K-ent Discusses How Visual Idol-actors Cha Eun Woo and L Have Redeemed Themselves with Latest 2021 Dramas

So I’m going to need reader feedback on this because I am not watching either of these two dramas. Not purposely avoiding but it’s just not (yet) on my watch list. L (Kim Myung Soo) and later arrival Cha Eun Woo have universally gotten praise for their insane near perfectly chiseled good looks. One would have to be blind to say either are not good looking. But since L added acting to his repertoire it’s been a bad to mixed bag to say the lead, and despite Cha Eun woo’s strong fan support the drama only fan hasn’t crowned him a natural born actor. Both have also struggled with drama ratings and reviews but appear to have turned the corner. Cha Eun Woo is getting positive feedback and solid ratings with True Beauty and L went from the lowest rated drama in like ever to hitting double digits in his current sageuk Secret Royal Inspector. K-media has sat up and taken notice so I expect more roles for Cha Eun Woo while L is leaving for his military service on a high note which bodes well when he returns in 2 years.


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K-ent Discusses How Visual Idol-actors Cha Eun Woo and L Have Redeemed Themselves with Latest 2021 Dramas — 58 Comments

  1. Pingback: K-ent Discusses How Visual Idol-actors Cha Eun Woo and L Have Redeemed Themselves with Latest 2021 Dramas - Kpopnchill - All About K-pop News

  2. I think CEW is slowly getting better. He was so stiff in GB. His chemistry with MGY and the 2nd male lead in True Beauty is what is keeping viewers tuned in I think. I’m not watching L in SRI yet…but he seems to be improving slowly also. That cat drama was just soooo bad though. I’m glad L might be redeeming himself for that one.They aren’t natural actors. Park Hyung Sik, although an idol first, is a better actor than either CEW or L imo. All three are insanely good looking so I think they are given a lot of chances to be on screen. Nothing wrong with that as long as they are improving…sort of like Suzy.

    • Park Hyung Sik is a natural actor. In fact, IMO he’s much better an actor than an idol. So as Im Si Wan and Lee Joon.

      Some idols require more time to polish their acting skills ie. Minho and in this case CEW and L. And ofc, they are some that never get better and better off relegated to supporting roles.

      • Yes, I agree. I love PHS’s acting and can’t wait for him to pick his next project since he’s discharged now.

        CEW and L will keep getting cast…stiff or not. They are way strong in visuals – as long as they are paired with real actors who can lift them up a bit they are fine. They just shouldn’t be paired with fellow female idols or other weak actors, because then it’s just going to be cringe. I am not above watching a show just for the eye candy. 😀

      • Hyung Sik turned out to be a huge pleasant surprise for me as an actor since I have no to low expectations in general for any idol-turned- actors. I also agree that he’s actually better at acting than as an idol, and the fact that he is able to generate great chemistry with all his co-stars is proof that he is naturally gifted in acting. I think he is definitely one of the best idols-turned-actors at present. On the other hand, both CEW and L are gorgeous (esp. CEW, my friends and I nick named him the “Korean Ken Doll” – LOL!) and will have plenty of supporters to enable them to continue to develop into better (or not) actors.

      • Yep. In fact he was the only reason i finished the awfully written, awfully styled, awfully acted from almost all across the board HWARANG. He looked good,had decent chemistry with Go Ara and totally outshoned Park Seo Joon. Though most fans adored him in Strong Woman, I liked him best in Suits and Juror 8. Totally concur that he is a much better actor than he ever was an idol. His eye acting is especially good.

      • Minho is really good in Lovestruck in the City, he only has a cameo kind of role but he’s so funny and I enjoy him so much as the harried cop who has to deal with a drunken JCW 😂 (come to think of it that drama is the first time I see Ji Chang Wook get a role that shows his talents in both comedy and drama)

        Hwarang wasn’t a good drama but Park Hyung Shik did well in it. He’s been a consistently really good performer ever since Nine and Sirius, I respect that he worked his way up from smaller supporting roles and didn’t just go for full length drama main lead like CEW (who frankly, is being hyped for the bare minimum kind of performance that would get any actually talented actor torn to shreds).

    • @Lydia1 Do you Park Hyun Shik fans have some kind of inferior complex towards Park Seo Joon that you always try to praise your boy by trying to bring down him tsk tsk Guys are friends in real life, but his fans are total turn off. From moment Hwarang aired until even today. All guys in Hwarang were good, cute and had a lot of chemistry with each other … and only PHS fans insist on his superiority, yikes.

