Few countries have seen their culture be propelled to the forefront of the world’s stage as fast as South Korea. Since the mid-2010s, the republic has seen its music, cinema, and overall aesthetic take over the entertainment industry, building a cult following thanks to the obsession with K-pop stars BTS and Blackpink and general Korean pop culture. In fact, the term Hallyu was even coined to describe and refer to the global craze as well as the stan-like behaviors surrounding the country’s creative scene.
When it comes to television, Korean dramas, simultaneously known as K-Dramas, are taking the world by storm. Whichever title, odds are, it will likely break records and set new heights to reach as Squid Game did back in September 2021, becoming one of Netflix’s most-watched series ever mere months after its release. And as the fandom continues to grow and bring in more pledgers, the American streaming giant has since been including more and more content from this once-considered-niche-genre to cater to the 60% of its subscribers that clicked play on a Korean title last year.
Since, Netflix has decided to take an extra step to include what is shaping up to be its largest inclusion of Korean shows to date. From original productions to fan-favorite series making an exciting comeback, every taste will be accommodated through this laundry list of new television series, films, and unscripted programs.
“Over the last year, Korean series and films have regularly featured in our Global Top 10 list in more than 90 countries, and three of Netflix’s most-watched shows ever are from Korea,” said Don Kang, VP of Content (Korea) in a press release.
As a result, the leading streaming platform will be adding 34 titles to its already rich catalog, making this its biggest-ever lineup of Korean productions ever. With this announcement, Netflix is sending a strong message, showing clear signs of how keen it is to solidify its commitment to amplifying usually marginalized voices and showcasing diverse stories from around the world, leading the charge in promoting representation through its content.
“The global popularity of K-content has continued apace over 2022, with Netflix bringing a wider variety of stories and genres to fans around the world. (…) This year, we’re pushing the envelope even further with the stories we tell and how we tell them. With this lineup of Korean titles, Netflix will continue to be the ultimate destination for compelling, diverse, and must-watch Korean storytelling,” Kang continued.
“We are very excited over the variety of the titles that we’re sharing with our members. There’s truly a series, a film, or an unscripted show for everyone, and we look forward to our Korean shows connecting to fans both overseas and at home,” he added.
Amongst some of the titles that can be expected to make their way to our screens, are sci-fi thriller JUNG-E, which will be made available on Jan. 20, Kill Boksoon, which depicts a professional killer with conflicting maternal instincts, and Believer 2, a sequel to a popular crime-action thriller involving gangs.
Romance fans will also be spoilt for choice with A Time Called You, Behind Your Touch, and Destined With You, Doona! set to be added in addition to several reality shows, including Physical:10 and Siren: Survive the Island, as well as more coming-of-age titles of the likes of Nineteen to Twenty.
“We are very excited over the variety of the titles that we’re sharing with our members,” said Kang. “There’s truly a series, a film or an unscripted show for everyone, and we look forward to our Korean shows connecting to fans both overseas and at home.”