K-news Crowns New K-drama Kings Joo Won, Kim Soo Hyun, Lee Min Ho, and Lee Jong Seok

The K-media recently wrote an article crowning the four young kings of K-dramas, the ones who still bring in domestic ratings, buzz, and/or overseas appeal even in this age of low television ratings. On the list are Joo Won, Kim Soo Hyun, Lee Min Ho, and Lee Jong Seok, which will make their fans happy I’m sure, as well as create fodder for discussion and debate on whether their inclusion is merited and who might’ve been left off the list. I can’t say I would disagree with this particular list, and the only other currently buzzy star Kim Woo Bin doesn’t belong on this list since he doesn’t do drama lately.

The article starts off by saying that in the early to middle Hallyu era, i.e. the heyday of K-dramas, the standard for a drama superstar is to have a drama hit 40% in ratings. That’s not happened in years and right now the young actors and actresses trying to make their mark in dramas are residing in what the article calls “the graveyard of ratings”. But even then there are a few that still manage to shine brightly in this dimmed environment, and the articles calls out Joo Won for bringing in domestic viewers, Lee Min Ho and Kim Soo Hyun for being unparallel overseas juggernauts, and Lee Jong Seok for garnering solid ratings and buzz with all his projects.

The article calls Joo Won the current top dog of K-drama ratings among the younger actors generation. Starting with his debut drama Baker King, Kim Tak Goo garnering over 50% ratings, he’s gone on to deliver success ratings with weekend drama Ojakkyo Brothers, Good Doctor, and now Yongpal. He got solid ratings with Gaksital and his only two flops have been 7th Level Civil Servant and Tomorrow’s Cantabile.

With Lee Min Ho, his drama successes have all come with overseas love as his dramas other than Boys Before Flowers have not attained good domestic ratings. But his overseas success is overwhelming as his dramas sell for top dollar overseas including Faith, City Hunter, and Heirs. Those dramas also receive top hits on overseas streaming sites or get broadcast success on overseas networks. Even his movie Gangnam 1970 got a lot of attention from his overseas fans.

For Kim Soo Hyun, his success as the top ratings grabbing K-drama actor of his generation is hard to top as he gets both domestic ratings and overseas success. His drama The Moon Embraces the Sun got over 40% ratings and You From Another Star was the only prime time drama to get over 20% ratings in the last few years. Producer is the highest rated prime time drama so far in 2015. His movies Thieves and Covertly, Grandly were also huge box office hits.

Lee Jong Seok rounds out the list by delivering the same one-two punch as Kim Soo Hyun but not quite at his level yet. Lee Jong Seok’s dramas have all done consistently solid ratings from School 2013 to I Hear Your Voice to Dr. Stranger and the most recent Pinocchio. Just as important for developing his Hallyu reach, his dramas are also very popular overseas and got high license sale prices and view counts. The article discusses how production companies are vying for his involvement in their upcoming dramas, and suggests Lee Jong Seok stick with dramas as his movie career so far hasn’t taken off with Hot-Blooded Youth a decent success but No Breathing tanking at the box office.


K-news Crowns New K-drama Kings Joo Won, Kim Soo Hyun, Lee Min Ho, and Lee Jong Seok — 120 Comments

  1. Acting wise , joowon is far better actor than all 3 of them ,he’s a wall.only reason the other 3 are “drama kings ‘are because they have a huge fan base ,properly because of their face .
    Ksh over acts
    Lmh is just terrible
    And ljs is bland af .
    Joowon | wall

    • lmao watch out girl, the cockroach fangirls will come for you now!

      I agree that Joo Won is the best of the 4 but LJS/KSH are at least watchable and can emote well. Though it’s the other way around, LJS sometimes overacts and KSH’s ‘cool hero’ image like in YFAS can look bland.

      • @Daenerys- what’s a wall? slang/internet word for great?

        @pigsnout – who are the cockroach fangirls?

      • Okay , I agree with that aswell ! They are watchable but they’re not great as people make them out to be

      • Agree that Joo Won is qualitatively the best (Gaksital rips my heart out every time) but I think KSH is quite solid as well. His angst is absolutely heart-rending and genuine and it’s only when he’s playing bland, stone face characters (like Do Manager) that I find he struggles, he was great in Dream High and When it Snows For Christmas.
        Of the four I actually think LMH is the weakest? He’s not a bad actor but I feel he hasn’t rly been challenging himself the way the others have, his best role for me to date is still BOF

      • Hey you can’t call every LMH fan like that! So rude. You don’t like him..it’s fine. At least respect others favorites too.

