It is time to let our inner fangirls roam free as we take a look back on 2016 and choose our favorite actors and the roles that made them shine. Did your favorite actor make our list?
Moonlight Drawn by Clouds – Park Bo Gum
Isn’t everyone’s favorite Prince Bo Gum??? Honestly I’ve loved him since I Remember You when he played Seo In Guk’s psycho puppy brother. And he did a fabulous job as Taek in 1988, but this role stretched him and he owned this show and this character. He could twitch his eyebrow and change the mood of his character. This boy’s micro-expressions are what directors dream about. And I’m pretty sure he was a king in a past life because those princely robes were just made for him.
KdramaJen: This young actor is absolutely one I have been watching. I first fell for his cello playing character in Cantabile Tomorrow. He just keeps getting better and better. I have adored him in every drama (including when he was a serial killer). He definitely owned this role. I can’t wait to see what he chooses for his next project!
CLKYTTA: I can’t even remember this character’s real name. He was always Prince Bo Gum. I might have re-watched this one several times and stopped to sigh every single time he smiled…
Lucky Romance – Ryo Joon Yeol
Though the show might have left a lot to be desired, Ryo Joon Yeol proved he deserved all the praise for almost stealing the show on 1988. His portrayal of Soo Hoo, the socially awkward genius, was hilarious. I really don’t know how anyone acting opposite him was able to keep a straight face. And one of the things I love most about him is that even though a lot of the Korean audience don’t find him classically handsome he holds his head high and doesn’t let it get to him. BTW, how could you not think that boy his handsome?
CLKYTTA: I loved him in this role. He was so adorkable and I could even forgive him the suits with shorts.
Kmuse: He is a new favorite actor of mine. Can’t wait to see what he does in 2017.
Jealousy Incarnate – Jo Jung Suk
Jung Suk, you had me at the bra scene. This writer made him jumps through so many hoops. Most of the time he was raw and emotional, always 100% invested in being Hwa Shin. Who had a LOT of flaws but we loved him and I think a lot of that was because of who was portraying him. I have so many scenes: the date me one in the sleeping area, the mud fight, the helicopter, the hot hot changing room (he is one of the #1 kissers in Kdramas). So many others. One of the best parts was watching him and Hyo Jin play off each other. Their timing both romantic and comedic was just perfection. I have to confess I never finished King 2Hearts. It was early in my drama watching career, but I’m considering a rewatch so I can see him in new scenes.
Shopping King Louie – Seo In Guk
Louie, Louie, Louie! I’ve been in love with Seo In Guk since Love Rain. He’s just one of those actors that keeps getting better and better, and he makes my heart flutter. I really wasn’t sure I was going to like this show, it sounded a little weird so I was on the fence on whether I should even watch it. Instead, I was completely charmed by this character. It takes a LOT of talent to play a character like this; the character may seem simple, but he’s really the most complex character in the show. I am forever thankful to this writer for giving us so many happy moments for Louie where we could bask in Seo In Guk’s smile.
Drama Geek: I was want to say Seo In Guk is Perfect (said in Louie’s voice.) that is all.
KMUSE: I am so happy my #1 bias had such a great year. Hopefully we will get one last drama in before he joins the military. But even if he doesn’t, Shopping King Louie was a great role to leave us wanting more. SOB……..2 years without a SIG fix makes me sad so I might need a rewatch sooner than later.
Beautiful Mind – Jang Hyuk
You may remember a while back I did a fangirl post on Jang Hyuk, so it should come as no surprise that he’s at the top of my list this year. Beautiful Mind is one of my favorite dramas and I am still furious over it ending too soon. Jang Hyuk plays the role of stoic leading man very well. He has an amazing talent that allows him to really school his face and hide his emotions without looking wooden. I pretty much love everything about this actor, he’s handsome, he has a sexy voice, a gorgeous smile and I even love the way he laughs. I’m hoping that his next drama choice will bring us the satisfaction that was stolen from us when Beautiful Mind was shortened.
KMUSE: This is my new favorite role of Jang Hyuks. I am not sure he can beat this emotionless yet sexy leading man. He just does broken characters so well.
Scarlet Heart – Lee Joon Ki
While I had a lot of issues with various aspects regarding this drama, Lee Joon Ki was not one of them. This was the role he was born to play and he shined when everything else around him didn’t.
Drama Geek: He carried the weight of this show on his shoulders and walked away still the king of historical and period garb.
CLKYTTA: His eyes just give me shivers, he smolders like no one else.
Signal – Lee Je Hoon & Jo Jin Woong
I couldn’t choose one over the other so I decided to add them both into the best leading man catagory. This is definitely a case where these two actors built something epic together that will last for years to come. This will forever be a must watch drama in my opinion.
Drama Geek: If you know me at all you know I can not pass on my boys. These two turned in award winning performances separately and together one of the most memorable team of ups in drama history.
