A little disclaimer before I start this piece – I have only watched three series starring Oh Jung-se. But even with just three series, I have been shocked at the acting range On Jung Se has displayed in the three roles. Be aware there are slight spoilers ahead for each of the shows.
I am currently watching The Good Detective. I finished Hot Stove League and watched It’s Okay to Not Be Okay when it aired in 2020. All three of the characters have been so different but Oh Jung-se has managed to portray each of the characters so well.
1. “It’s Okay To Not Be Okay”
In “It’s Okay to Not Be Okay,” Oh Jung-se plays Moon Sang-tae, the older brother of Kim Soo-hyun’s character. He plays a character with autism who witnessed his mother’s death as a teenager. Due to that he has a fear of butterflies and forces Soo-hyun to move every spring to run away from the butterflies. He is very reliant on his younger brother and basically cannot live without his brother. Sang-tae is also a fantastic artist who earns appreciation for his art as the series goes. While there is something to be said about actors without autism playing characters with autism, Oh Jung-se managed to pull off the role with sensitivity. He also did extensive research for the role.
A clip from “It’s Okay To Not Be Okay”:
2. “Hot Stove League”
The next drama I watched with him was Hot Stove League. In this drama, he plays Kwon Kyeong-min. He is the president of the Dreams baseball team and a junior managing director with Jaesong Group, which owns the Dreams, and the nephew of its chairman. In this drama he plays the antagonist in a way. He plans to shut down the Dreams baseball as it is unprofitable. He hires Namkoong Min as Baek Seung-soo who has a reputation for leading teams to championships and then the teams fold afterward. Kwon Kyeong-min wants to use Baek Seung-soo to help him destroy the team but then Seung-soo puts real effort into making the team successful. In this drama he successfully plays the ruthless president and manager who is only concerned about making money. He doesn’t care about anything but securing his profit. This was already vastly different from the innocent and pure Sang-tae.
A clip from “Hot Stove League”:
3. “The Good Detective”
This brings me to the most recent Oh Jung-se drama I watched which was The Good Detective. In this drama he plays Oh Jong-tae, a CEO of an investment company. While in Hot Stove League, he was the antagonist, here is the out and out villain of the show. The show revolves around a detective team trying to find the person who murdered a young female artist and a detective. Oh Jong-tae is pure evil. He murdered the artist after she rejected him. Not only that he tries to get rid of anyone who stands in his way including his cousin, Jang Seung-jo as Oh Ji-hyuk, a detective on the police force. He doesn’t stop even when the police close in on him. It’s such a vastly different role from the other two but he once more manages to play it so brilliantly.
A clip from “The Good Detective”:
All I can say is that I’m excited to watch Oh Jung-se’s other dramas and see what other fantastic performances he pulls off.
Which Oh Jung-se role is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below!