2023 Kdramas: Recaps, Updates, and More!

2023 Kdramas: Recaps, Updates, and More!

We're halfway through 2023, and what a year it’s been! With so many good shows to watch, it might be confusing where to start. We’re bringing you a recap of 2023 kdramas, both those currently airing and those that have finished, and an update on upcoming shows. Let’s go! (gaja, 가자)

Warning: Some spoilers ahead.

Best K-dramas of the Year (So Far)

Let's start with the top-trending, commercially successful, and most-loved series of the year. You might recognize some of these names from our earlier blogs.

The Glory: Part 2 (March 10, 2023)

Poster for Season 2 of The Glory

Image Credits: Netflix via allkpop

We’ve mentioned The Glory a few times in our blogs, and for good reason! It continues to hook audiences with its tale of revenge and hard message against bullying. While Part 1 introduces the characters and backstories, Part 2 sees the final showdown between Moon Dong-eun and her bullies. Featuring spine-chilling performances and satisfying payoffs, the series as a whole deserves the recognition it received, with Song Hye-kyo delivering possibly her greatest performance. If there’s one show from 2023 that you have to watch, it’s The Glory.

Where to Watch: Netflix

Doctor Cha (April 15, 2023--)

Poster for Doctor Cha

Image Credits: JTBC via AsianWiki

Uhm Jung-hwa takes center stage in this record-breaking k-drama. She plays the titular Doctor Cha Jeong-suk, who returns to the hospital after 20 years of being a housewife. But while Cha treats patients, she also has to deal with her perfectionist cheating husband (Kim Byung-chul) and a new lover (Min Woo-hyuk). With a great cast and story, it's no surprise that Doctor Cha is one of the most highly rated k-dramas in history.

Where to Watch: Netflix, TVING

The Good Bad Mother (April 26, 2023--)

Poster for The Good Bad Mother

Image Credits: JTBC via KDRAMADIARY

Lee Do-hyun’s second k-drama this year after The Glory: Part 2. Starring opposite Ra Mi-ran, who plays his tough-love mom, Lee portrays a cold-hearted prosecutor who reverts to his childlike personality after an accident. Together, mother and son try to start over, with Ra’s character having to decide whether to raise him the same way or choose a different approach. It's an emotional story that will have you laughing and crying buckets.

Where to Watch: Netflix, TVING

Agency (January 7-February 26, 2023)

Poster for "Agency" kdrama

Image Credits: JTBC via Wikipedia

2023 has been the year of powerful k-drama women, and Agency is no exception. Lee Bo-young plays Go Ah-in, who rises from poverty to become VC Planning’s first female executive. Joining her are Kang Han-na (Son Na-eun), Park Young-woo (Han Joon-woo), and Choi Chang-su (Jo Sung-ha), who have their own plans within the company. For any workplace k-drama fans feeling left out, Agency is a must-watch.

Where to Watch: Viki

Crash Course in Romance (January 14-March 5, 2023)

Crash Course in Romance poster

Image Credits: tvN via Wikipedia

Korean schools are tough, especially when it comes to college entrance exams. That’s what Nam Haeng-seon (Jeon Do-yeon), a banchan store owner, and Choi Chi-yeol (Jung Kyung-ho), a hagwon math teacher, discover firsthand. While trying to help Haeng-seon’s adopted daughter Nam Hae-yi (Roh Yoon-seo) get good grades, the two adults grow closer together. It’s a healing show, for the characters and for audiences, and it’s one of 2023’s most-watched series to date.

Where to Watch: Netflix

The Real Has Come! (March 25, 2023--)

The Real Has Come! kdrama poster

Image Credits: KBS via Wikipedia

The nuclear family structure – father, mother, children born in marriage – is still the norm in Korean society. But The Real Has Come! seeks to expand those ideas. Gong Tae-kyung (Ahn Jae-hyun), an OB/GYN doctor, enters a false contract with Oh Yeon-doo (Baek Jin-hee), an Korean language instructor who is pregnant but unmarried. The realistic characters and scenarios resonate with both domestic and international viewers, as seen with the show's incredibly high ratings. The Real Has Come! is another healing k-drama that shows how diverse a family can, and should, be.

