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K-drama is life: ‘Ghost Doctor,’ ‘Thirty-Nine,’ and other Korean series to watch out for in 2022

By Hannah Mallorca Published Jan 12, 2022 4:48 pm

What better way to start 2022 than by making a list of all the K-dramas you need to watch out for in the new year? 

Even though the first month of the year seems quiet in K-drama land, a lot of exciting series with stellar casts are set to premiere this year. If you’re still wary about watching Korean series and reading subtitles, perhaps this list will make you fall into the rabbit role.

So, without further ado, here’s an ultimate fangirl guide to all of the upcoming K-dramas to watch out for in 2022. 

1. Ghost Doctor (January 3)

Cast: Rain, Kim Bum, Uee, Son Naeun

What better way to start the year than by putting our OG oppas Rain and Kim Bum together in one K-drama? The medical series revolves around genius Cha Youngmin (Rain) and Go Seungtak (Kim Bum) who are intelligent in their ways. Youngmin has extraordinary abilities but he’s arrogant and selfish, while first-year resident Seungtak is good at theory but clumsy at work.

2. Tracer (January 7)

Cast: Im Siwan, Park Minsoo, Go Ahsung, Son Hyunjoo, Park Yongwoo

It looks like revenge will be a common theme among K-dramas in 2022. Starting off with Tracer, the series tells the story of a no-filter man who’s determined to get revenge on the Korean National Tax Office.

3. Through the Darkness (January 14) 

Cast: Kim Namgil, Jin Seonkyu, Kim Sojin

Ever wondered what goes inside the minds of serial murderers? Probably dark and creepy thoughts. Through the Darkness starring Kim Namgil, Jin Seonkyu, and Kim Sojin tells the story of profilers who struggle to know the intentions of serial killers and other criminals.

4. All of Us Are Dead (January 28)

Cast: Yoon Chanyoung, Park Jihoo, Cho Yihyun, Park Solomon, Yoo In-soo

You can never have too much zombie series! One of the most awaited K-dramas of the year, Netflix’s All of Us are Dead tells the story of high school students trapped during a zombie virus outbreak at school. The group desperately protects themselves from becoming zombies and tries to escape.

5. Juvenile Justice (January 2022)

Cast: Kim Hyesoo, Kim Muyeol, Lee Sungmin

Netflix continues to expand its Korean catalogue with upcoming legal drama Juvenile Justice with Kim Hyesoo as the main lead. Despite her dislike for juveniles, Shim Eunseok (Kim Hyesoo) gets appointed as a judge of a juvenile court.

6. A Business Proposal (February 7)

Cast: Ahn Hyoseop, Kim Sejeong, Kim Mingyu, Seol Inah

Based on a webtoon of the same name, A Business Proposal tells the story of employee Shin Hari (Kim Sejeong) who goes on a blind date with a mystery guy which turns out to be the CEO of the company she works in. Hari dresses up as a sexy vixen to catch the attention of her blind date, not knowing about the sticky situation.

7. Twenty-Five Twenty-One (February 12)

Cast: Kim Taeri, Nam Joohyuk

Slip on up your nostalgia goggles as Twenty-Five Twenty-One will remind us about our childhood crushes. Na Heedo (Kim Taeri) and Baek Yijin (Nam Joohyuk) first cross paths when they were 18 and 25 years old, only to end up falling in love years later when they turn 21 and 25.

8. Weather People (February 2022)

Cast: Song Kang, Park Minyoung

Netflix’s (unofficial) son Song Kang and chemistry magnet Park Minyoung are ready to bring out the eye candy and feels with Weather People that’s set to premiere in February. The K-drama revolves around the everyday lives of forecasters working at the Korea Meteorological Administration who fall in love.

9. Thirty-Nine (February 2022)

Photo courtesy of JTBC

Photo courtesy of JTBC

Photo courtesy of JTBC

Photo courtesy of JTBC

Photo courtesy of JTBC

Photo courtesy of JTBC

Photo courtesy of JTBC

Photo courtesy of JTBC

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Cast: Son Yejin, Jeon Mido, Kim Jihyun

Raise your hands if you’re 39 years old, or at least approaching your late thirties. Perhaps Thirty-Nine starring Crash Landing on You’s Son Yejin, Hospital Playlist’s Jeon Mido, and Artificial City’s Kim Jihyun is the K-drama for you. The series revolves around the friendship, relationships, and everyday lives of three BFFs who are about to turn 40 years old.

10. Why Oh Soojae? (March 2022)

Cast: Hwang Inyoup, Seo Hyunjin, Bae Inhyuk

Another Oh Haeyoung actress Seo Hyunjin is set to channel her inner sassiness as the main lead of the upcoming mystery series Why Oh Soojae. Coldhearted lawyer Oh Soojae (Seo Hyunjin) meets law school student Gong Chan (Hwang Inyeop) who’s willing to stop the world for her.

