Earlier this year in January, the first season of K-dramas for 2017 began airing. At that time, our initial views for them were that the Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS) would remain on top with Defendant and Saimdang, Light’s Diary, and that the Total Variety Network (tvN) would continue their domination of Korean cable television with Introverted Boss. Now we know that the Korean Broadcasting System was able to bounce back from their slow season with Chief Kim and that the Orion Cinema Network (OCN) would come out strong overtaking tvN with Voice.
This month, some of those K-dramas debuting back in January conclude. K-drama fans can expect to watch new series debuting on the big three of Korean television. Here is what K-drama fans have to look forward to. The first list includes the ones concluding their airing. The second list will be the ones debuting.
K-Dramas Ending This Month
Missing 9 (March 9) — Probably considered the least popular K-drama among Korean public television in the first season for 2017, Missing 9 was the Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation’s (MBC) opportunity to go a different direction from light-hearted romantic comedies. Unfortunately with melodramas like Voice and Defendant keeping fans’ attention, this had no chance.
Missing 9 was about nine people who are associated with the Korean entertainment industry trying to survive on a stranded island after their airplane crashes in the middle of the ocean. It had plot elements similar to the popular American television show Lost. Unfortunately, it told the story through the only survivor found, Ra Bong Hee (Baek Jin Hee), who is the stylist for Seo Joon Oh (Jung Kyung Ho), in a series of flashbacks. The two story lines were convoluted, causing the K-drama to be a mess. Despite its low viewership, it still had its fans.
Missing 9 will air its finale on Thursday, March 9 at 10 p.m. KST on MBC. Those who do not have access to the Korean public network can watch it exclusively on DramaFever by its fully written title, Missing Nine, depending on region.
Voice (March 12) — Probably the biggest surprise for Korean cable channel K-dramas, but also among all K-dramas on Korean television. Voice is the K-drama currently airing on OCN, a Korean cable channel that only aired three K-drama back in 2016. It is expected that they did so well with their last drama prior to this, 38 Task Force, they were able to take the rest of the year off.
In terms of popularity, Voice is far more popular than 38 Task Force. Starring Jang Hyuk and Lee Ha Na, the two respectively play Moo Jin Hyuk and Kang Kwon Joo, two police force members, one a detective and the other a call center officer, who had loved ones murdered by the same serial killer. Three years later, they have teamed up to find out who was responsible while working together to solve other cases on the “Golden Time” team. I will say Voice is the most suspenseful K-drama I have ever seen to date.
Voice will air its finale on Sunday, March 12, at 10 p.m. KST on OCN. For those who do not have access to the Korean cable network, they can watch it on DramaFever, Viki, and OnDemandKorea depending on region.
Introverted Boss (March 14) — This is the first K-drama of 2017 to air under tvN. Given the Korean cable network’s track record for successful dramas last year, it was expected Introverted Boss would be just as successful too especially since it was directed by the same director of Another Oh Hae Young. Unfortunately, it had issues with many K-drama viewers resulting in diminishing viewership.
The K-drama is about the personal growth of introverted CEO of Silent Monster, an extension of public relations firm Brain PR, Eun Hwan Ki (Yeon Woo Jin). He takes steps to slowly and surely come out of his shell to make sure Silent Monster succeeds while trying to romance his extroverted employee, Chae Ro Woon (Park Hye Soo). With only four more episodes left to air, the only conflict that needs to be resolved is the one in the very beginning pertaining to Brain PR itself.
The finale of Introverted Boss airs on Tuesday, March 14, at 11 p.m. KST. For those who do not have access to the Korean cable network, it can be viewed on it can be viewed on DramaFever by its other title, My Shy Boss, and OnDemandKorea depending on region.
Defendant (March 21) — Currently the most popular K-drama on Korean public television this season, Defendant leads the way as K-drama fans transition from light-hearted romantic comedies to suspenseful melodramas.
Starring Ji Sung and Yuri of Girls’ Generation, Defendant is about a brilliant prosecutor and head of the violent crimes investigative division who never loses a case named Park Jung Woo (Ji Sung). He suddenly wakes up and finds himself on death row for the murder of his wife and daughter but he has no recollection of the incident. Further more he believes in his heart he is innocent. The only person who is willing to help him is Seo Eun Hye (Yuri), an eloquent and rational defense lawyer who happens to lose every time in court.
With six episodes left, we are learning the reason why Park Jung Woo is in prison and it was something some expected from the very beginning. It is just so cool to see how everything fits together. The finale will air on Tuesday, March 21, at 10 p.m. KST on SBS. For those who do not have access to the Korean public network, it can be viewed on Viki and OnDemandKorea depending on region.
Tomorrow With You (March 25) — The other tvN K-drama starring Shin Min Ah and Lee Je Hoon is about to conclude this month too. A las, it too did not fare well despite airing on the network responsible for Goblin and Reply 1988.
Yoo So Joon (Je Hoon) is a CEO of a real estate firm who travels through time via subway. His wife, Song Ma Rin (Shin Min Ah), is a photographer who is supposedly the reason why he dies. To prevent his fate, he decides to marry Ma Rin just so he can prevent his death but as time goes by, he learns to love her selflessly.
