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New k-dramas to watch in January 2023

Updated: Jan 22, 2023

It's a brand new year, and we have a brand new list of k-dramas for you to look forward to. With tried-and-tested grim reaper fantasies and revenge thrillers, to intriguing brain science investigation comedies and second seasons of successful shows, it looks like 2023 is off to a good start.


Jan 2: Brain Works

A comedic brain science investigation drama? That’s the intriguing first k-drama to greet us this year, starring CNBLUE’s Jung Yong-hwa (Sell Your Haunted House) as an overconfident neuroscientist, and Cha Tae-hyun (Police University, The Producers) as a surly detective.

Though they can’t stand each other, they’ll be forced to work together to solve criminal cases, along with a hypnotic investigator played by Kwak Sun-young (Behind Every Star, Hospital Playlist).

Where to watch: Viu, starting Jan. 3, Mondays and Tuesdays

Jan 6: Payback

Lee Sun-kyun (Parasite, Dr Brain) will try to make sure our year is off to a good start with a thrilling revenge drama penned by Kim Won-suk, who co-wrote the award-winning screenplay for Descendants of the Sun.

In this 12-episode series from SBS, he plays a money trader who takes things into his own hands and goes up against a powerful cartel in collusion with law enforcers. Moon Chae-won (Flower of Evil) stars alongside him as an elite judicial officer.

Where to watch: Prime Video, Fridays and Saturdays

Jan 7: Agency

How far can your natural talent and grit take you? Go A-in (Lee Bo-young, Mine) has been going against the grain since the beginning. She’s had to overcome poverty, graduate from the “wrong” university, and be a woman in a male-dominated industry. But she doesn’t let that stop her from making it as the first female executive in an advertising agency.

Jan 11: Poong, the Joseon Psychiatrist 2

The Joseon-era heart healers are back: psychiatrist Yoo Se-poong (Kim Min-jae, Dali and The Cocky Prince), smart med student Soo Eun-woo (Kim Hyang-gi, Along with the Gods), and pragmatic provincial doctor Gye Ji-han (Kim Sang-kyung, Racket Boys)!

The 10-episode rom-com sageuk (historical show) from tvN will offer more action scenes in Hanyang and showcase the budding romance between Se-poong and his student Eun-woo in the second season.

Where to watch: Viu, starting Jan. 12, Wednesdays and Thursdays

Jan 14: Crash Course in Romance

It’s another tale of opposites attracting when Choi Chi-yeol (Jung Kyung-ho, Hospital Playlist) meets Nam Haeng-son (Jeon Do-yeon, Lost). He’s a sought-after instructor to prepare students for university entrance exams; she runs a side-dish shop. What could they possibly have in common?

This 16-episode series from tVN is the first romcom of the year set amidst Korea’s competitive educational system.

Where to watch: Netflix, Saturdays and Sundays

Jan 18: Can We Be Strangers

What happens when two divorce lawyers get divorced but are later forced to work together? That’s exactly the predicament star lawyer Oh Ha-ra (Kang So-ra, Misaeng: Incomplete Life) and her ex-husband Goo Eun-beom (Jang Seung-jo, The Good Detective) find themselves in.

The 12-episode romance series from ENA gives “untying the knot” new layers of meaning with respect to the duo’s personal and professional relationship.

Jan. 27: Kokdu: Season of Deity

The 16-episode fantasy medical drama from MBC follows a high-ranking grim reaper named Kokdu (Kim Jung-hyun, Mr. Queen). The wicked worker must take his vacation leave from the underworld every 99 years to visit the world of the living for 49 days.

Possessing human Do Jin-woo's body, Kokdu encounters an insecure visiting physician named Han Gye-jeol (Im Soo-hyang, Doctor Lawyer), who happens to have the ability to order him around.

Where to watch: Viki, Fridays and Saturdays

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