Whether you like them or not, I think it safe to at least agree that the new generation of Hallyu kings are here and the overall consensus includes Kim Soo Hyun, Lee Min Ho, Lee Jong Seok, and Kim Woo Bin. Sure a few other popular around Asia twenty-something singer-actors like Lee Seung Gi and Jang Geun Seok could be included, but the media just loves to keep it at the round number four since the Hong Kong Four Sky Kings era. The media also lumps them together because all four new Hallyu kings coincidentally got their big break to insane popularity via a SBS drama.
I would go as far as to point out these four all hit it big in the same timeslot – Lee Jong Seok went first with I Hear Your Voice followed by Lee Min Ho and Kim Woo Bin in Heirs before Kim Soo Hyun cleaned up the audience love with You From Another Star. That this all happened in last year also points to something in SBS waters to combine with correct young hot male lead with the drama formula for success. I like all four so their meteoric popularity doesn’t bug me, and it’s about time since the original Hallyu kings from a decade ago either barely act anymore (Bae Yong Joon, Won Bin) or mostly doing film (Lee Byung Hun, Jang Dong Gun, Song Seung Heon).
New Hallyu Kings: Lee Min Ho, Kim Soo Hyun, Lee Jong Seok, Kim Woo Bin
Original Hallyu Kings: Won Bin, Lee Byung Hun, Bae Yong Joon, Song Seung Heon, Jang Dong Gun