Good Actors Picked Bad

Why is Lee Byung Hun on the front of a post about good actors who keep picking bad projects? Because Stormshadow here CAN pick a project, and I thought I’d start with a successful example for others to emulate.

In the past decade he has done three dramas (Beautiful Days, All In, and IRIS), and all have been runaway ratings successes. Now, everyone can quibble that those projects weren’t very good (I can buy that argument), but regardless (1) those dramas are all quite entertaining to watch, and (2) LBH picked good characters in each of those dramas, so if the dramas have any failings (which they do), it’s not his fault, and he always come out smelling like roses.

Recently I’ve heard a chorus of wails coming from the direction of devoted lovers of a certain actor who has now selected two back-to-back drama projects that, to be honest, appear to resemble crap. Whether those dramas garner respectable ratings or not, the general consensus is that said drama sucks big time.

In these instances, the pain cuts deeper because the devoted will always try to watch the show, and come away feeling like they would rather get their eyes poked out by a baby kittens. I hereby devote a post to good actors who apparently lack the mental capacity to pick a good project.

Sometimes, the good acting ability evaporates when placed in the confines of crappy dramas. Other times, the actor still delivers a whiz-bang performance that leaves us even more confounded that a better vehicle couldn’t have been located for these guys to practice their craft. Regardless, these folks need a boot camp on project selection ASAP.

Dude, Where’s My [Insert Name Of Good Actor]?

So Ji Sub – Ha ha ha, this post was inspired by him, so of course I shall start with Mr. Sexy-Eyes. This guy leaves us for two years after dropping a life-changing performance in MiSa and joining the army. Perhaps the heat fried his brain, because since his return to civilian life he has chosen to do the dumb-as-bricks Cain & Abel, and followed that up with apparently the even dumber-than-bricks Road No. 1. Maybe he should stick with movies from now on?

Lee Jung Jae – I’ve said it before – two bad projects in a row for Mr. Sex – Air City and Triple. Both are as different as night and day, so he is clearly always trying to branch out and challenge himself. I wish the writers for those projects would rise to the challenge as well. I loved his performance in each of those dramas, and the character he played. But it was ultimately so pointless a pursuit.

Yoon Kye Sang – Hey, he shares two of the same projects with each of the two guys I’ve already listed. He was not just wasted in Triple, I actively detested his character and performance. And from what I have heard, I am not watching Road No. 1 for fear of permanently destroying my YKS love.

Bae Soo Bin – Jun Se-oppa, what happened to you? After you stole my heart with your smile in Brilliant Legacy, you followed up with the cracktastic Temptation of Angel, and then decided to reunite in Dong Yi with both your co-stars from those two dramas and resume your role as the perpetual oppa/second male lead? Dude, why? You are so much better than that.

Joo Jin Mo – All that screen presence and charisma in Fashion 70s, wasted thereafter in a stupider-than-stupid drama that was Queen of the Game. And then you followed it up with the stupid and dull drama Dream. If not for the movie A Frozen Flower and your performance there, I would now be pretending you really are a Greek Statue.

Song Il Gook – After Jumong, where you singlehandedly showed that you were a Kingmaker, you followed up with three middling dramas: Lobbyist, Kingdom of the Wind, and A Man Called God. None have tarnished your reputation in my eyes, but I wonder if your britches have grown too big for the small screen.

Lee Da Hae – I don’t think you picked bad projects (though I certainly didn’t love those dramas, but some of your co-stars did shine in them) as you picked bad roles. You need to re-vamp yourself, girlfriend. Find the sassy from My Girl, find the resilient rose from Green Rose. Just, for the love of my sanity, stop picking projects where you are useless and a waste of time (such as your characters in East of Eden and Chuno).

Yoon Eun Hye – She’s only had one bad project since she finished Coffee Prince, which was the all-around-hot-mess of a drama that was My Fair Lady. But I worry about her, because the anticipation is so high with all her projects.

Boot Camp Registration Opens Now:

Let me know if you want to nominate some other actors to attend this drama selection boot camp. It’s impossible for me imagine how much worse things can get for these folks if we don’t do an intervention now. Which does lead me to wonder: maybe it’s not their fault, maybe the overall quality of dramas and roles are so slim these days everyone is left out to dry?


Good Actors Picked Bad — 8 Comments

  1. I knew you were referring to So Ji-sub! Poor guy. Why the hell can’t he pick a damn drama to save his life! Rough Cut was a kickass movie though (and with Kang Ji-hwan to boot) so at least there was that.

    My nominees:
    Son Ye-jin – I haven’t seen Personal Taste yet but I hear it wasn’t quite up to par and Spotlight was frickin dreadful. I can’t believe I even managed it all the way through that one! I think I might have fast-forwarded through some of the last eps actually.

    Lee Sun Gyun – ANOTHER Triple casualty. The three eps I saw of Pasta left me feeling empty and bored as well, though his chemistry with Gong Hyo-jin was great.

    Jae Hee – He was so cute and funny in Delightful Girl Choon-hyang and was also great in one of my favorite Korean films 3-Iron, so why can’t he pick a good drama to save his life?? All I need to say is Witch Amusement here I think…but then One Mom and Three Dads came along…

    That first pic of YKS is totally adorable by the way!

  2. Hehe, a most timely post! 😆

    In these instances, the pain cuts deeper because the devoted will always try to watch the show…

    The truly devoted will watch the show all the way to the end and will NEVER criticize their beloved for a crappy drama or, worse, a crappy performance. The wishy-washy so-called fan will flee to the hills after one or two episodes, tweeting their disgust all the way.

