When the hit series It’s Okay to Not Be Okay aired its final episode, we had to bid goodbye to our beloved characters Moon Kang-tae and Go Moon-young as well. This means missing actors Kim Soo-hyun and Seo Ye-ji who splendidly portrayed their characters in the series as the quiet, uptight medical worker and the famous children’s book writer with antisocial disorder who both do not believe in love yet were able to form a romantic bond with each other. (Have you read KDramaPal’s reviews of the drama? Start here.)
If you’re not ready to let go of them just yet, don’t worry. We got you covered. Below are some of Kim Soo-hyun’s and Seo Ye-ji’s series over the years where you can watch them as completely different characters.
Dream High (2011)
Starring Kim Soo-hyun and K-pop idols Bae Suzy, Ham Eun-jung, IU, Ok Taec-yeon, and Jang Woo-young, Dream High is a teen musical drama that centers on six talented students at a music high school who aim to be K-pop idols. While they develop their talent and passion for music, they also develop feelings towards each other. Soo-hyun played a country bumpkin who is a music prodigy with a rare disease. The day after the series ended, a special episode of the cast performing a Dream High Special Concert on a stage near Seoul was aired. The drama was immensely popular among teens and reached 18–20% viewership ratings during its run. A year later, the series was renewed for a sequel but with a different cast. Kim Soo-hyun, Bae Suzy, and IU had cameo roles in the second season.
The Moon Embracing the Sun (2012)
Adapted from the novel with the same title by Jung Eun-gwol, the historical fantasy drama set in the Joseon period follows the secret romance between a king and a female shaman. The Moon Embracing the Sun has the chaotic setting of political conspiracies and royal conflicts. Amid these, the two lead characters fight tirelessly to protect their love. The series starred Kim Soo-hyun, Han Ga-in, Jung Il-woo, and Kim Min-seo. It won the Best Drama award and the Best Actor award for Soo-hyun at the prestigious Baeksang Arts Awards back in 2012. Kim Soo-hyun took on the role of King Lee-hwon, a wise and kind crown prince who falls for a daughter of a shaman and dedicates his life in her memory after she “passed away.” Unknown to him, the woman he loves, who became a shaman herself, is very much alive but has no memory of her past. The drama reached a peak rating of 42.2% during its finale.
My Love from the Star (2013–2014)
Stranded on Earth for four centuries, Kim Soo-hyun played an alien who landed in the planet during the Joseon era and fell for a human girl. Unable to go back home, he lives his years on Earth in isolation and constant identity changes. On his last identity before he going back to his planet, he poses as a university professor and falls for a straightforward but ditzy Hallyu star, who shares the same face as the girl he fell in love with 400 years ago. My Love from the Star had a star-studded cast, which included Jun Ji-hyun, Park Hae-jin, and Yoo In-na. It was also a massive hit locally and internationally and was said to have led the revival of the Hallyu (Korean wave) in the country. This marks the second time that Soo-hyun and actress Jun Ji-hyun have worked together, following their last heist movie together titled The Thieves. My Love from the Star is also Jun Ji-hyun’s comeback in TV projects after 14 years. In 2014, she won the Daesang (Grand Prize) at the Baeksang Arts Awards and the SBS Drama Awards, while Kim Soo-hyun won the Daesang at the 7th Korea Drama Awards. The show also won Best Drama at the same award ceremony.
The Producers (2015)
The Producers was tagged as the first-ever “variety drama” produced by the KBS variety department (instead of the drama department). Its director’s past projects and experience have also been from variety production. The series featured an inside look at the entertainment industry. It documented, in drama-style, the hectic and often conflicting schedules of filming, meeting, editing, and all-nighters that keep everyone in the business on their toes, every second of the day. Kim Soo-hyun starred alongside big names in the industry such as Cha Tae-hyun, Gong Hyo-jin, and IU. He played an aspiring prosecutor who joins the busy world of entertainment to follow a KBS employee he has feelings for. He eventually becomes a rookie production director in the variety division. The Producers is the first terrestrial network drama to air in a time slot usually reserved for late-night comedy shows. The series also marks Kim Soo-hyun and IU’s second time working together, following their appearance in the 2011 hit teen series Dream High.
Starring Park Seo-joon, Go Ara, and Park Hyung-sik, the series follows an elite group of warriors called Hwarang. Set in the chaotic Silla Kingdom, they struggle to stay on their path to discover passion, happiness, love, trust, and friendship. Seo Ye-ji played Princess Sook-myung, the king’s half sister and future consort. She is also drawn to Park Seo-joon’s character. Despite its notable cast and having been fully produced before it aired, the series failed to meet expectations, ending with a single-digit viewership rating on average. Although Hwarang was criticized for its unstable storytelling, some cast members’ performances, and even poor choice of background music, the series was still warmly accepted in many Asian countries, getting international broadcast in Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, and Cambodia, and even in European countries such as Romania and Serbia.
Save Me (2017)
In Save Me, Seo Ye-ji played the main female character Im Sang-mi, whose family moves from Seoul to a small suburban town called Muji-gun, following the bankruptcy of her father’s business. There, a religious cult called Goseonwon has most of the town under its control. It has a large number of followers who disguise themselves as peaceful church members, but in reality, the group hides a web of dark secrets, torture, lies, violence, and murder within. When a devastating event involving Sang-mi’s brother takes place, the family falls into a despair, and her parents are manipulatively recruited to the cult. The series also stars Ok Taec-yeon, Jo Sung-ha, and Woo Do-hwan and is based on a popular web comic titled Out of the World written by Jo Geum-san.
Lawless Lawyer (2018)
Two years before It’s Okay to Not Be Okay, Seo Ye-ji starred in a legal thriller series together with stars Lee Joon-gi, Lee Hye-young, and Choi Min-soo. Lawless Lawyer is set in the fictional lawless and corrupt city called Kisung. It centers on a law firm called Lawless Law Firm, headed by a former gangster turned lawyer and another lawyer who is the polar opposite of him, played by Seo Ye-ji. While he takes advantage of the loopholes in the law and intimidates others, Ye-ji’s character believes in integrity and social values, something that leads to her demotion after she assaults a judge. Together, they face a common enemy. Although the series had average ratings, it eventually became a commercial success. Lawless Lawyer was broadcast in many Asian countries such as Malaysia, Taiwan, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Japan. The drama also aired in the US.