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[2019 Year in Review] Memorable characters of 2019

Characters frequently determine how much I enjoy a drama. Even a bad drama can keep me invested if I find the characters interesting or likeable enough. Although there were only a few dramas this year that truly had an impact on me, I realized that there were a host of characters that left an impression. Whether they were hilarious, strong, lovable, complicated or downright strange, they stayed on my mind long after the drama was over. So this post is dedicated to those memorable characters from this past year that kept me hooked.

 
Quirkiest of the bunch

These aren’t your typical cutely quirky characters we get in many a drama. No, these people are straight-up weird, and I’m here for it.

 

Im Jin-joo and Son Beom-sooBe Melodramatic

From a drama filled to the brim with fantastic, quirky characters that feel lived in, I feel like Jin-joo (Chun Woo-hee) and Beom-soo (Ahn Jae-hong) come as their own bizarre set. Their romance was certainly one of the stranger ones I’ve seen, but their weirdness made them an oddly compatible pair. Whether they were refusing to acknowledge the awkwardness in the air after a night of drunkenness or Jin-joo was whipping a guitar out of nowhere and “serenading” Beom-soo with his ex’s song, their scenes were frequently hilarious. I honestly can’t say that I always liked them, but I always appreciated their uniqueness. I love seeing unconventional characters on screen, and these two definitely fit the bill.

Director Kim Sang-sooBe Melodramatic

Although he was a minor character, I always enjoyed Director Kim’s (Sohn Seok-gu) scenes. This dude cracked me up. He was such an oddball with his hilariously misplaced dramatic pauses. I loved his reluctant friendship with fellow director Eun-jung. A scene that illustrates his unique character is the one in the picture above in which he spontaneously offers Eun-jung a hug since hugs are “… [dramatic pause] warm.” A minute later a kid jumps into his arms for a hug and the look he throws Eun-jung as he whispers “warm” just killed me.

Veronica ParkThe Secret Life of My Secretary

The embodiment of extra, the awwwwwesome Veronica Park (Kim Jae-kyung). What a scene-stealer. While her privileged upbringing made her cluelessly self-centered, she never comes across as unfeeling or intentionally rude. Her harmless nature makes her endlessly entertaining dramatics more cute than anything else. Despite being so extra as to be practically a caricature of herself, there’s a genuineness to all her antics—she wears her heart on her sleeve. It’s a wonder how such a loud, over-the-top character could be immensely entertaining without veering into obnoxious territory. Props to Kim Jae-kyung because this character could have gone horribly wrong in less capable hands.

 
Go on with your badass self

Over the years, dramaland has gotten much better with diversifying its female character types and making them less damsely. But these women are on another level. They’re not the damsel—they’re the knights in shining armor fighting off dragons. Scratch that. They’re the dragons.

 

Lee Yeon-seoAngel’s Last Mission: Love

The highlight of this show was undoubtedly the incredible performance by Shin Hye-sun as cold, chaebol heiress Lee Yeon-seo. In a fun gender-reversal, she’s the tsundere who gets a sunny, literally angelic male lead to help her out of her hard shell. Yeon-seo is not just cold, she’s downright hostile at the start. I’ve rarely, if ever, seen a female romantic lead be allowed to be so unpleasant. But what kept her from being unlikable was Shin Hye-sun’s deft touch. Yeon-seo’s loneliness and fear shone through, giving her a vulnerability that made you root for her to overcome her trauma and self-isolation. As she starts to let her guard down and rediscover her passion, you can’t help but admire her tenacity and strength.

Mo Seok-heeGraceful Family

Mo Seok-hee (Im Soo-hyang) turned out to be one of my absolute favorites of the year. What makes Seok-hee so special is her tough-as-nails yet empathetic persona. She is unapologetically herself and refuses to back down from what she believes is right, no matter the cost. Seok-hee’s brazen approach garners respect and disbelief in equal measure, but girl gets results. Regardless of how many times she gets pushed down, she comes back up swinging. Somehow, despite her horrible chaebol family and tragic circumstances, she’s warmhearted and kind. Watching her fearlessly go toe-to-toe with those much more powerful than her, all while looking fabulous, will make you wish you were half as cool as her.

