Multi-Talented Artist: 5 Of Lee Junho's K-Dramas You Don't Want To Miss

The multi-hyphenated Lee Junho has been winning hearts and awards, proving his versatility and skill as an actor and emerging as one of the most sought-after faces in K-dramas. From playing the lovelorn Crown Prince Yi San, whose tragic love story tugged people’s heartstrings in “The Red Sleeve,” to the lawyer son defending his father in “Confession” and the grumpy talented chef who can cook up a storm and melt your heart in “Wok of Love,” Lee Junho has been singing his way to success.

As fans await his next outing as a chaebol embroiled in an inheritance battle in “King the Land” (working title) scheduled for the latter half of 2023, here are five Lee Junho dramas that will make your wait worth the while.

“The Red Sleeve”

Inspired by documents and eulogies written by King Jeongjo for his favorite concubine the Royal Noble Consort Seong Ui Bin, “The Red Sleeve” is an achingly tragic and hauntingly beautiful drama. A young court maid named Deok Im (Lee Se Young) catches the eye of the handsome crown prince Yi San (Lee Junho) who initially falls hopelessly in love with her. However, Deok Im, a self-righteous and independent young lady, turns down the lovelorn prince’s persuasive requests to be his concubine. But as circumstances and situations lead to the inevitable, the two are not destined for the happily ever after that they hoped for.

Lee Junho bagged the Baeksang Best Actor award for his brilliant portrayal of the crown prince and later emperor who captivates you with his emotive performance. He effortlessly brings out Yi San’s anguish, inner turmoil, and hopelessness to the fore, and he looks heartbreakingly handsome as well. Plus the chemistry between the leads is enough to leave you infatuated with this ill-fated couple and will make you want to research this love story of time gone by.

 Start watching “The Red Sleeve”:

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Just Between Lovers

Lee Kang Doo’s (Lee Junho) dreams and hopes of becoming a soccer player are dashed when an onsite accident at a mall leaves him with a grievous injury which also kills his father. Suffering from post traumatic disorder and debt-ridden, Kang Doo is a gruff young man dealing with a hopeless future. He meets Ha Moon Soo (Won Jin Ah), a survivor from the same accident who is wracked with guilt. The two come together with their shared grief and struggles to form a deep connection.

This drama is a story of love, loss, and healing as two people pick up the torn pieces of their life and put them together. Lee Junho captures the essence of Lee Kang Doo’s personality, and his pain and trauma will make you feel his plight. The drama’s color tone of blue and gray is evocative, and the slow burn romance between the two characters is subtle and natural.

Start watching “Just Between Lovers”:

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“Wok of Love”

Food, romance, and humor make for the perfect dish, especially when served by a charming trio of Jang Hyuk, Lee Junho, and Jung Ryeo Won.

Seo Poong (Lee Junho) is a star chef at a swanky hotel, but he loses his job. On the same day, he discovers that his wife has cheated on him with the CEO of the very hotel where he worked. Poong lands up at a dilapidated Chinese restaurant run by a gangster named Doo Chil Sung (Jang Hyuk) and also meets a down-and-out heiress named Dan Sae Woo (Jung Ryeo Won), who has been dumped by her husband. Determined to succeed, he proposes to reinvent the restaurant and start his life all over again. As he whips up a storm of scrumptious meals, little does Poong realize that love was not part of the menu he had in mind.

Lee Junho fits his character perfectly as the self aware and arrogant star chef Poong who grows into a warm and charming man driven to succeed. What amazes is his ability to deliver long dialogues with skillful ease. And his sizzling onscreen chemistry with Jung Ryeo Won as well as the bromance between Poong and Chil Seung make this show the perfect dish.

Start watching “Wok of Love”:

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Good Manager

Kim Sung Ryong (Namgoong Min) is an accountant working for a gangster boss in Gunsan. He can manipulate the books, evade taxes, and generally does a good job when it comes to money laundering and pocketing money. However, things come to a head when he clashes with his mobster boss. Sung Ryong finds himself in another company, the TQ Group. But this time, he cannot resort to his old ways and constantly clashes with the perceptive prosecutor-turned-director of finance, the cold and charismatic Seo Yul (Lee Junho).

An all-time favorite amongst K-drama fans, “Good Manager” scored high on popularity charts not only for its smooth writing but thanks to its terrific performances by Namgoong Min and Lee Junho. From enemies to friends and comrades fighting the many crises and situations at work, Sung Ryong and Seo Yul’s onscreen chemistry is what bromance dreams are made of. Remember them dancing to TWICE’s “TT”? Plus, Lee Junho excels as the haughty and opinionated Seo Yul, who elevates the tension in the drama. If you become smitten with his swag while watching this drama, we can’t blame you.

Start watching “Good Manager”:

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An underrated but brilliant drama, “Confession” comes with a taut, pacy storyline and incredible performances by Lee Junho and Yoo Jae Myung. Choi Do Hyun (Lee Junho) receives a heart transplant and soon learns his father has been charged for murder and is arrested. Do Hyun becomes a lawyer to save his father on death row for murder and aligns with detective Ko Choon Ho (Yoo Jae Myung) to investigate the same case and unearth dark murky secrets.

Lee Junho showcases his versatility once again and lives up to expectations, breathing life into his character. Do Hyun may come across as soft, but he is stoic and insightful. He is a young man with a rock solid demeanor. In a heartbreaking moment, Lee Junho breaks down after hearing the confession of his donor’s guardian, and it is one the most moving and natural scenes in the drama. If you are wondering whether there is something this talented singer, composer, songwriter, dancer, and actor can’t do, your guess is a good as mine.

Hey Soompiers, which is your favorite Lee Junho drama and character? Leave a comment and let me know.

Puja Talwar is a Soompi writer with a strong Song Joong Ki and Lee Junho bias. A long time K-drama fan, she loves devising alternate scenarios to the narratives. She has interviewed Lee Min Ho, Gong Yoo, and Ji Chang Wook to name a few. You can follow her on @puja_talwar7 on Instagram.

All-time favorite dramas:Descendants of the Sun,” “Queen of the Game,” and “Reply 1988.”
Currently watching:Reborn Rich

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