Where to Watch: Kocowa, Viki

Taxi Driver 2 (February 17-April 15, 2023)

"Taxi Driver 2" poster

Image Credits: SBS via Wikipedia

The Rainbow Taxi Company returns – in style! Season 2 broke the viewership records held by the last season, with about 4 million viewers compared to Season 1’s 3.1 million. Fans got to see most of the cast return, with some new faces, for exciting (and dangerous) missions to bring heinous criminals to justice. But if you think that’s the end for our favorite vigilantes, think again: Taxi Driver has been renewed for a third season!

Where to Watch: Netflix, Kocowa, Wavve, Viki, Viu

Dr. Romantic 3 (April 28, 2023--)

"Dr. Romantic 3" poster

Image Credits: SBS via MyDramaList

Another beloved series that made its comeback, Dr. Romantic's third season sees the Doldam Hospital Regional Trauma Center finally open and everyone’s favorite surgeon couple (Ahn Hyo-seop and Lee Sung-kyung) officially together. With new heartwarming and heartbreaking stories, Dr. Romantic 3 is one of the most-watched k-dramas on air and close to hitting the same viewership records as its previous seasons. We can’t wait to see what the remaining episodes will bring!

Where to Watch: Disney+, Kocowa, Viki, Viu

Tale of the Nine-tailed 1938 (May 6, 2023--)

Tale of the Nine-tailed 1938 poster

Image Credits: tvN via Wikipedia

One of the most anticipated shows of 2023, Tale of the Nine-tailed 1938 has been all that fans asked for, and more! Lee Dong-wook and Kim Bum return as the estranged gumiho sibling pair we love, but this time they’ve traveled back in time and are in a fight for their lives. Joining them are Kim So-yeon and Ryu Kyung-soo, who play mountain gods and have their own troubles. Blending fantasy and historical drama, the show goes in so many places we don’t expect. Will Lee Yeon find his way back to Nam Ji-ah? You’ll have to watch to find out!

Where to Watch: TVING, Amazon Prime Video

We also recommend Pandora: Beneath the Paradise, Oasis, Divorce Attorney Shin, Our Blooming Youth, Joseon Attorney, The Secret Romantic Guesthouse, and Three Bold Siblings for more k-drama excitement.

Ongoing K-dramas to Watch

Some people start watching a show right from its premiere. Others (like this author) wait until all or most of the episodes have aired before starting. If you're the latter and are wondering what's on air or streaming now, this list is for you. (Check the previous section for where to watch the first five shows.)

Doctor Cha: 14/16 episodes aired

Prepare to laugh and root for Doctor Cha as she navigates a messy love triangle while resuming life as a doctor. With brilliant performances by Uhm Jung-hwa, Kim Byung-chul, Min Woo-hyuk, and Myung Se-bin, there are many heartfelt and emotional moments to enjoy. Since there are only two episodes left, be very careful about spoilers!

The Good Bad Mother: 11/14 episodes aired

Another series approaching its end, The Good Bad Mother has some amazing acting by Ra Mi-ran, Lee Do-hyun (who announced his military enlistment sometime this year), and Ahn Eun-jin. While there aren’t any twisted mysteries or intense action scenes, you can expect both humorous and tear-jerking moments that will tug at your heartstrings either way.

The Real Has Come!: 20/40 episodes aired

Don’t be daunted by the episode count. Viewers who start The Real Has Come! now will have plenty of time to get to know the characters and plot while still being able to watch the finale's premiere. Spoilers might not affect the viewing experience, but they'll be more confusing if you haven't watched the show up to this point.

Tale of the Nine-tailed 1938: 8/12 episodes aired

We've waited so long for Lee Yeon and Lee Rang to return! Gods, ghosts, and gumihos mix with bandits, soldiers, and other unsavory characters in Japanese-occupied Korea. As Lee Yeon tries to find a way back to Nam Ji-ah, he reunites with old friends to defeat new foes. With lots of action intertwined with fantasy, you can expect both a magical and exciting series. 

Dr. Romantic 3: 10/16 episodes aired

Seo Woo-jin and Cha Eun-jae are now living together and working at the newly opened Doldam Hospital Regional Trauma Center. Fans will see both old and new faces involved in interesting, and sometimes intense, medical cases. If you haven’t seen Dr. Romantic’s first two seasons, or at least Season 2, we recommend watching them before starting Season 3.

