A Renewed Fondness For: Lee Seo Jin


I must tell you guys, there was a time when I was rather smitten with Lee Seo Jin. And even though over time, other k-loves have since taken up residence in my fangirl heart, I’ve continued to have a soft spot for Oppa despite going for a good long stretch without seeing him on my screen.

I’m just so pleased that he’s now popping up so much in variety land, and making quite the splash while he’s at it too.

It’s definitely time to show Oppa some love. 😉


Encounter 1: Lovers

The first time I set eyes on Lee Seo Jin was when I randomly started watching Lovers (2006) fairly early in my kdrama journey. I didn’t love Kim Jung Eun in the show, but I loved the concept of Hawt Broody Gangsta falling for an ordinary woman.

Even more than I liked the concept of it, I loved Lee Seo Jin in the role of said Hawt Broody Gangsta. I mean, just look at him:


So lean, so tanned, so chiseled and so handsome. Plus, his smirk was simply perfect for his effortlessly badass role. I was happily smitten and lapped up all of his scenes with hearts in my eyes.

Of course, it didn’t hurt at all that his strong, silent right-hand man was a very appealing Kim Nam Gil:

Squee! Double the Hawt Broody Gangsta goodness! 😉

I was so taken with Lee Seo Jin in this show that once I was done watching it, I decided that I just had to have more of him on my screen.

Encounter 2: Phoenix

…Which is how I ended up watching all of Phoenix (2004), even though I didn’t think it was that great a show.

Oppa looked appealing in it, which was the upside:

On the downside, I was so underwhelmed by the show overall, that I barely dragged myself to the finish line (I was such a completist then, tsk tsk).

Soon after I finished watching Phoenix, I was effectively distracted by other k-loves who’d showed up on my screen and swept me off my feet, and Oppa slipped quietly into a muted corner of my (sometimes somewhat fickle) fangirl heart (sorry, Oppa!).

Hello again: Grandpas Over Flowers

Fast forward to the present, and thanks to Na PD (whom I think is an awesome evil genius), it feels like Oppa has been almost everywhere in variety land lately.

From several seasons of Grandpas Over Flowers to Three Meals a Day, it now feels like Oppa is a regular resident on my screen instead of an infrequent visitor who drops by once in (maybe) a purple moon.

On top of that, Oppa’s also appeared on Running Man, and the best part is, he’s awesomely reluctant and even a little bit grumpy through it all:

…and yet, from eliminating his opponents on Running Man, to being luggage boy and tour guide to the halbaes on GOF, to rustling up meals on demand on Three Meals a Day, Oppa somehow manages to sincerely look like he’s reluctant to even be there, while ultimately finding a way to make it all work.

It’s almost like he can’t help but be awesome at whatever, which I find hilarious.

And then, with the latest Greece installment of Grandpas Over Flowers, there’s been even more Oppa awesome to tickle my fancy.

With Choi Ji Woo joining the trip, it’s been so much fun watching Oppa be his awesomely grumpy efficient self, while allowing his inner dork to peek through at times, in the face of Ji Woo’s girlish charms.

Together, they are the cutest thing evar, and I now really, really want them to date for reals.

So, SO adorbs, right??

Watching them together feels refreshing coz even though Oppa shows hints of being attracted to her, he continues to be a grump and a scrooge with the trip money, and only allows his sweetness to leak out in little unexpected dribs and drabs, which I find very amusing.

Plus, Ji Woo is super cute in her super earnest girlish way, and I almost feel like I’m watching a real-life rom-com on my screen.

Through it all, I’ve found it amusing and fascinating that Oppa is such an interesting mix of multi-talents, grumpy reluctance and boyish dork.

I could watch him do variety indefinitely, that’s how entertaining I find him. It’s no wonder that Na PD can’t seem to get enough of him either! XD


With my affection for Oppa so well revived and renewed, I eagerly dived into Google to see what goodies I would find for this post.

I’m pleased to report that I’ve unearthed a nice amount of Oppa awesome for your gazing pleasure. There was a lot to choose from, and I simply picked the photos that I liked best. Hope you guys like ’em too!


