Instead of TV dramas, these K-drama stars chose to star in series launched exclusively on OTT platforms.
With the development of the current digital world, broadcasters including both public and cable TV stations are no longer the only choice of producers in Korea. Online video platforms, or OTT, such as Netflix, TVING, Apple TV+ or Disney+ are getting more prevalent. Reasons such as more freedom, not having to act with sponsor’s products, having scripts that explore more profound aspects, or no pressure on TV ratings, are probably what convince many famous K-drama stars to take part in shows released exclusively on OTT streaming services. This year, we get to see these actors in OTT dramas instead of TV station dramas.
Kim Hye Soo – Justice Juvenile (Netflix)
Available on Netflix on February 25, “Justice Juvenile” marks Kim Hye Soo’s small screen comeback after Hyena in 2020. In Hyena, Kim Hye Soo plays a lawyer. In this new legal drama, she portrays Shim Eun Seok, a cold, tough and distant judge.
The storyline of “Justice Juvenile” is socially realistic and has depth. Kim Hye Soo has once again succeeded in proving her talent. Justice Juvenile has entered the Top 10 global TV Shows on Netflix in just a week and ranked first in countries such as Korea, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam,… The IMDb score of the “Justice Juvenile” is also very high with 8.3/10. Kim Hye Soo has definitely had a successful comeback in her first OTT drama.
Lee Min Ho – Pachinko (Apple TV+)
Like Kim Hye Soo, it has been 2 years since Lee Min Ho’s drama appearance in SBS’s “The King: Eternal Monarch”. In the upcoming comeback, he plays a member of the Yakuza organization in “Pachinko“, produced and distributed by Apple TV+.
Although he still has the image of a rich and powerful character like in his previous roles, Lee Min Ho’s character Koh Hansu in “Pachinko” is antagonistic, so viewers are looking forward to watching his portrayal of a villain for the first time. “Pachinko” also stars veteran actress Youn Yuh Jung, Lee Min Ho’s co-star from The King Jung Eun Chae, and Anna Sawai. Pachinko has 8 episodes in total and is set to come out on March 25.
Han So Hee – Soundtrack #1 (Disney+)
Before ‘Soundtrack #1’, Han So Hee also re-appeared with another OTT drama, ‘My Name‘ on Netflix, and her role in that series helped her image gain a lot of love from the audience. “Soundtrack #1” is a lighthearted melodrama about two friends who have been together for nearly 20 years, then gradually realize they have feelings for each other when they have the opportunity to live together for about 2 weeks.
Han So Hee plays Seo Eun Soo, a beautiful, cheerful girl who loves life and dreams of becoming a successful lyricist. Han So Hee usually takes on roles that are a bit fierce and feisty, rather than gentle, feminine roles like this. But we’ll have to wait until ‘Soundtrack #1‘ airs on March 23 to find out. The show only has 4 episodes, so many netizens believe that the plot will be accelerated to the maximum.
Park Hyung Sik – Soundtrack #1 (Disney+)
Accompanying Han So Hee in “Soundtrack #1” is Park Hyung Sik – who has just made an impression after being discharged from the army with tvN’s drama “Happiness“. Park Hyung Sik filmed “Soundtrack #1” right after “Happiness” ended, so his slightly chubby appearance in the two new dramas is nearly the same. In this comeback, Park Hyung Sik plays Han Sun Woo – a handsome rookie photographer with a warm personality.
Overall, there is nothing too complicated in this character’s psychology, but netizens are looking forward to seeing how his interaction with Han So Hee will be. This is also the first time that the actor has tried his hand at a web drama, so netizens’ expectations for him as well as for “Soundtrack #1” has increased a lot.
With the development of online platforms as well as the success that the actors of web drama series have had, this may be a new trend in the future. It is possible that the influence of web dramas in the domestic market will not be as strong as that of broadcasters, but in return, actors can freely try themselves in more different types of roles and also gain great popularity in the international market. It seems that the small screen race is no longer a playground of only the central stations and the cable stations.