Jin Se Yeon Is Pretty in Black & White for InStyle Korea like Her Dual Character Roles in Dr. Stranger

I don’t always follow an actor or actress’s career from the very beginning and most of the time I randomly fall for a performance and then go back to catch up on his or her oeuvre. It’s by sheer happenstance that I’ve actually had the pain/pleasure/weirdness of watching Jin Se Yeon‘s entire acting career from her very first debut in It’s Okay, Daddy’s Girl. It was a small forgettable role but I was subsequently dismayed with her first major casting as the younger Han Ji Hye from the sageuk The Duo. That drama had a very long childhood sequence that lasted 8-episodes and all the other teens were pretty spot on except she was as dead as a dead fish. That character was also written that way but she did nothing with it. I checked out an episode of Gaksital just to see if my Joo Won allergy might get cured and it was a no on that and a no on her first adult leading role. Five Fingers was just baaaad in writing and acting so not sure how anyone could elevate that makjang mess.

So it wasn’t until Age of Feeling that I first saw something in her that was pleasant. I really loved her character Ok Ryung and she had wonderful chemistry with Kim Hyun Joong. The acting was nothing to write home about but it actually made me care about her character arc. Better than nothing, right, which is how I feel about her in Dr. Stranger. Jin Se Yeon is in the pages of the June edition of InStyle Korea and it continues to improve on her earlier pictorials. The shorter hair suits her as an in-between transition for her to shed the young girl aura and start showing her potential to be a leading lady moreso than simply being cast as the female lead. I’m also sharing two awesome (short but sweet) MVs showcasing the Hoon-Jae Hee romance and it totally hits all my swoony OTP loving heart with talented editing set to the perfect stirring music song accompaniment.

Dr. Stranger is that weird dichotomy where I think she was lovely and natural as Jae Hee but struggling mightily as Seung Hee, a mysterious character that she doesn’t yet have the depth and breadth of acting experience to quite pull off convincingly. It doesn’t kill the narrative because the love between Hoon and Jae Hee was definitively established when she was playing Jae Hee, so it allows Seung Hee the cushion to be unreadable and cold (and occasionally flat in acting) without ruining my love for the OTP ship.

Hoon and Jae Hee: How it all started:

Hoon and Jae Hee: My heart knows you:


Jin Se Yeon Is Pretty in Black & White for InStyle Korea like Her Dual Character Roles in Dr. Stranger — 27 Comments

  1. Damn she looks much finer with her hair put up, showing more of her cheeks in the last pics.

    I think she was good as Jae Hee too and Seung Hee is such a cold, unreadable character that is hard to judge her acting on. Specially for a young decent actress with not much range, experience yet.

    • she’s actually done as many if not more dramas than Lee Jong Seok, I really don’t think a lack of experience is the problem here.

      • I think he meant experience in sense of “real-life” experience to add depth to her acting. Judging from her age, she doesn’t have the well of age and life experiences to draw upon references for her emoting, it’s especially true so when conveying “serious” and often beyond her years roles. Ofc, I could be wrong, but that’s how I interpret it. Feel free to interject Mohammed.

      • Scientia

        Thats what i mean she is barely 20 years and doesnt have much life experiance to add much depth to her acting. She has only had 2-3 leading roles too. She is better than Lee Jong Seok was at 21 years old in Secret Garden. He has improved alot in the last 4 years since then why cant she?

        I dont see the reason for the sheer hate for her, her characters. Its way too much for a decent actress whose only crime is she isnt the best young actress. She is not nearly as bad as Suzy who gets leading roles and doesnt get too much critics because fans like her already as a pretty idol. Everytime i read about a drama about with Jin Se Yeon there is too much comments that have nothing to do with her acting but more why she keeps getting leading roles. She was good in Age of Feeling and good enough as Ja Hee. Seung Hee is much less interesting character so far but thats the writing and not the actress…..

      • is “real life” experience that important? many young/child actresses who have less experiences than her, but their actings are more believable

      • @j2hr – Good call. Saying she is too young without enough life experiences to reflect in her acting is a cop out. There are many child/teenage actors/actresses out there who can act miles around her and I’m sure they don’t have the life experiences to portray their characters. Good examples are: Yeo Jin Woo, Kim Yoo Jung and Kim So Hyun. At the end of the day, what it boils down to is talent. And I personally, don’t think she has the talent to carry those heavy roles. This is not because I dislike her, because I really don’t and I think she’s a servicable actresses, but I don’t believe she’s lead actress material – yet.

  2. Age of Feeling’s Ok Ryun was her best role yet, it’s a shame that such a potentially wonderful role was shafted, coincidentally, when Kim Jae Wook was axed too. It seems all the potential in the character left with Soo Ok’s untimely death. Well that’s pretty much the start of the downhill for that show (for me) anyway, once it starts focusing on Shanghai and seemingly have forgotten everything which made it great from Shineuijoo. My only consolation is that they reduced adult Gaya’s mind-numbing arc which just left me snoozing, but ultimately they too reduced Ok Ryun to simply fiddle as the protagonist’s love interest.

    Spunky and bright really suits her well, and Dr. Stranger has really not done her any favor by shoving her to the Seung Hee persona which only serves to compound on her weakness and the result is of less to be desired. Here’s to me looking forward to see her Jae Hee persona some more as they finally started peeling Seung Hee’s identity, and bring back that sassy side which makes her lovable.