I think Cheeky is one of Oppa’s best looks, really. I mean, all he has to do is activate those dimples, add a glint in his eyes, and he looks so mischievously saucy, like he’s totally got a joke on his mind or a prank up his sleeve.

Which totally makes him feel like a fun kinda guy, dontcha think? 😉

It’s extra difficult to pick a favorite in this category, coz Oppa consistently looks so adorably naughty and rogue-ish in all the pix.

I must say, though, that the one of Oppa making a heart over his head is particularly funny coz he’s so not the heart-making type. I feel like that glint on his eye is all about plotting some kind of revenge prank on whoever made him do the heart – like Na PD, for instance! XD

Also, gotta love that last pic. I mean, dimpled cheeky Oppa + a baby elephant? How much cuteness can one photo hold??

Happy Smiley

Oppa actually looks startlingly different when he’s not smirking with cheekiness. Oppa’s got a great smile, and when that smile is pure happy without a hint of cheeky, he looks so joyful and carefree. I love it.

My favorite pic in this set is hands-down this first one. I mean, crinkly smiley eyes + pure happy smile + Those Dimples + Those Pecs + a wet t-shirt? Spazz!


On a very different note, Oppa wears the smolder with extreme ease, and the smolder becomes him, so much.

He basically simmers with intensity and his features take on a cool edge such that the vibe coming off him feels completely different than when he’s smiling. I hafta say, edgy smolder is very sexy on Oppa indeed.

I really love this second pic of him on the beach. It feels like Oppa’s had some fun horsing around on the beach, with the sand still on his arms and face, and is now just taking a moment to just be, and just can’t help being sexy & smoldery while he’s at it. 😉

Also, I hafta admit that I really like the pic of him wearing sunnies and a leather jacket too. So cool.


Even without the context of Oppa’s Business Management degree from the New York University Stern School of Business, it’s plenty clear that Oppa’s plenty brainy and full of substance.

So when he does these thoughtful shots, it genuinely feels like he’s thinking about something important. Plus, braininess totally adds to the hotness, dontcha think?

One of my favorite shots in this section is the one of Oppa sprawled out in a chair wearing an all-white suit. I just like that laidback easy vibe, like thinking about important stuff isn’t at all a hard thing for him.

The other shot I really like is the one below it. The thoughtful intensity, Oppa’s profile, and the black-and-white treatment of the shot all come together so beautifully.

The Sharp Suit

Oppa cleans up real nice, plus y’all know how much I love a guy in a sharp suit. 😉 He wears the clean lines with aplomb, and looks dashing even when his suit is made of velvet (such an odd choice, really).

My favorite shot in this section is the one of him sitting on the hood of the white Mercedes while wearing a gorgeously intent expression and a tux. I don’t dig the brocade detailing on the tux so much, but the clean lines and the smolder more than make up for it.


This section is made up of just two pictures, but I just had to make a point, and that is, Oppa doesn’t just clean up nice in a sharp suit.

He’s got a distinctly debonair sort of vibe about him, especially when he’s wearing an overcoat. Doesn’t he give you an Aristocratic English Gentleman sort of vibe in these pix?

Sporty Rugged

Of course, I just love that underneath all that sharp suited braininess, that Oppa’s plenty sporty and rugged. I can totally see why Na PD always seems determined to test him; coz, how is Oppa so well-balanced in so many areas??

I just love this first pic. Strong, taut biceps, plus glimpses of the silhouette of his abs underneath that soaking wet t-shirt. So very delish. Mmm.. Also, can you believe that his abs can actually have a silhouette?? It blows the mind a little, really.

Plus, check out the pic below that, where he’s effortlessly carrying a bike in one hand. There’s something so amusingly, appealingly He-Man about it. Just, yum.


I must say, Oppa looks great without his shirt. Not only is he nicely sculpted and well-proportioned, I really like the vibe that I’m getting, that the sculptedness isn’t just for the camera, but is extremely functional too..

Y’know, almost like the kind of body that gets strong and sculpted from hours of farmwork or something.

I love these first two pictures for exactly that reason. Plus, love the tan. And the tummy trail. *cough* Spazz.

Laidback Sexy

Another of my favorite sections in this gallery is this one, where Oppa is all relaxed and languid, just bein’ casually sexy.

