11 October 2012

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My Top 5 ... KDrama Actors

Posted by Kakashi Sensei on October 11, 2012
Onwards we go! Next up: Actors. Obviously, the same rule applies for the males as for the females: to even be considered for this list, they must be actors whose work I've tracked down diligently and whose projects I will follow in the future. Looks obviously matter, but it's the acting skills I'm more interested in. Yes, I'm serious. 

 Here we go. My Top 5 Korean actors are:
  1. Park Shi-hoo
  2. Lee Jun-ki
  3. Cha Seung-won 
  4. Yeon Jung-hoon
  5. Song Joong-ki 
Why I like them?
Isn't it obvious? They're awesome.

Park Shi-hoo (dare I say he is my all-time favorite?). I remember seeing him for the first time in Prosecutor Princess and thinking "Really? That's the male lead??" (as in: how could they cast somebody as ... un-handsome?). But then ... he did his magic. I needn't repeat here what has been said so well elsewhere (see the awesome blog entry by Raine). He has shown great instinct in choosing projects in which he can ... shine. And out-shine. He must be one of the few actors in KDramaland who have broken one of its iron rules twice: He got the lead girl, though he was cast as second lead. No second lead syndrom with this Mister! I hope his increasing fame and his recent trespass into movie-territory doesn't mean long absences from the small screen in the future. A whole year is FAR TOO LONG. And I so hope his next drama delivers the Park Shi-hoo awesomeness! Stay tuned. It airs in December.

Lee Jun-ki is first and foremost a really good actor. And then he is ... unearthly beautiful. He looks like somebody right out of a manga, actually. Unreal. Some people don't get the beauty - or actually think he is too beautiful (as in too effeminate). Well, I'm pretty sure they change their minds as soon as they see him in Arang and the Magistrate. That's some manly man there. I know I am repeating myself, but MAN, the man can act. And he can fight. Oh yes, he can fight ... I am so glad we have him back from military service, eager as hell to do well. More action dramas, please. More. More! And please remember to undress once in a while.

Cha Seung-won. Well. I usually don't like facial hair, be it on Asians or anyone else, but he certainly knows how to turn his little goatee into a trademark. He is an awesome action-actor, and a very good villain. Hang on, he is the only villain that makes it onto my top 5 list, in both the female and the male categories! Well done, Mr. Cha. Then again, he has shown his very funny side in The Greatest Love. Doko Jin is definitely one of my all-time favorite characters. There is a downside to Cha Seung-won, however: he is too famous and too well established so he doesn't need to show himself all that often on either small or big screen. Hear my plea: Please, come back to Dramaland!

Yeon Jung-hoon. He might not be the greatest actor on the block, granted. In fact, people have complained that he tends to play the same person over and over. You know what? I don't care: He plays that one person so well. His portrayal of the Prosecutor turned Vampire in Vampire Prosecutor is simply perfect. He will never have to be in any other drama and he will be in my Top 5 forever. In fact, I don't want him to play anything else. I want him to start shooting Season 3 right away and make it a 20 episode drama this time, please.
(Unrelated but still noteworthy: What I find amusing about Yeon Jung-hoon is that a lot of people just see him as Han Ga-in's husband. Kudos, Han Ga-in, for being more famous than your hubbie. And you didn't even make it into my other Top 5 post).  


And finally, uri maknae Song Joong-ki. Cheeky cutie pie. He's to blame that others of his generation didn't make it on my list. Yes, take your complaints to him! It's his current acting in Nice Guy - his first lead role in a drama - that made me have to put him on. I don't get chills often, but that's some awesome acting! (And he also delivered really well in Sungkyunkwan Scandal, a drama I feel bad for because it didn't make it on my other-other Top 5 list). He definitely beats Lee Min-ho in the acting department. He also beats Jang Geun-suk. And he is equally good-looking. He even made me break my no-melodrama-rule. That's how much I love him (and yes, he's of legal age, thank you).

Then there's the loooong list of actors that didn't quite make it: There's Hyun Bin (because he tends to play characters I hate), Ji Sung (because of the awful perm he sported in Protect the Boss), Jang Dong-gun (because he messed up A Gentleman's Dignity, more about that in a later post, and because I actually didn't know him before AGD), Jang Geun-suk (because there wasn't enough space and because Song Joong-ki beat him to No 5), The Voice! (hard choice, but I didn't like him at all in Golden Time), Lee Min-ho (so sorry ... so sorry ... it's just because ... there's not enough space on the list. And because I still can't love your acting in Faith. You may keep trying, but too often, it doesn't feel ... organic. And you know, Jang Geun-suk also didn't make it. But Lee Min-ho, be assured: you hold a very special place in my heart!), Yoochun (he doesn't need to be on my list, he is loved enough by others), Song Il-gook (just because I haven't watched Jumong and Sea God and all the other epics he has done, but please be in more dramas in the future!!), Park Ki-woong (just because there's only five spots available, I like his special face and his smile), Jung Il-woo (for whatever reason, I just cannot love him, though I'll keep trying), Jang Hyuk (he simply loses against Cha Seung-won, also because he is less good-looking. Yes, I'm that shallow), Lee Dong-wook (just because others are more awesome and because I don't like the shape of his nose), and, finally, Lee Seung-ki (love his puppiness but there's better actors). Sorry to all the others that I might have forgotten. Oh god, like  you, Ji Chang-Wook! Or you, sweet and young Yoo Seung-Ho! and ... and ... Yoo Ah-In!!

I'm quite content, actually. I thought picking only 5 would be terribly hard ... but it worked out quite well. And I realize something: I'm actually rather smart in how I select my Drama loves. Most of my Top 5 actors have already done their mandatory military service. Have you ever asked yourself what will happen to KDrama when the Lee Min-ho generation gets drafted?! KDrama overlords, are you doing some contigency planning?

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