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Army Comeback KDramas: The Bad, The Hopeful

One of the unique things about kdramas is when an actor has to leave for their mandatory military service. Some leave on a high note, like Choi Siwon doing the excellent supporting role in She Was PrettyThen some get the timing wrong and leave before the end of a show and it’s a mess. We can’t forget Kim Nam Gil in Bad GuyI wanted to highlight some high profile actors and their comeback dramas. Basically I’m counting down the days for Joong Ki.

Gong YooGong Yoo

Genre: Comedy, romance, fantasy
Episodes: 16
Broadcast network: KBS2
Broadcast period: 2012-Jun-04 to 2012-Jul-24

When I think of hugely anticipated comebacks, Gong Yoo always comes to mind. His breakthrough drama was the iconic The 1st Shop of Coffee Prince in 2007 and at the height of that, he left for the army. When he came back in 2009 he did several films and it wasn’t until 2012 that he decided to do a drama.

The stakes were huge. It was a show written by the popular Hong Sisters. It had two popular leads in Gong Yoo and Lee Min Jung. It had a trendy concept of soul switching. What could go wrong? Well, for me, the drama just lost its way. I found the younger character (played by Shin Won Ho) to be much more interesting. The writing sort of thrown together and the chemistry was off. The fact that I’m still bitter about years later, says it all.

Hyun BinHyun Bin
THE BAD: Hyde, Jekyll, Me
Also known as: Hyde, Jekyll, and I
Genre: Romance, comedy
Episodes: 20
Broadcast network: SBS
Broadcast period: 2015-Jan-21 to 2015-Mar-26

Another case of waiting to come back after an epic drama. In Binnie’s case, it was the instant classic Secret Garden that solidified his already mega status as an actor. So when he signed on for this, people were excited. I was excited. Hell, even one of my favorite young actors, Sung Joon, was in this. I was ready!

So what happened? The drama wasn’t horrible, it was just boring. I know my bestie is a much bigger fan and person than I am, so she suffered through it, but I mean, at least he looked good? Twenty episodes is a lot to go through for lackluster writing. It’s too bad it wasn’t better because Hyun Bin is great to watch.

Song Joong KiSong Joong Ki
THE HOPEFUL: Descended from the Sun
Also known as: Descendants of the Sun
Genre: Melodrama, romance
Episodes: 16
Broadcast network: KBS2
Broadcast period: 2016-Feb-24 to 2016-Apr-14

I’m going to be blunt, I fucking cannot wait for this drama. First, it’s another Kim Eun Sook drama. Sometimes her writing can be great and sometimes it’s just enough, but not that good. She gave us one of my favorites, City Hallbut she also gave us The Heirs which was super fluffy. Let’s be real though, the true reason to anticipate this is Joong Ki. And he looks good. Really good. Almost too good.

The premise of a “dangerous” romance between a doctor and a soldier is interesting enough for me to be on board like a crazy person despite the huge stakes and media that will no doubt envelope this. That’s okay. It’s Joong Ki. Also, they threw in SHINee’s Onew for something. He’s minor compared Joong Ki, but it’s definitely a bonus because I love him. I’m delirious over this. I will be holed up late February for the premiere.

Yoo Seung HoYoo Seung Ho
Also known as: Remember – War of the Son
Genre: Melodrama, thriller, legal
Episodes: 20
Broadcast network: SBS
Broadcast period: 2015-Dec-09 to 2016-Feb-18

What I love about Seung Ho was that before we could realize he was already in the army, he came back. He went in earlier than most popular actors and at 22, he’s getting a variety of roles that really stretch his abilities. From his first comeback show, the mini romcom fantasy based on a web toon, Imaginary Cat to the serious melodrama crime thriller, Remember. Does he even take breaks?

Looking at his previous work, it seems he always likes taking on project after project. I admire his work ethic for someone so young and talented. Feedback for both dramas seem good and Remember is definitely the more intense of the two. I kind of love that he did both of these shows. I mean, the cat is pretty adorable, okay?

Any army actors you liked or are excited about their comebacks? Comment below or tweet me @cherylfornia!

OhKDRAMA is my new column exploring Korean dramas. Regular posts Tuesday and Friday.

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Sources/images: Dramawiki Network Sites


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