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K-dramas and Variety Shows on Disney+

Updated: Oct 29, 2023

Disney+ expands its reach throughout Asia-Pacific with the launch of the streaming platform in the Philippines on November 17, 2022. Spanning a variety of genres and a special edition of BTS' popular variety series In the Soop, k-drama fans will surely find themselves busy catching up with some of this year's most buzzed-about series. The selection also includes such well-loved k-drama classics as Sky Castle, Strong Girl Do Bong-soon, and Another Miss Oh. So whether you like rom-coms, historical dramas, thrillers, or sci-fi, there's something here for you to dig your heels into.


(Updated October 2023)

GwenchaNoona | K-drama + Variety on Disney+

Snowdrop

Disney+ is betting big on the k-drama market, with the highly anticipated Snowdrop as its maiden offering. Led by Jung Hae-in (D.P., Something In The Rain) and Blackpink's Jisoo in her first lead role, this romance drama set in 1987 draws inspiration from the handwritten notes of a man who escaped a North Korean political prison. The story starts when a bloodied Im Su-ho (Jung Hae-In), a graduate from Germany, rushes into a women's university. Eun Young-ro (Jisoo), a freshman at the university, finds him and takes care of him, despite the dangerous situation.

16 episodes.


Rookie Cops


Ko Eun-kang (Chae Soo-bin) and Wi Seung-hyeon (Kang Daniel) are college freshmen in the prestigious Korean National Police University (KNPU). Ko Eun-kang’s last-minute entry into KNPU shakes the decades-old hierarchical and patriarchal system. Seung-hyeon, Eun-kang, and their cohorts come of age in what can only be described as a police-themed university experience—complete with hazing, difficult professors, on-the-job training, crime-busting, loss, disillusionment, and, of course, romance.

16 episodes. Read our full review here.


Grid

Seo Kang-joon makes his military comeback in this sci-fi thriller that centers around the hunt for a mysterious figure only known as “Ghost.” Set in a future world tormented by solar winds and protected by the Grid system, Seo leads the search to track its inventor, “Ghost,” who is now accused of murder. The cast of Grid includes Kim Ah-joong, Kim Mu-yeol, Kim Sung-kyun, and Lee Si-young.

10 episodes.


Crazy Love

A sweet, vengeful, and crazy romantic drama? That’s what’s in store for us from this 16-episode rom-com offering from KBS. Kim Jae-wook (Her Private Life) stars as an extremely intelligent yet narcissistic CEO who pretends to have amnesia in the face of a death threat, while f(X)'s Krystal Jung takes on the role of his secretary who pretends to be his fiancée when she is told she doesn’t have much time to live. It does sound crazy, right?

16 episodes.


Soundtrack #1

Will Han Seon-woo (Park Hyung-sik, Happiness) and Lee Eun-soo (Han So-hee, My Name) go from friends to lovers within the span of a four-episode miniseries? That's certainly the hope as we watch these close friends—he's a kind and quiet photographer, she's a rookie lyricist with a bright personality—find themselves in a two-week co-habitation situation. And we all know what happens when two people live under the same roof in k-dramaland, right?

4 episodes. Read our full review here.


Going to You at a Speed of 493KM / Love All Play


Set in the world of badminton, this sports rom-com follows the stories of its young pro players, especially between Park Tae-joon (Chae Jong-hyeop, Nevertheless) and the failed Olympian Park Tae-yang (Park Ju-hyun, Extracurricular, Seoul Vibe).

16 episodes.


Bloody Heart


The versatile Lee Joon (Bulgasal: Immortal Souls) transforms in this fictional historical drama into Lee Tae, a king who has to choose between the woman he loves and the absolute monarchy he needs to survive. Kang Han-na (Start-up) stars opposite him as the bold and free-spirited Yoo Jung, a woman who has to become the queen to survive. The 16-episode bloody political romance also stars Jang Hyuk (Wok of Love) as Park Gye Won, the real head of power in Joseon.

16 episodes. For our short review and what-to-watch-after list, click here.


Kiss Sixth Sense


Hong Ye-sul (Seo Ji-hye, Crash Landing on You) has a unique special ability: When she kisses someone, she is able to see that person’s future. The story gets more interesting when she accidentally kisses the neck of her annoying boss, Cha Min-hoo (Yoon Kye-sang, Chocolate)—and sees a vision of his future in bed with her!

The 10-episode rom-com is based on the popular web novel Kiss Six Sense.


Doctor Lawyer


So Ji-sub (Oh My Venus) is back in this 16-episode medical legal drama about a genius surgeon, Han Yi-han, who decides to become a medical malpractice lawyer after losing everything from a fabricated surgery. Lim Soo-hyang (ID: Gangnam Beauty) stars opposite him as a medical crime prosecutor who lost a family member due to a surgery Han Yi-han performed.

16 episodes. Read our full review here.


