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[Beanie Recs] Dramas with larger-than-life heroes


Ahoy, Beanies! It’s time to gather your collective genius for a new recommendation series that features you and your drama knowledge. Each week we’ll drop a drama conundrum and leave it up to you to provide a drama rec, and the appropriate rationale behind it, be it long or short. Respond below!

I’m kinda obsessed with larger-than-life heroes. You know… the swagger and total competence/confidence mixed with the tiniest sliver of vulnerability just to make them only 99.999% perfect. Looking for some new dramas with heroes that fit the bill, and I’ll watch any genre.


Have a very particular drama itch that needs scratching? In need of a Beanie Rec? Email us at hello @ dramabeans.com and we’ll feature your topic in a future post.
 
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It’s been a long time so it’s hazy, but Squad 38 fits the bill somewhat. Seo In Guk was positively magical here and had a charm that made his anti-hero behavior just *chefs kiss*.

I also really liked Vincenzo. Some suggestions that don’t fit the description perfectly could be Gaksital (somewhat larger than life hero with a vigilante situation going on, but the character is flawed and doesn’t always seem totally confident), Healer (one of my favorites!!), City Hunter (Can you tell I love the vigilante trope), and Ruthless City (noir version, but it fits the description only at the end. This one is kinda a stretch but I definitely liked it.)

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I was a bit disappointed by how they started to show Vincenzo's 'sliver of vulnerability' then went "Nah, forget that - he's not got ghosts"...

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Healer. No description is necessary. Just watch. You're welcome. 🥰

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Yes, Healer was the first thing that came to my mind too 😍

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There are quite a few that I can think of. Listing in chronological order:

1. City Hunter
2. Healer
3. Descendants of the Sun
4. W: Two Worlds
5. What's Wrong with Secretary Kim
6. Vincenzo

To a lesser degree, shows like Hello Monster, Her Private Life, Hometown Cha-cha-cha also have uber-confident and competent heroes though the swagger is dialed down compared to the list above.

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Hum...

Healer : everything was good in this one.
K2 : except the romance, it was a good action drama.
Heartless City : The best role for Jung Kyung-Ho!

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Kim Sa-bu (Han Suk-kyu) in Romantic Doctor, Teacher Kim.

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One of the first that came to mind for me too

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Ji Sung in "The Devil Judge". His role as a judge named Kang Yo Han who orders unprecedented punishments wouldn't have worked without him. He has a nuance for pulling off over the top scenes which would have been pretty laughable with any other actor.

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My first thought was Ji Sung in everything, but especially as antihero judge Kang Yo-han in The Devil Judge and as guyliner personality Shin Se-gi in Kill Me, Heal Me.

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I didn’t list below but I thought also of Ji Sung in DEFENDANT.

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Ji Sung has a very unique style of walking that I always recognize even when completely dark or backlit. It has swagger organically built in 😄

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Agree with every word!

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No one swaggers like Special Labour Inspector Jo Jang-poong.

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Bravo!

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Did anyone mention Lee Je-hoon in taxi driver? One of my fav. 😍

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If i understand this completely, Happiness couple may fit the description. Saebom and Yihyun are both confident and competent in their fields. Even when they have zombies and devils in human form as their apartment neighbors, they are untouchable. Too good to be true.

Is Hwang Shimok a swagger? I don't know. But i think his inability to feel what normal people feel can be a huge advantage especially when you work with not so good people in your field. No one can intimidate and scared him. He wear suits daily and looks good in them. I think he is a swag

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This gives me an opportunity I didn’t think would come and that is to say something nice about 2 dramas I refer to as recipients of my ‘Stinker of the Year” award and both unfortunately from 0CN: for 2021-DARK HOLE and 2022 (so far) A SUPERIOR DAY.
1. DARK HOLE. A bit like in HAPPINESS a man and a woman come together to become heroes in combating the zombie onslaught: Lee Joon-hyuk (1984) and Kim Ok-vin.
2. A SUPERIOR DAY. Jin Goo plays a firefighter who becomes a hero saving his daughter from a serial killer.
Both dramas are NOT recommended for viewing. Save your precious viewing time.

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Apologies for not complying with the request for recommendations.
The qualifying ‘larger-than-life heroes’ is the key.
A few recs from me would include:
HEALER (like many),
BEAUTIFUL MIND,
FOREST OF SECRETS 1 & 2,
DR. ROMANTIC, TEACHER KIM 1 & 2,
NAVILLERA
BOSSAM: STEAL THE FATE and
HAPPINESS.

