If like me, you like your female heroines to kick a little butt while finding true love, then you are probably already digging Strong Woman Do Bong Soon and are refreshing your computer screen in anticipation for episode 3 tonight. Park Bo Young’s Do Bong Soon joins a pantheon of brassy female leads who show that busting heads and taking names is one good way to win at love and fight the good fight too. Here are five of my favorite female leads that prove that a behind every great love triangle is a woman with the ability to crush her enemy with just a glare and maybe a well-placed roundhouse kick.

1. Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo

The titular character of this show may be frustrated being seen as less feminine because she lifts weights, and forced to face the ignominies of those snobby female gymnasts, but this girl wins over her true love because of her strength, both inside and out, not in spite of it. Kim Bok Joo is one of those feel-good stories that prove a woman doesn’t need to hide who she is to find happiness. Also, she gets a little Ji Soo cameo action too, which makes me think I need to lift some weights to make my Ji Soo fan fiction scenarios really come true.

2.. Secret Garden’s Gil Ra Im

Ha Ji Won’s character first catches Hyun Bin’s eye in Secret Garden while she is in her role as a leather-clad, tough-as-nails stunt double, and she sure doesn’t need a sparkling track suit to catch our eye (and her boss’s eye too because every strong woman deserves a strong love triangle!). Ha Ji Won excels at playing tough female leads, but her Gil Ra Im is my favorite because she is such a paradox of strength and weakness in different areas of her life that make her wonderfully human. Human or not though, I still wouldn’t want to fight her in a deserted alley, that is for sure.

3.Doctor Crush’s Hye Jung

Doctor Crush wastes no time showing us that Park shin Hye’s character is as comfortable beating up gangsters with mixed martial arts moves as she is suturing head wounds. No, literally, a gang fight in the hospital is the opening scene. Our female lead also rides motorcycles, gets in epic bar fights, gets to hang out with Ji Soo, and is just so badass. Park Shin Hye did many of her action sequences herself proving once again that just like her character, this woman has serious skills.

4. Signal’s Cha Soo Hyun

Sage advice I could give to someone sucked into a k-drama alternative universe? Do not mess with Kim Hye Soo as Detective Cha Soo Hyun. She may have started out a softie rookie with a lame nickname and lamer driving skills, but by the time we meet her in present day, she is so freaking tough as she goes up against psychopaths, serial killers, and corrupt detectives, all while wearing the coolest jackets ever. If I were Lee Je Hoon’s character, I’d have a simmering noona crush on this lady too.

5. Strong Woman Do Bong Soon

Okay, we are only a few episodes in, and I’ve been burned before rooting for a strong female lead who later dissolves into whimpering, limp princess by episode 10, but I have high hopes that Park Bo Young’s slightly outrageous super-humanly strong Do Bong Soon will turn out to be one of those characters who comes to embrace her strength, rather than chafe against it. Also, Ji Soo is part of the love triangle again! While this fact has nothing to do with her being a strong woman, it has everything to do with my super strong crush on Ji Soo. And if we were measuring strength by crushes in this guy, I would win by a landslide!

So there you go, five strong ladies that prove that brawn is beauty. Anyone I should have added to the list?

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COMING SOON

Strong Woman Do Bong Soon

Starring Park Bo Young and Kim Ji Soo

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