Link: Eat, Love, Kill


In this 16-episode romance fantasy from tvN, Chef Eun Gye-hoon (Yeo Jin-goo, Beyond Evil) opens a restaurant in the town where his twin sister disappeared two decades ago. There, he meets a stranger and is bemused to learn that he can feel what she feels, such as joy, sorrow, and pain. The stranger turns out to be Noh Da-hyun (Moon Ga-young, True Beauty), a woman who believes smiling will bring good fortune, but seems to have bad luck in both life and love.

16 episodes.


Adamas

Ji Sung (The Devil Judge, Doctor John) takes on a challenging job playing twin brothers in this 16-episode tvN series. The brothers—mystery novelist Ha Woo-shin and prosecutor Song Soo-hyun—will work together to clear the name of their biological father, whom they believe was unjustly framed and sentenced to death for the murder of their stepfather.

16 episodes.


Big Mouth

Lee Jong-suk and Girls' Generation's Im Yoon-ah play a couple whose lives have been turned upside down by a big-time criminal called “Big Mouse.” But when Lee’s character goes to jail on a dubious charge, the entire prison seems to believe that he IS “Big Mouse.” But is he, really? Could this sweet and affable lawyer truly be the lord of the Korean underworld as well?

16 episodes.


May It Please the Court

After having played a prosecutor in Witch at Court and Diary of a Prosecutor, Jung Ryeo-won now takes on the role of a public defender in this 12-episode offering. In May It Please the Court, her character No Chak-hee goes from being an ace attorney at a big law firm to a public defender, and must now work together with her mysterious colleague Jwa Shi-baek (Lee Kyu-hung, Happiness) on a serial murder case targeting the wealthy.

12 episodes.


One Dollar Lawyer

If you loved Namgoong Min as the hilarious anti-hero Chief Kim in 2017’s Good Manager, then you’ll definitely want to check out his comedy comeback! In this episode SBS legal comedy, he plays Cheon Ji-hun, an unconventional lawyer who fights for the poor and penniless for a fee of 1,000 won (roughly 1 USD). One Dollar Lawyer co-stars Kim Ji-eun (Again My Life) and Choi Dae-hoon (Extraordinary Attorney Woo).

12 episodes.


The Golden Spoon

BtoB’s Yook Sung-jae (Goblin) makes his post-military comeback through this adaptation of a popular eponymous webtoon by HD3. He plays high school student Le Seung-cheon, a poor boy who hates being penniless. One day, an old woman sells him a three-dollar gold spoon and a way out of poverty—by having three meals with a well-off boy his age his house, and then switching parents him. Following the instructions, Sung-cheon dines with his rich friend Hwang Tae-young (Lee Jong-won, Hospital Playlist 2).


Follow his life-changing adventures in this fantasy k-drama directed by Song Hyun-wook (The King’s Affection, The Beauty Inside) and written by the duo Kim Eun-hee and Yoon Eun-kyung (Winter Sonata).


Connect

Renowned Japanese filmmaker Miike Takashi (Ichi the Killer) makes his first foray into k-drama. In this disturbing action thriller adapted from a webtoon, a man with self-healing powers (Jung Hae-in, D.P.) crosses paths with illegal organ traffickers. He ends up sharing an eyeball with (and the eyesight of) a vicious serial killer (Go Kyung-pyo, Love in Contract)—so the fight begins. Who will win in the end?


Call It Love


A revenge plot turns into romance in this 16-episode series. Sim Woo-joo (Lee Sung-kyung, Sh**ting Stars) approaches lonely workaholic Han Dong-jin (Kim Young-kwang, The Secret Life of My Secretary), the son of her father’s ex-mistress, to take revenge for how miserable her life turned out to be. But things don’t turn out the way she planned.


Pandora: Beneath the Paradise


Hong Tae-ra (Lee Ji-ah, Penthouse) seems to have the perfect life until she starts to remember things that were forgotten. With her ambitious husband Pyo Jae-hyun (Lee Sang-yoon, One The Woman) running for president, her life is suddenly thrust into the spotlight, but the attention only leads to the uncovering of dark secrets.


Producers promise that Hong Tae-ra's journey of self-discovery and revenge against those who orchestrated her fabricated life will be marked with shocking twists along the way. If you’re a fan of Penthouse and makjangs, then this one is for you.


Family: The Unbreakable Bond


Veteran stars Jang Hyuk (The Crowned Clown) and Jang Na-ra (Sell Your Haunted House) reunite a fourth time for a spy comedy drama about a National Intelligence Service agent who leads a double life as an office worker by day, and his wife who dreams of having a perfect family. Nobody knows, though, that she too has a secret.


Dr. Romantic 3


The Doldam family is back! Legendary surgeon Kim Sabu (Han Suk-kyu) will continue to mentor Dr. Seo Woo-jin (Ahn Hyo-seop, Business Proposal) and Dr. Cha Eun-jae (Lee Sung-kyung, Sh**ting Stars) in season 3 of this SBS healing drama. It takes off three years from the end of the last season, so expect a more skilled and reliable medical team at the small but tightly-knit countryside hospital. So much of the world has changed in those three years—both in the drama and IRL, but the fact that “people are the most important” has not.


