The Fangirls’ End of Year Countdown – Favorite Actresses of 2018

2018 was one of the first years where we all would say that many of the female roles were better than the mens.  Join us as we share our favorite actresses and the roles that made us sit up and take notice.  Did your favorite make our list?

Karie the Maknae

Chae Soo Bin

I loved her friendly, independent vibe in both I Am Not a Robot and Where Stars Land. I’m not sure of her range yet, despite having seen Sassy Go Go, but I always enjoy watching her.

Yang Mi

I just want to second everything Drama Geek says below. I also watched her in the movie Fatal Countdown: Reset recently, and her depiction of three distinct characters was so awe-inspiring that I enjoyed an otherwise tepid movie.


Jin Ki Joo

Clkytta: Hands down, I loved Come and Hug Me so much and her role as Nak Won made me fall for her. I loved that she was able to to be vulnerable and cry, but she would fight back. It takes some talent to show that much love and hate in your eyes.  That character was one of my favorites this year too. 


Kim Hae Sook & Kim Hee Seon

My favorites are the two female leads from Room No. 9,Kim Hae Sook and Kim Hee Seon. Between them they are killing it! (Does anyone besides me have trouble with all these similar names?)

 Drama Geek

Are you ready for a huge list? Sorry, this year was filled with amazing actress performances and I cannot leave anyone out.

Kim Nam Joo

In Misty her leading men were almost props compared to her. She did not play the sweet, perfect character. She had so many layers, I wasn’t sure we’d ever get to her core. Every scene she was in, you had to give her your rapt attention, she just didn’t allow anything less.  She owned that show, and so did her pantsuits. I hope she does more of this type of drama in the future.

Park Min Young

She has been one of my favorite actresses for a while, but this year her performance as Secretary Kim (I also watched Seven Day Queen right after that) really shot her to near the top of my bias list. She has a way of making you fall in love with both her and whatever couple she’s involved in. And she can really pull off the steamy scenes with her costars.

Yang Mi

Oh, my strong beautiful Yang Mi from Legend of Fu Yao. She really does it all. She manages to bring across such a strong character that is also smirky and playful (equal to her costar, which is a feat in its own), and also makes you care about her so much. Her fight scenes with Ethan were the highlight of my year. (Clkytta: I think all of us had a girl crush on her.)

Kdrama Jen

I 100% support the shout outs for all of the actresses above.  There were so many amazing leading ladies this year.  Park Min Young and Yang Mi are two of my all time favorite actresses, so I would definitely have included them on my list.  So, I will add a couple more:

Ni Ni

Ni Ni caught my eye in every scene of Rise of Phoenixes.  It did not matter if she was playing a male or female role.  She just jumped off the screen and held me captive.  I loved her as the intelligent and thoughtful scholar.  I look forward to her future roles.

Seo Hyun Jin

I am disappointed that the DramaFever demise disrupted the viewing of Beauty Inside for so many viewers.  Seo Hyun Jin was fantastic in this show.  She made me laugh at times and also ache with pain with her portrayal of an actress who inhabits different bodies every month.  She has the ability to seem completely polished in one scene and a hot mess in another.  I love her flexibility as an actress. 

Won Jin Ah

I tried to look up the filmography of Won Jin Ah as I watched Just Between Lovers because she seemed so comfortable in front of the camera.  I was shocked to discover she was fairly inexperienced.  Her performance in Just Between Lovers seemed like she was a very seasoned actress.

Shin Hye Sun

This is an actress with range.  She played the whimsical and charming Seo Ri in Still 17 and then she made me catch my breath as the soprano Yoon Sim Deok in Hymn of Death alongside Lee Jong Suk.  I loved her in both roles!


Kim Tae Ri

I, sadly, procrastinated and once I was finally able to comment, everyone else had snagged all my favorite performances.  Rather than just repeat what my kbesties have already said, I will add my one pick that was different then those mentioned.

