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K-rush of the Week: Jung Ryeo-won

Updated: Jul 8

Jung Ryeo-won has been acting so long that many k-drama fans may not even know that she’s actually one of the first girl group idols to have successfully transitioned to acting.

GwenchaNoona | K-rush of the Week: Jung Ryeo-won

Every day this week, we'll check out a few of her notable works.

 

My Lovely Sam Soon / My Name Is Kim Sam Soon (2005)

Available on AppleTV, Kocowa, Viki (territories and periods vary)

GwenchaNoona | K-rush of the Week: Jung Ryeo-won in "My Lovely Sam Soon"

Also known as My Name Is Kim Sam Soon, My Lovely Sam Soon is one of the most beloved k-dramas of all time and won numerous awards, including the Baeksang Daesang (Grand Prize) in 2006.


In this popular classic rom-com, Jung Ryeo-won plays Yoo Hee-jin, the first love and ex-girlfriend of French restaurant owner Hyun Jin-heon (Hyun Bin), who comes between his blossoming romance with the titular character played by Kim Sun-a.


Witch at Court (2017)

Available on AppleTV, Kocowa, Netflix (territories and periods vary)

GwenchaNoona | K-rush of the Week: Jung Ryeo-won in "Witch at Court"

In the first of her three leading roles as a lawyer, Jung Ryeo-won is Ma Yi-deum, an ace prosecutor infamous for her aggressive and unorthodox tactics. After facing off against her boss, she gets assigned to a special task force for crimes against women and children alongside her neighbor and fellow prosecutor Yeo Jin-wook (Yoon Hyun-min).


Her role in this 2017 legal drama was particularly meaningful to her, as she dedicated her KBS Top Excellence Acting Award to female victims of sex crimes.


Wok of Love / Greasy Melo (2018)

Available on AppleTV, Kocowa, Netflix, Viki, Viu (territories and periods vary)

GwenchaNoona | K-rush of the Week: Jung Ryeo-won in "Wok of Love"

Newly-bankrupt chaebol heiress Dan Sae-wook (Jung Ryeo-won) finds herself in a love triangle with kind-hearted loan shark Doo Chil-sung (Jang Hyuk) and talented but down-on-his-luck chef Seo Poong (Lee Jun-ho) in this fun rom-com set in a Chinese restaurant. Together with Chil-sung’s gangster squad, the three collaborate to turn things around for the Hungry Wok.


Be prepared to crave a lot of jjajangmyeon and tangsuyuk (and Junho’s kisses)!


Diary of a Prosecutor (2019)

Available on Disney+, Netflix, Viki (territories and periods vary)

GwenchaNoona | K-rush of the Week: Jung Ryeo-won in "Diary of a Prosecutor"

This slice-of-life drama led by the late Lee Sun-kyun takes viewers through the daily ups and downs of public prosecutors in the provincial Jinyoung office. Jung Ryeo-won co-stars as Cha Myung-joo, a top prosecutor from Seoul who essentially gets demoted with her transfer to Jinyoung. Though her standoffish attitude initially puts her at odds with her colleagues, they eventually warm up to each other and learn to work together towards common goals.


Diary of a Prosecutor successfully balances depicting workplace camaraderie and politics with the societal injustices highlighted in each case.


May It Please the Court (2022)

Available on Disney+ (territories and periods vary)

GwenchaNoona | K-rush of the Week: Jung Ryeo-won in "May It Please the Court"

After playing a public prosecutor in 2017, Jung Ryeo-won moved to the other side of the bench as a public defender in Disney+’s May It Please the Court. In this 12-episode legal drama, she plays Noh Chak-hee, a successful lawyer from a top private firm who is forced to work as a public defender while serving her one year suspension for mishandling a case.


She gets paired up with the eccentric Jwa Si-baek (Lee Kyu-hyung). While the duo’s strong personalities clash, they set aside their differences to solve a serial murder case. May It Please the Court is rich with mystery and plot twists, but also has just the right dose of humor and romance.


The Midnight Romance in Hagwon (2024)

Available on Viki, Viu (territories and periods vary)

GwenchaNoona | K-rush of the Week: Jung Ryeo-won in "The Midnight Romance in Hagwon"

Jung Ryeo-won’s latest drama features her as Seo Hye-jin, a star Korean language tutor at a private academy in Gangnam. She is joined by Wi Ha-joon as Lee Jun-ho, a former top student of hers who has always had a crush on her and gives up his corporate job to work by her side as a fellow tutor.


More than a “noona romance,” The Midnight Romance in Hagwon is a critical examination of Korea’s fiercely competitive educational system.

 

Do you like her the most as a lawyer or in her other roles?



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