      • @D – not gonna say anything about looking in mirrors, nope.

        “Who is Obama”, indeed. With that, I’m not surprised to see that Lee Min-ho’s fandom is viewed as a pack of crazies.

      • Very well said,i was an avid fan of lmh,ljs and ksh. I was just starting to watch joo won drama,started with ojakgyo,gaksital,good doctor. Wow. Speechless.his acting is awesome among the 3. Joo won is my super star. End of story

    • Inferiority complex towards LMH is big with this one.

      Then explain to us why his loved worldwide? dude has 51million+ fandom not for singing or anything else but acting.

      stop being hurtburt if you can’t look at things objectively

      • are you seriously asking this? Dude has 51million people for being handsome. That, + watchable acting. Objectively speaking, he’s indeed inferior, but I think that’s because he hasn’t venture much out of his pretty boy image.

    • I do not like Joo Won’s look but when he acts you really forget about what he looks like and get into his character! Super cool that way.

      With the others, you may or may not get there depending on the script and whether the character suits them.

      • ditto! I wasn’t and still am not a fan of his face but he delivers in whatever character he’s given (even with awfully written ones). and it really doesn’t hurt that he sings so well! am such a sucker for great vocals!

    • i gree with u… joowon is the best between of three them …everything is interesting about joowon …. face, skill, acting, singing

    • i gree with u… joowon is the best between of three them …everything is interesting about joowon …. face, skill, acting, singing .. ect

    • Yes, totally agree JOO WON is an actor of exceptional calibre and talent compared to all the other three. JW is a class of his own and he is brilliant in delivering all his characters. He is also a well mannered and warm hearted soul. No discrimination intended but only expressing what I see from dramas and live interviews etc.

    • Agreed. I don’t even find joo won as impressive as some people make out to be. He looks clueless most of the time. Even when he is suppose to look smart.

      • I wonder how you were able to say so that he looks clueless most of the time? ‘coz I have watched his dramas and he sure as hell make it seem that he has been doing what the character has been doing for years (baking, being a doctor, etc)

        Well to each his own I guess?

  2. I just don’t understand the avident inferiority complex towards Lee Min Ho? who are these people perhaps kpop fans or other fandoms. there motives is easy to notice since they come from really vicious places must of the time..

    Its like there brains are screaming ”Why you successful you SOB piece of shit”

    Why can’t korea really accept successful in there society is it perhaps because they are a competitive society who would feel inferiority complex towards people who are successful. Koreans need to learn how to accept successful people and that it comes it hardwork

      • Who is Obama?

        Does he have >50 million fans?
        Does he work as hard as Lee Min Ho?
        Is he loved worldwide?
        Can he act?
        Can he touch lives?

      • @D such a delusional fan. So i assume you are living on outerspace for not knowing barack obama. If you measure success as how many fans you got on facebook then good bye to you.

      • haha, neither amerinca nor korean, but D, you better question your knowledge when you asked this questions :
        Who is Obama?

        Does he have >50 million fans?
        Does he work as hard as Lee Min Ho?
        Is he loved worldwide?
        Can he act?
        Can he touch lives?

        im lol-ing here. are you sure??? is minho gets loved worldwide? if you think so, why there are some people saying his acting terrible??
        i like 3 of 4 guys since i dont like LJS so whatsoever. but reading your comment is just meh.

        obama is a president. you cant compare him to LMH. Minho doesnt deserve to compare to a president like obama. you can compare minho to other actors but not to someone who works hard for a country.

      • LMH and Obama are on the same page since both of them work hard for there countries. Lee Min Ho is an asian Icon his in history books

    • I agree with you since mostly all fandoms desire to be at the top so they target him with jealousy..

      I have even seen some saying why his promoted here or there thinking even articles are giving him egde some even say why not others being promoted. they are basically like kids why him mommy!!!

