of make-up from YouTube. She turns into a goddess because of her makeup skills, but would rather die than reveal her bare face to anyone. It tells her love story with the only boy that saw her without makeup, Lee Su Ho. Lee is an attractive and handsome boy who appears cold because of his dark past but is actually very caring. They grow when they meet each other sharing their secrets and finding love with each other, but can Su Ho make Ju Gyeong find her true beauty? (Source: Wikipedia) ~~ Adapted from the webtoon “Yeoshingangrim” by Yaongyi.
True Beauty (2020) has a similar premise to kdrama My ID is Gangnam Beauty (2018), which oddly enough also featured Cha Eun Woo as the male lead 🤔. Lee Shi Eun, who also wrote Top Star Yoo Baek, is the screenwriter here and the director is Kim Sang Hyub (Extraordinary You), so a pretty good team here. The webcomic is still airing, so whom the female lead ends up with remains in the air, but regardless, this is one I’ll check out.
More suspense on the way with kdrama Awaken (2020) coming soon. Kdrama Awaken (2020) starts November 30, 2020 on tvN channel and airs two days a week on Monday and Tuesday. The story revolves around cops who look into a mysterious incident that occurred 28 years ago. Namgoong Min (Doctor Prisoner) takes the lead here, along with Lee Chung Ah, Kim Seol Hyun and Yoon Sun Woo. Hopefully, someone will English sub this!
Synopsis: About a series of mysterious incidents that are connected to an incident that took place in a village 28 years ago. Do Jung Woo is a capable and legendary team leader of a special task force at the National Police Agency. He has messy hair, a constant slouch, and sucks on a lollipop all day like a kid, but he has a mysterious secret behind his sly exterior.
Gong Hye Won is a passionate police officer who does not let anything get in her way. Behind her pretty face is a hot temper that won’t cool down unless she says what she needs to say. She is one of the strongest and best fighters on her team, and can drink the others under the table, but she also has a surprisingly clumsy side. Jamie is a detective on loan from the FBI. She was adopted as a child with almost no memories of her life before, but she returns to Korea to solve the serial killer case that is related to those lost memories from 28 years ago. (Source: Soompi)
There is a solid team behind the cameras as well as in front of them. The director is Jo Soo Won who also directed Doctor John, Thirty But Seventeen and the mega popular I Hear Your Voice. The screenwriter, Shin Yoo Dam, wrote only two dramas before, High-end Crush and Go Ho’s Starry Night and neither of those were mysteries, but still a good team. I also like Namgoong Min’s new look, he’s a great actor and very versatile.
I’ve not really watched a daily drama in full, but I thought I’ll talk a little about Korean daily dramas and in specific, a new one that caught my attention, Phoenix 2020. It stars Hong Soo Ah (Love to the End) and Lee Jae Woo (Sweet Enemy) in a story about second chances as a couple reunites after 10 years apart. This daily drama started airing already on October 26, 2020 on SBS so it probably will be English subbed.
Daily dramas in Korea usually are 30 min long and run every weekday, from Monday to Friday. They are often 100-120 episodes or longer and they usually are night time dramas. These dramas often feature families, revenge, melodrama and even makjang, super craziness. Ugly Alert (2013) is one example of a highly rated and recommended daily drama to start with.
Synopsis: Belonging to the wealthiest class and as the daughter of an influential chaebol family in Korea, Ji Eun grew up with everything. When she meets Se Hoon, who comes from an underprivileged family, he treats her like no other, and she falls in love with him. Although Ji Eun’s family opposes their relationship, they get married. However, due to reoccurring conflicts, Ji Eun and Se Hoon become exhausted and end their marriage.
Ten years later, fate ironically reverses their lives. Se Hoon, who is now a successful man, buys Ji Eun’s house out of revenge. But when he stands in front of her as Willian Jang, he only wants to help her. Nonetheless, there is Mi Ran, with whom he is in a serious relationship with, and next to Ji Eun is her new love, Jung Min, who is devoted to her. This drama is the 2020 version of the intertwined fates of four people’s love. (Source: KOCOWA)
Phoenix 2020is the latest daily drama to hit the airwaves. Based on a 2004 26 episode titular kdrama by the same writer, Lee Yoo Jin, who also wrote the highly rated Missing Noir M (2015) and Team Bulldog: Off-duty Investigation (2020). It would be interesting if she took suspense and thriller elements and added them to the daily drama format (outside of the, finding the person who did ??? so I can get revenge on them), as that’s not normally present in daily dramas.
I’ve been in the mood to watch more suspense/mystery/thriller dramas and Search (2020) looks to be right up my alley. Kdrama Search (2020) starts October 17, 2020 on OCN channel and should have 10 episodes a hour each. This is a survival story that pits Jang Dong Yoon (The Tale of Nokdu) and Krystal (Player (2018)) against creatures. Hopefully, someone will English sub this!
Synopsis: A survival story about a search party that battles against monstrous creatures. It will highlight the heartwarming bond between the members of the search party as they struggle to escape the demilitarized zone together. The story begins as a military dog handler who’s only a month away from his discharge date gets seconded to the search party and encounters a monster in the demilitarized zone. (Source: Soompi)
I’m in the mood for a good romantic fantasy drama and Korean drama Tale of the Nine Tailed (2020) is looking like it might fulfill that slot. It stars Lee Dong Wook (Goblin ) and Kim Bum (That Winter, The Wind Blows) as gumihos and Jo Bo Ah (My Strange Hero (2018)) as a tv producer who’s interested in myths, like gumihos. This is a tvN drama which airs October 7, 2020 and it should be English subbed.
