Is your first love your one and only love? Some may agree and some may agree to disagree.
- 21 K-Drama Superlatives From 2020
- Gong Yoo Share About His True Personality, And His Friendship With Lee Dong Wook In "You Quiz On the Block"
- Lee Dong Wook And Jo Bo Ah Go On A Beach Date In The Next Episode of “Tale Of The Nine-Tailed”
However, there are men who have not only waited for years but even moved heaven and earth as well as traveled across dimensions to be reunited with their first and only love. Wondering where you can find these men? Where else but in K-dramas! These men have set the bar as the poster boys of everlasting love. Here’s a look at 10 K-dramas where male leads never lost sight of their first love.
Dong Joo (Lee Sang Yoon) is a surgeon who has never been able to get over his childhood sweetheart Soo Wan. Soo Wan is blind and also neglected as a child by her father who is oblivious to her existence. Living an isolated existence, Dong Joo becomes her eyes to the world. Soo Wan is also waiting for a donor to get an eye transplant. However, they are separated under tragic circumstances, and Dong Joo has never been able to get over it. It is just a matter of time before he finds his way back to her, but the circumstances are very different. Soo Wan (Ku Hye Sun) is a paramedic and engaged to be married to a doctor. Does she even remember him? Will Soo Wan recognize that Dylan Park, the surgeon she keeps running into, is none other than her first love Dong Joo, who had vanished without a trace? This drama makes you root for Dong Joo and his single-minded determination and devotion toward their love and the relationship they shared years ago.
“Angel Eyes” is a layered show as it weaves in the memories of the past and present day reality of its two characters. Lee Sang Yoon as the committed and hopelessly in love Dong Joo is endearing and scores major points as a man anyone would want for keeps. After all, who does not like a good romance of lovers defying all odds to find the happily ever after they had been denied? You’ll also be able to see younger versions of Dong Joo and Soo Wan, who are respectively played by Kang Ha Neul and Nam Ji Hyun.
“She Was Pretty”
Childhood friends, mistaken identities, and the passionate reconciliation—many would consider this to be their favorite trope. Sung Joon (Park Seo Joon) has never forgotten his childhood crush Kim Hye Jin, the pretty girl who befriended him in school whilst the rest ignored or mocked him for being plump. Years later the chubby preteen is a good-looking and sought-after magazine editor. Moving to Seoul from the United States, his sole mission is to meet Hye Jin (Hwang Jung Eum) but has no clue about what her grown-up version looks like. Hye Jin is no longer the same version of her younger self and is busy hustling between several part time jobs. Due to complex feelings about her looks, Hye Jin sends her friend Hye Ri (Go Joon Hee) to meet Sung Joon instead. Thus, the unbeknownst Sung Joon thinks of Hye Ri to be Hye Jin while Hye Jin finds herself working for Sung Joon’s magazine. Sung Joon is not particularly nice to Hye Jin since she keeps getting things wrong, but he also finds himself wondering as to why this frizzy haired and red-cheeked girl reminds him of the young Hye Jin. With Hye Ri falling for Sung Joon, and Shin Hyuk (Choi Siwon), Hye Jin’s colleague and friend, falling for her, the plot only thickens.
“She Was Pretty,” with its emphasis on self-worth and beauty being just skin deep, is one of those delightful shows that keeps you entertained. It seamlessly blends a cute romance along with the several laugh-out-loud situations. Park Seo Joon and Hwang Jung Eum’s chemistry aside, Choi Siwon scores with his cocky yet cool swag.
“My Love Eun Dong”
Ji Eun Ho (Joo Jin Mo) is a well-known movie star. Though not short of female attention, he has never been able to have a relationship with anyone. The reason? He is still hung up on his childhood sweetheart Eun Dong. It’s to the point that he has even changed his name from Park Hyun Soo to Ji Eun Ho as a tribute to the only woman he has ever loved. His sole purpose in life is to locate and reconnect with his long-lost Eun Dong. Seo Jung Eun (Kim Sa Rang) is hired to ghostwrite his autobiography, which is his last resort to find the woman he has spent his entire youth pining for. As Jung Eun listens to Eun Ho’s recording, she cannot help shake off the feeling of deja vu. The scenarios seem oddly similar to her own life and the time she spent with the love of her life Hyun Soo, whom she lost years ago.