When a Snail Falls in Love – Wang Kai
Whether he plays a cop, a king, or a random guy about town, Wang Kai always brings the charm and his amazing chiseled jawline. Wang Kai’s character in When a Snail Falls in Love might be a new favorite and showcases his talents as an actor.
Drama Geek: Oh my precious lion, be still my heart.
CLKYTTA: I want to see lots more of him!
A Girl & Three Sweethearts – Yamazaki Kento
I might have snagged Yamazaki Kento for my favorite list before Drama Geek had a chance to pick him first. He easily won the #2 spot on my favorite Japanese actors list. From the start, Yamazaki Kento was the brother i was rooting for and I loved watching him be awkward and in love.
Drama Geek: Looks like Kmuse and I will be fighting over a lot of guys in the future. LOL. Seriously, she picked all the good ones. Not that my picks aren’t just as amazing.
Yamazaki Kento wasn’t on my radar before this drama but his gruff chef made me so happy. His chemistry with the female lead was super cute and fuzzy. No, he’s not the most talented actor out there but I think he has tons of room to grow, and that smile is just so endearing.
The Good Wife – Yoon Kye Sang & Yoo Ji Tae
SQUEEE! So much sexy older khottie chemistry was going on with these two and our leading lady. It takes great actors to play characters with horrific flaws and then still make you want them to somehow work it out. They totally achieved this and more.
Uncontrollably Fond – Kim Woo Bin
This was 100% Kim Woo Bin’s drama. His character sucked me in and I literally cried buckets towards the end. Sadly, Suzy was not up to bringing the same intensity so while I loved Woo Bin’s role, the show as a whole was not one I would recommend. But that doesn’t mean I can’t give him props for doing a wonderful job in a flawed situation.
CLKYTTA: I struggled with this drama, but I watched it purely for Kim Woo Bin. I wasn’t a fan of Heirs, but I saw him on a Running Man episode and I was totally charmed.
W Two Worlds – Lee Jong Suk
LJS is one of my favorite actors. He caught my eye way back in Secret Garden, but he just keeps improving. I loved him in W. It was a show that kept me guessing, but I think his performance was key. He really made me feel like swooning, and I think he may be one of the best kissers in the business. He was even able to get Park Shin Hye in Pinnochio to ditch the fish eyes. He is one fine actor!
CLKYTTA: I loved him in Secret Garden too! He’s someone I feel like has grown with me on my drama watching journey. He picks good projects and he seriously knows how to kiss!
Goblin – Gong Yoo & Lee Dong Wook
It is still early, but the bromance chemistry is off the charts! I predict this will be one of my favorite dramas. (Please don’t mess this up writers.) So glad to see both of these actors back on my screen! If you only have 5 minutes, then I highly recommend that you just watch the last scene in episode 2 where they are just so epically bad-ass.
Drama Geek: Only two shows in and these guys end up on the this. Pretty impressive but well earned. They both feel unique and well layered. And when they’re on screen together I squeal really loud.
CLKYTTA: It’s like the drama gods have told us that we can have our cake and ice cream too. I don’t know who to pick, so I will just appreciate both.
KMUSE: They get my vote as well. Their great chemistry actually has me searching social media for bts clips and frenemie stills. Can’t wait to see what they have in store for us in the next 14 episodes.
Descendants of the Sun – Song Jo0ng Ki
There was a lot of hype about DOTS, but one accolade that was “abs”-olutely deserved was SJK’s amazing shirtless scenes. Wait. I mean his acting. Seriously, he is one I counted down the days for when he was serving in the military. I loved him in dramatic movies and his silly side in Sunkyungkwan Scandal, but he was really born for the role of “Big Boss.” Just a slight smirk or change in his eyes could change the mood. I can see why his picture was literally EVERYWHERE in Korea this summer.
CLKYTTA: I’m not sure anyone else can ooze manliness and boyish charm at the same time quite like SJK.
Shopping King Louie – Seo In Guk
Wait. Men other than Seo In Guk acted this year? Why? He’s got it all. Really, let’s give everyone else 2017 off and just watch the inevitable beauty happen.
I agree whole heartedly with CLKYTTA’s comment that Seo In gets better and better. His Louie was perfectly lovable and sincere without being pathetic. It was such a breath of fresh air after so many jerk to sweetheart tropes. And can we just take a moment to respect his crying skills? I mean, come on. It was bad enough I didn’t shower for two days. My emotional-wreck-at-the-proverbial-hands-of-a-drama look was complete after I…I mean he…broke down. The man needs an Oscar. And a Grammy. And Emmy. And Student of the Month or whatever else we can get him.
KMUSE: DITTO x 1000
This concludes our favorite actor’s of 2016! Did your talented khottie make our list? Be sure to let us know in the comments. Also, if you have missed any of our previous End of Year Reviews, check them out HERE!
Til next time,