If you are a fan of thriller-mystery dramas, here are 15 Korean series to watch and anticipate in 2023, listed in alphabetical order:
1. A House With A Yard
tvN’s A House With A Yard (2023) is based on a novel of the same name about a happy housewife in a perfect home who begins to experience doubts on happiness and subverts the fantasy of her “happy house with a yard”, starring Kim Tae-hee. The family-thriller drama is helmed by Jung Ji-hyun and expected to be released this year.
2. A Very Lucky Day
TVING’s A Very Lucky Day (2023) is based on the webtoon of the same name by Aporia about a taxi driver who is offered one million won by a passenger headed to Mokpo only to find out that he is a serial killer. Lee Sung-min will play the taxi driver, Yoo Yoon-seok will portray the killer, while Lee Jung-eun was cast to play the mother of a murdered victim. The series will be helmed by Pil Gam Sung and is expected to be released in the second half of the year.
Bastard (2023) is a psychological-thriller drama based on a webtoon that depicts the struggles of a high school student who lives alone with his father who is an active psychopath. He steps up to protect a transfer student who is the next target of his father for murder. Singer-actor Park Ji-hoon who impressed with his role in Weak Hero Class 1 (2022) was reported to have received the offer to play the psychopath’s son.
Celebrity (2023) explores the world of popularity and “influencer culture” phenomenon among celebrities and the dark side that surrounds fame including money, power, desires, as well as fears and pains. It stars Park Gyu-young, Kang Min-hyuk, Lee Chung-ah, Lee Dong-gun, and Jun Hyo-seong. The screenplay is written by Kim Yi-young, helmed by Kim Cheol-gyu, and confirmed to be released in 2023 on Netflix.
Wavve’s Deal (2023) follows three high school friends who get together for drinks after a long time but end up getting trapped in a kidnapping trick done by them, starring Yoo Seung-ho, Kim Dong-hwi, and Yoo Su-bin. It is based on the webtoon, “Deal” by Woonam20 that won the Excellence Award at the 2020 NAVER webtoon and webnovel competition. The series will be helmed by Lee Jung Gon.
6. Duty After School
TVING’s Duty After School (2023) is a Korean thriller series based on the webtoon by Ha Il-Kwon about highschool and university students across the country who are turned into platoons of soldiers in an actual war against unidentified creatures that appear in the sky. The screenplay is written by Yoon Soo and helmed by Sung Yong-il. It is set to premiere on March 31 and will be available for streaming on Viu.
7. 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.
8. Han River
Han River (2023) is a series about police officers who deal with various incidents and accidents that occur at Han River, starring Lee Sang-yi, Bae Da-bin, Kwon Sang-woo, Kim Hee-won, and Shin Hyun-seung. The series will be directed by Kim Sang Chul and is expected to premiere in the second half of the year on Disney+.
9. Look At Me
Wavve’s Look At Me (2023) is a Korean thriller series about a famous plastic surgeon whose perfect life starts to crumble after being entangled in an unexpected incident. Inclined to seek the truth, he begins to perform reconstructive plastic surgery for a crime victim and gets involved with a female detective who joins him in solving the case, starring Lee Min-ki and Han Ji-hyun. The screenplay is written by Hwang Ye-Jin and directed by Ahn Sang-Hoon.
Mangnaein (2023) tells the story of a woman who tries to solve the case of her younger sibling’s demise and a mysterious man she meets while seeking the truth. Kim Seonho and Park Gyu-young received the offer to lead the series, according to their agencies. Meanwhile, Kim Ji-woon who is known for his thriller films, A Tale Of Two Sisters (2003) and I Saw The Devil (2010), and Park Bo-ram who helmed the thriller drama, Through The Darkness (2022), will direct this new series.
11. Mask Girl
Netflix’s Mask Girl (2023) follows the double life of a woman who works as an office girl by day and an internet broadcasting jockey by night. She covers her face with a mask due to her physical insecurities, getting swept up in an incident that will cause turbulence in her life, starring Go Hyun-jung, Nana, Ahn Jae-hong, and Yeom Hye-ran. It is based on the webtoon, “Mask Girl” by Maemi. The screenplay is written and directed by Kim Yong-hoon.
12. Pandora: Beneath The Paradise
tvN’s Pandora: Beneath The Paradise (2023) is a fierce survival story about a woman whose perfect life becomes shaken as forgotten memories of the past start to unfold, starring Lee Ji-ah. She must take the position of First Lady to protect her family and seek revenge against people who are responsible for what happened to her. It is written by Hyun Ji-min and directed by Choi Young-hoon. The drama premiered on March 11 and is available for streaming on Disney+.
13. Paper Moon
Genie TV’s Paper Moon (2023) is a Korean thriller drama based on a Japanese novel by Mitsuyo Kakuta about a woman who lives a comfortable life without desires and whose husband is indifferent, starring Kim Seo-hyung. Bored one day, she gets a job at a bank and starts to embezzle money from a VIP client, causing her ordinary life to fall into an irreversible collapse. The novel was also made into a movie and drama in Japan, with favorable reviews from the audience. The Korean screenplay is written by No Yoon-soo and helmed by Jung Won-hee and Yoo Jong-seon. It is set to broadcast on April 10, 2023 via Genie TV or ENA and will be available for streaming on TVING.
14. The Devil
SBS’ The Devil (2023) is an occult thriller series about evil spirits and mysterious deaths that a certain lady keeps encountering and transforms her gradually into a different person, starring Kim Tae-ri. Actor Oh Jung-see will portray the folklore professor who has the special abilities to see spirits and happens to meet this lady, recognizing the demon who killed his mother. Hong Kyung will play the police officer who gets embroiled in unrealistic events upon meeting this lady and the professor. The screenplay is written by Kim Eun-hee, helmed by Lee Jung-rim, and is set to premiere in June 2023.
15. The Price Of Confession
The Price Of Confession is an upcoming Korean drama that tells the story of two women entangled in a murder case. Song Hye-kyo will play the art teacher who longs for simple happiness while Han So-hee will portray a mysterious woman who has antisocial tendencies and is feared by everyone. The screenplay is written by Kwon Jong Kwan, directed by Lee Eung Bok, and is expected to be released this year.