      The inferiority complex is so low with others that they say his taking the spotlights from others do to his media time? what his not even in the media that much? you can’t really blame your biases shortcomings on someone else. the LMH haters are the mostly irrational

  3. KSH/LJS/JW are equally good actors although I thought JW tend to overreact during crying scenes. I ended up LOL watching him crying in some scenes. LMH on the other hand has limited range and his melos were cringeworthy to say the least. But bow to him as the most successful korean actor outside korea.

  4. @manwha, not only competitive spirit among unstable emotional Korean society, but the way they marketing the stars irks most of the people. Antis are born not for just having fun but when the marketing approach always using this person as the “MOST” e.g beautiful, talented, humble. kind versatile”-it really irk some who didn’t see that. Best example the latest article on the Kim Ta Hae, non stop cheap promotion on her beauty is actually a laughing stock for foreigner who used to see million of Korean girl more beautiful than her.
    Teenagers fans absorb everything given to them as long as it matches their bias, but to non fan, slowly the anti feeling growing inside because they feel they are being fed with lies.

  5. Give credit where credit is due. Nobody is getting this kind of love and standing ovation worldwide for being terrible. LMH do things that is only unique for him which have seen him became incredible successful in his field as entertainer

    • If overseas success is measured by fandom, LMH wins. If success is measured by earnings and star power, KSH wins. Both are successful in their own rights.

      • Your comment is probably the only legitimate and hecka accurate one in this article. But then again, this blog has rarely generated mature discussions over this matter since its full of delusional fans and irrational haters who exaggerate on both ends.

      • I agree with you and like @Xxx stated, you’re the 1% of sanity in threads like these (which is the expected statistics from my personal observation) I’d like to hear your opinion on the other two actors mentioned here.

  6. So happy Joo Won is included. Yong Pal is really good and I hope they’ll keep it up. I wouldn’t say Tomorrow Cantabile is exactly a flop. On local ratings maybe but it still garnered buzz and somewhat positive reviews online. Not exactly bad as compared to other remakes.

    Up until now I still love going back to Lee Min Ho’s City Hunter, Kim Soo Hyun’s TMETS and Lee Jong Suk’s I hear your voice so they are also dear to me.

  7. I hope to see Lee Min-Ho soon.
    Guys, can you recommend K-Romantic comedy for 2015 that I can watch? Been busy lately.. I do not have any idea now what to see ? Thanks in advance for your attention…

    • LMH is doing joint project with Chinese production house and I think it’s the best choice he take since he has huuuuuuuuuuge fandom in China. Doing any drama is a risky move for him while entering Korean movie doesn’t guarantee a success.

      btw for drama recommendation try “Oh My Ghost” with Park Bo Young it may be less comedy but still good drama

  8. In terms of acting skills I wold rank them as follows :

    1. Joo Won
    2. Lee Jong Seok
    3. Kim Soo Hyun
    4. Lee Min Ho

    In terms of looks maybe its the other way round lol.

    • agree with u regarding acting skills but not with the looks…beauty is in the eyes of the beholder…besides looks may be different when in personal some may not be telegenic or photogenic but appears otherwise in person. I have watched korean shows and all the hosts were saying that Joo won is really good looking and has a small face.
      Anyways all 4 actors are good in their own, fortunately for Joo won, his dramas is unbeatable in ratings, his projects are left n right and he’s also doing musicals, so even if he has less endorsement his still making money as much as them…

  9. All talented and all of them has weakness too. No body’s perfect.

    Agree Jo Woon is one of the better actor in his age however, personally I never felt he’s good to deliver emotions. His musical actor, so he’s really good to make such kinda expression which I think sometimes it’s overact. When he cried, he rarely make me feeling sad. But I enjoy watching him making his face with very theatrically sad. Joo Won reminds me seeing the high skillful technique of popular singers. Those singers could reach high note or make such kinda very difficult crooked in their performance but that’s all. I couldn’t feel sad when they sing a sad song or I couldn’t feel joy when they sing a happy song. I just amaze with their technique vocal. Same as Joo Won. He’s skill-fulled actor but he can’t make me sad when he cries or can’t make laugh when he does something funny.

    Kim So Hyun is pretty simple actor. I don’t think his actings is very sophisticated but he can make me feel sympathy when he cried or laugh when he did something silly. And he’s lucky because he has such kinda face that very easy to be loved by many. And at least till now, I don’t think he’s pretty versatile.

