Korean Government Poll of Overseas Hallyu Viewers Puts Lee Min Ho, BTS, Mr. Sunshine, and Train to Busan Top of Respective Categories

Consider me surprised and impressed that a poll conducted recently landed an actor currently in military service on the top of the list. South Korean government recently polled 16 overseas country viewers interested in Hallyu on their favorites in the categories of stars, idols, dramas, and movies. Lee Min Ho was the number 1 pick in the stars category followed by Gong Yoo and Song Hye Kyo tied for second, then Song Joong Ki, and Lee Jong Seok rounds out the top 5. Unsurprising BTS wins the favorite idols list by a wide margin, while Mr. Sunshine is the favorite drama in a tighter field. And last but not least 2016 summer hit Train to Busan remains fresh on the mind as the favorite K-movie among overseas Hallyu fans.

Favorite K-stars:

  1. Lee Min Ho (8.5%)
  2. Song Hye Kyo (2.4%)/Gong Yoo (2.4%)
  3. Song Joong Ki (2.1%)
  4. Lee Jong Seok (1.9%)

Favorite idols:

  1. BTS (10.3%)
  2. Psy (6.9%)
  3. Blackpink (3.8%)
  4. Big Bang (2.5%)
  5. EXO (2.3%)

Favorite K-drama:

  1. Mr. Sunshine (4.7%)
  2. Descendants of the Sun (3.7%)
  3. Goblin (3.4%)
  4. Why Secretary Kim (2.9%)

Favorite K-movies:

  1. Train to Busan (8.4%)
  2. Be With You (5.8%)
  3. Along with the Gods: The Two Worlds (4.5%)
  4. Along with the Gods: The Last 49 Days (2.1%)


Korean Government Poll of Overseas Hallyu Viewers Puts Lee Min Ho, BTS, Mr. Sunshine, and Train to Busan Top of Respective Categories — 96 Comments

  1. I’m not surprised about Lee min ho.. I’m a Nigerian and my first ever kdrama was boys over flowers..
    That guy is well loved here because we all had our first kdrama experience with boys over flowers

  2. I wonder which oversees countries were polled. LMH is like a shiny bauble. The more you look at it, the less appealing it becomes. I remember being awed by him when I started watching kdramas six years ago. BOF was a crack drama for me. Six years and eons of kdramas later, I realized that he gave up his passion for acting after Faith. I do agree that all dramas and actors on that list have mass appeal. I’m just surprised that Mr. Sunshine polled higher than DOTS and Goblin. Maybe it’s because it’s the most recent KES drama?

    • I feel the same. Lee Min Ho is like white bread, you can get it anywhere but it doesn’t have much flavour. Also, the series here were all available on Netflix, which is world wide. All these are generalities because they are most publicized. A valid poll would involve a lot more than just the five submitted.

  3. Not anything bad on SongSong couple but their stars power really is massive to keep them on the spotlight. Their visual is another big part but as for acting I don’t think they are the best. I watched DOTs and dropped it after episode 5. Lee Min Ho never crossed my mind as a good actor nor his visual is that appealing. Gong Yoo is the only one relevant here. He’s not the most handsome actor but has great charisma and very talented. Goblin and Trains to Busan are very good. I don’t follow Kpop so don’t know.

      • I think he meant on the acting side. Compared to the rest of them on the list, only Gong Yoo is good. I would have put Lee Jung Suk with him. The rest are just decent.

  4. Not surprised about LMH. It’s probably also due to the anticipation of his return in a few months.

    What I’m surprised about is with Secretary Kim making the top 4 behind such big-budgeted massive hits.

  5. I’m korean from the state and the only korean actors I aknowledge are LBH, Gong Yoo, Hyun Bin, Song Kang Ho, Yoo Ah In, and Yu Hae Jin. They are true actor with great performance skills. Korean entertainment polls always claim to nominates the best actors but the true is just for the pretty face actors. I find it very embarrassing. Was never surprised about any korean awards segment unless it’s an honest nomination. My intake for my korean entertainment. Gong Yoo is very much appreciate because he is a strong actor who one can be proud of. Korean movies and dramas are losing their identities lately. Nothing is appealing anymore. The only hope for a production is have their bet on the main cast to carry-on the whole scripts. Well that don’t matter much because just a pretty face with huge popularity can do all. Congratulations to all.

