Jung Kyung Ho is Mesmerizing in Character and Goofy on Set of Cruel City

I’m still watching and loving Cruel City (Heartless City) on cable network jTBC. But I’m glad I didn’t decide to jump into recapping it because I enjoy the watch but enough episodes have aired that convince me a deeper analysis and read of this drama isn’t going to enhance my enjoyment. It’s easily one of the best K-dramas this year in acting and execution, but the writing hasn’t been able to continue the taut and seamless streak from earlier episodes. This drama is airing on jTBC with a smaller budget than if it was a prime time drama on a big 3 network, and the lack of a sprawling cast now undermines a bit of the credibility of this dark story by making the same few cops chasing the same few drug dealers. And the same few undercovers caught in the middle either trying to game the system or scrambling to survive. I’m pointing out a visible pitfall in this drama as it heads towards its final arc but that doesn’t mean I am not loving it. I have so much built up goodwill that I’m willing to give the drama a longer leash – its pretty damn cool watching Shi Hyun sock it to Busan not once but twice, even with his amazing overnight healing tricks and bruises that shrink within hours, Soo Min is about the most useless and clueless undercover yet which rather underscores how idiotic and jerky Hyun Min was for sending her in the first place, and the law enforcement seems as shady as the drug lords so its no wonder Shi Hyun doesn’t know who to trust or work for anymore. The poor man appears close to a breakdown and everything about Jung Kyung Ho‘s performance through the course of this drama has been nothing short of transcendent. Not a single missed beat, and he makes Shi Hyun not only believably flawed but also stunningly capable. He’s been a fave of mine since forever and its gratifying to see this role as The Doctor’s Son propel his craft to a new level that is well deserved. CC has been really generous with releasing goodies and this latest batch of official stills and BTS outtakes featuring Jung Kyung Ho are both gorgeous and adorable. The scene where Shi Hyun battles Busan’s goons and uses his suit jacket like a weapon on and off with ease was a balletic tour de force.

Jung Kyung Ho being goofy on set. I still think this drama is about as tightly written as it can be with the constraints set around it. If anyone is still uncertain of whether to check it out, now’s a great time to dive in before the drama heads towards what is surely a shocking (but maybe hopeful) conclusion.


Jung Kyung Ho is Mesmerizing in Character and Goofy on Set of Cruel City — 25 Comments

  1. omg, hahaha he is just charming lol

    shows how great actor he can be. One minute sexy and badass, another cute and funny

  2. That first shot I wanted to headerize but that knife makes it too scary.

    It is a joy watching and rewatching KJH’s every move – he expresses so much with his eyes, hands and how he turns his head. He is Baksa to me. He was cute in Smile, You, but I like him better dark.

    Agree on Soo Min’s seeming lack of contribution to fighting crime, and what exactly how is she paying her high rent apartment rent? Is she even entertaining men over there at Jin-suk’s?

    We just pretend the cop part is good, and try to ignore that whole reporter lady’s story…Love the soundtrack, too.

  3. I have watched only one drama of this actor -Smile You – and I could tell that he loved his craft. This guy loves acting and he is very good at it.

  4. Dear K-Unni, I jumped right in the Cruel City ship after reading your post and OMG(!!!), I never regreted it! Every minute of each episode is like a roller coaster ride and I can hardly breathe. Every week is an ordeal for me screaming for a new episode and I even dreamt about this drama. It was that crazy and insane a ride for me. Seeing Jung Kyung Ho as Paksa-adeul is one of the best experiences onscreen and it is indeed unforgettable. I think I will never watch another Jung Kyung Ho drama without crying tears thinking about his awesome and heart-wrenching journey as Paksa-adeul. Let’s enjoy this drama to the end Un-ni!! =) I am also having a schizophrenia seeing all these beyond-cute and soooo goofy stills of him off screen. Can I like tele-transport myself to Korea now and pinch his cheeks and hug him and tell Paksa that “Please stop making my heart ache any more further than this” How on earth can he be 2 INDIVIDUALS on and off screen??!! This shows that he is really a beyond-talented actor and this makes me appreciate his craft so much that…. Sigh I have no more words to describe how awesome Paksa Jung Kyung Ho is now…

  5. All women in Cruel City are poorly written…. also Auntie who is only drinking or/and meeting either Min or Safari.

    LOVE Shi Hyun (JUNG KYUNG HO!!!!!) to bits and pieces. <3 I want JKH to choose his next project soon. 😀

  6. WOW. Seeing the super cool gangster pics of Jung Shi Hyun/Doctor’s Son and then scrolling to see a goofy Jung Kyung Ho on set makes it so hard to believe it’s the same guy! I’m even more in love <3.

    • I agree.
      I can imagine that playing the younger brother, second lead to LJK’s badass, he always wanted a shot at that type of darker role. When the opportunity came up, he JUMPED at it.

      I will never forget his practicing the pronunciation of the French “l’heure” before meeting Nam Sang Mi’s character. It sounded like a noise a cat would make.

  7. He’s converted me to a fangirl with this, all right. CC is definitely showing a few flaws now (chief among them being the heroine) but it’s still one of the best things I’ve seen this year and I have my fingers crossed that Jung Kyung-ho (or My Precious, as I now call him) will get more great roles after this – his performance as Baksa has been flawless, not a single missed beat or moment where he doesn’t feel 100% like he IS Baksa.

  8. I saw one of his behind the scenes footages and I really liked how meticulous he was even with how he looked believable on the screen. FTW Jung Kyung Ho! 😀

  9. Koala, do you know anime called Code Geass? How if this story will end up like that anime. Here, we have Shi Hyun as Lelouch and Hyun Min as Suzaku.

    Gyung Mi is likely to be Euphemia. Well, Soo Min is no where near CC though.

    But if we see the big picture, Heartless City in one way or another has some resemblances with Code Geass.

    So, I thought they may have the same ending. The same tragic faith for the anti hero Shi Hyun/Lelouch.

    In Code Geass, Lelouch (Shi Hyun) was in undercover (took a role of the villain) cleaned all the villain (white collar villain) and gathered all the hatred from everyone, so it may only point at him. Solely, him. And to put an end to that hatred, he who hide his identity (living two lives) ask his friend (rival) to kill him in the identity of a villain.

    So in the end, he dies, as villain, sacrificing himself, alone, while the crowd literally cheers for his death.
    I don’t know if my heart could take it as I remembered I cried like crazy (literally) for hours after watching the end of Code Geass. But if Heartless City bounds to have a tragic end, Code Geass kinda of end will be simply, epic?

    • Perfect way to put it.
      Might as well face it, I’m addicted to Baksa.
      I play that ending theme constantly, and keep rewatching the cool fight scenes, freak out scenes, kissing, etc scenes, the Jo calling SM scenes, just for a fix.

  10. Love HKH!!! never thought i would said that but his doctor’s son must be one of my fave characters ever!!! so hot, so wonderfully acted!!!

  11. every time i see Jung Kyung Ho’s doctor sun article here, i can’t help but want to squeeeeeeeee!!

    Love, love, love everything about him here. Can’t agree more with every word you said here Koala

  12. I watched JKH for the first time in Endless Love (a powerful drama). I was amazed at his versatility in playing the character as he grew and changed. I have now watched Smile, You, and I see how he can adapt again to a changing role, from light comedy to serious. Now I am watching Heartless City. I don’t know when I’ve seen an actor do so much with his face and body to express himself. I am so impressed with his ability to take on any role and make it believable. He immerses the viewer in his character. Tremendous actor. It’s nice to know that his own character is light and positive and happy. I am a real fan.

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