This month is full of crime dramas and rom-coms, with a generous side helping of mystery. Check out what K-dramaland has to offer us this July below. What are you most looking forward to?
1 | Into the Ring / 출사표
July 1, Wed-Thu, 32 eps, KBS2
Nana, Park Sung-hoon
Seo Gong-myung is a efficient and hard-nosed elite civil servant, who can multi-task with ease and is dubbed the ‘Number One Handsome Man’ on the District People’s Committee. However, he is a cold, rigid, and independent person, who is deemed prickly and unapproachable at the best of times. Gong-myung is guided by his moral convictions, which he staunchly adheres to, opting to do everything ‘by the book’. His lack of flexibility and his penchant for criticizing all those who enter his domain, not only serve to earn him the nickname ‘Great Lucifer’, but more enemies than friends.
Goo Se-ra is a lower-class woman with little education or money, but can still talk a good game and punch well above her own weight. Known as the ‘Queen of Civil Complaints’, she’s a force to be reckoned with! She’s held many positions in the past, none of which have materialized into a stable source of income, Small wonder the opening on the District People’s Council, with an annual salary of 50 million won for a mere 90 working days, could be just the ticket she needs to better her circumstances.
The sparks start flying as the newly-demoted Seo Gong-myung and newbie Council member Goo Se-ra join forces to penalize corrupt politicians.
Director of Radio Romance, no screenwriter yet listed
2 | The Good Detective / 모범형사
July 6, Mon-Tue, 16 eps, JTBC/Netflix
Son Hyun-joo, Jang Seung-jo, Lee Elijah
A drama about the race between people who want to get closer to the truth and those who want to cover it up.
Kang Do Chang has worked as a detective for the past 18 years. He was born and raised in Incheon. He investigates cases using his experience and personal connections, forgoing scientific technique, or reasoning power.
Oh Ji Hyeok is an elite detective. He has 9 years of experience. Unlike Kang Do Chang, he investigates cases using evidence and insight into the criminal’s psyche. Due to trauma from his childhood, he does not share his feelings. He is wealthy thanks to his late uncle, who left him with a large inheritance.
Jin Seo Kyung works as a newspaper reporter. She is a 5-year veteran and passionate about her work.
Director has done some acclaimed shows, including The Chaser with Son Hyun-joo, and the writer and director worked together on their last project, Untouchable (2017)
3 | To All the Guys Who Loved Me / 그놈이 그놈이다
July 6, Mon-Tue, 32, KBS2
Hwang Jung-eum, Yoon Hyun-min, Seo Ji-hoon
This romantic comedy is about a woman who chooses to remain single after getting hurt from past relationships and a man who wants to change his relationship with this woman through love. The story will combine the theme of a past life with realistic topics such as marriage and remaining single.
Director of Chief Kim, Mystery Queen 2
4 | Was it Love? / 우리, 사랑했을까?
July 8, Tue-Thu, 16 eps, JTBC/Netflix
Comedy, romance, drama
Song Ji-hyo, Son Ho-joon, Song Jong-ho, Koo Ja-sung
The story of Noh Ae-jung, a movie producer and single mom who has been living on her own for 14 years. Despite having already given up on romance, she suddenly finds herself embarking on an unexpected second chapter of her story when four men walk into her life at the same time.
First up is Ae-jung’s ex-boyfriend Oh Dae-oh, a bestselling novelist who is described as a “charming bad boy”. Oh Dae-oh is irresistibly tempting to women, even when they know they should stay away.
Secondly is million-dollar smile A-list actor Ryu Jin, who is described as “pitiful” even though he’s “great on paper”. Despite being seemingly perfect in every way, Ryu Jin has a surprisingly different kind of appeal hiding behind his movie-star persona.
Next is Oh Yeon-woo who looks cheerful and confident. A physical education teacher who “makes women’s hearts’ flutter” in spite of his young age. His endearingly pure-hearted desire to win Ae-jung’s affection is certain to win viewers over.
Last but not least, Koo Pa-do exudes a tough, manly aura as the “scary but sexy” former gangster who has turned over a new leaf and is now a CEO. The flower in his hand hints at the warm heart hiding behind his intimidating exterior.
Finally, peeking out from behind Ryu Jin as a A-list actress, Joo Ah-rin, will add another layer of intrigue to this complicated “4-against-1 romance.”
This director did both Playful Kiss and Goong
Previously known as “Begin Again”
5 | Elegant Friends / 우아한 친구들
July 10, Fri-Sat, 16 eps, JTBC/Netflix
Yoo Joon-sang, Song Yoon-ah, Bae Soo-bin, Han Da-gam, Kim Sung-oh, Kim Hye-eun (4 more in main cast)
A story that takes place in the wake of a murder case against the backdrop of a town largely inhabited by couples in their 40s.
Screenwriters both seem to be rookies, but this director is kind of all over the place with his previous work
VERY SKY Castle-ey
6 | Train / 트레인
July 11, Sat-Sun, 12 eps, OCN
Yoon Shi-yoon, Kyung Soo-jin, Shin Seo-yul
A hard-hitting detective who fearlessly dives into his work, Seo Do-won (Yoon Shi-yoon) is relentless when it comes to bringing criminals to justice. Willing to take on any case, no matter how hard, Do-won has made a name for himself as a man who gets the job done. But when the woman he loves becomes the latest victim of a serial killer, his world completely changes. Literally.
Mysteriously able to move between parallel universes, Do-won now lives in both worlds as a man who must pay for the sins of his father in one, and as a man forced to live a precarious life because of those sins in the other. As if the duality of his life wasn’t hard enough to deal with, he soon learns that his deceased love may be gone in one world, but she’s very much alive in the other. Vowing to track down her killer in one universe, while simultaneously trying to protect her in the other, Do-won is quick to acknowledge this is not something he can do alone.
Seeking the help of his colleagues in both universes, Do-won asks Han Seo-kyung, an honest, yet reserved prosecutor with a big heart in one world, and a cold and emotionless detective in the other, to help him out. Together with Lee Jung Min, a tenacious member of the scientific investigation unit, they’ll do whatever it takes to track down the killer in one world and protect his love in the other. But will their efforts in either universe really be enough?
7 | Flower of Evil / 악의 꽃
July 22, Wed-Thu, 16 eps, tvN
Lee Joon-ki, Moon Chae-won
On the outside, Baek Hee Sung looks like the ideal husband. A hard-working craftsman, his metal-working studio has met with its fair share of success. Able to provide a good life for his wife and daughter, he’s an exemplary example of what a husband should be. But his accolades don’t stop there, as comfortable working around the house as he is working in his studio, Hee Sung can as easily fill the roles of father and husband as he can business owner and craftsman. But this perfect exterior hides some very dark secrets. Secrets he would rather his detective wife, Cha Ji Won, never learns.
Unfortunately, secrets have a way of coming out and as a hard-hitting homicide detective, it’s Cha Ji Won’s job to uncover as many secrets as she can, in her never-ending quest for the truth. With an insatiable curiosity and an unwavering determination to solve even the hardest cases, Ji Won lives for her work. Thriving on the excitement of unraveling mysteries and the high that comes from bringing criminals to justice, Ji Won is always searching for the next clue. But when Ji Won takes on a particularly cruel case, she starts down a dark path that could crumble the very foundations of her happy life. Determined to bring this evil psychopath to justice she dives ever deeper into this case, only to find that the criminal she’s been chasing may have been standing next to her all along.
This drama is Lee Joon-ki and Moon Chae-won’s reunion after the (awful) Criminal Minds
*Summaries are adapted from those provided by MyDramaList.com.