Ones to Watch: Upcoming February 2015 K-dramas
Why am I constantly taken by surprise by how quickly another month has snuck by? It feels as if we were all ringing in the new year just yesterday, but here we are at the end of January 2015. And if January dramas were all about multiple personalities and crippling social disorders, February’s K-drama offerings are a little less clinical and, fittingly, more sentimental than not.
Here are some upcoming K-dramas for February 2015:
February 9 – Mondays and Tuesdays on tVN
I recently wrote about webtoons turned dramas and for some reason the adaptation of “Hogu’s Love” completely slipped my mind until a kind Soompier volunteered it. It is one of those instances where you /headdesk because I have been looking forward to this drama eagerly since tVN released some really cute teasers featuring Choi Woo Shik looking adorably love-torn over After School-member-turned-swimming goddess, UEE. Choi plays Ho Goo, a guy completely inexperienced in the ways of the heart, and a chance encounter with his former crush, Do Hee (UEE), leaves him looking after a small child. Lots of fans of the original webtoon are excited about the adaptation, as well as K-drama lovers since the author of the webtoon gave us the webtoon “I Take Peeks at Him Everyday” which was adapted into the drama “Flower Boy Next Door.” But what makes me anticipate “Hogu’s Love” is its production/writing team whose credits include “Coffee House,” “Flower Boy Ramyun Shop,” and “Full House.” Kang Ho Gyeong and 2AM‘s Im Seulong also star as Hogu’s twin sister and love interest, respectively.
The teasers for “Hogu’s Love” are light-hearted and full of charm:
February 14 – Saturdays and Sundays on KBS
Despite having a premiere date of February 14, “Jingbirok” is has none of those romantic, fluttery feelings that the rest of the dramas on this list have. And that is not a bad thing. This historical drama is based off the memoir of the same name written by Joseon scholar Ryu Seong Ryong, and recounts the events of the Imjin War (1592-1598). And just who plays our influential scholar/military mastermind, you ask. Well, Ryu Seong Ryong will be played by veteran actor and all around tour de force Kim Sang Joong, who will act opposite Kim Tae Woo as King Seonjo. “Jingbirok” is definitely one to watch if you’re a sageuk fan, and actually, even if it’s not typically your genre of choice. Great actors? Check. A capable director? Check (Kim Saeng Hwi previously worked on “The King’s Dream“). A storyline that has intrigue already built into it? That focuses not on the feats of kings and generals, but of the brains that rose to the occasion and influenced the course of history? Check and check! “Jingbirok” has all the pieces in place for one compelling drama.
February 16 – Mondays and Tuesdays on KBS2
Ahn Jae Hyun and Gu Hye Sun head up this fantasy drama that fuses vampire themes and the medical genre. To be honest, the casting choices came as a surprise to me because as much as I loved Ahn Jae Hyun in both “My Love From the Star” and “You’re All Surrounded,” I think it might be a little too early in his career for him to headline a drama. Nonetheless, in “Blood” he will be playing a vampire surgeon who struggles with his own instincts and desires against his calling to “do no harm.” As if that wasn’t difficult enough, Gu Hye Sun plays a physician and love interest at the hospital where they both work. The director and the writer from 2013’s “Good Doctor” are behind this impossible, immortal love story, but if their past work is any indication, there is no such thing as an impossible love story.
Check out Gu Hye Sun being ethereal herself in the teaser for “Blood”:
February 21 – Saturdays and Sundays on KBS2
This weekend drama explores the struggles of a relatively new generation of young professionals in Korea who shun marriage and children in the interest of successful careers, especially those trying to rise up on the corporate ladder. Typically, I’m not an avid weekend drama watcher, but leads Lee Joon Hyuk and Kyung Soo Jin are reason enough for me to keep an eye out on “Bluebird’s House.” I have been a fan of Lee Joon Hyuk since he showed up being all noble and good on “City Hunter” and have lamented the fact that he wasn’t launched into leading-man status afterwards. Lee Joon Hyuk will play the smart and reliable Kim Ji Wan who is shaken in the wake of his father’s death, and finds help from a make-shift family. I also love Kyung Soo Jin’s acting and the way she pulls you into her characters, and have no doubt she’ll make her character Young Joo everything bright, charming, and wonderful. I think “Bluebird’s House” will provide a heartwarming exploration of what makes family, how we define success, and the sacrifices we make in the pursuit of personal fulfillment. Lee Sang Yeob and Chae Soo Bin round out the cast.
“Heard It Through the Grapevine”
February 23 – Mondays and Tuesdays on SBS
If Lee Joon is no longer part of an idol group, can we still call him an idol-turned-actor, or is he now simply an actor? (too soon?) In “Heard It Through the Grapevine,” also known as “I Heard It as a Rumor,” Lee Joon will play an ideal high school student who falls in love with a classmate (played by Go Ah Sung). Things take a turn as the young couple gets caught up in pregnancy rumors, which shatter his family’s perfect and prestigious public image. The drama takes the common trope of the high class guy and commoner girl (or vice versa) and adds some real stakes in the form of a baby, a life, and not just the threat of disinheritance or being shipped off to some other country. I particularly like that the imposing institution of “the family” is actually held responsible by something as seemingly inconsequential as a rumor. The challenge for our lovers is how to persevere when the family isn’t trying to break you up but build you up to be someone else. Yu Jun Sang and Yoo Ho Jeong play Lee Joon’s father and mother, respectively.
Wednesdays and Thursdays on KBS2
In “Unkind Women,” quirky actress Lee Ha Na will play opposite rising star Song Jae Rim in this drama about three generations of women with fiery temperaments living under one roof. Lee Hana’s Jung Ma Ri is a woman in her 20s who is a bookish and study smart. She’ll meet Song Jae Rim’s cold and aloof athlete character and, well, you know what they say about opposites attracting and all that. Chae Shi Ra will play Lee Ha Na’s mother, with Kim Hye Ja acting as grandmother and family matriarch in this drama where the women navigate the rough waters of love, family, and success. I have to admit that I have a soft spot for multi-generational dramas, especially ones like “Unkind Women,” that, as it seems, will focus on the relationships between the women and the lessons they learn from one another.
“Unkind Women” will premiere on KBS2 following the conclusion of “The King’s Face.”
And there you have it, the K-dramas heading your way in the month of February. What is on your “watch” list? Anything we missed? Let us know in the comments below.