      • I’m a huge Park Seo Joon fan and I also love PHS so I would never put PSJ down compared to PHS but everyone has their preference. Hwarang was just flower boy overload 😀 I watched that drama on a very superficial level and enjoyed it.

      • Nope. but these days any opinion on anything is perceived as woke, estrogen driven and gravitates only one direction and that is to bring another actor down. I have no problems with Park Seo Joon. He is one of my favourite movie actors and I’ve seen young cops 4 times. But I call a spade a spade – to me he was awful in Hwarang. So was V so was Choi Tae Joon. Different strokes for different folks. That drama was nightmare inducing for me and PSJ looked terrible in every wig they tried to him. Add to a chemistry free performance with Go Ara, it is what it is. So what if he is good friends with Park Hyung Sik in real life, should that be factored in when I watch dramas and give it my two cents worth to what the experience was for me?

      • By the way I am NOT anybody’s fan. I do have preference for certain actors, but do I set up instagram pages for them, folow them on their instagrams and twitter accounts? Nope. Do I send them cards on their birthdays or organise food trucks to locations? No. Do I join any actors/actresses fan cafes or make myself known to any community that gathers offline or online for any artists at all. No. Depending on your definition of a fan, I am a fan of simply dramas and the stars that were made due to them. Been watching kdramas since 1998 and never turned back since. My fan interest is at best the level of their participation and buzz generated when they meet good roles. Until the next impressive performance I see, then thats the kind of “fan” I am. That of a good work delivered.

      • @hoho

        I have to agree with Lydia on this one.😀 Park Seo Joon is an excellent actor, but he was not at his best in Hwarang (I love him, so don’t shoot me) and he was out acted by Park Hyung Sik in that drama. I also couldn’t stand V’s godawful acting. But considering it was his first role, it’s not a surprise. Go Ara also didn’t perform well in that drama but has markedly improved since then. Every actor has dramas where they’re not at their best, so it’s par for the course. That drama was bad/mediocre in many ways and for various reasons.

      • @Hoho

        In no way was @Lydia1 trying to put down Park Seo Joon. The comparison was drawn because PSJ is the lead actor in Hwarang but there’s no denying that PHS stole the thunder even when his character arc was destroyed by the second half. PSJ is a good actor, just not cut out for sageuk (at least not yet), given some more by an awafully written and directed drama.

      • Take your victim complex out of it, thanks. Anyone with eyes can see Hwarang was not a good drama and the role was poorly written and didn’t suit PSJ, but acknowledging the one blip in his otherwise stellar track record/reputation, doesn’t mean anyone is putting him down.

      • It was park seo jun fans who got angry at fans who LIKED park hyungsik MORE than psj in hwarang bec they said, the focus should be in psj bec he is the main lead. Before hwarang, phs isn’t famous. Fans only noticed him in hwarang and it’s a fact that he really outshoned psj there. It doesn’t really mean that psj is a bad actor. Maybe he isn’t really fit in sageuk genre.

  3. I don’t think CEW became better honestly. His voice doesn’t sound very natural in True Beauty. I think he’s not bad when he shares the screen with someone, but for the scene he’s alone, he’s cleary lacking, not knowing what to do.

    I wasn’t convinced by the Na-Ra in Secret Royal Inspector, she sounded and looked very modern. L was better.

    • I saw CEW in some variety shows so I think his real-life personality is a little on the quiet side. Right now I think he doesn’t have the acting tools and experience yet to immerse himself in a role in dramas and bring life to a character in a unique way and probably just relies on specific instructions from the drama director.

  4. No CEW didnt get better, if anything he’s more stiff than in his previous drama. As for L I haven’t watched this latest drama but he was good in Angel’s mission and has come a long way since Shut Up Flower Boy band

  5. It’s all exaggeration. CEW is at his stiffest and wooden-est in TB. It’s so bad that I, a hardcore Suho fan in the webtoon, is actually on Team Seojun in the drama. HIY is all charisma and CEW is just bland bland bland. The ratings aren’t great, either. I wouldn’t call 2-3-4% solid. It’s way below mediocre.

    L, on the other hand, is okay in SRI. It’s Nara’s too-modern-for-sageuk looks that can throw you off a bit. Plus the character inconsistencies and sometimes too dumb plot. The last episode hit 12%. Good for them.

