I'm relatively new to Asian dramas, although I've been into animes/mangas for a very, very long time (yes, I'm that old).
I have rated my favourite actors and favourite actresses below. My order of preference will change, and I will add/remove names also as I progress in my watching more and more series, but I'll try and keep my profile updated as much as I can.
I've added in my custom list all the other actors/actresses who have impressed me, but haven't done other shows I want to watch, or lack a little something to make it higher to the top.
As a note, I will add that I find it harder to find actresses I truly connect with compared to actors. Maybe I'm more demanding because I'm a woman myself, or maybe there aren't as many talented actresses as there are talented actors. I have a feeling that like in the Western world, a lot of actresses are chosen for their appearance rather than for their talent though. Sigh.
My top actors:
Lee Seung Gi
For A Korean Odyssey and You're All Surrounded. This actor has such a broad acting ability, he can play funny scenes just as well as the emotional ones. He also has that naturally cheeky/boyish side of him that he can't seem to suppress in his roles, I love this. And that smile?? Oh boy...My Number 2 (tied) actor.
Kang Ha Neul
For Forgotten, Midnight Runners and Moon Lovers: Scarlet Hear Ryeo. The finesse and sensitivity in his acting make me swoon. A manly, classy man and flawless actor, the best in my list. My number 1 actor.
For Algernon no Hanataba O and Boku Unmei no Hito Desu. Actor full of restraint in his acting, you won't catch him expressing his emotions overtly or in grand fashion, yet he does manage to convey them. Even his line delivery is soft and controlled. His sad scenes are flawless and he nails the witty humour. A subtle actor. No 2 (tied).
Park Seo Joon
For Midnight Runners. This man knows how to act. His facial expressions and timing are spot on, and he's the king of smirks. Such a good actor that he manages to lift a dull plot just by himself (What's wrong with Secretary Kim). No 3 in my list.
Ji Chang Wook
For Healer. Very young looking (I can't believe he was born in 1987), in a boyish, fun, cute sort of way, but his take on a double identity character was spot on and hooked me from the get go. No 4.
Kim Young Kwang
For Pinocchio and Sweet Stranger and Me. I think he has potential to lead more serious and complex dramas than the light-hearted roles he's had so far. He always manages to make me feel for his character, with his unique, cute expressions. No 5.
Yoo Seung Ho
For I'm not a Robot. His acting looks effortless and he nails the emotional scenes. He can also deliver funny lines just as easily, and he has made lots of shows I want to watch. An exciting actor, the youngest in my list! No 6 for now, with big potential to move up the list.
For Inuyashiki. Again, a masterpiece of a broken villain. As a character, he was very aloof and managed to easily pull your heart string to feel for him in spite of all of his crimes. Brilliant in Rurouni Kenshin too. NO 7.
Nam Goong Min
For Beautiful Gong Shim. I've only seen him play a goofy character, but his work was so effortless and quirky, I just fell for this character. He seems genuinely warm and funny. Very natural on screen. No 8 for now
Hong Jong Hyun
For Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo. THE way villains should be played: with the subtle darkness and restraint that this actor showed. He deserves more roles and fame this one. NO 9 for now.
Woo Do Hwan
For Sweet Stranger and Me. His supporting role of a complex, wicked yet despairing character made me want to watch more of him, especially as a lead role. No 10.
My top actresses:
For Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo. With this character, she managed to show strength and sensibility, stubbornness and fragility, through character growth. I truly felt for her. Beautiful and natural actress. My number 2 actress for now.
Park Min Young
For Healer. Her character grew and grew on me in this drama. I never disliked her, but I ended up truly loving her about halfway through. She comes across as sweet and innocent. Very pretty too. In What's wrong with Secretary Kim, she managed to to do an awesome job with an otherwise terrible script. My number 1 actress as she's the only one who has made many shows I want to watch.
Bang Min Ha
For Beautiful Gong Shim. Naturally funny and feisty, with a kooky, sweet spirit. Best friend material, and leading lady no one could ever hate. No 3 just now.
Chae Soo Bin
For I'm not a Robot. I easily connected with her and easily felt for her, right from the get go. Although she is new in the business, it doesn't show in her acting and she appears more mature than her young age. One to watch.
For Sweet Stranger and Me. A more mature actress, with a role that really talked to me. I could really relate to her, with her no nonsense acting and heart/feelings on her sleeve. A refreshing actress.
Kim Mi Kyung
For Healer. Only a side character, but what an truly magnificent one. Everything about her got me kook line and sinker. I love quirky, sassy characters and she played that one faultlessly. Also for Master's Sun. Confirms that she's a fantastic actress.
For Just You. Just a joy to watch, with a contagious smile and overflowing happiness. So when the emotional scenes come, the contrast is so wide, she just melts the audience (me).
For I'm your destiny. Pure sweetness on screen. Played a reserved, mature woman in a realistic way rather than the flamboyant, all out in the open style that many Asian actresses seem to favour. I was rooting hard for her and the male character chasing her.
Lee Yoo Bi
For Pinocchio. She didn't have a major role, but her dynamic, feisty, brat-you-can't-help-but-love character really hooked me, more so than the lead characters, and that's something to say about an actress.
My pet hates:
* OTT acting. Tone it down people!! Subtlety is required to act well. Leave the wicked laughs and flamboyant line delivery to kid cartoons. This is probably my biggest pet hate ever, the one that I cannot forgive.
* the well known manga to series. Especially the supernatural ones (Death Note, Bleach, Black Butler etc...). I cringe too hard. Inuyashiki is a tremendous exception: I loved the movie.
* High school and under: If the actors are under twenty, I cannot relate. I'm too old for this and will roll my eyes too often to appreciate.
* The love triangle: I have watched some, but jeez, how I hate those. I always feel bad for the 2nd lead. I'd rather watch 2 separate couples thank you. Love triangles are unnecessary, lazy drama.
* Visible age gap between the leads in a romantic movie, but only as older man/younger woman. Yes, I am sexist, as I love the older woman/younger man, but the opposite is icky. An old perv with a young lady just makes me sick: I am only fine with it if the actors don't look their age/the age gap isn't obvious.
I am fine with classic plots and cliches, as long as the actors can play those with natural skill. Great acting can lift an average plot, just like a fantastic plot can lift average acting. Mediocrity cannot be redeemed tough.
Finally, my ratings.
* I will never give a 10 to a comedy, not because it isn't deserved, but because comedies do not remain in my heart and head as much as more dramatic stuff. So the highest score I can give a comedy is a 9, meaning a 9/9 for a comedy is top marks.
* I tend to rate with my heart rather than with my head. If a show entertained me well, I will give it a high rating, even if the concept, plot or execution weren't original or high quality. The overall feel in my gut sways my mark giving.
* I am now only completing series that deserve at least a 7. There are too many series I want to watch to waste time on something meh, so if a show hasn't grabbed me by episode 2, I drop it without a care. I'll finish all movies though, even the sucky ones.
13d 6h 58m
Currently watching 21/327 hours ago
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