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HEALER
HEALER
HEALER

Also Kang Chul in W - Two Worlds, but mostly:

HEALER.

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Kang Chul fits the bill so well! I mean, he's a comic book character so he's AMAAAAAZING at everything. Lol

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Namgoong Min's character in Hot Stove League.
It's rare to have a character that you trust.

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Love him in Stove League!

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I was going to say Chief Kim! Namgoong Min snap.

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Definitely gotta be Vincenzo Cassano/Quassano, mafia Corn Salad extraordinaire.

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Vincenzo Casanova

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Kim Young-kwang in Lookout
Jun-ho in Chief Kim
Kim Nam-gil in Through the Darknes
Ji Sung in Devil Judge
Cha Seung-won in City Hall
Park Seo-joon in What's Wrong with Secretary Kim
Yoo Jae-myung in Forest of Secrets
Joo Ji-hoon in Hyena
Kim Soo-ro in God of Study
Jung Kyung-ho in Falling for Innocence
Lee Seung-gi in Hwayugi
Lee Jung-suk in W
And I know this is VERY random, and he has a small role, but Lee Moo-sang in What's Up? has THE swagger!

I can go on forever! 😂
I wish I had the presence of mind to remember them all immediately.

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The Spies Who Loved Me : More of Derek Hyun and less of Jun Ji-hoon.
The Devil's Judge : Kim Minjung and Ji Sung
More recently Bloody Heart.
Life : Cho Seung-woo.
Forest of Secrets.
Juvenile Justice.
Beauty Inside[Drama].

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In the swagger/confidence and scheming department, I think the duo of Namgoong Min and Jun-ho in CHIEF KIM were perfect foils for each other to enhance each other characters.

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Exactly!

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Fiery Priest and My Strange Hero aka revenge is back

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The ultimate hero of swag is Son Oh-goong from Hwayugi. Nothing builds confidence like immortality and the literal power to overturn mountains.

But also Healer, W, My Love From the Stars, Goblin, Vincenzo sports good examples.

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I'd second both Healer and My Love from the Stars. Also why not Captain Ri from CLOY.

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Happiness
The Fiery Priest
Terius Behind Me
Rebel
Black

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IU in Hotel Del Luna.

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I have a soft spot for anti-heroes and these are my top 3:
Chuno
Punch
Nirvana in Fire

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I forgot to mention, Yang Yang's character Xiao Nai in the C-drama Love O2O surely qualifies. What prevents him from becoming boring is that the FL (Bei Weiwei, played by Zheng Shuang) is also very competent, and not without swagger of her own.

I think this type of hero makes a bad drama worse, Exhibit A being Well-Intended Love, which I wouldn't recommend to anyone.

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I’m guessing ‘larger than life’ means ‘cool & charismatic’ and not ‘weird & quirky’

Kang Ji-Gu in Work Later, Drink Now
Song Ji-Won in Hello, My Twenties! S1&2
Ra Mi-Ran & Jung-Hwan in Reply 1988
Do Soo-Hyeok & Jo Ki-Bbeum in Sh**ting Stars
Jo Min-Ja in Healer
(honestly any role that Kim Mi-Kyung plays, she has a magnetic presence and always manages to give a nuanced performance to some otherwise flat characters)
Sim Myung-Yeo & Sim Myung-Joo in When The Weather Is Fine
(I know tragedy doesn’t make someone interesting but gosh darn, did I FEEL for these characters, the amount of love, hurt & guilt they felt for each other just gutted me)

Characters that THINK they are cool & charismatic

Hwang Tae-Kyeong in You’re Beautiful
Dok Ko-Jin in The Greatest Love
Kim Sung-Kyun in Reply 1988 ( the character with the most dad jokes but still the most lovable!)

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Has anyone mentioned KIM SHIN in Goblin/Guardian? Just me? Gong Yoo wins the swagger award hands down, every freaking time.

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GOBLIN: THE GREAT AND LONELY GOD is definitely one such show.

I would add MY SECRET TERRIUS as well.

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I would say Chief Kim. He came in as some random accountant who used to cook the books for gangsters. He was a self-interested individual meant to be a cog in the corporate machine, but he went onto fighting the corporation and turned the CEO's spoiled sun and our villainous executive, Seo Yul, onto his team. He even made a fan of the woman wiretapping him.

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Healer - for sure

And also Lee Joon-gi in 2-weeks and Arang and the Magistrate

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The Devil Judge. You will sympathize with his cause despite the tactics. A villain/hero to cheer for

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