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36 New Korean Dramas In 2021 To Watch To Become The Ultimate K-Drama Expert This Year

New Korean dramas 2021

For K-drama fans, the upcoming year will be full of treats thanks to a slew of new Korean dramas in 2021. Some of the Korean dramas originally scheduled to air in 2020 had their filming schedules interrupted to our dismay, but the good news is that we’ll finally get to watch these new Korean dramas in 2021.

To hype you up for next year, here are 36 new Korean dramas airing in 2021 that will keep you entertained as you go through a brand new year. The dramas are sorted by date, from the newest to oldest.


1. Jirisan

New Korean Dramas 2021 - Mount Jiri
Image credit: Zapzee

Main cast:

  • Jun Ji-hyun as Seo Yi-kang
  • Ju Ji-hoon as Kang Hyun-jo
  • Sung Dong-il as Jo Dae-jin
  • Oh Jung-se as Jung Goo-young

Jirisan is a mystery-thriller about park rangers who work to rescue people on Mount Jiri. 

Seo Yi-kang (Jun Ji-hyun) is a top ranger who knows everything about navigating Mount Jiri National Park. Her partner, Kang Hyun-jo (Joo Ji-hoon), is a military academy graduate and a new ranger.

Jung Goo-young (Oh Jung-se) is an extremely practical ranger while Jo Dae-jin (Sung Dong-il) is the responsible head of the Haedong Branch Office in Mount Jiri National Park.

The drama is written by screenwriter Kim Eun-hee, who also wrote Kingdom (2019), Signal (2016), and 3 Days (2014). The director is Lee Eung-bok, who directed hit dramas like Goblin (2016), Descendants of the Sun (2016), and Dream High (2011).

Korean title: 지리산
Genre: Thriller, mystery, drama
Airs: 23rd October 2021


2. The Red Sleeve Cuff

New Korean Dramas 2021 - Red Cuff of the Sleeve
Image credit: Finance Rewind

Main cast:

  • Kim Kyung-nam as King Jeongjo (TBC)
  • Park Hye-soo as Sung Deok-im (TBC)

Red Cuff of the Sleeve is based on a novel that tells the life story of Sung Deok-im, who rises from the position of a lowly court lady to become the highest-ranking queen. The drama will showcase the dramatic turn in Deok-im’s life, revealing her love story with King Jeongjo, and the trials and tribulations of taking on a role of power. 

Park Hye-soo was offered the role of the court lady-turned-queen, Sung Deok-im, while Kim Kyung-nam was offered the role of King Jeongjo, the eldest son next in line to the throne. Both actors are currently positively reviewing their offers

Korean title: 옷소매 붉은 끝동
Genre: Historical, romance
Airs: 22nd September 2021 


3. Dear.M

New Korean Dramas 2021 - Dear.M
Image credit: MyloveKBS

Main cast:

  • Park Hye-soo as Ma Joo-ah
  • Jung Jae-hyun as Cha Min-ho
  • Roh Jeong-eui as Seo Ji-min
  • Bae Hyun-sung as Park Ha-neul

Dear.M is based on the popular web-drama series Love Playlist and is co-produced by Playlist and Monster Union. The new drama, which is set to be released in early 2021, is centred on the search for the mysterious “M” in Seoyeon University.

Video credit: KBS Drama

The plot follows 4 students from different departments – Ma Joo-ah (Park Hye-soo), Cha Min-ho (Jung Jae-hyun), Seo Ji-min (Roh Jeong-eui), and Park Ha-neul (Bae Hyun-sung). In the search for “M”, the 4 of them navigate through university life, changing friendships, and budding romances. 

The supporting cast includes a long line of K-pop idols such as CLC’s Eun-bin, UP10TION’s Jin-hyuk, and NCT’s Jae-hyun, who will appear as students of Seoyeon University. 

Korean title: 디어엠
Genre: Romance, school, drama
Airs: August 2021

4. Moving

New Korean Dramas 2021 - Moving
Image credit: Hancinema

Main cast:

  • Han Hyo-joo (TBC)
  • Jo In-sung (TBC)
  • Cha Tae-hyun (TBC)

Moving is based on a webtoon that tells the story of high school students and their parents, who each have their own secrets that others do not know about. It will be directed by Mo Wan-il, who also helmed World of the Married (2020).

Han Hyo-joo, Jo In-seong, and Cha Tae-hyun have received offers for the drama and are still in the process of confirming their appearance in the drama. 

