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Korean Wave

Korean slate for 2022: New K-dramas, films to watch

Marane A. Plaza - Philstar.com
Korean slate for 2022: New K-dramas, films to watch
Cast of 'Money Heist: Korea - Joint Economic Area' 
Netflix/Released

MANILA, Philippines — In 2021, Netflix brought us legendary Korean shows like “Squid Game" and “Hellbound," which dominated the global popular culture last year. 

This new year, you’re once again in for some unique storylines and entertaining plots from the land of  K-drama, as Netflix presents to you its “Korean Slate for 2022":

Series: 

'All of Us Are Dead'

Netflix Series “All of Us Are Dead” is a story about students trapped in a school amid a zombie virus outbreak who later join hands to fight for survival. 

Based on a popular webtoon by Webtoon creator Joo Dong-geun, “All of Us Are Dead” is touted as a ‘Korean-style zombie graphic novel’ with its wild imagination, gripping storyline, and meticulous details. The horrific visuals of students infected by the mysterious zombie virus and stunning action set in different parts of the school are a must-watch. 

The series highlights a number of rising stars including Yoon Chan-young, Park Ji-hu, Cho Yi-hyun, Lomon, Yoo In-soo, Lee You-mi and Lim Jae-hyeok. Directed by Lee JQ and Kim Nam-su, and written by Chun Sung-il. 

'Juvenile Justice' 

“Juvenile Justice” deals with a judge who dislikes juvenile delinquents, later realizing the troubles children face in society, and how society is circumventing them to become better people. 

Kim Hye-soo(Hyena, Signal) plays Sim Eun-seok, the charismatic judge newly appointed to a district with the highest juvenile delinquency and makes unorthodox decisions to existing judgments. She later tries to send a message that society is also responsible for juveniles' immoral and illicit acts.

The series is directed by Hong Jong-chan and written by Kim Min-suk. Starring Kim Hye-soo, Kim Moo-yeol, Lee Sung-min and Lee Jung-Eun.

'Twenty Five, Twenty One'

“Twenty Five, Twenty One” is a drama of youths who lost their dream to the zeitgeist of 1998, a drama of their dilemma and growth. They called out each other’s names for the first time when they were twenty-two and eighteen. Now they’ve each become twenty-five and twenty-one. 

The fine line between a heart-fluttering first love and a heart-warming friendship gives them butterflies. Their sparkling love and growth, as well as the chemistry and hardships among the five friends, remind us of our intense yet beautiful youth. 

Directed by Jung Jeehyun and written by Kwon Doe-un. Starring Kim Tae-ri, Nam Joo-hyuk, Kim Ji Yeon, Choi Hyun Wook and Lee Ju Myung.

'Forecasting Love and Weather'

“Forecasting Love and Weather” is a cheerful romance drama of people at the Korea Meteorological Administration who break, fall and get back on their feet every day. 
The story narrates Jin Ha-kyung, who decides never to commit to an office romance after a brutal break-up. But again, she falls into a relationship with a newcomer in the team Lee Si-woo, who is different but attractive in his own way. 

With a star-studded cast of Park Min Young and Song Kang, this is one of the most anticipated Romantic Comedies in the first half of 2022. Directed by Cha Young Hun and written by Sun Young.

'Thirty Nine' 

“Thirty Nine” is a down-to-earth life and romance drama that touches deep into the friendship, love and life of three friends who are about to turn forty. A coincidence in their high school years brought the three of them together to become BFFs. 

Cha Mi-jo (played by Son Ye-jin) Jeong Chan-young (played by Jeon Mi-do) and Jang Joo-hee (played by Kim Ji-hyun) are very close friends who have been through both the good and the worst times together. Mi-jo now works as a Dermatologist, Chan-young as an acting coach and Joo-hee as a cosmetics sales manager. One fine day, when they are all 39, life takes a turn for the worse and they have to get ready for goodbye.

This 12-episode series is directed by Kim Sang-ho and written by Yu Young- a. 

'Tomorrow'

Directed by Kim Tae-Youn and Sung Chi-Wook, and written by Park Rhan, Park Ja-kyung and Kim You-jin, “Tomorrow is a 16-episode series starring Kim Hee-seon, Rowoon and Lee Soo-hyuk. 

