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Watching Pachinko? Here are 6 K-dramas of South Korea’s heartthrob Lee Min Ho that are enough to enthrall anyone

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Lee Minho - South Korea’s megastar will always remain the one who originally brought forth the Hallyu wave to audiences beyond Korean shores. The superstar emerged from a range of minor roles to become one of the most successful and sought-after actors in the industry. With a massive social media following, the 34-year-old actor is now referred to as the ‘King of social media.’ Following his immense popularity, Lee Minho became the first South Korean actor to have his very own wax figure at Madame Tussauds in Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Watching Pachinko? Here are 6 K-dramas of South Korea’s heartthrob Lee Min Ho that are enough to enthrall anyone

Watching Pachinko? Here are 6 K-dramas of South Korea’s heartthrob Lee Min Ho that are enough to enthrall anyone

Born June 22, 1987, in Seoul, South Korea, Lee Min Ho officially debuted in 2006 through a role in an EBS series, Secret Campus. After landing several minor and supporting roles, he got his breakthrough in 2009’s massive hit Boys Over Flowers, that gained him widespread recognition throughout the nation, and across borders, making him a Hallyu star. Given his reputation and tenure in the industry, the 34-year-old actor has since starred in a number of popular dramas like The Heirs (2013), Legend of the Blue Sea (2016), The King: Eternal Monarch (2020) etc. and truly outshines in all of them.

Lee Minho currently stars in Pachinko, an Apple TV+ multi-lingual drama, alongside an acclaimed ensemble of Youn Yuh Jung, Kim Min Ha and Jin Ha. The eight-episode drama, which premiered on March 25, is interestingly the first project for Lee Minho in 13 years where he had to audition for the role. It also marks his first drama on the streaming giant. While the Apple original saga is currently streaming, check out these 6 other dramas to witness some of Lee Minho’s charming performances.

PACHINKO [2022]

Based on the New York Times best-selling novel of the same title, Pachinko is a heartfelt Korean family epic that chronicles the hopes and dreams of a Korean immigrant family across four generations. The currently ongoing period drama sweeps back and forth from Korea in 1915 to Japan’s Wall Street era, tackling the history of the Japanese colonization of Korea and social issues like racism against Koreans in Japan. The eight-episode saga mainly revolves around the emotional story of Sunja (played by Youn Yuh Jung and Kim Min Ha), a precocious and independent individual with hopeful eyes and a resilient soul. She falls in love with a wealthy Korean-born businessman Koh Hansu (Lee Minho ) and soon finds herself pregnant. After Hansu, who is already married, leaves her deserted, Sunja is saved by a young pastor, Baek Isak (Steve Sanghyun Noh) who offers to marry her to save her honor and brings her to Japan.

THE KING: ETERNAL MONARCH [2020]

Starring Lee Min Ho, Kim Go Eun, Woo Do Hwan, and Jung Eun Chae, the fantasy-romance drama with a ‘parallel universe’ timeline, centers around a modern-day emperor, Lee Gon (Lee Minho) - leader of the Kingdom of Corea in an alternate version of the actual Korean peninsula. He is a mathematician and a just ruler who is still haunted by his past when his father was assassinated before his eyes by his own uncle Lee Lim (Lee Jung Jin) following a coup. Having survived the attack, Lee Gon is left behind with a mysterious police badge left by his savior, a badge issued for Lieutenant Jeong Tae Eul (Kim Go Eun). One day, during one of his many escapades, he finds himself propelled into a parallel world, using one-half of a magical flute and lands in the Republic of Korea where he meets Jeong Tae Eul, a strong and fierce detective. What follows then is a love story taking center stage while adding mind-boggling time adventure between two worlds with doppelgängers living different lives. Lee Gon and Tae Eul team up to close doors between the parallel worlds while also catching Lee Lim, who is creating his own army for 25 years luring people to his side, offering them a chance to live a better life by killing off and replacing their doppelgängers.

THE LEGEND OF THE BLUE SEA [2016-2017]

This fantasy rom-com drama tells the tale of a mermaid Se Hwa (Jun Ji Hyun) - named Shim Cheong in present - from the Joseon era and Heo Joon Jae (Lee Minho) of modern-day Seoul. The drama connects two storylines, one set in the modern time and the other in the Joseon era and the flashbacks take us to the parallel story of their Joseon-era incarnations, Se Hwa and Kim Dam Ryung.In search of her human love Dam Ryung from the Joseon period, Shim Cheong travels across the ocean and meets Heo Joon Jae, the modern-day incarnation of Dam Ryung, who is a witty con artist with magician like abilities. Being a conman, Joon Jae soon becomes interested in a jade bracelet worn by Shim Cheong, which is worth millions, and takes her with him as she has nowhere to go. At his home, she finds his con partners, Jo Nam Doo (Lee Hee Joon) and Tae Oh (Shin Won Ho). As Shim Cheong tries to adjust and survive life on land, what follows is a beautiful, fun-filled love story with a twist of fantasy as Shim Cheong helps Joon Jae avoid the dangers that await him. With a good blend of historical and modern-day plots, romance that makes you swoon, and the suspense element that keeps you on the edge of your seat, this drama is a true visual treat!