He’s so casual in these photos that it makes me feel like what we consider sexy is just an ordinary, everyday kinda thing for him, which is a thought that I dig. I really like that I-can’t-help-it kind of allure.

I love the pic of Oppa in the shades and white shirt, coz, uh, shades and white shirt. Spazz. 

I also love the pic of Oppa casually hanging out on the balcony in his flip-flops and a cup of tea. Coz it feels like he just got all freshly showered (rawr) and is just unwinding and ready for some cozy conversation.

Sweet & warm

I like the pix in this section coz Oppa doesn’t show this side of himself very often. Well, not unless it’s scripted as part of a role that he’s acting in anyway, heh.

I just like being able to peek into Oppa’s sweet & warm side, and knowing that it’s there, even though he mostly seems to prefer being cheekily cantankerous instead.

I really like the sweet, warm & cozy vibe that Oppa’s got in these pictures. Especially the ones where he’s holding that baby. Cutenesss! <3

How absolutely sweet & nurturing, right? And, doesn’t that just seem like perfect evidence that he’s, y’know, ready to settle down and have some babies of his own? 😉


As always, no gallery on this site is complete without at least a few candid shots. Oppa pretty much seems to be wearing his cheeky expression in almost all of these pix, but y’know what, I might never actually get tired of that cheeky face!

I do like the last pic a little extra, though, coz it’s Oppa looking kinda sheepish. How cute is he??


Admittedly, I haven’t seen most of Oppa’s recent drama or movie outings, but that doesn’t make my affection for him less real.

Actually, Oppa was also quite absent from the entertainment scene, for a stretch of time from 2011 to 2014, after he joined Ask Veritas Assets Management as Managing Director.

Which just makes me wonder all the more, if acting and the entertainment scene in general is – like everything that he does on variety – just one of those things in his life that he happens to be good at, just coz it came along and he tried it out.

Whatcha gonna do, when Oppa seems to be good at just about everything he tries his hand at, eh?

Whatever the case, I’m very pleased that Oppa’s decided to come back to us. Keep on stickin’ around, ok, Oppa? S’good to have you back.

Also, wouldja hurry up and propose to Ji Woo already? I’ll cheer you guys on from the sidelines – by which I mean, from behind my computer screen, heh.

Oppa fightinggg~! Smooches.

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5 years ago

I think he is very true to himself. Many people say he is grumpy on Granpa Over Flowers and Running Man, but I love the fact that he shows his realself, not fake like other actors, who try to be cute and likable when there are cameras. I am never interested in old actors, but Lee Seo Jin is different, he looks very attractive with that gorgeous dimples

Sarah Lantz
Sarah Lantz
5 years ago
Reply to  Lovedimples

Omo yes! I fell so hard in “Marriage Contract,” even though he was so much older than UEE ( who really held her own.) He’s a fantastic actor, and I’m lucky enough to have my pianist partner to my cello look JUST like him! I have to fan myself sometimes…. I can’t wait till his next project! And I do hope it is a romance! Love your comment, Lovedimples! It’s all about genuity.

5 years ago
Reply to  Lovedimples

That’s so true, Lovedimples.. it does seem to me that he’s being himself, and not trying to act cute in front of the camera. And in spite of that grumpiness, his sweet side somehow shines through too. I think that’s a big part of his appeal. Of course, the amazing dimples don’t hurt either! 😉

5 years ago

Oh. My. Gawd. I have found a new oppa. He looks like a grown up Joo Won! How incredibly sweet and sexy and omono that tummy and those dimples and the pensive look… I am smitten. Just smitten. I’m watching Marriage Contract, episode 2 and had to come see what you thought. Glad I came.

Oppaaaa!!!’ 😍😍😍

5 years ago
Reply to  sarahlantz

Eee! YAY that you’ve discovered the Lee Seo Jin appeal, Sarah!! 😀 Oppa’s pretty awesome, and I’m so happy that you’re giving him some fangirl love! <3 I never thought of that Joo Won similarity before, but now that you mention it, I kinda see it! I think it's the dimples, hee. I loved Marriage Contract, so glad you're enjoying your watch too! 😀

Michelle Charlie
Michelle Charlie
5 years ago

Thank you, for this! ♥
In love with this ajusshi..