Race


This new workplace drama delves into the trials and tribulations of an ordinary female worker turned public relations officer at a large company. Park Yoon-jo, played by Lee Yeon-hee (Welcome to Wedding Hell), is a passionate and hardworking PR professional who finds herself caught in a recruitment scandal. Despite being labeled a "diversity hire," she is determined to overcome the challenges and prove her worth.


The series also stars Moon So-ri (Queenmaker), Hong Jong-hyun (Moon Lovers), and Jung Yun-ho (Dating on Earth). Race is penned by acclaimed screenwriter Kim Roo-ri (Hyena) and helmed by director Lee Dong-yoon (20th Century Boy and Girl). Read our full review here.


Revenant


In this 12-episode thriller-mystery-supernatural series, part-time worker Ku San-young, played by Kim Tae-ri (Twenty-Five, Twenty-One), is possessed by a demon that Yeom Hae-sang, a lieutenant in the violent crimes unit portrayed by Oh Jung-se (It's Okay to Not Be Okay), can see. Together, they try to figure out the truth behind the mysterious deaths related to five sacred objects. Read our review and k-horror recommendations here.


Moving


Jo In-sung (It’s Okay, That’s Love), Han Hyo-joo (Pirates: The Last Royal Treasure), Ryu Seung-ryong (Miracle in Cell No. 7), and Cha Tae-hyun (My Sassy Girl) star in the most anticipated sci-fi series of the year. Written by Kang Full and adapted from Kang Full’s webtoon, the 20-episode k-drama tells the story of three students (Lee Jung-ha, Run On; Go Youn-jung, Alchemy of Souls; and Kim Do-hoon, Today’s Webtoon) who have inherited superpowers from their parents, but must hide their abilities even while helping others. Read our full review here.


Han River Police


The iconic Han River serves as the backdrop to this action comedy series. Kwon Sang-woo (Queen of Mystery) and Kim Hee-won (Behind Your Touch) star as police officers with contrasting personalities, working to maintain peace around the Han River. Lee Sang-yi (Bloodhounds) and Sung Dong-il also throw in their comedic charms to the mix.


Arthdal Chronicles: Sword of Aramun


The sequel we’ve all been waiting for is finally here! Set almost a decade after the events of the first season, this 12-episode historical fantasy drama will see Jang Dong-gun and Kim Ok-bin reprise their roles as Tagon and Taelha, respectively, who now rule the Kingdom of Arthdal.


Lee Joon-gi (Again My Life) will bring to life the older Eunseom, who has now unified the clans of the East as Ago Union, while Shin Se-kyung (Run On) will play the older Tanya, who is now the ruler of the still-enslaved Wahan clan. Get ready for the impending war between Tagon's Kingdom and Eun Seom's Ago Union.


The Worst of Evil


Ji Chang-wook (The Sound of Magic, Suspicious Partner) returns to the world of k-drama action and stars alongside Wi Ha-joon (Squid Game) in this criminal action drama. Need we say more? The series follows two police officers as they dive into the dark underbelly of 90s Gangnam to infiltrate a criminal organization involved in the international drug trade.


VARIETY


In the Soop: Friendcation

All the k-drama fans in the world owe BTS' V a debt of gratitude for bringing some of the most loved leading men and idols in this epic barkada (squad) outing! We join Park Seo-joon (Itaewon Class), Peakboy, Choi Woo-shik (Our Beloved Summer), and Park Hyung-sik (Soundtrack #1) as they give in to their maknae's wish to go on a trip together.


In the Soop: Friendcation is the Wooga Squad edition of BTS' healing variety show, BTS In the Soop. Through BTS V's wish to enjoy his hiatus, his label graciously invited his friend group to go on a healing trip. Viewers get the rare chance to see how famous idols and Hallyu stars unwind and enjoy their time with their friends. That's it. There's no big plot for this one, just great visuals.

4 episodes.


Outrun by Running Man

Running Man mainstays Kim Jong Kook, HaHa, and Ji Suk-jin star in this official spin-off of Korea’s longest running variety show. A Disney+ original, Outrun by Running Man features fresh concepts like upgraded missions with a mystery component. Song Ji-hyo, Yang Se-chan, Defconn, Kim Jong-min, Yoo Se-yoon, and Choi Joon appear as guests.

14 episodes.


Unexpected Business in California

Real life best buddies Jo In-sung and Cha Tae-hyun reunite for a third season of Unexpected Business, a variety series that has them running a supermarket together. This time, they're off to Marina, California, where for 10 days they take over the management of a Korean-owned Asian market with a small restaurant serving Chef In-sung's signature snowcrab ramyeon. Part-timers Han Hyo-joo, Lim Ju-hwan, and Park Bo-young, among others, also report for duty in this 12-episode series.


Which of these is first on your watch list?

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