The grim reapers who used to escort the dead now save those who want to die. 

An afterlife fantasy drama, “Tomorrow” depicts how a long-time unemployed Choi Jun-woong accidentally bumps into grim reapers on a special mission and becomes a contract worker at their Crisis Management Team to help them out on their mission. 

'Business Proposal'

Starring Ahn Hyo-Seop, Kim Se Jeong, Seol In A, Kim Min Gue, Lee Duck Hwa, “Business Proposal” is an office romance drama based on a globally famous web novel and webtoon of the same name with a total 320 million views. 

An average employee Shin Ha-ri (played by Kim Se Jeong) goes on a blind date in her friend’s stead as a sassy girl, only to find her blind date to be the CEO of her company, Kang Tae-moo (played by Ahn Hyo-Seop). 

After the two run into each other on their blind date, they each struggle in their own way at the office as the CEO and the employee, which can sometimes be sweet, thrilling and even tense.

Directed by Park Seon Ho and written by Han Sul Hee.

'The Sound of Magic'

“The Sound of Magic” is based on the popular webtoon Annarasumanara. It is a touching drama about Yoon Ah-yi, a girl who had to grow up too fast, and Rieul, a mysterious magician who — although grown up — wants to remain as a kid. 

Ji Chang-wook plays Rieul, a mysterious magician who lives in an abandoned amusement park, Choi Sung-eun plays the role of Yoon Ah-yi and Hwang In-youp will play Yoon Ah-yi’s classmate Na Il-deung.

”The Sound of Magic” will be directed by Kim Sung-youn whose impeccable storytelling skills were shown in the hit series, Itaewon Clas. He teams up again with writer Kim Min Jeong, who worked with him on “Love in the Moonlight”. 

'Remarriage and Desires' 

“Remarriage & Desires” is a satire of Korean society governed by desire. 

Set at the exclusive matchmaking agency Rex catering to the top echelons of society, ambitious souls hope to upgrade their status by marrying or remarrying into the ranks of the elite. They aspire to nab someone from the “Black” tier, the highest group consisting of the top 0.001 percent of the population. 

With a star-studded cast of Kim Hee-Seon, Lee Hyun-Wook, and Jung Eungene, “Remarriage and Desires” shrewdly portrays the commercialized dating/marriage business and society's perception in which we live. Directed by Kim Jung-Min and written by Lee Geun-Young, with stars like Kim Hee-Seon, Lee Hyun-Wook, Jung Eugene, Park Hoon and Cha Ji-Yeon.

'A Model Family' 

“A Model Family” is a story about a man on the brink of bankruptcy and divorce stumbling upon a car loaded with cash. The incident has him crossing paths with the second-in-command of a drug organization. 

Jung Woo, Park Hee-soon, Yoon Jin-seo and Park Ji-yeon lead this thrilling illustration of an ordinary family coincidently putting hands on illegal drug money. The scene-stealing synergy between acclaimed actors Jung Woo - who plays the man discovering the cash - and Park Hee-soon - who plays the second-in-command of Drug Cartel - is a must-watch ready to captivate the audience. 

“A Model Family” is directed by Kim Jin-woo. 

'Glitch'

“Glitch” tells the story of Hong Jihyo, who attempts to track down her missing boyfriend with the help of members of a UFO club. In the process, she comes face to face with a mysterious secret. 

Writer Gin Han-sai tells the story of “Glitch”, who enthralled audiences and critics with the much-lauded Netflix series Extracurricular. The series will be directed by Roh Deok, known for her genre-crossing agility, and Jeon Yeo-been plays the lead role of Hong Jihyo, and NANA plays Bora.

'The Accidental Narco (WT)'

Starring Ha Jung-woo, Hwang Jung-min, Park Hae-soo, Jo Woo-jin, Yoo Yeon-seok, “Chang Chen” is based on real-life events about an ordinary entrepreneur who has no choice but to risk his life in joining the secret mission of government agents to capture a Korean drug lord operating in The Accidental Narco.

