Every December sees the premiere of dark new K-dramas, and this year is no exception. Disney+ is set to kick things off with the twisted tale of Connect, in which a man is forced to witness heinous visions after his eye is transplanted into a ruthless serial killer. Meanwhile, Kim Nam-gil and Cha Eun-woo delve into the supernatural secrets and mythology of Jeju Island in the long-awaited thriller series Island.
Fans of Money Heist: Korea – Joint Economic Area and Alchemy of Souls will also be pleased to know that the two hit dramas will be returning in December, just months after their first seasons aired. Meanwhile, 2020 emotional supernatural-fantasy series Missing: The Other Side is finally back with its second season, with leading stars Go Soo, Heo Jun-ho and Ahn So-hee reprising their roles.
Acting legend Choi Min-sik (best known for Oldboy) is also set to make his first small-screen appearance in 26 years as a successful casino owner at risk of losing it all in Big Bet. Meanwhile, those looking for something lighter can check out The Forbidden Marriage, led by Shooting Stars’ Kim Young-dae playing a sulky Joseon-era king who forces the kingdom into a marriage ban after losing his wife.
Without further ado, here are 11 upcoming K-dramas to check out in December 2022.
Recipe for Farewell
Starring SKY Castle’s Kim Seo-hyun and veteran actor Han Suk-kyu, Recipe for Farewell is based on It May Be A Little Spicy Today by Kang Chang-rae. This bittersweet tale follows Chang-wook (Han), a translator and humanities professor in his forties, whose life is shaken by his wife Da-jung’s (Kim) terminal cancer diagnosis.
Da-jung asks her husband to cook her meals in her final days, as she now has difficulties eating and digesting food. Although Chang-wook has only made instant ramen in his entire life, he soon picks up cooking and prepares each of his wife’s meals with love and care.
Recipe for Farewell premieres on Watcha on December 1.
Shaping up to be one of Disney+’s darkest K-drama originals to date, Connect follows Ha Dong-soo (Snowdrop’s Jung Hae-in), an immortal humanoid who falls victim to black-market organ harvesters. He awakens from the ordeal and finds out that his right eye has been taken.
After experiencing horrific visions of murders happening in real-time, Dong-soo realises that his eye had been transplanted into the body of Oh Jin-seop (Seoul Vibe’s Ko Kyung-po), a brutal serial killer terrorising the citizens of Seoul. Using this disturbing new connection, Dong-soo begins helping the police track down the ruthless murderer.
All six episodes of Connect will be available globally on Disney+ from December 7.
Money Heist: Korea – Joint Economic Area
Half a year after the premiere of season one, the South Korean remake of Money Heist will be returning with six brand-new episodes detailing an epic 4trillion won heist on the mint of a unified Korea. Yoo Ji-tae returns as the brilliant mastermind Park Sun-ho, also known as Professor, while Park Hae-soo of Squid Game reprises his role as the violent former North Korean prisoner Song Jung-ho, or Berlin.
Money Heist: Korea – Joint Economic Area will premiere globally on Netflix on December 9.
The Forbidden Marriage
Based on a Korean webnovel of the same name, The Forbidden Marriage is a fictional historical-comedy series starring Shooting Stars’ actor Kim Young-dae as the heartbroken King Yi Heon, who institutes a kingdom-wide ban on marriage after the death of his wife and former crown princess (former IZ*ONE member Kim Min-ju).
Seven years later, con-artist So Rang (Love All Play’s Park Ju-hyun) gets arrested for fraud by officer Lee Shin-won (Rookie Cops’ Kim Woo-seok), and decides to come up with a new ruse to escape her situation. After pretending to be possessed by the spirit of the late princess, So Rang is brought before the king and finds herself caught in an ever-growing web of lies.
The Forbidden Marriage is set to premiere on MBC on December 9.
Work Later, Drink Now 2
Based on a hit web comic titled Drinker City Women, this upcoming comedy series revolves around a group of friends – screenwriter Ahn So-hee (Jirisan’s Lee Sun-bin), yoga instructor Han Ji-yeon (Why Her?’s Han Sun-hwa) and YouTuber Kang Ji-goo (Apink’s Jung Eun-ji) – who meet up every day after work for drinks.