    Road No 1 ep 1 is so unbelievably abysmal, the whole 1 hr felt like a bad dream. After a while I couldn’t even laugh anymore; I was just wide-eyed with wonder that the collective ensemble of writer, PDs, actors and crew allowed this JOKE of an episode to actually air. Kim Ha-neul is so lifeless and washed-out here (in both appearance and acting), she makes Her Blankness in Kingdom of the Wind look like a best-actress nominee.

    Ok, now that I’ve gotten that rant off my chest… Let’s see, who else to nominate…

    Ah, Rain/Bi/Jung Ji-hoon. He was absolutely wonderful in Sang Doo, Let’s Go to School but followed that up with two stinkers: Full House (mild stinker) and A Love to Kill (major, major stinker).

    Lee Beom-soo. Loved him (no, adored to bits) in Surgeon Bong Dal-hee, but disliked him (from the little that I watched) in On Air. He’s the lead in Giant, but I can’t get behind his character or acting. He looks way too old for the part and his acting just doesn’t feel right (gangsterly and sleazy), which is such a pity because his young Gangmo was played so winsomely and convincingly by Yeo Jin-goo.

    (psst, do a post on the opposite, where an actor follows a stinker with a breakout performance. It always makes me so happy when an actor that I dissed to bits subsequently astonishes me with a phenomenal improvement!)

  3. Yes SJS was the first person who popped into my brain when I read the title and no surprise I find him on top of your heap *cries*.

    SJS went reverse Jang Hyuk. Jang Hyuk goes from medicore to very good post Military service and then I see SJS go from top of his game circa MiSA to doing all this crap. *cries again* Not that I’m happy for Jang Hyuk but I love SJS so much more and I’m just dying for him to shine again. He was the only actor I was patiently waiting for to come back from the army. I’m not sure how much longer my love for him can be sustained amongst the disappointments. *Cries some more*

  4. In LDH case, more like bad luck rather than picking a bad project.I found she is a figther emotionally but not a fighter for her right.

    i) In EOE, since the beginning, the writer publicaly annouced she wanted LDH,a special meaty role for her, but everybody knows the rest of the story.
    ii) In Chuno, it was a recoomendation from Jang Hyuk to act alongside him, but the writer didn’t do justice to the character-no character development at all. Luckly as some people said, she is pleasing to the eyes.

    To me
    Song Hye Kyo-I see her as beauty with quite a talent (she shines in certain area), but also don’t know how to pick good project after Full House.

  5. Definitely SJS, @Nycgrl, I feel for you, girlfriend, and all SJS fangirls. He’s testing your faith, persevere!

    @samzz, sorry to burst bubbles but Hello, Miss is not just Miss LDH’s badluck. That was a sorry excuse of a drama in writing, but I blamed her acting equally. She was impersonating KJE at KJE’s worst. I didnt know she has this insane OTT monster in her repertoire. :X

    therefore, it’s LDH for actresses, esp when she’s shown her potential inGreen Rose and My Girl (this is coming fr a non-fan of the almost everything MG, LDW included, I know I know…, she’s the only exception and bright spot.) I even fangirled her in an MV (Memory w/ HB). I was not excited w/ her choice of EoE at all even if she got as much screen time and meat as SSH. As an actress, I take away brownie point when u do not cringe and run fr working w/ SSH *run mookie run, and hide!*

    So I’m also eying SYJ, but I cut her slacks because I see grounds for her picking her roles, even in PT, its failings can not be associated w/ her at all. She’s able to elevate the material (eg stinky Summer Scent) I did not watch enough of Spotlight (bored to tears), but I cant fault her.

  6. LOL! I totally knew this was a post about SJS! Like many others, I waited for SJS to come out of MS. He’s probably the only actor whose first drama post-MS that I had such high hopes for. I might skim through the first episode of Road No. 1 but probably won’t watch. Honestly have no idea why they didn’t just make Kim Jin-min be the director for the whole drama and not bits and pieces of it.

    Agreed Jae Hee had a string of bad dramas too, though from what I heard, he did well in his last project before he left (an episode in Hometown Legends 2008). Hmm, I pretty much agree with the rest…

    Oh and I second thundie on having a post about the opposite! And speaking of an actor who I think is doing well picking roles (and who will be greatly missed once he starts MS later this year) is Binnie.

  7. I know I am in the minority here, but I just didn’t think that Air City and Triple were that bad. They may not have been what a fan hopes for for the fabulous Lee Jung Jae, but what other dramas made at the same time would have been a better fit for him? The man wants to/needs to work, after all and these weren’t really dramas that make you scream with agony, fast forward through more than 40% or leave the room hoping that things will have improved by the time you get back with your glass of wine, or those other little coping mechanisms in the drama-watchers arsenal.

  8. Awwww. Why is everyone picking on SJS? I love him to pieces!! And I actually really enjoyed Cain & Abel, and Road No. 1! Those movies were the ones that got me to watch his other dramas, like I’m Sorry I love you and Thousand Years of Love….but everyone’s entitled to their opinions. Here’s one of mine:

    “Kwon Sang Woo”… I mean I LOVE this guy, I LOVE his funny scenes, his crying scenes, his half naked scenes, and more. However, I couldn’t bring myself, as much as I tried, to watch Cinderella Man, and Dae Mul. I’ve even bought the dramas to support him, but could never finish watching them! His acting was great in them, just that the story line in the drama really wasn’t good, and perhaps it’s also because I didn’t like the female leads in either one.
    Cinderella Man killed off his twin role, which I thought was too soon in the drama and probably would make it alot more interesting if everyone got to see them both together. (Of course, I know it’ll all be just a trick of the camera, but it would be interesting. Like in Jackie Chan’s “Twin Dragons”).
    Dae Mul was too political for me to follow, and every time I see the lead actress, it keeps reminding me of “What’s Up Fox?”. Which I enjoyed watching too, but somehow Dae Mul was just blah.

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