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10 K-Dramas And Movies To Watch Before 'Producer'

BY Adrienne Stanley | Apr 16, 2015 11:01 AM EDT

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Anticipation continues to rise as the premier date for the KBS drama, “Producer,” draws closer. “Producer” has one of the strongest casts to hit Korean television, in recent years. Top film star, Cha Tae Hyun leads the cast as a veteran variety show producer who has more than 10 years of experience but has failed to direct a hit series. In the first teasers for the drama, he is depicted as the producer-director of the KBS variety program, “1 Day, 2 Nights.” While he has previously starred in K-Dramas, he is best known for his role in the hit 2001 comedy, “My Sassy Girl,” the film which propelled Jun Ji Hyun to fame. To date, “My Sassy Girl” is one of the highest grossing Korean comedies.

Gong Hyo Jin is a model-turned-actress who gained critical acclaim with her role as Ji Won in the 1999 horror film, “Memento Mori.” While she is recognized for her film roles, international K-Drama fans fell in love with the 35-year-old star after her role as Gu Ae Jung in the 2010 romantic comedy, “The Greatest Love.” Ae Jung was a lovable character, who as a former K-pop girl group member. Audiences loved the push and pull dynamic between Ae Jung and Dokko Jin (Cha Seung Won), a Hallyu star who was afflicted with a heart condition.

IU is a solo singer-songwriter who captured the hearts of Korean drama fans with her portrayal of Kim Pil Suk in the 2011 teen drama, “Dream High.” She was not the only breakout star of the musical series. “Dream High” helped to launch the acting careers of Miss A’s Suzy, 2PM’s Taecyeon and Kim Soo Hyun.

Kim Soo Hyun exploded as a Hallyu star following his role as Do Min Joon in the hit, “My Love From The Star.” “My Love From The Star” paired him up with Jun Ji Hyun, who he had previously worked with in the heist film, “The Thieves.” He has emerged as one of Korea’s newest top stars who is capable of seamlessly seguing from drama to film roles, with each project drawing more attention than the previous one.

“Producer” will premier on KBS on May 8.

Here are 10 K-Dramas and movies to check out before watching Kim Soo Hyun, Cha Tae Hyun, Gong Hyo Jin and IU in “Producer.”

1. Dream High

"Dream High" is the 2011 musical drama which showcased JYP Entertainment artists including Suzy, Taecyeon and Wooyoung. IU and Kim Soo Hyun star as underdogs in a school where musical talent is the key to stardom.

2. The Greatest Love

"The Greatest Love" is an hilarious and compelling drama which is set in a fictitious reality show. Gong Hyo Jin portrays Gu Ae Jung, a former K-pop vocalist, whose career was marred by a scandal. The drama incorporates meta aspects of Korean entertainment, with Cha Seung Won and Yoo In Na helping to steal the show.

 3. Secretly, Greatly

"Secretly, Greatly" is one of the top movies of 2013. "Secretly, Greatly" is an action-packed espionage film which kept viewers guessing until its conclusion. Kim Soo Hyun is joined by Lee Hyun Woo and Park Ki Woong, who helped to spice up the spy movie.

 4. Master’s Sun  

"Master's Sun" accomplished what many supernatural K-Dramas strive for: it is a captivating series, with strong acting and a fantastic script. Gong Hyo Jin stars as Tae Gong Shil, a woman who is afflicted with the ability to see and communicate with the undead. When she meets Joo Joong Won, she is captivated by his ability to chase away the ghosts. Joo Joong Won is brilliantly and compassioinately portrayed by So Ji Sub.

 5. My Sassy Girl   

"My Sassy Girl" stars Jun Ji Hyun as The Girl, an unnamed character who becomes entangled with a hapless engineering student. Cha Tae Hyun portrays Gyeon Woo, a student who is unlucky with love until he meets The Girl. The 2001 film continues to be one of the highest grossing Korean comedies of all time.

 6. The Thieves   

Jun Ji Hyun is also the star of "The Thieves," the 2012 heist film which paired her with Kim Soo Hyun.

 7. The Grand Heist   

Cha Tae Hyun put a different spin on heist movies with the 2012 period film, "The Grand Heist." "The Grand Heist" is an action-packed period comedy which focuses on 11 thieves who attempt to steal an expected commodity- royal ice.

 8. You’re The Best, Lee Soo Shin  

"You're the Best, Lee Soo Shin" is a touching family comedy which aired 50 episodes in 2013 on KBS2. IU stars as Lee Soo Shin, a girl who is scammed by a con artist before her father mysteriously dies. The series is worth watching, even if it spanned 50 episodes.

 9. Moon Embracing the Sun  

"Moon Embracing the Sun" is one of the most compelling supernatural period series to air on Korean television. It is heartwrench to watch and stars Kim Soo Hyun as the Crown Prince of Joseon whose heart is broken by the untimely death of his first love, Yeon Woo.

 10. Love Fiction  

"Love Fiction" is a 2012 romantic comedy starring Gong Hyo Jin and Ha Jung Woo. Gong Hyo Jin portrays Lee Hee Jin, a film distributor who is in Berlin to screen upcoming projects.

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