At their nightly boozing sessions, the trio spill the beans on their triumphs and struggles with work and relationships, at times landing themselves in alcohol-fuelled chaos.
Work Later, Drink Now 2 premieres December 10 on TVING.
Alchemy of Souls: Light and Shadow
One of the most popular K-dramas of the year is back with its second season in the fictional kingdom of Daeho, where volatile magical spells can cause souls to switch between bodies. Set three years after the events of season one, Jang Wook (Lee Jae-wook) and powerful warrior Nak-su (Go Yoon-jung) continue this mystical tale revolving around the latter’s sword. Former NU’EST member Minhyun, OH MY GIRL’s Arin, Shin Seung-ho and Oh Na-ra are also set to reprise their roles from season one.
Alchemy of Souls: Light and Shadow premieres on tvN on December 10, and will also be available to stream on Netflix.
Starring Hellbound actress Kim Hyun-joo and A Model Family‘s Park Hee-soon, Trolley is a political mystery series that follows Kim Hye-joo (Played by Kim), the owner of a book repair shop and wife of National Assemblyman Nam Joong-do (Park). Despite Hye-joo’s desire for a peaceful life and Joong-do’s optimistic goals of making the world a better place, the couple are plagued with challenges and dilemmas when dark secrets from the former’s past threaten to come to light.
Trolley premieres December 19 on SBS.
Another Disney+ original, Big Bet tells the story of Cha Moo-sik (Choi Min-sik), who rises to the top and becomes the king of a casino in the Philippines against all odds. However, he risks losing all that he has worked for after becoming entangled in a murder case.
With the aid of his loyal right-hand man Yang Jung-pal (Entourage’s Lee Dong-hwi), Moo-sik takes on the biggest bet of his life to avoid the persistent Oh Seung-hoon (My Liberation Notes’ Son Suk-ku), who is hellbent on hunting him down.
Big Bet will begin streaming globally on Disney+ from December 21.
Understanding of Love
Hospital Playlist‘s Yoo Yeon-seok and Moon Ga-young (True Beauty) lead this upcoming romance series, which focuses on four characters who cross paths at a local bank, all with conflicting ideas surrounding love.
Yoo stars as Ha Sang-soo, a man who believes that leading an ordinary life is the key to happiness, and is reluctant to let love shake up his existence. Meanwhile, Moon plays the jaded Ahn Soo-young, who fears that love is too easily lost. They are joined by Geum Sae-rok (Youth of May) and Love Alarm’s Jung Ga-ram, who play a wealthy, straightforward young woman and a serious police officer respectively.
Understanding of Love premieres December 21 on JTBC.
Based on the webcomic of the same name by Yoon In-wan, Island is an upcoming fantasy-thriller led by Through The Darkness’ Kim Nam-gil and Lee Da-hee (Love Is For Suckers). Lee stars as Won Mi-ho, the arrogant only child of a conglomerate family who is banished by her father to Jeju Island after making a grave mistake.
Unbeknownst to Mi-ho, evil roams free on the island, and it’s there she meets Pan (Kim), a man who is both monster and human, the young priest John (ASTRO’s Cha Eun-woo), and finds herself caught in the middle of a fight between good and evil.
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Posted by 티빙-TVING on Monday, November 7, 2022
Island will be released sometime in December via TVING and Amazon Prime Video.
Missing: The Other Side 2
Missing: The Other Side 2 picks up from its first season, with lead actor Go Soo reprising his role as the talented con artist Kim Wook. This fantasy drama is focused on a strange village where the souls of dead missing persons reside. Unable to rest until their bodies have been found, these souls are trapped in the village until the truth behind their deaths are brought to light.
The first season began with Kim Wook stumbling across the village, which is normally invisible to the living realm. As the only living person to be able to interact with its trapped residents, he teams up with the mysterious Jang Pan-seok (Hunting Dogs’s Heo Jun-ho) and hacker Lee Jong-A (Ahn So-hee) to investigate the deaths of the missing souls. In the upcoming season, the trio reunite to continue their work helping those trapped in the village.
Missing: The Other Side 2 will be released sometime in December on tvN.