With the technical end (though others may cite various different episodes) of Gu Family Book and Jang Ok Jung, Live in Love, I think that these two take the top spot for the drama that ended up on the biggest slippery slope of doom this year. However, I think that more so than being a great representation of WTH dramas, these two have been noteworthy because I’ve got to see some surprising actors turn a leaf. But way goes on to way, and so it got me thinking about different dramas of questionable quality that have resulted in some big leaps for some actors, be it in talent or fame. Here’s my list.
Boys Before Flowers:
One of the biggest breakout of all breakouts via a truly horrendous drama goes to none other than the man who holds the hearts of half the female drama watching populations, Lee Minho. As cracktastic as Boys Over Flowers was, in hindsight, the drama is pretty horrific. If rom-com and makjang had zombified together, you would get BOF. As to why it ended up being such crack is a mystery of life I’m still trying to figure out. I don’t know if this was also the big breakout role for Kim Bum as well, but I guess I’ll make him a special mention. Lee Minho is a great actor in general, so BOF was more a vehicle for exposure for him. Kim Bum’s endearing character on the other hand, was the source of his popularity.
Breakout of all breakouts number two: Kim Soo-hyun via this drama. Though I am of the opinion that a lot of the hype (who am I kidding, ALL of the hype) was entirely unwarranted. Kim Soo-hyun admittedly was the saving grace of the show (despite not liking him too much), because the story was no more than your classic star-crossed romance executed really poorly.
Gu Family Book:
After many years in the acting industry, Choi Jin-hyuk made his show stopping performance as the beloved Gumiho Daddy, Wol-ryung. I actually liked the parents section so much that I had such high hopes for the drama. Thanks writer-nim for all my dreams getting crushed into sand. I also have to give special mention to Lee Yeon-hee for not being a big sinking hole of emotionless acting. She was actually quite vibrant in Gu Family Book. Lee Yeon-hee made Seo-hwa as sympathetic as possible, even if Seo-hwa went to crazy-land by the end of the parents arc.
Speaking of characters that went to crazy-ville, poor Kim Tae-hee. She completely floored me with her acting around the fifth and sixth episode as Jang Ok-jung, and I think this is certainly the best acting job she’s done. Unfortunately, her efforts didn’t do much for the drama ratings, and her character ended up going absolutely nowhere when the writers decided to make the innovative part of the drama fall to shambles.
A meh drama, though lovable in un-objective ways. Jung So-min was one of those lovable saving graces, and it might have put her name out there more than her great performance on Bad Guy (on the international stage at least). However, she still isn’t too famous or anything, and her recent role in Can We Get Married? was disappointingly sub-par for her. Maybe it was just her character that was really grating, but I gave up on that show pretty rapidly.
Let me know if you come up with any more!
(MBC, SBS, KBS)