K-netizens Disagree with Reporter Article on Nam Joo Hyuk Needing to Redeem Himself with Next Drama After Start-up But Agree that Song Kang Still Needs to Prove Himself

This coming weekend two new K-dramas are premiering, with Twenty Five, Twenty One on tvN and over at jTBC it’s Forecasting Love and Weather. The two dramas will not be going head-to-head, Twenty Five airs at 9:10 pm and Forecasting takes over the 10:30 pm time slot, but a K-ent reporter is noting that the two dramas have younger leading men that will need to show their ability to deliver success. Song Kang is still pending a big hit with a strong acting performance that anchors his continued casting in drama after drama, and that point of view the K-netizens agree with. But the reporter wrote that Nam Joo Hyuk needs to redeem himself after he got his leading man thunder stolen in Start-up by Kim Sun Ho and for that the K-netizens do not agree with at all. Netizens note that Nam Joo Hyuk delivered a nuanced and lovely performance but it was the screenwriter who wrote the second male lead character to shine more and the fans of the character of the second male lead overwhelming in their loud support for him. So there is nothing for Nam Joo Hyun to redeem and his prior drama resume has also shown his continued growth and improvement from Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo and The Light in Your Eyes.


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K-netizens Disagree with Reporter Article on Nam Joo Hyuk Needing to Redeem Himself with Next Drama After Start-up But Agree that Song Kang Still Needs to Prove Himself — 70 Comments

  1. I’m not a big fan of them.

    For Nam Joo-Hyuk in Start-Up, I think he wasn’t bad. His character was pretty well written too and the writer gave him a lot scenes where he could shine but he was overshadowed by KSH because he lacks a natural charisma. I find that his shy personality can be seen when he acts.

    But for the writting, he was pretty lucky, Suzy and Kang Hanna were the ones the writer made dirty.

    • NJH was the redeeming factor of Start-Up in case somw people feel the need to have one. His acting on that drama is on point.

      • I agree. It wasn’t my favourite show, but I loved Nam Joo Hyuk. I do like Kim Seon Ho too, but didn’t particularly thought that he outshone anyone.

    • First of all,Nam Joo-hyuk in Weightlifting Fairy, Bride of Habaek etc etc, have you seen? The Character Nam Do San was like that. His acting skills are amazing and you better not say things like he doesn’t have charisma equal to Kim Seon Ho. You like Kim Seon ho, like him, don’t spread your opinions against some one on the internet at least.

      • I give my opinion if I want. I don’t insult NJH in any way. But for me, he lacks charisma. It doesn’t show in role like in School Nurse and it suited his character. But in Start-Up or School 2015, he was overshadowed by his costars.

        And Bride of Haebeak was awful, NJH didn’t have any charisma to act as a god.

  2. Neither scream Star Power for me the way the newest It actors Park Seo Joon and Lee Jun Jo do. They also don’t show acting potential and choose popular over acclaimed works. Just my opinion.

      • They are both mediocre and bland AF but if they score a huge ratings hit one day, they will be hyped up by the same K-netz and K-media.

        Unpopular opinion but Jun-Ho was lackluster and had no starpower either until Red Sleeve happened.

        PSJ a new It boy? The guy’s been an established Hallyu actor for a while now. How’s he a newest It boy?

      • @?
        Concerning PSJ I meant the moment he became popular and an It Boy / Hallyu star which was recently with Itaewon Class.
        As for LJH, although I am biased because I saw his performance as phenomenal, my opinion is also that of the public. He is currently Korea’s It boy whether you like it or not. Also his previous works were all critically acclaimed and low key more than popular which really is a plus. He comes from a solid background rather than a hyped background unlike other stars,that’s why public opinion is more respectful towards him.

      • I disagree on Lee Junho. He had star power eversince his debut in Cold Eyes. He went to Toronto Film on his screen debut. Despite having minor role, he was part of the promo line up and the movie was a box office hit. If that is not star power, I don’t know what you call that?