5 years ago

Glad you enjoyed this post, Michelle. He really is a cool ahjusshi <3

5 years ago

Reblogged this on mamabatesmotel.

8 years ago

Is Lee Seo Jin still in Ask Veritas Assets Management?

8 years ago
Reply to  Nurhayati

I honestly don’t know about that, as there have been no reports of him leaving. He could either have quietly left, or he could still be involved as a director while pursuing his k-ent activities. 🙂

Hapsari Darmastuti
8 years ago

Where did you watch GOF and Three Meals a Day? I really want to watch GOF and Three Meals a Day but I can’t find the subtitled version for it.

8 years ago

Hey there, Hapsari.. I’m sorry to say that I don’t know where to watch the shows subbed either. I’ve been watching without subs. My Korean isn’t good enough to understand 100% of it, but I’m getting by with understanding about 60-70% 😛 If I come across subbed episodes, I’ll be sure to let everyone know!

8 years ago

Hi Hapsari. I’m not sure where to get subbed versions of the Over Flowers series but Kshowonline has a link to 3 Meals. Here’s the link


8 years ago

Aw, yay Muffin!! 😀 Thanks for sharing the link, my dear! ^^

8 years ago
Reply to  kfangurl

It’s a pleasure 🙂

8 years ago

Forgive my French but holy crap, it’s gangsta oppa!!!!!!!! I recently saw a few 3 Meals episodes with him and 2pm Taec. Do I care about Taec? NO. Do I care about the meals? Maybe a little. Do I care about Seo Jin oppa? I DO A LOT LOT LOT!!!!! *happy sigh* I better go to a sleep and dream of oppa tonight! *giggles*

8 years ago
Reply to  missienelly

Tee hee! YES, it’s gangsta oppa!! 😀 I still remember recommending Lovers to you long ago, and I was so pleased that you liked it!! ^^ Of course, Lee Seo Jin’s cool, hot, suave, in-love gangsta was THE reason to love the show! So, I totally understand your approach with 3 Meals! XD Have you checked out the Greece installment of GOF yet? He is so cute with Ji Woo around, it’s worth watching for that alone ^^

8 years ago

The moment i saw this post over fb i got a little surprised! Why? I have known you only here and over fb page(😉thanks to you😘) and we shared common fandoms over your klove and with your pretty post. Never had i known that you love this man. I guess PD Na’s 3MAD and GOF rekindled your passion for LSJ. Honestly, i have known his drama Lovers coz it was telecast it here in our local channel. With his nice choco-abs and a pair of pretty dimples like Binnie😘 i don’t find him attractive then. You could have ask me whaaaat??? You don’t find Lee Soo Jin attractive????? Actually that’s the same question lingered in my mind as i watch his 3 Meal’s A Day and Granpa over Flowers! How could i not like this beautufil ahjussi then? I am puzzled as i watch every episodes of his variety shows trying to figure out why?
and still the same questions linger like a song.
I love watching variety shows especially of Na PD’s. You have chances of knowing the other side of actors and actresses, i love seeing them being cute and having gripes on-cam.
So when i saw Lee Soo Jin in both variety shows i can’t help adoring this man. He has shown his kitchen skills in 3 meals a day, not so great but he is cute doing the dishes and how he simply boasted that he is used to it coz that is what he did during his stays in NY.😍
I love him more in GOF. I find him so loveable tending to his seniors. He skillfully face every situations they are in even the intense ones. While maintaining his cool somehow when his patience is being compromised his not so good moods show.But it’s so okay with me because i came to love watching him doing adorkable gripes☺The episode with Choi JiWoo is my favorite like their episode in 3 Meals A Day. They have shown quite a loveable scenes in both episode and the way i see it LSJ is having a nice feeling toward Choi JiWoo though he is grumpy at some point.😉

8 years ago
Reply to  evez

Hee. I’m not surprised that you were surprised, Evez! I first crushed on Lee Seo Jin long before I set foot into the blogosphere, and by the time I started this blog and got to know you guys, Lee Seo Jin had long been relegated to a quiet corner of my fangirl heart, coz I’ve been preoccupied with other k-loves, as you know 😉 Also, since I don’t generally write about variety on the blog, and since Lee Seo Jin’s been creeping back into my consciousness ever so slowly and sneakily as I’ve checked out bits and pieces of his variety appearances, I never had occasion to mention him until I felt it was time to do this post.

