Lee Kwang Soo is a household name in South Korea mainly because he is part of the original cast of the widely successful variety show, Running Man. As he gained a lot of fans overseas, he eventually earned the nickname, “Prince of Asia”.
However, aside from being a variety show mainstay, Lee Kwang-soo also starred in several dramas too. You can check out his performance and range as an actor in these 12 K-drama series.
The drama centers mainly on a group of rookies in the police force who were mentored by patrol officers and led by superiors in the Hongil Patrol Division. While they are in the thick of training, each character has a story to tell—from societal issues and major challenges facing the police force in Korea.
In the midst of it all is Yeom Sang Soo (Lee Kwang-soo), an ordinary man who joins the police force after his military discharge. However, trouble is on his trails with every case he handles and he often comes in conflict with his superior. Meanwhile, Han Jung-oh (Jung Yu-mi), Sang-soo’s colleague is also trying her best to make it through every day despite the troubles she is plagued with in her personal and professional life. While she tries to keep her focus on work, her heart is torn between two colleagues.
This 2018 series shows us relatable characters set against the realistic backdrop of police life outside the glitz and glamour.
Hwarang: The Poet Warrior (2016)
In the Kingdom of Silla, Queen Ji So (Kim Ji-soo) has taken over the throne as regent after the death of King Beopheung. She plans to keep their son, Sammaekjong (Park Hyung-sik), hidden away from the palace which she believed was hounded by enemies and assassins. When the prince came of age, people and Sammaekjong himself grew impatient for the powerful and insistent mother to cede power. Meanwhile, the powerful nobles that have been eyeing the throne, continue to plot their next move.
To break the power of the nobles, Queen Ji So creates a new elite group called the Hwarang. This will comprise a group of young men that will cut across the existing power factions and are bound to protect Sammaekjong and the throne. Amongst their ranks is Moo-myung (Park Seo-joon), a commoner who has taken the identity of his best friend Kim Sun-woo (Lee Kwang-soo) or Mak-moon after he died from an attack by one of the palace guards. Using his friend’s name and background, Moo-myung was able to train as part of the Hwarangs. But little did he know that his own identity has a bigger revelation that he is not aware of.
The Sound of Your Heart (2016)
Jo Seok (Lee Kwang-soo) is an aspiring comic artist who was down on his luck. So, he takes on a few odd jobs to avoid being nagged by his mother (Kim Mi-kyung). He repeatedly visits a webtoon editor, desperate to have his drawings published but always finds himself facing rejection. These people were not into his drawing or they find the plots uninteresting. Finally, the editor offhandedly suggested turning his diary into a comic strip, and that was how Seok finally got his break.
Aside from Seok’s journey to be an aspiring comic, his family offers viewers a chock full of entertainment. They are a family of four oddballs who are downright hilarious, and so is his girlfriend Ae-bong (Jung So-min). The characters are often clueless and hopeless and Mom is usually the one who’s relatively more put together than the rest. Seok’s older brother Joon (Kim Dae-myung) and Dad (Kim Byeong-ok) often find themselves in hilarious situations played out in each episode. But Seok himself also has his fair share of crazy encounters showing us the true comedian that Kwang-soo really is.
It is a black comedy-drama that captured the state of the entertainment industry and is based on the American television series of the same name. It revolves around a handsomely famous celebrity who depends on his three friends and the agency’s boss who try to help him in his struggles as an actor and a man
Young Bin (Seo Kang Joon) is a rising star actor in South Korea. He depends on his childhood best friends Ho Jin (Park Jung Min), Joon (Lee Kwang Soo), Geobook (Lee Dong Hwi), and his agency managed by Kim Eun-gab (Cho Jin Woong). This drama is more about bromance than romance, the usual K-drama tropes, and the debauchery that the original version was more known for. This version allows you to enjoy the growth of a friendship between four friends—a version that is more appealing to conservative viewers.
A Girl Who Sees Smells (2015)
This 2015 suspense-romance series is about a wannabe comedian (Shin Se-kyung) who can see scents, and an aspiring detective (Park Yoochun), who comes with extra senses which include the ability to feel pain. The story centers around a disturbing series of murders committed by a psychopath. As the story progresses, viewers are kept guessing as to the identity of the killer, who turns out to be a real shocker in the end.
