Hyun Bin is getting set to premiere a new movie AND is beginning a new drama in the coming months. So now is the perfect time to share my love for my #1 K-drama bias. Just so we’re clear, you guys, I’m a serious fan … and I have the ‘face’ socks to prove it!! From his signature cool stares to his warm, dimpled smiles, join me as I walk you through my fangirl stalking history with the one and only Hyun Bin.
The Rules of Fangirl Stalking
We will start with dramas I think are must-watch works by the actor, followed by the shows that could either way. This means they are worth watching in my opinion, but I know there are some people who don’t like the genre. Lastly, we will cover the dramas/movies that you could really skip and not miss much (at least in the regards to the actor/actress featured). These are the shows that are for die-hard fans who want to watch everything. So let’s jump into obsessing about Hyun Bin.
Secret Garden – This was the second drama I ever watched and it firmly established Hyun Bin as my bias. I absolutely fell in love with him as the arrogant and distant, designer-track-suit-wearing Kim Joo Won. A handsome chaebol, with a mysterious and troubled past, and a poor but accomplished stunt-woman meet by mistake … and end up switching bodies. Yes, this drama is admittedly heavy on the tropes, but the magical twist brought a bit of humor and showcased some great acting. Hyun Bin and Ha Ji Won not only had sizzling on-screen chemistry, but they made the supernatural element of this drama believable. All this reminiscing is making me want to pull it up for another re-watch!
Confidential Assignment – Since his return to acting after the military, Hyun Bin has primarily chosen to star in movies. Of the ones I’ve seen, Confidential Assignment has risen to the top as my favorite. Fast-paced action and a dash of comedy made this a great watch. Hyun Bin plays a well-trained and stoic North Korean detective. He is sent across the border, reluctantly teaming up with a South Korean counterpart, to run a joint police operation. I loved seeing him in this type of role. I’m REALLY hoping he will grace the small screen with an action drama too. Because, honestly, this movie went by WAY too fast!
Late Autumn – What happens when you take the gray drizzle of Seattle, add Hyun Bin as a drifting gigolo, and Tang Wei as a woman on parole headed to her mother’s funeral? You get this slow-paced and quiet, indie style film. Though the visuals remained consistently gloomy throughout, the story was thoughtful and oddly tranquil. The characters used a combination of English, Korean, and Chinese, so it was also a fun treat to hear a bilingual Hyun Bin. AND if you are in need of a toe-curling, two-and-half minute kiss scene, you may just want to add this movie to your watch list.
Depending On My Mood
My Lovely Sam Soon – If you call yourself a K-drama fan, then you already know that My Lovely Sam Soon is a classic must-watch, known for its stellar ratings. If you’re new to the K-drama life, prepare yourself for this time capsule from 2005. With gloriously shaggy hair, wide-legged pants, and ALL the expected tropes, some might find this drama a bit of a turn-off. However, Hyun Bin excelled as the quintessential cold and aloof male lead, opposite a strong and determined Kim Su Ah. While not my most favorite Hyun Bin drama, it should be seen at least once.
Fatal Encounter – Dark and intense best describes this period film about an assassination attempt on King Jeong Jo. As the Fangirls know, the historical genre is always a difficult one for me to watch. So, I’ll be totally honest here … I watched it for Hyun Bin. And he did NOT disappoint! This movie boasted a stellar cast and acting, but the numerous flashbacks did make the story a bit difficult to follow at times. However, I found I enjoyed this Korean history lesson quite a bit. Those who have a tough time with violence might give this one a pass, but otherwise it’s worth checking out.
For The Die Hard Fans
Snow Queen – There may be other fans out there that liked this drama, but it just dragged on for me. Hyun Bin’s genius-turned-boxer character was sadly ho-hum. Tragedy kept striking, and halfway through I could see where the ending was headed and I didn’t like it. I dutifully watched the entire story, but this was a ‘once and done’ drama for me.
The World That They Live In – I started this drama, got distracted, and eventually wandered back to finish it months later. Many, many years ago, I majored in TV Production, so I thought the story of Hyun Bin working behind the scenes as drama producer would be right up my alley. Unfortunately, the dialogue felt rushed and stilted, while the plot meandered and shuffled along. And it never really felt like the OTP clicked. I should have given this one a pass.
Hyde, Jekyll and Me- Oh goodness, where to start?! Even Hyun Bin playing dual roles, as a third-generation chaebol heir with a split personality, couldn’t rescue this drama from crashing and burning. The writing was abysmal, the lead female character was annoying, and I cringed my way thru the ENTIRE thing. This show is firmly in the “die-hard fans only” section and even then, well, friends don’t let friends watch bad dramas.
Negotiation – The plot seems pretty straight-forward: A crisis negotiator is dealing with the man who kidnaps her boss. Hyun Bin plays the role of the kidnapper and is flexing his acting muscles to play a villain for the first time in his career. The trailers look pretty intense and I’m not sure my heart can take him being the bad guy. However, I may still get myself down to the theater to check this one out, no subs and all!
Memories of the Alhambra – Hyun Bin is coming back to drama-land!!! I am BEYOND thrilled that he will be gracing the small screen once again, at the end of the year. This new drama is being written by Song Jae Jung (W: Two Worlds) and directed by Ahn Gil Ho (Stranger). The recipe for success is in place and I’m counting down the days until the premiere. I have only one
small BIG problem, and that would be his leading lady, Park Shin Hye. I’ve found you either love or hate this actress, and my feelings for her fall towards the latter. BUT I’ve weathered many hurdles to achieve fan-girl bragging rights with Hyun Bin and I will valiantly overcome this setback as well.
What do you think drama fans? Share with me your favorite Hyun Bin drama/movie in the comments below!
Dramas with a Side of Kimchi