42 new K-dramas you can catch in 2022

Han So-hee and Park Hyung-sik in Soundtrack #1
PHOTO: Instagram/Han So-hee, Disney+

2021 was the year that saw many K-dramas win the hearts of viewers all over the world. Whether it was Squid Game, Nevertheless or Vincenzo that won your heart, 2022 is set to be a year packed with more new dramas for you to binge on. 

Here's a look at K-dramas to look out for in the year ahead. 

Coming up in March

Military Prosecutor Doberman

Two military prosecutors chose the job for very different reasons but they learn and work together to become great in their work. 

Heartthrob Ahn Bo-hyun stars as Do Bae-man, an indifferent prosecutor who only took on the job to make more money, and looks forward to the day when he can take off his military uniform. On the other hand, Cha Woo-in (Jo Bo-ah) is the only daughter of a chaebol family who chooses to become a military prosecutor to seek revenge.

Military Prosecutor Doberman will debut March 1 on Viu and iQiyi. 

Kill Heel

In the latest K-drama about the fierce and competitive world of home shopping, TV and movie veteran Kim Ha-neul stars as Woo Hyun, an exceedingly average and mundane home shopping host. Her stagnant working career causes her anxiety, especially when compared with the popular Ok-sun (Kim Sung-ryung), the highest paid celebrity host in the home shopping field.

Kill Heel will debut March 10 on Viu and iQiyi. 

Crazy Love

Crazy Love marks the return of Kim Jae-wook after three years — and what better role to capture his likeness than No Go-jin, a perfect specimen of a human being, with exceptional intellect, good looks and a deep pocket. But not all is well as he loses his memory and receives a warning that he would soon be murdered. Lost, he has no one to turn to but his introverted and reclusive secretary Lee Shin-ah (Krystal Jung So-jung).

Crazy Love will debut March 7 on Disney+.

A Superior Day

Based on the webcomic Uwolhan Halu, A Superior Day is a thriller drama set in 24 hours where only the superior survives.

There's a notorious serial killer, called Rich Girl Killer, who only murders rich women The fourth victim was found one night, and the next day, Ho-chul's daughter Soo-ah is kidnapped.

The kidnapper calls Ho-chul (Jin Goo) not asking for money but to order him to kill the Rich Girl Killer within 24 hours. Dragged into this suspenseful situation, Ho-chul does all he can do to find his daughter.

A Superior Day will debut March 14 on Viu. 

Soundtrack #1

Eun-soo (Han So-hee), who started her career as a lyricist three years ago, tries to write lyrics for a song about one-sided love.

Young photographer Sun-woo (Park Hyung-sik) has been her best friend for 20 years and keeps his feelings for her bottled up. The two find themselves living together for two weeks and their dynamics of their relationship begin to change.

Soundtrack #1 will debut March 23 on Disney+.

Pachinko

Pachinko — based on the novel by Korean-American writer Lee Min-jin — features Lee Min-ho in a historical drama that spans four generations of Korean immigrant families.

Told in Korean, Japanese and English, it begins with a forbidden love and crescendos into a saga that journeys between Korea, Japan and America to tell a story of war and peace, love and loss, triumph and reckoning.

Pachinko will debut March 25 on Apple TV+.

Tomorrow 

In a surprising twist, grim reapers who used to escort the dead now wish to save lives. Choi Jun-woong (Rowoon), an individual plagued with perpetual unemployment, chances an encounter with grim reapers and finally finds contractual work. This afterlife fantasy drama follows his time with the Crisis Management Team as he assists the grim reapers with their missions.

Tomorrow will debut March 26 on Netflix.


Rookie Cops

Starring Kang Daniel and Chae Soo-bin, Rookies Cops is a campus romance drama that follows the lives of a group of reckless freshmen at the Korean National Police Academy. Watch how they come together to pursue their dreams while learning what it takes to serve and protect the community as challenges loom ahead.

Rookie Cops is now available on Disney+.

