SEOUL – In the “See What’s Next Korea 2021” event last February 25, Netflix announced the upcoming lineup of original series.
The Silent Sea
Starring: Bae Doo-na, Gong Yoo, and Lee Joon
Directed by: Choi Hang-yong
Set in a future where water and food almost run out on Earth due to global desertification, The Silent Sea follows the story of the members of a special team that sets out to a research base on the Moon. A story with unexpected twists and turns, The Silent Sea is a series based on director Choi Hang-yong’s short film that was given a major spotlight at the 13th Mise-en-scène Short Film Festival in 2014. Director Choi took the lead again for the series, teaming up with writer Park Eun-kyo, who won Best Screenplay for the film Mother at the 29th Korean Association of Film Critics Awards. The series has garnered much attention as actor Jung Woo-sung joined the project as an executive producer. Actors Bae Doo-na, Gong Yoo, and Lee Joon play members of the team on a life-risking mission to the Moon, often dubbed “the silent sea,” promising to deliver intense suspense to the viewers.
Starring: Jung Hae-in, Koo Kyo-hwan, Kim Sung-kyun, and Son Seok-koo
Directed by: Han Jun-hee
D.P. is a Netflix original series that follows the story of army private Joon-ho, one of many soldiers serving in the Korean military, who suddenly ends up becoming a member of the “Deserter Pursuit” unit that tracks down military deserters and encounters the realities of confused young soldiers. The series is based on a webtoon by Kim Bo-tong that garnered over 10 million views for its realistic portrayal of the brutal violence and human rights violations committed in the military with the refreshing theme of Deserter Pursuit (D.P.), a military police unit in charge of arresting soldiers who deserted their posts. The series is expected to balance the tension and thrill of chasing down deserters from the perspective of “soldiers catching soldiers” with shedding light on the mental torment and growth of young people. Actors Jung Hae-in, Koo Kyo-hwan, and Kim Sung-kyun play members of D.P., while Son Seok-koo plays a military official that disapproves of them to represent the trouble-ridden daily life in the deserter arrest unit.
Starring: Han So-hee, Park Hee-soon, Ahn Bo-hyun, Kim Sang-ho, Lee Hak-ju, and Jang Yull
Directed by: Kim Jin-min
My Name is a Netflix original series that follows the story of Ji-u, who joins the police force as an undercover for a crime organization in order to find the truth about her father’s death and presents fist-clenching suspense of Ji-u’s revenge and the harsh truths uncovered in the process. Director Kim Jin-min, whose previous work Extracurricular received much attention for the dark and twisted realities of teenagers and Korean society it portrayed, took the helm again for this upcoming series, promising a story of cold revenge and adrenaline-pumping action. Actor Han So-hee, who impressed audiences with her unparalleled presence in The World of the Married, transforms herself as Ji-u, showcasing her limitless range again. Veteran actors, including Park Hee-soon, Kim Sang-ho, Lee Hak-ju, and Jang Yull, and up-and-coming fresh faces have been cast for an amazing ensemble performance along with stunning noir action.
Move to Heaven
Release Schedule: First half of 2021
Starring: Lee Je-hoon and Tang Jun-sang
Directed by: Kim Sung-ho
Move to Heaven is a Netflix original series about a young man named Geu-ru with Asperger’s syndrome and Sang-gu, who becomes Geu-ru’s guardian, as they start a trauma cleaning business and uncover the stories that are left behind by the deceased. Directed by Kim Sung-ho of How to Steal a Dog and written by Yoon Ji-ryun of Angel Eyes, the series centers around a unique theme of “trauma cleaners” to pass on the messages from the deceased and tell the moving stories of those who are left behind. Lee Je-hoon, beloved by audiences for his persuasive and nuanced performances, plays the role of Sang-gu, and rising star Tang Jun-sang plays the role of Geu-ru to relay the last words of those who passed.
