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Upcoming dramas take viewers on a time machine ride

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Published : 2017-01-08 18:14
Updated : 2017-01-09 05:34

A number of series set to hit Korean television early this year feature the element of time travel. As for their genres, a diverse array of historical dramas, romantic comedies and thriller mysteries will dominate the small screen.

Cable channel tvN, which has been come up with hit dramas nonstop in recent years, will be opening the new year with romance.

Shin Min-ah (left) and Lee Je-hoon star in “Tomorrow with You.” (tvN)

Following on the heels of the hit fantasy love story “Guardian: The Great and Lonely God” is “Tomorrow With You,” set to air on Feb. 3.

The romantic comedy stars Lee Je-hoon as Yoo So-joon, a wealthy, attractive male lead capable of time travel, who begins a romance with the spontaneous Song Ma-rin, played by Shin Min-ah.

The office romance “Introvert Boss” will launch on Jan. 16. Yeon Woo-jin plays an extremely shy boss, while Park Hye-soo stars as an audacious newbie.

The show is directed by Song Hyun-wook, known for deftly portraying romantic comedies such as “Another Oh Hae-young.”

Network broadcaster MBC, which suffered a less-than-satisfactory year in 2016, with ambitious series -- such as “The Flower in Prison” and “Woman with a Suitcase” -- all faltering below 20 percent in viewership, seeks to regain viewers with a thriller and a fusion period piece.

Following “Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo,” the jovial story of a weightlifting trainee’s first love, will be “Missing 9,” a thriller tracing the whereabouts of nine passengers who go missing in a plane crash. It will begin airing on Jan. 18.

“Missing 9” traces an airplace wreck and the subsequent disappearances. (MBC)

Produced by SM C&C, the show will feature Jung Kyung-ho and Baek Jin-hee as leads and also star Chanyeol of boy band EXO.

Succeeding “Night Light,” a dark drama of ambition and greed, will be the fusion period piece “Rebel: A Thief who Stole the People,” kicking off on Jan. 30.

The show will draw on the Korean tale of righteous hero Hong Gil-dong, who steals from the rich to give to the poor. It stars Kim Sang-joon, Yoon Kyun-sang, Kim Ji-seok and Lee Ha-nui.

Broadcaster SBS will be offering similar genres this January. The jailbreak drama “Defendant” and much-anticipated period piece “Saimdang” will air, respectively, after the end of the currently running medical drama series “Romantic Doctor, Teacher Kim” and fantasy romance “The Legend of the Blue Sea.”

“Defendant,” starting Thursday, will feature Ji Sung as a former prosecutor who, framed for the murder of his daughter and wife and now a death row prisoner, seeks to regain his lost memory and take revenge. Yuri of Girls’ Generation has joined the cast, nabbing her first leading TV role. 

Lee Young-ae, Song Seung-heon star in “Saimdang, Light’s Diary.” (SBS)

“Saimdang” is an entirely pre-filmed drama, which is rare for a Korean series. Marking Lee Young-ae’s return to the small screen after the 2003 period piece “Jewel in the Palace,” which reaped global success, “Saimdang” has been at the center of much attention since its early production stages.

A historical drama infused with fantasy, the show focuses on history student Seo Ji-yoon, who travels back in time to encounter Shin Saimdang, a renowned 16-century female artist, poet and scholar. Lee will portray both roles. It will begin airing in January.

Meanwhile, the Korean arm of US streaming service Netflix will be producing its first original series “Love Alarm,” a remake of the webtoon series by the same title by artist Chon Kye-young, the company announced Thursday. The story revolves around a device that alerts the user when someone nearby develops romantic feelings for them.

The production will be helmed by director Lee Jae-moon, lauded for his moving portrayal of modern life in another webtoon-based hit drama series “Misaeng” and the time-traveling mystery “Signal.”

The show will consist of 12 episodes, all to be streamed at once sometime next year on Netflix, which will also reveal director Bong Joon-ho’s fantasy-fairy tale film “Okja” later this year.

By Rumy Doo (doo@heraldcorp.com)