(This smile is why we love him. It’s charming, sincere and hot as hell.)
After bromancing Park Shi-hoo last week, it is only logical to follow up with the romancing. Shi-hoo is not a lead usurper for nothing. He has shattered not one OTP, but TWO. This is a phenomenon known as the “Park Shi-hoo Effect“. It results in heart theft and epic rises to stardom. Shi-hoo may seem a quiet, innocuous sort of fellow, but once you put him on screen, as Girlfriday says, “he’ll make a fan out of you”. How does a leading man stand a chance against the Park Shi-hoo Effect? Writers find their pens moving to accommodate his greatness. Leading ladies are swept away. Fangirls fall at his feet.
(Park Shi-hoo modeling for December 2011’s Marie Claire Korea. He looks so good with long hair.)
What are the makings of a good OTP?
1) Ingredient #1: Park Shi-hoo. He loves and honors his family. He is humble, intelligent, handsome, sexy, magnetic, talented. He has a beautiful smile, a great body and an intense work ethic. He treats cast, crew, colleagues and fans with respect. He appreciates his fans.
2) Ingredient #2: A powerful leading lady. She doesn’t necessarily have to play a character as quietly strong and courageous as Moon Chae-won’s Lee Se-ryung or as bubbly and determined as Kim So-yun’s Ma Hye-ri. She just has to equal Park Shi hoo’s ability to capture scenes and hearts. She needs to be a mature actress who is comfortable in her talent. This does not mean she has to be a noona to him like Hwan Tae-hee in Queen of Reversals. It means she must be a hard-working, gifted actress who takes her job seriously. It also means that she enjoys her work as much as Park Shi-hoo does.
3) Ingredient #3: Chemistry. As much as we like to say that it doesn’t matter, that two strong actors can overcome a lack of chemistry, it isn’t true. They can deliver a great performance. They can convince you that their characters love each other. They can make you laugh and cry and scream at your television screen. However, the pairing that lacks chemistry will never reach out their arms and grab your heart. Chemistry draws the actors to each other and that is what captures an audience.
Chemistry is not just sexual either, although that is a main component. Does the pair truly enjoy being together? Do the smiles that the script asks for begin as acting and then become real? Does the pair enjoy working together? Do we have affirmative replies to all of these? Then, ladies and gents, we have some sizzling chemistry.
(Speaking of chemistry, Park Shi-hoo’s radiant smile even made the camera happy while it was taking this photo.)
And now for the women we cruelly envy and for those who we shall masochistically pair with Park Shi-hoo because, sadly, they are more likely to be paired with him than we are.
Park Shi-hoo’s Ladies in K-dramas:
(Bae Doo-na as Jung Yoon-hee to Park Shi-hoo’s Yoo Joon-suk in How to Meet a Perfect Neighbor.)
A) Bae Doo-na: She is the first lucky lady to be stolen by second lead Park Shi-hoo. This pairing was the first time any K-drama viewer suffering from “Second Lead Syndrome” had been cured by the “Park Shi-hoo Effect“. (This also doubles as a syndrome as we K-drama lovers always have to be suffering from something. It’s part of the K-drama lovers’ code.)
Park Shi-hoo’s stony chaebol , Yoo Joon-suk, is won over the spunky Jung Yoon-hee, breaking the strict laws of K-drama land. Although I haven’t finished it yet, from what I’ve seen thus far, the chemistry is sizzling. Bae Doo-na reminds me of Lee Min-woo in that she lives her character. The emotions are so real, I find my facial expressions mirroring hers. Her scenes with Shi-hoo are electric. I feel like I’m invading their space when I’m watching. They make me squee when they’re together.
Bae Doo-na is such a natural actress who has such a huge range of expressions. I really adore screencapping her because she never fails to give interesting, emotive material. And the smiles she’s able to pull out of Park Shi-hoo are so real. Doo-na really knows how to bring out the best in her co-stars.
(Kim Nam-joo as Hwan Tae-hee to Park Shi-hoo’s Goo Yong-shik in Queen of Reversals.)
B) Kim Nam-joo: What a refined beautiful woman she is. Despite the ahjumma hair she sported most of this drama, Kim Nam-joo was a strong lead from her first moment on screen. She portrays a 30-something divorcée with grace, passion and dignity. She brought out a side of Park Shi-hoo I’d never seen before: pure, childish abandon. His character, Goo Yong-shik is an immature chaebal (a familiar trope), almost disappointed me in the beginning. I feared he would remain a narcissistic brat that would leave Park Shi-hoo’s talents untapped.
But what makes writer Park Ji-Eun (who also penned Queen of Housewives) so brilliant is how she twists the trope and delivers an adorable puppy in love instead of a perpetually arrogant jerk. Park Shi-hoo gave us sheer exuberance when he was onscreen with Kim Nam-joo. This noona-killer saved Hwan Tae-hee from the mire that her broken heart and marriage had left her in. Together they were adorable, heart-wrenching and sincere. That sincerity is what makes this drama.
(Kim So-yeon as Ma Hye-ri to Park Shi-hoo’s Seo In-woo in Prosecutor Princess.)