Korean title: 무빙
Genre: Mystery, drama
Airs: August 2021


5. The Devil Judge

korean dramas july 2021 - the devil judge
Image credit: tvN

Main Cast:

  • Ji Sung as Kang Yo-han
  • Kim Min-jung as Jung Sun-a
  • Jin-young as Kim Ga-on
  • Park Gyu-young as Yoon Soo-hyun

Ji Sung is finally making his K-drama comeback after 2 years. In The Devil Judge,  he will be playing Judge Kang Yo-han, who mercilessly punishes wrongdoers in the court of law. Every trial held in the courtroom is aired live on TV, and that was how he earned his nickname,Devil Judge”.

Kim Min-jung will play Yo-han’s rival, Jung Sun-a. She’s a power-hungry director of a corporate social responsibility foundation. 

Jin-young and Park Gyu-young will play childhood best friends, Kim Ga-on and Yon Soo-hyun, who strive for justice and aim to unveil Kang Yo-han’s secrets.

Catch the teaser of The Devil Judge here:

Video credit: tvN DRAMA

Korean title: 악마판사
Genre: Drama, crime, law, mystery
Airs on: 3rd July 2021


6. Voice 4 

korean drama june 2021 - voice 4
Image credit: tvN

Main Cast:

  • Lee Ha-na as Kang Kwon-joo
  • Song Seung-heon as Derek Jo

Voice is a rollercoaster ride of a drama – it follows the team at the 112 Emergency Call Centre as they solve crimes through voice analysis and the power of their hearing. This drama has achieved superb ratings for the past 3 seasons, and hence, a 4th season was secured.

We see Lee Ha-na return as Kang Kwon-joo, a professional voice profiler with enhanced hearing. Season 4 introduces a new character, Derek Jo, played by Song Seung-heon. Derek Jo is from the Los Angeles Police Department and joins hands with the Golden Time team.

In Voice 4, the Golden Time team will be up against a serial killer with abilities just as sharp as Kwon-joo’s, and a new string of challenges await them.

The teaser for Voice 4 was rather unique as it allows fans to place themselves in the shoes of the Golden Time team as they listen to a voice recording of a victim sent by the serial killer.

Check it out below:

Video credit: tvN DRAMA

Korean title: 보이스4: 심판의 시간
Genre: Crime, thriller
Airs on: 19th June 2021

7. Nevertheless

korean drama june 2021 - nevertheless
Image credit: JTBC

Main Cast:

  • Song Kang as Park Jae-un
  • Han So-hee as Yoo Na-bi 
  • Chae Jong Hyeop as Yang Do Hyuk

Nevertheless is a K-drama based on a webtoon of the same name. 

It follows 2 college students named Yoo Na-bi and Park Jae-un, and the story will explore the 2 going out of their comfort zone. Na-bi is hesitant to fall in love again after a failed relationship, and Jae-un attempts to express his emotions better.

Song Kang will be starring as the flirtatious Park Jae-un. Jae-un prefers to participate in flings than be in committed relationships. Starring alongside Song Kang is Han So-hee, and she will be playing Yoo Na-bi. Na-bi attempts to move on from her ex after seeing him cheat on her, and she meets Jae-un in the process. 

Watch the teaser of Nevertheless here:

Video credit: JTBC Drama

Korean title: 알고있지만,
Genre: Romance, drama
Airs on: 19th June 2021

8. Hospital Playlist 2 

korean drama june 2021 - hospital playlist 2
Image credit: tvN

Main cast:

  • Cho Jung-seok as Lee Ik-joon
  • Yoo Yeon-seok as Ahn Jeong-won
  • Jung Kyung-ho as Kim Jun-wan
  • Kim Dae-myung as Yang Seok-hyeong
  • Jeon Mi-do as Chae Song-hwa

Hospital Playlist is a drama that follows the lives of 5 doctors who are also long-time friends. This drama gives us a realistic insight into the lives of medical professionals and allows us to empathise with them. 

The 1st season of Hospital Playlist ended with a few cliffhangers – did Song-hwa accept Ik-joon’s confession? Where is Ahn Chi-hong going? We hope to see these questions answered in Hospital Playlist 2.

Fans were previously treated to a spin-off, titled Wise Camping Life, where the 5 friends went on a camping trip together. 

The season 2 teaser promises more stories that will warm our hearts, and of course, the 5 friends will be jamming at band practice at Seok-hyeong’s.

