We’re starting a new blog feature: lists of upcoming premieres where you can easily check what’s coming each month. We’re still doing What’s Up in Dramaland, don’t worry! Think of this as a supplementary reference in advance of our many opinions in the podcast. (Clicking the title of the drama will take you to its DramaWiki page.)
July is full of premieres – we counted 15 confirmed dramas, and as usual we aren’t including weekend or daily shows.
Jul 1, tvN, 16 eps, M/T
Stars Ji Jin-hee, Lee Joon-hyuk, Heo Jun-ho, Kang Hanna, and Bae Jong-ok.
After the nation’s entire leadership is killed in a terrorist attack, the Minister of Environment is tasked with leading the country through the crisis for 60 days.
- Remake of hit ABC/Netflix show where a low-level Cabinet member becomes President of the United States after a catastrophic attack kills everyone above him in the line of succession.
- Solid cast, but director seems…middling (his last primetime drama credit is Mirae’s Choice AKA Marry Him If You Dare in 2013).
Jul 5, Channel A, eps TBC
Stars Park Ha-sun, Lee Sang-yeob, Ye Ji-won.
Son Ji-eun (Park Ha-sun) moves to a small city due to her husband’s new job as a civil servant. She works part-time at a mart. Son Ji-eun is quiet and sincere. Her life in the small city becomes boring. Son Ji-eun’s life is shaken by Yoon Jung-woo (Lee Sang-yeob), a biology teacher at a local school. – MyDramaList
- Remake of hit 2014 Japanese drama, Hirugao
Jul 6, OCN, eps TBC, S/S
Stars Han Suk-kyu, Kim Hyun-joo, Seo Kang-joon.
The lives of Do Chi-gwang (Han Suk-kyu), Kim Young-koon (Seo Kang-koon) and Han Tae-joo (Kim Hyun-joo) were destroyed by a tragic affair. They became members of an internal affairs investigation team for the police and they try to dig up the truth on who is behind the tragic affair.
Han Seok-kyu is an elite detective who is thoughtful and smart and good at his job. But he realizes the importance of work done by the police on corruption, and then becomes the chief of the internal affairs investigation team. He’s joined by Seo Kang-joon, a prickly police officer who’s warm on the inside, and Kim Hyun-joo, an ex-prosecutor-turned-lawyer. They’re connected by a tragic case which they try to solve.
- Han Seok-kyu’s return to TV since last outing, Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim in 2016
- Director Ahn Gil-ho of Forest of Secrets and Memories of the Alhambra
- Screenwriter’s previous projects: The Good Wife (good) and Spy (bad)…also is a man, which is unusual
Jul 10, Dramax/MBN, 12 eps, W/T
Stars Sung Hoon and Han Bo-reum.
An Dan-te (Sung Hoon) is a director at Yoosung CRC, which specializes in restructuring companies. He does not express his feelings and he is a perfectionist at work. He seems cold-blooded. To save the game company Joybuster from bankruptcy, An Dan-te is sent there and begins to work as their new CEO. Meanwhile Shin Yeon-hwa (Han Bo-reum) is head of game development at Joybuster. She works on a new game which can satisfy CEO An Dan-te, but they come into conflict on pretty much everything.
Jul 13, tvN, probably 16eps, S/S
Stars Yeo Jin-goo and IU.
Located in the middle of Seoul, the Hotel Del Luna appears to the world an old dilapidated building. However, it holds a glamorous interior, one that the living can’t enjoy because the hotel only caters to ghosts. The beautiful, but ill-tempered CEO, Jang Man-wol (IU), is cursed to manage the hotel because of a terrible sin she committed many centuries ago, but cannot remember.
- Hong Sisters (Hong Jung-eun, Hong Mi-ran). Original concept for the story came up when creating Master’s Sun (you can tell – remember Gong Hyo-jin’s haunted house purchase?).
- Same director as While You Were Sleeping, so it’ll be pretty at least!
Jul 17, KBS2, 32 x 30min eps. W/T
Stars Choi Jin-hyuk and Son Hyun-joo.
Lee Tae-kyung (Choi) is a star lawyer who specializes in getting off high-power elite clientele with minimal punishment. Song Woo-yong (Son) owns a construction company and has grown it by funneling criminal cases involving wealthy people to Lee Tae-kyung.
Lee Tae-Kyung first became a lawyer to get revenge for his younger sister, but he has since become focused on money. He changes when he deals with a series of cases involving missing actresses. Meanwhile Song Woo-yong desires even more power. He comes into conflict with Lee Tae-kyung over the cases involving missing actresses.
- Based on the 2017 webtoon Justice
- Screenwriter also wrote School 2017 and Sassy Go Go (and spent about a decade writing for current affairs programs before that)
Jul 17, OCN, 16 eps, W/T
Stars Yoon Kyun-sang and Geum Sae-rok.
Ki Moo-hyuk (Yoon) is a lawyer with a high winning rate. He only cares about money. Due to a murder case at a high school which he deals with, his reputation as a lawyer hits rock bottom. In order to regain his good name as a lawyer, he sneaks into the high school and begins to work as a temporary teacher. He tries to reveal a secret which the students have. In so doing, Ki Moo-hyuk gets involved with Teacher Ha So-hyun (Geum Sae-rok). She is a P.E. teacher who loves her students. Ki Moo-hyuk and Ha So-hyun then face the students’ secret.
