From the popular romantic comedy What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim, to the critically-acclaimed Journey To The West spinoff A Korean Odyssey, 2018 had its fair share of notable blockbuster dramas. As we welcome a brand new year, it’s time to refresh your watch list with a fresh slew of highly-anticipated series featuring a star-studded ensemble of Hallyu’s brightest stars. Here are our top picks.
Starring: Park Bo Young
What it’s about: Since the success of 2017 hit drama Strong Woman Do Bong Soon, Park Bo Young will be making her return to the small screen in the upcoming tvN production, Abyss. It follows a beautiful female prosecutor and an average-looking man who, after a mysterious incident, alters their luck with appearance to become that of a common-looking woman and a handsome man. While it’s still not certain who will be her fellow costar, we’re hoping that he would create as strong a chemistry as she had with Park Hyun Sik!
Abyss is slated to air in the first half of 2019.
#2 Asadal Chronicles
Starring: Song Joong Ki, Kim Ji Won, Jang Dong Gun
What it’s about: Set in the fictional ancient kingdom of Asadal, the upcoming historical drama chronicles the turbulent romance between two cursed lovers as they navigate power struggles within the capital. Taking on the leading roles are former Descendants of the Sun costars Song Joong Ki and Kim Ji Won, alongside veteran actor Jang Dong Gun. With such a solid premise and star-studded roster of Hallyu names, Asadal Chronicles look set to be one of the top blockbuster dramas in 2019.
Asadal Chronicles is slated to air in the first half of 2019.
Starring: Nam Joo Hyuk, Han Ji Min
What it’s about: Arguably one of the more intriguing plotlines in the 2019 line-up, Dazzling tells the tale of how different people utilise their allotted time in life. Filled with age-swapping and time-bending elements, you will be treated to a seat-gripping mix of comedy and romance between Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo’s Nam Joo Hyuk and Familiar Wife’s Han Ji Min, who both live in the same moment but have different perceptions of their time.
Dazzling is slated to air in the first half of 2019.
#4 Dear Citizens
Starring: Choi Si Won, Lee Yoo Young, Kim Min Jung
What it’s about: Having just recently announced that the Super Junior member has been cast as the male lead, Dear Citizens has now found their female leads in Lee Yoo Young and Kim Min Jung. Dubbed as a comedic criminal drama, it’s centred on swindler Yang Jung Kook, who gets married to a police officer and ends up getting into a series of unplanned incidents which result in him becoming a member of the National Assembly.
Dear Citizens is slated to air in March 2019.
Starring: Ju Ji Hoon, Jin Se Yeon
What it’s about: Adapted from a popular webtoon of the same name, upcoming fantasy drama Item will mark Ju Ji Hoon’s long-awaited return to the silver screen in three years. With the addition of female lead Jin Se Yeon, the action-packed series revolves around the unlikely alliance between a prosecutor and a highly-skilled criminal profiler, as they set out to uncover the secrets of seemingly supernatural objects that possess special powers of protection.
Item is slated to air February 2019.
Starring: Ju Ji Hoon, Ryu Seung Ryong, Bae Doona
What it’s about: With a follow-up installment in the works even before the premiere of season one, Kingdom is gearing up to be an acclaimed series you don’t want to miss. Helmed by a stellar cast of seasoned actors, the epic blockbuster takes you back to the Joseon period where a mysterious plague that threatens the kingdom, turns out to be an unprecedented epidemic of zombies.
Kingdom is slated to air on 25 January 2019.
#7 Love Alarm
Starring: Kim So Hyun, Jung Ga Ram, Song Gang
What it’s about: Literally the stuff of every hopeless romantic’s dream, Love Alarm is exactly what it sounds like – an app that alerts you if there’s a secret admirer within 10 metres of your reach. Sparks started flying around high school student Jojo, who gets tangled in a complicated love triangle with two of her fellow classmates courtesy of the dating-equivalent app.
Love Alarm is slated to air in 2019.
