Saturday, November 8, 2014

The Thing About Oh Jung-se

I recently finished watching the mellow (not melo) tvN drama Plus Nine Boys and while I probably should be making a review for it, I've decided to do something different. A big part of my reviews seem to talk about the actors so for this drama, I want to talk about one actor that is an unconventional lead but is charming nonetheless. He's Oh Jung-se who played forever bachelor uncle Kwang-soo and let's just say I want to see a lot more of him in rom-coms.

I wanted to make a different offering than my usual reviews and other things (which I admit is getting boring). The inspiration came from the ladies over at Dramabeans who recently did a topical post on hot boys. My favorite. If you're a regular here, you'll know by now of the usual suspects: Jo Seung-woo, Lee Je-hoon, Jo In-sung, Gong Yoo, Yoo Yeon-seok, you know the drill (the list could be longer and we could be here all day. Maybe I should make a post about all the Korean men I find hot. That should be interesting).

Then it got me thinking, all those men are known to be handsome anyways. So instead of talking about them, let's talk about someone else. And automatically, I thought of Oh Jung-se.

Most recently, Oh Jung-se was in tvN's Plus Nine Boys, a drama that depicts four boys with ages ending in 9 and their supposed curse because of this fact. As mentioned earlier, Oh Jung-se plays Kwang-soo, a hardworking TV producer who got fired after an incident involving exposed genitalia on live television. On top of that, he's a 39-year-old bachelor who one day encounters his ex-girlfriend who dumped his proposal on live television. I think this live TV thing is his bad luck, not his age. The drama itself is cute and more slice-of-life that traditional rom-com, which I like. My short review would be I love the realness of their stories and emotions, but I wish the curse would be as high jinx-y as the trailers.

Plus Nine Boys wasn't the first time I've seen Oh Jung-se. Actually, he was probably a big reason why I wanted to watch that drama in the first place, aside from the fact that it's only 14 episodes and the relatively good feedback from the very few reviews that were available. The first project I watched where he was a prominent, and actually a lead, character in was the movie How to Use Guys with Secret Tips alongside the energetic Lee Si-young. Here he played snobby second-tier actor Lee Sung-jae who became an unknowing participant of Lee Si-young's Choi Bona's social experiment. This movie was very cute in a bubble gum sort of way and in many instances felt like a comic in motion. Since the movie didn't really do much for me (it was cute but wasn't memorable), I didn't think much of him at the time.

Then came I'm Dying Soon. A few weeks back, around the same time I was watching Lee Sang the More, I got really into one-off dramas. They're quick and mostly painless, and since I tend to pick rom-coms, they're also cute. (Except Sirius which left me with a broken heart. Why do you always do this to me, Seo Jun-young?) I was browsing around seeing what I should watch next and came upon this very shocking title. Opened it, saw Kim Seul-gi is in it, and clicked. I knew if Kim Seul-gi is in it, it would be funny and most likely adorable, just like her. If you have an hour to spare, I suggest giving that drama a watch because it's just cute. While Kim Seul-gi was being her charming self as always, I was quickly drawn to Oh Jung-se and his loser Woo-jin character. As the title would suggest, he finds out he has cancer and has 3 months to live and with the help of Seul-gi's rather manic pixie dream girl Sarang, he begins to take in the world with a rosier outlook.

I didn't expect myself to be drawn into a character, and an actor, in such a short time, especially since he wasn't conventionally cute/handsome/hot/beautiful. I know that sounds shallow, and it is. But, like the inspired Dramabeans post discussed, if you're good at acting, people fall down on their knees in front of you. And I think, for sure, Oh Jung-se is one of those people. While I think all the characters in Plus Nine Boys are great, Oh Jung-se's Kwang-soo pulled at my heartstrings the most. It may be because of his story, or his character. But a big factor is definitely Oh Jung-se the actor.

Opening Oh Jung-se's resume actually surprised me because, while I only remember seeing him in 3 works, he's been a supporting actor for long enough and many times enough that I've seen his other works without realizing it. Makes me want to re-watch them again just to see if I can spot him, but that might be for another rainy day.

What I'm getting at is I hope Oh Jung-se would be a lead in more rom-coms in the future because I think he's good at it. Although I wouldn't know any other way since I haven't really seen him much in other genres. Would be great to see more every man (and perhaps every woman too!) figures in dramas. While people like Hyun Bin is dreamy and is a total heart throb, someone like Oh Jung-se adds something interesting in a sea of ab-tastic men.

And look, he's cute with kids too.

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