The list of models turned actor in the last decade in South Korea is aplenty but the top undoubtedly remains Kim Woo Bin followed by Ryu Jun Yeol. Towards the bottom there are quite a few more conventionally handsome tall hunks who are less nuanced and adept at acting, and yet I just have a soft spot for them. I think it comes from never annoying me even when they can’t deliver more because they deliver just enough/just right and I’m going to add Jang Ki Yong to that list. I like LOVE him in My Roommate is a Gumiho and it’s totally not based on objectivity and all on feels. He’s basically the second Nam Joo Hyuk as a model turned actor for me, whom I adored in right roles like he was in Start-up and The Light in Your Eyes. It doesn’t hurt that I find Jang Ki Yong insanely good looking the way he’s styled as Woo Yeo in Gumiho and it helps that his chemistry with leading lady Hyeri is just sparkling. I do think he’s headed towards a true critique when he stars opposite top Hallyu actress Song Hye Kyo in the upcoming Now, We are Breaking Up, because that’s super high profile and going to be a make or break performance for him. This is just a delicious dessert dish.
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Yes, he is not an exceptional actor but he nails every role given. His looks is a bonus…
I agreee… meow….
I think Nam Joo Hyuk is good in awkward role like School Nurse and Start Up but not when he must be charismatic.
Jang Ki Yong is not bad but neither good for me. He is outshined by his costars like Kim Kyung-Nam in Come and Hug Me, Lee Jae-Wook in Search:WWW, Kim Do-Wan in Gumiho. He never keeps my interest when he’s the lead. He’s bad to choose his damas too like Born Again or Kill It.
In his last movie, he couldn’t make me forget Shota Matsuda’s version.
Personally, I thought Jang Ki Yong did a good job acting-wise in Come and Hug Me. That was where I started to take note of him. Also, I thought Nam Joo Hyuk was really adorable in Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo!
I like Jang Ki Young as the villain in “My Mister” with IU. He totally different there and hateful. But he was adorable as the stuck up senior with Jang Na Ra in Go Back Couple. He totally nailed it there as he falls for his first love. He really shines in these two roles.
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I put it on hold at episode 5 and not quite sure if I should continue watching. I loved the comedy but Mr. Gumiho only has one face expression all throughout: ?. Not much plot or story to tell but I might continue since Ms. Koala who is very fickle with dramas seem to like this very much.
As much as I enjoy his styling and looks in Gumiho, I had to say he could have done better. I don’t really put the blame on him, it was the awful directing because the camera literally slow-mo with close-ups on his face every time he appears on-screen, I doubt he can do much emoting with those scenes and thus, seems frozen with one expression.
Watch him in “Mister” or Kill it
Similar to Song Kang, Jang Ki Young also has a problem with diction. Knetz has been complaining that he mumbles and they couldn’t understand him without subtitles.
This is spot on. He does mumble. Like he’s scared to open his mouth wider. He mumble-talks the way people with very bad teeth do to hide their unpearly whites. I don’t recall him mumbling in Search: WWW, his only other drama I’ve seen. So here I assume he’s trying to convey the Gumiho’s jadedness but the lazy drawl mumble-talk doesn’t work.
I often disagree with Koala on her choices and I don’t know what it is but she misplaces stuff widely and I sometimes thing she does that on purpose but I don’t know the reason why. Example Koala hypes nam goong-min and boy was he underwhelming in Awaken and I watched that show literally due to her recommandation but I have never felt so much underwhelmed by an actor he was dry bone wooden with no interesting elements.
Another example now is Jang Ki-Yong but atleast his very good looking and tall but wooden in Gumiho whereas I differ to beg regarding Song Kang I don’t think his woodan and his very engaging. He also looks very good and tall. admittingly tho Jang Ki-Yong and Song Kang are more interesting actors than NGM his a nugu for a reason main while I found Nam Joo-Hyuk more stiff and wooden than both Nam goong-min which leaves us with only Song Kang as the only actor I approve of the 3 others who has depth to himself and can be bubble and engaging..
Agree on NGM’s underwhelming performance in Awaken. In fact, he acts the same in all his dramas I’ve seen. NJH, Taec and Rowoon are appalling actors who are a disgrace to the craft yet Koala sings their praises to the universe just because of their visuals.
Really? Namgoong Min in Chief Kim, Girl Who Sees Smells and Wild Chives & Soybean Soup are the *same*?