Gu Hae-ryungRookie Historian Gu Hae-ryung

By far my favorite role of Shin Se-kyung’s, Hae-ryung came out the gate as a woman ahead of her time. Despite everyone trying to convince her she needed to underplay her intelligence to secure a husband (ugh), she decided to go ahead and become one of the first batch of female government officials instead. Her determination, self-respect and bravery in simply refusing to be anyone but herself, even if that meant going against powerful people to stand for what she thought was right, earned her the respect of those around her. She was a quiet badass, if you will. She wasn’t loud or glamourous, but she held her ground when it counted and didn’t let anyone sway her.

 
Who’s bad?

It’s always nice when we get villains who do more than laugh maniacally and give grandiose monologues about their twisty plans. When done right, villains can be some of the most intriguing characters. The following three antagonists stood out to me for their different representations of “evil.”

 

Seo Moon-joHell Is Other People

Who knew Lee Dong-wook could be so creepy? Moon-jo is definitely the most straightforward villain on this list, but he never felt flat despite being your standard serial killer (since that’s a thing now). Every time he uttered his signature “jagi-ya” (term of endearment like “honey”), I got the creeps. His unnerving smile and soft mannerisms made his heinous acts even more unsettling. That’s how you do a conventional villain right.

Mo Tae-kangWhen the Devil Calls Your Name

Despite technically being an evil supernatural being, Mo Tae-kang (Park Sung-woong)—or more accurately the being possessing Tae-kang’s body—is interestingly the most ambiguous villain on this list. Sure, he made Faustian deals with people to steal their souls, but he didn’t exactly feel “evil.” He even got a bromance with Ha Rib! Not to say Tae-kang didn’t commit unethical acts, but as we learn more about his history, it becomes clear his actions serve as a rebuke more out of disillusionment than evil intent. Now if only he could’ve done that without stealin’ souls.

Han Je-gookGraceful Family

As the power behind the powerful, what made Han Je-gook (Bae Jong-ok) an interesting adversary was her firm belief that she was in the right. She saw what she did as necessary to maintain the status quo. So she might engage in coverups or frame innocent people occasionally—small price to pay for the sake of maintaining the power structure. She didn’t create the system; she just took advantage of it since she was able. She was typically the smartest and most capable person in the room, and everyone knew it. Although her lack of ethics was disturbing, there’s no denying her impressive ability.

 
Poignant journeys

The following three women stand out for their poignant stories of love and loss. Breaking free of the past or self-imposed suffering isn’t an easy task, especially when you’re not sure you want to. But with a whole lot of strength and the support of loved ones, it may just be possible.

 

Lee Eun-jungBe Melodramatic

Eun-jung’s (Jeon Yeo-Bin) struggle to move past the death of her boyfriend was heart wrenching. Her grief manifested as hallucinations of her dead boyfriend she would talk to throughout the day, to the distress of her family and friends. For me, one of the most affecting scenes was when she was going through documentary footage and saw herself on camera talking to thin air. It’s one thing to be aware no one else can see your boyfriend, but it’s another to be confronted with the image of that from the outside. Her grief and subsequent mental health struggle were sensitively portrayed without being romanticized or pitying. And it was great to see a drama actually promoting therapy alongside the support of family and friends.

Oh Jung-sookWhen the Camellia Blooms

The character that stuck with me most from this drama was the heroine’s mother Oh Jung-sook (Lee Jung-eun). Her character was shrouded in mystery for much of the drama, but it’s clear from the start her backstory will be a painful one. She was plagued by one misfortune after another, and I was rooting for her and Dong-baek to repair their fraught relationship and bring each other some comfort. Thanks to Lee Jung-eun’s emotionally resonant performance, Oh Jung-sook is a character I won’t soon forget.

Kim Hye-jaThe Light in Your Eyes

Whew, this one got to me. From the start, I was pleasantly surprised by the way it highlighted how society dismisses the elderly through the lens of a 25-year-old trapped in the body of a 70-year-old. But then the big reveal hit, and I was not prepared. Without spoiling anything, I’ll just say that I thought the way things played out was wonderfully done and made Hye-ja into a character I will long remember. Strong performances from Han Ji-min and, especially, Kim Hye-ja helped make this beautiful story a standout for me.