Jul 17, SBS, 32 x 30 min eps, W/T
Stars Park Jin-hee and Bong Tae-gyu.
Do Joong-Eun (Park) works as an industrial health doctor. She partners with Doctor Heo Min-ki (Bong) to uncover the truth related to industrial accidents, diseases and other incidents that take place at industrial sites. Do Joong-eun seeks out the truth which the TL Group wants to cover up.
Jul 17, MBC, eps TBC, W/T
Stars Shin Se-kyung, Cha Eun-woo, Park Ki-woong.
Set in the early 19th century. Goo Hae-ryung (Shin) works as a historian. Female historians like Goo Hae-ryung are generally looked down upon because of their gender. Yet, Goo Hae-ryung fulfills her duty as a historian. She gets involved with Prince Lee Rim (Cha).
Notes: The main director’s last project was Solomon’s Perjury
Jul 19, SBS, 32 x 30 min eps, F/S
Stars Ji Sung, Lee Se-young.
Cha Yo-han (Ji) is a doctor of anesthesiology. He is arrogant, but he is a genius at his work. Kang Shi-young (Lee) is a resident of anesthesiology who works with Cha Yo-han. She is smart, warm and listens carefully to her patients. People, with mysterious acute or chronic pain come to the hospital. There, Cha Yo-han and Kang Shi-young try to find the causes of their pain.
- Writer’s previous credit…Hyde, Jekyll and Me. Hmm.
Jul 22, JTBC, 16 eps, M/T
Stars Ong Seung-woo, Kim Hyang-gi, Shin Seung-ho.
18-year-old Choi Joon-woo (Ong) has gotten used to being lonely. He is not good at expressing his emotions, but he has a cute side. He transfers to a new school where he meets Yoo Soo-bin (Kim). She is a top student, but her life is controlled by her mother. Yoo Soo-bin dreams of becoming independent. After meeting Choi Joon-woo, she experiences small changes in her life. Meanwhile, Ma Whi-young (Shin) is a student who seems perfect and gentle, but he suffers from a complex. He acts like a strong person, but he is really a timid 18-year-old boy. After Choi Joon-woo transfers to his school, his life begins to change.
- Writer’s last drama was Girls’ Generation 1979. Oooh!
July 26, JTBC, eps TBC
Stars Chun Woo-hee, Jeon Yeo-bin, Han Ji-eun.
Im Jin-joo (Chun), Lee Eun-jung (Jeon) and Hwang Han-joo (Han) are best friends and they are all 30-years-old. Im Jin-joo is a drama series writer. She has emotional ups and downs. Her personality is a bit unique. Even though she is a drama series writer, she tries to write her scripts with a literary style. She also makes conversation with a luxurious bag in a shop window.
Lee Eun-jung is a documentary director. She has enjoyed documentaries since she was a child. She runs her own production company and she is the only staff member in the company. One of her documentaries becomes an unexpected hit.
Hwang Han-joo is head of a marketing team for a drama series production company. She is a single mother, and struggles to balance her work and raising a kid. – AsianWiki
Jul 29, KBS2, 32 30-min eps, M/T
Stars Kim Se-jong, Yeon Woo-jin, Song Jae-rim.
A murder takes place. Hong Yi-young (Kim), who is a timpanist, does not remember what happened on the day of the murder. She is simple-minded and suffers from insomnia. Hong Yi-young looks for a job. She happens to meet Jang Yoon (Yeon). He is bad at singing, but is a pianist in an orchestra. To help with Hong Yi-young’s insomnia, Jang Yoon calls her every night. They try to find the truth about the murder.
Meanwhile, Nam Joo-wan (Song) is an orchestra conductor. He has charisma and showmanship. Ha Eun-joo (T-Ara’s Park Ji-Yeon) is a violinist in the orchestra. She is arrogant. – AsianWiki
Jul 29, MBC, 32 eps, M/T
Stars Rain, Im Ji-yeon.
Lee Jae-sang (Rain) is a lawyer at JK Law Firm, which is one of the biggest law firms in South Korea. He is an excellent lawyer, but he only cares about winning for his benefit. One day, he has a mysterious car accident and he is drawn into a parallel world. There, Lee Jae-sang finds himself working as a prosecutor. He is strict in carrying out the law. He is married to Ra Shi-on (Im), who loves Lee Jae-sang and is faithful to him. In the world where Lee Jae-sang came from, he broke up with Ra Shi-on ten years earlier and she works as a detective. Lee Jae-sang struggles to cope with his different selves. – AsianWiki
- From the writer of Beating Again/Falling for Innocence (only other credit this writer has)
- Alternate title: You Only Live Twice
Jul 31, tvN, eps TBC, W/T
Stars Jung Kyung-ho, Park Sung-woong.
Ha Rip (Jung) is a popular songwriter and he has written many hit songs. He possesses wealth, prestige and he also holds a secret. His secret is that he is able to write hit songs because he sold his soul to the devil. The devil is top actor Mo Tae-kang (Park). Ha Rip’s contract with the devil is soon to be completed, but he learns that his success and fame is the result of taking Lee Kyung’s (Lee Seol) talent and life. Ha Rip struggles to restore his life, Lee Kyung and those around him. In the process, Ha Rip recognizes the essence of life. – AsianWiki
- Inspired by 18th c. German play Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe