Everyone is ready for the new year, with its new possibilities, new beginnings, and more importantly, new K-Dramas! While COVID-19 postponed filming for many of these dramas, they are still rumored to premiere in 2021 (though it will be unconfirmed until further into the year). But fans just can’t wait for these amazing and unique projects to light up the new year!
Probably the most anticipated drama of 2021 is BLACKPINK Jisoo‘s acting debut, Snowdrop (which is directed by the same director as Sky Castle). It is set in 1987 Seoul and revolves around Im Soo Ho (Jung Hae In), a student at a prestigious university, and Eun Young Cho (Jisoo). Young Cho falls in love with Soo Ho at first sight at a social gathering. They meet again when Soo Ho runs into Young Cho’s female-only dormitory, wounded. Young Cho decides to nurse him back to health. The show is based on the notes of a man who escaped from a prison camp in North Korea.
It is rumored to air around May.
2. All of Us Are Dead
Following the trend of webtoon adaptations comes All of Us Are Dead based on Now At Our School. It is about a group of high schoolers who are trapped in their school while the zombie apocalypse looms outside.
With the explosive popularity of the zombie genre in South Korea (see: Train to Busan, Kingdom, #Alive, Zombie Detective, etc.), it’s no surprise that people are hyped for this drama. Some are also curious if it will feel similar to the beloved anime School-Live!.
It is rumored to begin around June.
A police drama is on the way! Jung Ba Reum (Lee Seung Gi), a rookie police officer whose life gets complicated when he meets a serial killer. After surviving an encounter with the killer, he is driven to find out the truth behind them with his partner Ko Moo Chi (Lee Hee Joon).
It is rumored to air around February.
4. She Would Never Know (Sunbae, Don’t Put On That Lipstick)
Another highly anticipated webtoon adaptation includes the beloved SF9 vocalist and Extraordinary You actor, Rowoon. Yoon Song Ah (Won Jin Ah) is a professional brand marketer at a cosmetics company who dreams of having her own cosmetics brand. Chae Hyun Seung (Rowoon) is a handsome marketer who is very straightforward.
It is set to premiere on January 18.
5. The Devil Judge
With acting icons Ji Sung and GOT7‘s Jinyoung confirmed for this lawful drama, it truly started gaining a lot of attention. Kim Ga On (Jinyoung) is a jury member who lost his parents in an accident when he was a child. With the support of his father’s friend, he studied hard to become a judge, becoming an associate under Yo Han (Ji Sung).
It is rumored for June.
Another drama will be debuting an idol-actor next year, Dear.M! Yes this drama will debut none other than NCT‘s Jaehyun! Supposedly CLC‘s Eunbin and UP10TION‘s Jinhyuk will also be supporting characters!
The story follows 4 students, Ma Joo Ah (Park Hye Soo), Cha Min Ho (Jaehyun), Seo Ji Min (Roh Jeong Eui), and Park Ha Neul (Bae Hyun Sung). In the search for “M” (a mysterious stranger who is mentioned in an anonymous post), the 4 of them survive university life, friendships, and budding romances.
It is rumored for February or at least the first half of 2021.
7. Red Cuff of the Sleeve
This drama is based on a novel that tells the story of Sung Deok Im (Park Hye Soo), who rises from a lowly court lady to the queen. It will showcase her love story with King Jeongjo (Kim Kyung Nam) and the struggles of gaining power.
Historical fans are excited about this drama, but much about it is still up in the air.
8. Cliffhanger (Mount Jiri)
Directed by Lee Eung Bok (Sweet Home, Mr. Sunshine, Goblin, etc.) and written by Kim Eun Hee (Kingdom, Signal, etc.) this drama has a lot of high expectations. This mystery-thriller drama is, in short, about park rangers who work to rescue people at Mount Jiri. Seo Yi Kang (Jun Ji Hyun) is the top ranger who knows everything about navigating Mount Jiri. Kang Hyun Jo (Joo Ji Hoon) is a military graduate with a deep secret who joins as a new ranger and becomes Yi Kang’s partner.
It is rumored to premiere in the first half of 2021.
9. Joseon Exorcist
Another creepy historical show is on its way! It involves a King and his two sons who are faced against evil spirits who seek revenge for being killed by the royal family in the past.
It seems to be set for around March.
Ah yes, how could we forget the highly anticipated (but also slightly controversial) BTS-inspired K-Drama! The story was based mostly on the HYYH universe as seven boys journey through the incredibly difficult task of growing up.
They have recently stopped filming to address fans’ issues with the script and are said to continue filming in January. Hopefully, it will be ready to air by the last half of 2021!
Hellbound will be another webtoon adaptation that will be premiering on Netflix. The story revolves around people hearing predictions of when they will die. When that time comes, a “death angel” comes and kills them. Jung Jin Soo (Yoo Ah In) is the head of the new religion Saejinrihwe. Bae Young Jae (Park Jung Min) is a program director for a broadcasting station. He tries to find the truth about Jin Soo’s religious group. Min Hye Jin (Kim Hyun Joo) is a lawyer who stands against supporters of Saejinrihwe. Jin Kyung Hoon (Yang Ik Jun) is a detective and investigates cases involving the angels of death.
Some are already comparing it to the popular drama Save Me and are excited to see how the religious aspects will be portrayed. There is no confirmed date yet except for the general “2021”.
12. River Where the Moon Rises
Fans are delighted to see this historical drama about the famous love story of Princess Pyeonggang and On Dal. On Dal (Ji Soo) lives with his protective mother, who warns him against venturing beyond the woods where he lives. One day, curiosity kicks in and he wanders to the market in the village, where he finds Princess Pyeonggang (Kim So Hyun). Afterward, Pyeonggang visits his home, stating that she wishes to live with him and will teach him how to read, write, and fight.
This romantic star-studded show is supposed to come in March!
13. Like a Butterfly
Many foreigners just learned about the webtoon this drama is based on from it being one of BTS V‘s favorites! The story is about Deok Chul (Park In Hwan), an elderly man who revives his love of ballet at the age of 70, and 23-year-old ballerino Chae Rok (Song Kang) who is struggling to chase his dreams. They go on to change each other’s lives for the better.
It is not yet clear when it will be airing, but some have rumored that it will be in April. Though with Song Kang’s most recent drama coming out just this month, that seems a little quick.
14. Money Heist
Fans of the Spanish hit, Money Heist, rejoice! Netflix has announced a Korean version is coming! As in the Spanish version, a criminal mastermind who goes by “The Professor” has a plan to pull off the biggest heist in recorded history.
There is not much more information than that but many suspect that it will be complete by the end of 2021
15. One Day, Destruction Came to My Front Door
Seo In Guk and Park Bo Young are back! This story revolves around a man who has a chaotic life, subject to fate. He is known as “Ruin,” or “Kim Sa Ram” (Seo In Guk). He was born between dark and light. When he breathes, countries disappear; where he walks, seasons collapse; when he smiles, a life is terminated. This is his fate. He forms a relationship with Tak Dong Gyung (Park Bo Young), who curses the world and drags “Ruin” into her life with her desire to live.
Fans are ecstatic about the uniqueness of the story and the overwhelmingly talented cast that also includes Lee Soo Hyuk, Kang Tae Oh, SF9‘s Dawon, and more! It is rumored to be coming in May.
What 2021 K-Drama are you the most excited for?