Kim Tae Ri is a truly talented actress and I was very excited to watch her in this years big hit Mr Sunshine.  While I have not finished it, my life is insane busy right now, I think she deserves to get some mention.  Kim Tae Ri’s powerful performance is what hooked my interest and is also why I will return to finish the show.  I  anticipate her long and successful career in drama and film in the years to come.

There you have it.  Our picks for outstanding actresses of 2018.  Did your favorite make our list?  Let us know in the comments and be sure to follow us as we release our end of the year lists over the next several weeks.

Til next time,

The Fangirls

10 thoughts on “The Fangirls’ End of Year Countdown – Favorite Actresses of 2018

  1. Wow. Horrendous fail.
    IU beat ALL the above by a mile in My Mister. Really. It doesn’t matter if you didn’t like the drama for whatever reasons. Her performance cements her as an actress of major standing.
    And leaving out Lee Bo Young??? I mean really??? Mother showcased her talents extraordinarily well!

    • I did not watch My Mister or Mother, so I can only recommend the actresses I actually watched. Both of these shows are on my list, though! Thanks for reminding us that despite dedicating hours and hours of our lives all year long, there are still shows we miss! Luckily, I have some vacation time coming up…

  2. I also did not watch My Mister or Mother. Some people like darker dramas, but I’m not that person. I tend to wait until my fellow fangirls watch and let me know if there are any triggers for me. There are many reasons why some actors and actresses didn’t make our list, but I can safely say that since none of us watched My Mister, we weren’t nominating anyone from that drama.

  3. My favs Chae Soo bin (I’m not a robot), Jin Ki Joo was food but liked younger actress more. Park Min Young (WWWSK), Yang My for cdramas (Didnt finish that one.) Won Ji Ah (JBL). Shin hye sung and Kim Tae ri both were good in thirty but seventeen and Mr. sunshine respectively.

  4. They actually weren’t THAT dark – nothing like several of the police dramas I could name, let alone The Smile Has Left Your Eyes.
    They were REALISTIC, dealt with some real-time issues that aren’t so heartwarming, but did so in a way that illustrated them but left viewers with hope.
    These were dramas that have a lot of significance and meaning, and the acting & writing were superb. Don’t get me wrong, I love the fantasy and romance fluff dramas a lot, to take me away from the nastier things in life (or, you know, snow) – and I hate the kind of dramas so often seen in the US, where ALL one sees is the nasty side of life, and nasty people, to the point that one could think that in the US life is just one big hell hole of bleakness.
    But these two dramas were simply not like that at all. It’s important to face the realities of life in a positive way, in an attempt to DO something about various problems. Dramas like these two, where we see protagonists doing that very thing, in a way that seems probable (ie not a superhero, for instance, coming to save the day, or money making all the problems disappear). They are the kind of dramas reflect reality in a way that can make viewers think about their own lives in a more positive light, and possibly help viewers question their own perceptions.

    • I love how passionate you are about this. Sadly, the demise of DramaFever and the unreliability and sketchiness of some of the other sites mean we may not be able to go back and watch some dramas. You never know though, we could do a review later on.

    • Each year there are a few dramas that are more serious in theme that I end up loving while tons of other people are gushing over something that is lighter and fluffier, so I do understand wanting people to watch those types of dramas. I’m actually really upset at myself for waiting so long to go back and watch My Mister and Mother. They were both on my watch list for when I had more time. I hope there will be a streaming site that will pick both of them up because I know that the stories and performances were amazing in both, sadly I just didn’t have the time to watch when they were airing.

  5. Incredible list!! 💖I would add Lee Bo Young, Han Ji Min and IU too but it’s impossible to watch every drama out there anyway. Thanks for showering love to all the female leads that killed their roles and wormed their way into our hearts.
    I’m binging all your Year End posts. All the bloggers here have such similar tastes to me. So yay!

Leave a Reply