Now that all three year end drama awards are over, I want to weigh in only on the recipients of the Daesang(s) for each station. It’s the biggest acting award of the night, and as the awards shows get more bloated with newly added meaningless awards, the Daesang remains the one award that has some meaningful validation.
The happiest win of all belongs to Jang Hyuk, who deservingly bagged the KBS Daesang for his performance as Lee Dae Gil in Chuno, which was both a ratings and critical success. This win warms my cockles, and literally made me shriek with joy. There is a drama god at KBS. Best acting performance by any person in 2010, bar none.
Next came SBS – which followed MBC’s lead from 2009 and gave its Daesang to Go Hyung Jung for her performance as the President of Korea in Daemul. I’ve not watched Daemul, but I’ve watched enough Go Hyung Jung dramas to know that this woman can do any role. I have no quibbles with her winning the Daesang, except it almost feels like anytime Go Hyung Jung does a drama, she wins a Daesang. It’s too expected and I thought SBS had some great dramas performances which merited a shot at the Daesang, including Lee Bum Soo in Giant and Park Yong Woo in Jejoonwon. Regardless, it’s a win that I find likely merited.
Finally, MBC split its Daesang (again – after it did so in 2008 when it gave it to Kim Myung Min for Beethoven Virus and Song Seung Heon for East of Eden) – this time bestowing it on Han Hyo Joo for Dong Yi and Kim Nam Joo for Queen of Reversals. I’ve not seen the latter (and I always love Kim Nam Joo’s performances), but I have definitely watched the former mug her way through Dong Yi. It was not a pretty sight people. I have a huge soft spot for Han Hyo Joo, I find her beautiful, radiant, and quite talented. But she was dreadful in Dong Yi, probably my least favorite performance she’s ever graced the screen with.
I know Dong Yi was MBC’s sole shining light in 2010, what with almost ALL its dramas tanking or having teen ratings at best. But to split the Daesang once again, and give it to Han Hyo Joo as a thank-you-come-again gesture really pissed me off. My vote for MBC’s Daesang would have been Shin Eun Kyung in Flames of Desire.
In the end, the television station year end Drama Awards remain simply a grand congratulatory gesture for everyone involved. Think of it more as the People’s Choice Awards (here, the Station Choice Awards) as opposed to the Baeksangs, which bear a closer resemblance to the Oscars.