Friday Feature: Chemistry with Jang Na Ra

Jang Na Ra is one of the most popular and prolific actors working in K-dramas right now. Of some of her recent leading men, who has she had the most chemistry with?

Jang Na Ra and Choi Daniel

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Jang Na Ra co-starred with Choi Daniel in two K-dramas: “Baby Faced Beauty” and “School 2013”. In the former, she is a 34 year old woman who misleads her 27 year old colleague into thinking she is 25 years old. In the latter, they are high school teachers with differing schools of thought when it comes to their students. Since their relationship was purely professional in “School 2013”, we’ll review their chemistry in “Baby Faced Beauty”.

Skinship: The couple have a tender moment when Jin Wook (Choi Daniel) confesses to So Young (Jang Na Ra) that he does not care how old she is; he simply likes her. Jin Wook dips in for a kiss, then passes out, having used up his liquid courage, leaving So Young to struggle with his unconscious body. In another scene, So Young initiates a kiss, but it’s on Jin Wook’s nose. Jin Wook also initiates a kiss and it lands on the mouth, but So Young is wide eyed and flat lipped for the duration of the kiss.

Chemistry: Their chemistry was more cute than anything else, with So Young won over by Jin Wook’s boyish charm and enthusiasm. And yet, in the moments leading up to possible skinship, Jang Na Ra and Choi Daniel demonstrated some heat. Too bad “Baby Faced Beauty” did not capitalize on it.

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Jang Na Ra and Jang Hyuk

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I haven’t seen Jang Na Ra first pairing with Jang Hyuk back in 2002 in “Bright Girl’s Success”, but given the anticipation around their reunion, I’ll assume it was successful. The pairing of Gun (Jang Hyuk) and Mi Young (Jang Na Ra) in “Fated to Love You” was also pretty successful, through both incarnations of Mi Young, first as the sweet doormat desperate to build a family with Gun, and later as the more sophisticated artist, who overcomes Gun’s noble idiocy with a kiss.

Skinship: Look, they had sex twice in this show, which is probably some kind of record for a K-drama. The downside was that they had to be drugged into doing it, and the scenes were replaced almost entirely with super-cute cartoons. But, there was a pretty good moment as the two of them slowly came together in bed (too bad they were drugged), and their kisses were eminently watchable, especially the one pictured here.

Chemistry: The show itself seemed to be working against the considerable chemistry these two generated, either by being too cutesy or too overwrought. And, maybe next time they’re paired together, they can dispense with the drugs?

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Jang Na Ra and Seo In Guk

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There were complaints about this pairing not “matching” before “I Remember You” aired, and even Jang Na Ra supposedly had reservations about acting with Seo In Guk, who is – wait for it – six (!!!) whole years younger than her. The reservations seemed to be laid to rest when the show got started, with Jang Na Ra’s character, Ji Ahn, and Seo In Guk’s Hyun developing an entertainingly combative relationship. Unfortunately, all the air got sucked out of it halfway through, when the show switched focus to Hyun’s relationship with Park Bo Gum’s Sun Ho. After all the drama and tears between the two men, there was no tension left by the time the show belatedly circled back to Ji Ahn.

Skinship: There was a surprisingly swoonworthy scene midway, where Hyun tucked a lock of hair behind Ji Ahn’s ear. Unfortunately, nothing past that point even came close, including two kisses.

Chemistry: They started out pretty good, but they never recovered after the drama abruptly changed gears. The kiss at the end was perfunctory, and tepid at best.

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Jang Na Ra and Jung Kyung Ho

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Jang Na Ra and Jung Kyung Ho co-starred in the recently completed “One More Happy Ending”. Their characters Mi Mo (Jang Na Ra) and Soo Hyuk (Jung Kyung Ho) accidentally marry each other after some binge drinking. Thereafter, they repeatedly find themselves running into each other with Soo Hyuk secretly holding a torch for Mi Mo.

Skinship: Mi Mo and Soo Hyuk fall into bed with each other multiple times, but remain fully clothed in every instance. Any kissing is due solely to the persistence of Soo Hyuk, who manages to smooch despite getting slapped away like a pervert by Mi Mo even after their dating status has been established.

Chemistry: Jang Na Ra and Jung Kyung Ho have amazing comedic chemistry. They really bring out the best in each other when they are bickering and acting frantic. Too bad they became so dour and listless when the mood turned serious, and the mood turned serious at around episode 5 in this 16 episode series.

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Readers: Which pairing with Jang Na Ra was your favourite?

12 Comments

  • Jang Na ra with Jang Hyuk…i do agree that their serious couple scenes was overshadowed by being drunk, drugged or cartoonish, but they both had strong scenes where their displayed emotions were full of intensity.

  • How about Mr. Baek? Although I did feel like they were both about to giggle uncontrollably in their scenes together.

  • My favorite leading man for Jang Na Ra was Ryu Si-won on the drama The Wedding, i was one of my all time favorite, I think the chemistry was really good. Second will be Alec Su in Mischievous Princess and then Jang Hyuk… =)

  • The best of them all, no doubt , with RYU SI WON…for me, WEDDING IS THE BEST EVER tv series I have evet seen…the hugs and the kisses that ryu siwon and jang nara shared are the most romantic, the sweetest ive ever seen…I wish they are for real…they are made for each other.

  • I love Jang Nara and Seo In Guk together. Although it was just a short time for their romance, every time they are together, I find it cute. With just the two of them standing next to each other, I’m already sold. Even with just a holding hands, it makes me shout and smile. They really looked good together (for me). I really hope they will have another drama together. i will rewatch “Hello Monster” soon. Can’t get enough with their chemistry.

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