Before I watched  “Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth,” I was looking forward to seeing how the romance between Dog Bird (Park Seo-Joon) and Ah-Ro (Go Ara) played out. But after the finale, I realized that what stuck with me wasn’t their tepid relationship, but that of the young men who formed a relationship — which at times was adversarial, but also based on friendship, honor and righteous morals.

In other words, I was all about the poet warrior youth’s bromance.

Since we are just days away from the January 26th theatrical premiere of “BTS World Tour: Love Yourself in Seoul,” now is a great time to re-examine the role that BTS’ Kim Tae-Hyung (aka V) played in this K-Drama. Why? Because he was the first Bangtan Boy to make his acting debut, but mostly because his role played an integral part in moving along some of the most dramatic aspects of the series.

I’ll be honest: As much as I like BTS, I wasn’t expecting much from V’s acting skills. When filming began on the 20-part Korean series, V was still just 20 years old and a fledgling actor. Yes, he’s handsome and he clearly knows how to emote in the group’s music videos.

But could he hold his own, especially against powerhouses such as Park Seo-Joon and veteran actor (and one of my favorites) Sung Dong-Il?

During the initial few moments of his debut, it was difficult to gauge his abilities. He didn’t have much to do but act young and cute. But as the series progressed, V fleshed out the role of Suk Han-Sung, the air-headed aristocrat who was expected to carry the responsibilities of his tony family on his slender shoulders. He wanted to study arts, flirt with girls and spend time with his beloved stepbrother, Dan-Se. But their family treats the latter like dirt, because he is a “half breed.”

The Silla kingdom’s reliance on the bone rank system (골품제도) was designed to keep the poor at the bottom of the social ladder and elevate those who were lucky enough to be born into aristocratic families to the top. Watching the difference in how Han-Sung and Dan-Se (played by Kim Hyun-Joon) are treated was eye-opening and heartbreaking. When Han-Sung fails to live up to their grandfather’s strenuous standards, Dan-Se is beaten, rather than the younger chosen child.

It’s not lost on Han-Sung that his brother is his superior in every way — academically and physically — except for the fact that his mother wasn’t an aristocrat.

The two share a tragic relationship that I wish was explored more in this series. The dynamic between V and Kim Hyun-Joon was so compelling.

Beautifully-filmed, “Hwarang” is an uneven drama, but it’s worth watching for the camaraderie not only between V and Kim, but also the other actors/singers who round out this series. SHINee’s Choi Min-Ho is dashingly handsome as the aggressive Soo-Ho. And Park Hyung-Sik (ZE:A and ZE:A Five) is charming as the young man who is expected to ascend to the throne.

An added bonus to “Hwarang” is the infectiously catchy duet “It’s Definitely You” by V and his BTS bandmate Jin (Kim Seok-Jin).

And guess what? All the “Hwarang” episodes are free on KOCOWA.

Bangtan Boys Bonus: KOCOWA also offers a lot of fun BTS content, like this “Running Man” episode. RM (then known as Rap Monster), Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook more than hold their own against the incorrigible cast members in a quest to transport the most boxes of ramen. Trust me. You have to see it to believe it. Fighting!

Be sure to follow @GoAwayWithJae, where I tweet about all things Korean.🇰🇷

48 Comments

  1. Avatar

    If you’re still on the fence: watch this series! there are some weak points but V is wonderful!

  2. Avatar

    Good day! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a group of volunteers and
    starting a new project in a community in the same niche.
    Your blog provided us valuable information to work on. You have done
    a marvellous job!

  3. Avatar

    I loved this series and the post did a great job. It’s time to rewatch with the wife. Thank you!

  4. Avatar

    I really love this blog! Keep up the great work and I hope V has another kdrama out soon and that you review it!

  5. Avatar

    Thanks for finally writing about >Revisiting “Hwarang” (V: It’s
    Definitely You)

  6. Avatar

    A great analysis of a great drama by a great writer starring a great actor, V!!!

  7. Avatar
    tinyurl.com Reply

    I am sure this post has touched all the internet people, its really really fastidious post on building up new website.

  8. Avatar
    mine me mine Reply

    kdramas are the best thing on earth. they help me through rough times and are shows i can enjoy with my friends and family.

  9. Avatar

    I would love to see more articles like this. Ms. Jae-Ha Kim is such a good writer and the posts are always fun. More more more please!!

  10. Avatar

    Great story. Thank you for loving Korean dramas asnd writing abotu them!

  11. Avatar
    tinyurl.com Reply

    You can certainly see your skills within the article you write.

    The arena hopes for more passionate writers such as you who aren’t afraid to say how they believe.

    All the time follow your heart.

  12. Avatar

    this blog is so much fun. i love the content and look forward to more posts like this. can you review “secret garden” next please? it’s one of my favorites!

  13. Avatar
    firtuklo imutrzas Reply

    Great post, you have pointed out some excellent details , I besides think this s a very great website.

  14. Avatar

    I loved this article! Thank you so much! I hope you keep writing more great articles about Korean dramas and our beloved V!! KIM TAE HYUNG!!!

  15. Avatar

    Hey there, just wished to inform you how much I enjoyed your post.
    Keep up the good work!

  16. Avatar

    I am not sure the place you’re getting your information, but good topic. I needs to spend a while studying much more or figuring out more. Thanks for wonderful information I used to be looking for this information for my mission.

  17. Avatar

    I’m so glad I found this blog. The stories are amazing and I got to relive Hwarang and all the gang especially V!!! Thank you! I will be back to check for more articles especially if they are about V and my other favorites!

  18. Avatar

    This post actually gave me stop briefly for thought,
    I ‘d not believed of this prior to.

  19. Avatar

    I know it’s thought that only women love Korean Dramas but there are many of us men who enjoy it too. Thank you for covering Hwarang and writing articles that are fun and informative.

  20. Avatar

    I found your website from Google as well as I need to claim it
    was a great discover. Thanks!

  21. Avatar

    It’s very straightforward to find out any
    matter on net as compared to books, as I found this post at this site.

  22. Avatar
    ทีเด็ด ฟุตบอล วัน นี้ แม่น สุด ๆ​ Reply

    Hi there, just wanted to say, I loved this article.
    It was helpful. Keep on posting!

  23. Avatar

    Hwarang is not just about romance it’s also about strong friendship and society. The fact that V started acting in the young age shows that he was born with pure acting talent!. I hope he will act in more dramas or even movie!

    • Jae-Ha Kim

      Thanks for taking the time to leave your comment, Bella. V was definitely a highlight of this #KDrama. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

    • Avatar

      Que bueno me gustaría que siga adelante ha siendo k dramas sería sorprendente

  24. Avatar

    I agree with everything you said. The most amazing thing about this drama it’s not the romance, but the relationship between those boys, especially Han Sung and his brother. Their fate was so tragic and yes, if their story were more explored the drama would be so much better.. I hope to see V acting again soon and if he have the opportunity to work with his beloved hyungs again it would be fantastic.

  25. Avatar

    Thank you so much for this beautiful piece. Loved your thoughtful analysis and promotion of this drama that will always be veey special for army. This drama introduced me to my bias Taehyung and bts simultaneously, so it has a special place in my heart!! The song It’s Definitely You left me wondering how great this grp must be who made it and funny thing i assumed the high note voice was Tae and the low must be Jin cz how on earth would i guess that dat lil munchkin can have that kinda deep voice!!! Thanks again for making such a great review on Tae’s acting💜

Write A Comment