When you think of K-drama oppas, it’s impossible not to find Lee Jong-suk’s name up there in the top 10. With his distinct profile and undeniable charisma off and on-screen, it was no surprise that the young actor was winning hordes of fans. Not for nothing, he’s more than just an eye-candy because he can win you over with his acting.
So if you’re a new fan, here are 7 good ones to get you started!
School 2013 (2012)
This drama series is not Lee Jong-suk’s first onscreen appearance as an actor. He first appeared in the widely successful 2011 drama “Secret Garden” playing a minor role. But it was in this drama that he gained recognition for his role as the troubled teenager named Go Nam-soon.
The series tackled the problems and dilemmas faced by Korean youth at the time. This includes issues such as bullying, suicide, and overbearing parents. The story revolves around a pair of educators with very different teaching styles. Jung In-jae (Jang Na-ra) is sympathetic to her students. Meanwhile, Kang Se-chan (Choi Daniel) is recruited from a well-known hagwon or “cram school” to lift the students’ grades up. However, he is never passionate about what he does. He views his new position as a job, not a calling. This is why he keeps butting heads with In-jae.
In this drama, Lee Jong-suk plays the role of Go Nam-soon a young student with no ideals and dreams. He didn’t have the drive to learn, but deep down, he was a good person. The friendship and animosity between him and Park Heun-soo (Kim Woo-bin) was part of the central plotline of the story. Thanks to his solid performance in this drama, Lee Jong-suk bagged his first award for Best New Actor at the 2012 KBS Drama Awards.
I Can Hear Your Voice (2013)
If a “noona romance” (older woman-younger man) floats your boat, then you would be curious to watch Lee Jong-suk’s performance in “I Can Hear Your Voice”. Here he plays Park Soo-ha, a high school student who can read people’s minds simply by looking into their eyes. It’s a skill he acquired after witnessing his father’s murder when he was a child.
Jang Hye-sung (Lee Bo-young) was a witness to the murder of Park Soo-ha’s father when she was a child. Now in her 30s, she is an assertive and articulate lawyer. When she reunites with Park Soo-ha, they become an unlikely team fighting for justice. With the help of his supernatural skills, they were able to solve cases.
Park Soo-ha always had a crush on Jang Hye-sung ever since she testified against the killer in his father’s case. Since then, he vowed to take care of her. But when he meets her again a decade later, he’s dismayed to find her completely different from what he has expected. But as they come together in search of truth, some untold mysteries start to unfold.
I Can Hear Your Voice was recognized as one of the best drama series in 2013. In fact, this series successfully entered the box office and won the highest rating. It had a captivating story that reels you in with the web of mysteries. On top of that, Lee Jong-suk delivered an arguably riveting performance in this drama which earned him two awards at once—the Ten Star Award and the Excellent Actor at the 2013 SBS Drama Awards.
Pinocchio is one of Lee Jong-suk’s most notable dramas that reaped tremendous success primarily because of the powerhouse lead combo having starred alongside Park Shin-hye.
The drama tells the story of Ki Ha-myung (Lee Jong-suk) who was a very smart child. Unfortunately, he had a tragic childhood when a fire destroyed his family. He is eventually adopted by Choi In-ha’s (Park Shin-hye) grandfather who changed his name to Choi Dal-po.
What is interesting about In-ha, is that she suffers from the “Pinocchio” syndrome which makes her unable to tell lies, otherwise she would just burst into hiccups. Dal Po and In Ha become reporters for two rival TV stations and devote themselves to the call of journalism reporting. But as they start to have feelings for each other, Dal Po discovers that In-ha’s mother was responsible for his family’s misfortune.
This drama raked a total of 6.2 billion won and Lee Jong-suk’s performance didn’t go unnoticed. This series won him several recognitions at the 2014 SBS Drama Awards. Among them are the SBS Special Award, the Ten Star Award, and the Best Couple Award with Park Shin Hye.
