Everybody Likes Lee Min Ho, but in 2022? Come On

September 21, 2022

Lee Min Ho is a world-famous A-list Korean actor who rose to stardom for his role as Gu Jun Pyo in Boys over Flowers. He’s also incredibly handsome, funny and down-to-earth (based on his interviews). But here’s the thing. He’s not a great actor. He actually kind of sucks. There, I said it.

Everyone and their mums had a crush on Lee Min Ho that year. You know, when Boys over Flowers was the most incredible love story and The Heirs was like a richer sequel? When the side swoop of his hair in City Hunter acted more than him the entire show? Yeah, that year, because we watched them all at once, even though these series had been out years before, but welcome to pre-Netflix Nigeria. 

Lee Min Ho is a pretty big deal In the Nigerian K-drama scene. It’s impossible not to know this man even if you live under a rock. And now, you’re wondering, so what’s the problem? Why shouldn’t I be watching him, then?

Here’s the thing. To be an actor, you need to be able to ACT. Lee Min Ho is not very famous for his acting. Over half of the awards he’s received throughout his career are popularity or fan-voted awards, not acting awards. 

For as long as I’ve watched K-dramas, this man has played the rich, stylish and charming boy perfectly, and before you say, “But what about Gangnam Blues? He was poor there,” I’m sorry, he looked like he was just cosplaying poverty. It’s like Patience Ozokwor playing a nice person in a movie. It’s suspicious. 

This man looked like he hadn’t eaten in years , but I could still see the “rich” in his eyes. Sometimes, when you’re big, you’re big, and there’s nothing you can do about that. 

Unfortunately for him, you can’t have range as an actor when you constantly look like you’re playing the same role. If I take a screenshot of every drama he’s been in side by side, he has only three expressions: 

Too rich for peasants

More handsomely annoyed than humanly possible

In love but the “hard guy” version

Funny enough, all these things you think I’m complaining about are precisely why I love him. Do you know how powerful you have to be for people not to know what you look like yet still know your name? Lord knows how many relationships he’s scattered just because one babe posted him more than her man. 

You too, look at the material. How do you compete with this?

Back then, if your babe only watched K-dramas he starred in, sorry to inform you, but you were in that relationship alone. 

Now it’s 2022, and there’s no reason anyone should watch K-dramas because of this man. Don’t get me wrong, he has his moments; in a drama with 20 episodes, there’s always that one episode he gives his all. But he’s like if RMD doesn’t physically age and has no acting skill. He’s so much older now and deserves more mature roles.

I’m not saying he doesn’t have good older works. He starred in some of my favourite comfort dramas: City Hunter, which also solidified Park Min Young’s role as the romance drama IT girl for me; Mackerel Run, which is old but pure high school drama gold; The Heirs because, come on, he acted for his last 2k with that series; and The Legend of the Blue Sea because a funny, stupid, rich Lee Min Ho character? Inject it.

All I’m saying is when you leave grapes for a while, you get fantastic wine. Just look at what he did with Pachinko after taking a break from acting for a while. It might not be the best 2022 drama, but it was something. Something different. 

Now, I’m not the type to take away your drug of choice without offering sustainable solutions, so here are five actors you can replace him with until his next great drama.


QUIZ: Can You Unscramble These Anime Titles in 1 Minute?


Son Suk Ku

This man has the whole “sad, rich boy that melts your heart” look going for him. He recently had his first lead role as an alcoholic who falls in love with a woman and tries to change in My Liberation Notes. You don’t want to be late to his stan train, so take my word on this. 

 Nam Joo Hyuk

If you saw Twenty Five, Twenty One, do I even need to defend this? All that crying, longing and that smile, and you’re still not sold? Something about the way he delivers his lines makes you wonder if he knows he’s supposed to be acting. That’s a little too real for me, and now, I have to plan our wedding.

Kim Young Dae

It’s one thing to be funny and another to look good while being funny. Kim Young Dae has mastered both. Especially in his role as a hotshot actor in Shooting. There aren’t that many movies in which he wasn’t playing himself or a guest actor, but after this role, the only way is up, please.  


QUIZ: Can You Match the Light Stick to the K-Pop Group?