Check out the teaser here:

Video credit: tvN DRAMA

Korean title: 슬기로운 의사생활 2
Genre: Medical, friendship, slice-of-life
Airs on: 17th June 2021

9. Monthly Magazine Home

korean drama june 2021 - monthly magazine home
Image credit: JTBC

Main Cast:

  • Jung So-min as Na Young-won
  • Kim Ji-seok as Yoo Ja-sung

Monthly Magazine Home is a rom-com that follows the lives of Na Young-won, the editor of a lifestyle magazine called Monthly Home, and Yoo Ja-sung, who is the CEO of the magazine.

Young-won stays in a rental home and has the mindset that home is a place to live in. On the other hand, Ja-sung thinks that you can make a profit out of your home by selling it.

After the 2 cross paths, their mindsets towards the idea of “home” change, and romance blossoms as they get more involved with each other’s lives.

Catch the teaser here:

Video credit: JTBC Drama

Korean title: 월간 집
Genre: Comedy, romance, drama
Airs on: 16th June 2021


10. Doom At Your Service

doom at your service - poster
Image credit: tvN

Main cast:

  • Seo In-guk as Kim Sa-ram/Myeol Mang
  • Park Bo-young as Tak Dong-kyung
  • Lee Soo-hyuk as Cha Joo-ik
  • Kang Tae-oh as Lee Hyun-gyu
  • Shin Do-hyun as Na Ji-na

Doom At Your Service is centred on Kim Sa-ram (Seo In-guk). He is also known as “Myeol Mang”, which means “ruin” or “destruction” in Korean. 

Sa-ram was born between the dark and the light, and his fate causes him to bring bad luck to the world. His existence alone brings misfortune to people’s lives and ruins them even when he doesn’t have any intention to do so. 

One day, he meets Tak Dong-kyung (Park Bo-young), a web fiction editor with no goal in life. Both of their fates start to change as their lives get intertwined. 

Korean title: 어느 날 우리 집 현관으로 멸망이 들어왔다
Genre: Supernatural, drama
Airs: 10th May 2021

11. Imitation

korean drama imitation - poster
Image adapted from: @kakaopage 

Main cast:

  • Jeong Ji-so as Maha
  • Jun as Kwon-ryok
  • Park Ji-yeon as La Ri-ma
  • Chani as Eun-jo
  • Jung Yun-ho as Yu-jin

Imitation is based on a webtoon and revolves around the lives of idols in the entertainment industry. The drama will tell the story of various fictional idol teams – popular boy band “Shax”, rookie girl group “T-Party”, enthusiastic boy band “Sparkling”, and top female solo artist “Larima”. 

The star-studded cast includes actual K-pop idols such as T-ara’s Park Ji-yeon, U-KISS’ Jun, SF9’s Chani and Hwiyoung, ATEEZ’s Jongho, Yunho, Seonghwa and San, PRISTIN’s Nayoung, solo artiste Minseo, and Boys’ Republic’s Suwoong.

Check out our review of Imitation here.

Korean title: 이미테이션
Genre: Comedy, romance, music
Airs: 7th May 2021

12. Youth of May

youth of may review - official poster
Image credit: KBS

Main cast:

  • Go Min-shi as Kim Myung-hee
  • Lee Do-hyun as Hwang Hee-tae
  • Lee Sang-yi as Lee Soo-chan
  • Geum Sae-rok as Lee Soo-ryun

Youth of May tells the love story of two young people who get involved in the Gwangju Uprising, which took place in the spring of 1980.

Kim Myung-hee (Go Min-shi) is a skilled but cold nurse who left home and now lives in Gwangju by herself. On the other hand, Hwang Hee-tae (Lee Do-hyun) is a smart troublemaker who enters the Seoul National University College of Medicine as a top scorer despite his harsh family background. 

Many are looking forward to seeing the chemistry between Go Min-shi and Lee Do-hyun, who played siblings in the drama Sweet Home.

Korean title: 오월의 청춘
Genre: Romance, drama
Airs: 3rd May 2021 

13. Bossam: Steal the Fate

New Korean Dramas 2021 - Bossam - Stealing Fate
Image credit: MyDramaList

Main cast:

  • Kwon Yu-ri as Princess Soo-kyung
  • Jung Il-woo as Ba-woo

Bossam – Steal the Fate, set in the reign of King Gwanghae during the Joseon dynasty, is centred on Ba-woo (Jung Il-woo), a matchmaker who helps widows find new husbands. 

When Ba-woo was younger, he was framed for a crime and had to live his life in hiding and poverty. While working as a matchmaker, he accidentally kidnaps Princess Soo-kyung (Kwon Yu-ri), making their first encounter fairly unpleasant.

However, as the two spend time together, they fall in love and learn to share their struggles with each other. The drama will also touch on the oppression experienced by women and the poor. 

