It’s official, you guys. I am officially very much taken with Park Bo Gum.
Which, if I’m being honest, is a sentence I never thought I’d write.
I mean, I’d always found him pleasant enough, and on the extreme end of pretty, with his perfect skin and beautiful features, but to be officially, undeniably, strongly, hearts-in-my-eyes smitten with him?
Now that’s something I never saw coming.
THE JOURNEY TO SPAZZ
1. The Non-encounter: Gaksital
I have to confess that the first time Park Bo Gum graced my screen, I paid him no attention whatsoever. In fact, when I recently discovered that he’d been in Gaksital (a show that I loved, no less), my first reaction was, What? Where??
But just like my non-notice of Lee Jong Suk in Prosecutor Princess, the evidence speaks for itself.
Park Bo Gum was indeed in Gaksital, and he did very good job of the role too, by all accounts. I.. have no memory of it whatsoever. I was too busy being blown away by Joo Won‘s compelling performance. Whoops.
2. Ooh, hello: Wonderful Days
The second time Park Bo Gum graced my screen, was in 2014’s Wonderful Days, a show that I watched mainly for Lee Seo Jin. This time, I definitely noticed him. I was even somewhat taken with how he played Young Lee Seo Jin.
But his character was written to be the stiff, mostly uncommunicative sort, which made him relatively inaccessible. Plus, I forgot about him soon enough when Lee Seo Jin showed up to take over the adult version of the character.
I mean, I’d always had a soft spot for Oppa ever since I saw him play a hawt gangster in Lovers (2006), ahem.
3. Mixed feelings: Cantabile Tomorrow
I had mixed feelings about Park Bo Gum’s character in Cantabile Tomorrow and about the show itself, so I guess my feelings of ambivalence just sort of extended to how I felt about Park Bo Gum as an actor as well.
I thought he was solid, but I didn’t feel like he was all that special. (I’m sorry, Park Bo Gum-sshi!! I take it all back now!)
4. Sitting up: Answer Me, 1988
Many of you would know that I first sat up and took serious notice of Park Bo Gum while watching – and loving – Answer Me, 1988.
More deets in the (epic) review itself, but long story short, not only did I come away from the show convinced that Park Bo Gum is a very talented actor, I even found him occasionally rather swoony. I mean, those kisses were delivered very, uh, competently. Ahem.
I am completely guilty of hitting replay more than once. Or five times.
4a. Ooh, he sings!
In the thick of watching Answer Me, 1988, I chanced on this completely adorable video of Park Bo Gum singing Jingle Bell Rock with his Music Bank co-host Irene, complete with dance choreography, excellent pitch and the most spazz-worthy cheeky face.
I also am completely guilty of hitting replay more than once. I think I must’ve watched this clip about ten times. Not even exaggerating, you guys.
Unfortunately KBS World doesn’t allow me to embed the vid in this post, but you can watch the adorable on YouTube here – so that you can spazz right along with me.
Squee!! Isn’t he just completely squishy-spazzy adorable???
5. Involuntary hearts-in-eyes: Moonlight Drawn By Clouds
Despite the spazzy adorable, I was relatively quick to move on after Answer Me 1988. I mean, I’m a big-hearted fangirl with lots of love for all the adorable puppies. So I.. sorta filed Park Bo Gum away as one more adorable puppy in my collection of adorable puppies.
Little did I know what was about to hit me, heh.
Several months passed, and Moonlight Drawn By Clouds dropped its Bombastic trailer, which is how Park Bo Gum effortlessly turned me into a squealing puddle of goo in a minute and 20 seconds flat.
The audacious dance moves; that cheeky face; that bone-deep groovin’ sense of rhythm; I could hardly believe how good he was.
And just coz we can, let’s watch the awesome again, shall we?
Eee!!! So Cute!!
Those of you who’ve been following me on Instagram would know that beyond that trailer, I am completely blown away by and totally smitten with Park Bo Gum in Moonlight. He’s just completely hitting it out of the ballpark in literally every area.
From the comic beats to the weightier emotions, Park Bo Gum consistently nails it and then some, and I find myself completely sucked into his character and his world.
He not only makes Yeong feel like a living, breathing, real person, he makes it so easy to engage with Yeong’s emotional landscape, with his remarkable gift of morphing microexpressions.
I feel like I never have to guess what Yeong is feeling, because Park Bo Gum’s amazing control, combined with his wonderfully expressive face, practically spells out – very specifically and oh-so-eloquently – every flicker of emotion for me.
Just take this example of Yeong’s shifting expression in episode 8. This entire range of expression plays out on his face in a matter of seconds, literally.
Seriously, how is Park Bo Gum this good??
Add on the swoon factor – and he is so very handsome and melty as Yeong – and I’m toast. Very happy, very smitten toast. <3
EDIT: I’ve written my review of Moonlight Drawn By Clouds! You can find it here. 🙂
As with all the galleries on the site, I’ve put in several rounds of intense research (oh the hardship!), to present to you what I feel are the best available shots of Park Bo Gum.