W: Two Worlds Apart (2016)
The drama is about the eponymous fictional webtoon entitled W, written and illustrated by its legendary author and illustrator Oh Seong-moo (Kim Eui-sung). W mysteriously begins to function on its own, as a distinct reality. W became so famous in South Korea that even its printed versions became best-sellers.
Kang Chul (Lee Jong-suk) is the lead character of the popular comic series W. He is the co-CEO of the e-commerce company JN Global, owner of broadcasting channel W, and an Olympic gold medalist in shooting when he was young. His family was murdered by an elusive Murderer, unfortunately, Kang Chul became the prime suspect due to his shooting background. After being proven innocent, Kang Chul seeks revenge on the murderer through his broadcasting channel W. It did not take long until he finally got into an altercation with his nemesis on the rooftop of his penthouse. This got him stabbed but Oh Yeon-joo (Han Hyo-joo) saved his life after she got pulled into the fictional world. She ends up embroiled in a murder mystery involving Kang Chul.
Eventually, two fell in love, but they live in different worlds. Oh Yeon-joo was from the real world, while Kang Chul only exists in this fictional webtoon created by her father. So, can a romance between the two flourish despite their circumstances?
In addition to the story, the delivery of the two main characters managed to stir emotions. Thanks to their charming chemistry, they won the Best Couple Award at the 2016 MBC Drama Awards.
While You Were Sleeping (2017)
This legal-fantasy drama brings Lee Jong-suk and Bae Suzy together which earned a positive response among K-drama fans.
While You Were Sleeping is a story of a girl named Nam Hong-joo (Bae Suzy) who had bad premonitions through her dreams. She meets Jung Jae-chan (Lee Jong-suk), a rookie prosecutor, who can prevent Nam Hong-joo’s nightmares from becoming reality. But can tragedies be avoided if they can be foreseen?
During its premiere, this drama managed to rake in a lot of good reviews from Korean drama lovers. Because in addition to the fresh storyline Lee Jong-suk’s alluring acting shone through to complement Suzy’s improvement in her onscreen performances. Lee Jong-suk was awarded Best Actor and he also bagged the Best Couple Award with Bae Suzy at the 2017 SBS Drama Awards.
Romance is a Bonus Book (2019)
Lee Jong Suk plays Cha Eun-ho, a senior book editor in another “noona romance”. Set within a publishing firm, the story follows 37-year-old Kang Dan-i (Lee Na-young) who is a divorced, single mother trying to get back into work.
She was a successful career woman who gave up the life she was used to so she can provide for her husband and child. Now that she is divorced and in need of a job, the huge gap of unemployment became a stumbling block, despite her strong educational background and impressive experience in the field. It became increasingly difficult to find anyone willing to hire her.
After finding a second shot at making a career for herself, things were not that easy for her. She meets Cha Eun-ho who was actually a childhood friend, but this time, he is her strong competitor at the firm. He is a successful author and senior editor. While working together proved to be particularly challenging for the two, they slowly began to realize their true feelings for each other.
Doctor Stranger (2014)
Lee Jong-suk also dabbled in medical dramas which turned out to be one of his most successful ones to date. He played the role of a young doctor named Park Hoon. When he was young, Park Hoon and his father were sent to North Korea. It was during their stay that he was trained by his father to become a doctor. A famous doctor himself, Park Hoon’s father made a strong impact on his son’s career because he soon became a genius thoracic surgeon after he finished med school.
It was also on the northern side of the border that Park Hoon found the love of his life. It was a woman named Song Jae-hee (Jin Se-yeon). When Park Hoon’s father died, he tried to flee back to South Korea with Song Jae-hee. Unfortunately, he lost contact with Song Jae-hee, and eventually, he ended up in South Korea by himself. He ends up working as a doctor in an upper-class hospital, while still hoping to reunite with Jae-hee. Then one day, he meets Dr. Han Seung-hee who bears a striking resemblance to Jae-hee, but she claims not to know him.
In this drama, Lee Jong-suk shows a more intense side to him. The actor’s natural charisma enabled him to do his role well as a doctor. For his work as Dr Park Hoon, Jong-suk was recognised with a Special Award in 2014 SBS Drama Awards.