“The Accidental Narco” marks Director Yoon Jong-bin’s first foray into series and first collaboration with Netflix, and the first collaboration between Ha Jung-woo and Hwang Jung-min. Written by Yoon Jong-bin and Kwon Sung-Hui.

'The Fabulous' 

“The Fabulous” is a highly realistic romance that explores the dreams, love, and friendship of young people who devote their lives to working in the fashion industry, where fashion often means passion. 

It is directed by Kim Jeong-hyeon, written by Kim Ji-hee and Im Jin-sun, with cast members Chae Soo-bin and Choi Min-ho. 

'Love to Hate You'

“Love to Hate You” is about the war-like relationship between a woman who hates losing to men, and a man frantically suspicious of women who later discover life remedies behind their opposite characteristics. 

Starring Kim Ok-bin and Teo Yoo, “Love to Hate You” depicts the love and emotional sympathy that triumphs over the broader mistrust between the opposite sex.

“Love to Hate You” is directed by Kim Jeong-kwon and written by Choi Soo-young.

'Money Heist: Korea - Joint Economic Area' 

Starring Yoo Ji-tae, Kim Yunjin, Park Hae-soo, Jun Jong-seo, Lee Won-jong, Park Myung-hoon, Kim Seung-o, Kim Ji-hun, Jang Yoon-ju, Lee Joobeen, Lee Hyun-woo, Kim Ji-hoon and Lee Kyu-ho, “Money Heist: Korea - Joint Economic Area” narrates a genius strategist and his talented crew – composed of top-class thieves – attempting to pull off an unprecedented heist in the Korean Peninsula. 

The story portrays unexpected twists and turns as the crew stage a hostage while facing inexplicable challenges. All eyes are focused on the background and definition behind the title Joint Economic Area. 

'Somebody' 

A murder case revolves around the social dating app “Somebody”, which triggers the developer of the app and her friends to entangle in inexplicable issues surrounding a mysterious figure named Yoon-oh. 

Prominent director Jung Ji-woo spearheads the production – marking his first foray into series and collaboration with Netflix – along with writer Han Ji-wan renown for his ability to write excellent thriller genre scripts. Star Kim Young-kwang leads the cast with a group of fresh new names - Kang Hae-lim, Kim Yong-ji and Kim Su-yeon. 

'Black Knight' 

Starring Kim woo-bin, “Black Knight” illustrates an air polluted world in 2071, where people depend on respirator masks to breathe. Only one percent of the human race has survived, and a strict social stratification has been established in the deserted lands of the Korean Peninsula. Delivery drivers play a crucial role within this system. And for refugees, becoming a delivery driver is their only hope for survival. 

Amid desolation, “Black Knight” tells the story of a legendary delivery driver 5-8 with exceptional battle skills and refugee Sawol who dreams of following in his footsteps. 
“Black Knight” is directed by Cho Ui-seok and written by Cho Ui-seok. 

Films:

'Love and Leashes'

“Love and Leashes” is a film about a different kind of romance between a man with a unique taste, and a woman who stumbles upon his secret. 

Seo Hyun, who recently played a shapeshifting swindler in “Private Lives”, will star in her first film, “Love and Leashes”. Jung Ji-woo, played by Seo Hyun in the film, is a woman who leads a racy romance by engaging in a “special” relationship with her co-worker after she accidentally learns about his secret peculiarities. 

Performing outstandingly across an array of genres like in the musical “Swag Age: Shout”, “Joseon!”, and dramas “Please Don't Date Him” and “Imitation”, rising star Lee Jun-young will play the role of Jung Ji-hoo, a man with unusual tastes. Lee Jun-young will add vibrancy and excitement in the role as his character’s charm and figure, adored by his female co-workers, hide his secret and unique taste. 

“Love and Leashes” is directed by Park Hyun-jin and written by Park Hyeon-jin and Lee Da-hye.

'Yaksha: Ruthless Operations'

Directed by Na Hyun and written by An Sang-hoon, Na Hyun, “Yaksha: Ruthless Operations” is a breathtaking spy action film that unfolds as a merciless man known as “Yaksha”.

