Here are the most anticipated Korean dramas in 2021, according to industry experts

Published January 17, 2021, 10:31 AM

by Jonathan Hicap

(Clockwise from top left) Jun Ji-hyun in “Cliffhanger”; Gong Yoo, Bae Doona, Lee Joon and Jung Woo-sung of “The Silent Sea”; Yoo Ah-in of “Hellbound”; Jun Ji-hyun in “Kingdom” Season 2; and Jung Hae-in of “D.P.” (AStory, Netflix, Instagram)

Which Korean dramas are the most anticipated in 2021?

A survey was conducted among 55 key players in the Korean entertainment industry including CEOs of drama and film production companies, and representatives from entertainment agencies to select the dramas and movies to watch this year.

In 2020, OTT (over-the-top) or video streaming platforms such as Netflix, Viu and iQIYI became popular as people stayed home due to the pandemic.

According to the survey published by Cine21, the most anticipated Korean dramas on OTT in 2021 are:

  1. “Cliffhanger” (aka “Mount Jiri”) – The drama stars Jun Ji-hyun of “My Love from the Star” and “Legend of the Blue Sea,” Ju Ji-hoon of “Kingdom,” Sung Dong-il of the popular “Reply” TV series and Oh Jung-se of “It’s Okay to Not Be Okay” and “When the Camellia Blooms.” The story revolves around rangers who work at Jirisan National Park. It will be available on tvN and iQIYI.
  2. “Hellbound” and “Kingdom: Ashin of the North” – Tied for second place are the Netflix dramas “Hellbound” and “Kingdom: Ashin of the North.”

“Hellbound” is based on the Korean webtoon of the same title and will star Yoo Ah-in, Park Jung-min, Kim Hyun-joo and Won Jin-ah. It tells the story of “supernatural angels appearing out of nowhere to condemn people to hell.”

“Kingdom: Ashin of the North” is a “sidequel” or spin-off of the hit drama “Kingdom” Season 2. It will focus on Ashin, the character played by Jun Ji-hyun and according to Netflix, “Ashin will unveil the mystery behind her identity” and the “new story will detail what had happened to Ashin in the past in the northern region and how the two characters’ fates intertwined.”

  1. “The Silent Sea” – The drama will star Gong Yoo, Bae Doona and Lee Joon with actor Jung Woo-sung serving as the executive producer. “Set in a future Earth that has undergone desertification, ‘The Silent Sea’ is the story of the members of a special team sent to secure a mysterious sample from an abandoned research facility on the moon,” according to Netflix.
  2. “Squid Game” and “Moving” – “Moving,” based on a webtoon of the same title, will star Jo In-sung, Han Hyo-joo and Cha Tae-hyun about high school students and parents who keep secrets that others do not know.

“Squid Game” will star Lee Jung-Jae and Park Hae-Soo who team up to join a survival game that has a prize money of 45.6 billion won ($41.3 million). Gong Yoo will make a special appearance in the drama.

  1. “D.P.” and “Hospital Playlist” Season 2 – “D.P.,” which means Deserter Pursuit, will star Jung Hae-in about a unit tasked to go after army deserters. It will also star Koo Kyo-hwan, Kim Sung-kyun and Son Suk-gu.

“Hospital Playlist’ Season 2 – The hit tvN drama “Hospital Playlist” will return for a second season this year. The original series, about doctors and nurses working at a hospital, starred Jo Jung-suk, Jeon Mi-do, Yoo Yeon-seok, Jung Kyung-ho and Kim Dae-myung.