Queen of the Mask/Queen of Masks (April 24, 2023--, 12/16 episodes aired)

Queen of the Mask poster

Image Credits: Channel A via Wikipedia

What do you get when you cross ambitious women with a murder? This series. Queen of the Mask follows four women – including Do Jae-yi (Kim Sun-a), the titular “Queen” and a not-so-honest lawyer – who are involved in a case that tears them apart. The story takes many twists and features complicated and calculating characters. You can wait for the final episode to air on June 13, or start now and work your way to what will be an exciting ending.

Where to Watch: Viki, Viu

My Perfect Stranger (May 1, 2023--, 10/16 episodes)

My Perfect Stranger poster

Image Credits: KBS via Wikipedia

Two people travel back to 1987: Yoon Hae-jun (Kim Dong-wook) to uncover the truth behind a serial murder, and Baek Yoon-young (Jin Ki-joo) to stop her parents from marrying. When the two protagonists meet, they realize their goals are connected. Intrigued? Give this series a watch!

Where to Watch: Kocowa, Viki, Viu

 Woman in a Veil (March 14, 2023--, 56/58 episodes so far)

Woman in a Veil poster

Image Credits: KBS via Wikipedia

No, it’s not a mistake. Woman in a Veil will air up to 100 episodes, so you can easily catch up with the events so far and still have a lot of the story left. This series follows Jung Gyeol (Shin Go-eun), who becomes blind and paralyzed with the “Locked-In Syndrome.” Jung swaps her soul with the cold and calculating heiress Oh Se-rin (Choi Yoon-young) to get revenge on her cheating husband and his mistress. It’s tense and stylish, and with 35 minutes for each episode, it’s a quick watch.

Where to Watch: Kocowa, KoreaOnDemand, Viki

Delightfully Deceitful (May 29, 2023--, 2/16 episodes aired)

"Delightfully Deceitful" poster

Image Credits: tvN via Wikipedia

A con artist with no empathy (Chun Woo-hee) and an overly empathic attorney (Kim Dong-wook) seem like an unlikely pair. However, they decide to work together to bring down criminals. We don’t know much else, but with this unusual duo, we expect plenty of misunderstandings, shenanigans, and finally a deep friendship.

Where to Watch: Viu

Happiness Battle (May 31, 2023--, 1/16 episode aired)

Happiness Battle poster

Image Credits: ENA via Wikipedia

Our newest show on this list, Happiness Battle promises glamor, cattiness, and lots of thrills as five mothers try to outdo each other for their own happiness. Things take a turn when someone gets murdered by one of their own. What happens? Well, you could read the book by screenwriter Joo Young-ha, or you could start this series!

Where to Watch: ENA, Amazon Prime Video

Upcoming Shows and Updates

From romance to horror, June’s current lineup promises new shows for fans to fall in love with. Let's see what new shows are coming up next:

The Villain of Romance/Romance Villain (June 5)

The Villain of Romance poster

Image Credits: MBC via Soompi

Get ready for this cute college romance! Kang Hee-jae (Baro) claims to be a “cool guy” but struggles with his self-image. Ban Yoo-jin (Ha Seung-ri) is unable to keep a relationship for more than 100 days. They decide to get together, but not before Yoo-jin puts Hee-jae through some serious training. The premise has us hooked, and we can’t wait for the first episode!

Where to Watch: Viki

Love Tractor (June 7)

"Love Tractor" poster

Image Credits: Image via MyDramaList

If you loved Semantic Error (2022), then you’ll like Love Tractor. Based on a webtoon of the same name, it follows city boy Sun Yool (Do Won) who falls for country boy Ye Chan (Yoon Do Jin). With pleasing visuals and cute interactions, Love Tractor is your go-to BL k-drama for the summer.

Where to Watch: Naver Series On, IPTV, Heavenly.tv, Home Choice

Bloodhounds (June 9)

Poster for "Bloodhounds" kdrama

Image Credits: Netflix via AsianWiki

Boxers and loan sharks clash in this exciting series! Former boxer Kim Geon-woo (Woo Do-hwan) becomes a bodyguard to CEO Choi (Huh Joon-ho). With his friend and loyal sidekick Hong Woo-jin (Lee Sang-yi), Geon-woo takes on the ruthless loan shark Kim Myeong-gil (Park Sung-woong). Bloodhounds will be a battle of both brains and brawn, and we can’t wait for its release!

