I've come down with a bad case of Choi Jin Hyuk-itis and Wol Ryung fever recently.
Can you blame me tho? It's all no thanks to Gu Family Book. Honestly, if you're going to watch Gu Family Book, watch the first two episodes, fall in love with Wol Ryung AND Choi Jin Hyuk, gnash your teeth at Seo Hwa, then proceed to episodes 13 to 22 and skip around for all of Wol Ryung's parts. Trust me, he's worth it.YOU ARE PERFECT, SIR
Otherwise, Gu Family Book is a melodramatic overrated crapfest full of convulted storylines and mediocre acting from Lee Seung Gi and Suzy (honestly, idg the hype for them, both were so middling in this drama), especially since they have NO chemistry with each other.
But I digress, the saving grace to Gu Family Book is the character, Wol Ryung.
Ironically, Choi Jin Hyuk was only supposed to be in the drama for the first two episodes. But he knocked it out of the park with his acting as Wol Ryung. The impression he left on viewers, it's no wonder viewers were demanding for his presence back on the show. And when he did make a return to Gu family Book as Dark Wol Ryung. WOOF. Sexy Daddy Gumiho. If you watch the drama on Viki, it's hilarious how the timed Viki comments be flippin out every time he appears on screen.HOT SEXY DADDY GUMIHO
I'm super happy for Choi Jin Hyuk that he's finally getting his due and that his career has skyrocketed after his initial guest appearances on Gu Family Book. I've been following his career loosely, ever since I saw him acting as the lead in It's Okay Daddy's Girl with Super Junior's Donghae. I admit at that time I was watching the drama more for Donghae than anything, but I was impressed with Choi Jin Hyuk and loved that he had built a camaraderie with Donghae both onscreen and off screen.
So imagine my happiness when the two were reunited in Panda and Hedgehog, and then disappointed that the drama was another convulted mess of storytelling, with its only save grace being the bromance between Donghae's Seung Gi and Choi Jin Hyuk's Won Il, but in all honesty, that drama did no favors to Choi Jin Hyuk (except make me think he was a really good actor).THAT SMIRK
It's incredible how one role can change and define a person's career. For some it occurs early in a career and for some it occurs late in a career. I'm still waiting for that career-defining role for Donghae's acting career. But I'm damn glad Choi Jin Hyuk finally got the attention he deserved. Even though he's been acting for seven years prior to Gu Family Book, he's still got it better than a lot of still-struggling k-drama actors.
When I was watching It's Okay Daddy's Girl, I was wondering why both he and Donghae weren't getting recognized for their acting and good looks. I always wondered why no one (aside from a few in the k-drama communities) was noticing this helluva fine looking dude with a killer sexy voice, decent acting chops and droolworthy body. HELLLOOOOO THUR
Anyways, this is all coming a year too late, but it's still something that needs to be said. I remember a year ago when I had heard about Wol Ryung fever and Choi Jin Hyuk's sudden overnight fame due to Gu Family Book. I was really happy for him, especially the overwhelmingly positive response he was receiving from the Korean netizens and the online k-drama communities (some who, like me, were already acquainted with his previous works or fans of his), while many others became new fans of his. Other than for a few pressed Lee Seung Gi fans who couldn't handle how Choi Jin Hyuk stealing every scene he appeared in (though to Lee Seungi Gi's credit
, he was very gracious to the positive response Choi Jin Hyuk received). I AM SLAIN
It was incredible how his presence clearly upstaged so many of the actors and scenes in the drama. The audience wanted, nay, demanded for his return and the writers wisely accepted and brought not only the character back, but Choi Jin Hyuk. They easily could have re-casted him and found someone else to play Dark Wol Ryung, but let's be honest, no one else could have played Wol Ryung so flawlessly.OVARIES BEGONE
Any thoughts of casting someone else to play Wol Ryung is blasphemous (as evident from the response to this poll
) and only Choi Jin Hyuk could play Wol Ryung. HE IS WOL RYUNG. He was equal parts masculine, mystical beast and innocence, something that many men in k-dramas can't carry off due to their lack of height, physical build, looks, and acting.EXCUSE YOU
The character was flawlessly awesome, badass, and genuine. Even when he lied, he did so with the purest of intentions. He was a Gumiho, a divine creature, who protected Mount Jiri for 1000 years. He never wanted to hurt anybody, he only wished to protect the woman he loved and become human. He was willing to give up immortality for love and he never imagine his love would betray him. I'll never forget the hurt in his eyes when she betrays him, kudos to the directors and to Choi Jin Hyuk, for that incredible scene.
The moment when he asks her why she betrayed him when all he did was love her, it's incredibly well-acted and shot and it's because of that scene that got him his role in Heirs as Kim Won and put him on the kdrama map (and yes, he was epicly wasted on Heirs). His chemistry with Lee Yeon Hee was great, I hope they'll reunite again in another drama as the leading couple sometime in the future, probably after he enlists. One can hope.
Join in the Wol Ryung fever. See why the dramabeans editor chose him as the character most deserving of his own drama
as well as why they made hims the clear runaway winner for the 2013 Beanie Award's "Most Glorious Mane of Glory"
with his "One mane to rule them all."
Again, if you do decide to watch Gu Family Book for Choi Jin Hyuk's Wol Ryung, I highly recommend watching it on Viki with the timed comments. The comments are hilarious, especially when they go into fangirling mode over how perfect Wol Ryung is and how hot Dark!Wol Ryung is. The comments literally EXPLODE and overload with hyperventilating fangirling, Every time Wol Ryung appears. Especially in the later episodes from 13 to 22 when he appears as Dark! Wol Ryung.