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Netflix announces 'biggest-ever lineup' of Korean films and series

Twenty-one scripted shows, five reality shows, six movies and two documentaries are set to be released on the platform this year.
Han So-hee and Park Seo-joon in a scene from "Gyeongseong Creature."
Han So-hee and Park Seo-joon in a scene from "Gyeongseong Creature."Netflix

Netflix announced 34 new Korean titles to hit the streaming platform in 2023, including a diverse array of series and movies.

The upcoming titles, which Netflix calls their “biggest-ever lineup of Korean films and series,” includes 21 scripted shows, five reality shows, six movies and two documentaries.

Korean content on the platform has continued to grow, with over 60 percent of all Netflix users watching Korean titles last year, according to a release from the company on Monday.

“Over the last year, Korean series and films have regularly featured in our Global Top 10 list in more than 90 countries, and three of Netflix’s most-watched shows ever are from Korea,” Don Kang, the vice president of content for Netflix (Korea), said. 

New shows include the thriller “Gyeongseong Creature,” set in the spring of 1945 prior to Japan’s surrender in World War II and the division of Korea, in which a young man and woman — Park Seo-joon (“Itaewon Class”) and Han So-hee (“My Name”) — must fight monsters to survive.

“A Time Called You,” a romantic drama in which a grieving woman time travels to 1998 and meets a man who resembles her late significant other, will also make its debut. It stars Ahn Hyo-seop (“Lovers of the Red Sky”) and Jeon Yeo-been (“After My Death”).

“Zombieverse,” which follows South Korean entertainers as they try to survive a zombie apocalypse in Seoul, is poised to be one of the standout reality shows in Netflix’s lineup.

A scene from "Zombieverse."
A scene from "Zombieverse."Netflix

And “Yellow Door: Looking for Director Bong’s Unreleased Short Film (working title),” a documentary following the early career of Bong Joon-ho, the Academy Award-winning director of “Parasite,” and the making of his unreleased first short film is also among the films set for this year. 

The shows “Sweet Home,” “D.P.” and “The Glory” will also return this year. 

The global popularity of Korean media and culture, known as the “Korean Wave,” is still proving successful in the U.S., with shows like “Squid Game” being Netflix’s most successful series launch of all time. 

For its part, Netflix has been steadily investing in Korean content — reportedly over $500 million in 2021 and even more in 2022.

“With Korean cinema, and with K-pop in particular, there is already a ready-made, built-in media template for thinking about how Korean stories can reach audiences, throughout different regions in East Asia and beyond,” Dan O’Neill, an associate professor of modern literature and media studies at the University of California, Berkeley, previously told NBC News. “There’s already a built-in industry ambition to have this phenomenon be more than just a Korean phenomenon, and it’s backed by a lot of investment from the government and so forth.”