        His first movie Twenty on starring role was a massive box office hit despite being and indie movie.

        If you check KBS promo materials on Good Manager (Chief Kim) – you will know who has contributed to the huge popularity. His character became iconic and many were parodying his character.

        Rain or Shine was on JBTC, I thought that drama was a masterpiece.

        Confession was another great drama and I thought his performance was amazing in here. Rain or Shine & Confession was not about Star Power but these two dramas cement him as a naturally brilliant actor with so much depth.

        Even while he was in the military, he has left the “Junho my house or Red shirt Junho” syndrome and was popular while inactive. If you think that’s not star power, I don’t know what that is?

        “Junho my house & Red Shirt Junho sydrome paved the way of “The Red Sleeve Junho” syndrome. Well you know how popular TRS is, even after one month, it’s topping the OTT platforms. He’s been topping on brand value as an actor, idol and even on variety.

        P.S. As an Idol he sold concert venues as a solo artist and did more or less 100 concerts shows including arenas. If that’s not star power, I don’t know what that is?

      • I totally agree on @Nano about Lee Junho. His popularity comes from a solid background and his works as an actor were all critically acclaimed. He is currently Koreas It Boy topping as an actor, idol, star and even Gooddata weekly variety buzz for two weeks in a row.

        Some international commenters refused to recognise his popularity but Korea is saying otherwise.

      • Jun Ho wasn’t mediocre for christ sake, he has been great in every role he played and his improvement has been immense, kindly do some research please.

      • @Salmon No one said Junho is mediocre but ? said Songkang and Nam Joohyuk are mediocre and bland.

        She (?) continued and said Junho is luckluster and has no star power. Who’s Junho is she talking about? ??? Which planet did she come from for her to say that? FYI; Junho may had been unpopular from 2008-2012, but the man became the biggest JYP solo talent since 2013. Minus the hype yet Junho became one of the well-sought actors right after his acting debut in 2013. Even The Red Sleeve director said that she really wanted to work with Junho since a long time ago and wanted to cast him in Radiant Office but unfortunately he was already signed to do the Good Manager.

      • Junho was always praised for his acting: Chief Kim, Just Between Lovers and Confession. He has the charisma! even in his bad choices (Wok of love)

      • @? – Lee Junho, “lackluster” before The Red Sleeve?

        Are you sure you’re even talking about the same person who was in Twenty, Chief Kim etc cause I can’t reconcile your comment with those performances lol, he is easily on par with fellow ’88 liners Kim Soo Hyun and Park Seo Joon talent wise. And if you are indeed referring to that same Lee Junho…then please let me have some of whatever you’re smoking cause it must be strong!

    • Never ever been a fan of Lee Jun Ho before nor I don’t think I like The Red Sleeve that much but his acting as king Yi San was fantastic, from his crown prince role to the older king he is iconic full of charisma.
      I tried watching other sarguk with young promising actors too…,compared to them Junho is really the best one. The one I fine boring is Lee Se Young acting, she gives no life or attractiveness to her character. The winning point from her is her chemistry with Junho.

      We will see how it goes for Junho in his next role, whether is he is really good.

      There are good rookie actors out there like Lee Do Hyun, I hope he gets more and more recogniton.. as for Song Kang, I’m really sick of him. He shows no effort in improving himself.

      Park min young will have to carry the drama by herself. Her winning point is always having amazing chemistry with her co star but this time i’m not even sure.
      Moreover, all PMY dramas with office backgrounds are always the same…

  3. I don’t understand at all why people dislike Nam Joo-hyuk’s acting in Start-up. For me his acting was brilliant and completely delivered the awkwardness, sadness and fascination for Dalmi. In that scene in the bus where they hold hands, I could almost feel his heart attack lol.

    • Same sentiments.

      NJH totally nailed the scene on the bus in Start-up. His role as Dosan was well written and I never felt that he was overshadowed by KSH.