11. Big Mouse (first half of 2022)

Cast: Lee Jongsuk, Yoona

Lee Jongsuk and Yoona together in a K-drama? Sounds exciting! According to Soompi, Big Mouse is a “hard-boiled” noir series about lawyer Park Changho (Lee Jongsuk) who turns into a genius conman. Meanwhile, his devoted wife Go Miho is determined to clear Changho’s name when his life gets put in danger.

12. Money Heist Korean version (TBA)

Photo courtesy of Netflix

Photo courtesy of Netflix

Photo courtesy of Netflix

Photo courtesy of Netflix

Photo courtesy of Netflix

Photo courtesy of Netflix

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Cast: Yoo Jitae, Jeon Jongseo, Park Haesoo, Lee Wonjong, Kim Jihoon

Fans of the popular Spanish crime drama La Casa de Papel or Money Heist are overjoyed when it was announced in December 2020 that the series is getting a Korean remake. According to Netflix, the K-drama is said to “breathe new life” into the plot of the OG series—but this time, it’s set in the Korean peninsula.

13. Eve’s Scandal (TBA)

Cast: Seo Yeji, Park Byungeun, Yoo Sun, Lee Sangyeob

It’s Okay to Not Be Okay actress Seo Yeji is set to make her small-screen comeback with the mystery series Eve’s Scandal. Korean media outlet Maeil Business Newspaper reported that the K-drama deals with the “inside story” of a chaebol’s ₩2 trillion (approximately P86 billion) divorce lawsuit that “shocked the nation.”

14. Our Blues (TBA)

Cast: Shin Minah, Kim Woobin, Lee Byunghun, Han Jimin 

Real-life sweethearts Shin Minah and Kim Woobin are ready to set K-drama land on fire with their upcoming series Our Blues. Starring alongside Squid Game’s Lee Byunghun and Rooftop Prince’s Han Jimin, the series will revolve around the bitter life stories of individuals living in Jeju Island.

15. Suriname (TBA)

Cast: Ha Jungwoo, Hwang Jungmin, Jo Woojin, Yoo Yeonseok, Park Haesoo 

It looks like Squid Game’s Park Haesoo and Hospital Playlist’s Yoo Yeonseok are becoming Netflix favorites. Both actors are set to be part of the upcoming Netflix series Suriname that tells the story of a businessman who ends up in Suriname. Kang Ingoo (Ha Jungwoo) winds up helping South Korea’s National Intelligence Service’s secret operation to take down the country’s drug king who’s operating in the South American nation.

16. The Youngest Son of a Conglomerate (TBA)

Cast: Song Joongki, Lee Sungmin, Shin Hyunbin

Hold on to your hearts as K-drama heartthrob Song Joongki is set to make his small-screen comeback with the fantasy series The Youngest Son of a Conglomerate. Based on a web novel of the same name, it revolves around a prominent family’s secretary who is reborn as their youngest son.

17. Tell Me Your Wish (TBA)

Cast: Ji Changwook, Choi Sooyoung, Sung Dongil

Ji Changwook, Choi Sooyoung, and Sung Dongil are ready to make K-drama fans cry as they star in Tell Me Your Wish. According to Soompi, the series was inspired by a real-life organization in the Netherlands that fulfills the wishes of terminal cancer patients before dying.

18. Anna (TBA)

Cast: Bae Suzy, Jung Eunchae, Kim Joonhan, Park Yeyoung

“Nation’s First Love” Bae Suzy is returning to the small screen as the lead of the upcoming K-drama Anna. Not much is known about the Korean series so far, except that it tells the story of a woman who ends up living someone else’s life after telling a lie.

19. Soundtrack # 1 (TBA)

Cast: Han Sohee, Park Hyungsik

Han Sohee and Park Hyungsik together in a romance series? Yes, please! According to Soompi, Soundtrack # 1 revolves around two longtime friends who realized their feelings for one another after living together for two weeks. The K-drama will be helmed by the director of the popular series Vincenzo, so it’s definitely a must-watch.

20. The K Project (TBA)

Cast: Park Seojoon, Han Sohee, Wi Hajun

Yup, Han Sohee is booked and busy in 2022. The My Name and The World of the Married actress will also be part of the upcoming thriller series The K Project with K-drama heartthrobs Park Seojoon and Wi Hajun (ooh-la-la). The K-drama revolves around young adults who put their own lives on the line to achieve human rights and freedom. 

21. Black Knight (TBA)

Cast: Kim Woobin, E-Som, Kang Youseok

It looks like 2022 will be Kim Woobin’s year. Aside from Our Blues, Woobin is also confirmed as one of the casts of Netflix’s Black Knight alongside E-Som and Kang Youseok. The K-drama takes place in 2071 where pollution has grown so severe that people can’t survive without respirators.

Aside from the 21 K-dramas we’ve mentioned, we’re also excited for Pachinko starring Lee Minho, True Sword Battle with EXO’s D.O., The Sound of Magic featuring Ji Changwook, Queen of the Scene with Gong Hyojin, Remarriage and Desires starring Kim Heeseon and Lee Hyunwook, and Glitch with Jeon Yeobin. 

Aside from the cast, not much is known about these upcoming series but we can’t wait for these series to give us the feels.