I’ve found that beyond the sunny, smiley Park Bo Gum that I’d felt most familiar with before, there are many other shades of Park Bo Gum to admire.
And since it’s almost impossible to take a bad picture of Bogummy, what with his perfectly perfect features, there are, uh, a lot of photos in this gallery.
Boy Next Door
Because Park Bo Gum’s got such a strongly wholesome boy-next-door sort of image, it made sense for our appreciation journey to start here.
I love how clean-cut and approachable he comes across in these photos. It literally feels like he could be living next door to you; y’know, if your next door neighbor happened to be impossibly pretty, with perfect features like this.
My favorite shots in this set are the 2 cat photos, because kittyyyy~ <3 And Bogummy looks just as cute as the kitty too. Squish.
I also really like the 5th and 6th photos. In the 5th shot, he looks like he’s literally peering into your door’s peephole after ringing your doorbell, heh. And in the shot after that, he looks like he’s welcoming you into his home in turn. Yes, I’m taking this boy-next-door thing quite literally, heh.
Before being hit with Bogummy Fever, this was another major impression I had of Park Bo Gum: that’s he’s just perfectly pleasant, at all times. In the thick of Bogummy Fever, I still find this to be true, and here are a couple of shots that I couldn’t categorize any other way.
If I had to pick a favorite, it’d be the last shot in this set. He looks so fresh, squeaky-clean and wholesome, and that little smile just gives me warm fuzzies.
Still on the relatively familiar side of things, here are a few shots of cheery adorable Park Bo Gum. I love how, when he smiles, he looks genuinely happy, like it’s all bubbling up from deep inside. Love.
This first shot is my favorite in this set. The white T and blue jeans come together to add a touch of rugged to his clean-cut boyish grin that I really, really like.
Now this is a shade of Park Bo Gum that I’ve only recently come to know, and I must say, I’m digging it a heckuva lot.
The degree of naughty varies across the set, but the wicked cheeky is present in all of these pix, and I love it. It amazes me somewhat, that the naughty-devilish-cheeky becomes him this much, since he also wears the clean-cut wholesome vibe so well.
I find it hard to pick favorites in this section since I love this vibe on him so much. But I do really, really like this first pic; that gaze looks so perfectly cheeky, and the way his hair kinks upwards like a little pair of baby horns is just right on the money.
I also love the shot of him in the light gray sports jacket and the slightly mussed-up hair. That gentle smirk, and the subtly bedroomy eyes, just come together in a swoony package of sexy, seriously. <3
A touch of rebel
Given how majorly wholesome and pleasant Park Bo Gum’s image is, it was surprising to me, that he wears the touch of rebel so well.
Of course, as I see more of his acting range on my screen, I’m much less surprised – he just seems to be able to pull off any vibe, really. I must say, though, the corner of my fangirl heart that’s got a soft spot for bad-boy rebels, is quite pleased, heh.
The touch of defiance varies across the shots, but in every one of these, I found the tinge of steel in his gaze unmistakeable.
In terms of favorites, I had to pick the second gif, just because it’s hard to beat Park Bo Gum in motion. For an actual picture, it’d have to be the one where he’s wearing a gray jacket and just squinting into the distance.
Love the slightly mussed up hair and the subtle strength in his jaw. It just says Understated Rebel, to me.
This section is a close cousin to the touch of rebel in terms of his intensity, just with less defiance and more sexy.
I mean, tell me a year ago that I’d soon find Park Bo Gum sexy, and I would’ve thought you were crazy. But now, I’m completely on board with the sexy, and flailing enthusiastically to boot. Let’s just say, I geddit now. 😉
Tis extra hard to pick a favorite when Park Bo Gum’s smoldering in every pic, but I must confess that I’m extra taken with the simmering hot in the Elle shots, even though I really don’t like the gray shirt & shorts combo. But, maybe it was the hot that necessitated the shorts?
Serious & Intent
Compared to the previous section, this section is basically less sexy, more serious, but with the same intensity – and I dig it just as much.
I don’t know what it is, I think I like Serious Park Bo Gum more than Smiley Park Bo Gum – even though, make no mistake, I think he’s got a lovely smile. Somehow I feel like I’m seeing closer to the real him, when he’s serious. But maybe that’s just me.
My pick for favorite in this section is the black and white shot of him, with his elbows resting on a table, his hair a little mussed (I’m noticing a trend here – I seem to like his hair mussed up), and an unmistakeable strength and intensity in his gaze. Likey.
This section is in the same vein of serious, but a little less intense, and a little more reflective.
