If you are a fan of historical dramas, here are 10 Korean TV and web series to watch and anticipate in 2023, listed in alphabetical order.
1. Arthdal Chronicles 2
The follow-up saga of tvN’s Arthdal Chronicles is set more than a decade later when Tagon’s Kingdom of Arthdal and Eun-seom’s Ago Union will face an inevitable great war. While actors Jang Dong-gun and Kim Ok-vin will return as Tagon and Tae Alha, the adult version of Eun-som and Tanya will be portrayed by Lee Joon-gi and Shin Se-kyung. The second season is set to be released in the first half of 2023.
2. Gyeongseong Creature
Netflix’s Gyeongseong Creature (2023) is set in the spring of 1945 in Gyeongseong where two young adults confront a strange creature born of greed and fight fiercely against it for survival. Park Seo-joon will play a wealthy man who prioritizes money over justice while Han So-hee will portray a specialist who searches for missing people. They will also be joined by talented actors Kim Hae-sook, Jo Han-chul, Wi Ha-joon, and Soo Hyun also known as Claudia Kim.
Handwritten (2023) is based on a novel of the same name that is set against the backdrop of Joseon Dynasty and tells the story of a man who was thought to be dead. He goes on a journey to recover his identity only to be embroiled in a power struggle. Seo In-guk is in talks to lead the historical-action series.
4. Hash’s Shinru
Hash’s Shinru (2023) is based on the web novel of the same name written by the famous novelist Yoon Yi-soo who will also pen the drama’s script. The story is set during the reign of King Sejong, also referred to as the “Joseon Renaissance” period and depicts the fate of Joseon under the leadership of crown prince Lee Hyang, a genius scientist who loves the stars. He happens to meet a mysterious woman named Hae Roo who can see the future. Kim Seonho was reported to have received offer to lead the series but recently declined it. There are no announcement yet of new casting.
5. Joseon Lawyer
MBC’s webtoon-based drama Joseon Lawyer (2023) follows the story of a lawyer in Joseon Dynasty who takes revenge against the perpetrator who caused his parent’s death. Eventually, he transforms into an attorney with a heart for people and becomes involved with a princess and a judge, starring Woo Do-hwan, Bona, and Cha Hak-yeon. The drama is directed by Kim Seung Ho known for his work in the hit series Twenty-Five Twenty-One (2022) and Lee Han-joon who helmed the fantasy series The Golden Spoon (2022). The historical-revenge series is set to broadcast on March 31, 2023.
MBC’s Lovers (2023) is a romantic story set in the period of Joseon Dynasty that follows a man who has no interest in life and marriage, and a woman who has two failed marriages but has a strong will to live and dreams of love again. Namgoong Min will play a man who declares that he will not marry after experiencing an unimaginable tragedy but unexpectedly finds himself attracted to a nobleman’s daughter who is known as a socialite goddess for her beauty and charm, to be portrayed by Ahn Eun-jin. The historical-romantic series is expected to broadcast in the first half of 2023.
7. Our Blooming Youth
tvN’s Our Blooming Youth (2023) is the historical-romantic story of an ill-tempered crown prince who is suffering from a mysterious curse and a genius daughter of a prestigous family who is falsely charged of murder. Romance develops as they begin to help save each other from their dark fate, starring Park Hyung-sik and Jeon So-nee. The 20-part series premiered on February 6, 2023 and is available to watch on Amazon Prime Video.
8. Poong The Joseon Psychiatrist 2
tvN’s Poong, The Joseon Psychiatrist 2 (2023) is the follow-up story of the historical-medical drama about a genius physician for the royal family who faces expulsion from the palace after getting himself involved in a conspiracy. He meets an eccentric teacher and a widow in the mysterious and beautiful Gyesu Village, and is reborn as a true doctor who aims to heal people’s hearts, writing the prescription of happiness. It stars Kim Min-jae, Kim Hyang-gi, and Kim Sang-kyung. The two seasons are available to watch on Viu.
9. Song Of The Bandits
Netflix’s Song Of The Bandits (2023) is a historical-action series that follows the story of Koreans who have been deprived of their own place to live in the 1920s during the Japanese colonial period. While others are expelled to Japan, those who are headed to Gando, China gather and unite as one to protect Joseon. Kim Nam-gil will play the former Japanese soldier who becomes a bandit protecting Koreans against the Japanese military. Other actors who will be joining him in the series are Soohyun, Yoo Jae-myung, Lee Hyun-wook, and Lee Ho-jung.
10. The Secret Romantic Guest House
SBS’ The Secret Romantic Guest House (2023) is a youthful sageuk-romance drama with a touch of mystery that takes place at a boarding house called Yihwawon or Guest Summer Place. It revolves around four youths, a lovely lady who runs the inn and three scholars who stay at the inn to prepare for the national exam. The boarders hold a secret and gather together in solving a mystery about a person who disappeared several years ago, starring Shin Ye-eun, Ryeoun, Kang Hoon, and Jung Gun-joo. It is scheduled to broadcast on March 20, 2023 and will be available to watch for international viewers on Viu.