Starring: Joo Ji Hoon, Ryu Seung Ryong, Bae Doona Expected debut date: January 25
Kingdom is Netflix’s second Korean original series and has been entirely pre-produced (the second season will start filming in February, even before the first season finishes airing) and is helmed by acclaimed writer Kim Eun Hee, who was also the brains behind series such as Signal and Sign.
The historical drama revolves around a mysterious plague that threatens the kingdom and its inhabitants as the crown prince (Joo Ji Hoon) realises that there’s a zombie epidemic happening and has to figure out how to save his people.
Romance is a Supplement
Starring: Lee Jong Suk, Lee Na Young Expected debut date: January 26
Romance is a Supplement will be Lee Na Young’s first drama in almost a decade, while possibly being Lee Jong Suk’s last (sigh) before he heads off to the military.
Two 30-something-year-old employees in a publishing company – one is a former rising star who ends up becoming a temporary worker at the firm after her divorce, while the other is a genius writer who is also the company’s youngest editor-in-chief. This is also Lee Jong Suk’s first official rom-com, and with his consistent record of picking great projects, this is one drama we’ll definitely be tuning in to.
Touch Your Heart
Starring: Lee Dong Wook, Yoo In Na Expected debut date: February 6
Yes, this is the reunion that we’ve been waiting for – Lee Dong Wook and Yoo In Na might not have been the main leads for Goblin, but let’s face it, everyone loved that couple to the moon and back. The drama gods answered and the stars aligned for these two to reunite in another drama, this time as real leads, and we honestly can’t wait.
But we digress. The story revolves around a high-flying lawyer and an actress whose career is affected after a huge scandal, and she sets out to clear her name by getting hired as a lawyer’s secretary. We know that chemistry won’t be a problem between these two, and the only thing we hope for is a happy ending for this reel-life couple this time around.
Starring: Joo Ji Hoon, Jin Se Yeon, Kim Kang Woo Expected debut date: February 2019
Adapted from the webtoon of the same name, The Item is one of the most anticipated fantasy-action dramas of the year, especially after teaser videos were released by broadcaster MBC prior to the series’ launch. Joo Ji Hoon, who hasn't done any dramas since 2015’s Mask, but has at least two series lined up this year (this, along with Kingdom), which has caused much excitement among viewers.
The series revolves around a prosecutor and criminal profiler who join hands to unveil the secrets behind objects that supposedly have special powers of protection – but end up uncovering much more as a result.
My Fellow Citizens
Starring: Choi Siwon, Lee Yoo Young, Kim Min Jung Expected debut date: March 2019
Billed as a comedic criminal drama, Yang Jungkook (played by Choi Siwon) comes from a family of con men that commits fraud as a family business. He wants to save up enough money to marry his girlfriend and tries to scam a loan shark, but ends up being the one being scammed instead. He ends up marrying a police officer and eventually becoming a member of the National Assembly.
Siwon is great in comedic roles, as he’s shown in his previous drama, Revolutionary Love, but how will this all pan out? I guess we’ll have to stay tuned to find out.
Photos: tvN, SBS
Starring: Lee Seung Gi, Bae Suzy, Shin Sung Rok Expected debut date: May 2019
In another drama reunion, Lee Seung Gi and Bae Suzy will be crossing paths again after last working on historical drama Gu Family Book. He plays a stuntman who gets unwittingly involved in a national incident that makes him want to uncover the corruption that he believes is deep-rooted within the country. She’s a spy with the national intelligence agency on a covert mission who teams up with him, and they have to navigate the treacherous waters at the risk of their own safety for the good of the country.
Starring: Park Bo Young Expected debut date: First half of 2019
Before you write this off as a melodrama, let us assure you that it is not. Despite its dramatic, depressing title (which could change any time), Abyss is said to revolve around a beautiful prosecutor and an ugly man who end up swapping looks after falling into a soul abyss.
With no news yet on who her male lead will be, we’ll be eagerly anticipating updates on this drama, which will be Park Bo Young’s first since 2017’s Strong Woman Do Bong Soon, in which she had excellent chemistry with Park Hyung Sik and Ji Soo.
The Chronicles of Asadal
Starring: Song Joong Ki, Jang Dong Gun, Kim Ji Won Expected debut date: First half of 2019
You could tell us that this entire drama would be of the cast members reading from a telephone book, and we’d still watch it. Song Joong Ki and Kim Ji Won will be having a mini Descendants of the Sun cast reunion going on in this historical drama, while veteran actor Jang Dong Gun always brings his A-game to any project he’s on board with.
Set to be one of the biggest blockbuster dramas this year, the story takes place in the fictional kingdom of Asadal, and revolves around power struggles (plotting!), love (and heartbreak!) and growth of the kingdom and its citizens.
Photos: KBS, Starship Entertainment, Next Entertainment World
Starring: Kim So Hyun, Jung Ga Ram, Song Kang Expected debut date: First half of 2019
Granted, you might not know any of the cast members except for Kim So Hyun, but this series is definitely one fluffy rom-com adapted from a webtoon that will put a smile on your face. An app, called – you guessed it – Love Alarm, alerts you if you have a secret admirer within 10 metres of you.
Sparks start flying as this alarm starts going off around the hardworking female lead, a prickly boy and his perfect best friend, but who will eventually win the girl’s heart? You’ll have to stay tuned (and deal with a ton of second-lead syndrome) to find out.