Lee Jong Seok Goes Parisian Retro in YSL for Esquire Korea November Edition

I’m always leery of my faves getting an Esquire spread because I have to gear for the possible the faux edgy that veers on the sleazy stylings. Unfortunately my concern is merited for the November Esquire Korea pictorial with Lee Jong Seok that looks like early 90’s Calvin Klein crossed with American Apparel sensibilities. Even worse is that his entire look comes courtesy of couture house Yves Saint Laurent, so clearly Fall 2018 YSL is all about that a vaguely bargain basement hipster vibe.

On the acting side, I can’t form a comprehensive opinion of Lee Jong Seok’s role and performance in SBS drama While You Were Sleeping just yet, while I’m enjoying the totality of the drama I don’t know if it will be a net positive remembrance of him when all is said and done. His role flashes back to his previous role in Pinocchio too much, and his performance doesn’t immediately suck me in the same way I felt clinically detached from him in W: Two Worlds. I think a two year break in military service in the near future and a return with something truly breakaway from his image would be a smart path ahead.


Lee Jong Seok Goes Parisian Retro in YSL for Esquire Korea November Edition — 49 Comments

  1. His acting goes from mediocre to plain bad in WYWS. This is the most soulless performance by him as for now. His acting hasn’t changed one bit from his previous dramas, he couldn’t totally transform and he isn’t a believable prosecutor either. The chemistry department is lacking MASSIVELY. The last time LJS had some decent chemistry was in IHYV, everything after that has looked quite forced and clearly acting. Lee Ddochi’s comedic timing is terrible. He is lucky to have model proportions and flowerboy looks that many female drama viewers find endearing. He gets good drama offers and he’s got a good eye picking up dramas. But his skills are being exposed… Ah also, what happened to his nose, more particularly his nostrils?

    • He surely had done something with his nose.I don’t find his face handsome at all though his height and proportions are attractive.

      • @Frost I agree about that, his face is not my style but he has good height and proportions, he makes a good model and I enjoyed most of his acting work up to now too.

    • He had the world’s most unnecessary nose job, and while I find WYWS underwhelming I don’t know how much of that is on him and how much on the script writer going to formulaic elements and simplistic characterisation.

      I thought he had great chemistry with Park Shin Hye in Pinocchio though. They really looked like they were drawn to each other. Same with him and Yoon Kyun Sang, they felt like real brothers.

      • @teacakes, hmm you made a good point. I think it’s because of the director. IHYV and Pinocchio had the same director. I read somewhere that the director scolded the actors if they failed in the romantic scenes

      • I have seen pictures of him as a child and he already had the same weird nose at 12. Why are people saying that he got surgery then? I don’t understand.
        Anyway, I get why he might not be considered attractive by some people. He’s not physically my type either, but I dig his sweet side. He wins me over with his charm more than his looks.
        Regarding his acting, I don’t think it is bad. I bought his performances in IHYV and W, I cannot imagine any other actor making such a believable cartoon hero come to life. I think in WYWS the problem could be the way his character is written (too childish maybe and too plain) and I also think that him choosing the same type of characters is not helping either. He needs to make bolder choices in the future regarding his acting projects.

      • Weren’t he and PSH dating? I’m guessing they broke up ages ago but there was barely any press about them that I noticed after they supposedly started dating.

      • @prettyautumn finally a proper comment from you here. i also think its the director the visuals are good but there is too much focus on the romantic parts and all the law and reporter stuff seems rushed. all that urgency and focusing on collecting information for cases that was in ihyv and pinnochio is missing here

    • I notice that you always follow his work. You must be a secret fan you can’t deny it, you are everywhere in every article of LJS. I’m almost sure that you are obsess with him.

  2. He made good choices in dramas up to now but I feel like he needs to not do a Park Hye Ryun drama for some time now, that might have seemed like a safe hit blue chip project because of their earlier successes but WYWS is not working for me, he’s trying hard but the chemistry is flat/forced and I would rather just watch Pinocchio.

    Let PHR try some other actors as leads now and some alternative to mystery storylines, I really liked Ji Soo, Kim So Hyun and Shin Jae Ha in Page Turner.

    • Kim So Hyun, Shin Jae Ha and Ji Soo had AMAZING chemistry! They need to work together again! Even in WYWS I was more invested in Shin Jae Ha and Kim So Hyun loveline. They were really cute!

      • I know! They would be really good as leads in a full length drama, at least if Ji Soo gets a decent character (which PHR generally can do).

        Kim So Hyun has shown herself more than capable of carrying a drama basically single handed too, she would slay a PHR lead role.

      • A KSH-PHR team up sounds like Dream Team! What kind of female lead would PHR write if she didn’t have to worry about burdening the lead actress with difficult emotions? It would be a good watch for sure!