      • Yeah CEW makes me don’t want to root for the character,even in rookie historian, I just want his character to be over.

  6. I am fan of him and think the first few episode of TB cha eun woo is kinda stiff but the latest eps show he put an effort in delivering dramatic scene which a improvement compare to his last saeguk drama made me cringe but his co star HIY is still better actor and his bless with chemistry with his all his co star which is why people tuning to his drama even tho they bash his acting

  7. I have watched CEW in Gangnam Beauty, Rookie Historian and True Beauty.

    TB is the most enjoyable, due to the excellent directing. For CEW, there are some scenes which hits the spot, some scenes he look positively awkward. The rest is the usual bland expressions. Overall I think he did improve, but then he was so far off the goal in the first place, so I just keep the expectations low and enjoy the visuals.

    • I think some of the worse ‘visual’ idol actors get hype for their acting going from godawful to just mediocre, when the bar is on the floor even going from godawful to just bland seems like a huge improvement. I’m going to be blunt, Moon Ga Young is like 50% for that. She deserves better.

  8. CEW is still bad, he nailed a few scene to be okay and people praise him like he is an acting prodigy, “oh he improve with just 3 main lead role”

    On the same note, MGY is lackluster compare to her previous performance in TB, she act good enough but she was better.

  9. Imho CEW’s acting was better in Gangnam Beauty where the character was naturally stiff so it didn’t show up his stiff acting. His bug-eyed acting in the saguek with SSK was a joke, and he hasn’t improved much in True Beauty. However he is very, very pretty to look at and is surrounded by a relatively strong cast, so we can overlook his acting. There are some actresses which make their leading men appear better than they really are; Im Soo Hyang and Park Min Young can; Shin Se Kyung cannot; and with Moon Ga Young it’s half & half. L had improved his acting considerably several dramas back – I was impressed by him in Ms Hammurabi; and absolutely adored him in Angels Last Mission: Love with Shin Hye Sun. I haven’t seen his latest dramas but I believe, like any actor, idol background or not; there will always be projects where their performance may be lacking for various reasons. However, I wouldn’t put L in the same category as CEW, but I also wouldn’t put him I the same category as Park Hyung Sik or Junho, for instance.

    • Agree that L is not in the same category, and he did work his way up from supporting roles to ML. Whereas CEW is cast almost immediately as ML based purely on looks. I think Ro Woon is a good comparison, he is a new ML based on visuals.

      • In Webtoon adaptation, the actors have to look like the drawing, it’s kinda hard to find actors looking so good, it’s why CEW is offered such role. His face is perfect, no question about it.

        In the case of Rowoon, he actually auditionned for the second role for Extraordinary You and Lee Jae Wook for the main one, but the PD chose to intervert. Haru was a very difficult character and if Rowoon was not perfect I think he did well, when LJW was the typical rich boy with daddy issues.

        If you say no to a lead role, it’s pretty risky. You’re not sure that they will offer you a new one. It’s what happened to Kim Jae Wook after Coffee Prince. Then, he had to wait for a long time to get a new one. So I guess it’s difficult for all these actors to say no, they will have to learn fast.

    • Moon Ga Young does have that ability, and I’ve seen it in her ever since that silly webdrama Exo Next Door. The Chanyeol guy they cast as the main lead was terrible, and she couldn’t make him act well but I remember noting that it was watchable mainly because she was carrying it on her back. I think she’s talented and hope she gets a role that allows her to really break our in the near future (preferably with a better actor than CEW).

      • Moon Ga Young previous drama with Kim Dong Wook is really good. KDW is an established actor, but I am still amazed he can turn a boring, cynical newscaster into a swoony ML. MGY shines even in the darker role and with older, more established actor. One of my favorite drama couples.

  10. CEW was fine in Gangnam Beauty and a bit on the so-so side in Rookie Historian. I enjoyed the dramas because of the story so I guess you could say, he didn’t ruin them. He is flat so this probably is going to come down to writing, co-star and director for him. I did not check out his recent drama.

    L is very hit or miss. I actually thought he started out fine in the ballerina drama but the writing didn’t help him out and I thought he didn’t do as well in the episodes before I dropped the drama. I also dropped the cat drama but totally because of the writing.

  11. i haven’t watched both dramas.. but my sister who is an avid fan of kdrama, she said that L is really good in acting. so i believe my sister.

