‘The K2’ K-Drama: Initial Reactions From Korean Drama Fans Show Yoona Has Greatly Improved In Her Acting [‘The K2’ Special Report Series — Part 4 Of 5]

SPECIAL NOTE: This article is the fourth in a series of special reports dedicated to The K2. All articles in said series are linked below while upcoming articles are given a date and time.

  1. The K2 K-Drama: New tvN Series Starts Out Strong With High Viewership, Might Possibly Dethrone Korea’s Best Pay Channel Series To Date Another Oh Hae Young
  2. The K2 K-Drama: Were tvN Promotions Pairing K2 With Anna A Decoy For Foreshadowed Love Triangle Angle?
  3. The K2 K-Drama: Will The Seriousness And Political Angles In tvN Series Hurt It In The Long Run?
  4. The K2: K-Drama: Initial Reactions From Korean Drama Fans Show Yoona Has Greatly Improved In Her Acting
  5. The K2 K-Drama: Was Pushing Series In Edgier Direction A Means For tvN To Promote To Bigger Television Productions Both Domestically And Internationally?

The K2, the action-packed, melodramatic, political K-drama now airing on Total Variety Network (tvN), has caught the attention of the K-drama community. At this moment, six episodes of the series, starring Ji Chang Wook and Song Yoon Ah as the main leads and Yoona and Jo Sung Ha as the secondary leads, have aired with the latest episode bringing the highest ratings for an episode under the ratings provided by AGB Nielsen Korea. Seoul National Capital Area recorded 8.489 percent while the nation recorded 6.636 percent. Compared to tvN’s best K-drama to date Another Oh Hae Young, The K2 is on par with ratings per episode.

From the details provided above, it seems The K2 is simply dominating for a Korean pay television series. However, there are details about it that may hinder its success in the future. The fact that it is a melodramatic, political series might be one of said hindrances because both melodramas and political dramas are generally unpopular among Korean viewers.

Another detail that might be a hindrance for The K2 is Yoona’s acting. Prior to playing Go Anna on The K2, Yoona has been heavily criticized for poor acting. As a matter of fact, she is considered a tier four actress among K-pop idols. This means she has a sliver of potential but not much. Apparently, Yoona knew about this because K-drama fans’ initial reactions to her acting in The K2 shows she has greatly improved.

K2 and Anna
Promotional advertisements for "The K2" hint that the main male lead character, Kim Je Ha (Ji Chang Wook), will have some sort of relationship, possibly romantic, with the second female lead character, Go Anna (Yoona). [Image by Total Variety Network (tvN)]

The initial response from K-drama fans saying Im Yoon Ah — better known by her K-pop idol moniker as a member of Girls’ Generation, Yoona — is very good news for her because those same K-drama fans wondered if she could keep up with Ji Chang Wook. Over the course of five years from 2008 to 2013, Yoona played the female main lead in four K-dramas, You Are My Destiny, Cinderella Man, Love Rain, and Prime Minister and I. With the exception of the first on that list, the other three K-dramas were major flops. It is argued one of the major reasons why the latter three series failed was Yoona’s acting.

Yoona recently weighed in on the challenges and prejudices when it comes to being a K-pop idol turned actresses, as reported by Yibada.

“Over the years, some people have developed a preconception that idol group members do not have the necessary abilities to start an acting career.”

Sadly for Yoona, the preconception was made thanks to K-pop idols of popular K-pop groups who turned actors or actresses such as herself. As a matter of fact, the measuring stick on such seems to default to three K-pop idols: Suzy of Miss A, IU, and Yoona herself. That measuring stick, however, has been prominently surpassed as new K-pop idols turned actors, such as Uee of After School, Taecyeon of 2PM, Eunji of Apink, and T.O.P. of Big Bang, are proving they can be just as good or even better than the top K-drama actors in the industry today.

Yuri (top) and Sooyoung (bottom), fellow members of Girls' Generation, have been recognized by K-drama fans for their acting after graduating from Chung An University. [Image by

Even Kwon Yu Ri and Choi Soo Young — better known by their K-pop idol monikers in Girls’ Generation, Yuri and Sooyoung — have been recognized by K-drama fans for their acting recently, especially the latter for her role in Squad 38. If Yoona did not improve from her past acting, she would be lost in the ever growing pool of excellent K-pop idol actors.

It seems Yoona does not have to worry about that dilemma because her acting has improved so much that fans are taking notice. It is as if all the negative details pointed out in her acting in Korean acting reviews have somewhat been negated. So far in The K2, Yoona has expressed a wide range of of expressions. For the first time, she did not try to “look pretty” when she cried. Also, her heavily criticized habit of opening her mouth like a fish did not happen once.

To be fair though, Yoona’s screen time in The K2 has been heavily limited on what she has to do as well as the lines she has to speak. She hasn’t dealt with any complex dialogue so far. Ultimately, let’s hope that Yoona continues to do a great job.

The K2 airs on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. KST on tvN. For those who do not have access to Korean television channels, the series can be viewed for free, with ads, exclusively on DramaFever. Take note that starting with the third episode, new episodes are exclusive to premium members for one week.

[Featured Image by Total Variety Network (tvN)]