Song Kang is pretty and getting a ton of hype but his acting is nowhere near lead worthy, I’ve seen rookie actors who deliver emotion better than him. That’s without even going into his poor diction which knetizens note because they can understand the language and aren’t always dazzled by a pretty face the way international kdrama fans tend to be.
I didn’t like NGM even in stove league and it has something to do with that dry element. He was dry there but atleast he was trying to be smart there. Awaken was truly horrible performance probably the worse miscast I have seen to date. He was trying to pull of tough cop act but it fall flat and miserbly
He was aiming for something like Bae Seong-woo’s character from ”Live” or Lee Hee-joon’s character from ”Mouse”
Worst miscast I have seen to date but didn’t get alot of hype or views so it went under the radar and people just didn’t watch it to properly see how horrible the level of miscasting was
It is because NGM lacks the charms and charisma but that is awhole another topic.
I have seen there has been alot of discussions surrounding the new crop of 20s actors of late and I would like to share my two cents on that.
The Industry basically gives alot of push to an actor once they know he has all the elements they need and what are these you may ask? Because the Industry is monetary and financially geared and also target soft power projection into the world. Example in NGM case the Industry has never invested in him or pushed him from his early days for a good reason he lacked some components such as Charms, charisma, sexiness, trendy etc etc he started out as second lead and recently broke into first lead and his traditionally second lead. The same thing with Yoo Ah-In despite being a great actor the Industry has never given him a push like they did with Kim Soo-Hyun or Lee Min-Ho during their early 20s. The Industry invested in them early on and were pushing them hard for over a decade. The screen writers, producers and directors play a big part of that and they sort of decide who they will push and sometimes higher ups elements could be involved but nonetheless it is not only about acting but an actor has to have alot of components come together for him. Acting, Sexiness, great physique, height, facial, aura, Charams and charisma, screen presence, natural flirty gamesmanship, trendy and good looks plus being able to sell projects this is one of the major monetary elements that is always attached. Example Yoo Ah-In doesn’t meet all these criteria hence why he has lived in the shadows in his whole career his a great actor but lacks charms, charisma, trendy and that sexiness vibe because an actor has to be presentable to the viewer and sexual tension between viewer and actor has to be achieved believable. Other actors who get major push are the following Hyun Bin since his early 20s days he meets all these points and also Park Bo-Gum and Song Joong-Ki get alot of Industry push but mostly KSH and LMH got uber push from the industry more than the others during their 20s due to their selling factor was much bigger than the 3 others and they were bonefide in the monetary sense which is why the Industry keep pushing them persistently even into China which provides soft power because they are presentable representatives and selling commodity so all you gotta do is keep pushing which is logical from a financial point of view but everything has it’s time these said actors are nearing mid 30s and soon won’t be bankable and new presentable representatives is needed hence why the talk lately of Song Kang or Jang Ki-Yong. A new replacement is in transition to be comepleted.
Lee Doo Hyun doesn’t meet the criteria of what the industry insiders truly deem a bonefida bankable top notch actor. He has all the elements but looks wise perhaps others are superior. There is Yeo Jin Go great actor but lacks height and charms and his not a flirty type of guy he lacks that part of gamesmanship. Cha Eun Woo is promising but his an Idol and lacks the acting chops. Seo Kang Joon is gonna enlist now and his not in the running his from the past era and I would also say that Jang Ki-Yong is not in the running which Gumiho truly proves this and there needs no further talk in that and the same with NJH.
Of all the 20 something actors we are unfortunately left with only one guy who meets all the criteria and seems trendy on top of that which is Song Kang. Which is the main reason why they have been pushing Song Kang. They will be spamming and pushing hard Song Kang in the next couple of years just like they did for the last 1 year because they have been pushing him since 2020s. I also predict PJE and KES will take him on repeat making Song Kang the next It Guy without competition because there is no competition not like the 80s line where competition was plenty but there is not much competition it is only Song Kang perhaps others could appear out of nowhere in the next couple of years but he could be gone by that time himself nothing lasts forever and everything has a time limit. I watched Nevertheless I understood immediately why he was getting this much push and it strip all doubts I had of him
Crazy assumptions. Legendary writers getting a lead actor who has not yet proven his ability to hard carry a drama. In addition to that, most k-dramas written by these writers especially KES heavily relies on a charismatic, talented and rating-magnet male lead. I don’t think they would want to risk their career with a possible flop by casting SK just for the purpose of pushing him up, that’s the business of his agency LOL. Unless he gets paired up with an A-lister actress like JJH, SHK, SYJ, or GHJ then it’s possible.
