After watching Inspiring Generation this week I realized that every show I’ve ever really really liked. Those that are in my top ten, maybe even top five of all time have great leads, but also an amazing supporting cast that makes the show what it is. For many of these actors these roles, in these show, make them stars and leads in their own follow up shows. So, let’s get down to it and list the top five supporting casts.
The first drama I can remember with an all star supporting cast was my favorite drama of all time for six whole years, up until Man From the Stars obliterated my bias list and my feels. My, now second, favorite drama of all time is Iris and two of its supporting casts blew away audiences for their killer performances. Iris had a great cast all around, but Kim So Yeon and Choi Seung Hyun (T.O.P.), became breakout household names in the acting world for their work as North Korean spy Kim Seon Hwa and lethal assassin Vick. Iris is the show that established Kim So Yeon as my favorite kdrama actres and T.O.P. as a action star. If you haven’t seen Iris it’s one not to miss, one of the most thrilling Korean dramas ever made and set the standard for high quality high budget dramas.
Number two on my list of best supporting casts is Boys Over Flowers. This is the show I suggest every new kdrama fan watch first. It’s a beast of a show and if you can get through it and like it everything that comes after will be a cake walk. Those who love the show…they’re hooked! This shows supporting cast was flawless. Out of any Korean drama I’ve seen Lee Min Jung was the closest I’ve ever seen to actually stealing the male lead from the female lead. How many of us actually wanted Gun Jun Pyo (Lee Min Ho) to end up with her character? I did. I’ll be honest. I thought she was a better match and a way funner character than Jan Di. Lee Min Jung is now a leading actress staring in her very own drama, Single Cunning Lady which is a heck of a lot of fun.
Wait, whom I kidding…
We all know what made Boys Over a Flowers so awesome, the boys. Can you imagine any other actors playing the F4 flower boys besides Kim Joon, Kim Bum, and of course Kim Hyun Jung? Anyone? Anyone…I didn’t think so. These three along with Lee Min Ho set the benchmark for lovable bitchy rich boys and any chaebol that’s followed takes their lead from one of these four. This is also the show that turned Kim Hyun Jung from one of the hottest idols in the world to a legitimate actor. When Boys Over Flowers started Kim Hyun Jung was just another idol turned actor and his role as Ji Hoo earned him millions of new fans around the world due to his handsome face and adorable portrayal of Ji Hoo.
The third best supporting cast which made the their show so so good was Shin Sung Rok and Park Hae Jin in the best drama of all time, The Man From the Stars. These two actors lit up the screen in each and every scene that they were in. Park Hae Jin was so lovable and endearing as Lee Hui Kyung he’s now, after many years, a household name in Korea. The charming and gorgeous actor won our hearts over with this role and is now a hot issue as his next drama Doctor Stranger is one of this years most anticipated dramas. His next role airs sometime in April and I for one can not wait to see him back on my screen. Park Hae Jin’s on screen brother, Shin Sung Rok, won over many viewers with his devilishly good looks and scarily psychotic portrayal of Lee Jae Kyung. Week after week we tuned into the show to see just what evil schemes he’d come up with and the inevitable encounter where Do Min Joon throws him off a cliff, or a building, or into space…we really didn’t care. Shin Sung Rok was that good, we just wanted him gone.
The drama taking the number two spot is 2013’s Fall favorite The Heirs. You knew this was going to be on the list, right? How could it not. This was one of the most anticipated, viewed, and highest rated dramas last year that had an all around awesome cast that established several of the actors as major forces in the acting business. The first to make an impression is another idol turned actor, F(x)’s Krystal Jung, who won us over with her at first cold and snotty, but later warm and fuzzy portrayal of Lee Bo Na. Let’s get real, she had us at “Exscccuuuse Me?”