He crosses paths with a prosecutor on a special inspection mission in Shenyang, a city in China notorious for espionage. Director Na Hyun makes his long-awaited comeback after directing “The Prison”, which has swept audiences off their feet with stunning action scenes and a tightly wound plot, and adapting “Inseparable Bros” into a delicate and heartwarming story.

Sul Kyung-gu plays the callous head of the overseas espionage team, also known as the man-eating Yaksha, who accomplishes his goals by hook or by crook. Park Hae-soo, a global star from Squid Game, plays the role of Ji-hoon, a prosecutor demoted to Shenyang for playing it by the book. “Yaksha: Ruthless Operations” stars Sul Kyung-gu, Park Hae-soo, HIROYUKI Ikeuchi, Yang Dong-keun, EL, Song Jae-lim and Park Jin-young.

'Carter'

“Carter” is a new original film about an agent suffering from memory loss, who was thrown into the middle of a mysterious mission. Joo Won, who played powerful roles in “Good Doctor Yong-pal”, transforms into an action hero in Director Jung Byung-gil’s new work.

The role of “Carter” will challenge him with even more extreme and exciting action. Joo Won will portray the character’s inner struggle as he deals with the uncertainties of his mission.

“Carter is directed by Jung Byung-gil and written by Jung Byung-gil, Jung Byeong-sik.

'Seoul Vibe' 

Action blockbuster “Seoul Vibe” narrates a talented crew of baby drivers – known as the Sangedong Supreme team. With the world's eyes drained to the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games, the illegal transactions of capital funds is a significant issue.

A special operation driven by the Sangedong Supreme team initiates to unravel the corruption behind the slush funds. “Seoul Vibe” has an all-star cast directed by Moon Hyun-sung– Yoo Ah-in, Ko Kyung-pyo, Lee kyoo-hyung , Park Ju-hyun, Ong Seong-wu- who portrays this incredible chase in the city of Seoul tightly packed with breathtaking action scenes.

'20th Century Girl'

In 1999 – the last year of the 20th century – seventeen-year-old Bo-ra finds her first love: a sweet, pure but heartbreaking relationship. Years later in the 21st century, news about her first love revives her teenage romance that she once thought had forgotten.

“The 20th Century” Girl narrates the lives of the youth in their 20s, filled with vivid moments of love and friendship. 

Starring the popular Kim You-jung, Byeon Woo-seok, Park Jung-woo, and Roh Yoon-Seo, this pit-a-patting film is directed by Bang Woo-ri, who won the Best Short Film award for Mrs.Young at the Blue Dragon Awards. 

'JUNG_E' 

Starring Kang Soo-youn, Kim Hyun-joo, Ryu Kyung-soo, "JUNG_E" portrays a desolated Earth in the 22nd century that is no longer inhabitable due to climate change.
Amid the chaos, an internal war breaks out in the shelter built for human survival. Victory – meaning the end of the war – now hinges on finding a way to clone the legendary mercenary "JUNG_E" into a scalable robot.

Written by Yeon Sang-ho and orchestrated by Director Yeon Sang-ho of Train to Busan, Peninsula, and Hellbound, and with a colorful cast, "JUNG_E" portrays a unique theme combined with dystopia, cloning, and technology.

'Celeb Five: Behind the Curtain'

A fake documentary, "Celeb Five: Behind the Curtain" takes a peek into how Celeb Five, played by Kim Shin-young, Song Eun-yi, Shin Bong-sun and Ahn Young-mi, goes on marathons of ideation meetings to plan an amazing stage after being offered a solo show on Netflix.

Their behind-the-stage work, more ingenious and hilarious than the on-stage show itself, provides incessant laughter and fun-- with endless gut-busting stories, all-of-a-sudden pretend play, skits made on-the-fly and all the improvs.

This hilarious show is produced by Company SangSang, known for its great synergy with Netflix on shows like "Busted", "Twogether" and "New World", and co-directed by Celeb Five and Director Kim Joo-hyoung and Go Min-seok. It's praised for having laid the groundwork for Korean standing comedies with Park Na-rae: "Glamour Warning" and "Lee Su-geun: The Sense Coach."

RELATED: LIST: Must-watch K-dramas for 2022

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