Synopsis: The story features the mythical nine-tailed fox, or gumiho, Lee Rang who has just settled in the city. Able to transform into human form, he goes about cleansing human spirits, all the while creating havoc. Enter the talented television producer Nam Ji Ah whose current show features urban myths. With nerves of steel, she will stop at nothing to secure unusual, if not dangerous, subject matter to showcase. She sets her sights on Lee Rang who appears just too good to be true; irresistibly handsome, intelligent, fit; in fact the ideal guest. But his heartlessness will render doubt in her that he is indeed of this world. Step-brother to Lee Rang is the captivating Lee Yeon, reputed to be the most dangerous of all gumihos living among humans. Despite being half-human himself, he harbors a deep-seated contempt for all people. For sport, he will unleash his seductive prowess upon his human-du-jour, by promising to grant them their wishes, only to trick them into paying a hefty price for their earthly desires. (Source: Lee Cox at MyDramaList)
The director of Tale of the Nine Tailed (2020) is Kang Shin Hyo and he worked together with screenwriter Han Woo Ri on 2018’s Children of a Lesser Godbefore so they’ve had experience working together. There aren’t a lot of dramas based on gumihos, less then 10, which is too bad because I’ve always felt they’re a very interesting legendary creature ever since watching My Girlfriend is a Gumiho (2010) (which is a great romantic comedy by the way, for those looking for more gumiho love.) Let’s hope this will be another winner!
I’m a big animation fan and when I came across this unique drama, it really caught my eye. Amanza (2020) already started airing on September 1, 2020 on Kakao Tv. This kdrama is one of those short webdramas with only 10 episodes at 15 mins each. It stars Ji Soo (When I Was the Most Beautiful (2020)) as Park Dong Myung, a young man dying of cancer. Yes, not my usual genre, tearjerkers, I cry way too easily, (and life seems too tragic like now already), but I’m hoping since it’s short and there’s cute cartoon characters that it will be more about the journey then the end.
Synopsis: A 26-year-old man’s life is turned upside down when he is diagnosed with terminal stomach cancer. As he struggles with the pain of his treatment and the realization that he never truly lived, he retreats into his imagination, to a magical forest where answers and miracles can be found. (Source: izone) ~~ Adapted from webtoon “Big See” by Kim Bo Tong.
I’m seriously wondering if this is the first time I’ve seen animation blended with live action in a tv series, of course there are always some characters, special effects, or stuff animated, but a full blown animation sequence? That must be rare. So I looked for it at mydramalist.com, turns out there’s around 3, one Chinese DRAMAHOLIC (2018), and 2 Japanese doramas, Risou no Musuko (2012) and Natsuzora (2019) tagged ‘Animation.’ So maybe this is the first kdrama featuring Animation?
September 4 is the airing date of what looks to be a very angsty kdrama, Lies of Lies, and this is definitely on my plan to watch list. This suspense melodrama stars Lee Yoo Ri (My Father is Strange (2017)) and Yeon Jung Hoon (Man to Man) and airs on Channel A.
Synopsis: Ji Eun-Soo (Lee Yu-Ri) is a daughter-in-law of a powerful chaebol family. She suddenly she becomes a murderer, who killed her husband. After she is released from prison, she tries to get her daughter back. She approaches Kang Ji-Min (Yeon Jeong-Hun), who has adopted her daughter. He is a cool as ice reporter. Ji Eun-Soo pretends to fall in love with him and attempts to marry him to become the stepmother of her daughter.
Lies of Lies looks like a hybrid version of the popular fan favorite kdramaSecret (2013) where the heroine also spent time in jail or maybe another Lee Yoo Ri drama, The Promise (2016) which was another melodrama about a woman out for revenge. It remains to be seen whether this will be English subbed or not.
There are so many great thrillers coming out this year in kdrama land. Now we have another thriller that sounds thrilling 😁. Missing: The Other Sideairs August 29, 2020 on OCN and it has a cast of 6 main characters: Go Soo, Heo Joon Ho, Seo Eun Soo, Ahn So Hee, Ha Joon and Song Geon Hee.
Synopsis: A village holds spirits of missing, deceased people. A search to find the missing bodies and discover the truth behind their disappearance occurs. Kim Wook is a smooth talker and a good-looking man. He commits fraud to make a living. One day, he happens to arrive at Duon Village, where the missing dead gather. He soon faces numerous mysteries. Jang Pan Seok is a mysterious figure. He secretly looks for missing people. He is the connection between Duon Village and the outside world. He becomes a fraud partner with Kim Wook and he solves cases.
Lee Jong Ah is Kim Wook’s supporter. She is a white hat hacker out to gain social justice. She works as a law-ranking public officer at a community center as her day job. Shin Joon Ho is an elite detective. One month prior to his wedding with Choi Yeo Na, his fiancé disappeared. To find her, he applies for the missing person squad. (Source: AsianWiki)
There is definitely a fantasy element to this kdrama. The notion of a village comprised of the missing dead is a unique one, I can’t really think of an equivalent in dramaland. Maybe in Kingdom: Season 2, although it really was a village of zombies actually 😋. I’m interested to see what relationships the characters have with each other as this will probably contain no romance, but maybe some bromance or sismance?