Ever since I started recapping Protect the Boss, I noticed that the drama is so brilliant it’s roping in viewers by its excellent storytelling and spot on acting by the two leads Ji Sung and Choi Kang Hee, but almost everyone professes not to be familiar with either actors or their previous works. Let’s start with a fun fact about them – they’ve technically worked on the same drama before in 2006’s Beating Heart, a MBC experimental omnibus drama composed of six chapters with six pairs of directors and screenwriters each team taking one chapter consisting of two episodes. But they were not in the same episodes. Too bad, because PTB shows they have exquisitely fine-tuned chemistry.
Choi Kang Hee has been acting since the mid-90s and her most recent drama was My Sweet Seoul with Lee Seon Kyun. I’m not as familiar with her, having only seen her in one drama, which I will discuss later. But Ji Sung I’m quite familiar with. He got his start in 1999 with KAIST, hit his big break in All In with Lee Byung Hyun, is probably best known in the Hallyu world for Save the Last Dance for Me, but never became an actor I liked until he came back from military service and did New Heart.
I absolutely love New Heart (even if Jo Jae Hyun owned the drama from beginning to end) and is the only Ji Sung drama I would recommend if anyone wants to watch more of his works. Since then I suffered through pretty much all of Kim Soo Ro for him but couldn’t bring myself to watch Royal Family. So right now I’m just pleased as a peach that he followed up three tepid dramas in a row with this most excellent drama to remind me why I like him as an actor.
But if anyone wants to know which drama Ji Sung looks to best in, because who are we kidding, he looks like a broccoli head in PTB, then that would hands down be Swallow the Sun with Sung Yuri. I also watched all of StS, which I personally renamed Swallow My Brain because it was So Damn Stupid. But Ji Sung? Was so hot in it, you can probably cook eggs on him. Have some pictures to drool over. And then decide: shall I watch a stupid action melodrama for hot mopey Ji Sung, or watch an brilliant medical drama for not-hot-but-oh-so-adorable-and-charming Ji Sung. *psst, pick the latter*
I also like Ji Sung a lot because by all accounts he’s a great guy in real life. He has a longtime girlfriend, actress Lee Bo Young, which while neither has officially confirmed it, they’ve been photographed all over the place and it’s just accepted as an open secret.
He was recently on a new variety show called Healing Camp, and Blue so wonderfully wrote up the episode which you can read here. I encourage you all to check it out, because it gives such a heartwarming and funny peek into who Ji Sung really is when he’s not acting.
Lastly, to convince you all to pick the good drama, have a New Heart MV. Ji Sung had amazing chemistry with his leading lady Kim Min Jung in this drama.
New Heart MV:
My only Choi Kang Hee experience prior to PTB was in Thank You (an incredibly moving drama with Jang Hyuk and Gong Hyo Jin), where she had a cameo role in episode 1 as Hyuk’s ex-girlfriend. Watch the video below of her final scene in episode 1, and just marvel at how different she was playing the character of a doctor knowing her time on earth is up, but unable to let go of the guilt she feels for having accidentally transfused HIV-infected blood into the body of a 7 year old girl. Yes, be prepared to cry in Thank You if you elect to watch it.