Can’t get enough of your K-pop idols that you’re always looking for more content? Some fans are lucky enough to “stan” their favorite singers beyond the stage, music videos, and music shows. Some of these talented stars crossed over to the world of K-dramas, and 2021 has quite a number of series that showcased their talent.
Here’s a quick look at 11 shows that feature some of your favorite K-pop stars!
Police University stars f(x)’s Krystal Jung and B1A4’s Jung Jin-young. The story follows the trials and tribulations of the new recruits and instructors on the National Police University campus. Veteran actor Cha Tae-hyun joins the main cast as Yoo Dong Man, a prototypical middle-aged Korean cybercrime detective who becomes a professor at KNPU. Kang Sun-ho (Jin-young) is a freshman who has mad skills in hacking, while Krystal is also a fellow student who has always dreamed of becoming a police officer. All three of them worked together to follow a lead on a case about an illegal gambling site.
Jin-young is no stranger to film and TV series projects. His filmography has quite a number of works in the past. He made his acting debut in tvN’s drama She is Wow, which was then followed by a film debut in Miss Granny. Krystal, on the other hand, is not just making waves as an idol, she also starred in various K-dramas such as The Heirs, My Lovely Girl, Prison Playbook, The Bride of Habaek, Player, and Search.
The Devil Judge
If you’re a GOT7 fan and mystery legal drama is your entertainment of choice, then you’d find both in The Devil Judge. This show is a dystopian court drama that also delves into the broken legal system that bore angry vigilantes. GOT7’s Park Jin Young plays Kim Ga-on, a novice judge who disagrees with the harsh methods of the merciless chief judge, Kang Yo-han, which is played by Ji Sung.
Playing a morally troubled judge bodes well with Jin-young. However, this was not the idol’s first foray into acting. He debuted in the second installment of Dream High in 2012. His other acting projects include dramas such as, This is My Love and The Legend of the Blue Sea. He was also cast as the male lead in the independent film, A Stray Goat in 2016. If you’re looking for a more recent project, catch Jin-young in The Devil Judge.
Web series, Blue Birthday left K-pop fans gushing over the beautiful chemistry of Red Velvet’s Ye-ri (also known as Kim Ye-rim) and Pentagon’s Yang Hong-seok. This is a fantasy romance thriller where Ye-ri played Oh Ha-rin, a 28-year-old whose first love died on her 18th birthday. On that day, 10 years ago, she resolved to confess her feelings for her friend, Ji Seo-jun (Hong-seok). To her horror, he took his own life. After a decade, Ha-rin stumbles upon mysterious photos that Seo-jun left behind, which allowed her to travel back in time.
Yeri made her acting debut for the one-episode drama, Drama Stage 2021, in which she received a positive review for her impressive performance. Hong-seok, on the other hand, is no stranger to acting as he already appeared in other web and television series such as Phoenix 2020, On the Campus, and Move to Heaven.
Dear M is a college-romance TV series that follows the university life of four students in Seoyeon University as they search for “M”—the mysterious writer of a community article. The story follows the aftermath of an anonymous confession M posted on the university student forum. This K-drama is headlined by none other than NCT’s Jaehyun (Jeong Jae-hyun). He plays Cha Min-ho, a sophomore student in the Department of Computer Science who dreams of becoming an app developer.
This drama is Jaehyun’s first time in acting. In interviews, he revealed that he encountered some challenges, but he thanked Park Hye-soo for making it possible to build good chemistry.
Let Me Be Your Knight
Let Me Be Your Knight is a romantic-comedy, musical drama that follows the struggles of Yoon Tae-in played by U-KISS’ Lee Jun-young. Tae-in is the main vocalist of a popular idol band, Luna, who suffers from sleepwalking. To ensure his safety and to cure his condition in secret, they hired a live-in doctor named In Yoon-ju (Jung In-sun), who is actually not who they think she is.
Other K-pop idols who joined the cast are NU’EST’s Kim Jong-hyun, Wanna One’s Yoon Jin-sung, AB61X’s Kim Dong-hyun. Kara’s former member, Kang Ji-young also made a special appearance in the series.
Jun-young first debuted as an actor in the 2017 TV series, Avengers Social Club. This was followed by the 2018 MBC series, Goodbye to Goodbye. He even bagged a new actor award for this role at the 2018 MBC Drama Awards. With a decent amount of acting projects and recognitions under his belt, this idol is one to look out for on-screen.
