A Stalker's Guide to Shin Min Ah
A beautiful and talented actress, Shin Min Ah continues to make a name for herself in the Korean entertainment world. Whether playing a mythological creature, a skilled swordsman, a blind woman or a spoiled brat, Shin Min Ah makes each of her characters unique and memorable.
Since Min Ah's body of work is still relatively small, I will discuss three of my favorites and then briefly go over the rest of the dramas that she has starred in.
Min Ah's most famous drama and for good reason. She really emphasizes her beauty and comedic abilities playing a legendary gumiho. Min Ah stars as Gu Mi Ho who is freed from her painting prison by Cha Dae Woong. He gets seriously hurt shortly afterwards and Mi Ho gives him her fox bead to help him heal. She then stays by his side and he teaches her to be human. As Mi Ho, she is absolutely adorable and quite aggressive, which is a welcome change from the typical timid Korean female leads. Besides the awesome female lead, this drama was great for a variety of reasons. Lee Seung Gi was charming and No Min Woo was too sexy for his own good The plot was really interesting and different. This was the sixth drama that I watched and it helped fuel my drama addiction as well as making me into a die-hard Min Ah fan. This is my favorite of Min Ah's drama and a must-watch.
One of my favorite dramas from last year, Min Ah takes on the famous tale of Arang. Surprise surprise, she's playing a fantastical being- she seems to be cornering the market. Arang is a ghost with no memory trying to find out how she died. She encounters Eun Ho (Lee Jun Ki) who can see her but isn’t afraid. Eun Ho agrees to help Arang after noticing that she has his mother’s hairpin, for whom he has been searching. The best thing about this drama, aside from Yoo Seung Ho’s turn as the Jade Emperor was Lee Jun Ki. He was amazing in this drama and his chemistry with Min Ah was fantastic. As much as I love this drama I didn't like the fact that Arang became weaker and quieter as the show progressed. Honestly, if Arang's character had stayed consistent throughout this definitely would have scored a 10.
This drama has a lot of mixed reviews and people tend to love it or hate it. I really enjoyed it and it is one of my favorite Shin Min Ah dramas. She stars as Cha Eun Seok, an actress whose ex-boyfriend tries to commit suicide after hearing of her engagement. Rain plays the ex-boyfriend’s brother Kang Bo Gu who plans to get close to Eun Seok and get revenge. Rain and Min Ah have great chemistry which is a really important factor to me in any drama. This series is dark and somewhat depressing which may turn some people off. I found it unique and I enjoy a good melodrama every now and then.
A great Min Ah performance that is quite understated. She stars as Seo Hae In, a psychic librarian who's knowledgeable in tarot cards and who occasionally helps the police on cases. She is asked to assist in a case involving tarot cards by Gang Oh Soo while continually finding herself in the presence of Oh Seung Ah, a lawyer who is secretly plotting revenge. Although I love criminal law type shows in America, I haven’t really watched many Asian shows in the same vein. A great drama that should be watched, although I did feel like it went on a little too long- as is usually the case with most Kdramas.
Min Ah's first main role and her performance is good but not as refined as her later ones would be. She stars as Jang Yu Bin-a high school student who lives with her brother Jang Yoo Chul since her parents died. Yoo Chul is a boxer and the two are very close. The night after a devastating match that he lost, Yoo Chul passes out and later dies at the hospital. Years later Yu Bin decides to take up boxing and unknowingly ends up being trained by the man that delivered the fatal punch to her brother. I liked this drama because I haven’t seen many sports dramas centered on a female athlete. Her character becomes more serious and she loses some of her fun personality when the melodrama kicks in, but overall a decent Min Ah drama to check out..
Shin Min Ah has a supporting role in this drama but it's a very different role for her. She stars as Lee Min Ji, the angry and spoiled sister of the main male lead Lee Min Chul. Min Ji and her brother are very bitter over the death of their mother and their father’s subsequent actions. Min Ah is pretty young at this time and still a bit green but she gives a good performance.
I will discuss my four favorite Min Ah films. I like all her other films as well (Sisters On the Road, A Bittersweet Life, The Naked Kitchen, Go Go 70's, Madeleine and Volcano High) but I just chose the ones that I personally enjoyed the most.
My favorite Shin Min Ah movie and one of my favorite Korean movies. Min Ah plays Jang Hae Joo, a beautiful blind woman who has a perfect boyfriend named Ku Dong Gun. Hae Joo undergoes surgery and is able to see again but her boyfriend is nowhere to be found. Hae Joo has always thought Dong Ju was handsome but in reality he isn’t and can’t bring himself to show his true face to her. Things get even more complicated when Hae Joo meets a man who looks exactly as Dong Gun described. This was a really cute and sweet movie that was actually funny. The main lead isn’t really ugly but I still liked the meaning behind the movie.
A film where Min Ah shows off her physical prowess long before Arang. She stars as Kang So Hwi, a martial arts expert who just wants to be a normal teenage girl. She has a crush on a hockey player and attempts to get closer to him when her childhood friend reappears. I like this movie quite a bit although it does have a major tonal shift from a fluffy romance comedy to a serious martial arts film. This character is the most similar to Mi Ho out of all her movie roles. After watching this, I’m really surprised that Min Ah doesn't do more action films since she was so good during all the fighting sequences.
I don’t think there has ever been a more accurately titled movie. The plot focuses on 4 different stories. Min Ah stars as Ahn Soo Eun, a deaf and scarred girl who works at a theme park wearing a costume. She falls in love with an artist who draws portraits but is too scared to show herself to him. A good actor should be able to convey enough emotion through their face to star in a silent film and Min Ah definitely passed that test.
A group of people is recruited to star in a reality show for a chance to win a million dollars. All too quickly the contestants learn that the game that they started is far more sinister than they initially realized. I've always been fascinated with the concept of forcing a group of strangers together under dire circumstances and finding out their true personalities and motivations. Min Ah is good here but with such a large cast of characters, the focus is definitely divided. Although not a complete stand out, she works well the cast and this helped the movie to feel more about this group of characters rather than one individual person.
If there is an actor or an actress that is worthy of a Stalker's Guide in your opinion, and you have watched enough dramas of his/hers to prove it, please contact Elisabetta about it.