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7 new K-dramas to watch in February 2023: Netflix’s Love to Hate You, Disney+ romance Call It Love, Taxi Driver season 2 and more

South China Morning Post logo South China Morning Post 30/1/2023 Pierce Conran
  • Park Hyung-sik of boy band ZE: A and Jeon So-nee will star in the period romantic drama Our Blooming Youth - the first of a few love stories airing in February
  • Several big dramas are making a return with second seasons, such as Choi Min-shik-driven crime drama Big Bet on Disney+ and vigilante action-drama Taxi Driver

With Valentine's Day looming next month, romance is in the air - the K-drama schedule is filled with romcoms and melodramas.

If romance is not your thing, global streaming platforms have you covered, with big action, crime and fantasy series returning for new seasons.

Here is our preview of the seven most exciting K-dramas debuting in February 2023.

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1. Our Blooming Youth

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Park Hyung-sik of boy band ZE: A, who recently appeared in the shows Happiness and Soundtrack #1, will be back on screens in February in the period romantic drama Our Blooming Youth.

Co-starring will be rising star Jeon So-nee (Jo Pil-ho: The Dawning Rage) in this new show from Jung Hyun-jung, the writer of Lovestruck in the City.

The series will follow the love story of Crown Prince Lee Hwan (Park) and Min Jae-yi (Jeon). Lee Hwan is an arrogant, aloof and lonely prince who holds the secret to a mysterious curse.

Jae-yi is a sharp woman who is framed for the sudden massacre of her noble family. (tvN, February 6)

2. Love to Hate You

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Kim Ok-vin of Thirst and The Villainess headlines the Netflix romantic comedy Love to Hate You alongside Yoo Teo, in his first leading role in a drama.

Yoo has stood out in many supporting roles and in indie films, including the Korean-American film Past Lives, which just debuted to acclaim at this year's Sundance Film Festival.

Kim plays Yeo Mi-ran, a junior lawyer at the Gilmu Law Firm focusing on entertainment law. She has no romantic inclinations and is extremely competitive, particularly with men.

Nam Gang-ho (Yoo) is one of South Korea's top actors, popular throughout the entertainment industry for his looks and kind personality. He is especially loved for his romantic roles, but in reality he does not trust women.

Love to Hate You is the latest show from Ditto director Kim Jeong-kwon. (Netflix, February 10)

3. The Heavenly Idol

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Business Proposal actor Kim Min-kyu receives top billing in the K-pop-themed fantasy drama The Heavenly Idol.

Kim plays the memorably named Pontifex Lembrary, a priest recognised for his divine powers who wakes in the body of Woo Yeon-woo, a member of an unpopular idol group called Wild Animal (and not to be confused with the protagonist of Extraordinary Attorney Woo).

Wild Animal are on the verge of breaking up but, after they take to the stage one last time, Lembrary's clueless stage antics attract unexpected interest and suddenly the band's fortunes begin to change.

Also appearing in the show is Go Bo-gyeol of Hi Bye, Mama! and The Arthdal Chronicles. (tvN, February 15)

4. Big Bet 2

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Choi Min-sik will return in the second part of Big Bet on Disney+ as his character Cha Moo-sik continues his rise to power as a casino boss in the Philippines.

My Liberation Notes star Son Suk-ku co-stars as Oh Seung-hoon, the agent trying to take him down.

The show is co-directed by Kang Yoon-sung, who previously made the hit Ma Dong-seok action-crime film The Outlaws. Also featured in the series are Lee Dong-wi (Glitch) and Squid Game's Heo Sung-tae as other members of the underground Korean expat crime scene in the Philippines. (Disney+, February 15)

5. Taxi Driver 2

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Vigilante action-drama Taxi Driver returns for its second season on SBS, with Lee Je-hoon once again behind the wheel as Kim Do-gi.

A former special forces captain whose mother died at the hands of a serial killer, Do-gi was scouted by the head of the Rainbow Taxi Company, a front for a secret vigilante service that avenges people lacking the power to go against those who wronged them. He now acts as their ace wheelman.

Also returning will be Kim Eui-sung, Pyo Ye-jin and others as members of the Rainbow team in season two, part of which will unfold in Vietnam. (SBS, February 17)

6. Call It Love

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Lee Sung-kyung and Kim Young-kwang are teaming up for Disney+ romantic drama Call It Love.

Lee plays Sim Woo-joo, whose life becomes a nightmare when her father starts dating a woman who hates her. Following her father's death, the woman kicks Woo-joo out of her family home and she swears to get her revenge.

She approaches the woman's son Hang Dong-jin (Kim), a workaholic who suffers from loneliness. After getting to know Dong-jin, Woo-joo is surprised to find herself falling in love with him.

Recently seen in Sh**ting Stars, Lee will soon be starring in Dr. Romantic 3. Kim's last role was in the Netflix drama Somebody. (Disney+, February 22)

7. Island part 2

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Kim Nam-gil, Lee Da-hee and Cha Eun-woo will continue to battle demons on Jeju Island in the second part of the big-budget fantasy-action drama Island, based on the web comic of the same name written by Yoon In-wan.

After appearing only briefly in the first batch of episodes, Sung Joon's villain character will be more prominent in these new instalments, which will further the mythology of the Lust Demons and those that fight them.

Island Part 2 will be available to stream worldwide on Amazon's Prime Video service. (TVing, February 24)

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