Have there ever been more than four female “title role” dramas aired at the same time? In the summer of 2022, the drama scene is hotter than ever with 4 female-led series.
The title role refers to the main character that has the same name as the title of the movie, opera, drama, etc. they were starring in. The actresses who are playing the title roles are SBS’s “Why Her?” Seo Hyun-jin, ENA’s “Weird Lawyer Woo Young-woo” Park Eun-bin, Coupang Play’s “Anna” Suzy, and TVing’s “Yumi’s Cells 2” Kim Go-eun.
Previous dramas with female title roles include Lee Young-ae of MBC’s “Dae Jang Geum,” Han Hye-jin of “Be Strong, Geum-sun,” Kim Sun-ah of “My Name is Kim Sam-soon,” Lee Yo-won of “Queen Seondeok,” Ha Ji-won of KBS2’s “Hwang Jini,” Chae Si-ra of JTBC’s “Insu, the Queen Mother,” and KBS2’s “Empress Cheonchu,” Seo Hyun-jin of MBC’s “King’s Daughter, Soo Baek-hyang” and tvN’s “Again, Oh Hae-young”, Kim Tae-hee of SBS’ “Jang Ok-jung, Living in Love”, and Park Bo-young from JTBC’s “Strong Woman Do Bong-soon”, but it was rare for several female titles to be aired at the same time.
Usually, title roles are mostly the most preferred roles in which the main story is concentrated on one person. They are responsible for the drama alone, and they need not only acting skills, but also public awareness, harmony with the other actors and do not stand out too much alone, trust, sincerity, and responsibility with the production team.
Among many cool titles, the fact the main character’s name is chosen as the title of the drama means that the story will focus only on the ‘main character’, including their life history and pain. Viewers naturally focus on the narrative of the main character of the title role.
“Why Her,” starring Seo Hyun-jin, features a ruthless elite lawyer who only pursued success with an empty heart turning into a warm-hearted lawyer. The viewers, who are currently living in a competitive society, sympathize with Seo Hyun-jin’s Oh Soo-jae and her wounds as they see how she always stands upright and struggles to protect herself but is still left alone.
Seo Hyun-jin’s “Why Her”, who stole the hearts of viewers even though she is a two-sided person who can not clearly divide good and evil, is heading toward the end, surpassing the highest viewer rating of 10%.
“Extraordinary Attorney Woo,” played by Park Eun-bin, depicts the survival at a large law firm of the new lawyer Woo Young-woo with autism spectrum. Although she has a genius brain, she is still a newcomer to this society due to autism.
Young-woo, who cannot go through the revolving door in the lobby of the law firm alone, blames herself in her monologue. However, Young-woo decides to challenge the revolving door again even though there is a sliding door right next to it. At this moment, the viewers begin to sympathize with the life of Young-woo and support her.
27-year-old Park Eun-bin, who used to be a child actress, is making “Extraordinary Attorney Woo” her lifetime drama at once by expressing detailed eyes and finger movements in the first episode of the drama, which was released on June 29th.
“Anna”, starring Bae Suzy, tells the story of a woman who started living a completely different life because of her small lie. The story of a character who gets into trouble with a series of problems due to her unexpected lie and desire for success like anyone else doesn’t seem to be a strange topic to the viewers.
Actress Suzy, who is a former idols singer, took on a big challenge. The drama gained attention since it is the first drama in which Suzy played the solo lead role, but Suzy’s recognition alone is not everything. Suzy, who plays a character with two names and identities – Yumi and Anna, is convincingly portraying the narrative of two extremes.
“Yumi’s Cells”, starring Kim Go-eun, depicts the story of an ordinary girl Yumi, who eats, loves and grows with cells. Together with the original webtoon of the same name, the character Yumi is gaining huge popularity since she draws sympathy from the viewers by delicately expressing numerous emotions in daily life. Yumi delicately shows the process of dating and breaking up with her boyfriend and then meeting a new lover through cells, making the viewers feel like their minds are also like that.
Kim Go-eun captures Yumi’s various emotional changes in each episode and proves her delicate acting skills.
Pop culture critic Jung Deok-hyun, said to Sports Seoul on June 30th about the recent trend of female title role dramas, saying “ Since dramas audience are mostly women, the phenomenon that the female protagonist leads the play as the main character has always been portrayed in dramas”, adding, “The special thing that appears these days is that the character is different from the past. There are many more characters who try to escape from the established system or framework.”
He added, “In the past, even if a woman appeared as the main character, that would be portrayed as a passive character rather than a person who actively does something. Only a few ones can make the viewers feel the provocative vibe of an active character. While female characters were often seen as nice and gentle in the composition of good and evil, there are quite a few evil female leads nowadays. However, if you look closer at their evil side, you can understand and sympathize with the reality that forces them to turn bad. I think these characters show a different aspect that reflects women in real life.”