And just like serious Park Bo Gum, thoughtful Park Bo Gum makes me feel like I’m seeing beyond the smiles and cheer, just a little deeper and closer to the real him. Again, maybe that’s just me. 😉
My favorite pic in this set, is the one of him in a cream turtleneck and dark gray overcoat, where he’s leaning against the wall, his hair a little mussed (again! I think I have a definite weakness for his mussed hair), and his expression pensive. So beautiful. <3
This could quite possibly be my favorite section to rule them all – I mean, it’s pretty darn hard to beat Dreamy Sensuous Park Bo Gum. Even Cheeky Park Bo Gum and Touch of Rebel Park Bo Gum combined can’t quite take him down, heh.
If you read my Answer Me 1988 review, you’d already know that I find there’s something very sensuous about Park Bo Gum’s lips.
I mean, yes, they are sexy in the kissy sense, but honestly, it’s way more than that. They are so tremendously, meticulously expressive, that all he has to do is smile a slow smile, and I’m toast, just at the lips. I kid you not.
Now, add on the luscious dreamy vibe, and I’m double toast.
In terms of favorites, I have to say, the pair of black and white pix of him on the bed, being all sleepy sensuous, win the grand prize for getting a.. visceral reaction outta me. Ahem. But big shout-out too, to the very last pic, coz it’s just so, so beautiful. He’s so, so beautiful. <3
I love a man in a sharp suit, and Park Bo Gum proves that he cleans up real nice.
Better yet, this section showcases Park Bo Gum in almost every variation that we’ve seen so far – cheery, serious, dreamy, smoldery – just wearing a sharp suit. Now who says you can’t have your cake and eat it too? 😉
My fave is this first pic for the wonderfully bright smile he flashes. Also, love his hair away from his face (see, it’s not just the mussed hair that I like!), and the tux has such gorgeously clean lines.
Another pic I really, really like is the second to last pic, where he’s sitting on a stool wearing a gray suit. Love the strong gaze and thoughtful expression. Also, love that his hair is swept off his face and yet, it still possesses a touch of muss. Again, eating my cake. Chomp.
Another lovely surprise (for me, anyway), is that beyond the whole boy-next-door vibe, Park Bo Gum does have a rugged side to him.
I love these photos coz they showcase both facets to him; he’s still completely clean-cut and wholesome, but there’s also a distinct touch of masculinity and strength about him. Ooh. Likey muchey.
My fave in this set is this first pic. The sweater isn’t exactly rugged – in fact, it even looks a little snuggly – but the strong gaze and the assertive jaw sure are, and I love the strong-yet-snuggly vibe.
I love an athletic man, and these shots show that side of Park Bo Gum quite nicely indeed. Given that we mostly don’t get to see his strong sporty side very much, I can only say, God bless Montbell for choosing Park Bo Gum as their spokesperson.
I really like the second pic of this set, coz he looks a little bit fierce – plus, I’m digging the bare arms too, heh.
Y’know what, scratch that; all the pix of him in that sleeveless (read: bare-armed) hoodie are wins for me. I also really like the second to last pic – again, coz of the intense, fierce sort of vibe he’s channeling. Very nice indeed.
Hints of skin
It’s likely that the world isn’t yet ready for Shirtless Park Bo Gum, so there isn’t a Shirtless section in this gallery, I’m afraid. However, there are a couple of shots that hint at the, er, possibilities, that I thought you guys would be interested to see.
I love the second pic for his bright smile and fun vibe, and also, coz it showcases his biceps really nicely. Cough. Also, love the third pic for how much fun he seems to be having.
Bogummy looks adorable in glasses, and I love this section just for how cute he looks geeking out in ’em.
My favorites are the cello pix, coz I love a man who plays music (ok, I don’t know if he plays cello, but he does play piano), and the open-collared white shirt, combined with the black vest and pants and that gravity-defying hair, is just all kinds of quirky-cute sexy. <3
Sometimes magazine photoshoots have really odd and quirky concepts, and these are just a handful of shots where Bogummy had to work a weird one.
I like the last pic for the way he looks like he’s about to eat his hand – all while that deeply V-necked sweater shows us a hint of chest. Ahem. What a tease.
Candid / Casual
I love candid/casual shots coz they allow us a bit of a closer peek at the real person behind all the styling and packaging, and looking at Park Bo Gum’s candid/casual shots, I’ve come to 2 conclusions.
1, that it’s probably really hard to take a bad picture of him. He looks great pretty much in every photo. 2, that he really does seem as wholesome, sweet, cheery and nice as his image indicates.
My fave is this first pic. I have no idea if this is really him in high school, or if he was in uniform for some event, but I really dig that intensity in his gaze and the mussed up hair. How does he look this good, even candid??
THE FINAL WORD
All in all, I must say that I’m more impressed with Park Bo Gum, the more I see of him.
I mean, besides the glorious pretty, there’s also the melty-swoony and the outstanding emoting when he acts. And he sings! And dances! And swims! Plus, he looks completely comfortable with a sword, and even wields it with style. Seriously, is there anything Park Bo Gum can’t do??
Maybe not. Maybe there isn’t anything Bogummy can’t do. After all, he easily and effortlessly took me from pleasantly indifferent viewer to full-on flailing puddle when I wasn’t even looking. 😉