Last month, the most prominent K-dramas of the 2016 to 2017 swing season — Romantic Doctor, Teacher Kim and The Legend of the Blue Sea on the Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS) along with Goblin on the Total Variety Network (tvN) — concluded their respective airings. As a result, January would be a pivotal time for Korean television networks. Who would lead the way at the start of the new year? Apparently, it’s SBS again, but not tvN.
Historically among K-dramas airing on Korean public television, the popularity would swing from one network to the other depending on the K-drama airing. In 2016, for example, the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) found monumental success with Descendants of the Sun. After them, the next popular K-drama was Doctors on SBS. It went back to KBS with Moonlight Drawn by Clouds and so on. In this case, SBS is hitting the mark again with two K-dramas that took the respective time slots of both Romantic Doctor, Teacher Kim and The Legend of the Blue Sea, Defendant starring Ji Sung and Yuri of Girls’ Generation, and Saimdang, Light’s Diary starring Lee Young Ae and Song Seung Heon. To be frank, it is rare for such networks to go two-and-two, so SBS should breathe in their success for now.
Unfortunately for tvN, they cannot say they too have continued their success from last season. The K-drama fandom was enamored by Goblin, but the opposite can be said for at least the domestic viewership in South Korea pertaining to Introverted Boss starring Yeon Woo Jin and Park Hye Soo.
The unique K-drama about an introverted and overly sensitive boss who avoids large crowds started out with more than decent ratings for a series airing on a Korean cable network, but it dropped dramatically to just above 1 percent in viewership by the fourth episode. As a result, tvN is revising the script and taking into account viewership feedback.
With most of the K-dramas for the first K-drama season of 2017 already starting last month, February won’t have much pertaining to dramas airing on the popular time slots, not just for domestic fans in South Korea but international fans as well. Instead, many of them are usually television novels, K-dramas that air with a more “soap opera” feel to them.
Anyway, here are the K-dramas fans should look forward to this month. The first list includes the ones concluding their run. The second list will be the ones debuting this month.
K-Dramas Ending This Month
Star of the Universe (February 9)
Starring Soo Ho and Ji Woo, Star of the Universe — also known as The Universe’s Star — is a three-episode K-drama that is technically part of a special series on the Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) known as the “Three Colors of Fantasy.” Star of the Universe is represented as the “White” K-drama in this special series.
According to the synopsis, Star of the Universe is an innocent first love story of a grim reaper named Byul (Korean for “Star”). He comes to Earth and falls in love with a gifted singer-songwriter named Woo Joo (Korean for “Universe”). Given that the series is only three episodes long, the story is simplistic and will go by fast, but that does not mean it isn’t good.
The finale of Star of the Universe will air on Thursday, February 9 at 11:10 p.m. KST on MBC. This particular leg of the “Three Colors of Fantasy” is available to watch only on OnDemandKorea under another version of its special series name, “Three Color Fantasy” depending on the region.
Hwarang (February 21)
Starring Park Seo Joon, Go Ah Ra, and Park Hyung Shik, Hwarang — also known as Hwarang: The Beginning, Hwarang: the Poet Warrior Youth, Flowering Knights, The Beautiful Knights, and Flower Knights: The Beginning — is a period K-drama currently airing on KBS.
According to the synopsis, Hwarang is a fictional interpretation of a part of history that has very little record to it, the Hwarangs. KBS brings up the fact that not many people know about Hwarangs these days followed by questions that help drive the K-drama. How did they start? How did beautiful looking young men become the center of unifying old Korea’s Three Kingdoms?
The finale of Hwarang will air on Tuesday, February 21 at 11 p.m. KST on KBS. Preceding episodes will air on Mondays and Tuesdays at the same time prior to the finale. It can be viewed on both Viki and OnDemandKorea depending on the region.
That Sun in the Sky (February 24)
Starring Yoon Ah Jung, Lee Min Woo, No Young Hak, and Kim Hye Ji, That Sun in the Sky — also known as TV Novel: That Sun in the Sky — is a television novel K-drama currently airing on KBS. Many international viewers may not know about such K-dramas, but it is best to relate them to soap operas, only they actually end unlike some U.S. soap operas.
The basic synopsis of The Sun in the Sky is that it tells the growth and success of a country girl who overcomes many adversities to become South Korea’s top actress in the 1970s era. Now, almost 120 episodes later, we will see how it all concludes.
The finale for That Sun in the Sky will air on Friday, February 24 at 9 a.m. KST. Preceding episode will air Monday through Friday at the same time prior to the finale. It can be viewed on OnDemandKorea depending on the region.
Laurel Tree Tailors (February 26)
Starring Lee Dong Gun, Jo Yoon Hee, Cha In Pyo, Choi Won Young, and Hyun Woo, Laurel Tree Tailors — also known as The Gentlemen of Wolgyesu Tailor Shop and Bay Tree Tailors — is a family K-drama currently airing on KBS. Unlike many of the popular K-dramas that air at night, this one is safer to watch with children.