“My Love Eun Dong” is a show made for die-hard romantics. It’s a moving story of a man’s helplessness and his relentless pursuit to find the one woman he loves to death. But can this couple tide through their complicated history and find closure with the past? You’ll also be able to see younger versions of Hyun Soo played by both Jinyoung and Baek Sung Hyun.
“Tale of the Nine-Tailed”
Imagine roaming the earth and waiting centuries for the love of your life to reincarnate. Yi Yeon (Lee Dong Wook) is a gumiho, a nine-tailed fox who has relinquished his position as the spirit of Baekdudaegan to reunite with the love of his life Ah Eum, who passed away moons ago. Yi Yeon has encountered many versions of Ah Eum during his time on earth, but none carry the fox bead he had handed over to her before she passed away. In the meantime, he is being driven around the bend by Ji Ah (Jo Bo Ah), who produces shows on the supernatural. Ji Ah finds him suspicious but also remembers Yi Yeon from years before, even though he tries his best to keep his identity secret. Yi Yeon is also the only person who can help Ji Ah investigate the case of her missing parents. The inevitable sparks fly, but could she actually be his Ah Eum, and does he have any hope to find true happiness again?
“Tale of the Nine-Tailed” may lag in bits, but the show keeps one engrossed as it succinctly blends elements of fantasy, folklore, and thriller with a scorching romance. Plus, Lee Dong Wook and Jo Bo Ah gave viewers several swoon-worthy moments, and it’s rare to see a gumiho with a penchant for mint ice cream too.
“100 Days My Prince”
Lee Yul (EXO’s D.O.) is the Crown Prince, but he hates everything about being one, including life in his princely robes. He dislikes his father, who is the King, and he detests his loveless marriage to Kim So Hye (Han So Hee) to such an extent that he has never consummated their relationship. He has always been in love with Yi Seo (Nam Ji Hyun), a young girl whom he had met as a child. She disappeared from his sight soon after her family was killed by his father and his men to stake claim to the throne. Lee Yul assumes Yi Seo is dead, but she actually escaped and was adopted by a kind villager, now living as a peasant girl named Yeon Hong Shim.
When an assassination plot against Yul goes askew, he is knocked unconscious, only to awaken with his memories wiped clean. Guess who nurses him back to health? It is none other than Hong Shim. Living life as a lost soul in peasant clothes, he marries her to save her from being sold off to a conniving nobleman. Though Hong Shim remembers her past, she has no idea that her husband is none other than Yul. Yul is also developing and taking a keen interest in his new bride. As the royal palace launches a search amongst the strife and intrigue, a romance blossoms between Yul and Hong Shim. But what happens when Yul’s memories return? Will Hong Shin recognize him?
“100 Days My Prince” is a fun and light watch. D.O. is awesome as Yul, the sullen Crown Prince and later as the clueless peasant boy. His straight face during the humorous situations are a treat to watch. And D.O. and Nam Ji Hyun with their divergent personalities make quite a pair. If you are in the mood for a period rom-com, this one is for you.
“Romance is a Bonus Book”
Cha Eun Ho (Lee Jong Suk) is a successful author, professor of literature, and the youngest editor-in-chief at his publishing company. Eun Ho is oblivious to all the female attention coming his way since he has only loved his noona friend Kang Dan Yi (Lee Na Young). Dan Yi was his minder of sorts when they were young, and soon his young boy infatuation turned into a grown man’s love for the spunky girl he has always adored. But Dan Yi got married, later divorced, and is a struggling, unemployed single parent living a hand-to-mouth existence. She has kept her situation hidden from Eun Ho. Dan Yi’s job searches, which have been futile, land her at Eun Ho’s company as an intern. Though she continues to regard him as the little boy she used to babysit, Eun Ho’s feelings start having an effect on her. He encourages her to take charge of her life while he charmingly sweeps her off her feet, proving that he is her man for keeps.
“Romance is a Bonus Book” is a character-driven drama about a woman’s quest to empower herself. And Lee Na Young and Lee Jong Suk are both scene stealers given their natural performances and chemistry.
“The King’s Affection”
Childhood sweethearts are separated even before they can confess their feelings, only to meet again in a complicated gender-bender scenario—is this not enough to pique your attention? Jung Ji Woon (Rowoon) had been besotted by Dam Yi (Park Eun Bin) since their preteen days at the royal court. He is from a noble family, and she is a palace maid, which is a recipe for disaster in feudal times. However, the brutality of Ji Woon’s father impacts the lives of both. Dam Yi is actually the abandoned twin sister of the crown prince Lee Hwi. After her brother’s tragic death, she is compelled to disguise herself and take on his identity to save herself and her mother, the Queen, from a brutal fate.
