A new year means new movies, dramas and most importantly, new One Time Pairs (OTP). Resolutions? Those can wait.
The entire world has turned their attention towards Korean drama in 2020, thanks to the lockdown, and Netflix gave the audience access to plenty of these dramas. That being said, 2021 has started off on a good note and is slowly gathering momentum.
Dramas like True Beauty, Run On, The Uncanny Encounter, and A Love So Beautiful are still running but a lot of new interesting dramas are in the pipeline. From BLACKPINK’s Ji-soo, NCT’s Jaehyun and many other Kpop idols making their drama debut to interesting plotlines, the lineup of dramas are sure to keep all of us busy this year.
Let’s take a look at some of the dramas that are releasing in the first half of 2021, mostly under the romance genre.
Be A Meal / A Good Supper
Main Cast: Jung Woo-Yeon, Jae Hee, Kwon Hyuk, Kang Da Hyun Premiere Date: 11th January 2021 No. of Episodes: 100; Weekdays; 30 minutes/episode; Streaming on/Network: MBC
Be A Meal is a drama that tells us the story of Young Shin, who is in her twenties and has a gift for cooking traditional Korean royal delicacies. She meets different people who will be a major influence in her life, including Kyung Soo, who takes interest in her.
This weekday drama is based on the novel ‘Fantastic Girl’ by Kim Hye-jung.
She Would Never Know / Sunbae, Don’t Put On That Lipstick
Main Cast: Won Jin-Ah, Ro Woon, Lee Joo-bin, Lee Hyun-wook Premiere Date: 18th January 2021 No. of Episodes: 16; Mondays & Tuesdays; 60 minutes/episode Streaming on/Network: JTBC, iQiyi
Sunbae, Don’t Put On That Lipstick (I prefer this title to She Would Never Know) revolves around Yoon Song Ah (played by Won Jin-Ah) who is a career-focused marketer for a cosmetic brand. She loves her job and her goal is to start her own cosmetic brand.
Chae Hyun Seung (played by Rowoon from SF9), is a marketer who works with Yoon Song Ah. He shows interest in pursuing a romantic relationship with her. However, she declines his advances especially since he is younger than her.
This drama is based on the web novel ‘Sunbae, Don’t Put On The Lipstick’ by Elise.
Sunbae, Don’t Put On That Lipstick is Rowoon’s second mainstream drama as a lead. His first drama Extraordinary You was a blockbuster and expectations for this drama is high. Won Jin-Ah will be seen in a mainstream drama after her hit drama Melting Me Softly with Ji Chang-wook, which was released in 2019.
To My Star
Main Cast: Son Woo-hyun, Kim Kang Min Premiere Date: 22nd January 2021 No. of Episodes: 9; Fridays Streaming on/Network: Viki, WeTV
To My Star is a drama that shows us the love story of Kang Seo Joon, who is an actor by profession and chef Han Ji Woo. The teaser of this drama is adorable in terms of visuals yet the intriguing dialogues piqued my curiosity.
Marriage Lyrics and Divorce Music
Main Cast: Sung Hoon, Lee Ga-ryeong, Jeon Soo-kyung, Park Joo-mi, Lee Tae-gon, Jeon No-min Premiere Date: 23rd January 2021 No. of Episodes: 16; Saturdays &# Sundays; 60 minutes/episode Streaming on/Network: TV Chosun, Netflix
Marriage Lyrics and Divorce Music portrays the chaotic lives of three women in their 30s, 40s and 50s who work in a radio station, and relationships with their respective partners.
Lee Si-eun (played by Jeon Soo-kyung), is the radio show’s main writer and the eldest of the three ladies. She works tirelessly to support her husband’s career and take care of her family. Saa Pi-young (played by Park Joo-mi), who is in her 40s, is a producing director for the radio show and she leads a perfectly content life with her husband and children. Bu Hye-ryung (played by Lee Ga-ryeong), the youngest, is a radio DJ who is married to Pan Sa Hyun (played by Sung Hoon), who is a lawyer. This couple, who have been married for three years, and choose not to have children.
Will You Leave? / Are You Leaving?
Main Cast: Chani, Park Jung-yeon, Lee Seung Hyub Premiere Date: January 2021 No. of Episodes: TBA Streaming on/Network: Seezn
Will You Leave? is a musical drama that takes us through the lives of youngsters in their twenties. This fantasy drama focuses on the love life and dreams of young musicians. Park Yeon (played by SF9’s Chani) is a musical genius, and Lee Won (played by N. Flying’s Lee Seung Hyub) is a popular idol in the present and a musician in the past. Park Jung-yeon, an upcoming actress, will play the role of Min Yoo Jung who is a busker in the contemporary time.