All of Us Are Dead

For K-drama fans who can't get enough of Kingdom and Sweet Home, All Of Us Are Dead is likely to be right up your alley.

Slated to be released this Friday (Jan 28), the series is about a group of students who are trapped in a school amid a zombie virus outbreak, where they are forced to join hands and fight for survival. The show is based on a popular webtoon by Joo Dong-geun, and stars Yoon Chan-yeong, Park Ji-hu, Cho Yi-hyun, Lomon, Yoo In-soo and many more.

All of Us Are Dead will air on Netflix on Jan 28.

Twenty Five, Twenty One 

A nostalgic drama about the days of youth, Twenty Five, Twenty One focuses on the lives of five youths who had to give up their dreams because of the 1998 financial crisis. Amid the struggles faced by these youths, a deep friendship begins to blossom between the two main characters, Na Hee-do (played by Kim Tae-ri) and Baek Yi-jin (Nam Joo-hyuk).

Twenty Five, Twenty One will air on Netflix on Feb 12.

Forecasting Love and Weather 

Touted as one of the most highly-anticipated romantic comedies in 2022, Forecasting Love and Weather takes place at the Korea Meteorological Administration. After a bad break-up, Jin Ha-kyung (Park Min-young), swears that she will never date a colleague ever again. However, her vow is soon broken when she meets newcomer Lee Si-woo (Song Kang). 

Forecasting Love and Weather will air on Netflix on Feb 12.

Grid

This mystery-thriller stars Seo Kang-joon, Kim Ah-jung and Lee Si-young in a story that spans the past, present and future. A mysterious figure appears to complicate things, tying all three points in time together. From this, a question springs: Is this figure here to help or harm humanity?

Grid will air on Disney+ on Feb 16.

Thirty Nine 

Thirty Nine is a slice-of-life drama rooted in reality and romance, with three high-school friends — who have been through thick and thin together — on the cusp of turning 40. Dermatologist Cha Mi-jo (Son Ye-jin), acting coach Jeong Chan-young (Jeon Mi-do) and cosmetic sales manager Jang Joo-hee (Kim Ji-hyun) must navigate their lives amid friendship and love, and prepare their farewells as life takes a depressing turn.

Thirty Nine will air on Netflix on Feb 16.

Juvenile Justice 

Juvenile Justice features a charismatic judge Sim Eun-seok (Kim Hye-soo) who is newly appointed to a district with one of the highest juvenile delinquency rates. With a dislike for juvenile delinquents, she makes unusual decisions to existing judgements, while sending out the message that society is responsible for juveniles' immoral and illicit acts. 

Juvenile Justice will air on Netflix on Feb 25.

From Now On, Showtime!

Jin Ki-joo and Park Hae-jin. PHOTOS: Instagram/Jin Ki-joo, Park Hae-jin

A regular showman, Cha Cha-woong (Park Hae-jin) is no stranger to putting on a show for audiences. While he performs magic tricks to wow his audience, he also hides a strange talent of his: he can communicate with ghosts.

When a hot-blooded officer Go Seul-hae (Jin Ki-joo) approaches him for his assistance, he agrees. The two of them — plus guidance from supernatural sources — become an unstoppable force for criminals to contend with. But as justice is served, so too is romance between the two as they find themselves falling in love.  

Showtime Begins! is expected to air on Viu in April.

Why Her

Hwang In-youp and Seo Hyun-jin. PHOTOS: Instagram/Hwang In-youp, justseohyunjin

Why must Oh Soo-jae (Seo Hyun-jin) face wrongful disgrace and demotion after working so hard to claw her way up?

After being discharged from the law firm, Soo-jae gains employment at a law school as she bides her time and tries to regain her previous glory. But she's not alone in this struggle as a wrongfully imprisoned law student Gong Chan (Hwang In-youp) worms his way into her heart and becomes a key figure in her redemption arc.

Why Her is directed by Dr Romantic's Park Soo-jin, so you can be certain that there will be romance afoot in this series.

