Kim Kyung Nam captured my attention in Prison Playbook, and I’ve been watching his career with fascination ever since then. He’s an incredible actor with depth, range, and a command of nuance who is finally getting the attention he deserves. Come join me as I do a little fangirl stalking!
The Rules of Fangirl Stalking:
We will start with the dramas I think are must watch works by the actor, followed by the shows that could go either way. This means that they are worth watching in my opinion, but I know there are some people who don’t like the genre. Last, I will cover the dramas/movies that you really could skip and not miss much (at least in regards to the actor/actress featured). These are the shows that are for die-hard fans who want to watch everything.
Come and Hug Me: Kyung Nam’s role as Yoon Hyun Moo in this drama netted him the Best New Male Actor award in 2018, and for a very good reason. He played the incredibly conflicted Hyun Moo to perfection, swinging between hating his brother, wanting to be like his serial killer father, and protecting the rest of his family with a believability that took my breath away. He made me angry, scared me, and broke my heart through the course of this very, VERY intense drama, and he was brilliant every step of the way.
Prison Playbook: As Joon Ho’s little brother, Lee Joon Dol, Kyung Nam didn’t have a lot of screen time, but what he did have was memorable and generally made me laugh. He was such a fanboy and SUCH a little brother, and he was completely adorable. Watch this clip for a sample:
Could Go Either Way
The King: Eternal Monarch: I know this was a difficult watch for a lot of fans, simply because the plot was SO complex. I just finished watching it for the second time and it made SO MUCH MORE SENSE when I knew what was going on and could watch it all at once. ANYway. Kim Kyung Nam plays the stoic Kang Sin Jae, totally loyal to his best friend/unrequited love Tae Eul, resourceful as an integral part of their detective squad, and conflicted but filial to his gambling-addicted mom. I loved every bit of his performance, especially when I could SEE him fighting against his darker nature.
Special Labor Inspector Jo: Watching Kyung Nam was delightful in this, because his character was a gang leader who was just smart enough to stay ahead of the law, and yet just dim enough to be funny. I still have four episodes left to watch because the plot was starting to feel very rinse-and-repeat, but for Kyung Nam, I probably will.
You Could Totally Skip This
Where Stars Land: Oh glory, this drama was a hot mess. I loved all of the leading actors, but the plot line got chopped up and important bits left out or rewritten to be weak and useless. It was so sad! Kyung Nam was a highlight for me, though — as the security guard Oh Dae Ki who has a crush on his fierce teammate, I totally stayed with the drama to watch their love line. (Well, and it helped that she was a BTS fan. But that’s beside the point.) He was more reserved in this character — he’s very good at that — but had fantastic comic timing when it was required. However, this drama is skippable. You already know Kim Kyung Nam is amazing — you don’t need to watch Where Stars Land for more evidence!
There are a few dramas of his I left off this list, mainly because I haven’t watched them! But I look forward to watching Kim Kyung Nam’s career — I have a feeling it won’t be long before he’s dominating a lead role.
Until Kyung Nam’s next drama airs, I remain —
Karie the Maknae
Dramas with a Side of Kimchi