If you’ve watched Love and Leashes, the blush-inducing Korean romantic comedy about two co-workers who enter into a revealing contractual relationship, you may have recognized the two charismatic leads, famous K-pop idols Seohyun of the Girls’ Generation and Jun of the group U-KISS.

South Korea is renowned for having a lot of versatile talent, with many K-pop musicians taking on acting roles and launching successful careers in film and television. After all, knowing how to express emotions on camera is essential to an idol’s work.

Whether you’re curious about what else your favorite stage artists have starred in or looking for new, multi-talented artists to support, this comprehensive (but certainly not exhaustive) collection has suggestions for every K-pop fan . So order some chimaek and make yourself comfortable.

1- The Fabulous

The Fabulous Poster

This series follows four friends as they juggle their lives, romantic dilemmas and demanding jobs in the competitive and fabulous world of fashion. Among the idols/actors is SHINee’s Lee Minho, who plays Ji Woo-min, a freelance photo editor.

2- Seoul Vibe

Seoul Vibe Poster

An action thriller set in the days leading up to the 1988 Seoul Olympics, featuring a group of drivers and mechanics going undercover to dismantle a vast money laundering ring. Among the idols/actors is Mino, a member of WINNER and half of the hip-hop duo MOBB, who contributed a song to the film’s soundtrack.

3- Under the Queen’s Umbrella

Under the Queen's Umbrella Poster

In this historical Kdrama filled with royal intrigue, a queen attempts to turn her troublemaking sons into true princes, so that one of them can inherit the throne. Among the idols/actors: Kang Chan-hee, also known as SF9’s Chani, plays Prince Uiseong.

4- Business Proposal

Business Proposal Poster

Shin Ha-ri reluctantly agrees to go on a blind date in her friend’s place. However, things start to go awry when her date turns out to be Kang Tae-moo, the attractive young CEO of her company. Tired of his grandfather’s pressure regarding marriage, Tae-moo announces his intention to marry Ha-ri, unaware that she is actually his employee. How long can Ha-ri keep her mask on?

On the idol/actor side: Kim Se-jeong, who plays Ha-ri, was a member of former idol groups IOI and Gugudan. Project boy group Wanna One’s Ahn Hyo-seop plays the role of Tae-moo, while Victon’s Choi Byung-chan plays Shin Ha-min, Ha-ri’s younger brother. Dal Shabet’s Bae Woo-hee also plays Yoo-ra, the ex-girlfriend of Ha-ri’s longtime crush Min-woo.



Unable to find a job despite his many qualifications, Choi Jun-woong crosses paths with a pair of grim reapers while trying to save a man’s life. When the incident leaves him in a coma, Jun-woong is taken to the underworld, where he finds employment as a member of a suicide prevention team. The idols/actors: Rowoon from SF9 plays the role of Jun-woong.

6- Revolutionary Love

Revolutionary Love Poster

When a conglomerate heir meets an intelligent, working-class girl, he finds the courage to stand up to her family’s corrupt business practices. The main cast: Super Junior’s Choi Si-won plays the chaebol’s happy-go-lucky son, Byun Hyuk.

7- Hotel Del Luna

Luna Hotel

After committing a crime she no longer remembers, Jang Man-wol is cursed to run the Hotel Del Luna. It’s a quaint hotel that caters exclusively to ghosts, until she can change her resentful personality. Her only hope could be a young and talented hotelier whom she hires to manage her hotel.

On the idol/actor side: Solo superstar IU plays the mysterious and tempestuous Jang Man-wol. The late Sulli from girl group f(x) makes a cameo appearance as a character named Ji-eun (which is also IU’s real name).

8- Another Miss Oh

Another Miss Oh

Two women, both named Oh Hae-young, find themselves entangled in each other’s lives: from attending the same school, to working at the same company, to even being involved with the same man.

The idols/actors: Eric Mun, from the first generation K-pop group Shinhwa, plays Park Do-kyung, a sound engineer whose destiny is intertwined with that of the two Oh Hae-young. Seo Hyun-jin of K-pop group MILK, another first-generation outfit, plays one of Oh Hae-youngs.

9- Reply 1988

These K-dramas on Netflix to watch if you're a fan of K-pop K-Selection

If you’ve ever wanted to know what South Korea was like in the 1980s, look no further. Set at a time when South Korea was still undergoing political and economic development, this critically acclaimed series follows the daily lives of five friends and their families who live in a small neighborhood in Seoul.

Among the idols/actors: Girl’s Day’s Hyeri plays Sung Deok-sun, one of the main characters and the only female in the group of five neighborhood friends.

10- 100 Days My Prince

100 Days My Prince

After narrowly escaping an assassination attempt, Crown Prince Yul loses his memory and finds himself engaged to a young peasant girl named Hong-shim. However, Hong-shim is not exactly what she seems. In this Kdrama, DO from the group EXO plays Lee Yul, the crown prince.

