Park Bo Gum, who is playing the leading role of Sa Hye Jun in 'Record of Youth', can easily be considered as a top Hallyu star with multiple feathers in his cap. Not only is he incredibly talented, versatile, visually pleasing, an actor as well as a musician, he is also unimaginably humble and kind. As much as he is revered in the industry for his skills, he is loved even more for his character and personality. He debuted in 2011 with the movie BLIND featuring Kim Haneul and Yoo Seungho, which makes it almost 10 years since he started out and he has bejeweled all these years with the gems of his brilliant roles.
The Park Bo Gum we see in one drama is never the same as another, yet his innocent smile and unmatched skill remain consistent. Ahead of his military enlistment, he also released a whole album full of heart-warming and soulful music earlier this year, titled ‘blue bird’. While you wait for the next episode of Record of Youth, here are 5 K-Dramas featuring Park Bo Gum that you can watch!
The Reply series, directed by Shin Won Ho and written by Lee Woo Jeong is perhaps the most widely popular television series in Korea. For international fans too, the Reply series is a must-watch for it divulges into the nitty-gritty of Korean culture and life in the 80s in Korea. Reply 1988 is the last one in the series and boasts an incomparable cast featuring Girl’s Day’s Hyeri, Ryu Jun Yeol, Go Kyung Pyo, Lee Dong Hwi, Ahn Jae Hong, and of course, Park Bo Gum. Park Bo Gum plays Choi Taek, a genius in the game of baduk who drops out of school to go professional. Over the span of 20 beautiful episodes, the show takes us on a cathartic ride, navigating the emotional depths of relationships young and old. All the characters feel incredibly real and the viewer almost is integrated into a one of a kind community, albeit from a fly-on-the-wall perspective. Bo Gum plays his role brilliantly, establishing himself as a household name from the get-go. He has all the peculiarities and all the loveliness of the character he is playing and keeps us guessing right until the end as to who actually ends up with Deok Sun. He might be a genius but we also watch him learn about the world around him. Reply 1988 is “coming of age” done right in every sense of the term. His role as Choi Taek won him tvN’s Asia Star Award in 2016 and locked his position as an emerging Hallyu star while also giving him the nickname “Nation’s Little Brother” in his homeland.
Airing right before ‘Reply 1988’, Park Bo Gum displayed immense talent as a character that no one would have imagined him as. ‘Hello Monster’ tells the story of one serial killer, numerous vengeful murders, two estranged brothers, and a beautiful budding relationship in the background. The foreground is occupied by the investigation Lee Hyeon (Seo In Guk) takes on himself in order to find his younger brother as well as the murderer who took everything away from him and seems to have reappeared only as a form of beckoning to him. Lee Hyeon takes the challenge head-on. Park Bo Gum played an established criminal justice lawyer under the name of Jung Sun Ho, albeit with some dark secrets. He exhibits psychopathic tendencies that are highlighted in the first half of the series while the second half brings out the sadness behind those wistful eyes. If you were to watch the drama for the second time, it’s amazing to notice how Bo Gum maintains both of those feelings, with the pain still lingering behind his firm and sometimes even scary gaze right from the first time he appears. The second time around, with full knowledge of the entire story, viewers can see just how well he portrayed not just the character but also his history. His portrayal earned him a bag full of awards including the “Best Supporting Actor” and the “Popularity Actor Award” at the 2015 KBS Drama Awards.
If you thought Park Bo Gum looked like he jumped straight out of a romance manga, you couldn’t have been any more accurate. Bo Gum plays the role of Lee Yoon Hoo in this adaptation of a Japanese manga 'Nodame Cantabile' by Tomoko Ninomiya. Yoon Hoo is an extremely talented cellist and sadly, also the second lead of the drama. He shows tremendous charm as a musician, being one himself and therefore completely delivering on the intricacies of the character. Fun fact about this is that Bo Gum played the cello himself during the show! Despite playing the second lead, by now it is no surprise to any K-Drama fan that the second lead is oftentimes more charming or even interesting than the main lead. Park Bo Gum expresses a whole range of emotions naturally and most of all, speaks with his eyes. 'Naeil’s Cantabile' is one of his earliest dramas and definitely worth watching even if you go into it solely for Bo Gum.
'Moonlight Drawn By Clouds'
Bo Gum landed his biggest role so far right after Reply 1988 in the historical drama “Moonlight Drawn By Clouds’ opposite Kim Yoo Jung. Park Bo Gum plays the Crown Prince Lee Yeong who is smitten by a supposed eunuch on his service. Hong Ra On (played admirably by Yoo Jung) is the said “eunuch” but is actually disguised as a man to protect her life. She’s sold into this profession but luckily, jumps all hoops as the Crown Prince appoints her as his personal eunuch. The two inevitably get close as the Prince comes to terms with his unavoidable feelings for Ra On, notwithstanding what gender they are. All he knows in certainty is his sincere heart. Even when he eventually figured out that Ra On is a woman (a very beautiful one at that), his feelings remain unwavering. The background of the narrative is concerned with political intrigue, making this the perfect rom-com period drama. This is not, however, the first time Park Bo Gum has appeared in a historical story. He previously appeared in the popular Korean film ‘The Admiral: Roaring Currents’ playing the role of Su Bong. His role in ‘Moonlight Drawn By Clouds’ earned him huge accolades and awards to go with it. He won the Best Actor Award, Netizen Award, and the Best Couple Award along with Kim Yoo Jung at the 2016 KBS Drama Awards. The show altogether bagged a whopping number of 8 awards at the show.
Two worlds collide again and again in this beautiful melodrama starring Park Bo Gum and Song Hye Kyo. As is already obvious, the aesthetic of this drama is off the charts. The story follows the fateful push and pulls between Jin Hyuk (Park Bo Gum) and Soo Hyun (Song Hye Kyo) as they fight against the world to protect their love. Dynamics of age, class, and societal status are explored, keeping the mood mellow. The flow of the story is slow but steady, poetic yet understandable. A whole lot of healing is facilitated by the two characters being right by each other, culminating in a beautiful happy ending. What started as a chance encounter somewhere as far from home as the idyllic landscape of Cuba comes full circle in this drama, complemented perfectly by the electric chemistry between the leads. A soothing experience of the process of love is what this drama entails and it is completely worth the watch. Even though on the surface, it does not look eventful, the drama is rife with emotions and the constant flux of synergy between the characters. Bo Gum is charming as ever even when he’s playing nothing more than an ordinary man with a heart full of love to give.