May is upon us, and with it, the wacky spring rom-coms, more crime shows because let’s be honest those are evergreen, and food dramas galore because of course they would all premiere in Ramadan.
Whether you’re fasting, feasting, or snacking your way through quarantine, let us know which of these shows you’re most looking forward to, and why!
1 | Soul Mechanic / 영혼수선공
May 6, Wed-Thu, 32 eps, KBS2
Romance, drama, medical
Shin Ha-kyun, Jung So-min
How do you deal with anger? Where does happiness actually come from? These questions are at the heart of this touching drama about a quirky psychiatrist on a mission to help people heal, and a rising star whose emotional wounds run deep. Lee Si-joon is an eccentric but passionate psychiatrist working in a hospital. He cares deeply for his patients, whom he tries to help through valiant, yet often unorthodox efforts. Han Woo-joo is an up and coming musical actress. Honest and principled, her efforts on the stage seem to be paying off, but she struggles with anger issues and recurring mental breakdowns that threaten to derail her career. With compassion as his tool, can Lee Si-joon help mend her soul and let the healing begin?
- Screenwriter’s last project was Neighbourhood Lawyer Jo Deul-ho, director’s was Matrimonial Chaos
2 | Oh My Baby / 오 마이 베이비
May 13, Wed-Thu, 16 eps, tvN
Jang Nara, Go Joon, Park Byung-eun, Jung Gun-joo
39-year-old Jang Ha-ri is the ultimate workaholic. She hasn’t even had a boyfriend in the past decade, long ago decided to forget about looking for love, and instead has thrown her energy into her career. However, as she works as a senior reporter for a parenting magazine named “The Baby,” she is constantly reminded of the one thing she wants most in life – to have a baby of her own. She decides to cut to the chase and try for a baby but wants to skip one key stage – and resolves not to marry.
But as she turns her mind to single parenthood, she suddenly realizes that she is surrounded by admirers: freelance photographer Han Yi-sang (Go), super-smart pediatrician Yoon Jae-young (Park), and the office newbie, the doting Choi Kang Eu Ddeum (Jung). Could any of these three love candidates help Ha-ri in her quest to become a mother? And could her quest inadvertently send her on the path to true love?
- Director co-directed Tunnel, last work was Leverage
- Third lead Jung Gun-joo played Do-hwa in Extraordinary You! (his debut role)
3 | Wind and Cloud and Rain / 바람과 구름과 비
May 17, Sun, 24 eps, TV Chosun
Historical, romance, supernatural
Park Shi-hoo, Go Sung-hee
Set in the late Joseon period, this drama follows face reader Choi Chun-joong as he tries to build up an ideal nation. Chun-joong is the king, and Joseon’s greatest fortune teller and physiognomist. His ambition is to build a new nation after overturning Joseon, which has been ruined by the men in power.
Choi Chun-joong is a sophisticated man who excels in the arts including martial arts, gambling, singing, and dancing. He is also a romantic who puts everything in the line for the woman he loves. With a way with words and a brilliant mind for politics, he’ll create a miracle, making Yi Ha-eung the most powerful man in Joseon, Yi Ha-eung’s son Yi Jae-hwang into a king, and Min Ja-young, a girl from the streets, into Joseon’s empress.
- Adapted from the novel of the same name by Lee Byung-joo (published from 1977 to 1987 in the Chosun Ilbo); story features a mixture of fictional characters and real historical characters
- Set to be adapted by screenwriter of 2014’s Records of a Night Watchman, which was not well-received
4 | Mystic Pop-Up Bar / 쌍갑포차
May 20, Wed-Thu, 12 eps, JTBC/Netflix
Hwang Jung-eum, Yook Sung-jae, Choi Won-young
Mystic Pop-Up Bar tells the story of a mysterious pojangmacha (cart bar) run by a prickly woman, Wol-joo, and an innocent part-timer who visit customers in their dreams to help resolve their problems. The pocha opens only at night on the rooftop of a building, and serves both the living and the dead. While drinking alcohol and eating dishes with Wol-joo, the customers of Mystic Pop-Up Bar talk about themselves and try to heal their internal wounds.
- Director’s last work was the gorgeous The Package; rookie screenwriter
- Based on webtoon of the same name by Bae Hye-soo
5 | Old-School Intern / 꼰대인턴
May 20, Wed-Thu, 32 eps, MBC
Park Hae-jin, Kim Eung-soo, Han Ji-eun, Park Ki-woong
After graduation, Ga Yeol-chan landed his first office job at a company. His superior there, Lee Man-shik, was a “kkondae” which refers to a rigid, old school type of person. He would force his old school ways of thinking onto Yeol-chan, causing Yeol-chan to quit his job there and go work at a ramyun company. He worked very hard and was promoted at lightning speed thanks to his radical planning and aggressive marketing.
Yeol-chan is now the powerful chief of the sales and marketing department at the ramyun company. One day, he gets a senior age intern: Lee Man-shik, who gave him such a hard time at his first job.
- Based on winning script from MBC’s 2018 drama writing contest
6 | Team Bulldog: Off-Duty Investigation / 번외수사
May 23, Sat-Sun, 12 eps, OCN
Cha Tae-hyun, Lee Sun-bin
A crime action investigation drama about police investigator Jin Kang-ho from the serious crime squad, who never gives up on a case until he gets to the bottom of it. He will tackle unsolved cases with a team consisting of: the PD of an investigative show with low viewership ratings, a detective who used to be a profiler, a bar owner who put his violent past behind him, and a funeral director who used to be a well-esteemed autopsy doctor at the National Forensic Service (NIS).
7 | Dinner Mate / 저녁 같이 드실래요
May 25, Mon-Tue, 32 eps, MBC
Romance, melodrama, food
Song Seung-heon, Seo Ji-hye, Lee Ji-hoon
This drama is about a young woman going through a rough breakup with a longtime boyfriend she still loves, and a young man who’s a serial dater and tired of relationships. They both like to eat out but dislike having to go to nice restaurants alone, and they meet while each is waiting alone to be seated at the same restaurant. The hostess mistakes them for a couple and offers them a couple special, which prompts them to sit and have dinner together. After their first unexpected meeting, they meet and have dinner together weekly. They strike up an unusual friendship where they get together just to eat, and over multiple dinners, open up to each other about their relationship troubles and grow closer.
- Korean title literally means “Shall we have dinner together?”
- Adapted from webtoon of the same name by Park Shi-in
8 | Midnight Snack Couple / 야식남녀
May 25, Mon-Tue, 12 eps, JTBC
Jung Il-woo, Kang Ji-young, Lee Hak-joo
The story of a man who begins to lie in order to get his hands on money while pushing the woman he loves into a corner, and hurting a man that has come to love him because of the same lie.
- Kang Ji-young is formerly of girl group KARA, and the majority of her acting experience has been in Japanese dramas