There's a new rising star in town, and his name is Kang Tae Oh! You might already know him from his time as part of 5urprise, the only actor group to ever debut in South Korea (they disbanded in 2020). Almost all their members are still active today, including our faves, Seo Kang Joon and Lee Tae Hwan. Tae Oh has been quietly building his acting portfolio over the years, and we're so excited to see him finally get the attention he deserves with his newest drama, Extraordinary Attorney Woo (we'll get to that later!). If you want to see more of his expressive face and his awesome acting talent, read on for a list of his must-see series.
1. Second 20s (2015)
Who else is in it: Choi Ji Woo, Lee Sang Yoon, Choi Won Young, Kim Min Jae, Son Na Eun
In this charming rom-com, 38-year-old Ha No Ra (Ji Woo) decides to attend university after years of being a housewife, having given up her dream to become a dancer when she got pregnant as a teen. At uni, she meets Cha Hyun Seok (Sang Yoon), her theater arts professor who had a crush on her when they were younger. Meanwhile, her ill-mannered husband, Kim Woo Chul (Won Young), also appears at her university. Tae Oh appears in flashbacks as the younger version of Woo Chul, sweeping young No Ra away as they dance at a campus festival.
2. You Are Too Much (2017)
Who else is in it: Uhm Jung Hwa, Goo Hye Sun, Jang Hee Jin, Jung Gyu Woon, Jun Kwang Ryul
This daily drama is touted mainly as a family series, but if you have a weakness for the melodrama genre, you'll find yourself drawn to its twisted story. You Are Too Much revolves around popular singer Yoo Ji Na (Jung Hwa), whose successful career does nothing to relieve her loneliness. Things change when she crosses paths with Jung Hae Dang (Hye Sun, and later on, Hee Jin), who makes a living as a Yoo Ji Na impersonator. But will Ji Na's life change for the better? Tae Oh plays Lee Kyung Soo, Ji Na's blind son who falls for Hae Dang. Abandoned at a young age, he takes solace in the piano, eventually becoming both a piano teacher and musician. His sad eyes in the drama are guaranteed to make your heart hurt.
3. Short (2018)
Who else is in it: Yeo Hoe Hyun, Kim Do Yeon
If you love sports dramas, you should definitely add this four-ep drama special to your to-watch list. Tae Oh plays protagonist Kang Ho Young, a short-track speed skater from the countryside, who gets his chance to aim for the big leagues when he's scouted by a prominent sports university. But his troubles are far from over because at uni, he comes face to face with the "king" of short track speed skating, Park Eun Ho (Yeo Hoe Hyun), his fiercest rival in the rink.
4. Evergreen (That Man, Oh Soo) (2018)
Who else is in it: Lee Jong Hyun, Kim So Eun, Heo Jung Min, Yoo Il
This fantasy rom-com is just what you need if you feel like watching something lighthearted. Protagonist Oh Soo (Jong Hyun) is an IT engineer who does a little matchmaking at a cafe he owns using "pollen." One day, he ends up on the receiving end of the pollen and finds himself falling for Seo Yoo Ri (So Eun), a police officer. Tae Oh plays Kim Jin Woo, Oh Soo's rival for Yoo Ri’s affection. Yoo Ri is his long-lost first love, but does she feel the same way about him? (Get ready for the second lead syndrome to kick in!)
5. The Tale Of Nokdu (2019)
Who else is in it: Jang Dong Yoon, Kim So Hyun, Jung Joon Ho
This sageuk turns the cross-dressing trope on its head. Instead of the usual "woman disguises herself as a man" trope, we get the opposite. After assassins attempt to kill his family, protagonist Nok Du (Dong Yoon) follows one of them and sees her enter a village exclusive to women. Thus starts his charade as Lady Kim Nok Soon, a widow. Tae Oh plays Cha Yool Mo, our tortured second lead. Yool Mo harbors a one-sided love for Dong Joo (So Hyun), a woman at the village training to be a kisaeng (courtesan).
6. Run On (2020)
Run On revolves around Ki Seon Gyeom (Si Wan), a sprinter and national athlete who jeopardizes his career after going up against bullies. He finds himself intrigued by Oh Mi Joo (Se Kyung), a film translator who ends up working for him temporarily. As their relationship deepens, Seon Gyeom must figure out what he wants to do next. Tae Oh plays Lee Yeong Hwa, a painter who gets the attention of Seo Dan Ah (Soo Young), the CEO of the agency that handles Seon Gyeom. Dan Ah is known for her cold and blunt personality, but she thaws in the presence of Yeong Hwa's sunshine.
7. Doom At Your Service (2021)
In this fantasy romance, Myul Mang (In Guk), an immortal who brings destruction wherever he goes, decides to grant the wish of frustrated web novel editor Tak Dong Kyung (Bo Young). After going through some hard times, Dong Kyung just wishes for the world to end, and Myul Mang is only too happy to let her get what she wants. But the more time they spend together, the more fond of her he becomes and the harder it becomes to wish for the world's destruction. Tae Oh plays Lee Hyun Kyu, cafe owner and first love of Dong Kyung's best friend, Na Ji Na (Do Hyun).
8. Extraordinary Attorney Woo (2022)
Who else is in it: Park Eun Bin, Kang Ki Young, Jeon Bae Soo, Joo Hyun Young
This heartwarming drama follows the adventures of Woo Young Woo (Eun Bin), a lawyer with autism spectrum disorder at Hanbada Law Firm. Tae Oh plays Lee Jun Ho, a paralegal at the firm, who immediately forms a bond with Young Woo when he welcomes her excitement over her fave topic of all, whales. As Young Woo takes more cases, she learns more about herself and endears herself to her teammates, including Jun Ho. Their interactions are so cute we don't want the drama to ever end, TBH.
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