Korean title: 보쌈-운명을 훔치다
Genre: Historical, romance, drama
Airs: 1st May 2021


14. Dark Hole

New Korean Dramas 2021 - Dark Hole
Image credit: @ocn_original

Main cast:

  • Lee Joon-hyuk as Yoo Tae-han
  • Kim Ok-bin as Lee Hwa-sun

Dark Hole is a sci-fi-thriller that tells the story of a monster who hides in a sinkhole in Muji City, consuming people’s souls.

Lee Hwa-sun (Kim Ok-bin), a detective from the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency, receives a call from a woman in Muji City who had murdered her husband. Upon arriving in Muji City, she discovers a mysterious dark smoke that turns people into monsters when they inhale it. 

Meanwhile, Yoo Tae-han (Lee Joon-hyuk), a former detective who lives in Muji City, joins Hwa-sun to save people from the terrible phenomenon. While the two go on the quest to find the horrible creature, they slowly find themselves turning into cruel monsters too.

Korean title: 다크홀
Genre: Thriller, mystery, sci-fi
Airs: 30th April 2021

15. Undercover

New Korean Dramas 2021 - Undercover
Image credit: Nemopan

Main cast:

  • Ji Jin-hee as Han Jung-hyun
  • Kim Hyun-joo as Choi Yeon-soo
  • Yeon Woo-jin as Young Han Jung-hyun
  • Han Sun-hwa as Cho Yeon-soo

Undercover revolves around the relationship between Han Jung-hyun (Ji Jin-hee), an agent at the Agency for National Security Planning, and Choi Yeon-soo (Kim Hyun-joo), a human rights lawyer who fights for justice. 

Jung-hyun falls in love with Yeon-soo while executing a top-secret mission and eventually marries without revealing his true identity to her. However, his secret life slowly gets exposed when his wife takes on a new position as the head of the Senior Civil Servant Corruption Investigations Unit.

Korean title: 언더커버
Genre: Thriller, crime, drama
Airs on: 23rd April 2021 

 16. Law School

law school korean drama review - poster
Image credit: JTBC

 Main cast:

  • Kim Myung-min as Yang Jong-hoon
  • Ryu Hye-young as Kang Sol
  • Kim Bum as Han Joon-hwi
  • Lee Jung-eun as Kim Eun-sook

Law School depicts the struggles of law school students and professors in South Korea’s top law school. This new 2021 Korean drama is the first Korean law drama to be focused on life in a law school. 

The plot follows 2 first-year law students, Kang Sol A (Ryu Hye-young) and Han Joon-hwi (Kim Bum), civil law professor Kim Eun-sook (Lee Jung-eun), and criminal law professor Yang Jong-hoon (Kim Myung-min) as they get embroiled in an unusual case. Their views of law and justice are challenged as they navigate through the case. 

Ryu Hye-young, who is cast as Kang Sol A, is known for her role as Sung Bo-ra in Reply 1988 (2015). Kim Bum, who plays Han Joon-hwi, is currently in the spotlight for his role as Lee Rang in Tale of the Nine-tailed (2020).

Korean title: 로스쿨
Genre: Law, drama
Airs: 14th April 2021 

17. Sell Your Haunted House

New Korean Dramas 2021 - Daebak Real Estate
Image credit: Hankyung

Main cast:

  • Jang Na-ra as Hong Ji-ah
  • Jung Yong-hwa as Oh In-beom

Sell Your Haunted House is a drama about real estate brokers who exorcise ghosts from buildings in which people have died. The 2 main characters, Hong Ji-ah (Jang Na-ra) and Oh In-beom (Jung Yong-hwa), meet each other in the course of work and end up working together to learn the secret behind Ji-ah’s mother’s death 20 years ago.

Video credit: leezeekgam

Jang Na-ra will play Hong Ji-ah, an exorcist who’s also the boss of Daebak Real Estate, while CNBLUE’s Jung Yong-hwa will play Oh In-bum, a con artist who doesn’t believe in ghosts but uses them to make money. 

This drama will be Jung Yong-hwa’s first drama in 3 years since The Package (2017). 

Korean title: 대박부동산
Genre: Drama, supernatural
Airs on: 14th April 2021

18. Taxi Driver

taxi driver korean drama review - poster
Image credit: SBS

Main cast:

  • Lee Je-hoon as Kim Do-gi
  • Esom as Kang Ha-na
  • Lee Na-eun as Go Eun
  • Kim Eui-sang as Jang Sung-chul

Taxi Driver is an upcoming 2021 Korean drama that was adapted from a webtoon. It tells the story of a mysterious taxi service that helps victims take revenge when the law fails them.

