Fever for Korean series: The new goose that lays the golden eggs for platforms (2023)

Netflix has announced that its 2023 plans include debuting a variety of series, movies and reality shows that will be Korea's biggest annual offering...

Netflix announced that its plans for 2023 include the premiere of several series, films and


show what will be

South Korea's biggest annual bid in its history


Almost two years have passed since the great success of

the squid game

and their records were accompanied by prestige in the 2022 awards season as well.

14 Emmy nominations

, which was the first non-English language production to be selected for Outstanding Drama Series,

he even won six, including best director and several supporting roles.


About that,

More than 60% of Netflix subscribers watched a Korean title in the past year

, thus consolidating an increasing demand for this content.

The country's cultural fever has been boiling since the beginning of the century

it was even dubbed the "Korean wave".

, spread worldwide by South Korea, a country with 50 million citizens that managed to export its entertainment

Reach younger and younger people interested in learning the language, discovering its literature, history or politics


Curiosity is fueled by witnessing how a country's massive and influential economy manages to expand with almost no natural resources.

Em 2022

, the Oxford dictionary added 26 Korean words

it's at


BTS was present at the United Nations General Assembly;

2020, just before the start of the pandemic, Bong Joon-ho's


made history being

the first non-English language film to win the top Oscar award

, and it's rare that festivals around the world don't show more. a great bet of the peninsula year after year.


In the 1990s, the scenario was very different.


Korea had recently achieved democracy and was not as sophisticated as the world is being shown today.

The beginning of the wave at the beginning of this decade was fueled by series

What is love

, which aired in 1997, began to push boundaries.

Investing in the entertainment industry was an economic strategy that emerged amid the Asian financial crisis

and it was largely market-based with China growing economically and looking for content that matched their values, so compared to American pop culture, Korean pop culture was excellent at meeting that demand.

Image from the South Korean Pachinko series. APPLE TV

The Japanese market was more resilient because it had its own export industry, but the


The 2003 series opened a gap that could not be stopped.

Director Park Chan-wook pushed boundaries with his film

old boy

and many others like

Kim Jee-woon

made its way through genre cinema, while the growth of the internet and social media opened its way completely to western countries until a song whose lyrics no one understood was liked

Gangnam Style

, went viral in July 2012 and led to K-Pop success with groups like BTS, SuperM, EXO, Blackpink, Girls' Generation or Seventeen.

There is a tendency to underestimate the role of idols of this musical genre in the propagation of the Korean wave,

a kind of ambassador in the form of unreachable people, synonymous with elite football players who can sing and dance and exude great charisma and approachability

with his close relationship with fans.

It is not difficult to understand their popularity with songs full of catchy rhythms and funny lyrics with a few words in English, and all of this increases the impact of the series because they are more complete.


The music and its stars are also solid faces in most of them.

But this symbiosis is not the only reason


are being watched more and more, in large part because they are now available to international viewers on a larger scale than ever before.

Platforms like Viki or Dramafever started to grow exponentially and only from 2012 to 2013 the last monthly unique viewers

quadrupled from 2.5 million to 10 million and doubled again the following year by 85%. non-Asian audience.



with legal blind spots also made content available with fan caption efforts that made hundreds of titles easily accessible.

Korean series are designed to be enjoyed by a wide audience, except for particularly violent ones.

In addition to all this


The productions are promoted and promoted on Instagram or Facebook, with the amplifying impact of the actors on their social networks, a constant presence that feeds back with perhaps what is most important: they are enormously addictive.

Korean series are designed to appeal to a wide range of audiences, except for the particularly violent ones, they are generally quite neutral,

Their stories tend to be predictable and, in general, portray a society that clings to traditional values.

, but looks economically advanced and developed, with a hyper-modern and stunning appearance.

Another advantage is that actors and actresses are always attractive.

Charming, vulnerable and... superbly dressed characters

: The fashion in


is on the catwalk and adds


to its cultural appeal.

The world that appears on screen is different from the programming the West is used to.


The scenarios are diverse and there is an invisible educational factor that allows us to absorb information about a society with different codes, from the way they greet each other, to the expression of their feelings, to the cuisine, both in the dishes and in the kitchen where they are served. .

Scene from the series "Extracurricular.NETFLIX".

the duration of the majority


is 16 hours, a length that might be excessive by the platform's current standards, but is actually enough to tell a complete story with solid structure and conclusion.

They usually have a definitive ending so that the plot doesn't become an excuse to fill time and last for several seasons.


And within the same formula there is room for historical plots, high school, humor, time travel or terror, there is great variety, although the queens are romantic comedies and melodramas that often form the basis on which it is flavored with elements of each genre. .

A secret of melodrama, or romance, is that it often resonates so well with girls and women, as it is often not skewed by the male gaze that traditionally defines (and limits audiences to) much Western fiction.



, Emotions are not treated as an inconvenience or an overreaction, and this happens even in the darkest Korean cinema.

train to busan

, an infamous zombie film criticized in the West for having a particularly tearful ending.

In South Korea there are no inhibitions in showing feelings, much less in the family nucleus

, there is no cynicism to portray them on screen and for many women fiction is a space to feel and express without showing the harm, affection or sadness of real life.

A total of 34 new Korean projects are expected this year.

This release also aids in the addictive bond, creating emotional connections between viewers and characters in a way that resonates twice as much when the


the result is that the main couple are finally holding hands.

on top of that

Too many features and production values ​​to ensure a positive viewing experience


The direction is usually impeccable, and even the series that most resemble a soap opera seem very expensive.

These are the fundamentals that have driven major platforms to stream and produce more Korean series.

Over the past 5 years, Netflix has produced hits like

outside the curriculum






love alarm


we are dead




exceptional lawyer


Memories of the Alhambra

a, which entered the global top 10 with three of the most popular titles. seen in its Korean-spoken history, and as a result, a total of 34 new projects are expected to arrive this year, including original productions and the return of very popular others, a sign of the growing success that has already spread to other platforms such as Apple TV+ , which will broadcast prestigious series from the country in 2022, such as

dr Brain




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