 
What could’ve been

Dudes with tragic pasts have never been lacking in dramaland. You know the type. They’re often complicated and misunderstood with hidden vulnerability and loads of paaain. They’re “good at heart,” although life’s unrelenting misfortunes may have taken care of that. They also have an uncanny ability to doom themselves through poor decision-making.

 

Mo Wan-sooGraceful Family

I enjoyed Mo Wan-soo’s (Lee Kyu-han) character from the start, but I didn’t expect his story to be so affecting. He was overlooked in favor of his more well-behaved, moldable younger brother and deprived of affection from a young age. His natural sensitivity made him particularly vulnerable as he strove to survive in his cold household. In the face of his family’s hostility, he cultivated a carefree persona and used his flippant demeanor as armor. At the very least, all Wan-soo truly wanted was the love of his mother, so it was hard to watch her blatant favoritism and casual cruelty towards him. There has to be a happy chaebol family in dramaland at some point, right?

Baek Yi-hyunNokdu Flower

Baek Yi-hyun’s (Yoon Shi-yoon) journey to the dark side was riveting and heartbreaking. He started out with noble intentions, earnestly fighting on the side he thought was right for the good of the people. But war changed him, and he was never able to rid himself of the horrors he’d been forced to take part in. Wanting to return to his more innocent self, he struggled to fight the newfound darkness that had taken hold, but some changes can’t be undone. His story stuck with me, thanks in large part to Yoon Shi-yoon’s nuanced performance.

King Yi HeonThe Crowned Clown

While I never felt fully invested in the Clown’s arc, the same can’t be said of the King’s. Yeo Jin-gu does dramatic roles like nobody’s business, and this was no exception. He acted the hell out of King Yi Heon. Despite being a pretty awful human by this point, you couldn’t help but pity this broken, young king who was unimaginably lonely and frightened. Repeated assassination attempts and betrayal drove the once well-intentioned king to paranoia, and as he spiraled deeper into despair (and his drug addiction), he became unrecognizable. He’s easily the most memorable aspect of the drama for me.

 
Why so lovable?

You know those characters that are just so cute it makes you want to pinch their cheeks? Often squishy and always endearing, you can’t help but smile when they’re on screen.

 

Chun Deok-guSpecial Labor Inspector Jo

I knew from the moment Deok-gu’s (Kim Kyung-nam) face crumpled and he started sobbing upon seeing his favorite high school teacher again that I loved this kid. He may technically be a gangster running an illegal business, but he’s the squishiest little gangster that ever could. This kid is loyal to the max, and his love for his teacher knows no bounds. He and his adorable team even lent their skills to aid Deok-gu’s beloved teacher in bringing the baddies to justice. This makeshift family with Deok-gu at its center brought a lot of heart to the drama.

Do Min-ikThe Secret Life of My Secretary

Do Min-ik (Kim Young-kwang) is the type of character whose likeability greatly depends on the actor playing him. Thankfully, Kim Young-kwang is awesome and rather than coming off as cringey or a spoiled man-child, Min-ik instead came off as an adorable, slightly clueless puppy. His sheltered, privileged life may have made him a wee bit entitled, but unlike many a chaebol, he isn’t cold or belittling. Quite the opposite, as he’s naturally warm and good-natured. And we all know that finding a squishy chaebol in dramaland is like finding a unicorn.

Lee So-minBe Melodramatic

Bizarrely straight-forward yet hard to read, actress Lee So-min (Lee Joo-bin) was frequently misjudged to be vapid and rude by those around her. Even her college friend Eun-jung mistook some of her behavior as due to entitlement rather than her blunt and aloof personality. Although high maintenance and pampered, she is surprisingly endearing beneath her misunderstood exterior. I found So-min refreshing in her almost childlike tendency to say (or act on) what she felt or thought without calculation. That’s a rare quality.

 
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Great review @quirkycase! We indeed had lots of interesting characters this year. A favorite of mine is also Deok-gu: "the squishiest little gangster that ever could". Truth. 😂😂 I luff him so much. SPECIAL LABOR INSPECTOR JO surprised me with how good and fun it was, without ever taking itself very seriously.