  12. I do find L good in acting but not that too good, I don’t know about Eun Woo, everytime I see him acting I feel like he always act as a beginner, I think Hyungshik, Siwan, Kyungsoo and Lee Joon are idols who are best in acting

    • @Oxy Gen
      Prior to Im Siwan’s latest drama Run On, I’d be the first to say that Im Siwan made the transition from idol to excellent actor; but after watching his performance in Run On, I’m no longer sure about that. Yes, he and SSK have a very warm, cute and bubbly chemistry; I adore the drama and love the dialogue; but I’ll be the first to say that Siwan lacks onscreen presence and charisma in this drama. As a leading man, I expect him to command the screen even when he’s playing a nondescript character, (like KSH did in IOTNBO) but he isn’t; and this is the second drama where I’ve noticed this. I used to complain that he was often overshadowed by Hong Jung Hyun in The King Loves; which probably contributed a lot to the shipping wars in that drama. It might be that romantic dramas are outside his range and comfort zone, because he excels in other genres. And it may be that his acting suits movies more than dramas, (nothing wrong with that, there are plenty of actors in that category). I’ve noticed he doesn’t do a lot of dramas. I will say that he’s very, very good at picking his roles which is a great talent in itself. He has good connections, so I expect that he has a bright future ahead.

      • @Adal

        Totally agree on Siwan in Run On. Some might say it’s the character he’s playing but he lacks life, zest and yes, charisma. It’s quite telling that the viewer comments I’ve read of his performance in the drama are mostly fawning over his running form. I’ve seen him deliver in other dramas though so this one must be a misfire.

      • I think it supposed to be that way in The King’s Love. When the story favour Siwan character,when he got to do everything yet he failed to impress the girl and the viewer. A way more charming type acting will make the story unbalanced with how much they don’t give time for Jonghyun’s character story.

        I agree with Run On, Run On is pretty muted drama in the way that it’s coloured but I do think he doesn’t has that “I am rich” vibe. I think the character have to someone so nice, so oblivious and look like living without worry so you hate his perfect looking life but he doesn’t have that “untouchable” vibe

      • Absolutely agree re. Siwan. He is so dull onscreen. He picks great projects but his charisma absolutely cannot compare to actual actors. As you pointed out, Soo Hyun played a similar type of nondescript, dull character in IOTNBO but he delivered such intensity and vulnerability. These are the instances where I realize how even some of the so-called best idol talents are lacking. Onscreen charisma is something else, you either have it or you don’t.

  13. Yeah, whoever wrote this article is obviously trying to pander to the fans. CEW is as stiff as the day he first started “acting” and 2-3% in ratings isn’t something to write home about. The digital presence of True Beauty may be strong with the young, immature fans who just want to see oppa on screen but in terms of quality and drama legacy, it’s barely a blip on the radar. Aside from all that though, his sheer existence as an actor just pisses me off because it’s clearly only because of his face. He truly leads the charge for the bad rep actor-idols get even before they debut in their acting careers and deservedly so.

    L isn’t much different to be honest – he initially only got cast because of his looks and popularity and while he has improved over the years, his talent isn’t remarkable in the slightest. He’s had more flops than hits and I’ve never been excited to see him on screen so……..welp. I don’t really understand the point of this article LOL.

  14. I was one of his biggest critics in his last saeguk drama but now i see he improved enough for it to be bearable I’m glad he learned from all the criticism i hope he took time to improve his acting more and choose different genre not another school drama i want diversity in his character

  15. Their faces is the only saving grace of their acting. Both are “momentarily” actors who depend a lot on their look, because beyond that they don’t have any sustainable talent to pull of bigger, meatier of older roles. Im Siwan is also pretty to look at, but he has acting chops to pull of heavier and meatier roles. So CEW and L has a time attached to them unless they start actually improving.
    But also I want to say, that almost all idol actor or actresses has “limit range” problems. They okay/good in one roles, but meh in others and don’t have enough of versatility in them to get that actual “actors” aura and acting style in them. There is always that idol vibe and limit, that they can’t shred off for some reasons. Also majority of them should stop trying always be pretty on screen. Like seriously. K-dramas and movies love pretty, but rough edges also necessarily for realism in acting.