Years later, Ji Woon is a physician living outside the court and has often wondered about the disappearance of Dam Yi. On a royal hunt, Dam Yi runs into Ji Woon, both oblivious of each other’s real identity. But she soon discovers Ji Woon is her first love, whom she has always pined for. Ji Woon finds his way back to the royal court, this time as the Crown Prince’s tutor. Feeling the similar stirrings of emotions he had felt for Dam Yi, he finds himself attracted to the Crown Prince. As the truth emerges, so does a tender love story, but the lovers discover maneuvering palace intrigues is indeed a herculean task.
“The King’s Affection” is a one-of-a-kind show. Highlighting the misogyny at the royal court, the class divides, jealousy, and political strife, it also celebrates friendship and a love which survives against all odds. Park Eun Bin and Rowoon showcase their range as actors, and Rowoon as the man who stands confident and loyal toward the woman he loves scores a perfect 10.
“The King: Eternal Monarch”
Traveling across a parallel universe to be with the woman you love, even across time and dimensions, is not a mission impossible for Lee Gon. Lee Gon (Lee Min Ho), the King Of Korea, had witnessed his father’s brutal death. He is saved by a mysterious stranger and taken to safety, but he remembers the identity card of a woman named Jung Tae Eul (Kim Go Eun). Lee Gon discovers a portal leading to another world, to modern-day South Korea, and encounters Tae Eul, a detective in Seoul. The two may have had a frosty start, but what unravels is a passionate love story. As Lee Gon does everything in his power to safeguard the woman he loves, he embarks on a journey of portal hopping, encountering alter selves of people he knows, as well as changing the blueprint of his destiny.
“The King: Eternal Monarch” is a bit confusing as time-travel can be a tricky genre, and the show packs in a lot. But Lee Min Ho’s flamboyant charm is enough to keep you riveted as well as the bromance between him and Woo Do Hwan.
“The Moon Embracing the Sun”
Yeon Woo’s (Han Ga In‘s) life changes when she marries Crown Prince Lee Hwon (Kim Soo Hyun). She is the daughter of a shaman, and her position as crown princess irks the royalty, including the Queen. Yeon Woo is put under a curse, and it is alleged that she has succumbed to her death from a mysterious illness. The heartbroken Lee Hwan is forced to marry another but refuses to consummate his marriage as he continues to mourn the loss of his wife. When Yeon Woo reappears in Lee Hwon’s life years later as the shaman Wol, she cannot recall her past as his wife. In the meantime, Lee Hwon sets out to uncover the truth, fighting for his throne and being reunited with the woman he loves.
“The Moon Embracing the Sun” is a perfect blend of fantasy and history. Star-crossed lovers, palace intrigues, and a dash of magic make for a perfect brew, and Han Ga In and Kim Soo Hyun’s delightful on-screen chemistry is the added bonus.
“Our Blues” is a bittersweet anthology of ordinary people living in Jeju Island as they struggle between making a living, navigating through the complexities of relationships, the memories of the past, and the burdens of present-day life.
Lee Dong Suk (Lee Byung Hun) always loved Min Seon Ah (Shin Min Ah) since they were teenagers. However, Seon Ah, aware of his feelings, breaks his heart and moves away to the city. Years later, she is a young mother suffering from depression. Her marriage has fallen apart given her mental health issues, and she ends up losing the custody of her son. Tired, distraught, and hopeless, she returns to Jeju, only to be brought face-to-face with Dong Suk again. Dong Suk, a traveling salesman, is embittered with the curveballs life has thrown his way. His fractured relationship with his mother, death of his sister, and the betrayal by his one and only love have made him brusque and dispassionate. Though he resents her arrival at first, he soon becomes instrumental in her healing and helping Seon Ah get her life back on track.
“Our Blues” incidentally marks Shin Min Ah’s third screen outing with Lee Byung Hun. From playing his sister in her debut “Beautiful Days” to his unrequited love interest in the action noir film “Bittersweet Life,” “Our Blues” shows them for the first time as romantic leads. Bringing forth the complexities of love, the two actors are a treat to watch as they unravel the journey of two broken souls healing and supporting each other.