Rowoon

Before we talk about how his suit was a paid actor in the fantasy series “Tomorrow,” seeing him try to save people others thought were irredeemable was emotional, and no one else could’ve done it. Why? Because I said so. Plus, the man can sing. It doesn’t get more charming than this.  

Lee Jong Suk

If you’ve watched K-dramas long enough, you should know him from Romance Is a Bonus Book, While You Were Sleeping, I Hear Your Voice and Pinocchio. All he does is pick good roles and execute them flawlessly, so if you like your actors a little old but still young, watch Big Mouth to see why he made the list. 

I picked these five because they each have qualities I like in Lee Min Ho, on and off screen. They’re charming but not rude, look good in a suit, and have range, unlike Lee Min Ho.

At this point, he’s a K-drama deity who’s done a great job of pushing the K-drama agenda. What’s a popular K-drama list without at least two of his movies? His audience is growing and changing, and so many younger and stronger actors are coming up every day. I’d hate to see him left behind. 

I want to see him be a bad guy, the type who makes you want to drag your hair out. I want to see him play a dad too. I’m not even asking for too much. I just want to be able to have arguments other than “All he plays is a rich boy”. What do you think? 

In the end, this is a twisted love letter to an actor who’ll forever be one of my favourites and the dramas that made me fall in love with K-dramas.


QUIZ: Only K-Pop Fans Know Who Sang These Iconic Lyrics


READ ALSO: The 7 K-drama Shows That Should Be on Your Watchlist This September

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

October 24, 2019

While people keep struggling to find a box to force him into — is he a rapper? a singer? an afropop star? another hip-hop messiah? — YCee continues to swerve, demolishing the hefty expectations fans tend to thrust upon the artists they love the most. Back in 2018, following a string of releases that focused […]

September 19, 2019

The 22-year-old man we spoke to this week is an accomplished sales manger. Getting there wasn’t easy. Still, with his history of low self-esteem and agoraphobia, characterised by bouts of anxiety and panic attacks when speaking to people or speaking in public, he’s somehow managing to breakthrough and record milestones I grew up in a […]

August 31, 2021

Kemi Adetiba’s highly anticipated King of Boys; “The Return Of The King” was released earlier this week and is available on Netflix. The 7 part sequel comes at a perfect time as last month, Netflix unveiled its affordable mobile plan to make all its titles available to everyone in Nigeria and South Africa for as low as N1200/$3 […]

Watch

Now on Zikoko

October 1, 2022

“I can’t tell you how much I miss Lagos conductors.” When Tega got into Harvard in March, she didn’t anticipate how much of her life was bout to change. Now, it’s been a week since she moved to Cambridge and she shares how it feels navigating a new city with no family or friends.

Recommended Quizzes

November 11, 2019

Everyone has something to say about what kind of person they are. But how well do we truthfully evaluate these things? Not that much, I can assure you. The average person is always lying to themselves to make sure they look good. But you know what and who doesn’t lie? Zikoko quizzes that’s what. Take […]

What are you like in a relationship?
February 7, 2020

Your taste in music can say a lot about you, and this time, it’s going to reveal what you are like in a relationship. So, pick a few of your favourite Nigerian love songs, and we’ll let you know if you’re typically a distant, passionate or unbothered partner. Here you go:

November 1, 2019

Twitter is buzzing right now, bringing a new conversation to the concept of cool vs not-so-cool, especially in relationships. If you’ve been thinking about how much of a red flag you are, why don’t you let this quiz help you decide once and for all?

November 27, 2019

Do you have a face that could make angels jealous, or should you really be walking around with a nylon bag over your head so you don’t scare children? Well, this quiz is here to answer that by telling you exactly how good-looking you are. Take and find out: 11 Quizzes For People Who Aren’t […]

More from Pop

September 23, 2022

We know some of these plots happen in real life, but we’re tired of seeing them in Nollywood movies. At this point, once you see some signs, it becomes very easy to predict how the movie would end. Please, what happened to suspense in our movies?

Watch

Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

September 13, 2022
Vs The World is a Zikoko original video series that follows best friends Astor and Hassan as they take on the world.
August 23, 2022
Zikoko Ships is a Zikoko Original series where we invite two people who share a relationship to play the Zikoko card games
December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.
X