Father’s Day 2021: 8 Best Dads in Korean Dramas
Dads just don’t get as much love as mums, but there are some fictitious fathers that really deserve Parent of the Year awards. They’re always there for their offspring and offer amazing nuggets of wisdom and life advice. They’re often funny, sometimes tragic, but always full of love.
Here are eight of our favourite K-drama dads. Happy Father’s Day to all the wonderful dads out there!
Sung Dong-il (played by beloved Korean veteran actor Sung Dong-il; yes they have the same name) is your classic hardworking ’80s dad who’s always struggling and trying his best for the family. Dong-il is sometimes gruff and tough, and often deals with situations in a hilarious manner, but is 100 per cent heart and love when it comes to his kids Duk-seon, Bo-ra and No-eul. He scolds them and makes fun of them, but in his most heartfelt moments, often not in front of his children, his dedication and love for them will make you shed tears. Because this slice-of-life and coming-of-age drama is so relatable, Dong-il will remind many of us of our own fathers—very few open displays of affection, but always quietly loving us.
Strong Girl Bong-soon
As the long-suffering dad to supergirl Bong-soon and husband to Bong-soon’s overbearing, often-violent mother, Do Chil-goo (played by award-winning actor Yoo Jae-myung)’s simple, almost bumbling, gestures of love for his daughter will touch you. He hides money to give to Bong-soon despite threats from his wife, knows when to play protective dad when he meets her boyfriend, and shows his strength when it really matters. It’s not a huge role, but Yoo’s understated performance stuck in our minds.
And the award goes to Yoo Jae-myung, again, for playing righteous lawyer Hong Yoo-chan, father of Hong Cha-Young, and who establishes a rapport with Vincenzo. His screen time was short but memorable, as he first berates Cha-Young for selling out, tries to disown her, then fights with all his might against the corrupted Babel Group. What happens to him sets the stage for Cha-Young and Vincenzo’s battle against Babel, and when you realise just how proud he’s always been of his daughter, you might just start sobbing.
Related: 9 Things to Know About Vincenzo Star, Jeon Yeo-Bin
Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo
Bok-joo’s father Kim Chang-gul will support his daughter till his dying breath, and do anything to ensure her dreams and potential are fulfilled and that she doesn't get hurt. He delivers free delicious fried chicken from his restaurant to anyone whom he feels can help Bok-joo, including to her weightlifting teammates and friends, and tries to help his precious offspring in myriad hilarious ways. A scene-stealing performance by Ahn Gil-Kang.
Man, this one had us bawling, and that was just in episode one. Park Sae-Ro-Yi (played by Park Seo-joon)’s father Park Sung-yeol, in an understatedly powerful performance by Son Hyun-joo, has always taught his son to stick to his beliefs and fight for what’s right. This causes Sae-ro-yi to take certain actions that lead to disastrous consequences. In spite of that, daddy Park tells his son he’s proud of him, and the two embark on a new adventure, only to have things cut cruelly short. Action-packed and mind-blowing stuff, and like we said, all in the first episode.
Related: Is Park Seo-Joon the Next Korean Star to Join the Marvel Universe?
Move to Heaven
Another K-drama dad that touched our hearts. Ji Jin-hee (the OG K-wave male lead from Jewel in the Palace) plays Han Jeong-woo, the father of Han Geu-ru, a 20-year-old with Asperger’s Syndrome. Geu-ru is an unusual person, and his father and him have their own special way of communicating. The degree to which Jeong-woo understands his son and the depth of his love for him knows no bounds, and when Geu-ru invokes his dad’s memory and teachings when he’s not physically there, you’d have to be made of stone not to get misty-eyed.
Related: Move To Heaven Review: Why It's A Show Even Non-K-Drama Fans Will Love
It seems sacrificial dads is a K-drama trend of sorts. Here’s another recent Korean series with a father willing to risk everything, including his life, for his family and his kids. Kim Joo-hun turns in a heart-rending performance as Seo Chung-myung, father of protagonist Seo Dal-mi, who suffers and gets humiliated while struggling to provide for his family and start his own business. Unknown to him, he has already inspired his daughter, as evidenced by her entrepreneurial success years later.
Related: 11 Korean Dramas With the Highest Ratings in 2021: Which Haven’t You Watched?
As lousy as the mothers are in this drama, the fathers more than make up for it. Veteran actors Byun Hee-bong and Shin Jung-geun both turn in moving performances, the former as Gong-pil, the father of Lee Jong-suk’s character and the latter as Dal-pyung, the father of Park Shin-hye’s character. They are there supporting their children at every dramatic turn, with warmth, humour and heartfelt love.
Related: 5 Essential Park Shin-Hye Shows to Binge-Watch After Sisyphus: The Myth