And ugh, I'm still heartbroken over Baek Yi-hyun's descent into darkness in NOKDU FLOWER, and over sad forgotten Cray from THE CROWNED CLOWN. 💔

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Yi-hyun is a character I wish I could save from himself. So inevitable and so heartbreaking.

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Thank you @quirkycase for this wonderful write up and explorations of the characters we love and love to hate and why. I agree with all your thoughts on the characters in the dramas I watched.
Now I just need to find time to watch Be Melodramatic and The Light in your Eyes.
You sold me on those two! Graceful family just has too many episodes....

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Graceful Family actually only has 16 episodes. It's not a weekender.

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Oh good - I thought it was a weekender. Then it's on list. Thank you tiac!

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Oh what a fun break down of the year, though I've only watched one of these dramas. The whole cast of The Secret Life Of My Secretary was just wonderful.
I did just start Inspector Jo and I love a makeshift family storyline so this makes me happy.

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Poignant Journeys - for me Hyang-mi’s arc (Camellia) stuck with me the most. She was wonderfully written, and beautifully acted. Knowing the full story, and then reviewing her scenes - her story was there, in the subtle actions of her face and voice, and eve in her small thefts. A memorable character indeed.

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I love that actress no matter what she does. She is amazing!

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She was my favorite out of Camellia! I was crushed when the countdown began and then reached zero.

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Great share @quirkycase! I only watched Devil out of the dramas listed. I didn't understand Ryu's intentions and how he became evil till this day. The drama was too complex for me, I feel that the writer tried to build a fantasy world that unfortunately collapsed in itself. Huhu

About memorable and interesting characters in 2019....mine would be Emperor Lee Hyuk and Empress Dowager from The Last Empress and Seo Yi Do from Perfume *pardon my slight bias* hahahaha. Emperor and his mum were such a dysfunctional pair. Their shaving scene still give me shivers. Mum and her out-of-the-box beauty rituals: bathing in breastmilk and making human experiments 😱. Emperor Hyuk is hmmm....royal hotness in a long leather coat whipping his guns out whenever he fancies and sipping instant coffee at the side 🤴🏻. Lol. Seo Yi Do from Perfume on the other hand, lived a life as pure as morning dew. So pure 💜. Hahahaha.

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GREAT summary! Im a bit disappointed there was no ode to the characters of Extraordinary You (Kim Hye Yoon's Eun Dan Oh) who i felt to be iconic this year as well.

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Danoh was the cutest but so badass in the same time.

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Dan-oh was Heroine of the Year for me, as much as I loved the girls in Be Melodramatic.

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Favorite character for me this year has to be Jang Man-wol from Hotel de Luna! <3 IU portrays this woman-child so wonderfully.

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She was outstanding in this role, perhaps the best I've ever seen her in. I gave the show one bean for her performance and one for her costumes alone, because I'm shallow like that.

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I had taken a 6 month hiatus from watching kdramas and catching sight of her outfits on my parents' tv screen got me back into kdramas!

I also love seeing her spend money since heroines are typically poor and never get to do baller things like buy a dozen sports cars. I also admire how she was able to run Hotel del Luna. It's truly a hotel for everyone. I hated the hotel's next incarnation, which has a for-rich-young-men vibe.

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There has to be a happy chaebol family in dramaland at some point, right?

Isn't that the million dollar question?? 😉

I'm glad you write about Baek Yi-hyun. He is easily one of my favorite antihero this year (the other one being Oh Jun-seok from Beautiful World). And probably Yoon Shi-yoon's most memorable and nuanced performance to date.

Also, shout out to the awwwesome Veronica Park and squishy Do Min-ik. If not for The Secret Life of My Secretary, I probably wouldn't have any satisfying romcom in my list this year.

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Your comment about Beautiful World reminded me of one of my favorite characters this year, Park Moo Jin. One of the most loving husband/father out in drama world.

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Nice write-up! I need to watch Graceful Family. I might as well do it now while nothing else is on.

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Dawww. You posted some of my favorites!

Veronica Park and Do Min Ik from Secret Life of My Secretary : both of them are the reasons I loved this drama.

Cha Hyeon (Scarlett) from Search WWW : I loved how kickass she was while still being feminine. I want to be her when I grow up ❤

I haven't finished these series but so far I'm loving:

Mo Seok-hee from Graceful Family : Another kickass woman who isn't going to sit back and let her family continue being awful. 🐟

Im Jin-joo from Be Melodramatic : She is my spirit animal. She is such a weirdo and I love her for it.