Starring: Lee Jung-jae, Park Hae-soo
Directed by: Hwang Dong-hyuk
Squid Game is a Netflix original series about people who participate in a mysterious survival game with a 40-million-dollar prize at stake. Viewers will find themselves glued to the screen by the tension and suspense from various players desperate enough to participate in a game that could risk their lives and the choices made by people who are pushed to extreme situations. It’s the first TV series of director Hwang Dong-hyuk, whose previous works such as Silenced, Miss Granny, and The Fortress have offered insightful and poignant messages about society. Lee Jung-jae plays Ki-hun, who lost his job and hit the rock bottom, while Park Hae-soo plays Sang-woo, who gets into trouble after embezzling his company’s funds, to capture the raw realities of those who risk their lives through a survival game.
Love Alarm Season 2
Release Date: March 12, 2021
Starring: Kim So-hyun, Jung Ga-ram, Song Kang, Ko Min-si, and Kim Si-eun
Directed by: Kim Jin-woo
Set in a world where a notification on an app called “Love Alarm” becomes the only indicator of love, Love Alarm season 2 is a Netflix original series about a girl who cannot trigger Love Alarm and two guys with unabashed love for her trying to figure out how she feels. Season 2 picks up from the end of season 1, which became a huge sensation for its original concept of Love Alarm—which signals the user when someone with a crush on them is within the radius of 10 meters—and the perfect chemistry among its gorgeous cast, Kim So-hyun, Jung Ga-ram, and Song Kang, to tell their unfinished story. The new season will explore the unresolved feelings of first love of Jojo, Sun-oh, and Hye-yeong and capture various aspects of a society where the number of hearts on Love Alarm becomes so valuable that it affects a person’s social status.
Starring: Yoo Ah-in, Park Jeong-min, Kim Hyun-ju, Won Jin-ah, and Yang Ik-june
Directed by: Yeon Sang-ho
Hellbound depicts supernatural phenomena experienced by people who are condemned to hell after their unexpected encounters with angels of death. The intense series will depict supernatural events that are neither a miracle nor a curse, the rise of a new religious group that interprets the events as the will of the divine, and people trying to survive in the chaotic society. Hell, the widely popular original webtoon published on Naver, created a lot of buzz from the beginning as it was co-created by illustrator Choi Gyu-seok of Awl (or Songgot in Korean) and director Yeon Sang-ho, taking charge of the storyline. The Netflix series stars Yoo Ah-in, Park Jeong-min, Kim Hyun-ju, Won Jin-ah, and Yang Ik-june.
All of Us Are Dead
Starring: Yoon Chan-yeong, Park Ji-hu, Cho Yi-hyun, Lomon, and Yoo In-soo
Directed by: Lee JQ and Enes Kim
All of Us Are Dead is a story about people who are trapped in a high school where a zombie virus is spreading and those who are trying to save them as extreme situations riddled with surprises unfold. The original webtoon, Now at Our School, topped the chart among Wednesday webtoon series on Naver as soon as it was published in 2009 and became so wildly popular that each weekly episode topped the portal’s trending keyword list. The Netflix series is directed by Lee JQ, whose refreshing, sensational works include TV series Beethoven Virus and Damo: The Legendary Police Woman and a film Intimate Strangers. The series stars many rising stars with solid acting skills and refreshing charm, including Yoon Chan-yeong, Park Ji-hu, Cho Yi-hyun, Lomon, and Yoo In-soo.
Kingdom: Ashin of the North
Starring: Gianna Jun and Park Byung-eun
Directed by: Kim Seong-hun
Kingdom: Ashin of the North is a sidequel to the global K-zombie sensation Kingdom and tells the story of “Ashin,” the heiress to a northern Jurchen town, and the secret behind the resurrection plant. Created as a special episode, it is spun off from the story of Kingdom season 2 and depicts what happened in the past to the mysterious character Ashin, encountered by Lee Chang’s group on their northbound mission to uncover the truth behind the resurrection plant. Gianna Jun, whose appearance at the end of season 2 created much buzz, plays Ashin to unfold the story that everyone has been waiting for. Actor Park Byung-eun, who made a lasting impression on the viewers as the head of the Royal Commandery Min Chi-rok, makes another appearance in this special episode.
