Mid-Year Report Card (Part 2)

Okay! Now that we’ve sussed out the best/worst kdrama offerings for the first half of this year, it’s time to check out the lead performances and everyone’s favorite topic: the OTPs!

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Favorite Female Roles (Part 1)

Here is Part 2 of our Favorite Roles poll. Part 1 is here.

Twenty actresses and seven of their most recent or most famous roles. (They must have at least seven to qualify for this poll. Sorry, Yoon Eun-hye.) Again, in random order except for the one who reigns deservedly at the top: Korea’s first win at Cannes for Best Actress.

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Green Rose

A man is framed for murder and attempted murder. The evidence points conclusively to his guilt and he is sentenced to life imprisonment. Thrown into the pits, he fights to restore his name and everything he has lost.

That, in a nutshell, is the premise for Green Rose (2005).

Playing the accused, Lee Jung-hyun, is Go-soo in what is my first proper look at him as an actor. (I saw bits of him in Piano years ago when I was channel-surfing, but the female lead’s wailing scared the bejibbers out of me and I never did finish the drama.)

He is riveting in the first few episodes. I shed my first tears when Jung-hyun is arrested and continue to be teary for the next two episodes. (Which is all rather promising, because the more I cry in a drama the more likely it’s going to end up a favorite. I’m predictable that way, ha.) While in prison, he receives a letter that makes him hit his forehead repeatedly on the cement floor of the cell. Watching his anguish, my eyes fill with stunned tears…

Wait a minute. The stunned tears belong to his girlfriend, Oh Soo-ah (Lee Da-hae). Mine are just tears, period.

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Sweet 18

Like its title, Sweet 18 (2004) is sweet indeed. Some of us might find ourselves floating out of our skins because as feel-good dramas go, this one is hard to beat. Some of us (especially if we watch the drama now) might experience an attack of the sniffles. Why? Because the happy-ever-after that we wanted for the leads (the actors, not their characters) did not quite materialize in the end, that’s why! WAHHH! But I digress…

Yoon Jung-sook (Han Ji-hye) is a ditzy 18-year-old high school student with equally ditzy friends. Her mother owns a modest drycleaning business and Jung-sook drives her mom crazy because she keeps stealing wearing the customers’ clothes. Kwon Hyuk-joon (Lee Dong-gun) is a 28-year-old public prosecutor. She in her school uniform and psychedelic-colored winterwear. He in his plain white shirt, black suit and tie. You get the picture.

The first time they actually speak to each other is when he almost arrests her at a nightclub and she shoots a sassy retort back at him. His first impression of her: “What a brat!” Her first impression of him: “This old fuddy-duddy!” Imagine their mutual horror then when they find out that they are supposed to marry each other in a pact their respective grandfathers made years ago.

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