Kim Do-gi (Lee Je-hoon), whose mother had been murdered, works as a mysterious driver for Rainbow Taxi Company alongside Go Eun (Lee Na-eun), an IT specialist. On the other hand, Kang Ha-na (Esom) is a passionate attorney who soon finds herself involved in the mysterious workings of the taxi company. 

Korean title: 모범택시
Genre: Action, horror, crime
Airs: 9th April 2021


19. Oh! Master

New Korean Dramas 2021 - Oh! Master
Image credit: MyDramaList

Main cast:

  • Lee Min-ki as Han Bi-soo
  • Nana as Oh Joo-in
  • Kang Min-hyuk as Yoo Jin

Oh! Master is a romantic comedy revolving around Han Bi-soo (Lee Min-ki), a drama screenwriter, and Oh Joo-in (Nana), an actress who acts in romantic-comedy dramas. While Bi-soo chooses to be single, the actress struggles to date. A sweet, light-hearted romance plays out when the two meet and end up living in the same house.

CNBLUE fans can also look forward to seeing Kang Min-hyuk play Yoo Jin, the grandson of a chaebol family and the director of the biggest cosmetics company in Korea. 

Korean title: 오! 주인님
Genre: Comedy, romance
Airs: 24th March 2021

20. Navillera

Korean Dramas 2021 - Navillera
Image credit: tvN

Main cast:

  • Song Kang as Lee Chae-rok
  • Park In-hwan as Shim Deok-chul
  • Na Moon-hee as Choi Hae-nam

Navillera is a new 2021 Korean drama based on a webtoon. It tells the story of Shim Deok-chul (Park In-hwan), a 78-year-old man who decides to learn ballet at an old age, and Lee Chae-rok (Song Kang), a 23-year-old young man who does ballet.

The drama showcases the beautiful friendship between the two, built through ballet, and expresses the importance of pursuing one’s dreams regardless of one’s age

Korean title: 나빌레라
Genre: Friendship, drama
Airs: 22nd March 2021

21. Love Alarm Season 2

New Korean Dramas 2021 - Love Alarm Season 2
Image credit: Kpopmap

Main cast:

  • Song Kang as Hwang Sun-oh
  • Kim So-hyun as Kim Jo Jo
  • Jung Ga-ram as Lee Hye-young

The 1st season of Love Alarm (2019) attracted viewers with its unique concept of confessing through an app that sends a notification when there’s an admirer within a 10-metre radius. The 2nd season will develop the love triangle between Hwang Sun-oh (Song Kang), Kim Jo Jo (Kim So-hyun), and Lee Hye-young (Jung Ga-ram), who are now adults. 

Korean title: 좋아하면 울리는 시즌 2
Genre: Friendship, comedy, romance, school
Airs: 12th March 2021

22. Mouse

mouse korean drama review - poster
Image adapted from: tvN

 Main cast:

  • Lee Seung-gi as Jung Ba-reum
  • Park Joo-hyun as Oh Bong-yi
  • Lee Hee-joon as Ko Moo-chi

Mouse is a suspense-filled drama that follows Jung Ba-reum (Lee Seung-gi), an upright rookie police officer whose life gets complicated when he meets a ruthless psychopathic serial killer.

After surviving a dangerous encounter with the psychopath, he is driven to find out the truth behind psychopathic behaviours, together with his partner Ko Moo-chi (Lee Hee-joon).

The new Korean drama posits an interesting question – what if you could identify a psychopath before they are even born? Viewers can anticipate an intense and emotional thriller written by Choi Ran, who was behind the hit thrillers God’s Gift: 14 Days (2014) and Black (2017).

Mouse will be Lee Seung-gi’s first small-screen comeback since Vagabond (2019), while Park Joo-hyun is currently playing the female lead in the drama The Zombie Detective (2020).

Korean title: 마우스
Genre: Action, suspense, thriller
Airs: 3rd March 2021


23. Vincenzo

song joong-ki the youngest son of a chaebol family - vincenzo
Image credit: tvN

Main cast:

  • Song Joong-ki as Vincenzo Cassano/Park Joo-hyung
  • Jeon Yeo-bin as Hong Cha-young
  • Ok Taecyeon as Jang Jun-woo

Vincenzo is a romance-comedy about 2 lawyers – Park Joo-hyung (Song Joong-ki) and Hong Cha-young (Jeon Yeo-bin). 

Joo-hyung was adopted at the age of 8 and grew up in Italy. He becomes a lawyer – under the name of Vincenzo Cassano – and works for the Mafia as a consigliere. However, when a war breaks out between mafia groups, he’s forced to flee to South Korea.