Why Her is expected to air on Viu in April.

Again My Life

Fans of Lawless Lawyer may have a sense of deja vu with this K-drama as Lee Joon-gi once again dons the mantle of a lawyer. There are some differences, however.

Instead of a rough childhood amid a lawless neighbourhood, Kim Hee-woo (Joon-gi) is your average underachieving student. Through sheer hard work and determination, he manages to turn his life around as he pursues law and becomes a prosecutor.

Unfortunately, he is cut down before his prime while attempting to take down a corrupt politician, but surprisingly wakes up the next day to find himself back in the past, a student once more.

Again My Life will air on Viu in April.

Insider

PHOTO: Instagram/__kanghaneul

A judicial apprentice Kim Yo-han (Kang Ha-neul) follows his sense of justice and conducts an investigation into someone he believes to be a corrupt prosecutor. However, it's not all smooth-sailing from there — he falls into a devious trap and must find a way out of his predicament.

Insider is expected to air in April.

Dr Lawyer

So Ji-sub and Im Soo-hyang. PHOTOS: Instagram/Soji_sub, Im Soo-hyang

After a medical dispute, Han Yi-han (So Ji-sub) has no choice but to switch professions from a medical professional to a lawyer specialising in medical litigation. He joins hands with Geum Seok-young (Im Soo-hyang) against those who abuse their wealth or standing, delivering justice for the wronged.

Dr Lawyer is expected to air in May.

Minamdang: Case Note

Seo In-guk and Oh Yeon-seo. PHOTOS: Instagram/Seo In-guk, Oh Yeon-seo

While you can confidently expect some cafes to have strange customers, it is likely that none will have patrons quite as unique as those that frequent Minamdang. In this mystery-filled K-drama starring Oh Yeon-seo, Seo In-guk plays a retired profiler Nam Han-joon who visits the cafe, involving himself with the strange clients of Minamdang.

Minamdang: Case Note is expected to air in May.

Shooting Stars

Lee Sung-kyung and Kim Young-dae. PHOTOS: Instagram/Lee Sung-kyung, Kim Young-dae

A strange, fourth wall-breaking poetry exists in this K-drama starring Kim Young-dae and Lee Sung-kyung.

Almost like a behind-the-scenes look at the difficulties people within the entertainment industry face, Shooting Star follows the relationship between superstar Gong Tae-sung (Young-dae) and his public relations manager Oh Han-byul (Sung-kyung).

While the relationship between the two is the core of this K-drama, the series also covers the trials and tribulations of the staff working in the shadows of Tae-sung, making him shine. Shooting Star will likely give audiences a reality check — behind every superstar, there are multiple teams at work to ensure the show goes on.

Shooting Star is expected to air in June.

Yumi's Cells 2

From left: Park Jin-young, Kim Go-eun and Ahn Bo-hyun. PHOTOS: Instagram/Park Jin-young, Kim Go-eun, Ahn Bo-hyun

For K-drama fans with a penchant for cute romance stories without over-the-top magic or action scenes, Yumi's Cells 2 could be the holy grail. As if the first wasn't enough already, Yumi's Cells 2 promises another dose of romance drama, injected straight into your veins.

While the premise of animated, adorably anthropomorphised cells remains present in this sequel, the story will pick up where the first season left off and develop on the juicy love triangle between the protagonist (Kim Go-eun), Yoo Ba-bi (Park Jin-young) and Ku Woong (Ahn Bo-hyun).

Yumi's Cells 2 is expected to air in June.

A Model Family 

PHOTO: Instagram/Park Hee-soon

Dong-ha (Jung Woo) finds his life falling apart, with bankruptcy and divorce on the horizon. In a stroke of luck, he discovers a car loaded with cash — but this comes with a twist. 

Dong-ha's family's fate becomes intertwined with a drug cartel and its second-in-command Gwang-cheol (Park Hee-soon), all while detective Joo-hyun (Park Ji-yeon) investigates them. 

