K-Dramas To Watch In January 2017 — What Korean Dramas Should You Be Checking Out This Month?

"Missing Nine" Vertical Poster

Happy New Year fellow K-drama fans! 2016 was one of the best years for K-dramas and we all hope that 2017 will be just as good or even better. From the looks of it, this year is off to a good start as the dramas from the Winter Season make their transition from last year to this year and there are three that really stand out. Of course everyone knows about Goblin on the Total Variety Network (tvN) starring Gong Yoo and Kim Go Eun. Recently, it became the second-highest rated series among all tvN K-dramas in viewership. That means it beat Signal and has six episodes to possibly beat Reply 1988.

Though Goblin is the one K-drama that is dominating this Winter Season, the Korean television company that is dominating is the Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS) with not one, but two K-dramas taking over the public airwaves.

"The Legend of the Blue Sea" K-Drama Poster

The first K-drama is The Legend of the Blue Sea. Starring Jun Ji Hyun and Lee Min Ho, it featured their comebacks since 2013 to early 2014. Ji Hyun has proven to be the breakout star simply because her character is more interesting, but also because the K-drama is a genre she is experienced in acting in being one half of the power couple to bring to life the love story in My Love From Another Star.

As for the other K-drama, it is Romantic Doctor, Teacher Kim. Starring Han Suk Kyu, Yoo Yeon Seok, and Seo Hyun Jin, the medical drama is the fourth in a line of successful medical dramas airing on SBS. Despite having a far higher viewership than The Legend of the Blue Sea, it gets far less publicity and media attention. To be frank, that is not fair. Shouldn’t K-dramas get more attention for its content and not its star power, especially if said content is what brings in the viewership?

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Nevertheless, the three K-dramas mentioned above are keeping K-drama fans entertainment… and they are concluding this month. Let’s not forget the fact other K-dramas were airing too and they do have their loyal fan base. With that in mind, everyone will be wanting to know what will air this month so they know what they can watch.

Below are the following K-dramas that are ending and beginning for January of 2017. Before, we used to show C-dramas as an added bonus. But because C-dramas have gained momentum over the past year, especially with God of War, Zhao Yun, Ice Fantasy, and The Princess Weiyoung, we will now give C-dramas their own article.


Popular K-Dramas Ending In January 2017

Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo (January 12)

Out of all the K-dramas airing on the day and time slot of Wednesdays and Thursdays at 10 p.m., Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo is technically the least popular with the lowest viewership among its competition. It is kind of sad to be saying that, but it literally had no chance given the fact it was going against The Legend of the Blue Sea.

Starring Lee Sung Kyung in her first main lead role and Nam Joo Hyuk, the former co-stars of Cheese in the Trap reunite as the main female and male lead characters Kim Bok Joo and Jung Joon Hyung. Both of them attend a sports college in which Bok Joo is a naturally gifted weightlifter and Joon Hyung is a talented swimmer. They were best friends when they were young and after realizing who they are, they become best friends again. As time goes by, their best friendship develops into something even more romantic, a true coming-of-age story with a comedic sports twist.

Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo will air its finale on Wednesday, January 12, at 10 p.m. KST on the Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC). Originally, it was supposed to end on Thursday, January 5, but episode 14 did not air as scheduled due to the 2016 MBC Entertainment Awards. For those who do not have access to Korean public channels, the K-drama can be viewed exclusively on Viki.

Oh My Geum Bi (December 12)

Oh My Geum Bi — also known as My Fair Lady — is the second unlucky K-drama to air at the same day and time slot as The Legend of the Blue Sea. Its only saving grace however is the fact it is doing better than Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo.

Starring Heo Jung Eun, Oh Ji Ho, Park Jin Hee, and Oh Yoon Ah, the K-drama is a father-and-daughter story in which Mo Hwi Hul (Ji Ho), a conman who just got out of prison, finds out he has a bright daughter, Yoo Geum Bi (Jung Eun), who is wise beyond her years. Though originally annoyed that he suddenly has a daughter to take care of, he comes to love his Geum Bi and becomes the father that she needs. When he finds out she has Niemann-Pick disease, which can also be known as child’s Alzheimer’s disease, it will take his newfound love for his daughter and the new relationships he has formed with others around them to stay by her side… possibly to the bitter end as most children with Niemann-Pick disease do not live past 20-years-old.

