Posts Tagged ‘Oh Man Seok’

Runnnig Man poster

When my non-K-drama-watching living-in-Europe friend mentioned Running Man (SBS) to me, that was the moment I realized that Running Man was a Phenomenon. Admittedly, she read about Running Man while on a trip to Asia. But, still. “Goodness,” I said, “You’ve heard of Running Man? That’s really hardcore Korean television. Even I don’t watch Running Man!”.

That, of course, was before Running Man finally lured me into its vortex with its diabolically clever trick of guesting actors. Sooner or later, your favorite actor is guesting on Running Man (Oh Man Seok! Oh Man Seok!) and you have no choice but to check it out. Then you find yourself intrigued by the group dynamics and all the in-jokes that everyone else finds so hilarious. You find yourself watching more episodes to try to figure out what on earth is going on. And before you know it, you are totally hooked and devouring old episodes (hopefully selectively, not watching all 200 back issues).

Oh Man Seok on Running Man

I console myself by noting that I’m not the only person on the planet afflicted by Running Fever. What makes Running Man such compelling viewing? What is this evil time-sucking creature called the “variety show”, anyway?

Basically, it’s a form of reality television. And don’t we all have a love-hate relationship with reality tv?



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Okay, Everybody! I’m starting Shin Don! Woot woot!

Shin Don poster

What, you may ask, is the big deal? What, indeed, is Shin Don?

Why, merely the best k-drama of all time, as rated by the venerable Mr X in his Vault. And merely 61 episodes long. And merely starring… Oh Man Seok! Oh, and other acting luminaries such as Son Chang Min and Jung Bo Seok. Merely written by the master, Jung Ha Yeon, who brought us Flames of Ambition, La Dolce Vita, Queen Insoo and the recent Cruel Palace – War of Flowers. And merely directed by Kim Jin Min of Time Between Dog and Wolf and La Dolce Vita.

So, creatures. Who is joining me in this orgy?

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Vineyard Man poster

Well, never say never. At one point in time, I had decided that I would give The Vineyard Man 포도밭 그 사나이 (KBS, 2006) a wide berth. It got luke-warm reviews, and seemed to lie in a no-man’s land where it was panned by the pro-Yoon Eun Hye faction for pairing her with an insufficiently dishy leading man (What? Are they blind?), an uncool grape farmer no less. And then panned by the Yoon Eun Hye-indifferent faction for show-casing her more irritating screechy attributes and lack of subtlety in her acting. Both factions agreed that the plot was a whole lot of nothing. It seemed to please no one. Except diehard Oh Man Seok fans.

So, of course, I’ve finally watched it. (OH MAN SEOK! OH MAN SEOK!). And you know what, the show actually won me over in the end. It really wasn’t all that bad. It had a certain charm. Okay, it will never come near my top ten list. And it was largely held together by Oh Man Seok, who is stratospherically adorable here — dorky, awkward, speaking the cutest little saturi, and veritably bursting with health and goodness. I admit it, I probably would not have watched this show to the end but for Oh Man Seok. But still, once one got over the hump of the first few episodes (ridiculous plot plus annoyingly whiny Yoon Eun Hye), getting through the rest of the show was not a hardship, and at times was even a gentle pleasure.

So, just what about this unremarkable and unpretentious show moved me from not-with-a-ten-foot-barge-pole to Hmm-not-bad-maybe-I’ll-blog-this?


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OMS cover

I once said I was a bad fangirl in the sense that I didn’t go ga-ga for any particular actor. And it was true. At least, until now. Because, as of late, I have developed a monumental crush on… Oh Man Seok 오만석 (nickname: “Manzzang” meaning “The man, the best”). I’m so obsessed right now, I probably should be embarrassed. But I’m not ashamed, because I adore him so much and I feel that it is perfectly natural that any right-thinking k-drama lover must be devoted to him.


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