Is there any better activity for the long, cold winter months than marathoning a K-drama? No, there is not. In the last few years, Netflix has become one of the go-to platforms for South Korean dramas, investing in the country’s television industry at the production level. This winter, Netflix has a diverse offering of beloved returning and exciting new K-dramas to show for it, offering a horror-tinged end to the 2023 TV season and plenty of romance to start out 2024. Here are the six upcoming Korean dramas you should be watching this winter on Netflix.
Release date: Nov. 25 to Jan. 13, 2024 (two episodes weekly)
Episode count: 16
Recommended for fans of: Goblin, The Vampire Diaries, Business Proposal
This supernatural rom-com has already premiered with its first few episodes on Netflix, and it’s making waves in the U.S. top 10. Starring Sweet Home’s Song Kang as centuries-old demon Jeong Gu-won, who loses his powers when he meets workaholic CEO Do Do-hee (20th Century Girl’s Kim Yoo-jung), My Demon is the perfect winter watch for K-drama fans who still miss Goblin or American TV fans who still miss The Vampire Diaries. Also, there’s cake!
While Gu-won and Do-hee initially want nothing to do with one another, the mystery of Gu-won’s missing powers has them locked in a contract marriage that is the perfect setup for an enemies-to-lovers, workplace-romance happy ending… let’s hope. My Demon has made no promises, and with stakes as high (and low) as heaven and hell, this K-drama will no doubt keep fans guessing until its mid-January finale.
Sweet Home season 2
Release date: Dec. 1
Episode count: 10
Recommended for fans of: Sweet Home season 1, Connect, Alice in Borderland
If you haven’t gotten your Song Kang fix from My Demon, step into the much bloodier world of Sweet Home. The first season of the webtoon adaptation became the first K-drama to make it into the U.S. Netflix top 10 when it dropped in December 2020, but how will the gruesome horror series fare three years later?
The story follows Cha Hyun-su (Kang), a teenage orphan with plans to die by suicide. He puts those plans on hold when the monster apocalypse, you know, happens. The first 10 episodes see Hyun-su and his neighbors at Green Home Apartments fighting to stay alive — or, in many cases, human — when anyone can turn into a monster at any time.
The second season has a much bigger budget and broadens the scope of the story to explore what is going on in the rest of Seoul, as the military tries to quash the monster evolution and Hyun-su and his friends continue their efforts to stay alive. With a third season already greenlit, now is the time to pick up this K-drama. If you can stomach the violence and body horror, the monsters of Sweet Home are worth the effort.
Welcome to Samdal-ri
Release date: Dec. 2 to Jan. 21, 2024 (two episodes weekly)
Episode count: 16
Recommended for fans of: Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha, Forecasting Love and Weather, Our Blues
While away the winter hours on the beaches of Jeju, South Korea’s largest island and a popular tourist location famed for its natural beauty and fields of tangerine trees. Romantic drama Welcome to Samdal-ri follows Jo Yong-pil (The Sound of Magic’s Ji Chang-wook) and Jo Sam-dal (Mr. Queen’s Shin Hye-sun), childhood friends who grew up on Jeju together.
Following the death of his mother, Yong-pil became a weather forecaster at Jeju’s Meteorological Administration, while Sam-dal left home to become a fashion industry photographer in Seoul. When Sam-dal returns to the island in the aftermath of a scandal, she and Yong-pil reconnect.
With plenty of on-location shots of the beautiful Jeju-do, and at least a passing reference to the famous women divers of the island, Welcome to Samdal-ri looks like it could be the perfect small-town romance to chase the winter blues away.
Release date: Dec. 22 (part 1), Jan. 5, 2024 (part 2)
Episode count: 10
Recommended for fans of: The Terror, Mr. Sunshine
In the spring of 1945, Japan’s occupation of Korea was almost at an end — but the characters in Gyeongseong Creature don’t know that. They are living in a Seoul (known as Gyeongseong at the time) still besieged by Japanese colonial forces. In this context, we meet Jang Tae-sang (The Marvels’ Park Seo-joon), a young businessman who trades in goods and secrets at the House of Golden Treasure.
Tae-sang has spent his life doing what he has to in order to survive, but when he meets Yoon Chae-ok (Nevertheless’ Han So-hee), a no-nonsense sleuth with a mission of her own, he finds himself drawn to her for other reasons. When the two team up to find the missing lover of a powerful Japanese commissioner, the trail leads to Ongseong hospital, where dark and dangerous experiments that could threaten the whole city are underway.
Gyeongseong Creature is the rare K-drama that was announced as a two-season story, which means this epic tale will extend beyond the initial 10 episodes. With the first seven episodes dropping on Dec. 22 and the final three of the first season coming on Jan. 5, 2024, it makes for the perfect creepy, romantic period drama watch for the holidays.
Like Flowers in Sand
Release date: Dec. 20 (two episodes weekly)
Episode count: TBA
Recommended for fans of: Twenty-Five Twenty-One, Racket Boys, Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo
From AStory, the Korean production company that brought us both Kingdom and Extraordinary Attorney Woo, comes Like Flowers in Sand, a drama set in the world of Korean traditional wrestling, or ssireum. Mr. Sunshine actor Jang Dong-yoon stars as Kim Baek-doo, a prodigy who is considering quitting the sport amid the disbandment of his team. When Baek-doo’s childhood friend and first love, Oh Yoo-kyung (Twenty-Five Twenty-One’s Lee Ju-myoung), signs on as manager at his club, he starts to reconsider.
While we are still waiting on a proper trailer for this one, the unique subject and powerful visuals of the teaser make for an intriguing series. Ssireum has popped up in other Hallyu offerings — from contestant backgrounds on sports competition hit Physical 100 to K-pop challenges — but it’s rare to see it such a primary focus in a drama.
Marry My Husband
Release date: Jan. 1, 2024 (two episodes weekly)
Episode count: TBA
Recommended for fans of: A Time Called You, The Glory, Familiar Wife
When the hardworking, cancer-stricken Kang Ji-won (Park Min-young) discovers her husband and close friend are having an affair, she confronts them — only to be murdered. (Rude.) She wakes up a decade prior, when she is dating her would-be spouse, and has a chance to change it all — perhaps with the help of Yoo Ji-hyeok (Mr. Queen’s Na In-woo), a colleague and friend of Ji-won’s who has a secret of his own. Time travel, romance, and revenge all mix in this Netflix K-drama adapted from a popular webtoon of the same name. It might sound like a big setup to pull off, but with Park Min-young — who is excellent in both What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim and Forecasting Love and Weather — in the lead role, Marry My Husband has all the makings of a winter K-drama hit.