Love Scene Number
Main Cast: Kim Bo-ra, Shim Eun-woo, Ryu Hwa-young, Park Jin-hee, Han Joon-woo, Kim Seung-soo Premiere Date: 1st February 2021 No. of Episodes: 8 Streaming on/Network: WAAVE, MBC
Love Scene Number tells us stories of four women in their 20s, 30s and 40s. Each story will be covered in two episodes each. The drama deals with topics like polyamory and psychological affair. All eight episodes are expected to release in a single installment.
River Where the Moon Rises
Main Cast: Kim So Hyun, Kim Ji Soo, Lee Ji Hoon, Choi Yoo Hwa; Kang Ha Neul (Guest Role) Premiere Date: February 2021 No. of Episodes: 20 Streaming on/Network: KBS2
River Where the Moon Rises is based on a Korean folklore. The drama tells us the story of Pyeonggang (played by Kim So Hyun), who runs towards the goal of being the first female to lead the collapsed Goguryeo and Ondal (played by Ji Soo), a kindhearted simpleton. Kang Ha Neul plays the role of On Hyup, who serves as a general for Goguryeo and 3the chief of the Sunnobu tribe. He is also Ondal’s father.
Hello? It’s Me!
Main Cast: Choi Kang Hee, Kim Young Kwang, Eum Moon Suk, Lee Re Premiere Date: 3rd February 2021 No. of Episodes: 32; Wednesdays & Thursdays; 35 minutes/episode Streaming on/Network: KBS2
The story is about Ban Ha Ni, a 37-year-old single woman, who holds a temporary position at work. She lacks courage and is always nervous that she may get fired from her job. One day, she comes across her 17-year-old self from the past. Her younger self is completely opposite to who she is at present.
Main Cast: Choi Yeo-jin, Lee So-yeon, Kyung Sung-hwan, Oh Mi-hee, Lee Bo Hyun Premiere Date: 8th February 2021 No. of Episodes: 100; Weekdays; 30 minutes/episode Streaming on/Network: KBS2
Doesn’t the name of this drama ring a bell? If you’ve read the novel, ‘Count of Monte Cristo’, you’d know what I’m talking about. The plot of Miss Montecristo takes inspiration from this novel written by French author Alexandre Dumas.
The drama will show the audience the story of a woman who seeks revenge on those who destroy her life. She decides to regain the life that was taken away from her by those she trusted the most.
Main Cast: Park Hye-su, Jaehyun, Roh Jeong-eui, Bae Hyun-sung Premiere Date: 26th February 2021 No. of Episodes: 12; Fridays; 60 minutes/episode Streaming on/Network: KBS2, Viki
If you’ve watched all the seasons of Love Playlist, you’ll be happy to hear that the spin-off of the series is coming soon.
Dear. M will take us through the campus life and growing romances of various characters, and the search for the mysterious ‘M’, an individual who is mentioned in an anonymous post on the university’s online community.
The young cast features familiar faces – from Jaehyun of NCT, who plays Cha Min-ho, Park Hye-su who has played the lead in Introverted Boss and starred in Hello, My Twenties!, Roh Jeong-eui who played a significant role in hit drama 18 Again, and Bae Hyun‑sung, who has appeared in the original Love Playlist web series.
Main Cast: Jeong Ji-so, Jun, Park Ji-yeon, Jongho, Yunho, Seong Hwa, San, Suwoong, Chani, Hwiyoung, Yuri, Ahn Jung Hoon Premiere Date: February 2021 No. of Episodes: 24 Streaming on/Network: KBS2
Imitation, is a drama based on a popular webtoon by the same name. The story is about the entertainment industry, particularly the lives of idols. The drama has an extensive Kpop idol cast lineup as well.
Jung Ji-so plays Maha, the center of the girl group Tea Party. Lim Nayoung from I.O.I and singer Minseo will play members of the same girl group. Ji-yeon from T-Ara will also play a significant role in the drama.
SHAX, the popular boy group in the drama will have U-KISS’s Jun, SF9’s Chani and Hwiyoung, ATEEZ’s Jongho, Yuri, Ahn Jung Hoon as its members. Jun plays Ryoc, the center of the group.