THE HEIRS [2013]

The multi-starrer drama, led by Lee Minho, Park Shin Hye and Kim Woo Bin, is a classic high school romance involving teen angst, love triangle, and melodrama. The story focuses on friendships, rivalries, and the love lives of young, wealthy, and privileged students who are groomed to take over their families’ business empires. The drama tells the story of Kim Tan (Lee Minho), a handsome and wealthy Korean heir to a large conglomerate. While attending school abroad, Tan bumps into Cha Eun Sang (Park Shin Hye) who had come to live with her sister in hopes of a better life. Later on, when Tan returns to Korea, the two meet again with Tan finding out that Eun Sang is his mute housekeeper’s daughter. Slowly he starts falling for her and becomes very persistent in trying to win her affection. Soon Eun Sang finds herself in a love triangle with Tan and Choi Young Do (Kim Woo Bin), the condescending heir to a luxury resort conglomerate. The show also stars Kim Ji Won, Park Hyung Sik, Krystal, Kang Min Hyuk, Kang Ha Neul and Choi Jin Hyuk.

CITY HUNTER [2011]

City Hunter is Lee Min Ho’s first action drama. It is a revenge story involving thrilling action, suspense, dirty politics, and of course romance. The drama follows Lee Yoon Sung (Lee Minho), a talented MIT graduate with exceptional martial arts skills, who goes undercover to avenge the five government officials responsible for his father's death. Code-named “City Hunter”, Yoon Sung joins the Blue House as an IT expert and meets Kim Na Na (Park Min Young), who works as a bodyguard. She eventually joins Yoon Sung in his revenge plan when she discovers that they have the same goal in mind. What follows is a strong determination to right the wrongs with some action-packed scenes and passionate romance.

PERSONAL TASTE [2010]

Personal Taste is a sweet romance-comedy drama starring Lee Min Ho and Son Ye Jin. Park Kae In (Son Ye Jin) is a kind, naïve person who is clumsy and awkward. She has bad luck in relationships and constantly suffers heartbreaks. Jeon Jin Ho (Lee Minho) is a struggling architect with good looks who is self-centered, super organized, and is known for his stoic poker face. In order to dig up more information on “Sanggojae” (house of Kae In) for one of his projects, Jin Ho pretends to be gay and offers to rent the place. Being a naïve person, Kae In believes him and takes him in. She’s even ecstatic that she can maybe get a gay best friend in the process. Kae In starts to rely on Jin Ho for emotional support and through time, she grows into a sophisticated, mature woman and soon gets attracted to Jin Ho. The two eventually develop feelings for each other.

BOYS OVER FLOWERS [2009]

Starring Lee Min Ho, Koo Hye Sun, Kim Hyun Joong, Kim Bum, and Kim Joon, Boys Over Flowers is the breakthrough project for Lee Min Ho that gained him immense popularity, making him an international success. The drama is a typical high school romance story where a rich spoiled guy falls for a girl from a poor family - totally opposite of his personality and status. Geum Jan Di (Koo Hye Sun) is a headstrong girl from a poor family with a strong sense of justice who gets a chance to attend a prestigious private high school. At school, she comes across F4, the popular group of astonishingly good-looking rich boys. Gu Jun Pyo (Lee Minho) is the leader of F4 and is joined by Yoon Ji Hu (Kim Hyun Joong), So Yi Jung (Kim Bum), and Song Woo Bin (Kim Joon). Being a rich spoilt brat, Jun Pyo bullies Jan Di at first but eventually finds himself falling for her and soon turns into a nice human. While Jan Di develops feelings for Ji Hu at first, Jun Pyo gradually finds a way into her heart.

The story also follows the friendship between four friends and their journey to achieve love and success. Although there are some flaws in the storyline, it is still a hit Korean drama that has multiple adaptations in different languages.

In addition to these, Lee Min Ho also starred in films like Bounty Hunters (2016), Gangnam 1970 (2015); dramas like Faith (2012), Get Up (2008), Mackerel Run (2007), Secret Campus (2006); appeared in TV shows like Lee Seung Gii x Lee Min Ho (2021), DMZ, The Wild (2017) and many more. He will next lead the space rom-com drama  Ask The Star, releasing 2023, opposite Gong Hyo Jin.

Also Read: Lee Min Ho, Youn Yuh Jung, Jin Ha starrer Pachinko first photos unveiled by Apple TV+


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