[PICK] Impressive Villains in the 2020 Korean dramas

Edited by Hong Hyun Jung
Translated by Kim Hoyeun

The Penthouse: War in Life that became the talk of the town is full of characters full of vulgar desires and narcissism. From the beginning of the play, most characters seem to go out of line, building up a series of extreme scenarios, such as affairs, kidnapping, murder, and school violence, without hesitation. And among them, psychopath villain Joo Dan Tae and Chun Seo Jin, who is not as detailed but still unabashed, certainly stand out. With the two as the axis of evil, The Penthouse: War in Life provides strong addiction when their vicious acts colorfully interlock. What other villains have captivated viewers with such a fierce and chilling presence?


Money Game – Eugene Han (Yoo Teo)

Credit: tvN

Wall Street representative Eugene is a cold-blooded moneygrubber. Although he became a colder and more egregious financial villain to escape from the unfortunate past that has plagued him all his life, signs of change appear in his frozen heart when he meets Lee Hye Joon, who desperately tries to prevent the economic crisis. From the solitude of a wounded person and the pureness hidden deep inside to a contrastingly cold and crafty side, Yoo Teo’s three-dimensional portrayal of a character is quite outstanding.


Itaewon Class – Jang Geun Won (Ahn Bo Hyun)

Credit: JTBC

Jang Geun Won, the eldest son of Jang Dae Hee, is the perfect example of a tyrannical heir that commits evil without hesitation. He is a supercilious person who has nothing to be scared of on the surface, but deep down, he is a weak-kneed son who is terrified of his father. Ahn Bo Hyun added a touch of “patheticness” to the character that evokes anger through his confrontations with Park Sae Roy and successfully left a strong impression as a villain that cannot be hated.


Kingdom 2 – Queen (Kim Hye Jun)

Credit: Netflix

Queen Consort Cho is as sly and cold-hearted as her father Cho Hak Ju. She became the Queen Consort thanks to her father’s scheme, but she has no intention of merely playing the role of a chess piece to fulfill her father’s ambition. Behind her poker-face, she has a roaring desire for power, and she fills up her ambition more bloodily and heartlessly. The sorrow and discrimination she had to endure just because of her gender are the reasons behind her spite. Kim Hye Jun, who came under fire for her poor performance in season 1, turned the table upside down by portraying the greed of her character with much stable techniques.


The World of the Married – Lee Tae Oh (Park Hye Joon) & Yeo Da Kyung (Han So Hee)

Credit: JTBC

Lee Tae Oh, who left behind the jaw-dropping line “Falling in love isn’t a crime,” is the worst kind of man who doesn’t understand shame. He brazenly rationalizes his affair, proudly marries his mistress, then still holds on to his ex-wife. Yeo Da Kyung, who falls in love with a married man, also evokes anger with her insolent face. Their wrongful love, of course, faces a crisis and brings about a new dissolution. Lee Tae Oh, who is disgraceful till the very end, is just pathetic, while Yeo Da Kyung, who paid the price for her immature and selfish actions, leaves a bitter aftertaste.


It’s Okay to Not Be Okay – Park Haeng Ja (Jang Young Nam)

Credit: tvN

When she first appeared, nurse Park Haeng Ja seemed like a perfectionist who did her best to patients with a strong professionalism. But all of that was just a thoroughly calculated act. In the second half, her true identity as Do Hee Jae, Go Moon Young’s missing mother, was revealed. Jang Young Nam’s performance that frighteningly captured a person who deceived everyone and lived a false life for 20 years is definitely the best. Some even left comments, asking her to be gentle with her acting. �


Flower of Evil – Baek Hee Sung (Kim Ji Hoon)

Credit: tvN

Everything about Baek Hee Sung, who first appeared as a vegetable, was covered with a veil. When he miraculously wakes up from his vegetative state and starts confronting Do Hyun Soo, who has been living as the fake Baek Hee Sung, his real shocking identity that shakes the entire plot surfaces. Baek Hee Sung is indeed the murderer Do Hyun Soo has been searching for all this time. His evil nature is soon revived, and he starts to dominate the drama with his appalling lunacy, creating unforgettable tension till the end.


Stranger 2 – Woo Tae Ha (Choi Moo Sung)

Credit: tvN

Elite prosecutor Woo Tae Ha is a sly and self-righteous person who moves for the sake of the prosecution organization and his ambition. Faced with the needs of the times to reform the prosecution, his biggest challenge is Hwang Si Mok, who stubbornly chases after justice. As expected, Hwang Si Mok, along with his trusted partner Han Yeo Jin, starts digging into various doubts, pressuring Woo Tae Ha by the minute. But instead of regretting his misdeeds in the face of truth, he, who has lived an aristocratic life that does not know of failure, chooses to threaten and intimidate others.

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