BY Adrienne Stanley | Jan 13, 2016 12:46 PM EST
2016 started with a bang, with tvN dramas "Reply 1988" and "Cheese in the Trap" dominating Korean entertainment headlines.
"Reply 1988" has led to the explosive rise of Hyeri, Ryu Jun Yeol, Park Bo Gum, while "Cheese in the Trap" is garnering accolades for its stars Kim Go Eun and Park Hae Jin.
Here are some of the breakout stars of 2015, who have the potential to shine in 2016.
Hyeri transitioned from a Nancy Drew-inspired sleuth in "Seonam High School Investigators" to embrace the upbeat persona of hesitant fan girl in "Jekyll, Hyde, and Me" before emerging as one of the most praised acting idols of 2015. With the successful execution of Duk Sun in "Reply 1988," she has boundless potential in 2016.
Ji Soo successfully transitioned from appearing in short films as the breakout star of MBC's "Angry Mom." His angst-ridden portrayal of Go Bok Dong made the series one of the must-watch dramas of 2015. In 2016, he is slated to return to television in "Page Turner" and the highly anticipated "flower boy" series, "Moon Lovers."
Stephanie Lee wet her feet as a member of the ensemble cast of "Seonam High School Girls" before making the supporting role of Shin Sa A in "Yong Pal" one of the most-talked-about characters of the series. Her noteworthy portrayal of the haughty VIP hospital-wing concierge dominated the screen, at a point where leading lady, Kim Tae Hee, received little airtime.
Nam Joo Hyuk and Yook Sungjae
Nam Joo Hyuk and Yook Sungjae delivered the popular "School" franchise into a new era, making the teen drama palatable for older viewers. Nam followed "Who Are You: School 2015" with a 10-episode cameo role in "Glamorous Temptation" and currently provides comic relief as Kwon Eun Taek in tvN's "Cheese in the Trap." His next television role places him with Lee Joon Gi, IU, EXO's Baekhyun, Kang Ha Neul and Ji Soo in "Moon Lover."
BtoB's Yook Sungjae continues to appeal to audiences with his appearance opposite Red Velvet's Joy on "We Got Married." His last dramatic role of 2015 was in SBS' "The Village: Achiara's Secret" and he has yet to announce his next project. However, he has potential as another K-Drama bad-boy, if he attempts another character like Gong Tae Kwang from "School 2015."
Lee Won Geun
Lee Won Geun slowly attracted attention as a teen actor in "Moon Embracing the Sun" and "Passionate Love," but he won the hearts of audiences with his bright smile in the high school series, "Sassy Go Go."
Lee recently confirmed his appearance in the movie, "Your Name is Jang Mi," where he will appear opposite Choi Woo Shik, a fellow breakout star who garnered attention as the quirky half-brother of Jang Hyuk in the 2014 romantic comedy, "Fated to Love You."
Yoon Ye Joo
Yoon Ye Joo is quietly racking up supporting roles in series like Jin Yi Kyung, the victimized murder victim in "Angry Mom." She currently appears as Kang Ah Young, an aspiring illustrator and friend of Hong Seol in "Cheese in the Trap." Yoon will likely receive more attention as the younger version of Oh Yoon Ah in SBS' period drama, "Saimdang, the Herstory."
Which breakout stars of 2015 do you think will shine the brightest in 2016? Vote and comment below.
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