The first half of 2020 witnessed the premieres of some of the most anticipated series of the year, such as Lee Min-ho and Kim Go-eun’s The King: Eternal Monarch, Park Seo-joon and Kim Da-mi’s Itaewon Class, and the second season of the Netflix original series Kingdom. The second half brings in another batch of dramas, a few of which have already gotten fans stirred with excitement due to their sought-after actors and interesting storylines. Read on to know the 10 biggest Korean dramas we should look forward to in the second half of 2020, with the majority coming from tvN and Netflix.
10. LUCA (tvN)
Based on Charles Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species,” tvN’s newest drama LUCA will tell the story of Ji Oh (Kim Rae-won), whose unknown identity and extraordinary power make him a constant target of mysterious enemies. He meets a passionate and dedicated criminal detective (Lee Da-hee, Search: WWW), who is searching for the truth behind her parents’ sudden disappearance when she was a child.
This will be Kim Rae-won’s comeback drama in two years, following his last appearance in Black Knight: The Man Who Guards Me (2017–2018) as the main character. Drama fans are excited for the premiere as the lead stars are already sparking up anticipations online.
9. Tale of the Nine Tailed (tvN)
Tale of the Nine Tailed is a fantasy series that centers on a gumiho (a Korean mythical nine-tailed fox) who transforms into a human and becomes some sort of a public official who cleans up the mess of those who disturb the peace of the world.
When a TV production director, whose show features urban myths, sets her eyes on the said gumiho, things get slowly out of hand. To make matters worse, the gumiho‘s half-brother, who is half- human, half-gumiho, enters the picture. He hates humans and tricks them by granting their wishes, only to make them pay a terrible price afterwards.
The series stars Lee Dong-wook (Strangers From Hell), Kim Bum (Mrs. Cop 2), and Jo Bo-ah (Forest). It’s also Kim Bum’s comeback in TV projects in four years, following his last role in Mrs. Cop 2 (2016), where he played a villain for the first time in his career. He was discharged from his mandatory military service last March.
8. Alice (SBS)
Starring Joo Won (My Sassy Girl) and Kim Hee-sun (Room No. 9), Alice follows an emotionless detective who discovers the existence of time travelers in one of his mysterious cases. People are able to travel from the future through a space called “Alice.” While trying to prevent anything disastrous from happening, he meets someone who died in the past—a genius physicist who has the key to time travel.
With this kind of premise, Alice is surely one of the biggest Korean dramas to look forward to in the second half of 2020. The science fiction and romance series is Joo Won’s comeback drama after being discharged from his mandatory military duties in February 2019. It will premiere on August 28, 2020.
7. The School Nurse Files (Netflix)
Back in 2018, streaming giant Netflix announced its plan to make a six-part adaptation of Chung Se-rang’s award-winning novel School Nurse Ahn Eun-young (2015). The School Nurse Files is a fantasy romance series that follows the story of a school nurse (Jung Yu-mi, Live), who has the supernatural ability to exorcise ghosts, and a Korean literature teacher with unique energy (Nam Joo-hyuk, The Light in Your Eyes), who becomes her partner in exorcism after mysterious things start happening in their school. The series is penned by the source material’s author.
6. Sweet Home (Netflix)
Starring Lee Jin-wook (Voice 3), Song Kang (When the Devil Calls Your Name), Lee Si-young (Liver or Die), and Lee Do-hyun (Hotel del Luna), Sweet Home is a webtoon-based drama that follows a high school student in his new apartment who goes through terrifying events as monsters appear and threaten to wipe away humanity.
The series is directed by Lee Eung-bok, who is behind the award-winning dramas Mr. Sunshine, Guardian: The Lonely and Great God, and Descendants of the Sun. The production was reported to have finished filming back in March, so it may be only a matter of time before we see it on the small screen. With an impressive cast and an established director, Sweet Home is definitely one of the biggest Korean dramas to look forward to in the second half of 2020.
5. Love Alarm 2 (Netflix)
Love Alarm is based on a webtoon about a mobile application that can detect if someone within a given radius has feelings for the user. The second season of the Netflix hit romance drama gathers the original cast once more to continue where it left off in the first season. The main cast was reported to have gathered last February for their first script reading session.
To date, this is the third Netflix original series to have another season, following Kingdom and My First First Love. Kim So-hyun (The Tale of Nokdu) will be back as an ordinary high school girl entangled in an unexpected love triangle between her two schoolmates, played by Song Kang (When the Devil Calls Your Name) and Jung Ga-ram (Mistress, When the Camellia Blooms). Netflix will release the sequel in August 2020.
4. Flower of Evil (tvN)
Lee Joon-gi is back after two years with the new tvN thriller series, Flower of Evil. His character is a lovable husband and caring father. But behind his gentle appearance is a dark mystery. To make matters complicated, his wife is the detective in charge of finding a serial killer. What she does not know, however, is that the criminal she’s been looking for may be the one who has been beside her all this time.
The series reunites Moon Chae-won and Lee Joon-gi, who previously starred in the 2017 thriller Criminal Minds, which also aired on tvN. This series marks both their comeback lead roles in TV projects after Lee Joon-gi’s Lawless Lawyer and Moon Chae-won’s Mama Fairy and the Woodcutter in 2018. It will premiere on July 29, 2020.
3. Record of Youth (tvN)
Record of Youth follows the stories of young professionals in the entertainment industry. It stars Park Bo-gum (Encounter), who will play an ambitious and idealistic man who aspires to be a model-actor, Park So-dam (Cinderella and the Four Knights), whose character is an aspiring makeup artist, and Byun Woo-seok (Flower Crew: Joseon Marriage Agency), who will play the privileged but very competitive young man who wants to prove himself through his own hard work.
As early as now, fans are already excited to witness the chemistry between the three leads who will form the love triangle in the series. This will also be Park So-dam’s first TV series in four years, following her appearance in Cinderella and the Four Knights in 2016.
2. Startup (tvN)
Bae Suzy (Vagabond) and Nam Joo-hyuk‘s (The Light in Your Eyes) most anticipated pair-up in tvN’s new series Startup has been making fans excited for the premiere. The series follows a young woman who drops out of college to open up her own business. She aims to become one of the best entrepreneurs, just like Steve Jobs. Meanwhile, a young man, the founder of Samsan Tech, finds that his company is not doing well. Somehow, fate brings them together to cheer for and help each other in their journey of putting up their own business.
This Korean drama reunites writer Park Hye-ryun and director Oh Choong-hwan with Bae Suzy, as the three have already worked together previously in the 2017 legal fantasy series While You Were Sleeping.
1. Stranger 2 (tvN)
Winning the Grand Prize (Daesang) at the 54th Baeksang Arts Awards, the first season of Stranger proved to be a hit and critically acclaimed series, which is why its sequel, Stranger 2, is no. 1 on this list of the biggest Korean dramas to look forward to in the second half of 2020.
The crime thriller follows an anti-social and apathetic prosecutor and a determined, headstrong police lieutenant as they investigate a mysterious murder case that leads them to a bigger web of corruption schemes. Starring Cho Seung-woo (Life) and Bae Doo-na (Kingdom 2), Stranger was listed by The New York Times as one of the Best International TV Shows of 2017. The second season, which will premiere on August 15, also stars Cho and Bae and introduces a new case and conflict between the police and the prosecutors.