Friday, December 20, 2013

Standout Actresses of 2013

So I will admit that I am kind of tough on my requirements for Korean Actresses.  Nothing annoys me more then seeing a girl get a role just because she is pretty (often with obvious plastic surgery so she will fit that pretty ideal) and stare blankly at the camera through the whole drama.  If you don't understand what I am talking about try watching the leads in Basketball and Who Are You.  So to earn a spot on my favorites list you have to actually be able to act.  And sometimes that is a skill that is hard to find amid all the idol turn actors and traditional leading ladies.  But I whittled down my list from the 50 or so shows that I watched from this year and these are my top 5!  If you think I have missed any or are way off on any of my choices feel free to comment:)

Best Female Villain
Seo Woo - King's Daughter Soo Baek Hyang
This is actually a case where I think the plastic surgery might have helped her acting.  Playing the evil sister Solhi who steals her half sisters place as the Princess Soo Baek Hyang, she is able to contort her face into a mask of pure evil.  It is easy to play pretty but it is very difficult to play pretty that turns ugly just from a shift in her facial expression.  There are times she literally gives me chills as I watch her character become more and more selfish and total bat crap crazy with each episode.  So now whenever I think of great Kdrama villains she will always be at the top of my list.

Ratings Queen
Lee Bo Young - My Daughter Seo Young & I Hear Your Voice
Playing characters in two of the highest rated dramas this year, Lee Bo Young proved that an actress can still be a draw even after marriage.  Able to play strong female characters believably but still be able to let their faults shine through she rocked both of her roles and gained me as a fan.  I know that some people were worried that her mannerism's would make the characters to similar but I think that after a couple of episodes she put those fears to rest.  She also rocked the kdrama world when it was announced that she had been in a secret six year relationship with Ji Sung and that they would be getting married in between their filming schedule.  Where usually the news of marriage take a hit on  actresses popularity, it did not seem to effect her ratings at all and I foresee some great dramas from her in the future.

Breakout Actress
Ha Yeon Soo - Monstar & Potato Star 2013QR3
Staring in the drama Monstars, Ha Yeon Soo became the new up and coming "it" girl of 2013.  Fresh faced and multi talented she was instantly offered various CV's and booked for photo shoots.  And then she followed up her Freshman role by snagging the female lead in Potato Star opposite Yeo Jin Goo.  I for one am very happy that she is picking smart characters from the start and avoiding anything flashy and poorly written.  I am excited to see her transition to more popular roles in the future but for now I am enjoying her quirky characters that just make me smile.

Most Improved
Hwang Jung Eum - Incarnation of Money & Secret Love
Hwang Jung Eum has been on the acting scene for quite a few years.  With dramas like Giant, Can you Hear my Voice, and Full House 2 under her belt, she has had her fair share of hits (despite the ugly hairstyles she has been forced to wear).  However I would not have ever said she was really a "great" actress more just a popular one.  I felt personally that she tended to over act most of her parts and while she was likable I would not watch a drama just because she is in it.  That all changed this year when she accepted the lead in Secret Love.  Personally I am not sure if she took acting lessons or just finally had a director who really knew how to get the best out of her acting skills, but her understated acting of a girl going to prison for her boyfriend's crime was pure genius.  I really hope that she is able to continue into her next role.

My Girl Bias
Jun Ji Hyun - My Love from The Stars & The Thieves
I know I know....... you are all probably saying to yourselves that My Love From the Stars just barely started and can we really count it as a 2013 drama.  Well probably not, however it is my blog post so I can do what I want.  And I totally love this actress.  Watching her star in the Kmovie "The Thieves" I was blown away by her spunky and funny character.  Not only that but for someone so pretty she sure is willing to make herself look ridiculous in order to get laughs.  Something that a lot of Korean actresses are not willing to do.  She pushes her characters just that little bit to far that take her from pretty to cooky and back again.  It has only been two episodes but it looks like she will again successfully kick comedic butt as Cheon Song Yi a gorgeous yet unintelligent ditzy top actress.  I am already counting down the days to the next episode and anyone that can stand equal to Kim Soo Hyun and not be overshadowed deserves a shout out.

This concludes my favorite actress list.  I thought of doing my least favorite as well but it was so long that it would be hard to pick one lackluster actress over another so I decided to stay with the positive and just hope that these actresses also do some good dramas in the coming year.

Have a great weekend!


  1. I like to dwell more on actors than actresses!! But if I have to choose, my favorite has been and always will be Lee Bo Young. I hated her in 'Save the last dance' but the table turned with 'Queen of Game'. People comment about her acting but it endears her to me. I also like her flawless translucent skin and those cheek bones!! and also I think Jun Ji Hyun is one of the most beautiful Korean actress around.

    1. These are the first two dramas I have seen with Lee Bo Young. I will have to look up some of her past work. And I agree about Jun Ji Hyun. She is amazingly beautiful.

  2. Oooh I love Hwang Jung Eum.

    I think she actually display the widest range among all actresses you mentioned above. You will know what I mean if you watch all her projects. She never do same genre. She's funny as hell in High Kick Through the Roof; heartwarming, tenacious, cute in Can You Hear My Hear, Giant; dedicated, smart, believable doctor in Golden Time; harsh spoiled fat woman but actually soft inside on Incarnation of Money; capable, strong, responsible gal in Full House 2; heartbreaking, serious, and world-weary in Secret. It feels even more amazing that this year she'll be the youngest actress to be nominated for Grand Prize (Daesang) among all three stations KBS, SBS, MBC.

    I suggest you try watch High Kick after Secret. You'll understand her chameleon-ness when you watch both drama one after another. She's the funniest character I've encountered, ever. She's the most popular character there. It was through this project that HJE's launch into multistardom and started to get many awards and main lead.

    1. Then you must see Little Mom Scandal. You will see yet another side of HJE!! Love her dearly!!


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