10 of the best new Korean drama series to watch in May 2024 (2024)

10 of the best new K-dramas to watch in May 2024: Song Kang-ho in Uncle Samsik on Disney+, The 8 Show on Netflix

After a relatively quiet April, the K-drama schedules will be packed with new shows next month, ranging from romance, fantasy and historical drama to action and high-concept thrills.

We preview 10 of the best K-drama series debuting in May.

1. Frankly Speaking

Lead cast: Go Kyung-pyo, Kang Han-na, Joo Jong-hyuk

Calling to mind the Jim Carrey classic Liar Liar and the Korean film franchise Honest Candidate, the Korean drama Frankly Speaking tells the story of well-mannered TV station announcer Song Ki-baek, who suffers an accident and suddenly begins to speak without thinking first – with disastrous consequences.

Song is played by Go Kyung-pyo (Love in Contract), while Kang Han-na (My Roommate Is a Gumiho) plays On Woo-joo, a determined reality TV writer who becomes obsessed with Ki-baek’s unusual behaviour and tries to land him for her show. (JTBC, May 1)

2. The Atypical Family

Lead cast: Jang Ki-yong, Chun Woo-hee

Bok Gwi-joo (Jang Ki-yong of Now, We Are Breaking Up) belongs to a very special family, where each member has a different supernatural power. His allows him to travel back to happy moments in his past but not to change anything.

Suffering from ailments ranging from depression to smartphone addiction, soon Gwi-joo the depressed time traveller and his family lose their powers.

Do Da-hee (Chun Woo-hee, Delightfully Deceitful) becomes involved with this atypical family and starts to live them as their new house guest. (JTBC, May 4)

3. The Midnight Romance in Hagwon

Lead cast: Jung Ryeo-won, Wi Ha-joon

Jung Ryeo-won (May It Please the Court) plays Seo Hye-jin, an instructor in Daechi-dong, an area in Gangnam famous for its competitive after-school academies.

Wi Ha-joon (Squid Game) appears as Lee Joon-ho, who used to be Hye-jin’s student a decade earlier. She helped him to get into a good university and now, after quitting his job at a big company, he has become a rookie instructor at her side. (tvN, May 11)

4. Dare to Love Me

Lead cast: Kim Myung-soo, Lee Yoo-young

10 of the best new Korean drama series to watch in May 2024 (1)

Lee Yoo-young (Insider) stars in the romcom Dare to Love Me as Kim Hong-do, a designer with a temp contract at an apparel company. She is ambitious and works herself to the bone but, though her efforts are never recognised, never gives up on her dream.

Shin Yoon-bok (Kim Myung-soo, a member of the K-pop group Infinite) is a scholar who has been carrying on his family’s traditions. He lives in a village that recreates the era of Joseon dynastic rule over Korea but, dreaming of becoming a writer for web comics, moves to Seoul, where he soon meets Hong-do. (KBS2, May 13)

5. Crash

Lead cast: Lee Min-ki, Kwak Sun-young, Heo Sung-tae

In the high-octane action series Crash, Lee Min-ki (My Liberation Notes) plays Cha Yeon-ho, a new member of the TCI (Traffic Crime Investigation) team, who puts his brilliant intellectual skills to use in solving traffic crimes, but is hampered by his poor social skills and inability to drive.

Other members of the team include the persistent Min So-hee (Kwak Sun-young, Behind Every Star) and Jung Chae-man (Heo Sung-tae, Squid Game), the grizzled violent-crimes detective who formed the team. (ENA, May 13)

6. Uncle Samsik

Lead cast: Song Kang-ho, Byun Yo-han

Legendary Korean film star Song Kang-ho (Parasite) makes his Korean drama debut in the Disney+ original Uncle Samsik, written and directed by Shin Yeon-shick, who penned Song’s film Cobweb, shown at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival.

Song plays the titular character, a wily fixer in 1960s Korea who teams up with idealistic young man Kim San, played by Byun Yo-han (Mr. Sunshine), who dreams of changing the country. (Disney+, May 15)

7. The 8 Show

Lead cast: Ryu Jun-yeol, Chun Woo-hee, Park Jung-min

Channelling the visuals and dog-eat-dog concept of Squid Game, The 8 Show marks the K-drama debut of Emergency Declaration director Han Jae-rim and features eight desperate characters invited to appear in a reality game show.

The group must live in a filmed studio set and have the chance to win and split a 44.8 billion won (US$33 million) prize, but the catch is that their necessities must be paid for from the pot, at 1,000 times their usual price.

Among the actors portraying the players are Ryu Jun-yeol (Reply 1988), Chun Woo-hee and Park Jung-min (Hellbound). (Netflix, May 17)

8. Bitter Sweet Hell

Lead cast: Kim Hee-sun, Lee Hye-young, Kim Nam-hee

10 of the best new Korean drama series to watch in May 2024 (2)

Kim Hee-sun (Tomorrow) headlines Bitter Sweet Hell as the celebrity psychologist No Young-won. She is married to Jae-jin (Kim Nam-hee, Reborn Rich), a caring doctor, but she constantly struggles with her mother-in-law, Hong Sa-gang (Lee Hye-young, Mother), an author of mystery novels.

When Young-won is suddenly embroiled in an unexpected incident, it puts her family in danger and she bands together with Sa-gang to protect it. (MBC, May 24)

9. Connection

Lead cast: Ji Sung, Jeon Mi-do

Ji Sung (The Devil Judge) plays hotshot narcotics detective Jang Jae-kyeong, whose success lies in his refusal to make personal connections. His detective philosophy is put to the test when he is turned into a drug addict against his will by a mysterious individual. Starting with the death of a friend, he begins to investigate.

Jeon Mi-do (Hospital Playlist) plays local news reporter Oh Yoon-jin, who was unfairly fired from her last post and now focuses her work on corruption. Soon she becomes involved with Jae-kyeong. (SBS, May 24)

10. Dreaming of Cinde Fxxing Rella

Lead cast: Pyo Ye-jin, Lee Jun-young

Lee Jun-young (Badland Hunters) plays Moon Cha-min, an arrogant and wealthy heir who has no time for women who dream of fairly tale romances.

Pyo Ye-jin (Taxi Driver) appears as Shin Jae-rin, who dreams of finding her prince charming and begins working at the club Cha-min manages. (TVING, May)

10 of the best new Korean drama series to watch in May 2024 (3)

10 of the best new Korean drama series to watch in May 2024 (2024)
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