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. 😉
Ra.D (라디) – I’m in Love (Piano RMX)
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
THE GALLERY OF OPPA
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??
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?
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.
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??
THE FINAL WORD
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.