Kim Soo-Hyun Netflix Shows: 5 Best K-Dramas From This Leading Man

Kim Soo-Hyun Netflix Shows: 5 Best K-Dramas From This Handsome Leading Man

Find out why he’s the highest-paid actor in South Korea right now.

Baeksang Award Winner. Forbes Korea Power Celebrity. Highest-paid actor in South Korea in 2020. If you haven’t heard about him yet, then you will soon. Kim Soo-hyun has been scorching up everyone’s screens since his television comeback in the dark romance It’s Okay to Not Be Okay

From starring in a musical drama to playing an alien, Kim Soo-hyun has transformed every role he’s been given. Along with his several acting awards, he’s also been called the King of Cameos, for having appeared in top-notch K-dramas such as Hotel del Luna and Crash Landing on You

Image credit: Netflix and tvN

With a range and versatility establishing him as one of the best actors in the business, this 32-year-old actor has proven that he has the range to carry him all the way to Korean awards stages. Want to see this handsome leading man flex his acting chops? Here are the must-watch shows of Kim Soo-hyun, now streaming on Netflix. 

Note: These Kim Soo-hyun Netflix shows are mostly available in Asia. 

1. My Love from the Star 

Kim Soo Hyun Netflix Shows: My Love from the Star

Image credit: Netflix and SBS

Probably everyone’s gateway drug to Kim Soo-hyun is the Netflix drama My Love from the Star. Moving between the past and the present, this fantasy drama series about a Korean celebrity and an alien falling in love catapulted Kim Soo-hyun to global fame. 

Kim Soo-hyun plays Do Min-joon, a 400-year-old alien who landed on the planet Earth during the Josen dynasty of Korea. Roaming the Earth for centuries, he longs for the day when he can finally return to his home planet. As a result, Min-joon keeps mostly to himself, believing it’s better not to interfere with the lives and affairs of humans. All of that changes when he falls in love with popular actress Cheon Song-yi (Jun Ji-hyun) and is swept into the dramatic events of her life. 

Needless to say, this series about an extraterrestrial romance played a crucial role in Kim Soo-hyun’s career. My Love From the Star swept the international awards circuit in 2014, bagging the Grand Prize (“Daesang”) for television at the 50th Baeksang Arts Awards in 2014. In that same year, Kim Soo-hyun was also awarded Best Actor in Asia at the 8th Tokyo International Drama Festival in Japan and Best Global Actor at the 15th Huading Awards in China

2. Dream High

Kim Soo-Hyun Netflix Shows: Dream High

Image credit: Netflix and KBS2

You can consider yourself a real fan of Kim Soo-hyun if you’ve been following his career since Dream High. Released on KBS2 in 2011, this musical teen drama became a hit among younger viewers in South Korea. The feel-good world of Dream High takes place in Kirin High School, where a group of six students must overcome their personal struggles to fulfil their dreams of becoming K-pop stars. Here, Kim Soo-hyun plays Song Sam-dong, a talented musical prodigy from the countryside. 

Many viewers know Kim Soo-hyun for his acting and boyish good looks. But did you know that he can carry a pretty good tune, too? To convincingly get into character as Song Sam-dong, Kim Soo-hyun trained for three months under big-time music agency JYP Entertainment, where he learned how to sing and dance in the same rigorous environment that produced K-pop groups like TWICE, DAY6, and GOT7. 

That he was able to hold his own in Dream High, alongside idols such as IU, Bae Suzy, and 2PM’s Ok Taec-yeon, is quite impressive, to say the least. He even recorded the song “Dreaming” for the official soundtrack, which you can see him perform live here

If you want to see a fresh-faced Kim Soo-hyun from his earlier acting days, Dream High is a fun throwback series that demonstrates his versatility and dedication as an actor. 

3. Moon Embracing the Sun

Kim Soo-Hyun Netflix Shows: Moon Embracing the Sun

Image credit: Netflix and MBC

After Dream High got viewers wondering about Kim Soo-hyun, Moon Embracing the Sun firmly established the actor as a household name in South Korea. 

Based on a bestselling novel, Moon Embracing the Sun takes place during the Joseon dynasty in Korea. Kim Soo-hyun stars as Crown Prince Lee-hwon, who is engaged to marry Princess Heo Yeon-woo (Han Ga-in). That is, until their wedding gets called off after Yeon-woo’s sudden death. Eight years later, a shaman appears in the palace, looking exactly like the woman Lee-hwon fell in love with many years ago. There’s only one problem: She doesn’t remember who Lee-hwon is. 

As Lee-hwon tries to get to the bottom of this mystery, he encounters the manipulative schemes and conspiracies of the royal court. If you prefer your romances with a dash of political intrigue and fantasy, then Moon Embracing the Sun is a must-watch. 

