Hallyu Spotlight: 5 things to know about Netflix’s newest Korean rom-com King The Land

Netflix's King The Land, which stars Lee Jun-ho and Yoona, will premiere on Netflix come 17 Jun.

Oliver Chan

| June 16, 2023
King The Land
Yoona and Lee Jun-ho posing for a photo call at the press conference of King The Land. Photo: Netflix

Romantic comedy K-dramas may not be all the hype today. Especially with many other newer series that touch on sci-fi or zombie themes like Duty After School (2023) and Black Knight (2023).

But there is still a place for rom-com, it seems.

Netflix’s newest Korean rom-com stars two idol actors, Lee Jun-ho of 2PM and Im Yoon-ah, or Yoona, from Girls’ Generation.

Lee plays Gu Won in the series, the smile-less chaebol heir with a painful past hurt. He then meets Cheon Sa Rang (Yoona), a hotelier who seeks to work up the social ladder with her radiating smiles and hard work.

Before the 16-part series premieres on Netflix tomorrow (17 Jun), here are five things to know about King The Land.

1. Easy, light-hearted rom-com

“You can watch [the series] with ease, when you’re eating or before bed,” Lee said. It’s an easy-to-consume, feel-good series that’s perfect to catch anytime.

Yoona plays Cheon Sa-rang in King The Land. Photo: Netflix

Yoona later joked: “You can deliver some food to your home, turn on the air-conditioner and enjoy the drama”.

While there might be countless rom-com series already released, trust that King The Land will offer something different.

2. King The Land continues the streak of top JTBC dramas

King The Land takes the weekend drama spot on JTBC. And it follows after the medical drama Doctor Cha (2023).

“I can’t lie, there is some pressure” to continue maintaining the high standards of the dramas, said director Im Hyun-wook. He later shared that “the amount of pressure was healthy” and he’s “in a good position” now.

3. Rom-com is a refreshing change for both leads

Coincidentally, both leads starred in dramas that were a tad bit more emotional and heavy prior to King The Land.

Lee previously played a king who’s suffered emotional trauma in The Red Sleeve (2022). And Yoona portrayed the wife of an outstanding lawyer in her first noir film Big Mouth (2022).

Yoona and Lee Jun-ho in a still for King The Land. Photo: Netflix

“I wanted to try something that’s more cheerful and bubbly this time,” Yoona said at the press conference. She was dressed in a pink two-piece suit, a colour representative of her character in the series.

For Lee, he hoped to go with a project that had “a lot of laughter, a lot of smiles” and more “easy-going” following his previous historical series.

4. New role a “big challenge” for Lee

For someone who’s smiley and radiant like Lee, having to portray Gu Won, someone who despises smiles, comes as a “big challenge”.

“If there’s a blooper, or when a cut is done, I would be bursting out laughing”, he said, as he’d have to hold in his laughter during filming most of the time.

King The Land
Lee Jun-ho plays Gu Won in King The Land. Photo: Netflix

And he had to constantly remind himself to keep a straight face and hide any laughter.

5. Budding bromance

While Lee and Yoona’s chemistry takes the spotlight, there’s something else to look out for in the series.

The side plot of Gu Won and his assistant Noh Sang-sik (Ahn Se-ha) might create some bromance moments too.

“Both of them have a lot of hilarious moments together, and I’m sure you’ll be laughing at their chemistry,” Lee said.


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