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Who are today’s K-drama hotties?

By MONIQUE TODA, The Philippine STAR Published Jan 30, 2022 5:00 am

Time flies yet stands still. When it comes to the pandemic, it feels like we are stuck in a time warp where normal activity is suspended. On the other hand, life happens so fast that it’s a blur. This is the same for K-dramas. There are so many to watch, and there are new ones almost weekly.

Not to make light of the current situation, but I find watching K-dramas a form of self-care or even therapy. At this point, I will do anything to lighten the mood, even if it’s to get into shows that aim to make the young and the tita fangirls’ hearts flutter.

As per The Korea Times, Korean shows held the number-two spot for the most popular content on Netflix, in the fourth quarter of 2021. This accounts for 11.8% of the top TV series and films, right after the U.S. with 59%. So yes, there are a lot of K-dramas to watch while staying home as Omicron passes.

While I indulge, I notice that the pre-pandemic and early pandemic heartthrobs who kept us distracted from the initial terror of COVID are absent. Remember how everyone was so into Crash Landing on You and women were loudly proclaiming their love for Hyun Bin? Well, I’m sure Hyun Bin and others will be back in a new film or series eventually.

Hyun Bin

For now, let’s focus on the current crop of cuties who star in the new K-dramas and have been making waves. They brighten these Omicron times with their sweet smiles, handsome faces, washboard abs, and maybe even their acting abilities. Let’s enjoy them today because tomorrow another group of hotties will definitely emerge. Like I said, time moves fast.

These actors are not really new kids on the block. Some have been around the entertainment industry for a while, but their recent swoon-worthy dramas have been keeping many of us company and, of course, occupied.

Jang Ki-Yong

Jang Ki-yong is today’s fave eye candy.
Jang Ki-yong began his career in the modeling industry.

Jang ki-yong and leading lady Song Hye-kyo were definitely eye candy with their mesmerizing good looks in the recent Now, We Are Breaking Up. I have to say that I found it slow-paced, and wanted to “break up” with the drama many times. However, Jang Ki-yong made me see it through.

Before that, he was a dashing “gumiho” (Korean creature in folktales) in the rom-com My Roommate is a Gumiho. I first noticed Ki-yong in the circa-2018 Come and Hug Me, an eerie drama about a serial killer. But it was in My Mister, one of my favorite K-dramas, where he displayed his acting chops in a supporting role. They tried to make him look like a grungy goon, but no, he was still breathtakingly handsome.

Good-looking couple Jang Ki-yong and Song Hye-kyo in Now, We are Breaking Up


Rowoon is the lead vocalist of K-pop boy band SF9.
Rowoon plays Jung Ji-un, who falls in love with the crown prince and later finds out he is a woman.

I discovered Rowoon late last year in The King’s Affection, where he plays a noble, Jung Ji-un, who falls in love with the crown prince, only to find out later that he is a woman.

While Rowoon is a stage name, officially he is Kim Seok-woo. He is a member of boy band SF9 as lead vocalist. Following this series, I then watched Rowoon in She Would Never Know, another love story, but this time as an ordinary person in modern times. The super-tall (his height is 192 cm or almost 6’4”) and moist-lipped actor/musician also starred in Find Me in Your Memory in 2020 and Extraordinary You in 2019.

Rowoon stars with Park Eun-bin in the popular The King’s Affection.

Lee Jun-Ho

Lee Jun-ho is a member of the K-pop boyband 2PM. He is also an actor, singer, songwriter, and dancer.

Jun-ho has been in showbiz for years and I have seen in him in past dramas like Wok of Love. However, it was in the fun film Twenty where I really liked him. Twenty was hilarious and he was a great co-star to Kim Woo-bin and Kang Ha-neul.

In the recently concluded The Red Sleeve, Jun-ho wonderfully portrayed a crown prince and later emperor. He won the Top Excellence Award at the 2021 MBC Drama Awards for his acting here. It is also said that he didn’t eat for a day or so, and worked out like crazy, for a brief shirtless scene. What dedication!

Aside from belonging to 2PM, the second-gen K-pop boy group alongside fellow hunk Taecyon, Jun-ho is a versatile actor. His other work includes Confession; Homme Fatale, where he plays Joseon’s first male courtesan; Just Between Lovers; and Good Manager.

It is said that Lee Jun-ho didn’t eat for a day or so and worked out a lot for this scene in The Red Sleeve.
Lee Jun-ho stars alongside Lee Se-young in the hit The Red Sleeve.

Song Kang

Song Kang is the perfect leading man in romance dramas.
Song Kang portrays a ballet prodigy and dons tights in the tearjerker Navilleria.

Song Kang’s name is usually uttered in a half-whisper, like it is forbidden to say it out loud, lest it induce a wave of fainting women. In the steamy Nevertheless where he portrays a player, there are lots of tension-filled romantic scenes. In Navillera, he is a ballet prodigy and donned tights.

In a short span of time, he has had a number of dramas one after another, including Love Alarm and Sweet Home. His fans are eagerly anticipating Forecasting Love and Weather with Park Min-young, which will air on Netflix this year.

Song Kang plays an elusive love interest to Han So-hee in the romance drama Nevertheless.

Jung Hae-In

Jung Hae-in is an established and versatile actor.
Snowdrop stars Jung Hae-in and Blackpink’s Jisoo.

Jung Hae-in is definitely not a new kid on the block. He is an established Korean actor. I will tell you that many of the titas out there enjoyed Something in the Rain, a love story between an older woman and a younger man.

Although perfect as a sexy romantic lead, like in One Spring Night; A Piece of Your Mind, and While You Were Sleeping, he is a multifaceted actor, as seen in the excellent Prison Playbook and the recent D.P. which was so brutal. It revealed the dark side of the Korean army and showed off Hae-in’s depth of acting.

His current drama is Snowdrop with Blackpink’s Jisoo, where he portrays a graduate student in 1987, a turbulent time in the country’s history.

Jung Hae-in is prepped for his role in D.P., where he captures army deserters.