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Netflix Korea Launches ‘My First’ Original Series as Subscriptions Grow

Following its recent zombie hit “Kingdom,” global streaming giant Netflix will next week launch its latest Korean original series, coming-of-age romance drama “My First First Love”.

Loosely based on a web series by Jung Hyun-jung and Kim Ran, “My First” recounts the ups and downs of a group of friends living under one roof. Composed of young, rising actors and K-pop figures who already have fanbases across Southeast Asia, its cast includes: Ji-soo (“One Way Trip”); girl band DIA’s Jung Chae-yeon ([TV] “Marry Me Now”); boy band B1A4’s Jin-young (“The Dude in Me”); Choi Ri (“Spirits’ Homecoming”); and Kang Tae-oh (“Fengshui”).”

Netflix gave me much more detailed and edgy questions about the script and plot, compared to what I had been given when pitching my series for terrestrial broadcasters,” said Oh Jin-seok ([TV] “My Sassy Girl”), the series director. “But as soon as I passed that phase, the company gave me full freedom. That was very cool.”

Kingdom,” Netflix’s second Korean production (but first to be streamed) premiered in January and was well-received. According to local market research firm Nielsen Korea Click data, Netflix’s subscribers in Korea reached 2 million in February, up from 1 million in October last year. Analysts point to “Kingdom” attracting new subscribers in Korea, though how long the series’ effect can last is unclear.

Since top Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho’s “Okja” in 2017, the streaming giant has accelerated local language production in Korea. Four-part omnibus drama, “Persona,” starring singer-songwriter-actress IU, was launched on Thursday. “Love Alarm” and second seasons of “Kingdom” and “My First” are slated for launches later.

Sixteen episodes of “My First” have been shot. The first eight screen as season one, from Apr. 18.

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