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The Return of the Queens


The next few months will be quite exciting as several veteran film and drama actresses return to the small screen. These top actresses will be portraying a variety of strong female characters, including a mountain ranger, private detective, and juvenile court judge. We can already imagine the intensity of the next award season's competition!



Jun Ji-hyun

Fans of Jun Ji-hyun are undoubtedly rejoicing as their queen makes a comeback this year with not just one but two dramas! The highly-anticipated “sidequel” of the hit Netflix zombie series Kingdom, Kingdom: Ashin of the North drops on Netflix on July 23. The feature-length special episode will focus on the mysterious character revealed at the end of season two.


Then, on October 23, Cliffhanger (literal title Mount Jiri), the 16-episode tvN drama about mountain rangers at Jirisan National Park with Joo Ji-hoon, Oh Jung-se, and Sung Dong-il, will be released on iQIYI.


Shin Min-Ah

This August, be prepared to drown in dimples as Shin Min-ah co-stars in Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha alongside Kim Seon-ho (Start-up). In her first drama since Chief of Staff 2 (2019), Shin Min-ah plays a dentist who moves to the seaside village of Gongjin, where she meets a helpful handyman. This tvN drama will takeover the Saturday-Sunday time slot currently occupied by The Devil Judge on August 28.



Jeon Do-yeon

Korea’s “Queen of Cannes” returns to the small screen this September in Lost, a JTBC 10th anniversary special drama. In this slice-of-life drama co-starring Ryu Jun-yeol, Jeon Do-yeon plays a 40-something-year-old ghostwriter who is discontent with her life. Lost marks the drama debut of renowned film director Hur Jin-ho (One Fine Spring Day, The Last Princess) and screenwriter Kim Ji-hye (Architecture 101).



Lee Young-ae

The star of Jewel in the Palace, one of the most beloved k-dramas from the early days of the Hallyu Wave, is currently filming the comedy action thriller Koo Kyung-yi for JTBC. In this 12-episode series coming in October, Lee Young-ae plays a police officer-turned-insurance investigator/private detective trying to catch a female serial killer. The drama has been described as "the Korean Killing Eve." This is her first drama since the 2017 historical drama Saimdang, Memoir of Colors.



Song Hye-kyo

Almost three years after the noona romance Encounter, Song Hye-kyo makes her k-drama comeback with Now, We are Breaking Up! with Jang Ki-yong as her leading man. Set in the fashion industry, the cast of this upcoming SBS romantic melodrama includes EXO’s Sehun and Girls Day’s Yura. Song Hye-kyo is also reported to reunite with Descendants of the Sun writer Kim Eun-sook in The Glory and director Lee Eun-bok in a new mystery thriller.



Go Hyun-jung

Renowned for her Baeksang Daesang (Grand Prize) winning performance in Queen Seondeok (2009), Go Hyun-jung returns to the small screen with her first drama since 2019’s My Lawyer, Mr. Joe 2: Crime and Punishment. She is currently filming the JTBC series A Person Who Looks Like You, for airing later this year. In this drama that explores the themes of revenge and betrayal, she plays an artist and mother of two. Shin Hyun-bin (Hospital Playlist) and Kim Jae-young co-star.



Kim Hye-soo

After playing a lawyer in Hyena, Kim Hye-soo will now star as a judge in Juvenile Judgment. In this upcoming Netflix Originals production, she plays a brilliant judge at a district juvenile court with a high crime rate. Lee Jung-eun, Lee Sung-min, and Kim Mu-yeol, co-star as fellow judges with conflicting approaches towards youth offenders. She is also currently reviewing an offer to star as a hot-tempered queen in the Joseon-era tvN series Shuroop, her first historical drama in 20 years.



Son Ye-jin

Since filming for Cross, her Hollywood debut, has been delayed indefinitely, Son Ye-jin has signed on for her first post-Crash Landing On You project. She is set to start filming JTBC’s Thirty Nine, written by Yoo Young-ah (Kim Ji-young: Born 1982) and directed by Kim Sang-ho (Run On) this August. In this 12-episode slice-of-life drama about a group of friends approaching their 40s, Son Ye-jin will play a dermatologist at an upscale Gangnam clinic. Jeon Mi-do of Hospital Playlist is reportedly joining the cast, which includes Ahn So-hee and Lee Moo-saeng.



Kim Hee-ae

Kim Hee-ae is reviewing offers for her next project after her Baeksang Best Actress winning performance in 2020's The World of the Married. She has been offered a lead role alongside fellow veteran actress Moon So-ri, who is currently starring in On the Verge of Insanity, in Queen Maker—a drama about two women from different backgrounds who unite towards a common goal. If she accepts it, Kim Hee-ae will play a public relations strategist tasked to transform a labor rights lawyer (Moon) into a top candidate for mayor of Seoul.


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Whose comeback are you most eagerly anticipating?




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