For K-dramas, 2015 proved to be prosperous for the business and wonderful for its fans. Reeling from the horrendous slump the Hallyu Wave suffered in 2014, it seemed as if every month featured a hit K-drama. To put it into perspective, 10 K-dramas averaged over 10 percent on viewership which includes Producer, Mask, She Was Pretty, and the best K-drama of 2015, Yong Pal. And to think it all started with a K-drama that technically started in 2014, but ended in January of 2015 (Pinocchio).
K-dramas made their return to prominence in 2015. A lot of it has to do with the direction Korean stations are going to producing quality content, but also because streaming sites, like Viki and DramaFever, are making K-dramas more accessible to international viewers. Now K-drama fans have another year to look forward to. However, we must take K-drama anticipation one step at a time, and the first step is to know what the most-anticipated K-dramas for January 2016 are. Thanks to KdramaStars, K-drama fans have an idea what to look forward to this month.
The first K-drama of notice was actually previously featured for being voted as one of the most-popular K-dramas of 2015 despite not having aired yet. Cheese In The Trap stars Park Hae Jin (Bad Guys, Doctor Stranger) and Kim Go Eun (Angry Lawyer, Coin Locker Girl).
The K-drama is based off the web-toon of the same name. It depicts the delicate relationship between Hong Seol (Kim Go Eun) and her senior, Yoo Jung (Park Hae Jin). Hong Seol has to work part-time due to her family's poor background. Yoo Jung on the other hand has good looks, is academically sound, athletic, and has a kind personality. But he has a dark side in which Hong Seol gets wrapped up in.
It should be noted the reason why Cheese In The Trap is so popular right now is because of two reasons. The first is Park Hae Jin's popularity in China. Chinese viewers are hyping up the K-drama because of how much they love Hae Jin from his past drama roles, especially in C-dramas (Chinese dramas). Second is the fact Cheese In The Trap is the first K-drama Kim Go Eun will act in. Prior to it, Go Eun has only acted in K-movies.
Other actors filling out the main cast include Seo Kang Joon (Hwajung, What Happens to My Family?), Lee Sung Kyung (Flower of the Queen), and Nam Joo Hyuk (Glamorous Temptation, School 2015). Cheese In The Trap is being produced by tvN and will air on their channel starting on January 4, 2015. The total number of episodes is still unknown so its time frame is unknown too. It will however air on Monday and Tuesdays at 11 p.m. KST.
The next K-drama of notice is Moorim School. Officially known as Moorim School: Saga of the Brave, its main cast features Lee Hyun Woo (To The Beautiful You, Scholar Who Walks The Night), Lee Hong Bin (One and Only You, Glorious Day), Seo Ye Ji (Last, Super Daddy Yul), and Jung Yoo Jin (Because It's The First Time, Heard It Through The Grapevine).
The K-drama is about a high school that does not just focus solely on academics. The Moorim School teaches students virtues of honesty, faith, sacrifice, and communication. The students and staff are also quite eclectic as they come from different countries and have different stories of their own.
Moorim School is unique because it wants to re-imagine the high school genre in K-dramas which has been declining in viewership. To understand just how poorly the genre does, Orange Marmalade (the 2015 season) had an average of 3.0 percent in viewership. Cheer Up! (also known as Sassy, Go Go) only had an average of 3.5 percent in viewership. With numbers like that, Moorim School is taking a risk, especially since it is following Oh My Venus.
Moorim School will start airing on January 11, 2016, until an unknown date sometime in either March or April. The K-drama airs on Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) channel KBS2 on Monday and Tuesdays at 9:55 p.m. KST.
The final K-drama of notice is Madame Antoine. It will star Han Ye Seul (Tazza, Birth of a Beauty) and Sung Joon (High Society, Hyde Jekyll, Me).
Ko Hye Rim (Han Ye Seul) is a famous fortune teller going by the moniker "Madame Antoine." She claims she gets her divinity from being spiritually connected to Marie Antoinette, but the truth of the matter is she is able to see through people's stories due to her intelligence and keen sense. Despite her popularity, Hye Rim wants love like that from a romantic film. Ironically, she partakes in a psychological test project conducted by psychotherapist Choi Soo Hyun (Sung Joon) in which he wants to prove true love does not exist. By coincidence, the name of his psychological treatment center is Madame Antoine.
Madame Antoine will start airing on January 22, 2016, and run until an unknown date sometime in either March or April. The K-drama airs on JTBC's channel on Fridays and Saturdays at 8:4o p.m. KST.
[Image via tvN/Cheese In The Trap Promotions]