Vincenzo meets Cha-young by chance and soon falls in love with her, putting the two lawyers into a budding romance amidst their pursuit of justice.  

Korean title: 빈센조
Genre: Comedy, romance, crime
Airs on: 20th February 2021

24. Times

New Korean Dramas 2021 - Times
Image credit: MyDramaList

 Main cast:

  • Lee Seo-jin as Lee Jin-woo
  • Lee Joo-young as Seo Jung-in
  • Kim Yeong-cheol as Seo Ki-tae
  • Moon Jung-hee as Kim Young-joo

Times is a political-mystery drama about time travelling. The story is centred on Seo Jung-in (Lee Joo-young), who lives in the present, and Lee Jin-woo (Lee Seo-jin), who lives 5 years in the past. One day, the two are connected by a call and Jung-in discovers a conspiracy surrounding her father, Seo Ki-tae (Kim Yeong-cheol), who is the president. 

The two work together to untangle the truth behind both their lives. 

Korean title: 타임즈
Genre: Political, mystery, fantasy
Airs on: 20th February 2021

25. Beyond Evil

New Korean Dramas 2021 - Beyond Evil
Image credit: JTBC

 Main cast:

  • Yeo Jin-goo as Han Joo-won
  • Choi Sung-eun as Yoo Jae-yi
  • Shin Ha-kyun as Lee Dong-sik

Beyond Evil tells the story of two fearless men in pursuit of a returning serial killer. 

As Lee Dong-sik (Shin Ha-kyun) and Han Joo-won (Yeo Jin-goo) unravel the mystery behind the murderer’s identity, they are forced to question all suspects even when they seem innocent – including themselves.

The two work together to solve the 20-year-old case but soon learn about each other’s secrets and are caught in a mind game of discovering who is the real “monster” – the literal meaning of Beyond Evil‘s Korean title. 

Korean title: 괴물
Genre: Thriller, psychological
Airs on: 19th February 2021

26. Sisyphus: The Myth

New Korean Dramas 2021 - Sisyphus: The Myth
Image credit: @jtbcdrama

Main cast:

  • Jo Seung-woo as Han Tae-sul
  • Park Shin-hye as Seo Hae
  • Sung Dong-il as President Park

Sisyphus: The Myth is a sci-fi mystery drama that tells the story of a genius engineer and a mysterious individual. The drama is directed by Jin Hyuk, who also directed popular dramas such as City Hunter (2011), Master’s Sun (2013), Doctor Stranger (2014), and Legend of the Blue Sea (2016). 

Video credit: JTBC Drama

It will be Park Shin-hye’s comeback drama after last starring in Memories of the Alhambra (2018) with Hyun Bin. She also recently starred in the movie #Alive (2020), which became one of the most-streamed movies on Netflix. 

Park Shin-hye and Jo Seung-woo previously appeared together in the movie The Lizard (2006).

Korean title: 시지프스: The Myth
Genre: Action, mystery, drama, sci-fi
Airs: 17th February 2021

27. River Where the Moon Rises

New Korean Dramas 2021 - River where the Moon rises
Image credit: MyDramaList

Main cast:

  • Kim So-hyun as Princess Pyeonggang/Yeom Ga-jin
  • Ji Soo/Na In-woo as On Dal
  • Lee Ji-hoon as Go Geon
  • Choi Yoo-hwa as Hae Mo-yong

River Where the Moon Rises is a historical drama about the love story of Princess Pyeonggang (Kim So-hyun) and On Dal (Ji Soo/Na In-woo). 

On Dal lives with his protective mother, who warns him against venturing beyond the woods where his hut is. One day, curiosity kicks in and he decides to make his way to the market in the village, where he chances upon Princess Pyeong-gang. 

Following their coincidental meeting, Princess Pyeong-gang visits his hut, stating that she wishes to live with him and will, in turn, teach him martial arts and how to read and write. 

Korean title: 달이 뜨는 강
Genre: Historical, romance
Airs: 15th February 2021

28. L.U.C.A.: The Beginning

New Korean Dramas 2021 - L.U.C.A.: The Beginning
Image credit: MyDramaList

Main cast:

  • Kim Rae-won as Ji-oh
  • Lee Da-hee as Gu-reum

L.U.C.A.: The Beginning contains an acronym which stands for “last universal common ancestor” and the drama’s storyline is inspired by Charles Darwin’s proposition that all species of life descend from a common ancestor.

