Friday, January 16, 2015

Kmuse's Musings: My Current Favorite Actors & Their Classic Roles

I am at a loss to choose another time when so many kdramas were this good all at once.  You know how it goes, one or two are standouts while all the others range from "OK" to "What the crap were they thinking with this plot?"  But we have a huge amount of kdramas currently airing that I predict are going to become "classics".  Since I know that many of us find a new actor and then feel the urge to watch every kdrama they have ever done, I decided to help you with that task.  The following are some of the most popular actors currently filming and my top recommendation from their previous works.

 Ji Chang Wook - Warrior Baek Dong Soo
Before Ji Chang Wook was a mysterious errand boy called "Healer" he played the role of one of Korea's most beloved fighters Baek Dong Soo.   Living as a stunted child with a growth defect, he worked his way up to become one of the best swordsman in all of Joseon.  He and his friends fight against a secret group of assassins hired to kill the king. Unfortunately (or fortunately for those of us who love bromance) the head assassin happens to be Baek Dong Soo's best friend played by the talented actor Yoo Seung-ho.  Start for Ji Chang Wook and stay for the beautiful fight scenes and romance bromance between the two men.  If you still need convincing check out the below FMV and see what great chemistry they have.  Who needs women when you have this kind of connection?
Warrior Baek Dong Soo FMV
Park Min Young - City Hunter
I actually did have a debate on which drama I would suggest drama portfolio.  I finally narrowed it down between City Hunter and Sungkyunkwan Scandal but chose the former for the simple reason that Sungkyunkwan is a bugger to type.  Haha just kidding. I actually chose City Hunter because it is not only the drama that had me swooning over Lee Min Ho, but it was the first drama that I watched where she really felt like a star in her own right.
Park Min Young plays the Blue House bodyguard Kim Na Na who catches the eye of Lee Yun Seong, a mysterious revenge driven vigilante who goes by the code name City Hunter.  If you are a fan of "Healer" then you will probably also love "City Hunter" which brings a similar vibe for your kdrama watchers palette.
Ji Sung & Hwung Jung Eum - Secret (Secret Love)
It is convenient that I can combine these two together since my favorite classic work just happens to be with each other.  What can I say, their chemistry is off the charts regardless of what type of characters they are portraying.  
The most dysfunctional OTP I have ever watched, Min Hyuk and Yoo Jung fell in love despite a whole psychological slew of reasons that they shouldn't.  Taking the blame for killing Min Hyuk's pregnant girlfriend, Yoo Jung serves five years in prison.  Determined to get revenge Min Hyuk stalks her day and night when she gets out.  And what does every good Korean stalker do?  Why fall in love with the person they are obsessed with of course.  Just usually they wait until all the misunderstandings are cleared up first.  Unlike other Korean lead characters, Min Hyuk starts to fall for her while he is still under the impression that she is a murderess.  You have to give the writers and actors props for being able to make us want this couple together even though many of their scenes were slightly messed up and violent.  
Lee Jong Suk - School 2013
School 2013 marked the first lead role for a young Lee Jong Suk, in which he stole our hearts as juvenile delinquent Go Nam Soon.  Burdened with a tragic past involving his ex best friend, played by Kim Woo Bin, we are sucked into a story about forgiveness and surviving the trials of the South Korean education system.  While the first few episodes are a bit slow, things really pick up once Jong Suk and Woo Bin are reunited and form an epic bromance for the ages.  I would heavily suggest this one to anyone and beg you to give it a chance despite its lack of normal kdrama tropes.  I promise you that the end results are worth trying something new.
Kim Jae Joong - Protect the Boss
Many a viewer had 2nd lead syndrome when Kim Jae Joong walked into our hearts as the charismatic Cha Moo Won, cousin to a quirky chaebol played by Ji Sung.  His perfection just intensified as the uptight workaholic learned to let loose and chase after love.
One of the funniest dramas that I have watched, "Protect the Boss" provides a very pleasant escapism from the more serious dramas in your rotation.  It is perfect for that comedy filler you might be looking for.
Han Ji Hye - Sweet 18
For this actress we are going way back to 2004 where a very young Han Ji Hye starred in a drama called Sweet 18 with an equally young looking Lee Dong Gun.  She plays high school student Yoon Jung-Sook who has been engaged since birth.  Forced to marry by their families, Jung Sook and her husband must learn to tolerate each other and survive married life.
While a few of the last episodes are a bit slow, I still would suggest watching this drama since it has those great classic kdrama plotlines that we all secretly love.  It was my crack drama while I was sick a few years ago and I loved dramathoning it.

Ha Suk Jin - Shark
Before he was a sexy baker in "Legend of a Witch", Ha Suk Jin was the 2nd lead in the revenge drama "Shark".  While I admit that I watched this drama 100% for Kim Nam Gil, I was still impressed with the solid performance from Suk Jin.  He plays Oh Joon Young, the husband to the leading girl who pines for her dead first love. Her dead love that is not really dead and returns to exact his revenge against her family.  If you enjoy your revenge mixed with a borderline affair, then this is the drama for you.
That concludes this edition of classic dramas you should watch.  I hope you picked up a few that you can add to your queue.  If you have any questions on where to find subs for these dramas feel free to ask in our comment section or also if you have different picks as to your favorites for these actors be sure to let us know.  
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  1. Thanks for these suggestions! Really liked Protect the Boss - it's worth a watch.

    Love both main actors in Warrior Baek Dong Soo. Definitely going to give that one a shot.

  2. Protect the Boss is so underrated. I'm glad the quirky, charming show is finally getting some love. I plan to marathon it this weekend.

    1. agree. Just because he was not an alpha type in this drama it gets overlooked. I loved the humor, it was so fun to watch

  3. This is a great list Amber. Giving attention to some shows I loved that did not get enough attention.


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