  16. Nam joo hyun and cha eun woo have god tier visual bad very bad acting skill should just stick to modeling or being idol to give chance to other deserving and talented actor

    • Nam Joo Hyuk was good in Case Nurse Files. I liked him there 🙂 Cha Eun woo if people have been following my posts is one of the actors I totally cannot stand. I used to watch his dramas when I was having a bad day so I can cringe and laugh at his awful acting. But I have had a change of heart lately – anyways I recently saw one of his earliest dramas and liked him there. Its called Sweet Revenge. He played himself and while it didn’t call for major acting, he pulled off his scenes nicely and suited the role to a T.

      • @Lydia1. Agreed Nam Joon Hyuk was very good in the School Nurse Files. I think it’s because the role didn’t call for much romance, and only playing a lost, semi-wooden, half-broken school teacher. NJH is good in the right roles within his acting range.

      • School Nurse Files was mainly the Jung Yumi show, he was really more of a supporting character than “the male lead”, so to speak. NJH is watchable to good given two things in dramas:

        1) Female lead-centric drama
        2) Female lead giving a good performance (Weightlifting Fairy, The Light in Your Eyes, SNF)
        3) His role doesn’t push beyond his range (I include Moon Lovers here, he wasn’t terrible in his supporting role and had cute chemistry as friends with IU).

        He’s just not an actor who can carry dramas like the 87 or 89line actors can, though. Which is fine as long as his roles are appropriately cast

    • @Adal … and also who he is acting opposite vs real life I guess. Keke. His chemistry with Lee Sung Kyung was really good. I saw weightlifting fairy 3 times and kept certain eps in my phone for rewatch as stress relief too but in a good way. That was my favourite series of 2016.

    • @Peym

      I too don’t get the hype over NJH, CEW and to add one more, Rowoon. Their acting sucks ass but because of their looks (and the latter’s height), they get praised for even their mediocre performances.

      • That why they get outshine by the seconde male lead cause they can’t hold their ground in acting sad to say they will keep getting cast for their looks and fangirls will keep protecting their oppa half ass performance

  17. I really like Cha Eun Woo,it’s true he has to improve but he is still young to get it. The drama is better than the weebtoon and the storyline is better too. Moreover the rest of the actors are good and funny, it’s only a school drama, but I saw the best parts a lot of times. I think we should give him a chance to improve because I saw how a lot of actors that are so bad but they are praised, for example Lee Minho , who I really find very bad at acting.
    The problem of CEW and L is that they are too handsome and people critics them for that reason.

    • There are a lot of actors with the same level of handsomeness and popularity but not criticized that much about their acting, so… what is the reason? There’s always jealous people, but if the quantity of people is this much I don’t think jealousy is the reason.

  18. I am loving Cha Eun Woo. He is def getting better. Boy is so young. I look forward so much from him. Compared to On Seung Woo or Kim Yo Han from their recent romance drama, Cha Eun Woo is killing.

  19. I’ve watched Cha Eun-Woo in Gangnam Beauty and tuned into True Beauty. I personally think he did best in Gangnam Beauty.

    And in all honesty, it feels like he’s just playing the same role but a tad more stiff. I really wished he would’ve turned down this role and gone for something more challenging.

  20. CEW is blessed with god-tier looks, but the boy has no screen presence. I judge actors on the charisma they exude in the quieter moments. Watching him brooding onscreen is akin to staring at a perfect Renaissance sculpture. But alas, my heart feels nothing. I sometimes even cringe in second-hand embarrassment. Just flat, flat, flat. I rarely have second lead syndrome, but I am actually more drawn to his rival in True Beauty because that actor is acting circles around him.

    He’s better at acting himself—a charming idol. He’s so cute and lively in those roles. They are doing him a disservice casting him in those tsundere roles. He has the looks, but he’s not good enough to pull them off!! You gotta have god-tier acting skills of a Ruyu Jun Yeol in Reply 1988I. The man is average-looking, but his Kim Jung Hwan was one hot namja.

  21. nooooooooo.cew not getting better.I dont know how he manage to get main role for 3 dramas when many actors failed to do so. i enjoy TB and enjoyed the drama but oooooh no. he is stiff.

  22. Oh I guess we’re at that phase where we have to call Eunwoo a good actor. Man the future of K-ent is bleak. This is the result of an obsessive focus on beauty over actual talent, charisma or screen presence and their intensely idol-obsessed culture. Kdramas are doomed lmao. China’s top idol actors are Jackson Yee and Wang Yibo while Korea’s biggest young actor is Eunwoo. This is so humiliating.

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