    Lee Min Ho. I’m sorry, but until now, I don’t feel anything very special with him (doesn’t mean he’s bad actor though) but his characters usually easy to make girls fallen. Perhaps, my opinion would change when he chose more challenging roles.

    Lee Jong Suk, mmm… only watch him in Doctor Stranger. His acting is pretty good but still I don’t find something special.

    IMO, actors that should be included in terms of acting is Yoo Ah In. Too bad his projects never had high ratings.

    • Yoo Ah In’s movies are smash hits though. First Punch and now Veteran….being a lead in a movie that sold over 5 million tickets is no joke.

      And Secret Love Affair was possibly the most acclaimed drama of 2014 and got smash hit ratings for cable. He’s talented and not at all lacking in success.

    • Yoo Ah In’s latest drama Secret Love Affair was a huge success. His currently box office movie Veteran surpassed 7 million 2 weeks and is going to break through 10 million admissions. He’s not overhyped and underrated yet the best actor,and he has his own league ^^

  10. Lee Jong Sok is the youngest out of 4 and he is getting better and better. But his best acting is School 2013 cuz I couldn’t stop watching the drama. :D. The fact that he is the youngest actor in history to be awarded the Grimae Awards saying a lot about his acting skill.

  11. i like joowon, kim soo hyun and lee minho. i wish woobin will be more participated in drama so he will in this top 4.

    minho should thank his F4 side, it made him today.

  12. I just think its plain and simple sad seeing the korean society being anti-heroes.

    Everytime LMH wins an award he talks about his country and how he wants to rise the hallyu wave, his a very nationalistc who stands for his countries service as his first object. He was responisble for the BOF craze that started the international mass journey into hallyu content and since then have worked really hard for it.

    RIGHT now his the face of korea tourism literally trying to bring back the korean financial crisis due to decrease of tourist so he wants to bring some of his >51-million fandom who are largere then korea’s population but what makes me sick to my stomach is seeing bad comments like ” Die lee min ho just die you horrible idiot” I have seen many death comments on him? all of this because of insecurity towards a successful individual who has risen their nations reputation? hack even when koreans go overseas they meet people asking them about LMH.. His patient despite all of this sad facts and good things happen to good people.. they say he dosen’t look good and then other times he looks good thats why his successful how about you stick with just one of these to.

    As somebody earlier mentioned you just don’t get loved and standing ovation worldwide for being terrible in your field. he has an X-factor that nobody will develop in this life time.

      • I really really like what you said @dramafan. What I love about LMH is the way he perceives his assumed responsibility as a Hallyu star. He is patriotic and he is humble. Other fans can say that they like their bias more than him but there really is no comparison at all. They are all talented and handsome in their own way but I really cannot understand haters who wish to see LMH fail. His star shines like a diamond and day by day, his fandom just keep on increasing. I like how he molded himself in to being the actor that he is right now and there is so much room for improvement which he admittedly hones to develop. I just wish the four of them to maintain their status and I pray that they will keep their feet on the ground.

  13. I’ve seen at least one drama from each of these man and they’re okay-overacted at times (I find Lee Min Ho the weakest of the 4). I’m probably in the minor who prefers older/veteran actors (Kim Rae Won, Son Hyun Joo, Ha Jung Woo, Park Hee Soon, Jang Hyuk, Lee Beom Soo, Lee Sun Kyun, Chun Jung Myung, and Ryoo Seung Bum). I think all of those men are much more versatile and much better at the craft.

    • YES to all the men in your list.

      Especially Ha Jung Woo is incredible, there is no genre and no type of role he can’t do – sageuk, romcom, thriller, action movie, he does it all and plays roles so different from each other that sometimes I have trouble believing it’s the same guy.

  14. I just straight up laugh at these comments putting LMH below actors who dosen’t move a needle..

    Lets be real here with each other.. LMH didn’t became LMH for Singing, Reality personality or media etc etc..

    He humbly started his life on the screen and everything of his success is coming from the screen take nothing away from the boy. he has had his shaky rookie life and as everybody knows an actors life is hazardous.

    LMH came out of the screen literally and he earned the love of the viewers which is the most important thing for an entertainer to gain. Without a doubt his a elite entertainer or otherwise he would have never been here..

