As we usher in the new year, what Korean dramas are there to look forward to?

I remember fantasizing about burying myself in Korean dramas after my exams when I was enduring the pre-exam period. After all that is behind me, I found that there’s actually a lack of entertaining new shows to watch! It was so tragic I began to rewatch some past gems.

May 2010 be a better year for Kdrama fans! I’ve compiled a list of Kdramas that premiere in January, hope you like what I’ve done and find it helpful in making your drama selection for the near future! And HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! 🙂

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Ready, get set.. Go!

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Monday-Tuesday dramas – premiering on January 4

(MBC) 파스타 / Pasta (Episodes: TBA)

Pasta features Gong Hyo Jin, Lee Seon Kyun, Honey Lee, and Alex with their characters working at an Italian restaurant. Seo Yoo Kyung (Gong Hyo Jin) is a woman who dreams of becoming a first-class chef. The story unfolds when she starts work at the said restaurant as an assistant under the prickly head chef Choi Hyun Wook (Lee Seon Kyun). Choi harbors a painful past that makes him despise women chefs – which leads him to clash with Seo repeatedly.

My take: Quite like the posters and promo stills released, might check it out!

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(KBS) 공부의 신 / God of Study (scheduled for 16 episodes)

(Seated from left to right in the poster above: Lee Chan Ho, Park Ji Yeon, Yoo Seung Ho, Go Ah Sung, and Lee Hyun Woo)

As the Kdrama adaptation of  the Japanese series Dragon Zakura, the story kicks off when a teacher begins a pre-university course with five underperforming students at a high school that is in last place in the academic rankings. Yoo Seung Ho plays the leader – a stubborn and rebellious troublemaker – of the group.  Lee Chan Ho, Park Ji Yeon, Go Ah Sung, and Lee Hyun Woo are cast as the 4 remaining students, while Kim Su Ro and Bae Doo Na play their teachers.

My take: It’s hoping to recreate Boys Before Flowers’s youth appeal… by casting youths our my age? Noooo I need hunks like Lee Min Ho, NOT see my own school life played out onscreen!

                      

(SBS) 제중원 / Jejoongwon (scheduled for 36 episodes)

This medical period drama centers around the characters who come to the titular medical school (first modern hospital in Korea) at a time when modern medicine had just being introduced in Korea. Among them is Hwang Jung (Park Yong Woo), who starts out as a butcher but later rises to become a doctor of modern medicine. Yeon Jung Hoon is Baek Do Yang, a nobleman who dreams of being the country’s top doctor, while Yoo Seok Ran (Han Hye Jin) enters Jejoongwon as an interpreter but takes on medical training to become a doctor.

My Take: Jejoongwon definitely has trustworthy credentials and looks set to be a quality drama; it’s written by White Tower’s Lee Ki Won and the actors are reliable veterans. But it’s not for me; I don’t like the seriousness and none of the characters (or actors) appeal to me.

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(SBS) 별을 따다 줘 / Pick the Stars (scheduled for 20 episodes)

SBS’s other Monday-Tuesday drama draws a love story between two co-workers at an insurance company, with Kim Ji Hoon playing the company’s whip-smart lawyer. Because he carries the hurt of having been abandoned by his birth mother, he doesn’t easily open his heart to others. The female lead is a 25-year-old employee of the company played by Choi Jung Won who becomes responsible for her five younger adopted siblings (one of whom is played by child actor Park Ji Bin) after her parents meet with sudden deaths. Also appearing in the drama are Lee Soon Jae, Shin Dong Wook, Lee Kyun, Chae Young In, and Jung Ae Ri.

My take: I’ll watch this!

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Wednesday-Thursday dramas 

(MBC) 아직도 결혼하고 싶은 여자 / The Woman Who Still Wants To Marry (Episodes: TBA) – premieres on January 20

As a sequel to its 2004 drama The Woman Who Wants To Marry, the comic and upbeat story centers around three 30+ women who are getting fresh starts in their love lives. Eom Ji Won plays a skilled interpreter, while Park Jin Hee takes the role of a woman who begins a new romance with a younger man (Kim Bum). Wang Bit Na rounds out the trio as a health-conscious restaurant consultant who decides to start anew when she breaks off an engagement.

My take: Will catch this show out of curiosity, and Kim Bum and Park Jin Hee seem such an unlikely couple I got to see for myself how it works out (or doesn’t).

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(KBS) 추노 / Chuno (scheduled for 24 episodes) – premieres on January 6

This upcoming fusion sageuk follows the story of Lee Dae Gil (Jang Hyuk), a man of noble birth whose family was ruined when Song Tae Ha (Oh Ji Ho), who became a slave after being falsely accused of a crime he did not commit, burns down his house and escapes. Driven by his desire for revenge, Dae Gil survives his harsh years on the streets and makes his name as a slave hunter, dedicated in his pursuit of Tae Ha. Both men become entangled in a love triangle with Un Nyun (Lee Da Hae), a young woman who was born a slave but was raised in a noble family. She is initially in love with Dae Gil, but as the drama unfolds, she becomes more and more conflicted between him and Tae Ha. Lee Jong Hyuk, Gong Hyung Jin, Kim Ji Suk, Han Jung Soo rounds up the rest of the cast.  

My take: Unlike everyone else on the kdrama planet, I’m actually not particularly excited about this one (even though it casts Jang Hyuk!) I’ll give it a shot since it has been so hyped up. I think I might actually enjoy it since I don’t have such high hopes on it. At least it can’t disappoint.

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Saturday-Sunday drama – premieres on January 2

(KBS) 명가 / The Reputable Family (scheduled for 50+ episodes)

The story deals with a noble family that believes in its obligation and social responsibility in exercising generosity towards the poor and unfortunate. Cha In Pyo, Han Go Eun and Kim Sung Min star.

My take: Not something I’d watch.. sounds boring and preachy; I’ve went through those in Moral Ed lessons.

 

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