Where to Watch: Netflix

See You in My 19th Life (June 17)

"See You In My 19th Life" poster

Image Credits: tvN via Soompi

Based on Lee Hey’s poignant webtoon of the same name, See You in My 19th Life will be both magical and heartbreaking. Ban Ji-eum (Shin Hye-sun) remembers all her past lives and has been reincarnated for almost 1000 years. However, after her 18th life abruptly ends, Ji-eum decides to reunite with the people she’d met, including Moon Seo-ha (Ahn Bo-hyun), in her next life. Have a box of tissues handy for this show.

Where to Watch: Netflix

King the Land (June 17)

"King the Land" kdrama poster

Image Credits: JTBC via Soompi

Goo Won (2PM’s Lee Junho) hates smiles. Cheon Sa-rang (Girls’ Generation’s Yoona) is the “queen of smiles.” They meet when Sa-rang starts working at The King Hotel owned by Won’s family. While things get off to a rocky start, the seeds of a beautiful romance are starting to take root. Prepare to smile yourselves as you watch this series.

Where to Watch: TVING, Netflix

Lies Hidden in My Garden (June 19)

"Lies Hidden in My Garden" poster

Image Credits: ENA via IMDb

Now for a tonal shift, and a chilling premise. Moon Joo-ran (Kim Tae-hee) is living the perfect life, as a housewife to a wealthy man, while Chu Sang-eun (The Glory’s Lim Ji-yeon) is stuck in a nightmare of domestic abuse. The two women come together after Joo-ran notices a strange odor coming from her backyard, which smells oddly like a rotting corpse…

Where to Watch: Genie TV, Amazon Prime Video, ENA

Revenant (June 23)

"Revenant" kdrama poster

Image Credits: SBS via AsianWiki

First announced as The Devil, Kim Tae-ri’s new k-drama contains more than a few scares. She plays Gu San-yeong, a public prosecutor who becomes possessed by an evil spirit. Alongside her is Yeom Hae-sang (Oh Jung-se), a folklore possessor who can see the supernatural. They work together to uncover the mystery behind five deaths, but things aren’t easy when you’re dealing with demons.

Where to Watch: SBS TV, Disney+

Numbers (June 23)

"Numbers" kdrama poster

Image Credits: MBC via Wikipedia

We love a good underdog story. Jang Ho-woo (Kim Myung-soo) joins the Taeil Accounting Firm, one of South Korea’s “Big Four” accounting firms, without a college degree. He starts out doing menial tasks but is later teamed up with senior accountant Han Seung-jo (Choi Jin-hyuk). Can the two get along while pursuing justice? The answer is yes - eventually.

Where to Watch: Viki

Heartbeat (June 26)

"Heartbeat" kdrama poster

Image Credits: KBS via Soompi

It’s been ages since we’ve had a vampire k-drama. 2PM's Ok Taec-yeon plays Seon Woo-hyul, a half-vampire who wants to be fully human but was unable to because of a 1/100 day difference. Woo-hyul moves in with Joo In-hae (Won Ji-an), a guesthouse owner who is very cold-hearted. As we’ve seen before, opposites attract and we’re already rooting for this couple. (Also, expect plenty of references to 2PM’s “Heartbeat.”)

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video

Do you remember our blog on upcoming 2023 k-dramas? You may recognize some titles from that list that appeared earlier in this article, either airing or having aired all episodes.

"Black Knight" 2023 kdrama poster

Image Credits: Netflix via Wikipedia

As of April 12, Lee Min-ho’s new k-drama Ask the Stars/Where the Stars Gossip has finished filming. The show, in which the actor plays an OB/GYN doctor in outer space, has no confirmed release date.

A woman in a gray tank and a man in a white T-shirt laughing together

Image Credits: Image via Soompi

Arthdal Chronicles fans have been impatiently waiting for a second season. According to tvN, Season 2 is set to premiere in the second half of 2023, though no date has been set. Season 2 of The Uncanny Counter is scheduled for release around the same time.

Two women and two men dressed in ancient Korean clothing
Image Credits: tvN via Soompi

Unfortunately, Goodbye Earth has been postponed to 2024 due to actor Yoo Ah-in's drug scandal. It was supposed to be released in this year’s fourth quarter.

"Goodbye Earth" poster

Image Credits: IMTV via Wikipedia

As for the other shows mentioned in that blog, no dates have been set or confirmed. Keep your ears peeled, though, for more updates in 2023!


Have you seen any of these shows? Which ones are your favorites? Tell us in the comments. And if you’re looking for authentic Korean snacks, check out our snack boxes, Seoulbox Signature and V. Order a box today to upgrade your k-drama bingeing experience!

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