  3. the character is not layered enough, Jaechan is just jaechan nothing special. I also think jongsuk is aware of that, and suzy lack of eye emotion doesn’t help jongsuk. i can tell that the writer is confuse too, even the childhood flashbacks were confusing.
    1. suzy is OK here, but not every scene
    2. jongsuk doing his best, but what can he do to a character that is ordinary
    3. suzy hesitating sometimes to skinship
    4. writer had exhaust her ability to write a story that is simple yet exciting

    good part
    1. ost
    2. police is a new face
    3. directing
    4. preproduce no one can change the outcome i hate the outburst of viewers. sometimes it result to chaos so im okay with preproduce drama.

    this is not the best PHR drama, LJS should consider other writer soon.

    • the dreams are also complicated how did suzy got the power to see future in her dreams. lot of confusing and unaswered questions. ?

  4. I can’t even look at LJS pictures because it’s too scary, but I always click on his articles to read the comments to see if someone comment about his nose and sure enough, 100% of the time someone will bring it up.

    His nose must be one of the reasons his drama never get high ratings, not everyone can stand seeing that nose for an hour.

    • ??? his nose bridge and lopsided and tiny nostrils aren’t too attractive to look at, but his acting mostly is just same. There’s no development in there. People who say that his 30 minutes monologue in W was ’daesang worthy’ and that not many actors can do that, are mistaken. There are many actors who can do that, and even act better than him. He would’ve been okay but I’m tired that he is always hyped up. Someone on Netizenbuzz or Dramabeans even called him one of the best actors in Korea, like…. really….

      • To me his whole face is unattractive, beady eyes, swollen red lips and shaved jawline, but the nose is the worst, like someone tries to make an ugly face by pushing their nose up with their finger, except his nose is pushed up perpetually.

        His accomplishments are only so so, one of the best actors in Korea? Too funny.

  5. Yeah I don’t care for his face but man, I love these shots. They look like they are straight out of a fashion magazine from the 90’s, they aren’t original at all but I’ve been in a sweet nostalgic mood recently so I’m really loving the artistic direction here.

    Regarding his acting, I’ve never been really impressed by out but in kdrama land he does stand out a bit. He’s doing a bit better in his current drama though, I feel more immersed into his character so far.

    I say so far because it’s on hold after I quickly lost interest. I feel its the type of show that’s better to binge so I’ll wait I’ll its over to possibly watch.

    • I actually think the cover photo looks like a coffin, a tribute to Hallooween, when this is November issue. That’s what I really see. Instead of bright colors, he is bleach skinned, they should have done the darker noir theme.

  6. the problem with WYWS is, it feels like I’ve watched it before. the plot is appealing for first episode then everything is similar to previous dramas of PHR and LJS. leads acting and characters dont help either, one dimensional and detached.

  7. I just dont understand why some people are so obessed with his nose. Dont like his face then just dont watch him and stop all these hateful comments. For his role in wyws i am liking it but its missing that emotional quality that was in ihyv and pinnochio and focusing more on the cutesy and funny stuff which personally i think he is a bit awkward at. He is amazing in emotional roles but in wyws those type of scenes are either part of a dream so we cant exactly connect to it or they are played by his younger version so ljs doesnt really have much to do in that area. I am still waiting for the writer to give him something to work with, make him cry or do something at least.

      • are you seriously kidding me. so what you want him to get his nose fixed cz he cant exactly help how he looks. And anyways isnt there a limit to everything? every single article of ljs for past few months is filled with coments about his nose. Its enough! everyone gets it that you guys hate his face just stop bashing now, saying it over and over again wont change his face

      • @Ambr – I thot his nose has been fixed… No? His jaws also look fixed (ie shaved)… Oh well, it’s South Korea, they can keep on fixing… If you don’t like to read articles about his nose, then please don’t tune in. We like to read it… It is harder to tell people to stop than you stop, do you get it? LOL…

      • @candycane I dont think he fixed anything he looks the same to me as he was at 3,4 year old,i guess he must have gotten that “fixing” when he was baby. And i am sorry my mistake i didnt even realize i was reading an article about ljs’s NOSE i thought it was about a magazine shoot! Oh how stupid of me!?. Its really sad to see what this blog has been reduced to if i ever come across another hater i will direct them here. And you know what i think i will stop, cant exactly keep fighting with unreasonable people who dont have anything better to do than bashing other’s looks. Carry on and keep showing your mentalitily.

      • @ambr I don’t usually bash his nose but it’s clearly touched by PS. But fans are blind I guess… even when you compared it with his earlier model days

  8. First all his nose now looks the same has his photos of when he was younger. Second W was probably the best acting I’ve seen in a Korean drama since Ji Sung in KMHM. Especially the scene in the police station when everything freezes and sees first hand that he is really a comic. That scared shitless moment was unlike any other moment I’ve seen from a korean actor.