The finale will air on Saturday, March 25, at 8 p.m. KST on tvN. For those who don’t have access to the Korean cable network, it can be viewed on both DramaFever and OnDemandKorea depending on the region.
Chief Kim (March 29) — This K-drama marked KBS’ return to prominence as all their K-dramas last season full season of 2016 and the swing season from 2016 to 2017 were flops. To be frank, only three K-dramas did well for KBS in 2016 and they were Descendants of the Sun, Moonlight Drawn by Clouds, and only in China, Uncontrollably Fond.
Chief Kim is about Kim Sung Ryong (Namgoong Min), a small time accountant who worked for a gang in which he dodges the bullet, despite his accounting fraud and tax evasion, since he makes them a lot of money and does it through uniquely “legal” means. He gets accepted to a huge firm known as TQ as the chief of Business Operations. However, all he wants to do is scam the company out of money in hopes of achieving his dream: moving to Denmark. On the way however, he becomes a voice of the workers of the firm and helps them in their plight with help from his assistant manager Yoon Ha Kyung (Nam Sang Mi) and intern Hong Ga Eun (Jung Hye Sung).
The 12th episode airs today with four more episodes remaining. At this moment, the K-drama has yet to break 20 percent in viewership this Defendant remains on top. It airs its finale on Thursday, March 16, at 10 p.m. KST on KBS. For those who do not have access to the Korean public network, it can be viewed on both Viki and OnDemandKorea depending on region.
K-Dramas Beginning This Month
Radiant Office (March 15) — Also known as Self-Radiation Office and Self-Dazzling Office, this will be MBC’s next attempt to get themselves out of the rut they are suffering since Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo, and it looks like they are going back to light-hearted romantic comedies again.
Radiant Office takes a comedic approach to the job situation in South Korea. Eun Ho Won (Go Ah Sung) faces repeat rejections in her search for a job which drives her into despair and a suicide attempt. At the hospital, she learns she is terminally ill but also learns she has been accepted at a firm. With nothing to lose, she takes on her new job and life with a new perspective. Her superior at work, Seo Woo Jin (Ha Seok Jin), finds her annoying and they become a pair that bickers all the time, which will most likely lead to romance.
Radiant Office will debut on Monday, March 15, at 10 p.m. KST on MBC. Subsequent episodes will air on Mondays and Tuesdays at the same time up to 16 episodes though some reports claim it might be 20. Right now, the K-drama is confirmed to stream on DramaFever.
The Liar and His Lover (March 14) — The romantic comedies will continue with tvN after Introverted Boss concludes with this K-drama starring Lee Hyun Woo and Joy of Red Velvet. This will be the K-pop idols debut.
Based off the Japanese manga Kanojo wa Uso o Aishisugiteru, Kang Han Kyul (Hyun Woo) is a genius music composer who is going through a depressing time in his life. Living under a new identity, he suddenly meets the high school student Yoon So Rim (Joy). With her courageous honesty and beautiful singing, So Rim draws Han Kyul back to her again and again as he now has a purpose in his life.
The Liar and His Lover will air on Monday, March 20, at 11 p.m. KST on tvN. Subsequent episodes will air on Mondays and Tuesdays at the same time up to an estimated 16 episodes. There is no word which (legal) streaming sites will air this K-drama.
Tunnel (March 25) — OCN is known for their crime or detective dramas. In their upcoming K-drama Tunnel, they will dial back the suspense from Voice and incorporate some comedy into the mix.
In 1986, Park Gwang Ho (Choi Jin Hyuk) is desperately trying to catch a serial killer who killed his daughter. While chasing the killer into a tunnel, he finds himself in 2017. Utilizing the two timelines in which the serial killer from 1986 has started to kill again, he hopes to learn things that will help him catch the serial killer in his time. He teams up with Detective Kim Sun Jae (Yoon Hyun Min) and Professor of Criminal Psychology Shin Jae Yi (Lee Yoo Young). Also, he is an old-fashioned detective from the past so his attempt to adjust to life in modern day is quite entertaining to watch.
Tunnel makes its debut on Saturday, March 25, at 10 p.m. KST on OCN. Subsequent episodes will air on Saturdays and Sundays at the same time up to 16 episodes. There is no word which (legal) streaming sites will air this K-drama.
Whisper (March 27) — At this moment, we know very little about Whisper but we can report it marks the K-drama comeback of Lee Bo Young who hasn’t acted in a K-drama since 2014 ever since she and her husband Ji Sung had their child.
According to the initial synopsis of the K-drama, Whisper will be a legal K-drama. Shin Young Joo (Bo Young) is a female detective with charisma and Lee Dong Joon (Lee Sang Yoon) is a righteous judge. They uncover corruption at the nation’s biggest law firm and they work together to bring them to justice.
Whisper will debut on Monday, March 27, at 10 p.m. KST on SBS. Subsequent episodes will air on Mondays and Tuesdays at the same time up to a predicted 16 episodes. There is no word which (legal) streaming sites will air this K-drama.
[Featured Image by the Orion Cinema Network (OCN)]