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Why so lovable has to include Yong-shik, who became one of the most lovable characters ever in the hands of Kang Ha-neul.

Why so evil would be my label for Han Je-gook, who made herself the infallible arbiter of who should die. Terrifying in her self-righteousness and self-justification.

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I agree, this year has been more about characters....but If we have gotten to a point where all we can hold on to is isolated characters - SK drama is in deep trouble.

SK Drama always had great characters but they sat inside interesting dramas...not instead of.

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Be Melodramatic really was filled to the brim with quirky characters, but the quirkiest of all was Da-mi. This girl was a trip. She had Seo Dong-gi PD wrapped around her little finger, but for the better part of the drama, I shipped her with Hwan-dong who I maintain did not cheat on Jin-joo.

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I forgot about Hwan-dong for a second. For some reason, he was actually one of my favorite characters of the drama, despite there being so many good characters. I had a lot of feelings for him when he realized that he might still want to get back together with Jin-joo even though he knew it was impossible. And I loved his dedication as a director.

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Oh, Hwan dong def never cheated on Jin-Joo. Jin-Joo even says that- she says she knew, even when she accused him, that he hadn't cheated, but the relationship was just unsustainable and had to end and that was as good an excuse as any. That's why I never could warm to her completely.

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Characters (and their chemistry) are the extremely important to me, too, so I love this review. I enjoyed so many of the characters on this list like Mo Seokhee, Mo Wansoo, and the Be Melodramatic cast.

If I had to pick my absolute favorites from this year, it'd have to be Park Hooja (My Fellow Citizens) and Yi Bangwon (My Country), both of whom stole their respective shows imo.

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Park Hoo-ja was hilarious! She belongs on the best villains list.

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Lee Eun-jung in Be Melodramatic was my favourite character, her story was so touching! Her weird relationship with Director Kim Sang-soo was the best! I want a second season with her in Europe to make her reportage and then meeting him in Morroco.

Chun Deok-gu – Special Labor Inspector Jo : He was so cute! I really like this actor. He already stood up in Come and Hug Me as the villain brother, then in Where Stars Land as security guard falling in love with his partner and finaly in Special Labor Inspector Jo.

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Totally agree with you about Be Melodramatic. That couple won my heart.

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@kuram
You have hit on the big difference in "Character". It is often hard to split if it is the writer or the actor who makes the character.

For me, it comes down to when the actor's choices totally step beyond the written construct. Lee Eun-jung and Chun Deok-gu are great examples of writer v actor.

Be Melodramatic was straight up an ensemble drama - sure chock full of great acting - but the characters were the writer. Their arcs, their entanglements were constructs of the writing. I say this because not one character stood alone, every one was intertwined and fully integrated in the other arcs. I agree, Jeon Yeo-Bin is totally brilliant and so nailed the role as Lee Eun-Jung. She brought depth and insight to take the role to its full depth and would fully deserve any acting awards that should come her way for it. (1 -Who ever did the casting for this drama deserves an award 2- if Lee Eun-jung doesn't become a major star, her agency has questions to answer)

Kim Kyung-Nam made Cheon Deok-Koo so much more than was ever in the script.

It is sometimes hard to make that call in ensemble dramas, and for me Camellia is probably the hardest to make the call on. For me, Son Dam-Bi as Hyang-Mi would be the actor generated. (the fact that @pakalanapikake was able to called the Hyang-mi trajectory in ep03 from her portrayal is the tell). Kang Ha-Neul is harder to call. That character could have been so cringe but he just gave Yong-Sik so much heart. However, that heart was always written in to the story. Needless to say, Kang Ha-Neul- wow what a performance.

I realise to many this may be splitting hairs. However, there is a big difference in where the source for the character lies. Ensemble dramas are a writer construct and we should celebrate those writers who create these dramas - they let actors shine in a way the traditional OTP lead focused drama don't.

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“Squishy puppy unicorn” is definitely a thing now! Here that, drama land? Thank you for this review! I loved so many of the characters here! (And steered clear of anyone menacing!)