Oh My Geum Bi will airs its finale on Tuesday, January 12, at 10 p.m. KST on the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS). Originally, it was supposed to end on Thursday, January 5, but episode 14 did not air as scheduled due to the 2017 KBS Song Festival. For those who do not have access to Korean public channels, it can be viewed on DramaFever and Viki. It can also be viewed on OnDemandKorea by its other title, My Fair Lady.

Romantic Doctor, Teacher Kim (January 16)

The K-drama Romantic Doctor, Teacher Kim — also known as Romantic Doctor Kim and Doctor Romantic — is the most popular drama airing on Korean public television this season. It is the fourth medical drama by the broadcasting company within three years and so far the most successful too. That is saying a lot because all the medical dramas by SBS starting with Doctor Stranger have been very successful.

Starring Han Suk Kyu, Yoo Yeon Seok, and Seo Hyun Jin, it is about Boo Yong Joo, a famous surgeon who is known as the “Hand of God” for his phenomenal success rate and abilities in surgery. He suddenly disappears from the huge hospital he works at and reappears at a small hospital going by the moniker “Teacher Kim.” Eventually, two more doctors join his hospital, Kang Dong Joo and Yoon Seo Jung. The former wants to become a doctor to prove to someone important in his past he can make a difference while the latter wants to prove herself to the doctor who saved her. For both of them, that doctor is one and the same: Teacher Kim.

Romantic Doctor, Teacher Kim will air its finale on Tuesday, January 16, at 10 p.m. KST on SBS. Nevertheless, for those who do not have access to Korean public channels, the K-drama can be viewed on OnDemandKorea, on DramaFever as Doctor Romantic, and on Viki as Romantic Doctor Kim.

Goblin (January 21)

If we were to adjust the viewership ratings of Korean public and cable channels, Goblin will probably be the most popular K-drama currently airing that will end this month. Also known as Goblin: The Lonely and Great God and Guardian: The Lonely and Great God, it has captured the attention of many viewers both domestically and internationally.

Starring Gong Yoo, Kim Go Eun, Lee Dong Wook, and Yoo In Na, the K-drama is the story of Kim Shin (Gong Yoo), a 939-year-old immortal goblin and protector of souls. He is looking for his bride who can remove the sword from his chest that originally killed him making the way for the gods to make him a goblin. He finds his bride, Ji Eun Tak (Go Eun), but they both fall in love with each other. Now after many years desiring death, for the first time in a long time, Kim Shin wants to live to be with her. However, he may not get the chance for such happiness.

Goblin airs its finale on Saturday, January 21, at 8 p.m. KST on tvN. For those who do not have access to Korean cable channels, it can be viewed by Americans exclusively on DramaFever by its other title Goblin: The Lonely and Great God. For everywhere else, it can be viewed on Viki.

The Legend of the Blue Sea (January 26)

The second most popular K-drama within the nighttime time slots overall. Because of The Legend of the Blue Sea, the other K-dramas airing alongside literally had no chance. To make matters worse for them, they had no chance of at least getting one good day because not only did this K-drama start before them, it will end after them too. Kind of expected with a series that is 20 episodes long.

Starring Jun Ji Hyun and Lee Min Ho in the K-drama returns since 2013 to early 2014, the story of the K-drama is that of a love story that spans time. Se Hwa (Ji Hyun) is a mermaid who is saved by Kim Dam Ryeong (Min Ho) during the Joseon Era. The both get to know each other and fall in love. However, their relationship comes to an end simply because Dam Ryeong is mortal and Ji Hyun is immortal. In modern day, Se Hwa comes across Heo Joon Jae, a conman who looks like Dam Ryeong, her love for Dam Ryeong continues from that point on as she, now named Shim Chung, does what she can to be with Joon Jae.

The Legend of the Blue Sea will air its finale on Wednesday, January 26, at 10 p.m. KST on SBS. Originally, the finale was supposed to air on Thursday, January 19, but SBS wanted to air a special episode that told a not-before-seen story between Shim Chung and Heo Joon Jae. Ergo, the finale was pushed back by five days. For those who do not have access to Korean public channels, it can be viewed exclusively on Viki.

Solomon’s Perjury (January 28)

Probably the least popular K-drama airing this season possibly because the promotions for it were so limited and few. Solomon’s Perjury is the only K-drama airing on JTBC at the moment though they usually only air one drama one at a time.

