I have been quite busy the past few months and have not had much time to watch Korean dramas. However, my wife started watching the drama “You’re the Best Lee Soon-shin” (최고다 이순신) and it was good enough to attract my attention to where I watched the whole thing.
The drama is about a young woman named Lee Soon-shin who decides to try and become an actress after being picked up by talent scout on the street. Yes, Soon-shin is named after the famous Korean historical figure which is source of amusement for people she meets throughout the drama. The talent scout ends up being a fraud who ultimately robs her of many thousands of dollars and puts her in extreme debt. To pay the debt she ends up working at a Gangnam restaurant that just happens to be in a building below a talent agency. The director of the talent agency Shin Joon-ho wages a bet with the famous actress and his ex-girlfriend Choi Yeon-a that he can turn a nobody into a television star. Yeon-a chooses the bumbling Soon-shin at the restaurant for Joon-ho to make into a star. If he makes her a star she would then sign with his talent agency. While this is all going on Soon-shin’s father is killed in a hit and run accident. His death ultimately leads to the revelation that Soon-shin was adopted by her family as a baby and is actually the daughter of a famous Korean actress Song Mi-ryung. This all ultimately leads to you guessed it, a lot of drama!
In the drama Soon-shin is played by the rising 20-year old musical talent I.U. (아이유) who’s real name is Lee Ji-eun (이지은). You can see her official website here. This was her first ever leading acting role which I thought made her perfect for the role of an inspiring actress. Since she is a singer she does do some singing in the drama and I thought she was pretty talented:
Her co-star in the drama is the 32-year old Cho Jung-seok (조정석) plays the role of Joon-ho and this is his first lead drama role as well. However, he has a long history of performing on stage and is musicals and now is taking on dramas. Like I.U. he is actually a pretty good singer as well in the drama. He plays the stereotypical love interest in Korean dramas; the older guy chasing the much younger woman by acting like a jerk and is of course involved in a love triangle. Also of course Soon-shin falls for the guy who is a jerk instead of the nice guy owner of the restaurant she works at. The boss of the Gangnam restaurant, Young-hoon who is played by Lee Ji-hoon (이지훈) and is about the only person in this drama that doesn’t need to see a therapist.
Just about every other character in the drama could use some time with a shrink and that is basically what Young-hoon is throughout the drama despite being a restaurant owner. He is always counseling all these wacky people he is surrounded by. There is no one more crazy than the aging famous actress and Lee Soon-shin’s birth mom Song Mi-ryung who plays the villian throughout the drama. Despite attempts to change her ways she just cannot seem to let go of the crazy in her. Mi-ryung is played by the ageless and beautiful Lee Mi-sook (이미숙).
Lee Mi-sook is 53 years old and looks 10-15 years younger than that. Her role in this drama is a comeback of sorts for her after being involved in a scandal. Back in 2006 she had an affair with a man 17 years younger than her that her agency had to eventually pay off to keep the man quiet. When she left the agency a few years later they sued her to get back the money they paid to her boy-toy lover. It eventually went to the courts which blew the scandal wide-open. Needless to say she is now divorced and a little lighter in the pocketbook after she was ordered to pay her old agency $110,604. Some more eye candy in the drama is provided by the 27-year old Kim Yun-seo (김윤서) who plays the part of the famous actress Yeon-a who has just a little bit less crazy in her than Mi-ryung.
Overall, I enjoyed the drama and it was one of the better Korean dramas that I have seen. The cast was good and I think this acting role will end up giving a huge boost to IU’s K-Pop and Hallyu careers. Like I said before she is pretty talented. The drama had plenty of comedy in it as well as the moments that pull at the heartstrings that Korean dramas are well known for. So if you are in the mood to watch a romantic comedy Korean drama this is the best one I have seen yet. You can watch You’re the Best Lee Soon-shin for free over at Drama Fever.