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This whole list 🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰

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what i take away from this post - i need to watch be melodramatic!

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Be Melodramatic and The light in your eye es were the best dramas of the year for me. You should watch it!

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From all of them, I will definitively never forget Kim Hye-ja in The Light in Your Eyes and Veronica Park from The secret life of my Secretary. One that made me cry buckets with one that made me laugh with no end.
And this is something I will always mention, although it includes a comparison.
I have watched western television since I am a child, and no character made me feel not even a small percentage of what korean characters do.
I think the way in which korean writers create their characters and the way the actors develope their characterization within the setting of every drama, although sometimes the plot is messy or they end up failing the character, still, they mostly nail it very good and make you feel.... really feel, and that is how you remember them, even after the story is over.
These are also reasons why I am so attached to korean dramas, because they are truly pieces of art.

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i so agree! i just don't watch western tv anymore. so shallow and trying to be so dramatic or sappy or sweet and coming off flat and one dementional. korea rules dramas!

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The character development shown by Shin Hye-sun’s Lee Yeon-seor in ANGEL’S LAST MISSION was absolutely fabulous. In contrast Mo Seok-hee in GRACEFUL FAMILY never really changed at all- though I too loved her bad-ass personality- and what a total change from her role in MY ID IS GANGNAM BEAUTY.

I would also point out that the women in SEARCH: WWW were also a pretty tough bunch.

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Let’s not forget the non-human characters that left an impression us (some of us anyway):

The fish from The Secret Life of My Secretary had the best scenes, but I have to give an honorable mention to the completely over the top funeral for the fish in Graceful Family.

And then there is the Magic Horse, from The Magic Horse and his Carrot Boy, aka Arthdal.

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No lie, I considered giving honorary mentions to the fish.

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If objects were characters, the following would have delivered outstanding performances:
1. Bang Won's FAN in My Country. It has such a powerful presence that strengthen's Jang Hyuk's already mesmerizing performance

2. The RED CARDIGAN in the Secret Life of My Secretary. It is a character all in its own, helping the chaebol Chairman in ways that could not be provided by the human secretary.

3. PICASSO, the fish had grander funeral services than the founder of the conglomerate. Beat that!!!

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Honestly that red cardigan deserves hero of the year award. Its honorable actions ultimately saved our adorable, slightly clueless puppy/squishy unicorn chaebol. We love him so much and we owe it all to the red cardigan. *polite applause*

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That drama took me by surprise, a very pleasant surprise.

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Here are the characters that stood out for me in 36 kdramas I have watched in 2019:
A suppprting character, Jung Joong Hee (played by Seo Dong-won), the blind brother of the FL, Jung Gal Hee, in the Secret Life of my Secretary - despite being blind, he is strong-willed, loving and caring brother to his younger sisters. Bumbling and funny but so earnest in so many ways especially when it comes to protecting his home and his family.

Another supporting character Han Je-Gook ( Bae Jong-ok) - in Graceful Family, a female puppet-master; best example of milk gone sour, the epitome of the cool but evil, corrupted idealist

And the best for last, the stabby OTP of My Country, Hwi and Seon Ho (Yang Se-jong and Woo Do Hwan, respectively) - their outstanding performances made every second I spent waiting and watching, and re-watching each episode so worth my while. Their bromance is amazing.

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Yes, the stabby OTP was missing, as well as Bangwon and THE FAN.

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Definitely Bangwon and THE FAN plus @ndlessjoie Stabby Couple were the highlights for me 😂😂

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I purposely didn't name him as Jang Hyuk and his FAN are my run-away winners and are already in my HOF. He is a cut above the rest.

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Her brother!! I adored him. He was the best big brother ever. He didn't let his inability to see hinder his love for his family. I also loved his earnestness and strong-will.

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I wanted to talk about women in this year’s dramas, as I’ve seen an evolution that I love. Not only pretty flowers to be taken care of, but strong women who take their own decisions. I live the three leading women in WWW and all the women in Be Melodramatic specially.
I love choral dramas and I love the way these women were shown to us as strong but not pointing out every moment they they were strong, just showing it.

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Woow thanks for this! We did have great characters this yr indeed! On the quirkiest cases, I will nvr forget Jin Joo and Beom Soo's fight over "the fart". It was hilarious, weird and interesting! In "why so lovable" Lee Jae Wook for me was the revelation of the yr for me in his role as Seol Ji Hwan in www: search.