Starring an ensemble main cast consisting of Kim Hyun Soo, Jang Dong Yoon, Seo Ji Hoon, Seo Young Joo, and Cho Jae Hyun, the K-drama is set in an elite high school. A student from said school fell to his death on Christmas day. Just as the police and school are ready to wrap it up, a student comes forward claiming to have witnessed the murder of the dead student. Soon after that, the witness got into a car accident. The remaining students become restless and uneasy and conduct their own school trial where each student has their own unique role to play.

Solomon’s Perjury will air its finale on Saturday, 8:30 p.m. KST on JTBC. For those who do not have access to Korean cable channels, it can be viewed on both Viki and OnDemandKorea.


Popular K-Dramas Debuting In January 2017

Missing Nine (January 11)

Missing Nine — also known as Missing 9 — is an upcoming melodrama to air on MBC right after Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo concludes. It stars Jung Kyung Ho, Baek Jin Hee, Choi Tae Joon, and Lee Sun Bin. The synopsis of the story is very mysterious as it is about an unexpected plane crash that causes widespread panic across South Korea. Reason for said panic is because nine people have disappeared from it which includes some influential figures in the entertainment industry like Seo Joon Woo (Kyung Ho) who is an unsuccessful top star, Choi Tae Ho (Tae Joon) and Lee Yeol (Chanyeol) whom are members of the band Dreamers, and Ha Ji Ah (Sun Bin), the most successful celebrity under Legend Entertainment.

Missing Nine will make its debut on Wednesday, January 11, at 10 p.m. KST on MBC. After that, following episodes will air on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 10 p.m. KST. For those who do not have access to Korean public channels, we know that it will air on DramaFever.

Voice (January 14)

The Orion Cinema Network (OCN) hasn’t aired a series on Korean cable television since 38 Task Force, their most successful K-drama to date. They are finally coming back with Voice. Starring Jang Hyuk and Lee Ha Na, the story is about two detectives who team up to catch a serial killer who murdered their respective families. Moo Jin Hyun (Jang Hyuk) had his life spiral out of control after his wife was murdered, but starts to put himself together once he is teamed up with Kang Kwon Joo (Ha Na), a voice profiler who’s father was murdered by the same serial killer. They work together on the 112 call center team, but are trying to find the serial killer responsible for killing their families.

Voice makes its debut on Saturday, January 14, at 10 p.m. KST on OCN. Afterwards, following episodes will air on Saturdays and Sundays at 10 p.m. KST. At this moment, there is no news of any video-on-demand streaming sites that will air this K-drama.

Sensitive Boss (January 16)

Sensitive Boss — also known as Introvert Boss and My Shy Boss — is so far the only light-hearted, romantic K-drama on this list. The upcoming drama will air after the 15th season of Rude Miss Young Ae and stars Yeon Woo Jin, Park Hye Soo, Gong Seung Yeon, and Yoon Park. The K-drama features opposite-personalities interacting in a workplace. Eun Hwan Ki (Woo Jin) is an introvert and very sensitive. This is contrary to his work at a public relationship company in which his new employee under him is Chae Ro Woon (Hye Soo), an extrovert with an enthusiastic personality and demeanor.

Sensitive Boss will make its debut on Monday, January 16, at 11 p.m. KST on tvN. Afterwards, following episodes will air on Mondays and Tuesdays at 11 p.m. KST. For those who do not have access to Korean public channels, we know that it will air on DramaFever by its other title My Shy Boss.

Defendant (January 23)

The upcoming melodrama Defendant also known as The Accused — will be the first K-drama to attempt to continue SBS’ success they suddenly have as it take over the time slot currently occupied by Romantic Doctor, Teacher Kim. Starring Ji Sung, Uhm Ki Joon, Kwon Yuri, and Uhm Hyun Kyung, the K-dramas is about Park Jung Woo (Ji Sung), a prosecutor at Seoul Central District Prosecutor’s Office. One day, he wakes up in prison and finds himself to be a convict on death row. Suffering from temporary amnesia, Jung Woo has no idea what transpired to land him in prison. He struggles to recover his memory and clear his name in which the only person willing to help him is Seo Eun Hye (Yuri), a defense lawyer who strives to be eloquent and rational in court, but loses all the time.

Defendant will make its debut on Monday, January 23, at 10 p.m. on SBS. Afterwards, following episodes will air on Mondays and Tuesdays at 10 p.m. KST. At this moment, there is no news of any video-on-demand streaming sites that will air this K-drama, but it looks like OnDemandKorea might have it in the future.

[Featured Image by Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC)]