Best new K-dramas to watch on Netflix, iQiyi and more for November 2021
The many forms of love
This November, get ready to be on the edge of your seat as you're transported to a dystopian world of death prophecies and cults, then travel back in time to the Joseon era of Korea and join a secret royal investigator and his unorthodox acquaintance as they unravel a string of political mysteries. You'll also get to witness the blossoming court romance between a crown prince and the woman he loves, before finally living out your idol romance fantasies, and going through the ups and downs of trying to find a love that lasts.
Still have time for more after that? Perhaps a star-studded reality show will be the perfect cherry on top of this month's exciting list of Korean shows you just have to watch.
When and where: From 19 November on Netflix
Who's in it: Yoo Ah-In (#Alive), Park Jung-Min (Deliver Us From Evil)
Who's behind it: Yeon Sang-Ho (Train to Busan)
With only five days to live, what would you do? Fret no more about Squid Game withdrawals; this chilling K-drama is just the thing for you if you love a good show with a dark theme. Based on the webcomic series of the same name written by Train to Busan and Peninsula director Yeon Sang-Ho, Hellbound tells a terrifying story of a world where people hear predictions for when they will die, and supernatural "angels of death" terrorise the physical world to hunt down those whose death had been prophesied once their time is up. Jung Jin-Soo (Yoo Ah-In) is the potently charismatic and bewildering leader of the obscure and cult-like religion Saejinrihwe, which preaches that these chilling deaths are revelations from God. Determined to unearth the secrets and truths behind Saejinrihwe is Bae Young-Jae (Park Jung-Min), a programme director of a broadcasting station. Will the mystery behind the bizarre deaths and the paranormal creatures who come to reap human souls be discovered in time to save those who are said to die next? Make sure to add this series to your watchlist if you're dying to find out.
Secret Royal Inspector & Joy
When and where: From 9 November on tvN (Astro Ch 395 HD), or on iQiYi
Who’s in it: Ok Taecyeon (The Game: Towards Zero), Kim Hye-Yoon (Extraordinary You)
Who’s behind it: Yoo Jong-Sun (What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim)
Ra Yi-Eon (Taecyeon) is a simple Joseon man; all he desires is to purchase a piece of land outside the capital and fulfil his dream of operating his own dumpling store. However, his cleverness precedes his easy-going nature, and after his performance at the civil service entrance exam unexpectedly catches the attention of the Office of Special Advisors, Yi-Eon is pushed into the role of the new secret royal inspector. Kim Joy (Kim Hye-Yoon) is a woman of high curiosity and progressive beliefs, an unusual personality in conservative Joseon. In the midst of pursuing a divorce from her incurable gambler of a husband, Kim Joy defies all social norms and expectations in an era where getting a divorce was extremely controversial. Together, Yi-Eon and Joy form an unlikely alliance and embark on missions to uncover truths and expose corruption. Hilarious with an adorable dynamic between the two lead characters, this series is a prime choice for you if you love a good mix between period drama and comedy.
Click here to watch (iQiYi)
Now, We Are Breaking Up
When and where: From 12 November on Viu
Who’s in it: Song Hye-Kyo (Encounter), Jang Ki-Yong (My Roommate is a Gumiho)
Who’s behind it: Lee Gil-Bok (Dr. Romantic 2)
In this series, Song Hye-Kyo plays Ha Young-Eun, the highly successful and well-known head of the design department in one of the country’s best fashion companies who loves and excels at her job. In striking contrast, her love life is scattered with disappointments and failures, and her seemingly cold-hearted and overly practical personality makes romance tough to pin down. Though at first unbothered by the lack of true love in her life, Young-Eun becomes enraptured by popular freelance fashion photographer Yoon Jae-Kook (Jang Ki-Yong), whose wealth, good looks, and wit make him the epitome of the perfect man. The two begin to fall for each other, but love proves to be evasive and fairytales seldom have a place in reality. Will the couple be able to shoulder the ups and downs of romance together and finally get their happy ending, or will this become another story of heartbreak? You’ll have to tune in to find out!
The Red Sleeve
When and where: From 13 November 2021 on Oh!K (Astro Ch 394 HD), or on Viu
Who’s in it: Lee Jun-Ho (Homme Fatale), Lee Se-Young (The Crowned Clown)
Who’s behind it: Jung Ji-In (Hold Me Tight)
Set in the Joseon dynasty, The Red Sleeve tells the story of Crown Prince Yi San (Lee Jun-Ho), who swears to become the benevolent monarch the kingdom desperately needs when he ascends the throne. Traumatised by the assasination of his father that was arranged by his grandfather, the cruel reigning king, Yi San’s focus turns onto a woman he falls in love with at court, Sung Deok-Im (Lee Se-Young). His attempts to convince her to become his official concubine are at first fruitless, as Deok-Im craves a life of freedom and happiness. Still, Yi San proves his love to be true, and with a glimpse of possible happiness, she agrees to become his concubine as the prince rises into the role of the new King Jeongjo. A refreshing take on the classic period drama romance, this show is sure to deliver the intricate plotlines and brilliant chemistry we all hanker for when it comes to romantic K-dramas.
Click here to watch (Viu)
Let Me Be You Knight
When and where: From 14 November on ONE (Astro Ch 393 HD), or on iQiYi
Who’s in it: Jung In-Sun (My Secret Terrius), Lee Jun-Young (Imitation)
Who’s behind it: Ahn Ji-Sook
Looking for an idol romance to get invested in? Let Me Be Your Knight will sweep you right off your feet. Yoon Tae-In (Lee Jun-Young) is the untouchable leader of top idol group Luna. A musical genius with a large global fanbase, Tae-In is knocked off his feet when he starts showing signs of sleep-walking after the failure of the group’s new album. When his condition worsens, he becomes desperate for a cure. In Yoon-Joo (Jung In-Sun) is a tour guide who dreams of owning her dream home. Finding herself in a promising position after a chance encounter with the idol group, Yoon-Joo manages to con her way into Luna’s home and quickly takes up the position as Tae-In’s “doctor” despite having no medical qualifications. However, living under the same roof with the arrogant idol singer and his interesting group mates will prove to be more difficult than anticipated. If you enjoy light-hearted romance with plenty of drama and comedy sprinkled throughout, this is a must-watch for the month.
Click here to watch (iQiYi)
When and where: 20 November on Netflix
Who's in it: Exo's Kai, Kim Hee-Chul, Park Na‑Rae
Who's behind it: Hyo-Jin Cho
If you've got time to spare after catching the K-dramas in this list, check out New World. The celebrities in this reality show are dropped off on a beautiful island with one promise: When leaving the island after six days, any funds they've accumulated will be cashed in and brought back to the real world as their winnings. Throughout their stay on the island, they're encouraged to explore the land and unlock its secrets, buy clues from shops to enhance their earning potential, and complete tasks to add to their pool of money. Featuring the familiar faces of your favourite stars—Exo's Kai, Super Junior's Kim Hee-Chul, and Park Na-Rae just to name a few—this reality show is like none other before it. Full of the fun editing additions that all lovers of Korean reality shows have come to know and love, the show sets a charming and magical tone to the traditional programme structure. Tune in to watch your faves go all out in the search for gold, and see who emerges top of the pack and returns home with riches.
For October's K-drama guide, click here