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15 Best Dramas of Kim So Hyun

Ma-re is a certified K-drama and K-pop enthusiast. She always likes to discover something new about the wide world of Korean entertainment.


From being a famous child actor to being the queen of historical dramas, Korean actress Kim So-hyun is one of the young celebs who is praised for her serious hard work in acting despite her natural talent since she was a little girl. With more than a decade of career in the media, she always gives us her best performance while leaving an impressive image as a promising actress. Seeing how she grew up in the industry, it's really fascinating that right now, she already has a long list of shows where she appeared, and we are eager to see more of her new dramas and movies in the future.

For now, let's take a good look on So-hyun's most remarkable roles that made us fall in love with her.


1. The Tale of Nokdu

Episodes: 32 (30 mins. each)

Air date: September 30 - November 25, 2019

Kim So-hyun's latest drama brings us a refreshing story about Nok-du, a man who cross-dress as a woman to live inside a widow-only village, and Dong-ju, a gisaeng trainee whom Nok-du adopts as daughter. Though they began with a funny "mother-and-daughter" relationship, the two protagonists developed romantic feelings for each other, while the plot goes deeper as they discover the truth about their identities. It is a promising drama that will not only give you laughs, but also the heart-racing moments of love and sweet scenes between the two.

The Tale of Nokdu gained attention and popularity for its uniqueness. The highlight of So-hyun's character is her short, bob-cut hair, which is not your typical Joseon female era style, while Jang Dong-yoon's portrayal of a female widow is just too beautiful and irresistibly engaging. But above all, their explosive chemistry is what makes the viewers fall harder on this series. From the released BTS, we can feel that she had an enjoyable time in the set. It's heartwarming to see her playing, smiling, and laughing with her co-star as if they are siblings! You'll definitely see that they have the best chemistry on and off screen because they are so comfortable with each other. Indeed, this is one of her best dramas so far.


2. Love Alarm

Episodes: 8 (Season 1)

Premiere date: August 22, 2019

Love Alarm is a Netflix original series where Kim So-hyun stars as Kim Jo-jo, a smart and pretty high school student with a sad childhood past. She lives in a world where a popular phone app named Joalarm detects if someone near you secretly likes you. Meanwhile, Lee Hye-young, a boy from the same school, likes Jo-jo. But Jo-jo has a big crush on his best friend, Hwang Sun-oh, who is a son of a rich family and the most popular guy on the campus. Can a love app on a smartphone makes her love life exciting, or complicated?

Their love story continues on its 2nd season in 2020, with the same leads - Jung Ga-ram as Lee Hye-young and Song Kang as Hwang Sun-oh. With only 8 episodes from the first season, we can't wait to see more as Jo-jo's romance progresses despite the heartbreaking situations. They left us hanging on the edge as to whom did Jo-jo ended up with and what will happen to the relationship of the three leads. If you're looking for a simple drama to finish in one go, it's definitely a must-see for you.


3. Radio Romance

Episodes: 16

Air date: January 29 – March 20, 2018

Radio Romance is a modern-day drama about Song Geu-rim, a woman inspired to become a radio program writer. She is a very determined woman who excels in planning, although she lacks one important thing - a talent for writing. So-hyun has a different look for this drama - she has a curly and messy brunette hair that gives off the working woman vibes. It is also a refreshing escape from her usual high school student and Joseon agassi roles. Her co-lead here is the leader of K-Pop boy band, Highlight (former Beast) Yoon Doo-joon. He took the role of Ji Soo-ho, an actor turned DJ who silently suffers from depression and insomnia because of family issues. Other cast are Yoon Park as Lee Gang, the perfectionist PD of the radio show, and Yura (Girls' Day) as Jin Tae-ri as an infamous actress.

The story is quite simple, but it conveys us a message about life and love, and it teaches us what happiness really is. The supporting actors also did a very good job, especially Nam Da-reum as young Soo-ho. It's a good, light drama you'll enjoy watching if you're in the mood for some heartwarming stories.

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4. Ruler: Master of the Mask

Episodes: 40 (30 mins. each)

Air date: May 10 – July 13, 2017

The Emperor: Owner of the Mask (also known as Ruler: Master of the Mask) is heavily promoted as a youth period drama, and was probably one of the biggest historical dramas where Kim So-hyun starred in. The story focuses on Crown Prince Lee Sun (played by Yoo Seung-ho) and his battle against a wealthy organization that manipulates and controls the power and influence over Joseon. While hiding in a mask, he let a commoner named Lee Sun (played by Kim Myung-soo) to take over his palace duties and act in behalf of him when he's outside the palace. While trying to defeat the political enemies, he met a beautiful lady, Han Ga-eun (played by Kim So-hyun), but in order to succeed he needed the help of a smart and brave lady Kim Hwa-gun (played by Yoon So-hee).