Night in Paradise
Release Date: April 9, 2021
Starring: Um Tae-goo, Jeon Yeo-been, and Cha Seoung-won
Directed by: Park Hoon-jung
Night in Paradise is a film about a man targeted by a criminal gang and a woman cornered to a dead end in life. Director Park Hoon-jung, whose works such as New World, V.I.P., and The Witch: Part 1. The Subversion have established him as a genre master for their compelling stories and brilliant action scenes, returns with yet another noir film that is quintessentially Korean. Night in Paradise was the only Korean film to be screened out of competition at the 77th Venice International Film Festival, where the film earned critical acclaim early on. Anticipation is high for the film as it promises to deliver an enthralling performance by the cast, including Um Tae-goo, who made his unique presence known in The Age of Shadows and The Great Battle; Jeon Yeo-been, who garnered unanimous praise for her performance in After My Death; and Cha Seoung-won, who transformed himself as unforgettable villain in Believer.
Lee Su-geun: The Sense Coach
Starring: Lee Su-geun
Lee Su-geun: The Sense Coach is a Netflix original stand-up special packed with gratifying ad-lib jokes that Lee Su-geun improvises as he coaches, with his acute sixth sense (or nunchi in Korean), members of the audience who often get pushed around and constantly worry about what others think. Having been entertaining Korean audiences through myriads of variety shows including Men on a Mission, Ask Us Anything Fortune Teller, New Journey to the West, and The Fishermen and the City 2, Lee Su-geun is now reaching out to viewers around the world with his first stand-up special since his debut 25 years ago. Created with interactive live communication with the audience at its heart, Lee Su-geun: The Sense Coach is anticipated to draw viewers in with Lee’s masterful command of live performance and his impromptu jokes that strike a chord with the audience.
So Not Worth It
Starring: Park Se-wan, Shin Hyeon-seung, Choi Young-jae (GOT7), Minnie ((G)I-DLE), and Han Hyun-min
Directed by: Kwon Ik-joon and Kim Jung-sik
So Not Worth It is a sitcom about students of diverse nationalities living in the international dormitory of a university in Seoul and portrays their love, friendship, and life adventures. Kwon Ik-joon, who has created some of the most beloved Korean sitcoms, including Korea’s first iconic sitcom series, Three Guys and Three Girls, and Nonstop, is the creator and director of this upcoming project, while Kim Jung-sik, who co-directed High Kick!, Potato Star 2013QR3, and Shut Up and Smash, joined the project as the co-director. It is co-written by Seo Eun-jung of New Nonstop and Baek Ji-hyun of Nonstop season 1, 2, and 3 as well as Ugly Miss Young-ae season 15, 16, and 17. The cast for the international dorm residents in So Not Worth It has been confirmed, including Park Se-wan, Shin Hyun-seung, Choi Young-jae (GOT7), Minnie ((G)I-DLE), and Han Hyun-min.
Starring: Paik Jong-won
Directed by: Park Hee-yeon, Lee Eun-kyung, Kwak Chung-a, and Lee Jong-hyuk
Paik’s Spirit is a Netflix original series where Paik Jong-won sits down for a drink with top Korean celebrities and professionals in various fields to have a conversation about drinking and life. Netflix partnered with Paik to create its first reality series, where the restaurateur introduces Korean alcoholic beverages, food, and culture. Anticipation runs high as viewers around the world will be able to enjoy Paik’s gift of the gab and charming presence that have won the hearts of Korean audiences. Featuring various alcoholic beverages ranging from soju—which in its characteristic green bottle stands at the center of Korean drinking culture—to beer, Korean traditional liquors, rice wine, and even craft beer, the series promises to bring stories of “the most uniquely Korean” drinks to intrigue the senses of viewers around the globe.