C) Kim So-yeon: Prosecutor Princess was my first exposure to Park Shi-hoo. Before this I thought that he was handsome enough and had an unusually captivating smile, but he didn’t stick in my mind. *gasp* I started the drama because Kim So-yeon looked so adorable in all of the posters and there was a cute guy right behind her.
I know many people think that her Ma Hye-ri was too over-the-top, but I was completely charmed by this actresses ability to poke fun at herself and at the stereotypes her characters represented. And the chemistry, oh my god, the chemistry. From that first hysterical moment in the hotel to the last scene by the lake, she and Park Shi-hoo were on fire. I could feel their relationship gradually change throughout the drama. As antagonistic acquaintances in the earlier episodes, they were delightfully hilarious.
As they fall for each other, he aware of his feelings, she completely unaware of hers, I crept along the romance path with them. And of course, my heart now belongs to Shi-hoo oppa. So does Ma Hye-ri’s.
(Moon Chae-won as Lee Se-ryung toPark Shi-hoo’s Kim Seung-yoo in The Princess’ Man.)
D) Moon Chae-won: Where do I begin? The writing and direction of this drama were so fabulous that it elevated the romance aspect to new heights. The romance was only one of many, many, many wonderful things about it. Not only do Park Shi-hoo and Moon Chae-won have amazing chemistry together, but with the rest of the cast and with the story. That means their chemistry was extra sizzly.
This couple is beautiful – pure eye-candy. But more than that, I could feel the actors grow closer as the characters grew closer. The love between the characters blossomed as the actors became friends. It was obvious that they loved their characters, the script and the work they were doing. And HOT DAMN, was Park Shi-hoo one sexy, deeply-troubled rogue assassin. (I’m sure Moon Chae-won thought so, too.)
Watching Se-ryung bring Seung-yoo back from despair really embodied the definition of love: accepting a person in his entirety. Working for him and together with him. Having faith and understanding.
(On a side note: I Moon Chae-won’s speaking voice. I actually didn’t recognize her face as the step-sister from Shining Inheritance when I watched The Princess’ Man. It was her lovely voice that gave it away. She could read me a bedtime story any day.)
Park Shi-hoo Fantasy Leading Ladies:
(Talk about a perfect body!)
A) Ha Ji-won: If we were to stick Park Shi-hoo in an action drama or film, this would be his lady love, hands down. Ha Ji-won has the most spectacular muscle structure and wonderful physical prowess. Put that together with Park Shi-hoo’s glorious body and physical ability and you have one kick-ass (literally and figuratively) couple.
(I’m totally straight, but I’d be a liar if I said that I wouldn’t stare at her if I saw her on the street.)
B) Song Hye-kyo: I admit, I chose this one just for the pretty. Can you imagine what their babies would look like? She is as graceful as he is masculine. Her classical beauty belies her spunkiness. As an actress, she’s full of surprises and I really enjoy that about her. I think Park Shi-hoo could really draw a lot of wonderful moments out of her and she would foil him rather nicely.
(My post, my fantasy. Who said his leading lady had to be Asian, huh?)
C) Raine: The woman is talented, Raine is. She plays the cello, she writes blogs, she watches K-drama. She learns languages, she loves cats, she teaches kids. She loves Park Shi-hoo. Who better to pair with our leading man, hm?
D) Sohn Ye-jin: I cannot express how wonderful I think this woman is. She is completely free when acting. She, like Kim So-yeon, brings a refined quality to her acting. I especially love her comedic skills: innumerable silly facial expressions and impeccable timing. Park Shi-hoo little-used comedic ability would be well show-cased with Ye-jin by his side. Plus, she’s a hottie.
(KAWAII!!! I know it’s Japanese, but that’s what I think when I see her! Kawaii desu-ne?)
E) Shin Min-ah: How can a woman be so pretty and so adorable all at the same time? I haven’t seen Shi-hoo with someone adorable, yet. Imagine puppy Shi-hoo from Queen of Reversals with cutie Min-ah. Those drama recaps would be filled with the word “cute”. And because she’s a solid actress, they could pull off something as fun-loving and interesting as Flower Boy RAWRyum, er, Ramyun Shop.
Park Shi-hoo Reader Suggested Leading Ladies:
To be filled in by YOU!
Let’s hear it people. Who do YOU want to see Park Shi-hoo paired with? Why do you want to see them together? Would it be for the insane amount of hotness? Would it be for their combined acting prowess? Would it be for the hilarity that would ensue? Let me know, and I’ll stick her in!
Park Shi-hoo Quotes
When asked what he thought when he first found out Moon Chae Won would be the female lead, Park Shi-hoo replied, “I was happy. We already knew each other…And because Moon Chae Won is pretty, I believed that I could portray the emotions [of a tragic love] well.” – Park Shi-hoo
End Park Shi-hoo the Miniseries: Leading Ladies
The Princess’ Man OST is one of my favorite OSTs. It relies mostly on instrumental music and the k-pop songs used are tastefully chosen. Now all we need is the COMPOSER‘s name and we’ll be fine.
From the 2011 K-Drama The Princess’ Man starring Park Shi-hoo and Moon Chae-won:
“Waiting” – Ha Dong Kyun and Lee Jung