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rising k-drama queen: shin hye sun's best k-dramas

Feb 15, 2021

By Tanya

Shin Hye-sun is not an overnight star. From playing a minor role in School 2013 to supporting characters and now carrying the entire drama on her shoulders. She has come a long way to reach where she is today. She has set herself up as one of the outstanding actors of today's time with projects lined up back to back.

Her most recent drama, Mr Queen started airing in December 2020, and since then, it has topped rating charts and became the talk of the town. Mr Queen climbed the charts not only because of its humorous storyline but also due to the cast's thriving acting. As her most recent drama, Mr Queen has completed its broadcast, let's have a look at her previous works that make her the rising Queen of K-Drama world.

1. Still 17 (2018)

 

Still 17 is a warm-hearted and quirky story between two emotionally stagnant 30-year-olds with the maturity of teenagers who support each to grow. Shin Hye-sun plays Woo Seo Ri who has lost 13 years of life in a coma because of an accident and is currently 30 years with a psychological age of 17.

Shin Hye-Sun plays a perfect Seo Ri, giving the character equivalent amounts of vulnerability and innocence. She is adorable and adamant to overcome the traumatic accident that froze her and people around her emotionally in time.

Shin Hye-Sun's character made me overwhelmed during her scenes about losing 13 years of her life lying on the hospital bed. The other cast members include Yang Se Jong, Ahn Hyo Seop and Ye Ji Won who are nothing but a treat to watch. Still 17 will make you a piece of these characters journey to overcome your doubts, struggles, and regrets to discover the boldness to live and love once more.

Still 17 is available on Netflix and Viki to stream.

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2. "Angel's Last Mission" (2019)

I watched Angel's Last Mission just after Still 17 and I was stunned by the contrasting portrayal of Lee Yeon Seo by Shin Hye-sun. She plays a prodigious prima ballerina here, but an accident has left her blind and bitter. Kim Dan, an optimistic angel, is entrusted with a mission to find love for the cold-hearted Lee Yeon Seo.

It is uncommon to get a headstrong K-drama female lead that is at the forefront of her thoughts. Shin Hye-Sun makes her character sympathetic and strong. Although she is not a trained ballet dancer, she took hardcore ballet lessons to prepare for this role. Shin Hye-Sun feels one with the character and soothes your eye with beautifully choreographed ballet scenes. She tells the story of her desperation and agony as she gracefully waltzes on screen. "Angel's Last Mission" will make you speculate about its character's survival until the end.

You can watch "Angel's Last Mission" on Netflix and Viki.

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3. "The Hymn Of Death" (2018)

The Hymn of Death is a special drama of 6 episodes based on true events. Set during the Japanese colonial era it tells the story of a music student Yun Sim-Deok (Shin Hye-Sun) who falls in love with an exceptional playwright Kim Woo Jin (Lee Jong Suk). It is a tragic story of love and heartbreak that transcends time. 

Shin Hye-sun gives a moving performance as the first Korean soprano, Yun Sim-Deok. Hye-sun carries this character with a sorrowful stride that is outspoken and determined to be on the stage. Yun Sim-Deok is a well-known classical figure who has been written and performed a lot, but Shin Hye-sun's performance added new brilliance to this character and avoided getting it stale. She brings back the tragic life story of this legendary personality on the screen with the right amount of love and pain in the hopeless era with no freedom. 

Albeit the show is a quick watch, but the story stays with you for its grievous narrative and poignant characters.

You can watch "The Hymn Of Death" on Netflix.

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4. "My Golden Life" (2017)

My golden life is a long drama on this list with 52 episodes. The story revolves around Seo Ji Ahn (Shin Hye-sun); she is struggling as the contact worker of a chaebol group to make ends meet and gets mistaken as the long lost daughter of the same chaebol group.

The biggest strength of this drama is the writing and the exceptional cast. Seo Ji Ahn is the frontrunner of the story. She goes through a life-altering situation which drives her to make fateful decisions. When a drama runs for long, it becomes inevitable to keep the monotonous tone at bay but Shin Hye Sun as Seo Ji Ahn keeps the pace steady. 

She is an engaging actress as she portrays the complexities of her character thoroughly. She is supported by a bunch of seasonal veteran actors Chun Ho Jin, Kim Hye Ok and Jeon Noh Min to name a few.  My Golden Life passes on the message that a fulfilling life can be lead without the abundance of wealth and riches.

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Which Shin Hye-Sun drama is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below!

Written by Tanya

Tanya shares immense love for everything Asian and visual storytelling. She is an avid reader and just trying to get some sleep! You will always find her either writing stories or watching one. When she is not getting high on dramas and movies, she is probably clicking  pictures or talking with her plants and squirrels. You can catch her up on Instagram (@earl_of_june).