A Model Family will air on Netflix.

Black Knight

Kim Woo-bin and Esom. PHOTOS: Instagram/Kim Woo-bin, Esom

While some might think of the masked vigilante movie by Christopher Nolan, this Knight is completely different. In the dystopian future of 2071 where the world suffers from ecological collapse, only one per cent of the human race remains and they struggle to survive in the uninhabitable landscape. Delivery driving has become a vital occupation with high skill requirements and the only means to success for refugees in the Korean Peninsula.

Based on the Delivery Knight webtoon, Knight 5-8 (Kim Woo-bin) fends off foes with legendary martial skills as he completes his missions and refugee Sa-wol (Kang You-seok) who desperately wishes to become a delivery driver.

Black Knight will air on Netflix.

Business Proposal 

Based on the wildly popular web novel and webtoon of the same name, Business Proposal is an office romance drama.

With perfect looks, smarts and a CEO position in the company, Kang Tae-moo (Ahn Hyo-seop) certainly seems a mismatch for the average employee-turned-blind-date Shin Ha-ri (Kim Se-jeong). As the two flounder between professional and personal, the drama gives us a stellar office romance to watch in 2022. 

Business Proposal will air on Netflix.

Deserter Pursuit (D.P.) 2

It seems that the controversy surrounding Deserter Pursuit wasn't sufficient — director Han Jun-hee and screenwriter Kim Bo-tong have returned with a sequel to the Netflix series that sparked a debate regarding the harshness of conscription in South Korea. 

Deserter Pursuit 2 will air on Netflix.

Glitch 

From the mind of Extracurricular writer Gin Han-sai, Glitch is about Hong Ji-hyo (Jeon Yeo-bin) and her investigation into the whereabouts of her missing boyfriend. Finding assistance from a UFO club, she tackles mysteries and secrets along her path. Glitch is directed by Roh Deok and also features Nana (Heo Bo-ra) and Lee Dong-hwi (Lee Si-kook).

Glitch will air on Netflix.

Love to Hate You 

PHOTO: Instagram/Teo Yoo

]Yeo Mi-ran (Kim Ok-bin), a woman who hates losing to men, and Nam Kang-ho (Teo Yoo), a man who can never trust a woman, flip their perspectives on life as they learn to accept the opposite sex. Emotions are bound to run high and sympathy is key in this story of bridging divides and mending mistrust.

Love to Hate You will air on Netflix.

Money Heist: Korea — Joint Economic Area 

The Korean adaptation of global hit La Casa de Papel, Money Heist: Korea — Joint Economic Area marries genius strategy with criminal activity as a group of highly-skilled thieves try their hand at the greatest heist in the Korean Peninsula. Be sure to catch this series as the gang encounters various problems and try their best to not be caught. 

The drama stars Yoo Ji-tae (Professor), Kim Yun-jin (Seon Woo-jin), Park Hae-soo (Berlin), Jun Jong-seo (Tokyo) and Lee Won-jong (Moscow).

Money Heist: Korea — Joint Economic Area will air on Netflix. 

The Accidental Narco/Suriname

From left: Park Hae-soo, Yoo Yeon-seok and Chang Chen. PHOTOS: Instagram/Park Hae-soo, Yoo Yeon-seok, vviiee

While other dramas are based on webtoons and web novels, The Accidental Narco has roots in real-life events.

A run-of-the-mill entrepreneur at his wits' end finds himself in a predicament and his only way out is in a dangerous government-organised covert operation to capture a drug lord. The Accidental Narco is directed by Yoon Jong-bin and includes many familiar faces, such as Ha Jung-woo, Hwang Jung-min, Park Hae-soo, Joo Woo-jin and Yoo Yeon-seok. Additionally, Taiwanese actor Chang Chen will also be in this K-drama.

The Accidental Narco will air on Netflix.