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Poignant characters also Kim Hye Na from Sky Castle.

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oh yes, that too. I literally become a fan girl of him overnight. Lee Jae Wook is such a lovable actor!

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I think When the Camellia Blooms also gave a whole bunch of characters to love. Hyang-mi, Ja-yeong, Yong-shik and the most loveable of them all Pil-gu!
I've developed a crush on Shin Mina's character Kang Sun-yeong in Chief of Staff.
Agree with you on the Graceful Family characters!
Really nice article Quirkycase and thanks for the drama recommendations.

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how about great characters from the fiery priest? the baddies

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So many stand outs in that one!

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My favorite character of the year is One Spring Night's Lee Jeong‑in. She was not always likable and sometimes it was hard to make sense of her decisions. But she was so utterly real and beautifully portrayed by Han Ji‑min that I couldn't help but cheer for her happiness. I was so touched by this woman's journey to take back control of her life. This drama is a slow burn, so I understand it doesn't fit everyone's taste, but I was on the edge of my seat every week. I love my girl, flaws and all.

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I've just started to watch the drama (I'm on episode 6) and I feel she's one of the most real women I've ever seen in a drama.

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A great read! Now I really have to go and watch Be Melodramatic.
If I may add, Yong Shik from When Camellia Blooms definitely fits into the Why So Lovable category. He's so earnestly sweet that I just want all the good things in the world for him. Haha

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and The Light In Your Eyes. I have to get back to it. I watched the first 2 episodes and somehow stopped. It must have been because of my busy schedule and lack of time. Sigh.

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Same here! I started fhe first episode and idk why i nvr continued. But now i have to go watch it before the bean count!

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When I read the title I was gon skip if I didn't see any melodramatic squad but the fact that 5 of them ended up making it 👏👏👏👏

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IU as Man Wol in Hotel de Luna was the most captivating character.

Kim Bo-Mi (Lee Yu-Ri) and Lee Bom (Uhm Ji-Won) gave perfect mirror image performances of their characters in Spring to Spring which made this body-swap story memorable.

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Awwww, thanks for remembering Lee So Min from Be Melo, I found her unforgettable too. I liked all the characterizations in Be Melo and WWW.

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My favorite meta moment in Be Melodramatic:

Jin Joo: What's the matter with you? You look just like Jung Bong!
Beom Soo: What's wrong with Jung Bong?

There were many hilarious moments in that drama but this one had me cracking up.

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I didn't watch most of these dramas, but when it comes to Graceful Family I totally agree with your picks. Mo Wan Su broke my heart. I wanted to believe in his innocence right up to his own confession and beyond. I wanted it to be a terrible mistake, an accident, a fight that somebody else had finished.

Mo Seok Hee was a joy and delight all the way through, and the evil villainess def had the courage of her convictions. If only her convictions weren't so, well,horrendous.

You've give me a couple more dramas to binge watch, too, so thanks!

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More memorable characters from 2019:

Song Ja In (Nokdu Flower) - my favorite female character of the year
Secretary Cha (Designated Survivor: 60 Days) - favorite supporting character

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King Yi heon and Mo wan soo’s death really got me so bad. I was really rooting for them to at least get a lil bit of happiness that they really deserved.
Everything about Be melodramatic was really awesome, from the trio’s friendship to Eun jung’s brother, let’s not forget the osts too!
Cheers to our badass Seok hee and Yeon seo was truly amazing. It seems like I’m just repeating what the review says already 😆
Now I have an excuse to check some dramas I missed before this year ends.

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This post makes me want to pick up so many dramas! I'm partly through Be Melodramatic and loved how they are represented in your list. Now that catchy Shampoo song is playing again in my head -Jinjoo's version with the guitar.

Also glad that Gu Hae Ryung was represented. Also my favorite Shin Se Kyung role. I also agree that she was "a quiet badass."

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Let's give an honorable mention to Yoo In-na's character Oh Jin-shim in 'Touch Your Heart'. The series was so light and insubstantial that its practically forgotten now but Ms. Yoo oozed 'lovableness' from every pore when onscreen.

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