Happily though, you seem well able to appreciate his appeal, even though you didn’t find him attractive in Lovers (but honestly, how could you not?? He was so hawt! XD ).. And YES, he is so gruffly sweet when he takes care of the halbaes, isn’t he? I love that he’ll go to great lengths just to make sure that they have an enjoyable time. Like that time in Greece when he went to restaurant after restaurant all afternoon long, just to make sure that the halbaes would have the perfect view during dinner without having to forego having drinks. He’s so sweet in his own way, seriously. <3

8 years ago

Ahh, there’s nothing like rekindling an old flame ^^

8 years ago
Reply to  소희

Indeed! 😀 I was quite smitten with Lee Seo Jin in Lovers, so it’s really nice to have him back on my radar. I just love that he quite simply just keeps on being his reluctant grumpy self, and ends up charming everyone anyway XD

8 years ago

I recently watched Love Forecast which Lee Seo Jin is in as supporting role. I find him super charming there (I never thought he’s attractive before, lol) I can understand why the female character loves him even though she should not

8 years ago
Reply to  kamoe

I haven’t seen Love Forecast yet but I can totally see how Lee Seo Jin might charm the socks of someone! 😉 Ok, my interest in the movie has just gone up – I should check it out sometime 🙂

8 years ago

Heh, ‘Lovers’ was my introduction to your Oppa as well. 🙂

He does seem to excell in just about everything, doesn’t he. I think one of Na PD’s missions in life is to make Oppa slip up with something.^^ I haven’t watched any of the variety shows he’s in as I find that recaps are a lot more entertaining than the actual shows. Variety in general is not my thing, except for the likes of Sketchbook, IS2 or I Am a Singer. It’s music, baby. *g*

This reminds me that I should make a move on with Wonderful Days. I liked the episodes I managed to watch before Yoo Na’s Street took over but there are just too many characters I’m not in the least bit interested in. The bane of your average Korean family drama.

8 years ago
Reply to  Timescout

Ah, wasn’t he swoony in Lovers?? <3 Ok ok, I know you don't usually swoon much, but, maybe..? XD

YES, he seems to be good at whatever he puts his hand to, even if he claims to NOT be good at it. I love how it gets Na PD's goat, it's hysterical seeing him trying to make Oppa slip up all the time! XD Also, I don't know what it is, but I find myself watching more variety now than before.. Maybe it's just a good way to unwind mindlessly.. and also maybe coz dramaland hasn't been serving up that many shows whose premises I find intriguing. The new crop of shows seems more promising though, so yay, hopefully!

I've heard some good things about Wonderful Days, but haven't checked it out, mainly coz of its length, and also because I watched a snippet of it and Taecyeon was quite hard to watch. 😛 I mean, I generally like Taec and I find his dorky buff persona quite endearing, but the boy can't really act, can he? XD

8 years ago
Reply to  kfangurl

Yes, he was rather yummy in Lovers. 🙂

I’ve tried watching k-variety but I find the shows really boring, I don’t get the humour either. Like I said, not my thing. Yup, dramaland has been bit of a drag lately so I’ve turned to jdramas on the interim. The new crop looks kinda promising but we’ll have to see how they turn out for real.

8 years ago
Reply to  Timescout

Eee! I’m so pleased that you found him yummy in Lovers!! I was effectively mesmerized, I tell ya! XD

I go through seasons with k-variety, I think. Sometimes I find it the perfect way to unwind, and am even quite engaged by the show(s) that I’m watching. At other times, I feel like I’ve had enough and it’s time to return to dramaland. I think at heart, I really do prefer dramas to variety. I just need the right dramas, is all. And the dramas that have been on our screens lately mostly haven’t quite captured me. I still intend to check several of them out, just to give them a fair chance to wow me. I’m just keeping my expectations low, for good measure 😉 And since I don’t have the bandwidth to really add more dramas to my plate right now, it looks like I’ll have the chance to see how the new shows land before I check ’em out myself. On the upside, that helps me to manage my expectations ^^