The Fabulous 

From left: Choi Min-ho, Chae Soo-bin and Kim Min-kyu. PHOTOS: Instagram/Choi Min-ho, Chae Soo-bin, Kim Min-kyu

This title says it all: Fabulous. This drama follows the very real passions of young aspirants in the fashion industry as they chase friendship, love and dreams, all while performing a delicate balancing act with their responsibilities.

The Fabulous will air on Netflix.

The Sound of Magic 

The popular webtoon Annarasumanara may be a mouthful to say, but this adaptation may just fill you up with magic. 

The Sound of Magic follows Yoon Ah-yi (Choi Sung-eun), a girl overly matured for her age, and Rieul (Ji Chang-wook), an enigmatic magician who would rather become a kid again. The drama is also directed by Kim Sung-youn of Itaewon Class fame, with writing by Love in the Moonlight's Kim Min-jeong. The drama will also feature Hwang In-youp as  Ah-yi's classmate Na Il-deung.

The Sound of Magic will air on Netflix.

Remarriage and Desires 

PHOTO: Netflix

Elitism has been given a drama and its name is Remarriage and Desires. If you've ever wondered what a South Korean society where the pursuit of desire reigns supreme looks like, this satirical drama will answer that for you.

People try to utilise Rex — an exclusive matchmaking agency catering to the elite — to marry themselves into the upper echelons of society. Watch Seo Hye-seung (Kim Hee-seon), Lee Hyung-ju (Lee Hyun-wook) and Jin Yoo-hui (Jung Yoo-jin), as they explore a dystopian world of commercialised dating and marriage.

Remarriage and Desires will air on Netflix.

Somebody 

Kim Young-kwang and Kim Yong-ji. PHOTOS: Instagram/Kim Young-kwang, Kim Yong-ji

What happens when a social dating application becomes the platform for murder? In Somebody, the developer of the app must team up with her friends to investigate an enigmatic individual by the name of Yoon-oh (Kim Young-kwang).

In a story written by noteworthy thriller writer Han Ji-wan and directed by Jung Ji-woo, Somebody features new entries into the scene: Kang Hae-lim, Kim Yong-ji and Kim Su-yeon.

Somebody will air on Netflix.

Moving

From left: Jo In-sung, Ryu Seung-ryong and Han Hyo-joo. PHOTOS: Instagram/Jo In-sung, Ryu Seung-ryong, Han Hyo-joo

Despite the modest name of this K-drama, Moving in fact has a rare action-hero element at the crux of the plot. In the drama, the main protagonists must hide their superpowers from the world as they face a crisis from the past — one that their parents have also fought and must continue fighting through the series.

Based on a webtoon of the same title, Moving stars Jo In-sung, Han Hyo-joo, Cha Tae-hyun and Ryu Seung-ryong.

Moving will air on Disney+.

Big Mouse

Lee Jong-suk and Im Yoon-ah. PHOTOS: Instagram/Lee Jong-suk, Im Yoon-ah

Big Mouse approaches the stand from a different perspective.

When an average lawyer finds himself entangled in a murder case that runs miles deep, he is forced to pick up the gift of the gab as he polishes his skills as a liar. While he practices perjury taking on the vices surrounding the murder case, Park Chang-ho (Lee Jong-suk) will sustain audiences with his acting skills alongside Ko Mi-ho (Im Yoon-ah).

Island

Lee Da-hee and Cha Eun-woo. PHOTOS: Instagram/Lee Da-hee, Cha Eun-woo

Actress Seo Ye-ji pulled out of the main cast for Island after allegations of abuse and the gap she left behind was filled by Lee Da-hee.

In Island, Won Mi-ho (Da-hee), Ban (Kim Nam-gil) and Priest John (Cha Eun-woo) face off against the supernatural and struggle to survive on the Island. 

Hopefully, this monster-filled horror-drama will have more spice than just the celebrity drama surrounding it.