11- Rookie Historian Goo Hae-ryung

Rookie Historian Goo Hae-ryung

Set in 19th century Korea during the Joseon Dynasty, this K-drama focuses on Goo Hae-ryung, an intelligent and fiercely independent woman who defies traditional gender roles by choosing to become a palace historian rather than marry. She attracts the attention of Prince Yi Rim, a lonely and sheltered prince who secretly writes romance novels.

Among the idols/actors, Astro’s Cha Eun-woo plays the handsome Prince Yi Rim.



As a child, Lee Kang cooked a meal for Moon Cha-young, which inspired her to become a chef. Years later, Cha-young is now a world-famous chef, while Lee Kang became a neurosurgeon after being forced to give up his true passion. The two end up in a hospice where Kang rediscovers his love for cooking thanks to Cha-young and they begin to fall for each other.

In the lead roles, Yoon Kye-sang of the first generation boy group god plays the role of Lee Kang. Wonder Girls’ Yubin also appears in a few episodes as Oh Jeong-bok.

13- Start-Up


Inspired by Steve Jobs, Seo Dal-mi drops out of college to save enough money to start her own business. Nam Do-san, a math genius and founder of a tech start-up, struggles to keep his company afloat. On the verge of giving up, he meets Dal-mi, who inspires him to realize his vision.

Singer and actress Bae Suzy of the group Miss A plays the bold and ambitious Seo Dal-mi.

14- The King’s Affection

The King's Affection

When the crown prince is ousted, his twin sister, Dam-yi, is convinced by their mother to take his place. Fearful of revealing her true identity, Dam-yi keeps her distance from everyone, but she gradually develops feelings for Jung Ji-un, the crown prince’s guardian.

The Idols/Actors: This Kdrama is full of idols, including SF9’s Rowoon, who plays the male lead and Dam-yi’s love interest, Jung Ji-un; Victon’s Byungchan, who plays the crown prince’s bodyguard, Kim Ga-on; and Jung Chae-yeon of DIA and former member of idol group IOI, who plays Noh Ha-kyung, the minister’s daughter.

15- Private Lives

Private lives

After discovering a secret surveillance program run by the government and a powerful corporation, a group of talented crooks fight to reveal the truth using their cunning. The idols/actresses: Seohyun, star of Love and Leashes and singer of Girls’ Generation, plays the main character Cha Joo-eun, a seemingly innocent but experienced con artist.

16- Run On

Run on

This romantic K-drama follows the lives of two couples. Former track star Ki Seon-gyeom learns to take control of his destiny after meeting Oh Mi-joo, a film subtitler. Seo Dan-ah, a young CEO who constantly fights against the gender expectations imposed by society and her family, begins to open up when art student Lee Yeong-hwa enters her life.

The idols/actors: Three of the four main roles are played by K-pop idols: ZE:A’s Siwan, as Ki Seon-gyeom; 5urprise’s Kang Tae-oh, as Lee Yeong-hwa; and Girls’ Generation’s Sooyoung, as Seo Dan-ah.

17- My First First Love

My First First Love

When several of Yun Tae-o’s friends suddenly decide to move in with him for various reasons, this motley group must learn to live together while navigating love and friendships, all while pursuing their dreams.

Idols/Actors: This is another K-drama where K-pop idols abound: DIA and IOI’s Jung Chae-yeon plays the role of Han Song-i, Tae-o’s best friend , while B1A4’s Jung Jin-young and 5urprise’s Kang Tae-oh also play Tae-o’s friends Seo Do-hyeon and Choe Hun, respectively.

18- Cinderella and the Four Knights

Cinderella and the Four Knights

When her evil stepmother steals her savings, Ha-won is forced to take odd jobs to pay for her studies. One day, she meets the president of a large company who asks her to move into his mansion and instill some discipline in his three spoiled grandsons. Ha-won gets more than she bargained for when the three immature but attractive young men all compete for her affection.

The idols/actors: CNBLUE’s Lee Jung-shin plays Kang Seo-woo, one of three grandsons. Apink’s Son Na-eun plays Park Hye-ji, a student who harbors a crush on one of Ha-won’s protégés.

19- Prison Playbook

Prison Playbook

Just days before his planned debut in American major league baseball, baseball star Kim Je-hyeok is convicted of assault and sent to prison after defending his sister from an attempted rape. As he struggles to adapt to his new reality, he becomes friends with his cellmates, who help him overcome the daily challenges of prison life.

On the idol/actor side, f(x)’s Krystal Jung plays Je-hyeok’s girlfriend, Kim Ji-ho.

20- That Winter, the Wind Blows

That Winter, the Wind Blows

Talented gambler and conman Oh Soo attempts to fool a blind heiress by pretending to be her long-lost brother, but his plans change when he finds himself falling in love with her. Idols/Actors: Apink’s Eunji plays Hee-sun, the younger sister of Soo’s first love, Hee-joo.

21- DP


During his mandatory service, An Jun-ho is transferred to the Deserter Pursuit Unit, a team tasked with capturing deserters. Upon its release, DP garnered an overwhelmingly enthusiastic response in South Korea for its in-depth and realistic depiction of the horrors endured by Korean men during their compulsory service. In the cast, U-KISS member Love and Leashes star Jun plays Jeong Hyeon-min, one of the defectors.