It is no doubt that Seo Yea-ji is one of the most sought-after talents in the Korean entertainment industry. She began her acting career in 2013, has participated in 10 films and 12 television series, and remarkably rose to global fame in 2020 for her performance as an antisocial author in the series, It’s Okay To Not Be Okay.
Here are three of her best performances in Korean dramas:
1. Save Me (2017)
Save Me is a thriller-mystery drama that follows a charismatic yet abusive leader in a religious cult and a young lady threatened and manipulated to be the leader’s wife, played by Seo Yea-ji.
Seo Yea-ji as Sang-mi searches the truth about the dark secrets and hidden crimes of the cult leader and finds ways to save herself and her family with the help of friends.
The drama will surely give you goosebumps as it brings you to sights and scenes that are creepy, frightening, and strange. It’s also best to mention that Seo Yea-ji displayed an outstanding performance as a young lady who goes through a plight of intense anxiousness as she gets trapped in the hands of a manipulative cult group. Save Me hit its highest nationwide rating of 4.7%.
Genre: Thriller, Mystery
Synopsis: Four young men come to the rescue of a former classmate whose family has been sucked into the clutches of a religious cult and its charismatic leader.
Based on: on the webcomic Out of the World by Jo Geum-san
No. of episodes: 16
Starring: Ok Taec-yeon, Seo Yea-ji, Jo Sung-ha, Woo Do-hwan
Written by: Jung Shin-kyoo
Directed by: Kim Sung-soo
Original network: OCN
Date: August 5 to September 24, 2017
2. Lawless Lawyer (2018)
Lawless Lawyer is a legal-thriller drama that revolves around two lawyers, performed by Lee Joon-gi and Seo Yea-ji. Together they seek justice against a corrupt court judge.
Seo Yea-ji played as Ha Jae-yi, a lawyer of high standard and integrity who gets laid-off after verbally attacking a corrupt judge. She meets Bong Sang-pil, a former prisoner turned lawyer played by Lee Joon-gi, who helps her regain her license.
The drama took its highest nationwide viewership rating of 8.9% and Seo Yea-ji received the recognition as an honorary police officer for her portrayal in the drama as an honest lawyer.
Genre: Legal, Thriller
Synopsis: Sangpil had witnessed the death of his mother, a former human rights lawyer. Brought up by his gangster uncle, he became an unprecedented gangster lawyer to avenge his mother’s death.
No. of episodes: 16
Starring: Lee Joon-gi, Seo Yea-ji, Lee Hye-young and Choi Min-soo
Written by: Yoon Hyun-ho
Directed by: Kim Jin-min
Original network: tvN
Date: May 12 – July 1, 2018
3. It’s Okay To Not Be Okay (2020)
It’s Okay To Not Be Okay is a romantic-psychological healing drama about two brothers and a popular author of children’s books who all suffer from childhood trauma.
Seo Yeaji played as Ko Mun-yeong, the cold but brilliant writer who gets anything what she wants by manipulation. She hides a deep trauma caused by her psychopathic mother who shaped her mind to behave like a monster. She then meets the warm brothers Gang-tae and Sang-tae, played by Kim Soo-hyun and Oh Jung-se, where she experiences the warmth of life and gets rescued from the trap of her dark past. Altogether they embark the road to healing.
The drama was internationally popular through Netflix, received 8 nominations at the 2021 Baeksang Arts Awards, recognized as one of the nominees for Best TV Series at the 49th International Emmy Awards, and named as one of the Best International shows of 2020 by New York Times and Best Korean Dramas Of 2020 by Forbes.
Meanwhile, Seo Yea-ji won various awards for her performance in the popular show including “Actress of the Year” at the 2020 Brand of the Year Awards, “Best Artist Award” and “Hot Issue Award” at the 2020 Asia Artist Awards, “Excellence Award, Actress” and “Popular Star Award, Actress” at the 2021 APAN Star Awards, and “Most Popular Actress” at the 2021 Baeksang Arts Awards.
Genre: Romance, Drama, Psychological
Synopsis: A road to emotional healing opens up for an antisocial children’s book author and an employee in a psychiatric hospital.
No. of episodes: 16
Starring: Kim Soo-hyun, Seo Yea-ji, Oh Jung-se, Park Gyu-young
Written by: Jo Yong
Directed by: Park Shin-woo
Original network: tvN, Netflix
Date: June 20 – August 9, 2020
After a successful drama in 2020, Seo Yea-ji is back for another tvN drama, entitled Eve, where she will play the daughter of a chaebol family. Filming began in November 2021 and the drama is expected to be released this year.