    • Savages shouldn’t you be proud of the Korean entertainment and actors for coming this far. Instead of frying them but to each their own. Korean movies and dramas are no longer so good anymore. I’ve seen more people are turning to Thai and Chinese dramas due to the same reason you put out. Huge fan of Bts and Big Bang songs.

      • I’m proud of the Korean entertainment industry and our actors for introducing our country to the world. I’m just not proud that most of the adwards nomination are for the pretty face actors. Not one bit close to actors that can really act and perform. Korean Entertainment focused too much on the pretty visual but not the talents. It’s quite a shame. I know this polls is conducted for the most popular celebrities but at the ends it’s still doesn’t change the fact that the one to get nominated are still the pretty face with mediocre acting skills. I won’t say Chinese or Thailand have the best dramas compare to Korean dramas.

    • That is because us foreigners can’t tell what is good acting (unless we are fluent in Korean language we can’t tell their pronunciation is appropriate). It’s like mainland China, lots of people can only like a pretty face and voices are dubbed so we really can’t tell their acting depth.

      • As a Korean who love to watch movies and films. Most of the Korean celebrities has bad pronunciation when delivering their lines. Very hard to understand that’s why some films have Korean subtitles on. If you were to listen to real Korean Credits, the most popular Korean celebrities are not considered good actor but pretty visual actors.

    • Is Gong yoo really a good actor though? Cause some koreans i know consider him just an average actor because he always get end up being overshadow by his co stars.
      Train to busan Ma dong seok
      Age of shadows Song kang ho even in goblin lee dong wook overshadows him.
      And if you look at his awards gong yoo doesnt have any major acting awards like Song kang ho and Won bin.

      • Lmfao how could lee dong wook overshadows gongyoo. You need to check his new drama rating, even YIN beating him in top buzworthy actor. Dont forget korean vote him as bad actor. What a hater!

    • @Poh when i said ldw i dont mean in terms of acting but in terms of look im just echoing the trans comments by people who find him more of a better looking than gy. And can you stop calling someone a hater when they dont agree to someone’s opinion. And for me Gy is just average in terms of acting after watching train yo busan age of shadow coffee prince goblin etc.

    • Agreed if you’re Korean, you’ll get what Minakim is implying here. One example are top actors like Jo In Sun and Kwon Sang Woo. They’re known to be A-lister but most Korean audiences don’t consider them top notch. Certain times audiences don’t understand what they are saying and their acting are not very impressive. This applies to tons of popular actors out there but I won’t bother. In the Korean Industry if you have the look: 100% everything your deliver will be sold and praised over as top actors. With the help of International fans supporting, it’s a guarantee one is considered top A-list. I do find it a shameful. Sometimes I wish adwards are given to those that true deserves it.

      • Can’t agree more with your saying even if I’m korean. Since this is a popularity poll, your comment is misplaced.

  6. I agree with you. My desire for kdramas have dramatically reduced within the last few months. I surprised myself by trying out a drama from mainland China a few months ago and enjoying it immensely, since then, my appetite for C-dramas has grown while conversely my apetite for K-dramas has dramatically declined. I do agree that the flavor of current k-dramas has become much blander than the past. It doesn’t help that the US no longer has the same access to legal streaming as we did in the last few years. Unless one goes to illegal streaming sites and risks spyware on one’s PC, it’s often difficult to follow hit dramas while they are still in season, and only after the hype has worn out, can one marathon those shows after its season has ended and a lot of spoilers have been revealed.

      • I second this….C-dramas are really really good. Still can’t forget about Legend of yanxi palace. The Cast and script there were top notch. Koreans tend to focus on casting a pretty face to resurrect a boring script than an actual good actor with a good script.