    In fact, I look forward seeing her in a refreshing role in a rom-com next time which I believe is where she’s more at home at. Very young girl, plenty of space to improve.

  3. I don’t know that the character is the problem. I’ve seen actresses with similar levels of experience/younger than her elevate the ‘cold’ type to feel like an actual character as opposed to looking like they’re struggling to act. But she has exactly two modes, one of which is smiling sweetly/sassily and the other is, well, wooden. And both can fall really flat, she’s hardly unique in dramaland.

    Given the competition in her age range, ia with others who say she’s not got much to base a leading lady career on, unless she happens to be popular in Korea or something like Suzy.

    • I’m curious who are these “competition” that people always talk about? Last time someone said that there are other more talented actress around her, they too happened to be busy doing something else. So really, who in the early 90-ers are able to do the leading lady bit “better” than her, and if so where are they? And as you affirmed, she’s got “experience”; talent is not the only parameter considered when casting leads.

      Also it would be nice to give actual data (ie names of actress) who played similar parts as she does right now. “Cold” female protagonist is not of abundance in dramaland, so surprise me.

      • Hear hear. Who even writes roles for women her age anyways when you can just make room for some male actor to ham it up for pervy ajhummas? The Jin Se Yeon hate is OTT. She’s never going to be a Jeon Do Yeon but she doesn’t need to be. She’s at least as good as Song Ji Hyo now and, given her age, has plenty more upside.

      • Kim Ji Won is a good example. She had a good chemistry with LJS, plus, she can play cold/sassy well.
        How about Ko Ah Sung,Jo Jung Eun, or Nam Ji-hyeon?

      • Kim ji won never played the “cold” protagonist but she’s either an innocent lead or a btchy second lead. Nam ji hyun is cool too but she’s still on her child actress phase. Both are my favorite actresses though. Never seen ko ah sung. Coincidentally both KJW and NJH have current projects too.

      • JSY had a project when she signed on DS. And plz, those actresses have better acting than JSY. You dont need to see them in certain characters to know whether they are good or bad.

      • So you’re okay if KJW shoots two projects concurrently but people give JSY sh-t when she does the same?

        Like I said thise actress you posted still hasn’t shed their child actress image yet. Nam ji hyun as seung hee opposite LJS? Can you even imagine the apparent difference in age? Don’t even get started with the other two.

      • KJW is only supporting in GD while JSY was lead in AOF. NJH is 95er while JSY is 94er, just 1 year older, so if JSY can carry this role, NJH can as well

  4. From various reports, Kim Hyeon Joong and Koo Hye Seon have considerably ameliorated their acting skills or lack thereof. So all is not lost as Jin Sae Yeon has room for improvement.
    My ‘wild’ guess regarding this drama’s ending? Jae Hee will pass away soon after marrying Hoon, because everything comes in threes, right?

    • It’s always good to be hopeful. For some reason a lot drama viewers seem to want actors to ‘get better’ but always flip tables when said actors get the kinds of roles that will help them improve. If they had their way, we wouldn’t see any actress under age 30 on screen.

      • You took the words out of my mouth.

        Forget about seeing actresses under 30. If we base everything according to their standards for talent, I doubt if even HALF of the current actors in Korea would still have a job.

  5. I rooted for Ok-ryeon all the way from the beginning. What a lovely character despite being merely a love interest. Her sole purpose in that drama was to love her man unconditionally from episode 1 till the end.

    But sadly, I don’t feel much for her in Dr. Stranger..

  6. She looks absolutely stunning in the pictorial…unfortunately, her presence in Dr.Stranger is like the opposite. Her acting is very dull to me. She’s really pretty though but more on still pictures than live action.

    She’s definitely more fortunate than many actresses at her age, getting so many opportunities. She’s still very young so good luck to her in the future.

  7. Just to correct some fact here, the lead of Age of Feeling is KIM HYUN JOONG not Kim Hyung Joon. They are two different person but both also SS501 member.

  8. I don’t know why but I just don’t like her….I feel bad because I don’t know her personally, but I feel a sort of lack of genuiness from her…and her lack of acting skills doesn’t help.

    So for me, even she ends up with Hoon, I’ll just feel….indifference.

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  10. It is such a coincidence that I have watched 3 dramas that starred Ms Jin Se Yeon – Bridal Mask, Inspiring Generation and Doctor Stranger! I always find viewers bashing on her acting skill. In general, most viewers term crying scenes as “good” or “bad” acting whilst other emotional scenes receive less commendable reviews. Most childhood scenes are a reminiscence of the adult characters as justification of action in the plot/storyline, that’s why we always end up having child actors/actresses crying their hearts out loud and clear (they ache the viewers’ hearts:) ) Ms Jin Se Yeon’s characters are always in comparison to the other female lead in the same drama, who displays stronger outlook. Whilst her characters don’t have the ability to fight the bad alongside the male lead, or be more outspoken, her characters always showcase inner strong personality that is willing to sacrifice her life in such turbulent times that her characters live in. That’s what I like about her characters (or the writers?!) Of course, some of her scenes are delivered flatly however I don’t think she’s a bad or dull actress at all. Just like a classical music piece, she probably needs to work hard on her intonation to deliver different levels.

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