Choi Jin Hyuk will begin serving his mandatory military enlistment next month. Let us look back fondly on some of his dramas to date.
Gu Family Book
Full disclosure: Not only did I not make it all the way through this drama, but I also only watched the episodes with Choi Jin Hyuk in them. From what I saw, it’s not surprising that the role of gumiho, Wol Ryung became something of a career renaissance for Choi Jin Hyuk, even though he only appeared in a handful of episodes. Wol Ryung was not only fantastically cute and sweet in his good incarnation, he was also pretty hot when he went evil. Too bad about the rest of the show. – Only
Choi Jin Hyuk was intimidating and cold as Kim Won, the older brother of the teenage male lead, Kim Tan (Lee Min Ho). In an attempt to consolidate his control over the family conglomerate, he sends Tan into exile in the US, and is hostile when the teenager returns to Korea. Even the woman he loves seemed to tread carefully around him. It was only at the very end of the series, when he had given up on personal happiness for the sake of business, that emotion actually breaks through his hard mask in spectacular fashion. – Junggugeo Kaenada
Playing Chang Min, chaebol ex-husband to Jin Hee (Song Ji Hyo) and fellow medical intern, Choi Jin Hyuk alternated convincingly between being an ass to Jin Hee and showing genuine concern for her. His increasing jealousy over the rapport between Jin Hee and their boss is super entertaining, and his sentimental memories of happier times is sad, but cute. Best of all, Chang Min matures into an apologetic heartthrob who Jin Hee must pursue. Choi Jin Hyuk was helped by amazing chemistry with Song Ji Hyo, but he hit all the right notes in both comedic and dramatic moments. – JK
Fated to Love You
Daniel was a man of many faces throughout this drama’s 20 episode run. Initially, the female lead, Mi Young (Jang Na Ra) mistakes him for a priest, and he acts correspondingly helpful and sympathetic. When Daniel reveals his true identity as a world renowned designer, it is part of his charm offensive in pursuing Mi Young, and becoming a thorn in the side of rival, Gun (Jang Hyuk). After helping Mi Young become a promising designer and artist in her own right, Daniel becomes the creepy suitor who just won’t give up. In the end, Mi Young chooses Gun, and a muted Daniel focuses on his newly discovered younger sister. Throughout all these incarnations of Daniel, Choi Jin Hyuk offered variations on cute, but bland. Thank goodness Daniel’s wardrobe in the first half of the series was so flamboyant. – JK
Pride and Prejudice
In his first leading role in a major network drama, Choi Jin Hyuk played Goo Dong Chi, an incorruptible prosecutor with a yen for justice. We can get into his character, but suffice it to say, he spent 99.5% of the drama looking intensely worried, and the other 0.5% being flirty with his junior prosecutor, Han Yeol Moo (Baek Jin Hee). The most important detail to note here is that despite the muddled writing, this show was still worth watching because his weird haircut made him look super cute. – Only
Readers: Which Choi Jin Hyuk drama will you watch on repeat until his return to civilian life?
Can he possibly get any more buff?