The viewers gave mixed reviews about this series. They positively praised the cast for excellent acting, however, the flow of the story didn't satisfied the other audiences, and the ending was a bit disappointing. But the actors are too great and their skills is what keeps us going forward with this drama. And of course, we are delightful to see our pretty Kim So-hyun dressed as a noble agassi!


5. Goblin

Episodes: 16

Appearance episodes: Ep. 1, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13

Air date: December 2, 2016 – January 21, 2017

Kim So-hyun had a short but special cameo on the 2016 drama Goblin, which left a remarkable impression of her fine character as a young Queen Kim Sun. She isn't playing the lead or secondary role, but her minor appearance is truly unforgettable. As expected of our sageuk goddess, she nailed the flashback scenes while looking so elegantly beautiful in the queen's gown, and though her scene barely lasted a minute, the impact she had in our hearts and minds lasted for a really long time.

We've seen her in many Joseon period dramas, but this time, she gracefully appeared in Goryeo era fashion with her sophisticated hairstyle. While she plays the young queen, actor Kim Min-jae portrays the role of the stubborn young King Wang Yeo, and they were praised for their brief yet amazing performance.


6. Bring It On, Ghost

Episodes: 16

Air date: July 11 - August 30, 2016

Kim Hyun-ji's fascinating character as a cutie pie wandering soul is one of So-hyun's most loved roles. Though the drama has a creepy and eerie aura because of its horror and mystery genre, her rom-com acting skills and her fresh, youthful looks made the show quite entertaining to watch. Hyun-ji is a middle high school student who had a car accident. Since then, she became a playful ghost roaming around with no memories of her past. Then, she encountered Park Bong-pal (portrayed by Ok Taecyeon), a lonely college student who has the ability to see her. Their adventure begins with Bong-pal helping Hyun-ji recover her lost memories while fighting against the evil antagonists on the way.

This drama contains spooky effects which gives the chills when you watch it at night, but many fans say that it is bearable because the actors were all great. Overall, viewers enjoyed watching young So-hyun in comedy and action. She was also able to hide the age gap with her male lead, Taecyeon, because of their good chemistry and friendly atmosphere.


7. Page Turner

Episodes: 3

Air date: March 26 - April 9, 2016

Page Turner is a wonderful short drama by KBS about three high school students and how they overcome their challenges in life to reach their dreams. It has a well-written plot with excellent performance from the actors, but too bad, it has only three episodes! But don't worry, you won't regret seeing Kim So-hyun acting as Yoon Yoo-seul, a piano genius and the best pianist who always gets the first place in school competitions. She is beautiful and confident, but one day, she got into an accident that made her lose her sight. She was about to give up her talent for piano when a jolly student Jung Cha-sik (Ji Soo) motivated her to continue playing piano. Meaniwhile, her piano rival Seo Jin-mok (Shin Jae-ha) slowly became Yoo-seul's supporter when he saw her determination despite her blindness. This mini-series perfectly delivers the emotional struggle of each character that mostly young people can relate to. And if you love dramas with music genre especially classics, you definitely have to give this one a go!


8. Nightmare High

Episodes: 12 (18-20 mins. each)

Air date: March 14 - March 31, 2016

Also known as Nightmare Teacher, it is a Naver TV series about the mysterious teacher of Yosan Private High School. Han Bong-gu (Uhm Ki Joon) is the new homeroom teacher of Class 2-3 after the previous teacher broke his back. But Teacher Han doesn't make a very nice substitute. He is quite scary and something feels strange about him. Moreover, Teacher Han is not on the school faculty list, but everyone knows him well. The class president of 2-3 is Kang Ye-rim (Kim So-hyun) who badly wanted to know the truth behind their teacher in order to save her friends from the unusual class matters and stop the nightmares that their class is going through. She is joined by Seo Sang-woo (Lee Min-hyuk), a classmate who has a big crush on her.


9. Who Are You: School 2015

Episodes: 16

Air date: April 27 - June 16, 2015

This list will not be completed without School 2015, the drama that made Kim So-hyun a successful teen actress. She was playing a double role with twins, Lee Eun-bi and Go Eun-byeol, who were separated when they were young. Eun-bi is a shy and kind girl, but she is bullied by her classmates, while Eun-byeol is a popular girl in a private school. One day, an incident happened and Eun-byeol went missing, while Eun-bi lost her memories and was mistaken as Eun-byeol. Later, the twins discovered the big difference in their lives and they have to overcome each situation they are facing.

School 2015 was a big hit for the youngsters. Other casts were Nam Joo-hyuk as Han YI-an, a swimmer and a childhood friend to Eun-byeol, Yook Sung-jae as Kong Tae-kwang, a boy with a weird personality who came from a rich but troubled family, and the ultimate schoolgirl bully who gets on our nerves, Joo Soo-hyang. With her praiseworthy acting, So-hyun racked up the Best New Actress and Best Couple Award with Sung-jae at the 2015 KBS Drama Awards.


