As 2009 comes to an end, it is prime time to reflect on a year of heartbreak, love, betrayal, excess, unrequited love and of course “drama.” Thankfully I’m not talking about my own personal life but two of my favorite dramas of the year: Boys Before Flowers and Shining Inheritance. From these, two Korean drama actors emerged as heartthrobs (the bad boys turned good kind): Lee Min Ho (Gu Jun Pyo of BBF) and Lee Seung Gi (Sun Woo Hwan of Shining Inheritance). But who reigns supreme as the Korean Drama King of 2009?
Following Boys Before Flowers, Lee Min Ho picked up 9 commercial endorsements as a result of his work as the cocky but irresistibly handsome male lead. In addition, the F4 leader also won the Best New Actor award at the Baeksang Arts Award for his role as Jun Pyo (which oftentimes led to me resenting my own boyfriend for not taking me to New Caledonia for our anniversary). Boys Before Flowers definitely put Lee Min Ho on the star map but he has yet to do anything since BBF other than commercials (including a music video commercial with 2NE1’s Sandara Park) and print ads. But I’m not gonna hate (have you seen that Dunkin’ Donuts commercial? YUM!)
On the other hand, Lee Seung Gi had already established himself as a singer and as the loveable goof on variety shows before making the jump into acting. There was a lot of doubt that “huh-dang” Seung Gi could pull off the bad boy persona of arrogant, spoiled and emotionally closed off Hwan but Lee Seung Gi definitely had me throwing pillows at my television out of frustration with his character! In addition to starring in the drama, Lee Seung Gi kept himself busy with recording an album (released in the later part of 2009), filming hit variety show 1 Night 2 Days whose ratings boomed because of the “Lee Seung Gi Effect,” preparing for his comeback on the musical stage, and now co-MC’ing Strong Heart with 1N2D co-star Kang Ho Dong. Oh, and don’t forget the poor boy also got hit with swine flu.
In conclusion, the year definitely goes to Lee Seung Gi for taking the Korean entertainment industry by storm and showing no signs of slowing down. Lee Min Ho, you still have next year…so announce your next drama already!
Written by Vanessa Nguyen of Compassion in My Fingertips.
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