Originally released on MBC, this K-drama enjoyed a highly successful 20-episode run, eventually topping the nationwide ratings chart at 42.2%. Moreover, it became one of the most critically lauded dramas in 2012, winning Best Drama at the 48th Baeksang Arts Awards and Drama of the Year at the 2012 MBC Drama Awards. 

Playing Lee-hwon helped Kim Soo-hyun secure the Best Actor award at the 48th Baeksang Arts Awards, marking a crucial turning point in his acting career. Fortunately, this historical drama starring Kim Soo-hyun is also included on Netflix. 

Also read: 10 Most Famous UNESCO World Heritage Sites You Need to Visit in South Korea 

4. The Producers 

Kim Soo-Hyun Netflix Shows: The Producers

Image credit: Netflix and KBS2 

After playing a stoic alien in My Love from the Star, Kim Soo-hyun sheds his aloof facade for the role of Baek Seung-chan — a nerdy, bumbling newbie assistant in KBS2’s The Producers

As its title suggests, The Producers dives straight into the realities of the South Korean entertainment industry, from the high-strung producers who champion network ratings to the everyday challenges of Korean trainees, who struggle to make it in a tireless, competitive, and often demanding industry. Starting off as a mockumentary, The Producers offers an insider’s glimpse into this hectic, fast-paced world. 

Despite knowing nothing about the industry, Baek Seung-chan applies as a rookie producer at KBS television network — but only because a girl he likes happens to work there. Right away, he must learn new skills in order to keep up with the professional producers in the business.  

In The Producers, Kim Soo-hyun reunites with his former Dream High co-star IU, who plays a pop star named Cindy. Viewers will enjoy the playful dynamic between his character and IU’s, as well as the “will-they-won’t-they” teasing that simmers between them, up until the end of the series. 

Watch for the workplace drama, then stay for a warm and uplifting slice-of-life series that embraces the camaraderie between the characters. Like most of Kim Soo-hyun’s shows, The Producers is available for streaming on Netflix. 

5. It’s Okay to Not Be Okay

Kim Soo-Hyun Netflix Shows: It's Okay to Not Be Okay

Image credit: Netflix and tvN

A twisted fairytale built on the themes of emotional healing and found family awaits viewers of It’s Okay to Not Be Okay. This K-drama series marks Kim Soo-hyun’s long-awaited comeback to television after his mandatory military service in 2019. More importantly, it’s Kim Soo-hyun’s most ambitious project so far. 

It’s Okay to Not Be Okay follows the intense, slow-burning romance that develops between a caregiver and a children’s book author. In the series, Kim Soo-hyun plays a kind caregiver named Moon Gang-tae, who is responsible for looking after his autistic older brother Moon Sang-tae. Starring opposite his character is the cold and antisocial Ko Moon-young, played by the drop-dead gorgeous Seo Ye-ji. 

The road to recovery is not easy for Gang-tae and Moon-young, who are haunted by their pasts and have built high walls around their deepest wounds. But as the series progresses, they attempt to mend each other’s hurts and put their emotional traumas behind them. 

Perhaps the biggest draws of It’s Okay to Not Be Okay are the brutally honest depiction of the characters and the moving, realistic performances by Kim Soo-hyun and Seo Ye-ji. This Netflix series starring Kim Soo-hyun and Seo Ye-ji makes audiences wait several episodes before the romance blooms. However, every moment of happiness between the characters feels earned, as the characters slowly work up the courage to find happiness and gain the emotional support they need. 

Give this rollercoaster of a K-drama a chance, and you’ll get to watch Kim Soo-hyun and Seo Ye-ji deliver some of the best performances in their careers. 

Also read: It’s Okay to Not Be Okay Filming Locations: 15 Must-Visit Spots in South Korea

Image credit: Netflix and tvN

Suffice to say, it’s been a tremendous decade of fruitful projects for Kim Soo-hyun! From the high-concept fantasy of My Love from the Star to the compelling narrative of It’s Okay to Not Be Okay, this multi-talented actor has proven that he has that undeniable X-factor — a combination of talent and charisma to keep viewers coming back for more. 

Certainly, we can’t wait to see what new and groundbreaking role this handsome leading man takes on next. Until then, we have all the time in the world to catch up on Kim Soo-hyun’s shows on Netflix! 


Featured image credit: tvN 드라마(Drama) | Facebook 

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Tiffany Conde
Tiffany Conde

Tiffany is a writer based in Manila. When she was younger, she knew she wanted to write stories or go on adventures—now, she's learning to do both. She enjoys being swept up in books that spark her curiosity for new places, both real and imaginary.

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