Whether he’s playing a brooding, furious samurai or a kind and cute pediatrician, Yoo Yeon Seok has this innate ability to get under the skin of his characters, and what makes them even more appealing is how relatable they are.
In his recent slow-motion office romance, “The Interest Of Love,” Yoo Yeon Seok plays Ha Sang Soo, an awkward and shy bank employee who is in love with his co-worker Ahn Soo Young (Moon Ga Young). Sang Soo has no worldly ambitions. “I just want to be average,” he says, like a man who just wants to blend in and be unnoticed. But love does strange things to people, and when he wears his heart on his sleeve, his carefree life is flooded with emotional turmoil. Yoo Yeon Seok as Sang Soo is the proverbial boy next door, “Mr. “Reliable” you take home to mom. But he is also someone who is taken for granted. But while we wait to see what will happen and whether Soo Young will return those feelings in “The Interest of Love,” here are six dramas that will give us an insight into the versatile actor and his craft.
“Hospital Playlist” Seasons 1 & 2
The five doctors in their mid-40s have been best friends since medical school and remain inseparable as they head different departments at Yulje Medical Center. Ahn Jung Won (Yoo Yeon Seok) loves children, loves God, and loves to serve those in need. Ahn Jung Won, a gentle and thoughtful pediatrician and philanthropist who runs the Daddy’s Long Legs charity for underprivileged children, wants to enter the priesthood because that is his calling. However, his carefully laid plans go awry when he meets Jang Gyeo Ul (Shin Hyun Been) at the hospital, much to the delight of his mother and friends. Jung Won, when he’s not prone to emergencies, also twirls his mallets because he’s the drummer in the band the quintet formed, and their jam sessions together are sacred.
Jung Won has many wonderful personality aspects, whether it’s his stethoscope with a crocodile doll hanging from it, hiding candy from his friends but sharing it with his patients because he’s a reliable guy and a caring and awkward friend, and of course his bickering bromance . with Joon Wan (Jung Kyung Ho), his best friend and roommate. Jung Won is a reliable guy and his portrayal of Yoo Yeon Sook ticks all the boxes. “Hospital Playlist” is a dose of happiness that celebrates friendship and everything in between.
A menacing and ruthless samurai with a brave heart, Samurai Gu Dong Mae (Yoo Yeon Seok) is a member of Japan’s Black Dragon Society. He despises the Joseon regime for its class division, discrimination and corrupt practices against the weaker section of society. Dong Mae, son of a butcher, had it rough. Abandoned by his own country, he flees to Japan to return as a mercenary with superior fighting skills. He defies death, and despite being a rebel with a cause, his cheeky sensibility only comes to the fore with Ae Shin (Kim Tae Ri), who has never looked down on him. Dong Mae may be defined as a villain and has doubts about being bad, but he is a man who was shaped by his time, where your worth is determined by the family and class you are born into.
Yoo Yeon Seok is in for a golden performance in this drama as a tough yet tragic yakuza. He’s the underdog you can’t help but shed a tear for. Yoo Yeon Seok showcases his acting range and eloquently conveys the fury, pathos and pain of Dong Mae. And the love-hate dynamic between Dong Mae and Eugene Choi (Lee Byung Hun) is tense but funny.
Filled with first love, friendship, dreams and aspirations, the “Reply” series embraces viewers with its comforting nostalgia. The year 1994 marks significant events from the rise of the first generation K-pop group Seo Taiji and the Boys to the birth of the Korean Basketball League. Part of a group of college students on a journey of self-discovery, Yoo Yeon Seok plays Chil Bong, a handsome and warm-hearted freshman at Yonsei University and a rising star of the baseball team. He’s also a smiley face who only has eyes for his bratty friend Sung Na Jung (Go Ara).
This was the show that catapulted Yoo Yeon Seok to fame. His portrayal of the charming Chil Bong and his wonderful performance won hearts and fans. He’s so charming in this role that you can’t help but root for him, even when he’s heartbroken.
“I feel like I couldn’t stop because all my suffering so far would have been for nothing. And I don’t have confidence that I would be better at anything else if I quit.” Headstrong, hot-tempered but skilled young doctor Kang Dong Joo (Yoo Yeon Seok) saw his father die due to the apathy of the medical staff when he was a teenager. Dong Joo, encouraged by a stranger in the hospital to turn his rage into something productive, he ends up in the same hospital, but this time as a medical intern.
Despite his talent, he is transferred to the dilapidated Doldam Hospital, run by the brilliant surgeon Dr. Kim (Han Suk Kyu). Dong Joo is conflicted between his stubborn ambitions and values. He wants to succeed at any cost, but he also has a strong sense of truth and justice. As it develops under the leadership of Dr. Kim, Dong Joo realizes that his mission is to selflessly serve as a doctor and the rest will take care of itself. Yoo Yeon Seok often credited “Dr. Romantic’ as another show that helped boost his credibility as an actor, and his portrayal of Dong Joo’s struggles strikes an emotional chord.
“Warm and Cozy”
Smug and easy-going rich boy Baek Gun Woo (Yoo Yeon Seok) is a capricious man. He opens a restaurant in Jeju to be close to the object of his affection. He’s a talented cook, but he only cooks when he’s in the mood and has no qualms about being a brat. The man knows how to confuse everyone including Jung Joo (Kang Sora) with whom he is constantly bickering. But Gun Woo has a side to him that’s endearing, whether it’s his jealousy towards Jung Joo when she catches the attention of other men or the contented smile on his face when he immerses himself in cooking. Yoo Yeon Seok is endlessly charming as Gun Woo. Even though he’s obnoxious on screen, you can’t help but smile at his antics.
“Gu Family Book”
The historical fantasy series “Gu Family Book” tells the story of half-human, half-gumi Kang Chi (Lee Seung Gi) who struggles with his identity. His friend-turned-enemy is the cold and cynical Park Tae Seok (Yoo Yeon Seok), whose sword fighting and martial arts skills are unmatched. Although Yoo Yeon Seok may not have been the main character of the series, he brought such gravitas to his character that it was a different reason to watch this drama.