  15. Only reason LMH is surviving because of his looks and girl fandom whereas acting wise he sucks big time…Ksh is average actor…Ljs is young among them and is improving only jo woon as actor that amaze you…

      • @ Manhwa I agree with all your comments. It’s not like one day I get up and said Let ‘s follow this guy Lee Min Ho . He is from Korea. What I know for Korea ? I know N.Korea, S.Korea and I know capital of SK is Seoul.Like or not the guy has the it factor. His acting is not the best but it’s not the worst either. He open the doors for many others to the rest of the world including the guys above. When I say world I do not only mean Asian countries. I do love ” Oldboy” and the actor there . No way any of the 4 guys here can be close to the talent of Choi Min Sik but with out LMH getting my attention I would never could get introduced to him. I personally Thank this young guy for opening for me a complete new world so different from my Western culture.

  16. Fav projects
    Lmh = city hunter
    Jwn = bridal mask
    Ksh = moon embracing the sun
    Ljs= don’t like any of his projects lol sorry ,he has yet to “wow ” me.
    I think Lmh is fit to due only action roles ,rom coms aren’t his things ,joowon is versatile as hell so he can do w.e ,
    Ljs should do an action film

  17. I have seen the same usernames who are saying LMH is successful becomes of his look.. that he was ugly few articles ago! why do you speak with different tongues?

  18. I’m so biased because I’m a huge fan of all 4 actors for different reasons. At first I just loved every Kdrama because it helped me escape from my own life and step into one where romantic comedy and action could overcome every dramatic obstacle. Over the years I’ve grown more picky and noticed more acting details like every true obsessed fan but it still hasn’t changed my views of their success in my eyes. I remember my first and favorite drama of them four and to this day wouldn’t be the American who adores Kdrama like I do now if it wasn’t for them. So Congratulations boys for getting more recognition of y’alls achievements!!!!

  19. if it’s about acting joo won is the best, if it’s about popularity overseas it’s lee min ho. for drama choice i will choose joo won, i love many of his drama n he always become different person each project, i like ksh only in dream high, ljs in school 2013 n i hear your voice but the role seem similar never like lmh in anything

  20. Yoo Ah In and Song Joong Ki aren’t in this conversation because of age and popularity; even if they are really popular. I find their acting better than these four. But I agree with this rank and I like them all. If only Yoon Si Yoon was more popular; he was the highlight of Baker King for me.

    • Song Joong Ki, yes.

      Yoo Ah In–err no. He’s average. He hasn’t proven himself to me. I am hoping with his upcoming historical drama though!

      Where’s Choi Seung Hyun (BIG BANG’s TOP) in this? I’ve loved his recent Kmovies. I guess he doesn’t fit since he’s in movies.

  21. I never got the deal with joo won l.never watched him in anything ..
    I have a love hate relationship with lee min Ho ….
    KSH can act esp in when he played the child counterparts esp in will it snow this Christmas and he was adorable in dream high ..
    Ljs I just can’t get past his nose..
    But. They are huge super stars ..agreed ..that all have their charms ..

    If I have to say ACTORS
    Yoo ah in does it for me….he is smooth
    And I like Ji chang Wook too ..

  22. I really don’t care much for what roles you did but can you really entertain and win over viewers if not then get the fook out there with your conspiracy yada yada. In truth Lee Min Ho is the far SUPERIOR ENTERTAINER SLUSH ACTOR period there is no debate in that. thats what makes him stand out

    • If you really can’t entertain the larger audience while being on screen then you should step down. LMH feeds the audience on a worldwide plan something the others can’t claim

  23. According to you Joo Won’s a wall, but he was not able to save Nodame.

    KSH overacts but his dramas are successful in and out of SK.

    LJS is bland but he was able to save DS.

      • His acting is good but brag only about it being a wall when all of his dramas and movies are a success or if he had won all the daesangs.

      • @asianpoopfangirl
        There are a lot of things contributing to a drama’s success and likewise its failure. Cantabile and Level 7 were both remakes and were not really received warmly because of fans’ favor over the original version, poor plot and a few other factors. But, Joo Won performed well and was praised for his acting despite the poor storyline and ratings.

        I wonder what your take on LMH’s acting coz you mentioned the 3 and left him out.

