Lee Se Young Shines Above the Messy Characterization and Narrative of tvN Fantasy Drama Hwayugi

It takes a combination of luck and ability to land a supporting drama role that steals the lead thunder, and to do so in an especially bad K-drama. Lee Se Young already had her first leading lady role in The Best Hit last year before she signed on as a supporting role for Hwayugi (A Korean Odyssey) but she really came out of the stinky failed drama smelling like roses much like her characters Bok Ja/Ah Sa Nyeo smelled like flowers at times. She infused her characters with memorable warmth, adding depth to one-note plot device characterizations so much that I wanted to know more about Bok Ja before she died and even felt pity for Ah Sa Nyeo despite her villainous intentions. It’s the opposite of wafer thin leads characterizations that aimed to do more and instead delivered a piddling amount of dimensionality. I’m certain Lee Se Young will springboard her Hwayugi appearance to better roles and good for her as she’s shown me solid acting chops worthy of an ascent to leading lady permanently.


Lee Se Young Shines Above the Messy Characterization and Narrative of tvN Fantasy Drama Hwayugi — 18 Comments

  1. Hard! Totally on side with that write up! Umm how about casting our girl LSY as co lead with So Ji Sub in MBC’s ‘Terius behind me’ upcoming drama? She’s proven herself and has the visuals and not to mention the talent to act alongside our Adonis SJS. The possibilities are endless and her range is impressive. Love how all these K actresses are hitting their stride and gaining recognition.

  2. Lee Se Young was magnificent despite it all. She and Winter Frost/Summer Fairy were the only memorable characters that really reeled me in for however long I could bear. Then I gave up. Even LSG and CSW – even they with all their talent and abilities – fell quite flat because the characters didn’t have the charm it was promised to have. And don’t even get me started with OYS. Between her dreadfully boring and forgettable character and her oh-so-questionable acting, I’m not sure if it’s her to blame or Hong Sisters.

    This drama aimed to be some Goblin lookalike, it turned out to be an epic forgettable mess. Hope everyone moves on to better things.

  3. It wasnt that bad. She had the advantage of a more fleshed out role but in the end her character was nothing much. The entire series feels that wat. The supporting character shines but only just. In the end this is one series with too narrow a view it dudnt do it justice. I like her but of course i love csw. His character had most characterisation and he did his bet when writers was more interested in “di you think im pretty” rather than showing us their previous lives. But it really wasnt that bad.

  4. She did shine. But her character was also better written given she had something to do. Samjang’s arc was the worst written of all characters in the drama. But I’ll give her credit for seamlessly switching from heartwarming adorable to cold and back to adorable again. She did deliver emotionally where Samjang’s character couldn’t for me at least. And I hope to see her more now and hope she can keep this up.

  5. as everyone agreed her character was better written than the lead female character,all the same she got an opportunity and she utilized it so it is appropriate that she gets the praise.

    hopefully she gets more opportunities as she is talented and very beautiful in fact I found her more beautiful than the lead actress in this series

  6. Oh dear this almost feels like bait for that one troll who gets personally offended every time anyone praises Lee Se Young.

    But I’m glad she came out of this well, the Hong sisters don’t generally write good second leads and it’s very rare for a female second lead to shine to that extent in any drama, second lead syndrome is usually only for male second leads.

    • I liked the first half and the second half was ok. I agree with a lot of the criticisms but there is no such thing as a perfect k-drama, and at least this was something a little different. (I’ve never seen the orgin stories from China so this was new to me.)

  7. Girl is pretty.Hong Sisters are just a mess.I have only ever liked two dramas of theirs; Master’s Sun and My Girlfriend is a Gumiho.And I give more credit to the male lead and female lead for keeping me invested from start to finish.
    They need to reboot their creativity system.Or maybe on their next project, they need to have an extra writer to thoroughly go through their script.They have these unique ideas but the execution is always bleh.This Hwayugi drama, all actors in the cast have proven themselves in previous projects that they can act so I cant blame any of them.

  8. de gustibus et coloribus non est disputandum. I honestly really enjoyed Hwayugi. I loved the story ànd the characters. But “zombie” was one of my favourits 🙂 She did a readlly good job.

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