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Netflix new releases: Fresh episodes of 2024’s first great K-drama, plus new documentaries and more

Published Jan 6th, 2024 12:05PM EST
Gyeongseong Creature on Netflix
Image: Lim Hyo Sun/Netflix

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At this point, I’ve watched enough K-dramas on Netflix and other streamers to come to the inescapable conclusion that Han So-hee is basically the Meryl Streep of the genre. Like her Hollywood counterpart, this 29-year-old actress with the kewpie doll face can do it all: Romance (Soundtrack #1), gritty action (My Name), and drama (Nevertheless), with a commanding and magnetic presence on the screen every time. Her newest drama, meanwhile, is Netflix’s Gyeongseong Creature in which she plays a sleuth — and not only is it out right now. It’s also, in fact, one of the biggest Netflix releases in the world at the moment.

The final three episodes of Gyeongseong Creature, comprising Part 2 of the series, arrived on Netflix on Friday, and will almost certainly continue to dominate the streaming giant in the days to come. Part 1 of the series has already spent two weeks on the Netflix Top 10 Non-English TV chart, racking up 6.1 million hours viewed this week alone.

Gyeongseong Creature on Netflix
Han So-hee as Yoon Chae-ok and Park Seo-jun as Jang Tae-sang in “Gyeongseong Creature.” Image source: Lim Hyo Sun/Netflix

Even if you haven’t watched much of the great Korean content available on Netflix, I’m still recommending Gyeongseong Creature to anyone who’s looking for something new to watch amid the latest batch of Netflix releases. As with most Korean content, the production value here is just off the chart. The show looks great, the writing is compelling, and in addition to the always electric Han So-hee the show also boasts another K-drama star: Park Seo-jun (who, fun fact, recently made his Hollywood debut in The Marvels).

What the show is about: Per a summary from the streamer, “Set in early 1945, when Korea was under Japanese colonial rule, the series centers around two young adults who encounter strange creatures born from greed, and then must battle for survival in the city of Gyeongseong — now known as Seoul. But it turns out, there may be something even more dangerous out there than the creatures themselves.”

Gyeongseong Creature on Netflix
Han So-hee as Yoon Chae-ok in “Gyeongseong Creature.” Image source: Lim Hyo Sun/Netflix

Seo-jun plays Jang Tae-sang, who is described as the wealthiest man in Gyeongseong and the master of the city’s biggest pawn shop. Under threat from the Japanese police commissioner Ishikawa, whose Korean mistress has disappeared, Tae-sang eventually crosses paths with a sleuth named Yoon Chae-ok (played by So-hee). She’s been working with her father for more than 10 years to track down the missing, even those who are dead. Continues Netflix: “They strike a deal to assist each other in their respective missions and soon infiltrate Ongseong Hospital in search of clues.”

The show currently has solid 86% and 84% critics’ and audience scores on Rotten Tomatoes, respectively. Vibe-wise, it’s sort of like a Korean Stranger Things, which is to say, I don’t think mainstream audiences can go wrong with a Netflix release like this at all.

Having said that, this certainly isn’t the only big new title coming to Netflix over the next several days; there are plenty of other major Netflix releases that are likewise just around the corner. Here’s a snapshot, below, of four more new releases in addition to Gyeongseong Creature that worth checking out. In no particular order:

Good Grief: Any Schitt’s Creek fans out there? You’ll definitely want to try this directorial debut from Daniel Levy, who also stars in this film about grief, loss, and moving on. Levy plays Marc, a widower who goes on a weekend of self-discovery to Paris after his husband dies (Levy also wrote and produced the movie, as well). Now streaming.

Break Point (Season 2): Here’s one for the tennis fans. Netflix describes this 10-episode docuseries thus. “From the team behind F1: Drive to Survive, Break Point follows a select group of top tennis players on and off the court as they compete in gruelling Grand Slams and tournaments all over the world. Their dream: lifting a trophy and becoming number one.

“…From career-threatening injuries and emotional heartbreak, to triumphant victories and personal moments off the court, viewers will get a behind the scenes look at the pressure-tested lives of some of the best tennis players in the world.” Release date: Jan. 13.

The Trust: A Game of Greed: Reality TV fans, this next Netflix release is for you. The Trust is a reality competition show that’s essentially a social experiment. Unlike other game shows, where contestants work incrementally toward the possibility of one of them winning a large cash prize at the end, the contestants in The Trust are offered the big payday right at the start.

“What comes next, and how they choose to distribute the money amongst themselves, is where the game gets interesting — or better yet, downright dirty,” Netflix explains. “Because in this social experiment, the players’ fates are in their own hands: No one has to win or lose.” Release date: Jan. 10.

Lift: As for this final title on our latest weekly list of Netflix new releases, I have to confess — we all have our own tastes, and for me, the presence of Kevin Hart in a movie is more often than not the kiss of death in terms of quality. I’m just being honest. But I’m not everyone, and I’m sure there will be plenty of people entertained enough by Hart’s latest Netflix release, a heist movie in which he leads an international crew in a race to lift $500 million in gold from a passenger plane (while it’s 40,000 feet in the air).

Who knows, perhaps this one will prove the exception to the rule. Release date: Jan. 12.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.

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