Five Actors Make the Sports Donga List of Top 10 Korean Contents Worldwide Leaders in 2021 Including Lee Jung Jae, Youn Yeo Jung, Song Joong Ki, Shin Mina, and Ro Woon

Hahaha, four out of five that make sense isn’t so bad a batting average for this outing. Korean newspapers Sports Donga released an article listing the 2021 Top 10 Worldwide Korea Content Leaders, basically the ten people/groups in Korean entertainment that wowed the broader global audience. Of course BTS is on there lol, those boys remain singlehandedly generating their own Hallyu wave but I was more interested in the acting side of this list. Oscar winner Youn Yeo Jung is on the list for Minari, absolutely an acting legend and her acceptance speech as well *chef’s kiss*. Lee Jung Jae for Squid Game totally deserved, he’s been top of Chungmuro for twenty plus years but this is a whole ‘nother level of fame. A-listers Song Joong Ki for Vincenzo and Shin Mina for Hometown Cha Cha Cha also made the list, those two dramas were popular on television broadcast with domestic ratings as well as leading the streaming viewership on Netflix. But the final actor to make the lead just made me headscratch – Ro Woon for The King’s Affection. Like, whut? If he is that well known now internationally for TKA that’s great but I have a hard time believing it.


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Five Actors Make the Sports Donga List of Top 10 Korean Contents Worldwide Leaders in 2021 Including Lee Jung Jae, Youn Yeo Jung, Song Joong Ki, Shin Mina, and Ro Woon — 33 Comments

  1. BTS absolutely deserved. 61 million usd from 4 stadium shows alone and not counting ten of millions of merchandise. 100 of millions from online shows. Moreover the cf revenue they earn is out of world which includes 8 figure deals with lv and mcdie. More the love calls v and jin get by directors like hospital playlist pd. Top Hollywood movie director followed him on his insta. V has expressed he will do acting but in 30s. I guess after army service

    • nobody gives af about v and jin in korea. their osts flopped big time because of their poor ass vocals. v stans acting like he’s kyungsoo level of acting talent when his stint on hwarang was heavily criticized and went viral for how bad it was. bts has some of the worst vocal lines to come out of korea and are hard-carried by their rappers. jungkook is the only decent singer and the one who will likely be the most successful among GP.

      • Rofl who cares? They will get those offers bcoz of their global deals, sponsors they gonna bring and we r talking about drama not osts and sponsors and kyungoo ost flopped too. Go n cry to directors and pds who said BTS member should pick their phones! Male idols songs never work because men refuse to hear them because korean men, japense men r creepy who chase young female idols. V is bigger than exo has been kyungsoo. Thats why he has been offered record salary. Producers dont care what hater like u say. They know v is worth the money. And v’s vocals r amazing . His solo album gonna sell record anyway. They r global stars not local flop like suzie.. Rofl BTS are biggest korean acts and even ur k actors want to get pics with them not other way around. On oscars red carpet, bong hoon praised them. Noone cares what edgy bitter yg or sm or whatever fan think

      • just because V doesn’t have a high vocal rage doesn’t mean his vocals are poor. He has a great soulful baritone voice, which is not something Korean gp really go for. I’m glad BTS became as successful as they are now. And it’s not only talent that will get you to places, hard work, team work, passion, charisma, luck and perseverance can also bring you success. Like everything else they’ve done in their career, despite the negative criticisms and unwarranted hate, they will work hard, persist and a high chance to succeed as a result of that. And every BTS member contributes heavily to their success, not only in their music but also in their performances.

      • Bts hate is hilarious especially given how incomparably huge the group are globally. No other celebrity comes close. I don’t even like them anymore but you gotta be a special brand of delusional to think anything they ever put out now or in the future would “flop”. They have the biggest and most fanatic fanbase in existence.

      • when bts disband, they’ll only be relying on their rabid global fandom. GP and locals don’t give af about the individual members except jungkook who they see has as talented, not just relying on plastic visual like v and jin. people mention them because they want clout for their fandom, but in reality, laugh at the sheer lack of talent behind their backs. they are dancers, not singers. anyone who knows about vocal technique can see that SM singers are far ahead of bts poor ass vocalists. kyungsoo is an actor who is praised for his talent, unlike V who only has fandom power.

      • also, male idols songs never work is a lie. not when bigbang members topped charts in the past. even baekhyun and chen have charted some of their osts whereas v and jin’s osts free-fell from the charts. it’s because public recognize exo main vocalists can sing unlike bts vocalists. hybe keep pushing v and jin as singers when they should be pushing their only decent vocalist jungkook instead.

      • @kay – you sound deranged and clutching at straws lol. Who gives an eff about “vocal technique”, by your logic, Christina Aguilera should be a bigger pop star name than Rihanna or Britney Spears because she had a “better voice” but that’s clearly not what happened.

