The Hallyu has seen a global surge amidst the pandemic. From Korean songs, dramas to Korean food; the ‘Korean Wave’ of 2020 has brought ever-increasing popularity to Korean Culture. The last time such a big Korean Wave (Hallyu) hit globally would be 2009-10 when ‘Boys Over Flowers’ was released. The music groups SNSD and BIGBANG were also equally influential for that wave.
The same impact ‘Crash Landing Over You,’ BTS, and Blackpink had over the recent Korean Wave. Netflix introduced K-dramas to international audiences, if not ‘Viki,’ which boasts the most extensive catalog of k-dramas and is still a go-to platform for long-time k-drama viewers. However, Amazon Prime Video also decided to jump into this wave (finally!) and has added some of the popular k-dramas on their platform.
Based on the webtoon of the same name, True Beauty is a teenage romantic comedy starring Moon Ga Yeong, Cha Eun Woo, and Hwang In Yeop. Lim Ju Kyeong is bullied in High School because of her looks. She masters the art of makeup and transfers to another school where she becomes popular for her pretty looks. Lee Su Ho and Han Seo Jun, both fall for her; one knows her secret, and the other doesn’t. However, both of them help her realize her true beauty that is more than just her face.
The Penthouse (Seasons 1-3)
The famous crime thriller starts at the Hera Palace, a skyscraper inhabited by some of the wealthiest people in South Korea. Amongst them, the owners of the Penthouse at the top are considered most powerful in social status. A poor young girl is murdered at Hera Palace, and it begins the dirty drama, which shows how the rich abuse money, power, and social status to get away with their heinous deeds. The show takes multiple twists & turns in the span of 3 seasons. The Penthouse has a big cast with famous names such as Kim So Yeon, Lee Ji Ah, Eugene, and Kim Young Dae.
Tale of the Nine-tailed
This fantasy thriller/horror features Lee Dong Wook, Jo Bo Ah, and Kim Bum as main leads. Lee Yeon, a nine-tailed fox, has taken human form and lives among them. He has the power to destroy evil supernatural beings. After living for hundreds of years, he finally meets his reincarnated first love. However, history repeats itself, and the reason why his first love was killed by himself appears again. The imugi tries to kill both him and his lover again. The show is set to have the next season with Kim So Yeon as the female lead.
Hotel Del Luna
A 1300 years old ghost, Jang Man Wol, runs the hotel del luna for ghosts who do not want to leave this world yet. Jang Man Wol has to do this as a punishment for her past sins. When Koo Chan Seong joins the hotel as the 99th Human Manager, she notices a change in herself. Soon it’s revealed that Cha Seong is her chance to leave this life as Jang Man Wol and move to the afterlife. Koo Chan Seong, a kind-hearted human, helps all the ghosts to move to the afterlife in peace. IU is seen playing the role of Jang Man Wol. Kim Soo Hyun is supposed to lead in the second season.
One of the finest comedy k-drama, Mr. Queen, is led by talented actors Shin Hye Sun and Kim Jung Hyun. This historical fiction is set in the Joseon era when a guy from modern Seoul switches bodies with a queen and travels back in time. The show hilariously depicts the struggles of a guy in a woman’s body as a queen. The modern guy behaves recklessly in the royal environment and creates chaos. The guy cannot switch back to his natural body until the real queen also wants to do the same, which leads to the guy trying to make a livable world for the queen. The crossover and the comedic timing of the characters are top-notch and worth a watch.
With this addition to the Amazon Prime Video, it’s a treat for k-drama audiences. This strategic move by the platform will increase the reach of k-dramas and help the platform gain more subscribers. More k-drama titles are set to release on the platform later this year.