10. We All Cry Differently

Episode: 1

Air date: October 5, 2014

We All Cry Differently is a 2014 KBS Drama Special featuring Kim So-hyun as Ryu Ji-hye, a smart high school student. She is chosen to take part in an English study program abroad, but she cannot go because of her family issues. She is registered under her father's name whom she couldn't find. As we go on watching, we can all feel the frustration of a top student who badly wanted to grab a once in a lifetime opportunity. It also features the hardships and conflicts that happens in a family, like how Ji-hye is always getting into battle with her brother, and how she always get angry to her mother, blaming her for the situation she's in and complaining how bad things turned out in her life. She won the Special Short Drama Actress as Ji-hye at the 2014 KBS Drama Awards.


11. Reset

Episodes: 10

Air date: August 24 - October 26, 2014

Reset is an OCN prosecutor drama where Kim So-hyun plays double identity. In the past she plays Choi Seung-Hee, who was Prosecutor Cha Woo-jin's first love fifteen years ago. She was a crime victim which leads to Woo-jin's determination in solving violent crime cases. While working on a case, Prosecutor Cha met Jo Eun-bi, a high school student who was involved in the case. Surprisingly, she resembles Seung-hee a lot. So-hyun acted brilliantly as Seung-hee and Eun-bi, while Prosecutor Cha's role was took by Chun Jung-Myung. This drama has an interesting plot turns as it tries to uncover the truth about the crime case. It gives us the thrills as things got more complicated in the climax part.


12. The Suspicious Housekeeper

Episodes: 20

Air date: September 23 - November 26, 2013

A remake of the Japanese hit drama, The Suspicious Housekeeper follows the story of Park Bo-nyeo (Choi Ji-woo), a mysterious housekeeper who started working for a family with Eun Sang-chul (Lee Sung-Jae) as the father and his four kids were Han-Gyeol (Kim So-hyun), Doo-Gyeol (Chae Sang-Woo), Se-Gyeol (Nam Da-Reum), and Hye-Gyeol (Kang Ji-Woo). Each of them has personal troubles and painful stories depicted in the series that teaches us about the importance of having a harmonious family relationship. With difficulties and problems raised to the highest level such as adultery, suicide, revenge, and rebellion, this drama couldn't be in any way warm, but the message it suggests is too powerful to ignore. So-hyun was amazing on her role as Han-gyeol, which is why she deserves the New Star Award during the 21st SBS Drama Awards.


13. I Miss You / Missing You

Episodes: 21

Air date: November 7, 2012 - January 17, 2013

Before she was bullied in School 2015, Kim So-hyun already played as teen Lee Soo-yeon, a 15-year old bully victim in school in Missing You. His first prince charming was Yeo Jin-goo, who took the role of Han Jung-woo, the boy who always protect Soo-yeon from the bullies. They fall in love with each other, but a tragedy happened which separates the two childhood sweethearts. When they grew up, Soo-yeon is now portrayed by Yoon Eun-hye, while Jung-woo was Park Yoo-chun. Apart from her villainous queen-to-be role in Moon Embracing The Sun, young So-hyun was also awarded as Best Child Actress for this. She is also reunited with her fellow Moon Embracing the Sun child actor Yeo Jin-goo. It was also revealed that in this drama she had her first kiss with Yeo Jin-goo.


14. The Moon Embracing The Sun

Episodes: 20

Air date: January 4 - March 15, 2012

Teenager Kim So-hyun wowed us with her acting skills in this 2012 hit sageuk as teen Yoon Bo-kyung, the villain we love to hate. She is depicted as a young lady raised in a strict and ambitious family, where she excellently showed the insecurities, jealousy, and hatred for young Heo Yeon-woo (Kim Yoo-jung) who grew up with a loving father and a caring mother. Bo-kyung became the crown princess for Lee Hwon (Yeo Jin-goo) and eventually they were married, though Lee Hwon doesn't love her. Together with Kim Yoo-jung, she was awarded as Best Child Actress at the 2012 MBC Drama Awards, which was her first award. It was indeed a remarkable role that brought success and fame to So-hyun. Until now, it's so hard to forget how excellent she was in this drama.


15. King of Baking Kim Tak Goo

Episodes: 30

Air date: June 9 - September 16, 2010

Many of us might not realize that young So-hyun was young Gu Ja-rim in 2010 high-rated drama, King of Baking, Kim Tak Goo (also called Bread, Love, and Dreams). As the youngest daughter of the ultra-rich Gu family, she is quite spoiled, but she is not a bad girl at all. When all of her sisters and brother turned their back on young Kim Tak-goo, she talked to him and empathized a bit. So-hyun was only around 11 years old during this time, but she already caught us with her cute and charming act. She proved herself as a young versatile actress who can be a cold-hearted child on the outside, but a kind and heartwarming girl on the inside.

© 2019 Mare-sensei

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