The kpop group Sparkling will have ATEEZ’S Yunho, Seong Hwa, and San, and Boys’ Republic’s Suwoong as its members.
Time for the fandoms to unite!
I Just Slept
Main Cast: Lee Yee Joo, Choi Ye Eun Premiere Date: March 2021 No. of Episodes: TBA Streaming on/Network: TBA
I Just Slept is a Girl Love (GL) web drama series that shows us the love story between a college student who works in a cafe and the Director of a publishing company. There’s not much information available as on the date of this post being published.
Main Cast: Lee Min Ki, Nana, Kang Min Hyuk Premiere Date: 3rd March 2021 No. of Episodes: 16; Wednesdays & Thursdays; Approx 75 minutes Streaming on/Network: TBA
Oh! Master is about a drama screenwriter who doesn’t want to date and an actress who is good at romantic comedies but is unable to date. Circumstances lead them to live in the same place and what follows forms the crux of the story.
I’m excited to see Lee Min Ki on the small screen after his 2019 drama The Lies Within. The drama, along with his hit drama Because This Is My First Life is available for streaming on Netflix.
Monthly Magazine Home
Main Cast: Kim Ji-seok, Jung So-min Premiere Date: March 2021 No. of Episodes: 16 Streaming on/Network: JTBC
Monthly Magazine Home tells us the story of two individuals who cross paths thanks to real estate. Yoo Ja Sung (played by Kim Ji-seok) runs a magazine publishing company called ‘Monthly House’ and is the CEO of a real estate investment company. Na Young Won (played by Jung So-min) is an experienced magazine editor and works with Monthly House. Both of them have different views on the concept of a house.The two cross paths when Yoo Ja Sung becomes the owner of the house Na Young Won lives in.
The One Day Destruction Entered the Front Door of My House
Main Cast: Seo In Guk, Park Bo Young Premiere Date: 3rd May 2021 No. of Episodes: 16 Streaming on/Network: tvN
The One Day Destruction Entered the Front Door of My House is about a supernatural character known as Kim Sa Ram aka ‘Ruin’ (played by Seo In Guk), whose existence brings destruction. He makes a contract with a web novel editor Tak Dong Kyung (played by Park Bo Young), who wants to live life to the fullest. There is supposedly a love triangle and it does not include the main leads. Now that’s interesting!
Fly High, Butterfly
Main Cast: Kim Hyang Gi, Choi Daniel, Oh Yoon Ah Premiere Date: May 2021 No. of Episodes: 16 Streaming on/Network: JTBC
The drama depicts the lives of those who work at a salon called ‘Fly High, Butterfly’. Gi-Bbeum (played by Kim Hyang Gi ) is a hardworking intern at the salon but has a difficult time dealing with customers. On the other hand, Gwang-Soo (played by Daniel Choi) is a talented hair stylist at Fly High, Butterfly.
Main Cast: Jung Hae-in, Kim Ji-soo, Yoo In-na, Jang Seung-jo, Yoon Se-ah, Kim Hye-yoon, Jung Yoo-jin Premiere Date: 28th May 2021 No. of Episodes: 20 Streaming on/Network: JTBC
A much anticipated drama, Snowdrop is set in Seoul in 1987. This drama takes us through the love story between Im Soo Ho (played by Jung Hae-in), a student of a reputable university who enters the girls’ dormitory covered in blood and the adorable student Eun Young-cho (played Kim Ji-soo) who takes care of him despite the risks.
Snowdrop is BLACKPINK’s Ji-soo’s first lead role in a drama. Jung Hae-in’s last drama was A Piece of Your Mind, which was released in 2020.
Red Sky/Hong Chun Gi
Main Cast: Kim Yoo-jung, Ahn Hyo-seop, Gong Myung, Kwak Shi Yang Premiere Date: TBA No. of Episodes: 16; 60 minutes Streaming on/Network: SBS
Hong Chun Gi, set in the Joseon period, tells us the love story between Hong Cheon-Ki, the first female painter of Dohwaseo (Korean Royal Academy of Painting – an administrative office for paintings) and Ha Ram, a blind officer in charge of astronomy and meteorology among other things.
Ahn Hyo-seop’s last drama was Dr Romantic 2, which aired in 2020. Kim Yoo-jung, who was last seen in the drama Backstreet Rookie with Ji Chang-wook, plays the role of HOng Cheon-Ki in this drama. I’m looking forward to seeing Gong Myung on screen after his last release Melo is My Nature in 2019.