#8 My First First Love
Starring: Ji Soo, Jung Chae Yeon, Jung Jin Young
What it’s about: This coming-of-age story will see Ji Soo, Jung Chae Yeon and Jung Jin Young navigate their adolescent lives in pursuit of aspirations, love and friendship. Despite having never thought that they’d be dealing with the idea of dating in university, the threesome unknowingly gets involved in a love triangle. Seeing as this is yet another drama where Ji Soo has to compete for a girl’s affection, we’re hoping that he finally gets the girl here!
My First First Love is slated to air in 2019.
#9 Romance is a Supplement
Starring: Lee Jong Suk, Lee Na Young
What it’s about: Making her much-anticipated comeback after nine long years, Lee Na Young will join Lee Jong Suk in the romantic comedy Romance is a Supplement, which follows the lives of two 30-something employees in a publishing company. Fans of Lee Jong Suk ought to tune in, as this is likely to be the actor’s last project before he enlists into mandatory military service.
Romance is a Supplement is slated to air in the first half of 2019.
#10 So I Married An Anti-Fan
Starring: Choi Tae Joon, Choi Soo Young, Hwang Chan Sung
What it’s about: Previously adapted from the 2016 Chinese film of the same name starring EXO’s Chanyeol, the bestselling novel So I Married An Anti-Fan is getting a drama remake with leads Choi Tae Joon and Choi Soo Young of SNSD fame. It follows a female magazine reporter who turns into a crazy anti-fan of a male K-idol after he seemingly ruined her life, but through bewildering circumstances, the pair ends up having to live together under the same roof. Despite their efforts to give the other party a hard time, they can’t help but fall for each other…
So I Married An Anti-Fan is slated to air in 2019.
#11 That Psychometric Guy
Starring: Park Jin Young, Shin Ye Eun, Kim Dasom
What it’s about: With the announcement that the GOT7 member was in consideration for the romantic-thriller, it has now been confirmed that Jin Young and fellow JYP labelmate Shin Ye Eun (whom you might recognise from the hit web drama A-TEEN) will be taking on their very first lead roles. That Psychometric Guy revolves around a young man blessed with the strange ability to uncover a person’s secret with a touch, who crosses paths with a mysterious girl who pretends to lead a perfect life.
That Psychometric Guy is slated to air in the first half of 2019.
#12 The Man Who Became King
Starring: Yeo Jin Goo, Lee Se Young
What it’s about: Hwayi’s Yeo Jin Goo and A Korean Odyssey alum Lee Se Young have joined forces to bring the critically acclaimed 2012 film Gwanghae to the small screen. Yeo Jin Goo takes on the challenge of playing both the king and the clown, while Lee Se Young steps into Han Hyo Joo’s shoes as the Queen Consort. What ensues is a Joseon-era love story that transcends class, law and appearances.
The Man Who Became King is slated to air 7 January 2019.
#13 Touch Your Heart
Starring: Lee Dong Wook, Yoo In Na
What it’s about: Reuniting once again as our soon-to-be new OTP in Touch Your Heart, Lee Dong Wook and Yoo In Na will portray a successful lawyer and an actress whose career gets negatively affected following a nation-wide scandal. In hopes of clearing her name, she uses a pseudonym and gets hired as the cold-hearted lawyer’s secretary. After their previous heart-wrenching romance in Goblin, we sure hope that our favourite on-screen couple will get their well-deserved happy ending!
Touch Your Heart is slated to air in January 2019.
Starring: Lee Seung Gi, Bae Suzy, Shin Sung Rok
What it’s about: Rounding up our list is the spy, political thriller Vagabond with Lee Seung Gi and Suzy. In their first collaboration since Gu Family Book, Lee Seung Gi plays a stuntman who unexpectedly gets involved in a national incident that has him determined to uncover the country’s deep-rooted corruption. This gets him directly involved with Suzy, who is a national intelligence spy on a covert operation. Partially filmed in Morocco and Portugal with action-packed sequences and adrenaline-pumping stunts performed by both leads, Vagabond promises a nail-biting plot that is going to have us all on the edge of our seats!
Vagabond is slated to air in 2019.
Which upcoming K-drama are you planning to catch? Tell us in the comments below!