Film, TV + Theatre

Best new K-dramas to watch in August 2021 on Netflix, iQiyi, and Astro


By Adelina Tan

Best new K-dramas to watch in August 2021 on Netflix, iQiyi, and Astro

This month, travel to different parts of South Korea—and through time—without leaving home. Visit a picturesque seaside village, an exclusive residence home to Seoul’s elite, spartan army barracks, the campus of a police university, and the most prestigious academy of painting in the Joseon era. Your journeys will include uncovering the secrets of romantic entanglements, the bonds between soldiers, the price of power play, and the simple of joys of life:

The Road: The Tragedy of One

When: Beginning 5 Aug on iQiyi and tvN (Astro Ch 395 HD, 9.15pm), with new episodes every Thursday and Friday

Who’s in it: Ji Jin-hee (Move to Heaven), Yoon Se-ah (Sky Castle), and Kim Hye-eun (Itaewon Class)

Who’s behind it: First-time director Kim No-won and screenwriter Yoon Hee-jung; based on a novel by Rintaro Norizuki

What is it about: Suspenseful and dramatic, The Road: The Tragedy of One peels off the masks and layers worn by residents of Royal the Hill, home to society’s top 1 per cent. Living here is the cold-blooded broadcast journalist Baek Soo-hyeon (Ji Jin-hee), who is married to Seo Eun-soo (Yoon Se-ah), the daughter of an influential chairman. Cha Seo-yeong (Kim Hye-eun) is Soo-hyeon’s colleague who is always hungry for success and rarely satisfied with all she’s achieved. The series unravels the chain of events leading from one tragedy to another.

Watch it here (iQiyi)

Watch it here (Astro Go)

The Box

When: 7 August on iQiyi

Who’s in it: EXO’s Chanyeol and Jo Dal-hwan (The Road: The Tragedy of One)

Who’s behind it: Yang Jung-woong, a musical theatre writer and director

What is it about: In this moving movie about pursuing dreams and passions, Ji-hoon (Chan-yeol) is a talented performer who loves music but suffers from stage fright. His phobia is so severe, only by hiding in a box can his musical talent be showcased. Min-soo is a washed-up music producer (Jo Dal-hwan) who only cares for success. When the two meet by chance, they embark on a musical journey across the country. Watch this if you’re a pop music enthusiast, as The Box features covers of popular Western and Korean songs.

Watch it here

Police University

When: Beginning 12 August, with new episodes every Thursday and Friday at 9.10pm on KBS World (Astro Ch 392 HD)

Who’s in it: Cha Tae-Hyun (Team Bulldog: Off-Duty Investigation​​), Krystal (Search), and Jung Jin-young (Love in the Moonlight)

Who’s behind it: Director Moon Jung-min of Matrimonial Chaos, which also stars Cha Tae-hyun

What is it about: When a professor and two students of the National Police University form a joint investigation team, there’s never a dull time as comedy and hijinks ensue. The unlikely trio is made up of Yoo Dong-man (Cha Tae-hyun), who has 20 years of experience in criminal homicide and cyber investigation; freshmen Kang Seon-ho (Jung Jin-young), a former hacker; and Oh Kang-hee ((Krystal), an intelligent and principled first-year student. The series also depicts the conflict and harmony on campus.

Watch it here (Astro Go)


When: Beginning 27 August on Netflix

Who’s in it: Jung Hae-in (Something in the Rain), Kim Sung-kyun (Reply 1988) and Koo Gyo-hwan (Kingdom: Ashin of the North)

Who’s behind it: Writer and webtoon artist Kim Bo-tong

What is it about: Based on its webtoon creator’s own experience in the army, this hard-hitting adaptation reveals the anguish of a soldier who arrests deserters. When the cantankerous Sergeant Park Beom-goo (Kim Sung-kyun) notices Private An Joon-ho’s (Jung Hae-in) tenacity and observational skills, the young soldier is transferred to the D.P. (Deserter Pursuit) team. They work alongside Corporal Han Ho-yeol (Koo Gyo-hwan), who is both an annoyance and useful source of know-how to Private An.

Watch it here

Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha

When: Beginning 28 August on Netflix

Who’s in it: Shin Min-a (Oh My Venus) and Kim Seon-ho (Start-Up)

Who’s behind it: Director Yu Je-won (Oh My Ghost and Tomorrow With You) and writer Shin Ha-eun (The Crowned Clown)

What is it about: In this sweet and quirky love story set in the beautiful seaside village of Gongjin, a big city dentist and a popular resident of the village go from frenemies to lovers. Yoon Hye Jin (Shin Min-a) is a dentist with both beauty and brains. However, she faces obstacles in life due to the tiny spark of righteousness in her heart. Unlike her, Hong Doo Shik (Kim Seon-ho) is popular with the locals. Despite being officially unemployed, he’s a master of odd jobs who cheerfully helps everyone who needs assistance.

Watch it here

Lovers of the Red Sky

When: Beginning 31 August, with new episodes every Tuesday & Wednesday at 8.10pm on One (Astro Ch 393 HD)

Who’s in it: Kim Yoo-jung (The 8th Night) and Ahn Hyo-seop (Dr. Romantic 2)

Who’s behind it: Director Jang Tae-yoo (My Love from the Star)

What is it about: Adapted from a novel by Jung Eun Gwol (Sungkyunkwan Scandal and Moon Embracing the Sun), Lovers of the Red Sky is based on the only known female painter of the Joseon era. Hong Chun Gi (Kim Yoo-jung) is the first female painter admitted to Dohwaseo, the palace’s royal academy of painting. She crosses paths with Ha Ram (Ahn Hyo-seop), a mysterious government official who cannot see but is well versed in reading the constellations. They’re soon swept up in romantic entanglements and the royal politics between two very different princes.

Watch it here (Astro Go)

For July’s K-drama guide, click here.

Explore More