2020 K-dramas You Can Stream on Netflix Right Now

Hi there, Sandra here! We’ve recently seen Netflix continue to expand their k-drama and k-film offerings in the past couple of years and here at Kdrama Weekly, we are super excited about it! Each year we’re seeing them add more and more dramas to their repertoire including classics like Heirs and Boys over Flowers. Additionally, we saw an explosion of Netflix produced dramas released last year and continuing into this year! With so many options available to stream now, it’s going to be hard to decide what to watch next! But for now, we’ll start with a list of all the 2020 k-dramas you can stream on Netflix tonight! 

I will give you a brief description of the dramas and some of my thoughts about them. I will avoid spoilers for any dramas I’ve already watched!

Hi Bye, Mama!

What it’s About: Hi Bye, Mama stars Kim Tae-Hee as Cha Yu-Ri, who dies in a tragic car accident and is left behind as a ghost. She is given the chance at living again through a 49-day reincarnation project. When she attempts to reconnect with her husband Cho Gang-Hwa played by Lee Kyu-Hyung and daughter, she finds he’s remarried. Go Bo-Geyol plays his new wife, Oh Min-Jung. 

My thoughts: This plot is very similar to that of Come Back Mister (2016), which ironically stars Kim Tae-Hee’s real-life husband, Rain. He’s a husband who is also reincarnated in order to reconnect with his family. (Learn more about Rain’s other acting roles on our blog about idol actors!) I normally avoid dramas with overly sentimental plots but I’ve heard a lot of good things about this drama, so I’m willing to give it a try.

No. of Episodes: 16

Hyena

What it’s About: Kim Hye-Soo stars as Jung Geum-Ja, as a lawyer who wins her cases in whatever way possible, regardless of how ethical or not those ways may be. Both she and her rival, Yoon Hee Jae played by Ju Ji-Hoon compete to work for the richest of clients and to see who is the top Hyena in the courthouse.

My thoughts: I’m not normally into legal dramas but this drama looks like it’d be right up my alley! Only because the thug-like character of Jung Geum Ja looks like she’d be entertaining to watch as a lawyer. It also looks like it’ll be more comedic than most legal dramas, also right up my alley!

No. of Episodes: 16

My Holo Love

What it’s About: Han So-Yeon, played by Ko Sung-Hee decides to live a reclusive life due to suffering prosopagnosia or face blindness disorder. She meets the AI, Holo, played by Yoon Hyun-Min, as part of a beta test she participates in and quickly starts to fall for him. Holo’s developer, Go Nan-Do, also played by Yoon Hyun-Min, slowly becomes attracted to Sung-Hee while observing her interactions with Holo. Sung-Hee, however, is not impressed by his cold demeanor and prefers Holo, who starts to wish he too could feel love.

My thoughts: To be honest AI/ human love stories are super weird to me and sort of feel like weird nerd sex fantasies so I’m not sure I’ll be watching this one. Having said that, this isn’t the first AI romance k-drama, it seems to be a trend at the moment. Most recently we had My Absolute Boyfriend which premiered in May of 2019, and Are you Human Too? In June of 2018. The one AI drama I did end up watching was I’m Not a Robot (2017) which was decent, though I did still feel weird watching a guy fall in love with a hot robot. 

No. of Episodes: 12

Kingdom Season 2

What it’s About: Season 1 of Kingdom premiered in January of 2019 to tons of media buzz and left off on a cliff-hanger to end all cliff-hangers. It’s long-awaited 2nd season finally premiered in March of this year and it did not disappoint! This was the first historical drama to be produced by Netflix and also the first for many new to Kdramas. The premise is also unique for a historical drama of this kind. It was adapted from the webcomic series The Kingdom of the Gods by Kim Eun-Hee and Yang Kyung-Il. 

Ju Ji-Hoon plays Lee Chang, the Crown Prince of Joseon who is accused by his power-hungry stepmother the Queen Consort Cho, played by Kim Hye-Jun, and her equally power-hungry father, Lord Cho Hak-Ju, Chief State Councilor of Joseon, played by Ryu Seung-Ryong, of plotting to murder the king. It is set in the Joseon period shortly after the Japanese invasions and is your typical historical political drama with a twist. That twist is that the King of Joseon somehow contracted a zombie virus and after one of his nurses dies from the virus and is taken back to a remote hospital to be buried, the virus begins to spread like wildfire. 

My thoughts: I am a horror fan as well as a k-drama fan, so this drama was a dream come true for me! I have three main points to make: First off the production of this drama is stunning! The costumes, the sets, the zombies! It’s all beautiful! Secondly, the action is pretty much non-stop and the suspense is fabulously done! Lastly, the acting is superb in this drama! Ju Ji-Hoon and Bae Doo-na, who plays a nurse from the hospital where the outbreak starts, in particular, are phenomenal!