    His character in WWYWS is so two dimensional, clueless and innocent lawyer. The only depth in his character is his younger version who faces life changing experiences. Even the cop’s character is better written. The drama does a bad job keeping a serious tone intense like it’s scared to take away from the comedy.

    • Yes, someone speaks rationally. LSJ looks exactly like his father. Both hus parents are good looking and has very nice nose as such their children will have nice nose. Everyone of us are making a living working to survive in this world. Taking a line, which LJS said it so well,in the drama, and to change it a bit ~ thise haters ~ is your feelings more important than him making a living? You may think it’s fun n it’s gonna hurt him n his fans, ultimately it’s you that are hurting n eating yourself up.

  9. I find him severely overrated . Not that he is bad but he isn’t that versatile or great of a actor like some mentiond him. He is decent actor with mediocre drama. He chooses typical kdrama character which can be easily played by other actor. I like him in W but truth to be told his character wasn’t hard to play at all, it was villian who gave splendid performance.

      • @missjb, yes… I was surprised how her acting declined. Her crying scene was pretty bad. But she was better than LJS. She did the best she could with the flat character she was given but the fact that she hasn’t done live shooting drama for 6 years showed. There was no stamina in her performance

      • I don’t think the problem is overload schedule. The script is just make you suspend your disbelief alit bit too much. If I were her, I will be having a hard time too. The lines make you suspend your disbelief. You need a talent actor who believe the world the writers create. no matter what or doesn’t make sense it looks

      • W was a severely overrated drama. It had good premise, but bad execution and acting. Everyone hyped it for “unique” storyline, when it a) rehashed all possible drama tropes; b) went most predictable way. It was one of the worst “popular” dramas that I ever watched.

      • Han Hyo Joo isnt necessarily a stellar drama actress either.I prefer her movies than her dramas.I wonder how it is possible to have such a difference.

        In Iljimae, the female second lead outshined her by a long shot.In Dong Yi, she had the consistent dreaded wide-eyed expression.I dont know if it was meant to express youthfulness or something.She was lucky to have good chemistry with Jin Ji Hee, who is a very good actor and covered up her flaws.

        In W, she overacted so much but no feels in the performance.She reminded me of Son Seung Hun.It looked like a rookie level acting not a professional with years of acting experience.There would have been an outrage if she won a Daesang, over other actors last year with that kind of performance.

  10. @stoplight, agreed!! Yet international drama viewers and i-netz on Dramabeans and Netizenbuzz keep calling W one of the best dramas and unique and nutting over it. I think it was hyped up only because there were certain rivalries and some i-fans just needed to overhype W to make the other dramas seem lesser. UF and Doctors most notably. Funny thing is that Doctors was much better in terms of acting and character development and UF had a more consistent plot

  11. While Im not his biggest fan, but bc of these comments I just had to reply. What’s wrong with these petty comments on LJS’so nose? I highly doubt he did his nose bc it looks the same as his childhood pics. At least he didn’t go and do a nose job only to have people scrutinize him more… Beauty is different for everyone. I do agree he’s not the most handsome actor in K-ent but he has a lot of charm (imho) as an actor with the right script.

    Anyways regarding his dramas, I’ve seen Pinocchio and W and I like them enough. I am also watching While you were sleeping but am losing interesting bc there is a lack of chemistry between him and Suzy. I don’t entirely blame him. He did his best to portray a boring character and his acting is adequate. The story is also typical but I got to say the cinematography is superb in this show. The directing is good but the editing not so much.

    Regarding LJS dramas, I love the first half of W a lot but felt the second half was a bit flat, however, I disagree with those who didn’t approve of his acting in there. As the lead comic-book-brought-to-life Kang Cheol, he looked and played the part and I was satisfied with his portrayal. He did put a few good emotional punches in the first half and even with the disappointing dialogues in some scenes, he did what he could. It’s not entirely his fault the story took a disappointing turn towards the end. The only thing that saved that drama for me was his charm as Kang Cheol. The main actress really didn’t do anything for me. I was constantly annoyed at the constant hand-covering-face whenever there’s an emotional scene… Her character was not lovable… I’m not even sure how the two leads end up falling so deeply in love with each other. Like I said it was entirely LJS that pulled the drama til the end for me so I have to give him props and note that LJS is not my type at all but his portrayal of Kang Cheol really won me over (I even did a drawing for that). I was so satisfied with him that I end up watching Pinocchio and enjoyed it. He still has a lot of improvement to be done but with the right project, LJS acting ability will shine in the future.

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