      As for Song Kang, never watched him so I’m willing to give his new drama a try because I like PMY. His face looks a bit awkward to me in some angles.

    • @G V
      Thank you. My sentiments exactly. NJH was brilliant in Start-Up. The hype may have been focused on the other guy, but we’re talking about acting. He got it.

      • @Mindy – everyone cries in kdramas?? it’s actually one of the better things about the industry that men are written to have no qualms about crying. and he literally only cried when dalmi found out the truth? what a weird thing to pick on.

    • He was the only reason i even finished that show. The second lead was a major turn off and his entitlement and creepy obsession with the FL was nauseating

    • agreed, he fully embodied that raw nervous, unsure millenial role so well. later on, the anxieties he grew up with, the tipping point with his parents, and the fallout with dalmi were so heartbreakingly acted. dosan was my favorite character, and nam joo hyuk has gone and beyond in his all his roles since the light in your eyes. it’s really such a shame bc sml fans couldn’t go five seconds without shouting about his superiority, and somehow that became the zeitgeist position. ksh is talented, but the way everyone talked about him you’d think he was song kang ho level.

  4. I still don’t understand why Netflix went crazy and adopted Song Kang and basically ignored the rest of the LA and SH casts when they basically hard carried the dramas. Especially Kim Sohyun, Lee Dohyun and Lee Shiyoung deserved more Netflix love than Song Kang but for some reason the OTT platform acts as if he single handedly surged subscription rates or something. He was the only actor they picked for their global fan meeting event which made zero sense. And this is coming for someone who is very happy to see all the love and attention he received but it makes no sense to basically ignore everyone else and fixate on one person. Netflix is literally his personal PR team at this point.

    • Its very typical of netflix behavior though. They single-handedly made Noah Centineo into an Alist star who has now crossed over from their 5-6 ott platform movies to big screen superhero ones. Same as with Laura Marano who has set up a production company to supply romcoms starring herself to NF. 3 and going strong. SK must be charming irl to warrant such devotion from the channels decision making staff towards him.

      • That is true Lana Condor was criminally under promoted and ignored in favor of Noah Centineo despite being the main star of the whole movie series and the more talented of the two. Netflix has a weird criteria for picking who they want to put all their efforts into nor is it clear why they do it at all. Disney has numerous successful productions but you never see them promoting X actor over Y or any of that kind promotion. Even for Snowdrop they didn’t push Jisoo ahead of Hae In nor are they doing it for Rookie Cops so I don’t understand why Netflix does it. Is there some behind the scenes lobbying happening that we don’t know about which will be exposed in 3-4 years in some # campaign I wonder.

  5. I like him as an actor ,but he needs a role ,that will be iconic for him,to be admired as a decent actor.

    Eg PSJ roles in
    Sec Kim and Itaewon class
    LJH roles in Chief Kim and RSC

    I am comparing him to those actors described above.

    Staring in roles that were outshadowed by second leades doesn’t help him either.
    YSJ in school 2015
    KSH in Start Up.

    I hope he will get an iconic role soon.

    • i actually feel like he has no vanity about being the selling point of a drama or needs to have something be his star vehicle. almost all of his roles have been in projects with much, much more experienced actors and actresses, and i think it’s gone to help him with his growth. i do agree that he needs an “iconic” role to be taken more seriously, which is unfortunate bc he has already put out a lot of memorable roles.

    • He does best in projects where he is really more of a supporting character/takes a backseat in favour of a more skilled female lead. School Nurse Files, The Light In Your Eyes, even Weightlifting Fairy (Lee Sung Kyung was great in that role and the story was – as the title suggests – centred on her)

      That is at least in part because he doesn’t have the charisma/skill to anchor a drama that’s centred on his character (he was in the ‘young actor’ category for years but he’s 28/Korean 29 now, compare him to Song Joong Ki,Yoo Ah In, Kim Soo Hyun, Park Seo Joon, Kang Ha Neul or even Lee Joon at the same age he’s just not in their league). But this has the unexpected benefit of causing writers to change their typically male-centric story structures and give the women more to do and leads to a better drama in the end.