  24. Didn’t Heirs had 25% ratings for last episode and City Hunter had 20%? I think they are awesome numbers for domestic ratings. And LMH’s least successful drama Faith had 10%. So BOF is not his only domestic hit I think. You can’t change facts.

  25. OK Everyone has a right to their opinion but PLEASE be respectful so WHAT if you like so and so better just because you do does not mean it gives you the right to throw dirt on the other!! IMO I think LMH is the best but again as I said IMO so because I soooooooo like him as an actor I don’t go around throwing dirt on the others regardless of what I think of them.. So I hope everyone can be that way keep your ugly comments to yourself praise who you like but don’t put anybody’s actor down it is common courtesy!!

  26. I don’t feel Baker King success was due to Joo Won. What really kept me engaged to Baker King was YSY (it was the first time I saw him in a drama). Kim Tak Goo! Even to today, I still remember the name bc YSY did such an amazing job. His smile fitted the character so well too!

    Out of the four, I actually like least is JW. Sorry to fans who think he’s such a great actor. As for acting wise, none of them really stand out except LJS. Look-wise, LMH for me! lol..KSH comes close.

    Anyways, as much as I like most of the guys on the list but I do agree that they’re very over-rated. There are many better actors out there. Then again, they are not the only ones who are over-rated.

  27. Kim Soo Hyun is the best to me. He’s the most well rounded amongst all of them. He’s got the looks, acting and singing skills, star power, and of course his shy humble personality.

  28. after watched ksh in producer, thieves, covertly grandly
    joowon in bridal mask and 5 ep of yongpal,
    ljs in dr. stranger, no breathing, face reader and Pinocchio,
    lmh in bbf, faith, heirs and gangnam 1970,

    my rank for better actor : ksh>>joowon>ljs>lmh.
    Talent other than acting : ksh>jw>lmh>ljs
    their off screen image, I like ksh and joowon better.
    personality wise, so far, I like ljs than others

    but none of them my fav though.. 😛

  29. My two cents…
    Joo Won- I don’t actually follow his career but his dramas (Gaksital/Young Pal) make me pay attention to him.

    KSH- I never got the hype. He can be a good actor but…
    LMH- like him! I hope he would stop doing high school dramas and do something else (on tv, not talking about movies)

    LJS- my personal favorite of the four! He needs to do challenging roles but I like watching him/his dramas.

  30. I like the four of them. I’ve seen them in some good stuff and always hoping to see them in good projects in the future, too.

    Though, what I find more amazing of all, is how even Obama got mixed into this discussion. I did not see that coming.

  31. Joo Won–sure.
    Kim Soo Hyun–a bit overrated and let’s admit it, his crying scenes are cringeworthy.
    Lee Min Ho–has gotten over the years from God forbid, BOF.
    Lee Jong Suk–meh. I guess…

  32. Pingback: Case of the new Hallyu Kings: China the common denominator? | Mitta

  33. Why in the hell is something written by some kinda of biased sasaeng fan posted on the comment sections ”Case of the new Hallyu Kings” what in the world is this bullcrap this is the first time things as shady as this popped up from the comment section which shows why you are a sad individual and pressed..

    I really don’t get you koala do get any pleasure of being extremely disrespectful to some actors individually is that why you chose to do silly and half assed biased shiit writtings that is quite insulting and atleast the sasaeng you posted could have written the correct details instead of with holding all infos and giving absolutely meaningless facts. atleast write something that is based on facts or qoute people who write things that is based on facts.. You should have some sense of shame before spitting things out and everything has its consequences

  34. my eyes must be deceived me, rite ???

    Did i really just read someone comparing Obama to Lee Min Ho ??? Like seriously ??? Gawd, idk ppl and the world could be so ignorant pfiuuhhh :/

  35. LMAO this article. 2 months later the list will change. No more 4 or them. Trust me. So stop fussing over this useless piece.

  36. Joo won and kim soo hyun is my favourite among the four.their acting is very good and versatile.joo won suit with unique characters and action.ksh is good in comedy like producer and melo.i really like his crying scene it look neutral

    No really like ljs but still watchable and for lmh i don’t like lmh and never watch his drama .sorry for lmh fans….

