Whether you’ve been a fan of K-dramas for years now or have only just discovered the wonder of these magical shows, chances are you’ve either checked out or stayed tuned into a K-drama all because of a character. It’s not hard. It may be the character’s brooding personality mixed with the actor’s natural charisma or that one look or one smile that sends butterflies through the lead female’s stomach. Whatever it is though, we have all found ourselves smitten with one or two (or ten) K-drama actors at any given moment.
Here are the ten boyfriends who made us swoon in 2021 for one reason or another.
Song Joong Ki – Vincenzo Cassano from “Vincenzo”
Song Joong Ki plays Vincenzo Cassano, a Korean-Italian mafia lawyer who gives a corrupt conglomerate a taste of his own medicine during a visit to his motherland. If that’s not reason enough, we drooled over Song Joong Ki’s sleek dapper looks and the way his character effortlessly charmed his way into the hearts of literally everyone throughout the drama. Plus hello, it’s Song Joong Ki.
If you haven’t watched “Vincenzo” yet, maybe now’s the perfect time to binge-watch it on Netflix.
Kim Seon Ho – Hong Du Sik from “Hometown Cha Cha Cha”
Kim Seon Ho plays, Hong Du Sik, a handyman in a seaside village intent on helping his neighbors, when a big-city dentist, Yoon Hye Jin, played by Shin Min A moves to town. Hong Duk Sik is a jack-of-all-trades. He’s charming, charismatic, friendly, and unbelievably kind. He is Yoon Hye Jin’s opposite in every way possible, which makes him all the more alluring. Plus, he helps her out of trouble time and again – who doesn’t fall for that?
If you haven’t watched “Hometown Cha Cha Cha ” yet, now’s the perfect time to binge-it on Netflix. It’s not Netflix’s most-watched non-English television shows for no reason.
Jang Ki Yong – Shin Woo Yeo from “My Roommate is a Gumiho”
Jang Ki Yong plays, Shin Woo Yeo, a 999-year-old Gumiho, who needs to retrieve his fox bead from a university student, Lee Dam after she accidentally swallows it. Admittedly, I dropped this drama seven episodes in because I couldn’t handle the exaggerated movements and facial expressions of Lee Dam, played by Hyeri, that aside Jang Ki Yong a site to watch. Normally, cast in romantic or thriller roles, this drama gives viewers a new perspective of Jang Ki Yong. He’s funny, witty, and his brooding is different than the normal K-Drama style we are familiar with. Shin Woo Yeo seems put out by the whole scenario at first, but watching him shed his cold exterior towards humans and develop a crush on Lee Dam was endearing, to say the least.
For anyone curious about this drama, you can stream it on Viki. However, I would suggest that if you do not care for Hyeri’s style of comedy, skip it as you may or may not make it all the way through – like I didn’t.
Ahn Bo Hyun – Goo Woong from “Yumi’s Cells”
Ahn Bo Hyun plays Goo Woong, an emotionally stunted game developer that has no idea how to express his feelings or emotions, but after meeting Yu Mi, played by Kim Go Eun, he finds himself wanting to try. Goo Woong a different role than what viewers are used to seeing from Ahn Bo Hyun. Typically cast in thrillers, his character is Yumi’s Cells is soft and looks like that no good boyfriend your parents don’t want you bringing home – in reality, he is anything but. He is nerdy, funny, and I for one can’t get over his long hair and facial hair.
This series is as light-hearted as it is heartwarming. It’s no surprise that it’s getting a second season. If you haven’t watched it, check it out on Viki now, ahead of the next season dropping later this year.
Ji Chang Wook – Park Jae Won from “Lovestruck in the City”
Ji Chang Wook plays, Park Jae Won, a passionate architect loses his heart to a free-spirited woman, Lee Eun Oh, played by Kim Ji Won, and sets out to reunite with her on the streets of Seoul. Sounds like your typical K-Drama right? Wrong. It’s filmed like a fake interview documentary, where viewers see flashbacks of Park Jae Won and Lee Eun Oh’s relationship, as well as their friends. It’s funny and refreshing, but aside from that, it’s absolutely adorable watching Ji Chang Wook play a man unwilling to give up on the woman he loves, despite everything he learns about her and how he spirals in the process.
