PICK: Lee Jae Wook’s 5 Best K-dramas

lee jae wook dramas

Edited by Seo Hayne
Translated by Yu Jin Kim

lee jae wook dramas
Credit: Disney Plus

Lee Jae Wook has been on a meteoric rise since his debut, and he shows no signs of slowing down. He recently starred in Disney Plus series The Impossible Heir about three youthful souls who fight for the throne of Korea’s top conglomerate. In the series, Lee plays Tae Oh, the son of a murderer who is desperate to escape his past. With his cold and calculating demeanor, Lee has once again captured the attention of viewers. He has firmly established himself as an actor with his impressive visuals and stable acting skills. Here is a look at some of the dramas that have made him the star he is today.

>> ‘The Impossible Heir’ Unveils Steamy Bromance Concept Photos of Lee Jae Wook & Lee Jun Young

Memories of the Alhambra (2018)

Memories of the Alhambra is a fantasy drama that uses augmented reality (AR) gaming as its subject matter. It stars Hyun Bin and Park Shin Hye, and drew attention for its fresh concept and filming in Spain. The drama tells the story of Jin Woo (Hyun Bin), who travels to Spain for business and becomes involved in a strange incident after staying at a hostel run by Hee Joo (Park Shin Hye). The drama was criticized for its awkward use of the game world, but it still enjoyed good ratings. Lee Jae Wook, who was a theater and film student at the time, passed the audition for the drama and made his acting debut. He played the role of Marco, a genius hacker. Although he didn’t have a lot of screen time, he made a strong impression with his role as an “ultimate secret weapon” for the series.

Search: WWW (2019)

Search: WWW is an office drama that portrays the work and love lives of women in the IT industry. Lim Soo Jung, Lee Da Hee and Jeon Hye Jin play three main characters with distinct desires and values, giving life to diverse stories of modern women. Lee Jae Wook takes on the role of Ji Hwan, a struggling actor involved in a romantic relationship with Lee Da Hee. His portrayal of Ji Hwan garnered favorable comments for its impressive execution. Within the show, Ji Hwan participates in a makjang drama titled What’s Wrong with My Mother-in-Law, where Lee Jae Wook convincingly portrays the character’s poor acting skills. Furthermore, his romantic chemistry with Lee Da Hee resonated with viewers, arguably surpassing the popularity of the main couple, played by Lim Soo Jung and Jang Ki Yong. Interestingly, many viewers were surprised to learn that Lee Jae Wook also played the role of Marco in Memories of the Alhambra.

Extraordinary You (2019)

Extraordinary You is a high school drama about a normal teenage student who realizes she is a character in a comic book. Young actors such as Kim Hye Yoon, Rowoon, Naeun, Jung Gun Joo, and Kim Young Dae appear in the series, showing their fresh and refreshing sides. Lee Jae Wook plays Baek Kyung, the fiancé of the protagonist Eun Dan Oh (Kim Hye Yoon) and the man she has been in love with for 10 years. Baek Kyung is a popular figure with outstanding visuals, but he seems like a cold-hearted bad boy to his fiancée. However, his painful past is revealed, and he eventually realizes his feelings for Dan Oh and regrets his actions. Lee Jae Wook portrays Baek Kyung as a charming character who is impossible to hate. This, coupled with his effortless delivery of cheesy lines like “Eun Dan Oh, you haunt my thoughts.” and the dramatic declaration, “I officially declare that from now on, the only woman for me is you,” effectively triggered “second lead syndrome” in viewers.

When the Weather Is Fine (2020)

Based on the novel of the same name, When the Weather is Fine  follows Hae Won (Park Min Young), a woman tired of her life in Seoul, who travels to a small village to visit her grandmother living with her aunt. Unlike Lee Jae Wook’s previous projects, the drama takes a warm approach without conspiracy, competition or fantasy. It captures the daily lives of the characters and focuses on the healing journey of people who have been emotionally wounded. Lee Jae Wook adds a touch of humor to the heartwarming drama by delivering a delightful performance as Jang Woo, Eun Seop’s (Seo Kang Joon) best friend. His on-screen chemistry with Yang Hye Ji, Jang Woo’s long-time crush, is also captivating to watch. This drama provides a refreshing look at Lee Jae Wook’s acting range. He steps away from his usual roles and showcases a different side of his talent by embracing a more innocent, goofy and youthful character.

Alchemy of Souls (2022~2023)


Many would argue that Alchemy of Soul  stands as Lee Jae Wook’s breakout project. Penned by the renowned Hong sisters, Hong Jung Eun and Hong Mi Ran, the drama delves into the lives of young people whose destinies are altered by forbidden soul-shifting magic. The show garnered immense popularity due to its unique blend of fantasy and martial arts, a genre rarely explored in South Korean dramas. Additionally, the captivating visuals further enhanced the viewing experience. Lee Jae Wook delivers a powerful performance, masterfully handling both action sequences and emotional scenes. He portrays Jang Wook, the protagonist from a prestigious family who harbors a hidden birth secret. While Season 2 took a bold creative decision by replacing the female lead, Lee Jae Wook’s strong on-screen chemistry with both Jung So Min and Go Yoon Jung remained a highlight. His presence throughout the drama solidified his transition from a rising star to a talented and versatile actor.

Editor Seo Hayne: I like actors as they faithfully lead through their long running-time. I also like idols who accomplish everything on stage within 3 minutes.

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