K-content expected to soar in popularity in 2024; impressive lineup in first quarter
Whether you’re interested in fantasy, romance, stories about real people, or the offstage lives of K-pop celebrities, Korean TV has something for you. Media reports say more than 60% of Netflix subscribers have watched at least one Korean film or TV show on the service. The popularity of Korean dramas, reality shows and other content from Korea is expected to soar in 2024.
The first quarter brings an impressive lineup of K-content from CJ ENM that will appeal to international audiences. Check out these four can’t-miss shows with January air dates.
1. ‘Marry My Husband’
For a fantasy story about betrayal, revenge and time travel, watch “Marry My Husband.” Based on a popular web novel, which was also serialized as a webtoon, this highly anticipated drama starring Park Min-young and Na In-woo aired January 1.
The heroine — an unhappily married woman named Ji-won, who is dying of cancer — learns her husband is having an affair with her best friend. When she confronts them, her husband kills her. But death isn’t the end for Ji-won. She is transported back in time and gets a chance to transfer her fate to her rival. One reviewer called this show “deliciously melodramatic” and “immensely addictive.”
2. ‘Captivating the King’
This Joseon period drama from tvN made its debut on January 21. With a star-studded cast that includes Jo Jung-suk and Shin Se-kyung, it centers on an unlikely romance between a fictitious king and a woman who wants revenge on him. Somehow, despite all odds, they fall for each other.
In the first episode Jo portrays a prince who has just returned from abroad, where he was held in captivity. But his brother, the king, doubts his loyalty. Later, after Jo’s character ascends to the throne, Shin appears as his love interest disguised as a famous gambler.
3. ‘Couple Palace’
The latest in a long tradition of dating reality shows in Korea, “Couple Palace” premieres January 30. The matchmaking spectacle brings 100 marriage-minded singles together to consider each other’s physical, financial and personal attributes in hopes of finding the perfect life partner. Most dating shows in Korea have not focused on marriage, and viewers can have fun observing participants behind the scenes and guessing who will survive the next round of cuts.
The show’s hosts are award-winning singer Kim Jong-kook, celebrated for his work on “Running Man” and “Little Old Boy,” as well as many other achievements; comedian/musician Yoo Se-yoon, whose previous TV credits include the dating reality show “Love After Divorce”; and Lee Mi-joo, a former member of the K-pop band Lovelyz.
4. NANA TOUR with SEVENTEEN
“NANA TOUR with SEVENTEEN” kicked off January 5, featuring the hit K-pop group, SEVENTEEN, on an epic seven-day adventure through Italy. In the first episode, producer Na Yeong-seok announces the surprise trip and orders everyone to get ready in three minutes. The band members have to brush their teeth and pack their bags fast, before it’s time to leave for the airport. There’s no time to shower.
The show offers a glimpse of the pop stars’ lives as they interact offstage and enjoy their new surroundings. Watch them taste local foods and visit popular landmarks, bringing their infectious energy and cheerful personalities to every scene. S.COUPS could not take part in the trip because he was recovering from a knee injury when the series was filmed, but he appears in a video chat with his 12 bandmates.