The first half of 2014 was packed with K-Pop idols on television, with the second half of the year holding great promise for the K-Drama comebacks of high caliber idols.
The inclusion of acting idols within the cast of a drama generally means increased viewership and aids with sponsorship. However, 2014 has been a tough year for idol led dramas in terms of sustained ratings.
K-Drama audiences have started to hold dramas with K-Pop stars at the helm to greater accountability, as it becomes more apparent that some idols are most accomplished with acting than others.
The year kicked off with Girls’ Generation member YoonA as Nam Da Jung in “The Prime Minister and I” and Kim Hyun Joong as Shin Jung Tae in the historical drama “Inspiring Age.”
After School’s UEE demonstrated vast improvement in terms of her emotional range as Kim Baek Won for the weekend drama “Golden Rainbow.”
“Golden Rainbow” began airing in 2013, however, the drama did not conclude until March 2014.
YoonA, UEE, and Kim Hyun Joong all have star power but their dramas did not necessarily perform as well in ratings as expected.
The same results were witnessed with the action drama “Triangle.” “Triangle” stars JYJ’s Kim Jaejoong and ZE:A member Siwan.
Both Jaejoong and Siwan exhibited strong acting skills within “Triangle,” but the drama continued to fluctuate in ratings against “Doctor Stranger.” “Triangle” was able to sustain its success to receive a two episode extension, which delighted fans.
While there have numerous K-Pop idols and vocalists on television in 2014, the acting skills of some artists stand out from the rest.
Eun Ji has proven to be one of the most talented female acting idols.
A Pink’s Eun Ji has developed into a delightfully vivacious acting idol, who continues to win over audiences with her performance in “Trot Lovers.”
Eun Ji wisely selected a role which incorporates her vocals and highlights positive aspects of her personality. It is not surprising that she has received comparisons to Miss A’s Suzy, who wowed audiences in “Dream High.”
While it is not always possible to cast an idol in a role which requires vocals, the decision to do so definitely yields positive benefits.
Lee Seung Gi has transitioned from romantic first lead to brooding action star.
Lee Seung Gi channeled the qualities of an indifferent and arrogant aristocrat for his role in the 2012 drama “The King 2 Hearts.” However, he did not exhibit the range and physicality necessary for an action star until “You’re All Surrounded.”
With his role in “You’re All Surrounded,” Lee Seung Gi has effectively demonstrated that he has the potential to successfully transition into an action film career. As a king of endorsements, it is without a doubt that he will pursue this career path.
Big Bang Seungri demonstrated his comedic timing in “Angel Eyes.”
Big Bang member Seungri made a strong debut as an actor in Korean drama with his role of Teddy Seo in “Angel Eyes.”
While his acting may have appeared to be tentative in comparison to the strength of Lee Sang Yoon and Gu Hye Sun, Seungri established the full range of potential for his future in Korean Drama.
MBLAQ Lee Joon may be one of the strongest male acting idols for melodrama and dark storylines.
Lee Joon helped to make “Gap Dong” one of the most disconcerting K-Dramas to air in 2014. The role of Ryu Tae Oh followed his well-crafted portrayal of an actor gone mad in the 2013 film “Rough Play.”
Lee Joon holds some of the greatest potential, as an acting idol who is not afraid to take risks and to accept roles beyond that of a chaebol or flower boy.
Who do you think had the best K-Drama comeback in 2014?
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