K-drama Premieres: January 2020

New decade, new dramas. Isn’t it crazy that it’s already 2020? Still, the passage of time means the arrival of new dramas, and here’s to hoping for a year well-spent. Remember: if you’re not feeling it, it’s okay to drop it! (Or maybe I’m the only one who needs that reminder, haha.)

It’s a quiet month for premieres, but I know I’ve been looking forward to the first one for a good three years!

 

Romantic Doctor, Teacher Kim 2

Jan 6, 16 episodes, SBS

Stars Han Seok-kyu, Ahn Hyo-seop, Lee Sung-kyung

Teacher Kim (Han Seok-Kyu) is a weird doctor who does not want to socialize with others. He runs the shabby Doldam hospital. Lee Sung-Kyung is a 2nd year surgery fellow. Smart and confident, she has never experienced discouragement or failure. Ahn Hyo-Seop is a highly skilled 2nd year surgery fellow with with a cynical personality. Because he went through a tough life, he does not believe in happiness. The two young doctors meet the unusual doctor Teacher Kim. They grow as humans and doctors with their experience with Teacher Kim.
adapted from AsianWiki

Notes:

    • Season 2 comes after highly successful first season starring Han Seok-kyu, Yoo Yeon-seok, and Seo Hyun-jin in 2016.
    • Screenwriter’s last project was Where Stars Land, which…eek? Not sure I like her interpretation of medical conditions and prognoses, given how poorly that show dealt with it, so that’s a concern.
    • Director Yoo In-shik’s last project was Vagabond, which had spectacular production value, but its storytelling was inconsistent at best.
    • Please let this be good, because I really loved the first season.

     
    Money Game

    Jan 15, 16 episodes, tvN

    Stars Go Soo, Lee Sung-min, Shim Eun-kyung

    A national bank is on the verge of bankruptcy, leaving the country in fear of another financial crisis. This drama tells of how the people of the Financial Services Commission (FSC) struggle to prevent catastrophe.

    Chae Yi-Hun (Go Soo) is a chief in the Economic Policy Bureau at the FSC. He does his best as an economic bureaucrat while hiding the secret that his father is the country’s top economist.

    Heo Jae (Lee Sung-Min) is the FSC’s chairman and an ambitious man. He experienced the Korean Financial Crisis in 1997, when he became disillusioned with the powerless Korean financial infrastructure. His objective is to improve it at any cost.

    Lee Hye-Joon (Shim Eun-Kyung) begins work at the International Finance Bureau of Ministry of Economy and Finance. During the 1997 Crisis, she was only an infant and her family struggled through that time. She dreams of owning a building.
    adapted from AsianWiki

    Notes:

    • To be honest, it doesn’t sound that interesting, but tvN doesn’t generally go for obviously dud dramas, so I’m hoping it’ll be more interesting than it sounds.

     

    The Game: Towards Zero

    Jan 22, 32 episodes, MBC

    Stars Ok Taecyeon, Lee Yeon-hee, Im Joo-hwan

    When Kim Tae Pyung (Ok Taecyeon) looks into a person’s eyes, he can see the moment right before they die. Tae-pyung is smart, rich and handsome. Despite his special ability, he is a bright person. When a mysterious serial killer case draws his attention, he partners with Detective Seo Joon-Young (Lee Yeon-hee) to solve the string of murders.
    adapted from D-addicts, AsianWiki

     

    Itaewon Class

    Jan 31, 16 episodes, JTBC

    Stars Park Seo-joon, Kim Da-mi

    On the first day at his new school Park Sae-roy hits the class bully, whose father just happens to own the restaurant his own father works. The bully’s father demands an apology, which Sae-roy’s father refuses, resulting in him losing his job and Sae-roy getting expelled.

    Tragically, his father is killed in an accident by the bully, and Sae-roy ends up in prison after attacking him. After he comes out, he decides to follow in his father’s footsteps an open a restaurant in Itaewon, where he meets and forms relationships with Jo Yi-seo, a famous blogger and social media star, and Jang Geun-soo, the bully’s younger step-brother. Together, they learn about growing up and becoming adults.
    adapted from D-addicts, AsianWiki

    Notes:

    • Based on webcomic of the same name, and author Jo Gwang-jin also wrote the screenplay.
    • First drama to be produced by film company Showbox, behind films such as 200 Pound Beauty, My Paparotti, The Face Reader and others.

     

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