      • I don’t have desire to watch any dramas aside from Korean shows. I tried one but got really annoyed with their voices and loud language, there’s too many episodes and looks cheap compared to Korean

  7. I can say Kim Eunsook is the influential one.
    6 out of 10 actors from the list have starred in her dramas and the top 3 dramas are also hers.

    • Try twitter or ig so many fans post them, just scroll to the tag of the celebrity in the list u may need to dig deeper coz its been 2days,even the breakdown for each country have,

  8. Not surprised by the top star list. This star are insanely famous despite most of them being average actors. They all have huge mass appeal and with the right media play and the project which are loved by the masses,they create hype. The only thing that makes ke me surprise in this list is what wrong with secretary kim? I thought W two world and weightlifting fairy is more popular internationally.

  9. Except for BTS and Song-Song couple I’m surprised by everyone else in this list. While LMH is my long standing first ever Korea ‘oppa’ I thought his influence had diminished with the coming of PBG so its a pleasant surprise to see him still holding his spot. He really will out last them all. I miss him and can’t wait for his next drama.

    • PBG extreamly popular in korea, and japan I think. And he always taking a rare character, he acted as choi taek, an idiot, and then jinhyuk a poor guy. Hallyu prefer a rich guy or a guy who have power like lee min ho in his every drama.

      • PBG is not that popular in Japan (not with real Japanese Obasan)… maybe with foreigners studying or working there only (those are transients).

      • Oh really? Are you live in japan? @candycane for what I know PBG did Fanmeeting in japan with 22000 people, and no, he have many ahjumma even grandma fans

      • You can check if his dramas are broadcasting in Japan. How many? How often? In how many channels? It’s online. You can fact check. Don’t be gullible.

  10. lee min ho, are you kidding! He is another pretty face who can’t act. Wow, makes ya wonder if you have a good bod, and a pretty face, you don’t have to be a good actor. Just my opinion.

    • This is a popularity vote, not an acting award. The result totally shows. Only GY is a good actor on that list, this is my opinion.

    • What does popularity have to do with acting? Pretty face is more important than good acting that’s what Hallyu is about. Talent is overrated.

      • Acting is always a matter of preference it defends on someone taste. People should stop acting like their taste is superior. There are people who like subtle acting and there are who love exag acting like look at me im acting.

      • Lol explain why there’s so many bad actors out there receiving beaksang and daeksang awards rather than the very good actors who can really act. Just a pretty face and popularity with tons of fans defined acting talents. Sad but truthfully embarrassing. Explain why some Korean fans are feeling ashamed of their own awards winning actors.

    • You can check the capacity of the venue and make your own estimate whether it’s true or not. It’s Tokyo International Forum Hall A.

      • Then go to Saitama events on their website and check if his name in there.

      • He was, feb 3, 2019,so many fans post pic of them waiting for the fm to start outside saitama,

      • U are referring the fm to officially open his fanclub in japan thats 2017, thats intl forum

      • What I meant was you need yo get your information right. I meant NCT and Seventeen are the Korean acts who has schedules in Saitama Arena along with other foreign artist such Bruno Mars and others in the first half of 2019. If someone has an event in Saitama does not mean it’s in the Arena that you presumed have sold out to that many people. FYI there are many venues for conferences and concerts around Saitama.

      • Of course its right. Every pbg’s fans know that he did fanmeeting in saitama super arena. You can check it in eezzm_bogum ig, she posted it in her ig. And she confirmed that the venue is for 30000 people (full capacity). ?

    • What is he selling a BTS fanmeet to get 15000 people to turn up? He’s not even that popular people must be inflating the numbers.

      • BTS don’t have scheduled concert in Saitama. Maybe he is doing the concert with NCT or Seventeen.