      • @royalwe

        Why don’t you add Ji Chang Wook to the actors you just listed? Even if his projects are not as acclaimed, his acting chops are on par with those guys.

  6. For Nam Joo Hyuk, I think he’s not that bad in Start Up. He is actually quite good. It’s just that Dosan character was written not as attractive as Jipyeong.
    As for Song Kang, I only saw him in Love Alarm and I didn’t finish it.

  7. I really love Nam Joo Hyuk and I really liked his character in Start Up, nothing to redeem in my eyes.

    Looking forward to both of these new dramas

  8. Nam joo hyuk is good, as in very good,I love both song kang and nam joo hyuk,but when it’s comes to comparing the two, nam joo hyuk has done more job than song kang, let’s stop criticizing nam joo hyuk because we now have song kang,like I said before,I can kill for both song kang and nam joo hyuk,but when it comes to comparing their work,nam joo hyuk is still the sumnae(senior)

  9. NHJ did already redeem with “the light in your eyes”…”Start-up” was a bad drama and, unpopular opinion: he had more chemistry with the second male lead and if not for the sake of the love triangle they would have been an iconic duo and both actors would have elevated their careers instead of the fanwars that diminished them.

    • i never thought of that but with some tweaking in the writing, dosan and jipyeong really could’ve been an iconic mentor/mentee duo.

  10. Nam Joo Hyuk just doesn’t stand out but he’s not terrible. Song Kang is just so wooden though my god someone explain his hype to me. He’s as bad as Cha Eun Woo but not as cute as him. Which company is he under because they deserve all the praise for getting him endless jobs

    • Not 100% sure, but I think it is Namoo which was Park Min Young’s agency until she recently left. I personally think that is why he got the job…it was a twofer.

      • Don’t think that’s the case though (about PMY’s power that made SK got the role).

        Namoo is really promoting him heavily. He is their current golden boy. Well, has been like this since 2020

  11. Yaaaaawn. Koala cherrypicking articles and “K-netizen” comments again to support her fave. We geddit, you love NJH and are still salty about his thunder getting stolen in SU. Go cry about it ?

      • Still better than your oppar NJH who always gets overshadowed by more charismatic and talented second leads lmao how embarrassing ???

      • @BlandAF your priorities speak to the kind of person you stan. i hope you are a child who doesn’t know better, otherwise how embarrassing.

      • Didn’t even mention THAT dude but suuure ofc the haters will come out lol. Oppar ??? sorry but NJH simply isn’t a good actor. He’s been given plenty of chances for years and is still as wooden and bland as he is pretty. Keep crying.

    • @Dosanlover IKR. I’m not even a KSH fan but the biasness is annoying. First with lowkey dissing Han so hee because she’s in direct competition with her fave, and now this lmao
      KSH getting into a scandal doesn’t change the fact that the dude overshadowed bland NJH big time, so I dunno why NJH fans are rejoicing over KSH scandal. Again, doesn’t change the fact that NJH is now known as the guy who always gets overshadowed by more talented second leads in his own dramas LOL ???

      • Why are yall randoms always so hung up about what Koala posts on HER blog. She’s literally just taking what is interesting news written by others n giving her take/allowing discussion. If you think you are so objective n dont cherry pick when blogging then go start your own. N quit coming here to whine n complain

      • You been in here long enough you can totally see how she low-key disses other actors she clearly hates/ promotes her faves in the guise of “news blogging”.. In true, lawyerly fashion ? Like just go out and own it, girl, don’t be shy lol.

  12. There’s obviously nothing to redeem. NJH is really good in specific roles and he’s had multiple great dramas. Song Kang, on the other hand, needs to go to an acting school. Also, I’ve never seen him have chemistry with his costars? Probably just KSH but even then it wasn’t great. HSH is amazing yet they didn’t have the spark. If someone needs to “redeem” themselves, it’s Song Kang lol.