Basically this drama has everything you love about historical dramas, the intrigue, the plotting, the corruption, plus action-packed zombie chases and glorious, glorious gore! When you finally get to the end it’s so cathartic after being on the edge of your seat through the whole thing. If you end up not watching any other 2020 K-dramas on Netflix, at the very least give Kingdom a try! This is truly a binge-drama, I could not imagine watching this one episode a week!

No. of Episodes: Season 1 & 2 Total -12

Itaewon Class

What it’s About: Park Seo-Joon plays Park Sae-Yori, an ex-con hellbent on getting revenge on his former classmate, Jang Geun-Won, played by Ahn Bo-Hyun, who caused the death of Sae-Yori’s father. He plans on taking down the food conglomerate owned by Geun-Won’s father while running a pocha or bar-restaurant which he opens in Seoul’s Itaewon neighborhood, known for having a large population of foreigners. This setting allows for a more diverse range of characters than we’re used to seeing in k-dramas, including a black Korean looking for his father, and a trans woman chef. The drama is based on a webtoon by the same name.

My thoughts: First of all, yay for diverse characters even if there’s not a ton of them! This is awesome to hear since unfortunately k-dramas still lack diversity despite a growing number of foreigners moving permanently to Korea in recent years. I also appreciate that the main character is an ex-con as well, you don’t see that often either. This drama is definitely at the top of my 2020 Netflix K-dramas to stream watchlist and will be discussed on the podcast as well! Can’t wait to watch it! 

No. of Episodes: 16

The King: Eternal Monarch

What it’s About: Inter-dimensional stuff: Lee Min-Ho is Lee Gon, the emperor of the Kingdom of Corea which is an alternate reality of the Republic of Korea. He crosses the dimensional barrier into Korea to look for someone dressed as a rabbit, who he believes is involved in the murder of his father. While looking for the rabbit, Gon meets detective Jung Tae-Eul, played by Kim Go-Eun, whose badge he has somehow had for 25 years since the murder of his father. Meanwhile, his half-uncle, Lee Lim, played by Lee Jung-Jin, gathers an army and plans a coup against Gon. 

My thoughts: Sounds like Goblin take 2. They even got Go-Eun to play the female lead and everything. I’m skeptical since the drama got mixed reviews and in my unpopular opinion, Goblin was a bit overrated and had some story flaws which I couldn’t forgive, so I don’t have high hopes knowing that it hails from the same writers. With that said we’ll be watching it and reviewing it for the podcast eventually. 

No. of Episodes: 16

Mystic Pop-Up Bar

What it’s About: Like Itaewon Class, this drama also centers around a pocha, however it takes a fantasy approach to it. The cranky owner of the pocha, Wol-Joo, played by Hwang Jung-Eum, not only provides food and alcohol for her patrons but also visits them in their dreams to help resolve their conflicts. Yook Sung-Jae plays Wol-Joo’s part-time employee, Han Kang-Bae. Chief Gwi, played by Choi Won-Young, also aids Wol-Joo with resolving customers’ issues.

My thoughts: I love me a good fantasy drama, so I’m excited to watch this one! It also looks like it’s going to be pretty funny which is also right up my alley! Also excited for the main cast which I think will be perfect for this type of drama!  

No. of Episodes: 12

Extracurricular

What it’s About: Model high school student Oh Ji-Soo, played by Kim Dong-Hee, teams up with Bae Gyu-Ri, played by Park Joo-Hyun, to start earning money through illegal means. School bully, Seo Min-Hee (Jung Da-Bin), and her popular boyfriend, Kwak Ki-Tae (Nam Yoon-Soo) also get caught up in Ji-Soo and Gyu-Ri’s crimes. 

My thoughts: I love a good thriller drama, so I will be giving this a watch as well! I’m really intrigued as to what lengths these kids will go to for money and I think it’ll have a lot to say about the current economic issues in Korea, as well as the added stress of not knowing if you’ll be able to afford to go to your college of choice. I’m sure that stress is tenfold in Korea since the job market is so competitive and getting into a good school is crucial to being able to get a job once you graduate which would be a good thing to see depicted on screen and bring awareness to.

No. of Episodes: 10

Hospital Playlist

What it’s About: This is a slice-of-life medical drama about five doctors that have been friends since they started medical school in 1999. It stars Jo Jung-Suk as assistant professor of general surgery, Lee Ik-Joon, Yoo Yeon-Seok is Ahn Jung-Won, assistant professor of pediatric surgery, Jung Kyung-Ho plays Kim Joon-Wan, associate professor of cardiothoracic surgery, Kim Dae-Myung stars as Yang Seok-Hyung, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology, and Jeon Mi-Do is Choi Song-Hwa, associate professor of neurosurgery.

