Thursday, December 25, 2014

Kmuse's End of Year Countdown - Favorite kdrama Actors of 2014

This was a really hard segment to write. I counted it up and had watched over a 100 different dramas from all over Asia.  Needless to say, there was a lot of competition for a spot on this countdown.  There were so many that I HAD to have on my list since it would not be a complete list of my favorites without them, that it got a tad lengthy.  So please bear with me and I will try to make this as enjoyable as possible with pretty pictures.  I also would suggest any of these dramas to viewers searching for something new to watch since I am sure a lot of you are looking for a good holiday dramathon.

Seo In Guk - King of High School Savvy, Another Parting, & The King's Face
 I am sure you are not at all surprised that Seo In Guk is listed first.  HEHE.  It is well known that he is my bias, but thankfully this year has proved my love for him is well founded.  Seo In guk has had a string of amazing characters from look a like brothers (and he actually pulled it off) in King of High School, to a sexy alien looking to understand emotions in the web series "Another Parting" and finally a tormented Prince Gwang Hae in "A Kings Face".  Throw in a hit album and several #1 songs from his OST's and you have yourself one talented and busy khottie.  Let's hope that his success continues into 2015.
Jo Seong Woo - God's Gift: 14 Days
This actor is dedicated to my Kbestie (and editor) Angela, who was quick to make sure Jo Seong Woo was on this list.  And I completely agree with her.  Jo Seong Woo killed it at as the apathetic ex cop Ki Dong Chan turned time traveling sidekick.   It was one of those instances that the actor became sexier and sexier with every episode.  Not only is he a talented actor, but Jo Seong Woo can sing as well.  Be sure to check out this scene from the drama (no spoilers) and be amazed at the beauty of his voice.