  37. I’m probably in the minority, but KSH is my least favorite of the four. Joon Won’s definitely the best actor, no competition, and my favorite actor in k-dramas (along with Song Joonki). Just wish he could get more international popularity (he has the least amongst the four). Hopefully, Yongpal will do that for him. Acting wise, i’d rank them JW>>>>KSH>LJS=LMH. I don’t like KSH but i admit his crying scenes are great.
    Apart from Joo Won, the other three come off a bit stiff to me. They seem to act only from neck up. Seo In Guk and Woo Bin have them beat there too.
    Joo Won fighting. People keep hating on his looks but i find him and his acting hott!

  38. Regardless of this blogger’s bias towards LMH, LMH is still the face of KOREA… U guys just always use his name to generate response and create fan wars, but u will not succeed. LMH = success.

  39. Surprised that people even bring acting in conversation about Hallyu 4, when this is not about acting whatsoever. Even slightly. The fact that they took out KWB right in the moment when he stopped doing dramas (and went out of drama fans radars) and put Joo Won once his drama hit big, should tell you guys a lot. It’s popularity contest. That’s it.
    Also, some fans here annoying.

  40. Joo won’s acting is superb. As always. He should be commended and given the best among the best of the awards this year. Because no one can pull Yong Pal, other than him. Other Korean actors his age (like lee min ho =p) will simply relay the character in the most ordinary, less intense – mediocre- manner.

    Joo Won is handsome in his own right. He’s becoming more and more handsome the longer you look at him and get to know him.

    He’s never a face value kind of guy because he’s not your typical flower boy. He has a unique face fit to take in any role.

    In terms of talent, he has an angelic voice to match his angelic looks (especially when he smiles and sleeps =p).
    He can dance really well (try watching his musical stage performances), only he doesn’t showcase it that much because his focus is in acting.

    Looking at Joo Won is like looking at face of versatility.
    Because Joo Won is versatility personified.

  41. Dear zhellen
    I hope you will change your mind after you watch “REAl” by kim soo hyun. I agree that joo won is a good actor but he is not the best among those about his age. The word “overact” don’t just apply to actors but also for their fans.

  42. Dear zhellen
    I hope you will change your mind after you watch “REAl” by kim soo hyun if you have not watched his covertly great. I agree that joo won is a good actor but he is not the best among those about his age. Certain emotions he portrays can be funny. The word “overact” don’t just apply only to actors but also for their fans.

  43. Dearest Angel,

    Thanks. I’ll try watching that. I also appreciate your description of Joo Won’s acting as “good.”

    and oh, I totally agree that fans tend to “overact.”

    I’d rather describe myself as “theatrical”, though. =p

  44. Joo won’s the best out of the 4 for me. There’s a reason why he’s dubbed as “King of Drama Ratings” And let me just say, they’re DOMESTIC ratings too, not overseas. Like the article said, nowadays it’s really hard to bring in domestic views. A drama over 20% ratings which Yong Pal has now reached, is considered outstanding.

    Also, Joo won’s not afraid to take on challenges when it comes to acting, and that’s why his characters are all widely ranged. I hated his character so much in Kim Tak Gu that I had to pause the drama midway, but when Good Doctor came out I absolutely fell head over heels for his adorableness. He may not be as good looking as the other three but hey he’s not bad either, (he’s definitely above average). I mean at least he doesn’t have to depend on his appearance to get him popular. He’s legit.

    I used to be a HUGE fan of Lee Jongsuk but lately I’ve been getting kinda tired of the characters he plays in dramas. They’re all too… similar. Like he’s always the “smart” one in them, the one no one can beat, the prodigy. Even in movies too like No Breathing. He’s good but I just wish he would test out new waters sometimes.

    I don’t watch a lot of dramas from KSH and LMH so I don’t have much to say about them(aside from the fact that they’re “a bit” overrated)… Although You who came from the stars, I have to admit, was quite entertaining.

  45. PERSONALLY,JOO WON IS THE BEST OF FOUR IN ACTING. HE ALWAYS TRY DIFFERENT CHARACTER AND I HAVE TO SAY THAT HE SUIT EVERY OF THEM. FROM villain in King of Baking,Bridal Mask to the good guy in Yongpal and the best is his autistic character in Good Doctor.He do all of them really well.
    About Lee Min Ho, he also good at acting but he should try some new kind of character.I love his character in City Hunter very much.
    About Lee Jong Suk, his acting is good but he always choose a smart character in many way and fall in love with someone, most of romatic dramas. Unless, he choose different characters, he is going to be bland.
    About Kim Soo Hyun, i love his character in Embrace the Moon,he do it well. But the rest of his dramas didn’t suit me,like ‘hero’ character in YFAS. He is not so impressive, but i have to agree that he crys well. I think ”Producer” drama is his worst drama i have seen.Too similar to Dream High and have no impression,every actor can do that.