The plot focuses on Ji-oh (Kim Rae-won), a stoic man who has supernatural powers but does not know who he is. Meanwhile, Gu-reum (Lee Da-hee) is a detective whose parents disappeared when she was younger. As she tries to uncover the truth behind her parents’ disappearance, she comes across Ji-oh and her life starts to change. 

Video credit: Paradox Drama Channel

Filming for the drama has been completed and it is set to air on 1st February 2021.

Korean title: 루카: 더비기닝
Genre: Mystery, drama, sci-fi, supernatural
Airs on: 1st February 2021


29. She Would Never Know

New Korean Dramas 2021 - She Will Never Know
Image credit: MyDramaList

Main cast:

  • Ro-woon as Chae Hyun-seung
  • Won Jin-ah as Yoon Song-ah
  • Lee Hyun-wook as Lee Jae-shin
  • Lee Joo-bin as Lee Hyo-joo

She Would Never Know is based on a popular 2017 web novel called “Sunbae, Don’t Put On That Lipstick”. It tells the love story between a sweet sunbae (senior) and a bold hoobae (junior) at a cosmetics company.

Won Jin-ah takes on the role of Yoon Song-ah, a professional brand marketer at a cosmetics company who dreams of having her own cosmetics brand. SF9’s Ro-woon will play Chae Hyun-seung, a good-looking marketer who is straightforward with his words.  

Video credit: JTBC Drama

The new 2021 Korean drama will see Ro-woon’s return to the small screen after his last role as Haru in the youth drama Extraordinary You (2019). 

Korean title: 선배, 그 립스틱 바르지마요
Genre: Comedy, romance
Airs on: 18th January 2021

30. Royal Secret Agent

New Korean Dramas 2021 - Blade of the Phantom Master
Image credit: @kbsdrama

Main cast:

  • Kim Myung-soo as Sung Yi-gyeom
  • Kwon Na-ra as Hong Da-in
  • Lee Tae-hwan as Sung Yi-beom
  • Lee Yi-kyung as Park Chun-sam

Set in the Joseon era, Royal Secret Agent is centred on Sung Yi-gyeom (Kim Myung-soo), a state examination top scorer who works in the administrative and research department of the government office.

One day, Yi-gyeom is caught gambling and as punishment, he is re-assigned to a new position as a secret royal inspector to investigate the corrupt practices of public officers. Yi-gyeom carries out his new job with the help of Hong Da-in (Kwon Na-ra), a female inspector, and Park Chun-sam (Lee Yi-kyung), his talkative and affectionate servant.

Meanwhile, Sung Yi-beom (Lee Tae-hwan), Yi-gyeom’s younger stepbrother, is constantly jealous of his older brother’s privileges in the family. 

Korean title: 암행어사
Genre: Historical, mystery, comedy
Airs on: 21st December 2021

Airing date TBC

31. Fly High Butterfly

New Korean Dramas 2021 - Fly High Butterfly
Image credit: @jtbcdrama

 Main cast:

  • Choi Daniel as Kwang-soo
  • Kim Hyang-gi as Gi Bbeum
  • Oh Yoon-ah as Michel/Mi Sel

Fly High Butterfly is set in a hair salon called “Fly High, Butterfly” and it tells the life stories of its workers. 

Gi-Bbeum (Kim Hyang-gi) is an assistant intern in her early 20s while Kwang-soo (Choi Daniel) is an enthusiastic hairstylist. Both of them work under the salon’s director, Michel (Oh Yoon-ah).

The drama will capture the everyday routine of people who work in hair salons, as well as the personal growth that they go through. 

Korean title: 날아올라라 나비
Genre: Slice of life, drama
Airs: 2021

32. Red Sky

New Korean Dramas 2021 - Red Sky
Image adapted from: SBS Catch

Main cast:

  • Kim Yoo-jung as Hong Chun-gi
  • Ahn Hyo-seop as Ha Ram
  • Gong Myung as Lee Yul/Prince An Pyeong
  • Kwak Shi-yang as Prince Soo Yang

Red Sky is based on a novel written by Jung Eun-gwol. She also wrote the original novels for Sungkyunkwan Scandal and The Moon Embracing the Sun, both of which have also been adapted into dramas.

The upcoming fantasy-romance drama is set in the Joseon era. It will follow Hong Chun-gi (Kim Yoo-jung), Joseon’s only female painter who possesses an excellent memory, and Ha Ram (Ahn Hyo-seop), an astrologer. 

Kim Yoo-jung and Ahn Hyo-seop, who previously appeared on screen together in Clean with Passion for Now (2018), were confirmed to be part of the cast, while Gong Myung will play Prince Lee Yul, a playboy who unknowingly falls in love with Chun-gi.

