We’re already halfway through the most anticipated comeback of Lee Min-ho: the fantasy romance series The King: Eternal Monarch written by the award-winning Kim Eun-sook. With the building tension and the continuous revelations from the characters, a week is just too long to wait for the fans who get hyped with every episode.
And since we’re all staying in because of the COVID-19 pandemic, why not go over the past works of our favorite characters? No worries, we rounded up the recommended previous dramas featuring actors Lee Min-ho, Kim Go-eun, Woo Do-hwan, and Jung Eun-chae, for you to watch while waiting for the next episode of their ongoing series.
(Some of the dramas are written by Kim Eun-sook, too, so why not give them a go?)
The Legend of The Blue Sea (2016)
If The King: Eternal Monarch centers on time travel, fairy tales, and parallel universes, The Legend of the Blue Sea focuses on fate, reincarnation, and the historical folklore about a fisherman and a mermaid. Lee Min-ho, together with Jun Ji-hyun, breathes new life into this fantasy romance series as con artist Heo Joon-jae, who unexpectedly meets and falls in love with a mermaid, Shim Cheong. Bothered by dreams, historical artifacts, and a jade bracelet, Joon-jae sets on a quest to uncover the truth of his past life, as a town head in the Joseon era named Kim Dam-ryeong. Dam-ryeong is responsible for the dreams and cryptic message that Joon-jae has been having. Dam-ryeong fell in love with a mermaid as well, Se-hwa, who is Shim Cheong’s past self. But due to political treason, Dam-ryeong dies while protecting Se-hwa, who dies after him. Before the day they died, Dam-ryeong foresees himself and Se-hwa in the future. So he makes an artifact and engraves a message to his reincarnated self (Joon-jae) warning him that history will repeat himself, and that tragedy will befall him and Shim-Cheong. Joon-jae must now do everything to save the mermaid he loves and change their tragic fate.
The Heirs (2013)
Also written by Kim Eun-sook, The Heirs is a high school drama focusing on the children of the elite and the rich and their lavish lives in school as each prepares to take on their family’s business empire. The series follows the life of heir Kim Tan (Lee Min-ho) as he falls for a mediocre, scholarship student Cha Eun-sang (Park Shin-hye) while being engaged to another heiress (Kim Ji-won). The story shows his struggle in doing his responsibility as the family heir and going after his true love. Complications arise after his best friend-turned-enemy Choi Young-do (Kim Woo-bin) pursues Eun-sang as a way to get back at Tan, but in the process, falls in love with her as well. The series is notable for its cast, which consists of award-winning actors and actresses such as Kim Ji-won, Kang Min-hyuk, Kang Ha-neul, Krystal Jung, Park Hyung-sik, and many more.
Guardian: The Lonely and Great God (2016-2017)
Another of Kim Eun-sook’s award-winning fantasy series is Guardian: The Lonely and Great or Goblin (2016). Paired with Gong Yoo as the cursed General Kim Shin who turned into a goblin, Kim Go-eun played opposite him as the goblin’s bride Ji Eun-tak, who holds the power of ending his cursed fate. Along with them are Lee Dong-wook, who played the funny but cynical Grim Reaper Wang Yeo as the goblin’s unexpected ally, and Yoo In-na, who played the Grim Reaper’s love interest and the goblin’s reincarnated sister Sunny. The series consistently topped viewership ratings with every episode and became an instant hit. It was well received all over the world, with its official soundtrack becoming a fan favorite as well. With its creative plot and constant hilarious character banters, Goblin remains as a must-watch series with its tragic story line sprinkled with humor.
Cheese in the Trap (2016)
A boy-next-door character but with a dark side. Cheese in the Trap is a dark romance starring Park Hae-jin and Kim Go-eun. Based on a webtoon of the same name, the drama follows the relationship of hardworking student Hong Seul (Kim Go-eun) and her rather complicated romantic relationship with her manipulative senior Yoo Jung (Park Hae-jin). Unaware of his motives and intentions, the two begin an awkward courtship that complicates even more following the arrival of Jung’s childhood friends, Baek In-ho (Seo Kang-joon) and his rather dramatic and obnoxious sister In-ha (Lee Sung-kyung). Although the series had a rather unsatisfying ending, fans still liked the overall non-stereotypical romance portrayed by the characters. If you like romance but with a dark side, the series is a recommended one.
We all love his dual personality in The King: Eternal Monarch as the king’s cautious guard and as a bubbly police officer. But in Tempted, Woo Do-hwan takes center stage as the rich boy Kwon Shi-hyun, who takes on the dangerous game of love after making a bet with his best friends, played by Moon Ga-young and Kim Min-jae. As part of the bet, he seduces Eun Tae-hee, played by Red Velvet’s Joy, who doesn’t believe in love. Complications arise when Shi-hyun starts falling in love with Tae-hee, who also begins to believe in romance, all while keeping the bet a secret. The series received mixed feedback in South Korea, but it was well received internationally. Both lead characters were praised for their impressive acting skills, especially Joy who is an idol singer.
Save Me (2017)
Starring alongside Ok Taec-yeon, Seo Ye-ji, and Jo Sung-ha, Woo Do-hwan gets a whole different character in the thriller mystery drama Save Me. The story follows our four main characters as they embark on a quest of unraveling a web of terrifying truth and the corruption of a cult who is taking control of their town and is brainwashing people. The cult functions as a church to gain following and hides its crimes underneath the religious facade. The series was widely accepted internationally and was even aired in several Asian countries. The show is based on a popular webtoon Out of the World written by Jo Geum-san. For all thriller fans, Save Me will surely quench your thirst for a mystery.
The Guest (2018)
We might know her as Prime Minister Koo Seu-ryeung of the Kingdom of Corea, but Jung Eun-chae once played a detective role in the supernatural thriller drama series The Guest. It follows the story of a young psychic, Yoon Hwa-pyung (Kim Dong-wook) who was born into a shaman family. When a powerful demon called “Sohn” emerges and kills their families, an unexpected trio is formed with a mission to exorcise the evil spirit. Choi Yoon (Kim Jae-wook), who is from a religious family, and Kang Kil-young (Jung Eun-chae), a skeptic and tough detective, team up with Hwa-pyung in a dangerous exorcism to defeat the demon. If you’re a horror genre fan, The Guest is definitely up your league.
Dr. Frost (2014-2015)
Jung Eun-chae plays the role of a professor’s assistant in the crime thriller series Dr. Frost. Dr. Frost, as Baek Nam-bong (Song Chang-eui) is called, is 34-year-old psychology professor and bartender. His nickname is derived from his prematurely white hair. Due to a frontal lobe injury when he was a child, his mind capacity heightens to a genius-level, but he is unable to feel any emotional responses. He volunteers as his university’s counselor, where he meets bright and enthusiastic senior student Yoon Sung-ah (Jung Eun-chae). Because of his impressive deductive and reasoning skills, he assists a veteran detective in solving various crimes. For Sherlock fans who likes documentaries and playing detective with mystery dramas, Dr. Frost is a series that needs to be on your K-drama bucket list.