KajoPicks: 10 Korean dramas you must watch if you love Lee Dong-wook
Are you a fan of South Korean actor Lee Dong-wook? His most recent drama Bad and Crazy is soaring in high ratings thanks to its fresh and original story about ‘bad and crazy’ detectives who fight against police corruption.
Most people may not know that he is actually one of the many successful actors who came out of the School anthology series.
He joins other popular actors such as Lee Jong-suk, Kim Woo-bin, Nam Jo-hyuk and Yook Sung-jae, all of whom were the products of this series.
The School series is a Korean drama series showcasing the struggles of high school students in South Korea.
Dong-wook took up the role as Lee Kang-san in both School 2 (1999-2000) and School 3 (2000-2001).
Here are 10 South Korean dramas you need to watch if you love Lee Dong-wook:
1.My Girl (2005)
This Korean series might not be Lee’s first drama but it was the drama that catapulted him to Korean Wave stardom.
He plays the role of Seol Gong-chan. He is the only heir of the owner of L’Avenuel Hotel which is one of the top hotels in Korea.
His grandfather put him in charge of finding his long lost granddaughter who is also Gong-chan’s cousin.
Instead of looking for his cousin, Gong-chan hires a tour guide Joo Yoo-rin (Lee Da-hae) to pose as the missing granddaughter.
Desperate for money due to her father’s gambling debts, Yoo-rin agrees to play the role.
The series was so successful in Asian countries that there have been four remakes of My Girl; Indonesia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Thailand.
2.Scent of a Woman (2011)
Scent of a Woman marked Dong-wook’s first drama appearance after completing Korean military service.
It follows the story of a single woman who quit her job after being diagnosed with gallbladder cancer with approximately six months left to live.
She then embarked on a journey to Okinawa Island, Japan for her first vacation alone. There, she runs into Dong-wook’s character Ji-wook, a rich and cynical man. After a series of misadventures together, the duo falls in love with each other as the girl completes her bucket list.
One of their romantic scenes in the drama is when Dong-wook and his co-star Kim Sun-ah danced the tango.
In an interview with One TV Asia, Dong-wook revealed that he had never danced tango before and he practiced for a month before the shoot.
He stated, “On TV, the dance scenes looked very romantic and sexy but in reality, my brain was busy thinking of the next move and my feet were busy coordinating the dance.
“It was not easy to remember the moves and at the same time work well with my partner.”
3.Wild Romance (2012)
Here is another rom-com drama starring Lee Dong-wook that is worth watching.
This time, he plays the role of an obnoxious celebrity professional baseball player Park Mu-yeol.
He is in a love-hate relationship with his bodyguard Yoo Eun-jae (Lee Si-young).
Inspired by Si-young’s determination of not using a stunt double for her action scenes, Dong-wook too decided to perform all of his own stunts in the drama.
So all the fight and bickering scenes you see in the series? The two actors did it all by themselves.
4.The Fugitive of Joseon (2013)
In this drama, we get to see Dong-wook switched it up a bit by starring in a period drama.
It is set during the reign of King Injong, the 12th king of the Joseon Dynasty of Korea.
He plays Choi Won, a royal physician who is desperate to cure his sick daughter.
When he gets entangled in an assassination plot to poison the crown prince, Choi Won becomes a fugitive.
The story intensifies as he fights to save both his daughter’s life and his own.
5.Hotel King (2014)
This series reunites Lee Dong-wook with former co-star in My Girl (2005), Lee Da-hae.
Circling around the drama about inheriting and managing a hotel, Dong-wook plays the role of a hotel manager named Cha Jae-wan who hides a secret past.
It is basically a revenge drama in which Jae-wan vows to take revenge on his rich father who abandons him and his mother who died in poverty.
To prepare for his role as a hotelier, Dong-wook along with the cast members of Hotel King attended a training session to learn the basic rules and manners of hoteliers.
The hard work really paid off as the series became one of the most popular dramas, especially in China.
6.Guardian: The Lonely and Great God (2016-2017)
Unfortunately after Hotel King (2014), many of Lee Dong-wook’s dramas were not that memorable or impressive.
Then came the year 2016 when he starred in a drama that relaunched his popularity.
Instead of taking the main role like he usually did, Dong-wook took up the supporting role in Guardian: The Lonely and Great God (2016).
He plays the role of a Grim Reaper whose job is to guide souls to their afterlives.
These Grim Reapers do not have memories of their pasts but they do possess some supernatural powers.
Apart from his brilliant acting, his chemistry with his co-stars (especially with Gong Yoo who plays the Goblin) really impresses the viewers.
“The grim reaper takes dead people, but this time I am saving the lives of people who are on the verge of death,” Dong-wook stated during the press conference for the medical drama Life (2018).
As the role of Dr Ye Jin-woo, he plays the role of an emergency medicine specialist.
The story takes viewers to behind the scenes of the hospital when the fight to save lives becomes less important than the fight of profit making.
Dong-wook also revealed that the fact his previous work was fantasy but this time is a realistic one which drew him to take up the role.
Who doesn’t love a versatile actor, especially a good-looking one like Dong-wook?
8.Touch Your Heart (2019)
After watching Goblin, who can deny the chemistry between Dong-wook and Yo In-na who play love interests in the story?
In this series, the two actors reunite taking up the main roles instead of supporting roles in their previous drama.
Dong-wook turns himself into a workaholic lawyer named Kwon Jung-rok in this series while Yoo In-na becomes the scandalous actress Oh Jin-shim.
In order to clear her name and become famous again after a drug scandal, Jin-shim takes up a job as Jung-rok’s secretary.
The unlikely duo slowly fall in love with each other as they spend more time together.
9.Stranger from Hell (2019)
Once again proving his amazing acting skill, Dong-wook turns serious and creepy in his next drama Stranger from Hell (2019).
Also known as Hell is Other People, the drama is a psychological thriller based on a webtoon of the same name.
Dong-wook plays the role of Seo Moon-jo, a dentist who comes across as a friendly and compassionate.
However, things are not always what they seem.
Dong-wook received the “Dangerously Attractive Character” Award for his role in this drama… and we totally agree.
10.Tales of Nine-tailed (2020)
Lee Dong-wook returns as a supernatural being in the Tales of Nine-tailed (2020) and this time he becomes a gumiho named Lee Yeon.
He is a mountain spirit and guardian of Baekdudagan.
His job is to carry out missions from the Afterlife Immigration Office while searching for the reincarnation of his lover Ah-eum.
In this story, Dong-wook portrays Lee Yeon as this cynical character who looks like a bad boy who is ruthless to his enemies but only sweet to his girlfriend.