Korean title: 홍천기
Genre: Historical, romance, fantasy
Airs: 2021

33. The Silent Sea

New Korean Dramas 2021 - The Silent Sea
Image credit: @netflixkr

 Main cast:

  • Gong Yoo as Yoon-jae
  • Bae Doo-na as Ji-an
  • Lee Joon as Tae-seok

The Silent Sea is a mystery sci-fi thriller that follows the story of elite scientists who are on a mission to visit the moon to retrieve mysterious samples from an abandoned research station. The drama is based on the eponymous short film The Sea of Tranquility (2014), directed by Choi Hang-yong.

 The drama is set in a future where the planet suffers from a lack of necessities, such as food and water, due to desertification. Yoon-jae (Gong Yoo) is a soldier assigned to the space agency while Ji-an (Bae Doo-na) is his teammate on the same lunar mission. 

Korean title: 고요의 바다
Genre: Thriller, mystery, horror, sci-fi
Airs: 2021

34. D.P Dog Day

New Korean Dramas 2021 - D.P Dog Day
Image credit: Ajudaily

Main cast:

  • Jung Hae-in as Ahn Joon-ho
  • Koo Kyo-hwan as Han Ho-yul
  • Kim Sung-kyun as Park Bum-goo
  • Son Seok-koo as Im Ji-sub

D.P Dog Day is based on a popular webtoon that garnered over 10 million views. The drama will tell the story of Ahn Joon-ho (Jung Hae-in), a private who is tasked with locating and capturing military deserters. 

Jung Hae-in, Koo Kyo-hwan, Kim Sung-hyun, and Son Seok-koo have been cast as the main characters who will explore abuse and human rights issues in the military.

The drama is set to be released on Netflix in 2021.

Korean title: D.P 개의 날
Genre: Military, drama
Airs: 2021


New Korean Dramas 2021 - YOUTH
Image credit: Dispatch

 Main cast:

  • Seo Ji-hoon as Kim Seok-jin/Jin
  • Ahn Ji-ho as Jung Ho-seok/J-Hope
  • Jung Woo-jin as Kim Tae-hyung/V
  • Noh Jong-hyun as Min Yoon-gi/Suga
  • Seo Young-joo as Kim Nam-joon/RM
  • Jeon Jin-seo as Jeon Jung-guk/Jungkook
  • Kim Yoon-woo as Park Ji-min

YOUTH is based on the BTS Universe created by Big Hit Entertainment, which mixes reality with fiction.

The drama will follow the lives of the 7 BTS members from their schooling days till their official debut. Although the characters will bear the same names as BTS members, they will be portrayed with fictional narratives.

Rookie actors such as Seo Ji-hoon, Ahn Ji-ho, Jung Woo-jin, Noh Jong-hyun, Seo Young-joo, Jeon Jin-seo, and Kim Yoon-woo have been cast in the main roles.  

Korean title: 유스
Genre: Friendship, music, youth
Airs: 2021

36. Snowdrop

New Korean Dramas 2021 - Snowdrop
Image credit: @jtbcdrama

Main cast:

  • Jung Hae-in as Im Soo-ho
  • Kim Ji-soo as Eun Young-cho
  • Kim Hye-yoon as Kye Boon-ok
  • Jang Seung-jo as Lee Kang-moo
  • Yoon Se-ah as Pi Seung-hee
  • Jung Yoo-jin as Jang Han-na

Snowdrop is set in 1987 Seoul and revolves around Im Soo-ho (Jung Hae-in), a student at a prestigious university, and Eun Young-cho (Kim Ji-soo), a cheerful student. 

Young-cho falls in love with Soo-ho at first sight when she sees him at a social gathering. The two meet again when Soo-ho rushes into Young-cho’s female-only dormitory, wounded. Young-cho decides to nurse him back to health despite the danger of doing so. 

The drama is based on the handwritten notes of a man who escaped from a political prison camp in North Korea and it will be directed by Jo Hyun-taek, who previously directed Sky Castle (2018).

Korean title: 설강화
Genre: Romance, melodrama
Airs: 2021

New Korean dramas in 2021

With so many new Korean dramas in 2021, you won’t have to worry about not getting your K-drama fix this new year. While waiting for these titles to be released, you can keep yourself occupied with these K-dramas released at the end of 2020.

Check out other K-drama articles:

Cover image adapted from: MyDramaList, MyDramaList, and MyDramaList
Originally published on 27th October 2020. Last updated on 2nd July 2021 by Erica Ng.