K-Project

From left: Han So-hee, Park Seo-jun and Wi Ha-jun. PHOTOS: Instagram/Han So-hee, Park Seo-jun, Wi Ha-jun

Written by Dr Romantic's Kang Eun-kyung and starring Park Seo-jun, Han So-hee and Wi Ha-jun, this stellar series is one not to be missed if you want to follow your favourite celebrities and their next steps in K-drama showbiz.

Little Women

From left: Park Ji-hoo, Nam Ji-hyun and Kim Go-eun. PHOTOS: Instagram/Park Ji-hoo, Nam Ji-hyun, Kim Go-eun

Directed by Vincenzo's Kim Hee-won, Little Women tells of three sisters, Oh In-joo (Kim Go-eun), In-kyung (Nam Ji-hyun) and In-hye (Park Ji-hoo) and their dealings with a chaebol. As their lives become increasingly connected with the chaebol in question, their involvement becomes key in developing their understanding of the value of money and their lives.

Our Blues

From left: Shin Min-ah, Kim Woo-bin and Han Ji-min. PHOTOS: Instagram/Shin Min-ah, Kim Woo-bin, Han Ji-min

Three couples on Jeju Island live their life to their fullest — all while giving off positive vibes and wholesome, heartwarming experiences for us all.

This simple, story-driven K-drama Our Blues will certainly cater to a wide audience with their representation of couples from many walks of life. As an added bonus, real-life couple Shin Min-ah and Kim Woo-bin will also be in this drama.

Sweet Home 2

Song Kang, Lee Jin-wook and Lee Si-young (from left to right). PHOTOS: Instagram/Song Kang, Lee Jin-wook, Lee Si-young

Fans left drooling ravenously at the ending of Sweet Home will finally get their fill with this sequel to the hit horror-thriller released in 2020. So far, only Lee Si-young and Park Gyu-young are confirmed to reprise their roles while Song Kang is in talks to do the same. 

Fans can only hope that the questions left in Sweet Home will finally be answered in this new season. 

Tale of the Nine-Tailed 2

From left: Lee Dong-wook, Kim Bum and Kim So-yeon. PHOTOS: Instagram/Lee Dong-wook, Kim Bum, Kim So-yeon

This series is a continuation of the first season and will feature the same actors Lee Dong-wook and Kim Bum.

However, Jo Bo-ah will not be reprising her role, and will instead make way for The Penthouse's Kim So-yeon, who will be the main female lead this time around. With action, plot and romance intertwined in this series, it's a good thing a third instalment is in the works.

Tell Me Your Wish

Ji Chang-wook and Choi Soo-young. PHOTOS: Instagram/Ji Chang-wook, Choi Soo-young

Ji Chang-wook certainly isn't a one-trick pony when it comes to K-drama genres. Not only does he appear in the fictional fantasy drama The Sound of Magic, he also plays Yoon Gye-ree in Tell Me Your Wish, a K-drama taking place in a hospice ward.

Gye-ree will be part of the heart-warming stories surrounding patients and volunteers within the ward, alongside Seo Yeong-joo (played by Choi Soo-young) and Kang Tae-shik (Sung Dong-il).

The Chaebol's Youngest Son

South Korea is famous for their chaebols, or family-owned business conglomerates.

This K-drama follows the ultimate demise of a loyal and hardworking individual within a chaebol, who was framed for embezzlement and slaughtered in cold blood by the same family he served.

The now-dead Yoon Hyun-woo (Song Joong-ki) finds himself reincarnated into the body of the family's youngest son, where he plans to exact revenge and take over the family.

The Glory

Lee Do-hyun and Song Hye-kyo. PHOTOS: Instagram/Lee Do-hyun, Song Hye-kyo

In her younger days, Moon Dong-eun (Song Hye-kyo) yearned to become an architect but her ambitions were cut short when she was forced to drop out of school due to egregious bullying. Her dreams dashed and her credentials insufficient, she becomes a teacher instead.

Yet, this choice wasn't one of resignation as she becomes the teacher of her antagonists' children and slowly metes out punishment.

khooyihang@asiaone.com