        I’m not even a BTS fan but their influence in Korea is undeniable, this mythical “Korean gp” that cares less about them than about Big Bang and the like is showing it in very funny ways (like keeping a 5 year old BTS song on the main music chart in Korea for the last….5 years. And another one for 2 years).

        As for their acting, wikipedia shows only one of them did an acting role 5 years ago in which he was like…7th billed ie practically an extra. And hasn’t acted since 2016. Are you seriously using that as the standard to write them off cause this is next level ridiculous.

      • bts as a group do well domestically but i clearly said bts MEMBERS’ solo music aka V and Jin’s OSTs flopped and free-fell from korean charts. it’s a fact lol. when they start going solo, jungkook and maybe suga/nj who are good songwriters is likely the one who well be successful. the untalented vocal line of v, jin, and jimin will have to rely on their rabid global fandom. and yes, V is a bad actor from what he has shown so far. even jisoo was better in her cameos than him lol.

      • You seem to have a psychotic obsession with V lmaaaooooo
        Get Help. It’s a new year, do something better than being bitter over a strangers popularity and success

      • Kind of agree that the ost is kinda bad, it’s only popular because they sing it but not because it’s a good ost or the singer is actually good at singing. I did expect more for a hype ost, shouldve

  2. The King’s Affection did and does very well on Netflix. They’re stronger than some original Netflix’s shows and for a sageuk it’s pretty rare. TIt was released in less countries. They did well in Korea too. He was pretty good in this role. It wasn’t only a gender bender, but Park Eun-Bin was the usual ML and Rowoon was the usual FL and he did well as the optimistic, caring and honest character. He balanced pretty well the funny and serious scenes. The King’s Affection wasn’t perfect but at least it never forgot its goal, from the beginning to the end, it was Hwi’s journey.

  3. TKA popular on Netflix and Rowoon is also an idol he’s a member of SF9 and his popularity as an idol also contributed to the pick

  4. Why you underestimate Rowoon ms. Koala ? He already famous since Extraordinary You. And The Kings Affection also doing good at Netflix Worldwide. And his acting is improving a lot like Knetz said.

  5. Rowoon being on the list definitely makes sense, and it shouldn’t be so hard to believe. Like the comments above, TKA is immensely popular, both in Korea (ending with 12% ratings) and internationally, ranking 4th in kdrama series on Netflix in 2021 and beating Hellbound and My Name, which is no easy feat for a sageuk.

    You can critique TKA all you want, but a lot of people actually enjoyed it. Also, even though Park Eun-bin is a veteran and was the star of TKA, he was amazing at playing his role. If anything, the way his character was written should be faulted, not Rowoon’s acting. He has improved from his Extraordinary You days, so much that he was able to deliver beside Bae Soo-bin and PEB without seeming out of place.

    He’s also an idol whose group recently had a comeback, and has numerous fans. He has a long way to go, but his star power shouldn’t be undervalued either.

      • Lmao, they were until this week in top 10 and the drama peaked to top 4 two times during its run which is rare for a historical kdrama
        And yes it is ranked at no.4 worldwide for korean netflix original series in 2021

      • I meant #4 for most watched KOREAN shows that were aired on Netflix in the entirety of 2021. The first was Squid Game, Vincenzo, Hometown Chachacha and then TKA. And it also achieved #4 in top 10 TV shows OVERALL on Netflix when it was still airing.

        It very recently dropped out of Netflix’s top 10 TV shows. Afterall, last week, it ranked #8.

  6. Koala, since u mentioned briefly about BTS, did u hear about Lee Yoobi rumored to be dating BTS’ Jungkook?? lmaoooo I’m an ARMY and we all had a hoot with that out-of-nowhere bit. Like which fanfic chapter did we miss?? ^o^ Both of their agencies gave swift denials too.

  7. I don’t understand why Rowoon is on the list either. His noona drama earlier this year with Won Jin Ah was a flop. That place should be for Park Eun Bin. The King’s Affection success was because of Park Eun Bin’s excellent, nuanced performance. She was the star who made the drama work, Rowoon was replaceable.

    • It was system with points (news, SNS, etc.). Rowoon is a model for North Face like Shin Min-Ah, he’s an idol, etc. It wasn’t about acting.

    • SWNK isnt a flop, it is underrated. Both the drama and rowoon himself were constantly ranking in good data survey, naver clips were always in top 10. Just because a drama didnt make it in local ratings doesnt mean it is a flop, lol.
      As for PEB she is an amazing actress no doublt but was relevant internationally before DYLB and now TKA. While rowoon has been relevant internatioanlly since extraordinary you. Also him being an active member of an idol group plus his international/local brand endorsements does count not directly but indirectly.
      And rowoon irreplacable?? No other actor can portray jung ji woon, a bisexual character, madly in love with his king as flawlessly as him one of the major point people watched the drama. The funniest part is you comparing PEB with rowoon, when she has nearly 20+years of experience in acting while rowoon is with 5 years of acting experience, ofcourse she had to nail her role perfectly.
      Laslty, TKA’s success though majorly contributed by PEB was a collective effort of all the casts.
      Didnt mean to brag about Rowoon’s achievements but ya you should stop dragging other artists just because your fav didnt make it in the list when the list of ranking itself is not that relevant.