Two other standouts were Choi Jin Hyuk and Kim Woo Bin. This was the second of Choi Jin Hyuk’s major shows in 2013. The first being Gu Family Book which got his name out there, but it was The Heirs and his role as Kim Won that made fan boys and girls go gaga over his perfectly handsome face and that voice…that voice. Choi Jin Hyuk followed up his supporting role in The Heirs with his own leading role in Emergency Couple which is currently airing and doing extremely well on TvN breaking the 5% barrier in the cable ratings.
Kim Woo Bin made headlines with his portrayal as
#DonkeyFace #WhiteKnight Young Do in The Heirs. It was the role that established him as a household name and the perfect bad boy we all love to hate. He was so deliciously, yes deliciously, good at being bad he’ll own the bad boy image for years to come. The model turned actor made this show what it is for his bromance with Lee Min Ho’s Kim Tan and their love triangle with Park Shin Hye. To deny him his turn in the light is just wrong…just wrong.
Which leaves us with the best, the number one supporting cast in a Korean Drama…
My number one pick for the top supporting cast is the currently airing drama Inspiring Generation. This show has had so many ups and downs in emotions, storyline changes, and actor changes that it’s been a literal roller coaster. One thing that has remained constant is that the immense cast has been consistently good from day one. There are of course a few standouts. Yoon Hyun Min as Aoki has been brilliant. I haven’t quite labeled him #DonkeyFace Aoki, yet, but he’s damn near close to being this seasons number 1 #DonkeyFace with his constant schemes and attempts to murder our hero Shin Jung Tae. He came in early with a great fight sequence against Aoki that left both a bloody mess. Since then he’s managed to capture Shineuijoo and is well on his way to taking over not only Shanghai but also Il Gook Hwae itself…here’s hoping anyway. One of the actors I’ve been most surprised with in the show is Uhm Tae Goo’s portrayal of Do Ggoo. He’s a scheming, sneaky, wretch whose got no backbone, but has always been in the thick of drama. There is a cooky lethalness to the character that only Uhm Tae Goo could adequately show with his outrageous facial expressions and huge eyes. They are huge right?
These next two players have had the most impact on the show after our lead, Kim Hyun Jung, and could arguably not be considered supporting casts at all, but second male leads. Both Kim Sung Ho and Song Jae Rim have made Inspiring Generation a better show each and every week. Kim Sung Ho is the actor I hope gets the most press from the show. He’s excellent as Jung Jae Hwa and this is the first role I’ve seen where he gets so much screen time. He’s an excellent actor and his work on The Tower and Secret Garden had me cracking up. The first time I had seen Kim Sung Ho, however, was in one of my favorite Korean Movies, 2010’s best film…The Man From Nowhere. Kim Sung Ho played a hideously psychotic and strikingly beautiful (Yes…the dude was pretty, real pretty) gangster who gave me the chills and thrills throughout the movie. Since his character has been introduced I’ve become more interested in his character and admiring him for his intelligence and care for the Korean refugees that live in Shanghai’s Bangsantong.
Last, we come to the man of the season. A man who many would say saved his show, replacing a departing second male lead and making waves all over Dramaland with his portrayal as Master Mo Il Hwa. Of course, I’m talking about Song Jae Rim. Like Kim Woo Bin, Song Jae Rim is a model turned actor and is the breakout star of his show. After being written off the show after episode eight or nine fans of the show cried out in dismay. How could this amazing character played by a hot actor many had seen, but couldn’t place his face to be written out of the show with such a small role. I even wrote a two part post on Song Jae Rim’s departure as being the number one reason to stop watching the show after Inspiring Generation went through a writer switch at episode ten. The hope if his return was also the number one reason to continue watching the show and all of us Master Mo fans out their got our wish as he’s been the most exciting part of the show since his arrival. Has Song Jae Rim won you over? I’m solidly in his camp and can’t get enough Mo…I need mo’ Mo!
What are some of your favorite supporting casts? Is there a show I should check out whose supporting cast was so good it made the show for you? Let me know in those comment boxes down below!