According to the synopsis of the K-drama, Laurel Tree Tailors is about “The Gentlemen of Wolgyesu Tailor Shop,” who talk about men’s love, success, and family. Suits have always been the symbol for men and their class. In this series, we learn about the people who work in the Wolgyesu Tailor Shop as they share their friendship and love at their workplace.
The finale for Laurel Tree Tailors will air on Sunday, February 26 at 7:55 p.m. KST. Preceding episodes will air on Saturdays and Sundays at the same time prior to the finale. It can be viewed on both Viki and OnDemandKorea depending on the region.
Blow Breeze (February 26)
Starring Son Ho Joon, Im Ji Yun, Oh Ji Eun, Han Joo Wan, Hwang Bo Ra, and Jang Se Hyun, Blow Breeze — also known as Blow It, Mi Poong! — is a family K-drama that airs on MBC.
According to the synopsis, the K-drama is about a North Korean girl named Mi Poong who studies dancing. She is bright and easygoing despite the situation of her country. One day, she has to defect to Seoul, South Korea, to meet with her father over family inheritance since he is about to pass on. While there, she meets Jang Go, an honest South Korean lawyer, in which both of them get entangled in the issues pertaining to inheritance.
The finale of Blow Breeze will air on Sunday, February 26 at 8:45 p.m. KST. Preceding episodes will air on Saturdays and Sundays at the same time prior to the finale. It can be viewed on OnDemandKorea depending on region.
K-Dramas Debuting This Month
Tomorrow With You (February 3)
Starring Shim Min Ah and Lee Je Hoon, Tomorrow with You is a fantasy romance that began airing on tvN in the time slot previously occupied by the phenomenal K-drama Goblin.
The story of Tomorrow with You is about You So Joon, a CEO of a real estate company who has the ability to travel through time via subway, and his wife, Song Ma Rin, who works as a photographer. In the future, So Joon sees himself living miserably, so he decided to marry Ma Rin in order to avoid that fate. As time passes, he learns to love her selflessly.
In some ways, this is tvN’s attempt to utilize the two timelines fantasy romance angle that SBS has found a ton of success with. This is also one of two K-dramas fans are highly anticipating to watch this month too.
Right now, Tomorrow with You is currently airing as it began today, February 3 at 8 p.m. KST. Subsequent episodes will air on Fridays and Saturdays at the same time and will feature up to 16 episodes. It can be viewed on DramaFever and OnDemandKorea depending on the region.
Romance Full of Life (February 16)
Starring Yoon Shi Yoon and Jo Soo Hyung, Romance Full of Life is the second installment in the “Three Colors of Fantasy” Series airing on MBC in the time slot previously occupied by the first in said special series, Star of the Universe. Given each K-drama in the series represents a color, Romance Full of Life is represented by the color “Green.”
At this point, we do not know much about the K-drama and what it will be about. To be fair, a synopsis may be absent given the fact it is only three episodes long. Most seasoned K-drama fans can handle three episodes straight when compared to most K-drama episode counts of 16 episodes or more, mostly one hour long.
To see what Romance Full of Life is all about, it will premiere on Tuesday, February 16 at 11:10 p.m. KST. It can be viewed on OnDemandKorea by another version of its series name “Three Color Fantasy” depending on region.
Strong Woman Do Bong Soon (February 24)
Starring Park Bo Young, Park Hyung Shik, and Ji Soo, Strong Woman Do Bong Sun is an action fantasy romantic comedy that will air in the time slot previously occupied by Solomon’s Perjury.
Do Bong Soon is a young woman born with superhuman strength and is known for breaking everything she touches unless she is careful. Despite her aggressive attitude and demeanor that comes with such strength, she longs to be an elegant woman, the ideal type of her crush Guk Doo. However, love never seems to go to her plan as things change between herself and the person she is a bodyguard to, a boss of a gaming company, An Min Hyuk, who is crazy and imperiously odd with no regard to rules.
Strong Woman Do Bong Sun will make its debut on Friday, February 24 at 11 p.m. KST. Subsequent episodes will air on Fridays and Saturdays at the same time for a total of 16 episodes. At this moment, we do not have any information on which video-on-demand sites will be streaming the K-drama.
There are two other K-dramas to look forward to in which information is currently lacking at the moment. Super Family begins airing on Monday, February 20 at 11 p.m KST, with subsequent episodes airing on Mondays at the same time afterward on SBS. Finally, Perfect Wife begins airing on Monday, February 27 at 9:55 p.m. KST with subsequent episodes airing on Mondays and Tuesdays at the same time afterward on JTBC.
[Featured Image by the Total Variety Network (tvN)]