      • Its already finish, its a solo fm what nct seventeen ?, and those are idols, @ misty maybe u misunderstood her post,pbg is not bts, why does 15k attend his fm, thats what she meant but bts do concert tokyo dome not saitama

      • @ma.llyanne its sarcasm honey, they think PBG using bts to sell his fansmeeting ticket. Actually his fans saying that its 22000, blossom its too lazy to confirm it. @MistyEyes you’re kidding right? ? you can check it in blossom’s ig, and comparing it with other actor fanmeeting

      • @poh fr what i understand fr the post of @lol she is saying pbg is not on the level of bts, ders no way he can sell 15k for a fm, he really isnt in der level they have der concert in tokyo dome,thats 3x the capacity of saitama arena,

      • You interpreted wrong dear. You also wrongly interpreted that every event in Saitama happened in the arena much less a dome. FYI, there many venues for conferences, exhibitions and concerts around Saitama.

  11. Wow, Lee minho’s number is number 2,3,4,5 combined. He almost slayed in all 17 countries polled. Looking forward to the King’s return.

  12. If we talk purely acting, there is one Korean actor that I cay say who can deliver the character in detail and with depth, it has to be Lee Joon Gi. He made every character like a living persona. To be honest, most Korean actors does the same thing…interprets every single character the same way.

    • LJG is overrated, he is good but not that good to the point that he is above everyone in every performance.

      He overreact and make audiences feels like it’s a good drama act rather than a real emotion.

      • Yeah I had to read that comment 3 x plus by @pppp to get it right. It’s a dig so don’t take it seriously. Lee Jun Ki doesn’t overact unless the script says so and he is not overrated because his international fandom prove that he’s loved and adored so unsure how you arrived at this conclusion? Be best to say ‘I don’t like his acting’ then that’s it you’re being honest but to actually go on to say he overacts and is overrated then you’re stirring the hornets nest so expect the feedback.

      • I watch any ‘acting’ projects that he’d do. He is the most underrated k-actors in fact. K-Ent likes to award flat & one-dimentional performance, which some people here say real emotion —which is funny to read.

        People have different temperaments. Go out and observe people facial expressions, actions, attitude and such. I watched Lee Joon played very quiet character so he played with less movement and minimal facial expression,awkward character, loud & cocky characters that some people some call a character that ‘overacts’ and other characters- all of them are complex ones. I have not seen him played the same character.

        In fact he is one of the very few k-actors who can show the real temperaments and emotions of a character that you can distinguish a character of what he really he is. Every character is well-thought. In that regard, I respect him as an actor as that reflects his dedication to his craft.

        He also hasn’t been in a fluffy, romance or rom-com dramas but he remains popular since his debut. That’s quiet a feat actually.

    • Not hating but I also think LJG is not the best actor or the worst. I never really finished any of his dramas because something about his acting I can’t connect.

      • I said the same thing many years ago as I as thought only rom-com & romance kdramas are the good ones. He only does Saguek, fantasy, action and it’s not everyone cup of tea. Until I gave his drama a real try one time. I realized he has dramas that will last long and you would feel like rewatching even after many years. Because of him, realized Saguek is actually an interesting drama. I should have watched him earlier.

  13. As a Canadian Kdrama fan, I can say that anyone who watches these, knows that there are actors far better than Lee Min Ho. He is only popular because he is a “pretty” boy.

  14. Have given up on Korean entertainment awards years and years ago. Nothing is relevant other than the awards for popularity and beauty awards. For acting nah it’s never justified because talented actors never received what they deserved.

  15. I bet Lee Minho is going to stay on that number 1 spot for a long time. Look at the numbers! He is universally loved not only in asia but around the world where there is Hallyu.
    Curious about his next project after discharge.

  16. I am not surprised!!!!!!!!!!!! Lee Min Ho is for me the best!! he is someone that shines regardless of anything… I can’t wait till he comes out !

  17. My mum and dad think every korean actors is Lee Min Ho. They only know him even when they didn’t even watch his drama.
    He is big in asia.

  18. Trapped in Kdrama because of Lee Min Ho. No wonder & No surprise that many people around the world falls to his charm.

  19. I love ljs a lot. I love his acting.lee min ho just a pretty face. I don’t think he will gone stay long time number 1 in the coming years.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.