My thoughts: Jo Jung-Suk is the best! Just to see him, I’ll be watching Hospital Playlist! Normally though, I’m not big on the medical dramas, however, since this is also a slice-of-life drama it may follow a completely different formula than normal medical dramas. I have also heard a lot of good things about this one so I’m willing to give it a try! 

No. of Episodes: 12

Psycho, but It’s Okay (AKA It’s Okay to Not be Okay)

What it’s About: Moon Kang-Tae, played by Kim Soo-Hyun, is a caretaker who works at a psychiatric hospital. His life revolves around taking care of his older brother, Moon Sang-Tae, played by Oh Jung-Se, who is autistic. By chance, he meets children’s book author Ko Moon-Young, played by Seo Ye-Ji, who suffers from antisocial personality disorder. By chance the two meet and are instantly attracted to one another, however, love is not in Kang-Tae’s plans as he’s got his hands full caring for his brother.

My thoughts: Kim Soo-Hyun is spectacular as Kang-Tae! We’ve waited so long for his comeback and he has not disappointed! Seo Ye-Ji is also incredible as Moon-Young, and her chemistry with Kim Soo Hyun is amazing! Ugh! They quickly became my favorite k-drama couple of all time! The entire cast actually is great, I haven’t seen one bad performance yet! I also love that we’re seeing such realistic depictions of mental illness in the drama. Mental illness treated as an illness and not some scary taboo thing in the media, in general, is scarce but even more so in k-dramas, so I’m happy to see such a great depiction here! 

No. of Episodes: 16

Love Alarm Season 2

What it’s About: Love Alarm is an app that will notify the user when someone within a 10-meter radius has romantic feelings for them. The drama explores the effects of the app on relationships budding at a high school. It stars Kim So-Hyun as Kim Jo-Jo, who is an orphan, Song Kang is Hwang Sun-Oh, a rich, popular peer of Jo-Jo’s who develops a crush on her, and Jung Ga-Ram plays Lee Hye-Yeong, Jo-Jo’s best friend who also likes her. Season 1 was released in August of 2019 and was such a hit that it was renewed for a 2nd season in October of 2019. Season 2 is set to premiere in just a few weeks in August, though we’ve yet to see a trailer for Season 2. The drama is based on the webtoon of the same name by Chon Kye-Young.

My thoughts: Interesting premise, reminds me of the Black Mirror episode “Hang the DJ” even though the tones are completely different! I’d give this a watch based on the premise alone. It hasn’t really been on my radar until recently but it’s now on my watchlist.

No. of Episodes: Season 1: 8, Season 2: probably 8, official number has not been released

Stranger Season 2

What it’s About: Season 1 of this drama premiered in June of 2017 with the highest ratings for a drama at the time and critical acclaim. Its Netflix-produced second season is scheduled to premiere on August 16 of this year. A detective drama, it stars Cho Seung-Woo as Hwang Si -ok, a prosecutor who loses his ability to empathize with others as a result of corrective surgery, and Bae Doo-Na as Han Yeo-Jin as a passionate detective who helps Si-Mok solve a murder case. As they get closer to solving their murder case, they also begin to uncover secret schemes between the Prosecutor’s office, the government, and a private conglomerate that could put a stop to their investigation.

My thoughts: After seeing Bae Doo-Na’s phenomenal acting in Kingdom, I’m excited to watch this one. Every once in awhile I like a good procedural drama and this one has been on my list for a while now!

No. of Episodes: 16

Rugal

What it’s About: Detective Kang Ki-Beom, played by Choi Jin-Hyuk, comes home to his wife having been murdered by members of the criminal organization Argos, which he had been investigating. They severely beat him until he’s unconscious and cut out his eyes as a message to stop his investigation. Ki-Beom is later selected by the NIS to become a part of a special team named Rugal, which takes down criminal organizations. Through Rugal, he is given new eyeballs with special technology. The main cast also features Park Sung-Woong, Jo Dong-Hyuk, Jung Hye-In, Kim Min-Sang, Han Ji-Wan, and Park Sun-Ho.

My thoughts: Sounds like your typical revenge thriller! I do love watching spy teams carry out assignments, so I might also have to add this to my watchlist! As a side note, everyone in the poster looks so chic!

No. of Episodes: 16

There you have it! 2020 K-dramas you can stream on Netflix right now! With the exception of Psycho, but It’s Okay, you can binge all of these as well! Happy viewing!

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