    • no comments on song kang’s acting, but i thought he had amazing chemistry with ksh! it’s interesting how the same work looks different to different people.

  13. I disagree with the reporters comments. Nam Joo Hyun acted so beautifully in the Start Up. I was rooting for that couple to stay together from beginning to the end. The other male actors well. No one came across as shy.

  14. Poor Song Kang. His FL keeps getting older. KSH to HSH and now PMY. Even if you pair Han Ji Min and Son Ye Jin with him I doubt his acting skills will improve overnight. NJH ranges from not too bad to great in having chemistry with older actresses. It’s great both their romance heavy dramas are being aired by Netflix so I can do a detailed side by side comparison. Bring it on.

    • njh-ktr otp will fare better than sk-pmy otp with 9 year age gap. The latter will flatline like 11 year gap shk-jky otp whom koala swooning over. Another 9 year gap otp coming out is hong sisters’ return drama starring lee jae wook and jung so min. what’s the big age gap otp obsession btw? creepy and cringy.

    • someone trying to sabotage sk’s career by throwing ajummas at him. his next fl will be shk after she recovers from another round of botox. lol.

  15. Can’t wrap my head around why they wouldn’t pair SK with KYJ, KHY, KBR, KSJ, Cho Yi Hyun or Kang Mina. These are all age appropriate 22-25 yo actresses.

      • Ah, I understand/am reminded now after someone’s else comment. Possibly business politics, two from same agency although PMY has left Namoo recently. Another commenter mentioned no older established actor would carry on rom-coms. It’s a dead end route. Thanks for enlightening me.

  16. Neither of them are great actors, but at least Song Kang is lively to watch onscreen. NJH is just slightly better (emphasis on slightly) than SK, which is not hard to do, but boy is he boring onscreen, super bland and has zero charisma lol. Explains why he’s still not on par with top actors like Park Seo Joon and Kim Soo Hyun even with his agency pushing him hard all these years. Not to mention he’s always outshined by second leads in his own dramas, even by a freaking idol like Yook Sung Jae lol talk about embarrassing ?
    Mark my words, Kim Tae Ri will hard carry their upcoming drama lmao

  17. I think both lack charisma but Song Kang moreso than NJH. I do think NJH’s acting has improved and he was fine in Start-up, but he hasn’t particularly proven himself as a leading man who can bring in ratings. The Light in Your Eyes got good ratings, but he wasn’t the one carrying that drama. He’s good as the kind of shy, sweet leading man. His characters are all kind of similar though. Song Kang … He’s just not good at anything.

    • I agree. Lol at ppl here acting as if NJH is a good actor based off one drama. Lol. He has been pushed so hard by YG all these years, has the looks n height but zero charisma. His roles are all similar and not difficult to act out/similar to his real life personality. Weightlifting wasnt a hard role. Light in ur eyes was carried by other actors.

      SK is just terrible. Just like ahn hyo seop he has no chemistry with any of his onscreen partners. N it doesnt help that I dont find him good looking at all. He looks like a bug to me

  18. At least NJH is easy on the eyes. That SK dude is just very weird looking, sometimes he looks very plastic, sometimes looks smushed faced.

  19. you must be kidding me! his chemistry with HSH is over the top both on and off screen. Did u watch Nevertheless or may be we didnt watch the same drama?

  20. I agree. It wasn’t my favourite show, but I loved Nam Joo Hyuk. I do like Kim Seon Ho too, but didn’t particularly thought that he outshone anyone.

  21. NJH is not that bad. I think he’s improving way better ever since that Bride of Water God shambles. He was really good in both of his works with Han Ji-min (The Light In Your Eyes/Josee). I haven’t got the time to watch Start Up yet even though that one has been on the back of my mind for quite some times now.

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