Hyun Bin’s newest romance, Crash Landing on You is right around the corner so we looked up Hyun Bin’s Korean drama repertoire and realized that he is quite the romantic genre magnet. Almost every Korean drama he has been in has been a romance (I will section off Memories of the Alhambra because I consider that more as a fantasy with a romance added to it).
On this list we have a woman trying to find her family and finding love (Ireland), a noona baker and a cheeky billionaire falling in love (My Lovely Sam Soon), a mathematician boxer and his lover (Snow Queen), two drama crew members falling in love (Worlds Within), an ambitious gangster movie remake (Friend, Our Legend), body swap hijinks (Secret garden), same body hijinks (Hyde, Jekyll, Me), and an augmented reality game from hell (Memories of the Alhambra).
5 ROMANTIC KOREAN DRAMAS TO WATCH WITH HYUN BIN
Hyun Bin in his first big role as a second lead! Consequently, his last second lead role as he went straight to lead man status after this with My Lovely Sam Soon (also known as My Name is Kim Sam Soon).
Ireland is about a Korean-Irish woman who was adopted to Ireland as a baby. She goes back to Korea to find her family. So lots of old school heart tugging in this show with second-hand embarrassing clothing and hair thrown in.
In all actuality, this show is so old that it might be a pain to sit through. I watched it way back in 2009 or 2010, so it wasn’t too old back then, but even so, it still felt old. It felt so old that it may as well have been classified as a historical. So imagine what it would feel like now!
I am also not sure if I finished this drama. For that reason I will have to say this one is a pass unless you are an avid Hyun Bin fan. Then definitely watch to see him get his second lead heart broken; it’s the only time you can see it!
Verdict: Pass unless you love Hyun Bin
My Lovely Sam Soon
The biggest hit show of the decade quit possibly. I think this drama was so popular that everyone on the cast got invited to the Blue House to meet the president, seriously.
My Lovely Sam Soon is a noona romance that was touted as Korea’s version of Bridget Jones Diary when it came out and was so popular that it was insane. I am not joking, it got 51.5% ratings for the finale which means that literally half of Korea was watching this show!
And I can understand why because I was absolutely taken with it when I started watching it back in 2009 or 2010. I was obsessed and thought this drama was the best thing ever. I think I rewatched it 3 or 4 times all the way through? Maybe more than that, I loved it that much.
I think this TV show suffers from the same issues that Ireland does, in that it will feel like a historical drama of 2005, but the story was so great and the music and show itself are so fun that I say it is a definite watch.
I don’t even think this show had the second half pain that a lot of Kdramas have nowadays. It had a twist to keep you interested, but it was a very reasonable twist. Oh, this show also has the first appearance of Daniel Henney into Dramaland, so thank you, show.
Verdict: Definite watch
The Snow Queen
If you want to see Hyun Bin mope around for 16 hours, then Snow Queen is the show for you. It is such a wet blanket fest that it is almost like he was so tired of all the happy go luckiness positive Sam Soon energy that he just wanted to try something new and went all the way to depressing tin-man-without-a-heart land.
If I remember right, it is about a math genius who has a deep pain that turns him to boxing? Though I think he heals himself through the love of a good woman who also has a painful past? It is something like that. All I remember about it is a mannequin looking Hyun Bin standing and staring at things.
There are two camps with the drama The Worlds Within, the camp that loved the behind the scenes look at meta jokes of a film crew creating a drama within a drama, and the camp that was so bored they passed out. I am in the later camp, which was such a pity!
I love both these actors and expected to love this drama. But it just did not catch my attention. But I think it is still a drama that should be watched just to see if it is your style.
Plus it sparked a two year romance between the two leads that was one of the biggest breakups of its time. Though, honestly, all of Song Hye-kyo’s breakups are huge news.
Verdict: Worth checking out
Friend, Our Legend
If you have never seen the explosively good cultural phenomenon movie Chingu (aka Friend) that sparked a slew of movie quotes and iconic scenes, then I think you will like this drama. But if you saw Chingu, especially at the culturally appropriate moment, then you might not like this drama remake of it. I mean it is the movie that shot Jang Don-gun to iconic super stardom.
I saw the movie Chingu and saw most of this drama adaptation and, I got to say, I definitely liked the movie a lot better than the drama. But I think the drama was good as well.
It was well shot and well acted and had good reviews for everyone who watched the show all the way through. The only thing it suffered from is that the movie was so iconic that they were basically shooting themselves in the foot by making this drama.
This drama is one of the rare, non-romance dramas that Hyun Bin has done, so it is worth checking out for that.
Verdict: Worth the watch
A fantasy-romance that is obsession worth and the biggest drama hit of the year, the year it came out and possibly the next year as well. It solidified itself as Hyun Bin’s second mega success at 35% ratings Nationwide and shot him to the super star status that he still enjoys now, which is good after three ratings flops in a row with his previous three dramas.
But the love started to fade around the 10 episode mark and I don’t even think I watched the finale? it was one of those things were I kind of fast forwarded through it just to see what happened. I think it was the repetitiveness of the plot after episode 8 that just had me looking at my watch while watching.
But, the beginning is still a love and it maintained a love for a lot of people, so worth checking out.
Verdict: Worth checking it out, you might love it.
Hyde, Jekyll, Me
Hyde, Jekyll, and Me is Hyun Bin’s comeback drama after military service, so it was about as high profile as you can get (especially because Hyun Bin’s military service somehow stayed Nationwide news for the entire 2 years he was there).
I started watching this show because it was Hyun Bin’s comeback and for some reason stopped watching it. Korea felt the same way because the ratings started at a respectable 10% but dropped to 4% by the finale. Though that is definitely not a reason for you to skip it.
If you like zany shows that are more on the zany side, then check it out, you may enjoy it.
Verdict: You might like it
Memories of the Alhambra
Memories of the Alhambra made our list of Rage Worthy Dramas to not watch, so there’s that. But I do want to say that everyone should at least check this show out for the special effects alone.
The first 4 episodes were riveting and the show continued to surprise with the augmented reality game throughout its airing. Though in the third act, it did start to make no sense at all and the final episode was a big ol, say what? But the ratings did stay in the respectable range on tvN at around 10%.
Verdict: Watch at your own risk
Crash Landing on You
This is in the bonus category because it has not aired yet and actually, the airing date in the end of November got pushed to December. So who knows when it will air.
But with all that said, I am pretty excited for Crash landed on You, not only because it has Hyun Bin and Son Yejin in it, but also because it is by the writer of My Love From Another Star, so you know it will be quirky.
Their character descriptions are also pretty fun because they both are at the top of their game in their lives. He is a major player in the North Korea military with a very good life ahead of him and she is basically living a life close to royalty in South Korea. When they meet, I expect their lives will be flipped upside down. Hopefully we will all feel flipped right with them!
Verdict: Watch it, of course!
So which shows do you think you will watch on this list? Of these I would say that my heart still goes to My Lovely Sam Soon. Though I need to rewatch it to see if it is still holding up to the time. I think the last time I watched it was 4 years or so ago. Though I do think I have listened to the soundtrack within the last year. Ah, it is just such a fun happy drama. Hopefully Crash Landing on You go more that route!
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