The best Korean dramas to look out for in 2023

Image via Netflix

In the past few years, we have witnessed the growth and popularity of Korean dramas, covering a wide range of genres in film and television. 2022 has served us spectacular offerings like Through the Darkness, All of Us Are Dead, and Alchemy of Souls, and 2023 promises to deliver even more exciting content. 

A great deal of new film releases and sequels are underway, as well as the return of some fan-favorite television series, particularly Squid Game, which swept the entire world by storm. While many of these series and films don’t have a confirmed release date yet, and could come out at any time within the year, it’s pretty hard to dull the hype surrounding these projects. 

Here are some of the best Korean dramas to look out for in 2023.

Squid Game (Season 2)

The long-awaited second season of this global chart-topping phenomenon Squid Game is coming back to screens soon. The creator of the Korean drama, Hwang Dong-hyuk, predicts that the next batch of episodes won’t be ready for release until the end of 2023, at the earliest. There have also been speculations that it could possibly be released in 2024, but one thing’s for certain, the second season of Netflix’s most-watched series has some huge shoes to fill.

All of Us are Dead (Season 2)

The series, which became the second Korean series to hit #1 in the global charts, is based on a graphic novel from WEBTOON, Now at Our School by Joo Dong-geun. It’s a known fact that production companies in South Korea keep on making quality zombie titles like All of Us are Dead,  and although the first season received mixed reviews, many fans have expressed appreciation for its entertainment value. As indicated by posts shared on social media, filming for All of Us Are Dead season two has already begun and will definitely premiere in 2023.

Arthdal Chronicles  (Season 2)

Arthdal Chronicles is a sensational Korean drama with absolutely no plot holes. The first season follows Eunseom, an Igutu who was raised in secret among a tribe. As stated by prophecy, he gets involved in a series of power struggles between tribes, and Tagon, The King of Arthdal. He eventually becomes the king of the East after reconciling 30 clans that Tagon had suppressed. The second season of the show is one of the most anticipated Korean dramas right now, especially as there are so many loose ends to tie up. Season two is set to premiere in the fall of 2023.

Jung-E

Jung-E is an upcoming sci-fi film written and directed by Yeon Sang-ho, who was also behind the scenes in the production of the popular Korean drama Train to Busan. The setting takes place in the 22nd century and depicts how climate change will make the earth uninhabitable for humankind, thereby forcing them to live in manufactured shelters. This leads to war unfolding in the shelters, and while this is happening, the elite troops start conducting a brain cloning operation in order to build a robot that will lead them to victory in the impending civil war.

Daily Dose of Sunshine

Daily Dose of Sunshine, from the director of the popular series All of Us Are Dead, depicts a love story, while revealing the sad pasts and insecurities of the characters. The series follows Jung Da Eun, a nurse in a psychiatric ward, as she encounters different patients with heartfelt backstories, all the while dealing with her own life challenges. Daily Dose of Sunshine is led by Park Bo-young, who has previously starred in Strong Woman Do Bong Soon and Song Joong-ki’s A Werewolf Boy.

The Roundup: No Way Out

This film is a sequel to the 2022 action blockbuster, and highest-grossing film of the year in South Korea, The Roundup. No Way Out tells the story of Ma Seok-do, a detective whose sole determination is to cleanse Incheon of drug-related crimes. Directed by Jang Dong Yoon, who produced It’s Okay to Not Be Okay, fans are eagerly awaiting the release of the film, which will mark the third installment of the Crime City film series. 

Vigilante

The series, which stars Nam Joo-hyuk, Lee Joon-hyuk, and Yoo Ji-tae, is based on the popular webtoon of the same name. It narrates the life of a student, Kim Ji Yong, who, despite being a part of the police force, disguises and kills criminals in secret to avenge his mother, who was brutally murdered when he was young. Vigilante doesn’t have a confirmed release date yet, but it is expected to premiere sometime in 2023.

Dr. Romantic (Season 3)

Dr. Romantic has offered some interesting, erratic, and romantic drama with its first two seasons. In the second season, we are shown how Kim Sa Bu struggles to run Doldam Hospital and develops a deep bond with Cha Eun Jae along the way. Although there have been no promotions for the third season, fans are very enthusiastic about the release of a sequel, and the Dr. Romantic franchise has opted to release season three of this fascinating melodrama in 2023.

Believer 2

The first Believer film is based on the 2013 Chinese film Drug War, and was created by famous director and screenwriter Lee Hae-Young, featuring Signal‘s Cho Jin-woong as the lead. In this film, Investigator Won Ho repeats his job as a persistent detective who investigates a missing individual and becomes entangled in a drug ring, leading him to the mastermind behind everything. With the initial film’s breathtaking writing, fans are anticipating its spin-off, which will be delivered in 2023.

Queen Maker

Queen Maker is about two strong and solid-headed ladies who have different methods and opinions but decide to join forces and fight for justice. Do-hee is a trusted strategic planning team manager at the Eunsung Group who deals with public relations. On the other hand, Seung-sook is against the Eunsung Group and is in the race to become Mayor. What happens when these two come head-to-head will definitely make for a fascinating watch.