If you haven’t watched “Lovestruck in the City” yet, now’s the perfect time to binge-watch it on Netflix. Keep in mind it does have some adult themes and undertones, even though it’s not rated 19+.
Song Kang – Park Jae Eon from “Nevertheless”
Song Kang plays, university student Park Jae Eon, a man who’s friendly and cheerful towards others, but finds dating a waste of time. His charm is intoxicating as are the obvious red flags that he is bad news personified. But viewers, myself included, can’t help but root for him, hoping that his naive classmate Yoo Na Bi, played by Han So Hee, can change him. Who would have thought a phrase as simple as “Want to see butterflies,” would be so swoon-worthy.
This series is definitely for a mature audience. It’s not your typical fluffy romantic-comedy K-Drama but makes your heart flutter nevertheless.
Lee Jun Young – Kwon Ryeok from “Imitation”
Lee Jun Young plays Kwon Ryeok, a member of the top K-Pop idol group, who inadvertently falls for a rookie girl group member, Lee Ma Ha, played by Jung Ji So, after various run-ins and mishaps. Kwon Ryeok is delightful, not only as a K-Pop idol but as a boyfriend. He’s obsessive, possessive, yet so charming that when he pouts over something as small as not getting a kiss, you just want to pat his head.
While the drama got mixed reviews from international viewers in the way it not only depicted the K-Pop industry but the storyline itself, I promise you it’s a must-watch. Because while you may tune in to swoon over Lee Jun Young, there are various other visually appealing K-Pop idols including three members of Ateez and two members of SF9.
Rowoon – Chae Hyun Seung from “She Would Never Know”
Rowoon plays Chae Hyun Seung, a new hire in the marketing department for a large cosmetics brand. He falls for his co-worker Yoon Song Ah, played by Won Jin-A, a vigorously hard-working marketer who happens to be in a secret relationship with their boss, but that doesn’t dissuade Hyun Seung one bit. He is determined to wait, but that’s not what makes him totally swoon-worthy. Viewers swooned at Hyun Seung because while he made his feelings for Song Ah known, albeit not in the best way, by exposing her boyfriend was getting married to someone else, he was continually there for her. Whether she was heartbroken, swayed by the words of her ex, or lost he was there to be a shoulder for her to lean on – which eventually won viewers and Song Ah over.
Unfortunately, this drama is only available on the Chinese network iQiyi, so you will need a paid subscription to watch it.
Seo In Guk – Myul Mang from “Doom At Your Service”
Seo In Guk plays Myul Mang, a mysterious entity between gods and humans, comes to the rescue (or dismay on how you view things), when Tak Dong Kyung, played by Park Bo Young, wishes for the world to be doomed. From the beginning, Myul Mang is the anti-hero, put off by having to “deal” with Tak Dong Kyung, but at the same time is there for her time and again, repeatedly saving her life. His flippant attitude and self-restraint to not get too close to another human after his heartbreaking past are engrossing. Not to mention the chemistry between him and Tak Dong Kyung, is so undeniable you are rooting for them until the very end.
While some people dropped this show mid-season because it got a little slow, myself included, I did eventually pick it back up. If you need a good emotional rollercoaster and stellar secondary cast, you can catch this drama on Viki.
Im Siwan – Ki Sun Hyun from “Run On”
Im Siwan plays Ki Sun Hyun, a track athlete for the national team that decides to follow his heart after a team mishap, leading him to film translator On Mi Joo, played by Shin Se Kyung. For as athletic and brilliant Ki Sun Hyun on the track he is equally as naive off of it. He sees the world in a very black and white way, which “Run On” elegantly points out is not exactly true. His naivety is endearing as is his desire to do better and be better no matter the cost to himself. His self-sacrificing attitude as well as his matter-of-fact way of doing things while problematic for those around him is what makes viewers swoon over. Plus his bromance with Lee Yeong Hwa, played by Kang Tae Oh, is so cute.
If you haven’t watched “Run On” yet, maybe now’s the perfect time to binge-watch it on Netflix because not only is the first couple fantastic, but the second one is as well (and maybe even better).
Which of these K-drama boyfriends is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below!