His promising but his in his brand building stage currently he needs to keep going at the same pace his currently going.
Example getting a cast opposite Jun Ji-Hyun is out of the realm of possibilities she is very monetary and business oriented and is very picky and only comes out once she has made sure all the elements are to her favor in making big bank. She was making 1mio usd per commericial in china during 2013-2015 and she had like upto 20-30 only from one drama. She could have chosen Park seo-Jun but instead opted for JJH due to the Kingdom being a big hit on Netflix and also she got her own spin-off from the Kingdom. Her new series will be Netflix geared and that is where they are targetting to make bank from but for Song Kang to be casted opposite her he has to build up his brand first and needs atleast 4-5 years to do that.
If he keeps going at the same pace and gets several hits under his belt big screen writers will come calling and he will get big a-list bankable pairings because than they will know he meets the monetary demands and can sell for them because they don’t only make money from Drama royalities, CFs and netflix points plus DVDs or Blue rays but also from merchandise but in order to make huge cash in merchandise you need hits. His not in the A-list top notch bankable few elites but in the building up stage
I sort of agree with you that it is to risky for big directors or screen writers to gamble on him this early in his career to lead a major big budget drama it is very unlikely to happen not atleast for the next couple of years until when he has proven his case and has several hits under his belt to proof his case. His new series Nevertheless is a good start lets see how he develops but I do agree that his promising of all the 20 something actors
@Hie – JKY got cast opposite of SHK as ML in a drama and he’s in the same boat as SK, so it is not out of realm of possibilities SK might get cast against a top actress.
I am going to sound like a broken track record soon, but if I were a writer/producer/industry insider, I would be throwing my weight behind Kwak Dong Yeon as the next IT male actor. He ticks off all the boxes.
lol sorry, but this is a lot of nonsense i don’t even know where to start. what you said about namgoong min and especially yoo ah in is so off-base i almost stopped reading, but i continued on and still, so very off base and now i’m just here to say that i disagree with a lot of your takes and assumptions and leave it at that
I regret wasting my time reading this nonsense, so your major take is songkang will be the most bankable actor with that subpar mediocre lesser being acting? a joke wrote itself
@yoa – agreed with you, these “assessments” of Namgoong Min and Yoo Ah In are so off base I wonder if the OP and agreeing people came from an alternate universe or something ?
I like NAm Joohyuk and Jang Kiyong, they’re not the best actors out there, but I enjoy their performances, although sometimes they’re a bit awkward while acting. And maybe I don’t agree with knetizen about how bad they’re because in terms of entonation and diction I can’t notice, since I don’t speak korean.
Honestly, being able to understand Korean is something of a curse because when I couldn’t, a lot of mediocre acting performances didn’t bother me. But once I did, sloppy pronunciation tends to really jump out.
Try watch your local actors acts especially the one people said bad. You’ll understand why koreans hate bad actors so much
This. I would give you a thousand thumbs up if I could.
NJH and JKY both have visual. But when come to acting, LDH wins. I only watch SK in sweet home so can’t comment, but impression wise, he is just ok, not that good nor bad.
Just feel that some of them are over exposed compared to the 86-88 actors. For them even when up and coming, most take only 1 drama a year. You don’t see them often and be excited for their casting news.
Maybe there are more opportunities now with cable, Netflix etc. But over exposed is not a good thing as audiences may get tired of you even before you reach the peak of your career. I am sure there are people here thinking…what, SK or JKY again…too many may not be a good thing.
I feel like people tend to judge him based on the few roles that he took that are less challenging (because that is all they have seen of him such as Search:WWW & Go Back Couple). Which is a bit unfair tbh. I actually thought that he was quite good in his previous roles in My Mister, Kill It and Come and Hug Me. I would suggest those who are on the fence about his acting to watch these shows but I also understand that the genre may not appeal to some people.
JKY impressed me in My Mister. Just from that show alone I would’ve predicted that he was a promising star.
But his works since have majorly fallen flat, to the point where I wonder where his acting skills went and if I am watching the same guy.
@ophelia,lol same. i wonder if this is the same guy I’m watching in my mister and come and huge me. except in those two roles, all his roles is very underwhelming. geezzz.
same when I’m watching Nam Goong Min too. after he switch to the leads status his performances is mostly has been subpar. compare to his roles in can you hear my heart as Maru, geez