A still from Gyeongseong Creature . (courtesy: netflixkr)
In 2023, Netflix is set to debut a diverse range of Korean TV series, films, and unscripted shows as the global fandom for K-content continues to grow. With over 60% of all Netflix members watching Korean titles last year, the streaming giant is showcasing 34 upcoming titles in their biggest-ever lineup of Korean films and series, featuring both original productions and returning fan favourites, Netflix said in an official statement. A recurring theme across the top series is survival, whether it be battling monsters during the dark days of 1945 in Gyeongseong Creature, struggling to survive in the dystopian future of sci-fi series Black Knight, or fighting to protect Joseon during Japanese colonial rule in action drama Song of the Bandits.
Fans can look forward to the return of highly anticipated series such as Sweet Home, D.P., and The Glory this year. Part 2 of revenge drama The Glory will be released in March, with Part 1 being the most-watched non-English TV show during the week of January 2 with 82.48 million viewing hours. Sweet Home, which set new benchmarks for the creature genre in Korea, will return with an expanded world and story, while D.P. brings back the cast from the first season to continue chasing after deserters.
“The global popularity of K-content has continued to rise over 2022, with Netflix bringing a wider variety of stories and genres to fans around the world,” said Don Kang, VP of Content (Korea). “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. 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.”
The new series this year cover a wide range of genres, from romance in shows like A Time Called You and Destined With You, to social commentary and intrigue in Bloodhounds and Celebrity, to drama in Daily Dose Of Sunshine and Queenmaker, and even apocalyptic themes in Goodbye Earth.
Additionally, Netflix is expanding its film offering with six Korean movies, starting with sci-fi thriller JUNG-E on January 20, followed by Kill Boksoon, depicting a professional killer with conflicting maternal instincts, and Believer 2, a sequel to a crime action thriller revolving around drug gangs. Other films explore topics such as revenge in Ballerina, teacher-student rivalry in The Match, and hacking in Unlocked.
For those who enjoy reality shows, Netflix has a diverse lineup including endurance-based shows like Physical:100 and Siren: Survive the Island, zombie survival in Zombieverse, coming of age in Nineteen to Twenty, and mind games in The Devil's Plan.
In addition, two new documentaries are also set to be released, Yellow Door: Looking For Director Bong's Unreleased Short Film (working title) which traces the quest for Oscar-winning director Bong Joon-Ho's debut film, and In The Name of God: A Holy Betrayal which explores the self-proclaimed ‘messiahs' in modern Korean history.
“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.”