6 Of Jang Nara’s Best Dramas To Add To Your Watch List
A successful actress, singer, and host, Jang Nara is a bona fide hyphenate whose career has spanned over two decades and two countries. Talented and versatile, the roles she has taken on are diverse and have helped to establish her as an actress that continually submerges herself in different characters. Don’t let her baby-faced exterior fool you, for Jang Nara is definitely a force to be reckoned with! If you are looking to dip your toes into her works, here are six of the best to start on (although truly, you would be spoilt for choice!).
In “Sell Your Haunted House,” Jang Nara plays Hong Ji Ah, a real estate broker and owner of Daebak Real Estate, whose primary role is also that of an exorcist, conducting exorcisms in haunted properties before helping their owners to sell them. In her personal life, Ji Ah is tormented by the heart-rending mystery of her mother’s death and eventually teams up with Oh In Beom (CNBLUE’s Jung Yong Hwa), a con artist who is similarly driven to untangle the web of secrets behind his uncle’s death years ago, and how Ji Ah’s mother had been involved in the tragedy.
Jang Nara’s skill in emoting shines bright as she manages to portray Ji Ah’s cold and stony exterior without losing sight of the character’s tender-hearted nature, which ties back in with why Ji Ah stuck around as an exorcist for so long despite the threat it posed to her own health. The chemistry between the leads definitely helps to imbue Ji Ah with much-needed vitality, lifting her from the emotionless state she was in before when she was in the company of spirits.
Start watching “Sell Your Haunted House”:
For long-time fans of Jang Nara who are used to the bubbly image she usually portrays, “VIP” would have been a refreshing change. In the drama, the actress plays Na Jeong Seon, a successful executive at Sung Un Department Store whose life turns upside down one day when she receives a mysterious text about her husband Park Seong Hoon (Lee Sang Yoon) having an affair with one of their mutual colleagues.
Suspicion and emotional turmoil can be a toxic combination, and Jang Nara certainly expresses this with finesse, making for a captivating watch from start to end as she gives viewers a glimpse of the struggles that women face not just in their personal lives but also at a fiercely competitive workplace.
Start watching “VIP”:
3. “The Last Empress”
Not only does Jang Nara suit modern dramas, but she also does well in dramas with more traditional elements. No drama is better proof of this than “The Last Empress,” where the actress takes on the role of Oh Sunny, a cheery and vivacious actress whose innocent crush on the Emperor Lee Hyuk of the Korean Empire (Shin Sung Rok) turns into a contemporary Cinderella tale of sorts, as he too takes an interest and marries her. The fairytale romance, however, soon loses its sparkle as Sunny finds herself ensnared in the scheming and plots of a palace power struggle.
At first glance, the role of Sunny seems like a no-brainer for Jang Nara as the bright personality of the character reflects that of other characters the actress had played. But as the storyline unfolds and Sunny has to step up to out-maneuver her adversaries, you really see Jang Nara’s undeniable charisma shine bright as she showcases the growth in Sunny as she takes on the challenges in her stride.
Start watching “The Last Empress”:
4. “Go Back Couple”
Turning back time for a re-do sounds like a frivolous wish, but in “Go Back Couple,” Jang Nara’s Ma Jin Joo and her estranged husband of more than 10 years, Choi Ban Do (Son Ho Jun), get this very wish fulfilled when the couple reach a breaking point in their marriage and wake up one day to find themselves back as university students in their twenties. Determined to avoid being trapped in an unhappy marriage, the pair tries to make different choices and finds out the butterfly effect in doing so.
Yet again, Jang Nara proves her acting chops by capturing the upheavals in Jin Joo’s life and her resulting disappointment, heartbreak, and despair so poignantly. Her skill in expressing these emotions and getting viewers to feel them with her is definitely a highlight of this drama.
Start watching “Go Back Couple”:
5. “Fated To Love You”
As an innocent and timid office worker at a law firm, Kim Mi Young’s (Jang Nara) life collides with that of Lee Gun (Jang Hyuk), a wealthy heir who is also the last descendent of the prestigious Jeonju Lee clan. The two drunkenly have a one-night stand that leaves Mi Young pregnant, and while he is initially hesitant, Lee Gun ultimately steps up to the plate and they have a shotgun wedding.
You might get the impression that Mi Young is a pushover from the start of the drama, but Jang Nara injects her trademark steadfastness into the character to shape her into a quiet but charming force to be reckoned with. The actress has a knack for picking her scripts and lending her own interpretation to them, and this is no different in “Fated To Love You” where viewers can’t help but feel proud and root for Mi Young whenever she stands up resolutely for her own ideals.
Start watching “Fated To Love You”:
6. “Baby-Faced Beauty”
In yet another example of perfect casting, Jang Nara stars as So Young, a fashion designer in her mid-thirties who is down on her luck and has to bank on her baby face to pass off as 10 years younger in order to land a job at a fashion design company. Armed with her design talents, So Young soon catches the attention of two men in her company, the company president Seung Il (Ryu Jin) and Jin Wook (Daniel Choi).
In here, Jang Nara turns on the cute charms to deliver on feel-good humor as she faces the adversities in life head on and bumbles into her dream role thanks to her adorable looks!
Start watching “Baby-Faced Beauty”:
Hey Soompiers! Which of Jang Nara’s works is your favorite? Share with us in the comments below!
Aetcult is your friendly K-beauty enthusiast who loves her tea on and off her face (no lie). In between bouts of tinkering with new beauty products, she will probably be writing about her finds, revising her Korean language coursework and jamming to the latest K-pop song. Say hi to Am on Tumblr.