The KBS2 spy drama “Iris” drew its curtain on December 17 with tragic ending where both male protagonists died.
Enjoying great popularity with average ratings of 27 percent, the drama has been the talk of the town throughout its airing. Although towards the end of the series a scandal involving one of the main stars broke out, even that event could not overshadow its achievements.
It has also served as an opportunity for its stars to show different sides of themselves, although not all of them managed to receive rave reviews.
Then who won or lost by appearing in the drama?
— Biggest Winners: Lee Byeong-hun, Kim So-yeon and Kim Seung-woo
This year has seen many top stars return to the TV screen, proving their pulling power. Earlier, Kim Nam-joo made a hugely-successful comeback in the MBC drama “My Wife is a Superwoman,” followed by Koh Hyun-jung in another mega-hit MBC drama “The Great Queen Seondoek.” And Lee Byeong-hyun is the latest star to be on par with the two actresses.
Although Lee is suffering damage to his reputation due to the scandal that recently emerged, he has proved why he remains at the top with charismatic performance.
Kim So-yeon is also another winner. Playing a North Korean secret agent who fell in love with an enemy, she was praised for her poised performance. Of note is that the best scene chosen by viewers in the December 9 episode was not the much-anticipated shootout between South and North Korean agents in Gwanghwamun, downtown Seoul but the tearful farewell between Kim and Lee Byeong-hun.
Kim Seung-woo succeeded in projecting different images. Since his debut 19 years ago, Kim has performed a variety of characters but has been considered most impressive with comical characters. But with the drama, he proved his ability as a versatile actor who can change according to the roles he plays.
— Mediocre Winners: Kim Tae-hee and T.O.P
To Kim Tae-hee, “Iris” would mean something more than any other drama she has appeared in so far. She has managed to be recognized as a “real” actress who is not remembered for beauty only.
Kim’s role was very different from some introverted, quiet characters she previously played. She showed satisfactory performance in both romantic and action scenes.
But she still faced some criticism as many viewers took issue with her acting skills, saying, “She performs best only in commercial advertisements.” It may be that they applied stricter standards for her since she had failed to prove her ability as a serious actress. This means she still has challenges to overcome.
T.O.P, a member of the boy band Big Bang who played a killer, also failed to consolidate his reputation as an actor. His role seemed to be very suitable for his image, but he was not successful in portraying his character through spoken dialogue. This is what he has to work on seriously if he wants to be a recognized actor.
— Loser: Jeong Jun-ho
Jeong Jun-ho, like Kim Seung-woo, could have used the drama as an opportunity to shake off his signature comical image, but he only managed to achieve half success.
He played Jin Sa-woo, who betrayed his best friend for love and unwittingly became involved in a terrorist group. Amid criticism that his character was not persuasive enough, he failed to show convincing performance on his part, too, although it was obvious he made great efforts.
The curtain has been drawn on “Iris,” and fans will look out for the stars to make their next move. It is entirely up to the actors how they will take advantage of what they have learned in the drama. (KBS)