The Secret Royal Inspector and Jo
The tvN drama stars 2PM’s Ok Taecyeon as Ra Yi Eon, a young gourmand who becomes a secret royal inspector against his will. He stars alongside Kim Hye-yoon who plays Kim Jo-yi, a divorced woman who travels to local provinces undercover to pin down corruption. The two decided to work together to solve crimes but end up changing each other’s lives for the better.
The Secret Royal Inspector and Jo have gained popularity for their refreshing and feel-good comedy. However, it’s also another revelation to Taecyeon’s versatility in acting. The rapper singer-songwriter has crossed over to film and dramas with an impressive filmography that dates back to 2010. He debuted in the KBS drama series, Cinderella’s Sister and went on to join other k-pop idols in high school drama, Dream High. Since then, everything was on the up and up for Taecyeon as he matured as an actor.
2021 was a busy year for Taecyeon as he starred in Vincenzo, a dark comedy crime-drama that went on to become the sixth highest-rated drama in tvN’s history. Headlined by Song Joong-ki as the titular character, the series is about a consiglieri’s efforts to recover 1.5 tons of gold stashed underneath a building in Geumga Plaza.
Taecyeon plays Jang Jun-woo, a nerdy intern in the Wusang Law Firm. However, his happy-go-lucky, dumb, and quirky character all turned out to be a front. Jun-woo turns out to be the series’ biggest plot twist.
Imitation is a K-drama that will interest a lot of K-pop fans as it gives us a sneak peek into the glamorous and inspiring lives of idols in the entertainment industry. The webtoon-based drama is actually an underdog story that also delves into the secret romance between a member of a rookie girl group and a member of a famous boy group. What better to fill these roles than actual idols! Among them are Chani (SF9), Lee Jun-young (U-Kiss), Jung Yung-ho (Ateez), Park Ji-yeon (T-ara), Choi Jong-ho (SF9), Park Seong-hwa (Ateez), and Lee Soo-woong (Boys Republic).
Another entertaining feature of this drama is its soundtrack. Expect good and catchy songs, recorded by the idols themselves. Production even went so far as creating social media accounts on Instagram and Twitter for the different groups in the show. They produced special content related to the characters as if they were real groups!
So Not Worth It
So Not Worth It is Netflix’s very first Korean sitcom. It stars Park Se-wan, Shin Hyun-seung, GOT7’s Youngjae (Choi Young-jae), and (G)I-DLE’s Minnie. They all play college students who come from different countries and come to know each other in the university’s dormitory. The story takes us through what university life is like for international students in South Korea.
Youngjae already dabbled in some acting gigs in the past. Recent projects that he was involved in include Kakao TV’s Love & Wish, and a lead role in theatre for Midnight Sun. For Thai singer, songwriter Minnie, playing the college fashionista in So Not Worth was her breakout role.
So I Married An Anti-Fan
So I Married an Anti-Fan is based on a 20210 novel. It tells the story of Hoo Joon (Choi Tae Joon) and a reporter named Lee Geun-young, played by Girl’s Generation Sooyoung (Choi Soo-young). The two ended up participating in a TV show where they have to live together for an extended period of time. 2PM’s Hwang Chan-sung also joins the cast as Choi Jae-joon, a chaebol and the CEO of an entertainment agency.
Even though the series comes with quite a few drama tropes, they still draw in fans with their visually stunning cast, realistic characters, rich stories, and exciting K-pop performances!
Snowdrop is a k-drama that blinks have been anticipating as it stars Blackpink’s Jisoo in her first starring role alongside Jung Hae-in. It is a period drama and political satire about the corrupt powerful circles of the time. Also involved in these political troubles are young people who fell victims in the fight for power and money, which resulted in the 1987 Gangju Student Uprising. The story follows Eun Yeong-ro (Jisoo), a student at a women’s university in Seoul. Her life took an unexpected turn when a strange man (Jung Hae-in) arrived at the university all covered in blood. They got into a forbidden relationship that puts them both at risk due to a dangerous secret that could threaten the country.
However, the drama soon faced controversy over its portrayal of a sensitive period in history. They got a lot of criticism for distorting history by turning real-life protesters into North Korean spies and putting the secret police in a positive light. Some 300,000 Koreans even signed a petition to end the series. But JTBC stood firm, and if you don’t mind some inaccuracies and take it as creative license, you can enjoy the story in its entirety on Disney+.