In the last 2 years, A-list Korean actresses have attracted much attention for their roles in TV series.
2020 and 2021 are two years marking the return to the small screen of 4 famous Korean actresses. In 2020, there were Son Ye Jin and Kim Tae Hee. This year, it’s the turn of Jun Ji Hyun and Song Hye Kyo. However, if the first duo drew plenty of praise for their comebacks last year, dramas led by the latter two somehow fail to meet the expectations of the audience.
Son Ye Jin
In the days leading up to 2020, Son Ye Jin returned to the small screen in tvN’s romantic drama Crash Landing on You. Son Ye Jin is also the actress with the most successful drama comeback in this list.
The 39-year-old actress flawlessly portrayed a chaebol heiress in Crash Landing on You, showcasing versatile emotions from joy, sorrow, to even humor. Thanks to her excellent performance, Son Ye Jin received another nomination for Leading Actress in TV at the 2020 Baeksang Arts Awards.
Crash Landing on You earned its highest rating of 21.683% and is currently the highest-rated drama in the history of tvN. Besides gaining commercial success and compliments from the public, by starring in Crash Landing on You, Son Ye Jin also found the love of her life. She and the male lead Hyun Bin started dating after filming ended and confirmed their relationship on the first day of 2021.
Crash Landing on You is a spectacular comeback in all aspects of Son Ye Jin, helping the “nation’s first love” strengthen her position as a leading actress in Korea’s entertainment industry.
Succeed sometimes doesn’t come from viewers rating or sales number but acting as well. Considering that aspect, to Kim Tae-hee, “Hi Bye Mama” can be considered as a successful comeback of her.
The tvN drama only achieved a rating of 5,473% but is widely loved and highly appreciated in terms of its plot and content, both inside and outside of South Korea.
Especially, Kim Tae-hee was able to escape the old prejudice that she was just a pretty actress with no acting ability with her impressive role. Maybe it was because she is a mom herself, due to which she can express her role more impressively based on her own experience.
It has been quite some time since “IRIS” that Kim Tae-hee is able to stimulate that many compliments from the audience about her acting. Not just her fans, the public also agree that Kim Tae-hee has improved greatly in “Hi Bye Mama”.
Jun Ji-hyun has payed with her blood, sweat and tears for “Mount Jiri” – her comeback drama – but the result isn’t as good as expected.
From the writer, director to the cast, this drama is full of big names which guarantee the series’s quality. However, even they cannot save such a confusing script with too many unnecessary details like “Mount Jiri”.
Furthermore, Jun Ji-hyun is even criticized by the Korean audience due to her acting method, saying that she only deserves to be a “CF star” and can no longer live with the shadows from her previous works. Jun Ji-hyun did show a decline in her acting skill in this drama, but she still conveyed her role’s feelings and thoughts quite well. To some, the Korean audience is just being too harsh.
“Mount Jiri” viewer rating ranged between 10,663% (highest) and 7,562% (lowest), which is not a bad result. However, as “Mount Jiri” was a blockbuster with a huge budget and the comeback work of superstar Jun Ji-hyun, that result is very underwhelming.
Song Hye Kyo
Jun Ji Hyun has a sad comeback but it’s still better than Song Hye Kyo. Dramas in SBS’s Friday-Saturday time frame in 2021 are all successful with stable ratings above 10%, except for Now We’re Breaking Up.
More than half way through, but this melodrama only achieved ratings around 6% to 8% and was even surpassed by an MBC historical drama.
Outdated script, unattractive details and Song Hye Kyo’ disappointing acting style make Now We’re Breaking Up fail in captivating the public’s hearts. Although she still did well with the crying scenes, Song Hye Kyo was not appreciated by the audience in most of the remaining scenes. It seems that Song Hye Kyo doesn’t dare to do her best for fear of looking bad on screen.
Encounter, which was released at the end of 2018, was thought to be a low point in Song‘s career. Unexpectedly, with Now We Are Breaking Up, things have turned out to be much worse.
Unfortunately for Jun Ji Hyun, the unappealing script has had a significant impact on the success of her comeback. In Song Hye Kyo‘s situation, it’s difficult to defend her because she clearly didn’t have a breakthrough in script selection. Hopefully, these actresses will all gain more success in the future.