Korean Shows to Watch in March 2021: 7 Movies And Series Starring Gong Yoo
South Korean actor Gong Yoo has long captivated the hearts of audiences worldwide after having shot to fame for his starring role in the 2007 drama Coffee Prince and later on, the 2016 zombie blockbuster Train to Busan. Netflix just announced that he is coming back for a new science fiction series this 2021. While we all wait for its anticipated release, here are some shows and movies to catch him in.
(Related: The Best New Korean Dramas To Watch In 2021)
Train To Busan
Who can forget this heart-wrenching horror movie? Here, Gong Yoo stars as a no-nonsense fund manager caught in a train on the eve of a zombie apocalypse. Bringing together all the best elements that make for a suspenseful viewing experience, Train to Busan (2016), was a box office success grossing almost 100 million USD worldwide.
Guardian: The Lonely And Great God
Perhaps one of Gong Yoo's most recognisable TV roles, The Guardian (more commonly known as Goblin), is a Korean drama series that follows 939-year-old Goblin and his true love, Ji Eun Tak. Many love this drama for its beautiful cinematography and an unforgettable soundtrack. This show also features a lot of amazing outfits from Gong Yoo and co-star Lee Dong Wook, so much so that the coats and jackets worn in Goblin have since gained enormous popularity in South Korean fashion.
This 2007 gem might fall pale against the blockbuster, effects-heavy dramas of today but it's still a great binge-watch. In this 17-episode drama, Gong Yoo plays Choi Han Kyul, a laidback heir to a thriving coffee business. He meets Go Eun Chan who applies for Han Kyul's latest café concept, Coffee Prince—which only accepts attractive men as servers. A tomboy by heart (and looks), Eun Chan pretends to be a man to keep her job. Plot-twist: they fall in love.
The series follows Han Kyul's character as he struggles to understand his feelings for Eun Chan. Surprisingly progressive for its time, Coffee Prince is a must-watch for any Gong Yoo fan. Not even early 2000s fashion can take away from this leading man's good looks!
This show marks Gong Yoo's first series after fulfilling his mandatory two-year military service. Many tuned in to catch their favourite leading man play two roles: Seo Yoon Jae (a dutiful doctor) and Kung Kyung Joon (a US exchange student). Caught in a car accident together, a Freaky Friday situation occurs. Kyung Joon wakes up in Yoon Jae's body. Gong Yoo flexes his acting chops by bringing to life two distinct characters.
This 2011 film dramatises events surrounding a child abuse case that took place in a school for the hearing-impaired in South Korea. One of Gong Yoo's more serious roles, his depiction of the struggles of newly-appointed teacher Kang In Ho got him a nomination for Best Actor at the 48th Baeksang Arts Awards. Following the crimes and subsequent court rulings, Silenced is not for the faint of heart.
The Age of Shadows
Bringing together powerhouse names in Korean cinema, The Age of Shadows has Gong Yoo starring against Song Kang Ho (Parasite). Set in 1920s Shanghai and Seoul, this noir action thriller will have you at the edge of your seat with its psychological twists and turns. Not to mention, it features incredible set design and styling — Gong Yoo in vintage suits? Don't need to tell me twice.
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A Man And A Woman
For those who prefer romance dramas, then this one's for you. Set in Helsinki, Finland, there's no shortage of beautiful landscapes and stunning scenes in this movie. After a (literally) steamy encounter at a sauna, two strangers part ways without even knowing each other's names. Eventually, both go back to their own respective families in South Korea. Both unfulfilled in their marriages, fate brings them back together and they start up an affair. Covering themes of love, joy, and betrayal, don't forget to add this film to your list of must-watch Gong Yoo movies.