It’s Ok, This is Love (2014)
Jang Jae-yeol (Jo In-sung) is a bestselling mystery fiction novelist and radio DJ. Struggling with a troubled past and obsessive-compulsive disorder, Jae-yeol can only sleep in his own bathtub. He comes across a psychiatrist named Ji Hae-soo (Gong Hyo-jin) in a radio talk show where they got into a heated debate.
When an ongoing construction interrupts Jae-yeol’s writing, he moves into a building he owns in Hongdae in which Hae-soo is currently a tenant. Jae-yeol temporarily moves in with her due to his fascination with her. They live together with other housemates named Jo Dong-min (Sung Dong-il), Hae-soo’s senior colleague who also happens to be her first love, and Park Soo-kwang (Lee Kwang-soo), a cafe waiter with Tourette syndrome.
Eventually, the two eventually fall in love, but they must later come to grips with Jae-yeol’s undiagnosed schizophrenia. As they work through psychological disorders, they also have to surmount each other’s differences in beliefs and lifestyles.
Secret Love (2014)
An omnibus romance drama that features Five different love stories which star the different members of idol group KARA. Episodes come in different themes revolve around first love, dating, breakup, unrequited love, and immortal love. Lee Kwang-soo is featured in episodes 7 and 8 entitled, “A Seven Day Summer.” He played the character of Tae-yang, a man who has been wanting to forget a haunting memory. He then comes across Mary (Nicole Jung), a woman who plans to find a man she can never forget.
Jung-Yi, Goddess of Fire (2013)
Gifted with natural talent and skill, Yoo Jung (Moon Geun-young) is a gifted potter who dreams of becoming a top porcelain artist of the Joseon Dynasty. This was a period that boasts of its white porcelain pieces which were purported to be the highest quality in 16th century Asia. Jung hones her talent in the porcelain Bunwon workshop, a government-subsidized kiln at Bunwon-ri, Gwangju, where ceramic making is a marriage of art and science.
Unexpectedly, Jung later falls in love with Prince Gwanghae, who becomes a tragic king troubled by the various threats to his crown. Despite Gwanghae’s deep love for Jung, he must let her go. Lee Kwang Soo played Im Hae, a man who dreams to become a king, preceding his brother Kwang Hae (Lee Sang Yoon).
Dating Agency: Cyrano (2013)
“Dating Agency: Cyrano” is a 2013 rom-com that revolves around a unique “dating agency.” Their mission is to help their client’s crush reciprocate their feelings. Lee Kwang Soo makes a guest appearance to play the character of Cho Dal-in, a chef who’s in love with his rival forcing him to seek out the agency for help. Although it may be quite dated, this drama aged well especially if you’re looking to get out of the mainstream K-drama.
The Innocent Man (2012)
Kang Ma-ru (Song Joong-ki) is a promising medical student, who takes the blame for something his lover Han Jae-hee (Park Si-yeon) had done. After his release from prison, he finds out that Jae-hee has moved on and has gone to marry a rich man, Company president Seo (Kim Young-chul)
Feeling betrayed, Ma Ru seeks revenge on Jae Hee and uses President Seo’s daughter, Seo Eun-gi (Moon Chae-won). In the midst of carrying out his revenge, he finds himself falling in love with Eun-gi. Lee Kwang-soo plays Park Jae-gil, Ma-ru’s best friend.
City Hunter (2011)
In “City Hunter”, Lee Kwang Soo plays dorky sidekick Ki-jun, who is a sweet engineering professor working for the Blue House (Korea’s version of the Presidential White House). Ki Jun also happens to be the co-worker of main character Yoon Sung (Lee Min Ho), who’s been plotting to get revenge against the politicians who were behind his father’s death years ago. City Hunter is an intriguing and suspenseful action drama that was made even better with Kwang-soo’s comedic timing.
Dong Yi (2010)
“Dong Yi” is a historical drama based on the life of Dong-yi later known as Choi Suk-bin (Han Hyo-Joo). Choi worked in the royal palace as a lowly water maid. King Sok-jong then selected Choi as his concubine. Choi would then give birth to Yeong-jo, the second son of King Sok-jong and the future king of Joseon. After the birth of Yeong-jo. Dong-yi would become Suk-bin.