2013: The year of comebacks


As we are moving towards the tail end of 2013, I was thinking about the striking features of the year and thus realised that this year saw an occasion as rare as the stars on a cloudy night and that was the comeback of many actors to dramaland. Every year there are one or two shows which give us the opportunity to see the elusive stars but 2013 was especially filled with returns to the small screen. Some get busy doing movies, some go for military enlistment and some take a break; whatever maybe the reason but viewers are always delighted to see their favorite actors for at least 16 episodes or 8 weeks straight.

I’ve assembled such actors here but the list is not exhaustive:

Song Hye Kyo and Jo In Sung

shk2 jis

This was a very popular comeback of two very popular stars through a melodrama That Winter The Wind Blows and viewers welcomed them with open arms. Song Hye Kyo did her last show Worlds Within in 2008 while Jo In Sung did Spring Day in 2005 and also this drama marked his return to entertainment industry after the military service. Of course, the anticipation was high. I didn’t watch it as the plot was not my cup of tea.

Jin Goo and Han Chae Young

jg hcy

Jin Goo played the titular role in upbeat drama Ad Genius Lee Tae Baek with winning confidence but the show didn’t get good ratings. I think it was a nice show with some hiccups here and there. He did his last drama in 2009- Swallow The Sun (with a cameo in Athena) and was busy in films after that.

Han Chae Young did her last show A Man Called God in 2010 and she also made a comeback with Ad Genius Lee Tae Baek. I loved her in Delightful Girl Choon Hyang as the sassy, plucky and cheerful heroine but here her role was extremely boring.

Kim Nam Gil and Son Ye Jin

kng syj

Another post-army comeback. Both the actors starred in Shark. Kim Nam Gil did similar show Bad Guy as his last and Son Ye Jin did Personal Taste in 2010. I had no interest in this revenge melo from the get-go and after getting a strong start, the show didn’t garner good reviews by the time it ended.

khs ghj

Kim Hye Soo

Mainly doing films than dramas, Kim Hye Soo returned this year as The Queen Of Office. Her last venture on small screen was in melodrama Home Sweet Home. I only watched episode 1 of QOF, but didn’t have the interest to continue. It was an okay start though.

Go Hyun Jung

She arrived as the strict and hard as nails elementary teacher in The Queen’s Classroom. The drama got rave reviews but due to time constraints, I couldn’t watch it. Her last drama was 2010’s Dae Mul.


Go Soo

After doing romantic melodrama Will it Snow at Christmas? in 2009, Go Soo did corporate drama Empire Of Gold this year which had its share of viewers. I had zero interest in it.

Kim Ok Bin

She has acted mainly in films after Over The Rainbow in 2006. Sword And Flower was a nice platform to act in and it did have a good start but went extremely downhill after that.

kjw ldg

Kim Jae Wook

I loved him in Coffee Prince and he also returned after his military service with the ghost seer melodrama Who Are You which I didn’t watch as it didn’t appeal me. Anyway, viewers wanted him to be the main lead, which didn’t happen but many thought that he was the only good thing in it. By the way, his last turn in dramaland was in 2010’s rom-com Marry Me Mary.

Lee Dong Gun

I liked him a lot in Sweet 18 and was anticipating his return through time travel rom-com Mi Rae’s Choice after his last drama When It’s At Night that came in 2008. Yeah, 5 years it is. After watching the first two episodes of Mi Rae’s Choice, I can say that he is pitch perfect.

jjm 06COV-ELLE

Joo Jin Mo

He remains mostly busy in films and his last drama Dream came in 2009. This year, he is starring in epic 50-episode sageuk Empress Ki with Ha Ji Won and everyone is eagerly waiting for the show. I found him impressive in 200 Pounds Beauty but can’t commit to his upcoming show as it’s very long.

Jeon Ji Hyun

No one can beat Jeon Ji Hyun in terms of the length of hiatus from small screen. She is returning after not 2 or 5 but complete 14 years!! Her last TV show was Happy Together that aired in 1999 and since then, she has had a very successful movie career, which also includes the most popular K-movie across the globe My Sassy Girl. She will be appearing in alien-actress romance drama My Man From Another Star premiering in December where she reunites with Thieves costar Kim Soo Hyun.

17 thoughts on “2013: The year of comebacks

  1. Caitlyn

    I have no idea why Jeon Ji Hyun is doing a drama, though. Why come back to TV after so long away?

    I watched That Winter The Wind Blows, and it was one of those shows that you know is bad but you keep watching anyway. Well, actually, i think it was okay for the first half but then went a bit off for the second half. It was filmed beautifully though. The ending was stupid, but that was to be expected, lol

    1. snow_white Post author

      It is really surprising but exciting that she is doing a TV show after a really long time….

      I have heard that TWTWB is very beautiful in terms of cinematography….at least, that must have helped to bear it till the end 😛

    2. mary

      I’m also wondering why she returned at all… unless she had fun filming with KSH and would like to star in a drama with him. Hehe 😀 That’s just my fangirly heart making fangirlish thoughts though.

  2. kfangurl

    Wow, I hadn’t thought of that, but you’re right, snow_white! It IS a comeback year! *marvels* I wonder what it is in the water this year, that so many stars are coming back to the small screen? Especially those who’ve been making films their mainstay.. I’ve no complaints though.. Variety is the spice of life, especially in the dramaverse! More comebacks, I say! Moar! *raises elegant champagne flute*

    1. snow_white Post author

      I know! Whenever any drama casts an actor who is away from dramaverse from a long time, that itself is an appealing factor for me… 🙂

      Yes, the more, the better!!

  3. missienelly

    Now that you mentioned it, you’re so right! It must be some special water they are all drinking… hehehe another person to add is Lim Joo Hwan. He’s on Ugly Alert now 😀 I can’t wait to see who else decided to make a come back to small screen. Excellent post!

    p/s: i updated my blog url lately so in case you thought i disappear, i am not :P. It is mymyooz.wordpress.com. too lazy to pay WordPress to route all the traffic to my “new” blog hehe

    1. snow_white Post author

      Ohhh….thanks for reminding….and also Jung Kyung Ho…will add them as well!!

      Thanks for the updated url of your blog…..it has been a while since I read your posts…now that’s the reason 🙂

  4. Maybee

    Great list!
    Come to think of it, you’re a whiz at making lists, snow_white! 😀
    And this post also serves as a reminder that the year-end report card is soon due. Yelp!

    1. snow_white Post author

      Hahahaha….I love lists….. 😉 They make things easier and clear….

      Where did this year go!!?? I love year end reviews…because we forget about so many dramas by the end and this is a way to go down the memory lane 🙂

  5. Gabby

    Wow, thanks for making this list. I started watching kdramas only in recent years, so I have not seen many of those old shows you mentioned, and many of these stars were also quite unfamiliar to me. What struck me was how many of their comeback dramas actually turned out to be flops 😦 But of course, I’m sure their fans would have thought differently.

    1. snow_white Post author

      Aww….I’m glad that you liked it…. 🙂

      I know! Most of the comebacks turn into flops…and it happens most of the times if you look into previous years….

      the choice of a drama plays an important role I guess….but the fans surely have a treat to see the stars for a longer period…..

  6. Pingback: 2013: Year In Review | The Drama Corner

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