With the first week of January coming to a close, it’s time to say goodbye to 2015, look ahead and expect even greater things from the K-dramaverse. C’mon, 2016, I’m countin’ on ya. The following ten are the shows I, personally, will definitely be checking out, listed in the order of their release dates. Let’s get right into it:
1. Moorim School (Premieres January 11) – This one is right around the corner, and though I’m not totally excited for it, it does have my interest. The plot reminds me a lot of the short drama White Christmas, a very dark, yet intriguing high school thriller. I do like the aura of mystery the teasers have been giving and…well, Lee Hyun Woo. I miss that boy.
2. One More Happy Ending (Premieres January 20) – This sounds like it could be a very fun, quirky rom-com. It follows a group of girls who were once in an idol group and are now having trouble with their relationships. Hopefully, this means we’ll be getting a good dose of girl besties. I love my bromances, but I wish more dramas would focus on girl friendships too, instead of constantly having the second female lead be evil or annoying.
3. Madame Antoine (Premieres January 22) – The typical story of a girl who longs for true love and a guy who doesn’t believe in such a thing, but with a little twist. The show will follow Han Ye Seul as a phony fortune teller who claims she has some kind of connection with Marie Antoinette, and Sung Joon as a pyschotherapist who will use Ye Seul in an experiment to prove that true love is indeed false. I do get a kick out of the old contract romances, and I think this one has the potential to be a hoot.
4. Page Turner (Premieres February*) – This is a drama special that will only be 3 episodes, but how could I not be psyched? Kim So Hyun, Ji Soo and Shin Jae Ha? AND the writer of I Hear Your Voice?? I had this on my list before I even knew the plot. Just give Ji Soo the girl this time, okay? After all this time, we deserve to see it happen onscreen.
*Update: Airdate now moved to March.
5. Descendants of the Sun (Premieres February 24) – This might be the most hyped up drama for 2016. It’s the first drama to actually finish filming before its airdate, which is probably why it’s expected to be good. And I’m sure a lot of people will be tuning in just to see Song Joong Ki back in dramaland, myself included. I don’t know how I feel about Song Hye Kyo, but I’m going to give her a chance despite her underwhelming presence in the teasers.
6. Please Come Back, Ahjusshi (Premieres February 24) – I’m considering this project Rain‘s real comeback to the small screen so I can try to forget that mess of a drama, She’s So Lovable. I know you can do better than that, Oppa. The show sounds a lot like Oh My Ghostess with the genders switched, but I’m curious to see how it’ll try to be different.
7. Vampire Detective (Premieres March) – Another vampire attempt after we were given Orange Marmalade and Scholar Who Walks the Night last year. Those two weren’t all that memorable, but maybe this show can step it up. Lee Joon already pulls off the vampire look for me in the picture above, so I’m not too worried. Let’s just have a good story to back it all up.
8. Lightly, Ardently/Uncontrollably Fond/Whatever the Hell It’s Called (Premieres this summer) – Oy, Kim Woo Bin, it’s been a while. I haven’t seen you since School 2013 (since I refused to watch The Heirs). From the descriptions, this show doesn’t pop as much for me as the others on this list, but like Descendants of the Sun, it’ll complete filming before it airs, giving them plenty of time to give us a well-constructed drama. I’ve got my eye on you.
9. Hwarang: The Beginning (Premieres this summer) – I’ve loved every single project in the Oh! Boy series (Flower Boy Ramen Shop, Shut Up! Flower Boy Band and Flower Boy Next Door), and now they’re going all the way back to the beginning with the original flower boys–warriors that lived in the Kingdom of Silla. It’s hard for me to get into sageuks (historical dramas), but I so want to like this. I’m just sad we have to wait until summer to get it. After all, with She Was Pretty long gone, I need my Park Seo Joon fix!
10. Moon Lovers (Premieres late 2016) – Wowza, that’s a lot of pretty faces. Based on the Chinese drama Bu Bu Jing Xin (which was based on a Chinese novel), the show follows IU as a girl in 21st century Seoul who time travels back into the Goryeo dynasty, diving right into an armful of suitors. Well, ain’t she a lucky gal. I’ve heard great things about the Chinese version, and I’m sure it has a large fanbase nervous about a remake. But since they already have a great story and plenty of great actors, they have my trust.
And there we have it. There are many more that I’ll be keeping tabs on and many more to be announced for sure. Maybe there will even be a good few that surprise us. But for now, it’s time to let go of the beloved gems we received in 2015 like Healer and Shin Se Gi (andwaeeee! T_T) and embrace what’s to come. Bring it on!