    • i agree about Producer. and it really makes me wonder why he won awards because of it. his acting was okay, but not enough. the drama as a whole was a huge MEH. sure, the endless cameos were fun. sure, KSH was a little cute. but that was it. it was so… boring… and when it finally looked like the characters were getting somewhere, the drama ended. made me want to throw my laptop at the writers when i saw the ending

  46. Honestly, Joo Won hands down! His acting is really heart wrenching. You can tell how passionate he is when he acts and how much he puts in every scene. I’ve watched the other actors as well but I never really found myself going back or watching their other dramas cause they didn’t really leave an impact on me like joo won. Joo won just literally blew me away. I’ve watched almost all of his dramas and he is just really superb. At first I didn’t find Joo won rather attractive, but his talents truly outshine that factor and I grew to admire him. And now I can’t stop obsessing over him haha. Go joo won!

  47. joo won is definitely the BEST among all of them (if not all the actors in his generation)
    i can confidently say this because i’ve watched all four of them in dramas and movies.

    LMH is good in playing the cool and suave guy who’ll do everything for his girl. but that’s basically all he’s ever done. i saw Gangnam Blues, which was…okay. but i still had to take a break every thirty minutes or so because it was a little too dead beat for me

    LJS is still young, but his acting in School 2013 makes me look forward to his future works. I mean, gawwwwd. he hardly said/did anything in the first episodes of that drama but he made my heart ache so much. I Hear Your Voice and Pinocchio were meh. so was no breathing. hot blooded youths was okay. i hope this guy takes on more mature roles, though

    KSH is someone i like to think of as an artistic actor. watch how he cries in Moon-Sun and you’ll get what i mean. Yes, he makes you cry. but even as he does, he makes you admire his face. that’s a big plus for any actor. he’s good at playing the cool and hard to get, i guess. loved him in Secretly, Greatly.

    and then we have Joo Won. i only got to know him recently. and because of that, i could not help but to compare him with the other three. he’s like the leonardo dicaprio of korea. like, seriously. even if he is not as popular as the other three, he does not need to be. i find myself empathizing with him, no matter what kind of role he plays (i only got through that ugly mess, 7th Level Civil Servant because of him). i haven’t seen Baker King KTG, but i have watched all of his other dramas. and i can say this for certain: the guy’s a chameleon. try watching gaksital. and then naeil’s cantabile (still can’t figure out why this awesome drama was not a hit with the ratings). and then ojakgyo brothers and good doctor. or watch them in random, whatever. Joo Won literally disappears and becomes The character. he’s played a cop, like, 4 times? (OBrothers, SIU, Steal My Heart, Gaksital) but you’ll never say that these characters resemble each other. AT ALL. that’s how good he is.

    and if KSH is an artistic actor, Joo Won is a raw actor. how he will look, how people will react—he doesn’t give a thought to these things. he will portray a scene or an emotion as real as he possibly can. sure, it makes him look ugly at times (like the time when he cried over his mother in gaksital), but think about it. is crying supposed to look beautiful? is the scene of someone crying supposed to make you fall in love with them? NO. when you see someone cry, it’s not supposed to make you feel all fluttery–it’s supposed to make you feel like your heart is being torn apart. and that’s what joo won did for me. when he acts, he makes me believe his acting. and isn’t that what acting is all about?

    p.s. yong pal is only good for about 10 episodes. the second half of the drama was such a big disappointment.

  48. Lee min ho is de best among de four , his gud luking, nd act vry well. I also love kim soon hyug. But lee min ho is de best .

  49. The reason this article and these comments about LMH all are ignorant is he has been the only one to be consistently on this list for the past like 4 years without fail. The others come and go, but not him. Facts are facts. Whoever brought Obama up is especially stupid. He will go down in history as the worst President in the History of the U.S.

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