    • Lol, didnt know PEB had such toxic fans.
      Have to say a lot but nevermind. Your comment is funny btw given that you are being ignorant because of your PEB tunnel vision(which i can understand) about the facts that why Rowoon in that list perfectly makes sense. Good luck to PEB for her future projects and you stay pressed because that is the only thing you can do?

    • And i also dont get it why ppl still have a heart to leave comment such they r the one who pro. When rowoon work his ass hard, there’s always ppl lying on his bed all day checking their phone, peeking up other’s life and then put the thumb to type something they think what they do in bed all day or holding up their smartphone all day is better than the actor that they pointing up is “should be not on the list”. SO PATHETIC

  8. Please do not underestimate Rowoon. He has come a long way since being a member of SF9 Kpop group.

    The drama, “The Kings Affection” has honed his acting achievement and airing it on Netflix has helped him known globally… not only because of his looks but because of his acting ability which improved alot.

  9. No one mentioned BP who has no comeback in 2021 but still make it to the list?

    I know, 3 of them released something last year, but BP as a whole wasnt. So happy for the girls eventho im not even a fan.

    BTS is unstoppable.

    Rowoon is quite popular but i expected someone else, Kim Soo Hyun, Jung Haein or Junho for example. But then he is also popular.

  10. I like rowon but I do questions it cause well, he is not that good in his performance but he is popular. I guess he should ride the moments and pick memorable role for himself. TKA is more of PEB and for saeguk, had they have not been on Netflix, I don’t think audience will bat an eye to the story. Hard pill to swallow but it isn’t that good , especially when you have red sleeve this year.

    • His name is “Rowoon” not “rowon”
      FYI he already has a memorable role, recognized by knetz and internatioanlly for his performance from his first lead role as “Haru” which is still relevant.
      And ya there will be many more to come in future…

    • I don’t agree. He was pretty good in this performance and had a great chemistry with Park Eun-Bin. It was Hwi’s story and Park Eun-Bin was great but Rowoon did his part, his character’s cheerfulness balanced very well Hwi’s coldness. He didn’t lack in the serious scenes like the lotus speeach or the fights.

      The drama did well in Korea too, not only on Netflix. So yeah, the audience liked the story. It was a new way to address gender bender.

      The King’s Affection was coherent from the beginning to the end. The Red Sleeve is not, they focused too much in the King for me.

    • As far as I know rowoon is really popular offcourse cannot be compared to BTS and other idol artist like BP and Twice but his acting projects like Extraordinary you She would never know and The King’s affection made him in the list also why you’ll ate comparing a rookie actor to an experienced full time actor like PEB rowoon’s main occupation is still an idol he is an active member of SF9(which is offcourse one of the most versatile music producing group) which is also rising popularity from 2020 now internationally from their appearance in Mnet show Kingdom also for a sanguk achieving they success internally is really rare also someone was compromisring it with red sleeve yehh it’s great sanguk but both have different storyline also the casts worked really hard to achieve this success hence I think we can accept his position in this list cause others artist are either moden time drama actors full time actors or totla idol group but rowoon is the only one there with both his idol work and acting work so appreciate him and his talent he is not just a visual candy for eyes but a very talented member of a extremely talented idol group SF9 which excels in every possible feild…

    • Matter of preference. Red Sleeve is more conventional and suits the taste of more conservative viewers. It was also promoted much more heavily by MBC. Whether it would be more popular than TKA among global viewers still needs to be proven. PEB has been acting since childhood so acting is like 2nd nature to her. A great actress needs a good partner to bring out the dynamics of the story. Rowoon being a rookie actor did an excellent job here beside this veteran actress.

  11. First off the list is based on data collected via different channels and categories without prejudice or judgement of the writer. Unless you are data dumb or in denial or has predefined standards, the list is a good representation of worldwide popularity of those on the list. To discredit someone because of your own prejudice shows your own ignorance. So stop being dumb and cheer on these people who work hard to be where they deserve.

  12. Matter of preference. Red Sleeve is more conventional and suits the taste of more conservative viewers. It was also promoted much more heavily by MBC. Whether it would be more popular than TKA among global viewers still needs to be proven. PEB has been acting since childhood so acting is like 2nd nature to her. A great actress needs a good partner to bring out the dynamics of the story. Rowoon being a rookie actor did an excellent job here beside this veteran actress.

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