**Sigh**A good hero is so hard to find…unless of course you know just where to look! 2016 kdramas offer so much man-crush material it’s like the perfect fangirl fantasy.
It’s only March but not too soon to have a ‘best-of’ list already, surely?
Most dramas of 2016 have a bit of romance no matter its premise be it action, Melo or comedy. My top picks for romantic heroes of 2016 so far, will be the most diverse and interesting you could imagine.
You may like them adorable, witty or lip-bitingly smexy – well, this list has them all.
1. Rain ‘the best friend and partner-in-crime’ hero
You know the one. You both can finish each other’s sentences and aren’t worried about showing your goofy side. That hero you can share everything with, good or bad. He’ll stick up for you no matter what. Oh, and with just the right bit of chemistry between you to keep things 50 shades of spicy.
For you, he’s definitely your ‘ride-or-die’. And judging from the whole premise of this drama (Come Back Mister), that term has never rung more true!
2. Lee Seo Jin ‘the suave, melting hot hero with the hard shell’
Don’t be fooled by his urbane, detached exterior. This guy can be a momma’s boy and a softie for kids to boot.
A man with sensitivity…Lee Soo Jin nails the contrast of good guy/bad guy in Marriage Contract.
He’s loaded as hell too which comes in handy even if you aren’t the materialistic type. A guy who can pay his bills is hella sexy, come on.
I even like when he’s all grumpy and yech, patronizing. I just know he doesn’t really mean it. It’s great to have a drama whose hero is on his “hot older guy” game. And whoa those dimples of his could tempt a nun. I’m seriously not sure how much more of his dreaminess I can handle week in week out!
From playboy and serial heartbreaker to ‘best dad award’ hopeful. Works for me.
He’s that “Bond, James Bond” type who’s had his pick of the supermodels and beauty queens, but his heart yearns for the one. That special woman who’s going to break down his defenses and make him believe in love again.
3. Song Joong Ki “heart on his sleeve yet man’s man” hero
Aw, isn’t he cute! A hero who can make his lady’s heart flutter with his effortless charm, and still beat his way out of a gang brawl, is all kinds of awesome in my book.
Oh my giddy aunt, just the way he looks at her gives my goosebumps goosebumps. This is one lady killer that you’d want to handcuff yourself, straight to the altar.
Song Joong Ki’s character in Descendants of the Sun, is one who doesn’t keep his woman in suspense. You definitely know where you stand with him.
He might have a dangerous career and an equally dangerous savior complex (he risks his life more than a handful of times and not just in the line of duty mind you) – but you like the notion he’ll be there whenever you need someone to rely on.
“An Officer and a gentle man”…Really loving Song Joong Ki’s portrayal of ‘a lover and a fighter’ soldier who doesn’t shy from his emotions.
His devil-may-care charisma hides his inner sense of self-preservation…He doesn’t want to get hurt. So, he’s sentimental and vulnerable. Well, darn. Can he be any more perfect?
Oh wait, he can. Because he’s the kind of man who determines that losing his woman is not an option. This is one battle he’ll fight the hardest to win.
4. Park Hae-jin “Mr. Wrong-So-Right” vs. Seo Kang Joon “Brash but with the best intentions” hero
First, Park Hae-Jin as Yoo Jung in Cheese in the Trap: It starts out with him being the last guy you’d even consider viewing in a romantic light.
Then comes the love-hate stage, where you can’t decide whether you should run the other way or stay. And finally, you reach that point where you realize, you’re the only one who gets to see the real him. And you just can’t turn your back on that.
Cheese In the Trap showed us a different kind of hero from the norm. He’s going to have a nasty streak with other women and even you. He’s also carrying a whole lot of psychological baggage you’re hardly equipped to handle. Yet still, you fall as hard as a ton of bricks for all he is. His flaws, his perfections, his demons.
Then there’s Seo Kang Joon playing the recklessly cheeky, fiercely loyal In Ho. Why pit the two men together? Because they display two sides of a spectrum as to what women want in their hero. It just wouldn’t be right to ignore In Ho’s impact on the female viewing population.
He was hot-blooded and impulsive, in contrast to the more calculating and cool-headed Jung. They both have their advantages and disadvantages. One thing they had in common, is that they usually put their woman first. That’s all that really matters in the end, right?
5. Lee Hyun-woo “Don’t call him naive” hero
Last but definitely not least, is my total fave Lee Hyun-woo.
Heck, even his male co-star and ‘rival’ Wang Chi-ang couldn’t resist his feels appeal!
Yoon Shi-woo of Moorim School fame, is one who always sees the best in others. He upholds a deep sense of honor and loyalty to those he cherishes. He instills this unshakable need in you to always believe in him. Best of all, he stirs your most hidden protective instincts.
The smile on Soon-duk’s face when she found out Shi-woo was the one who picked out her dress for the ‘ball’…She must have known then and there he was a keeper!
And even though his view of the world is much too open-minded and trusting, don’t think him too naive or weak. His insurmountable courage rears up at the right moment to defend the innocent and helpless.
Lee Hyun-woo as Shi-woo is commendably repping the coming-of-age hero, with his remarkable mix of maturity and mystery. Looking forward to more of the “younger” actors flexing their romantic muscle this year.
That priceless moment you get your first glimpse of that hot-azz hero in a drama…
So what next does the future hold in terms of potential Romeo’s?
Lee Jin-wook in Goodbye Mr. Black already caught my eye in his first two episodes. He was in my Top 7 leading men of 2015 and dramaland has again seen fit to grant us more of this versatile hero.
He shows a whole range of heartthrob ability in just two hours of viewing. He may be all set to wed his long-time sweetheart in the beginning, but we know that’s not going to end well.
The fact that Goodbye Mr. Black is based on not just a classic novel but also a manhwa of the same name, gives us a general idea how things will go.
Love is going to be pretty hard on Cha Ji Won (played by Lee Jin Wook) but there’s still hope he can make something positive out of it.
He’s already showing great affinity with his pretty heroine Moon Chae Won. Watching him turn things around romance-wise is going to be fun.
Best ways to describe the chemi between these two: natural, believable and unforced. Watching their twisted romance unfold will be a treat
Hopefully, there is always going to be that actor set apart from others as a romantic ideal.
Though he won’t be devoid of flaws, he’ll always keep us excited about his love, honesty and devotion while claiming his heroine.
One thing for sure, a romantic hero is far more than just his smoking hot looks, fat wallet or thrilling stunts. He has to take our imagination to places its never been. And tickle those butterflies in the stomachs of both the cynics and the fan girls.
With so many dramas in the making and some we haven’t even heard of yet, choosing the next lineup of romantic heroes will be one marvelous infinity circle.
And no, it’s not being shallow to focus on these things. We can love dramas for their creativity but hey, what’s the world without a little romance? Would be a very bland world indeed!