Kim Nam Gil - The Pirates
Kim Nam Gil might not have been in a drama this year (so very sad), but he sure did one fun kick ass movie instead.  Come check out the comedy sageuk pirate adventure movie "The Pirates" and watch a land lover Kim Nam Gil take to the seas (purely by accident) and bumble his way through a political coup. 
Lee Dong Wook - Hotel King
Lee Dong Wook is one of those actors you either really love or really dislike.  He has a very specific intensity that borders on over acting, fortunately this Ahjumma loves him.  He was especially super angsty in the crack drama Hotel King, where he played Cha Jae Wan, a hotel manager who alternated between revenge and love.  But one should forgive him his over angst since it would be pretty traumatic to fall in love with the woman you thought was your sister, find out your parents are crazy and alive, and that your childhood dead BFF is now your enemy.  Bug eyed intensity is approved in those circumstances.
Sung Joon - I Need Romance 3
Sung Joon was in several dramas this year, but my favorite was his lead as genius modern music composer Joo Wan who comes back to Korea to hunt down his noona first love.  Sung Joon was able to create a character who was confident, mature, and extremely likable, and also managed to look super sexy throughout.  I challenge you to find someone who would not love to have the little 5 year old kid next door turn into a super sexy successful khottie who is in love with them.
Yoo Ah In - Secret Love Affair
Talk about an amazing method actor. Yoo Ah In literally became piano virtuoso Lee Sun-Jae for his role in Secret Love Affair.  He was also 100% convincing as a young music student who was "swept away in love" and begins an affair with his instructors wife who is double his age.  Between his flawless piano performances (I literally would have believed that Yoo In Ah was really a concert pianist) and his lustful enthusiasm, Yoo Ah In definitely got my vote for one of the sexiest/seamless performances of the year.
Lee Joon - Gap Dong & Mr Baek
I know there are a lot of people out there devastated that Lee Joon has left MBLAQ to focus on his acting career. But since I never followed that Kpop group, I am not among them.  Bring on the dramas!!!  This year he participated in two dramas where he was secondary characters and proceeded to steel the show in both.  This Ahjumma is getting cranky and demanding that the kdrama gods give him a good leading role before he is shipped of to his military service.  Acting ability like this should be shared with the masses, not kept in a military dorm with shaved hair.
Oguri Shun - Border & Nobunaga Concerto
We are jumping over to Japan where Oguri Shun has had a phenomenal and almost nonstop drama year.  He began by playing the role of Ango Ishikawa, a detective who is shot in the head by a perp, and after he is revived, sees the ghosts of the victims.  Ango must decide on where the line is when one knows the killer, but can't provide the evidence to convict.  It is a powerful drama that has an even more powerful ending. I personally am hoping we get a season 2 in the next several years.  Oguri Shun followed this success with a totally different style when he changed into a time jumping teenager in Nobunaga Concerto.  After falling from a wall at a historical reenactment he finds himself in feudal Japan and a dead ringer for famed leader Nobunaga Oda.  Oguri Shun takes the role and turns something simplistic into a deeply flawed and intense character masterfully combining light comedic moments with deep philosophical concepts, it works on all levels.  The talented actor is not letting up in 2015 already having started filming his next drama where he will play a mafia boss.  I can not wait to see if Oguri Shun's winning streak continues.
Kim Jae Joong - Triangle
Idol turned actor, Kim Jae Joong, finally was able to silence all those netizens who declared that he was nothing but a pretty boy trying to act.  Jae Joong surprised everyone as he became petty thug turned revenge driven casino owner Heo Young Da.  It was just too bad that the rest of the drama (mostly writing) did not live up to Jae Joong's inspired performance.  Usually I would say just skip this drama, but Jae Joong's engaging talent makes me want to suggest it to the dramaverse.  Maybe not as a must watch, but definitely as a filler for in between more entertaining dramas.  Congrats Jae Joong!  You have come a long way since the disaster of Dr Jin.
Ji Chang Wook - Empress Ki & Healer
Ji Chang Wook has finally arrived as a bonafide main stream khottie.  I remember watching him way back in 2010 as he played peppy hero Baek Dong Soo and hoping to someday watch him in future dramas.   I got my wish since Ji Chang Wook is currently playing the lead in the hit drama "Healer".  Not only that but he also was the lead in Sageuk juggernaut kdrama "Empress Ki", which dominated the ratings for the first half of 2014.  Chang Wook stole my heart early on (this kdrama also had some serious fan wars going on between the two leading men) as the cowardly prince turned emperor and husband of Ki Seung-Nyang played by Ha Ji Won.  While some people found his early lack of character off putting, I personally applauded Chang Wook's ability to create a flawed character who had tons of room to grow.  I still stand behind my love for him and his character in Empress Ki, and was very happy that I gave the 50 episode drama a chance.
Satu Takeru & Watabe Atsuro - Partners by Blood
This next contender for my favorite's list of 2014 is actually a duo.  I just could not spit up this wonderful team, even in a small blog post countdown.  Satu Takeru and Watabe Atsuro played a father and son team of cops who were struggling relationship wise since the father had supposedly deserted his family many years before.  Forced to reconnect, the two bond while hunting down bad guys and ending up in hilarious and awkward situations.  One of the funniest dramas of the year, I truly loved every minute of these two actors performance, and would HIGHLY recommend giving this drama a chance to win over your heart.
Lee Jong Suk - Pinocchio
I am adding in Lee Jong Suk on my end of year countdown, simply for the reason that he is AMAZING in Pinocchio.  While technically not completely finished, I think we can all agree that it is far enough in its run to declare this one a win in the acting category.  Lee Jong Suk has me crying along with his character Dal Po ever episode and to say I am invested in his story would be an understatement.   Thank goodness Pinocchio came along and washed the sour taste of Doctor Stranger from my kdrama palette.
Kim Soo Hyun - My Love From Another Star
For my final (yes I know you are all breathing a sigh of relief) khottie actor of the year is the talented Kim Soo Hyun.  His drama "My Love From Another Star" was the biggest international hit to come out of Korea in forever, and has made Kim Soo Hyun a household name all over Asia.  He played the uptight alien who was stranded on earth, Do Min Joon.   Living for a 1000 years without human interaction, he finally falls in love with a Hallyu actress played by Jun Ji Hyun.  This is a highly entertaining drama that should be on the "Must watch" list for all kdrama fans.  You fall in love with Kim Soo Hyun and you will be wishing on stars that you had your very own sexy alien living next door.
Phew!  That was one long favorite actor list, so long that I ended up splitting it into two different posts.  Be sure to be on the lookout for my favorite actress list.  Also sorry to all of those that did not have their favorite make it onto my list, but you are in luck. Feel free to make your own list in the comment section below, or join us on our FB page and let me know who I forgot.  We love hearing from you here at The Crazy Ahjummas. With that, I wish you all a wonderful Christmas and holiday season.  Talk to you soon,


Related End of Year Posts
Kmuse's End of Year Countdown
Best Secondary Characters of 2014 -

Worst of 2014 - 


  1. Awesome list! Though, as a true Jaejoong fan, I have to of course add in that he was absolutely fantastic in Dr Jin. Amazing and super talented and the only decent thing to come out of 20 otherwise painful episodes. I would even watch (parts of) it again in order to enjoy his superb talents. Sure, I know I'm biased, but hey, he did actually win some awards for his performance there, so while I may be biased, I'm also not alone in it lol. But really, great group of guys you have selected here!

    1. uhh...sorry, 22. 22 episodes. It's been awhile and I've tried to block out the fact that they added episodes to the nightmare. ;)

    2. LOL One of the worst extensions ever in my opinion.

  2. Siwon from Misaeng was fantastic as Geu Rae! Loved watching his characger develop.and evolve into a confident, laidback, cheeky character who grww into his own skin and found his place in the world. Plus he really is a cutie ;-)

  3. I did like Siwon and in retrospect I should have had him on my list. Misaeng is high on my favorite kdrama of 2014 list though. That post should be out later this week.


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