Part 4 – Joo Won, the Man in Variety
Fans must be thankful that Joo Won received the offer to appear in 1N2D. This is the type of show where fans have the rare chance and the closest they can get to see how their favorite celebrity behaves in real life. Of course, they know the cameras are rolling but often in the face of challenging situations and sharing a meal or sleeping in a small room with other members, one or two who you may not get along, cracks in facades happen. Nerves get frayed, arguments might break out and slowly but surely, you will see more of the person’s true character than you can ever get from an interview or TV talk show.
Joo Won himself decided to join 1N2D because his good friend, Uhm Tae Woong hyung was already in the show. He also thought it was a rare opportunity to visit parts of his own country which he had never been. However, he quickly got nervous because he acknowledged that he is not the lively type of person, not the type who stands out in a party. He is by nature quiet and reserved. Neither is he good at making people laugh. Nonetheless, instead of creating a persona for variety, he wanted to be just himself, to show the audience, the true Joo Won.
Now, that we are more than 6 months into the show, we can see that Joo Won has certainly lived up to his words. He has been criticized for lacking the feel for variety show, does not talk much and can be easily overshadowed by stronger personalities. However, he has come into his own and I think since he started 1N2D, many new fans were attracted to the show because of him. He might not crack the funniest joke nor have the wittiest mind nor the one who creates the mood, but he has certainly marked his place as the cute, aegyoistic maknae, the one who his hyungs adores and love. Often, Joo Won does not need to do much but in the simplest things that he does, he just invokes such strong reaction from the audience. Like the recent Bitter Ginseng Tea challenge. I thank Choi PD for what he said in an interview 2 days ago, that when he chose Joo Won amongst other more famous candidates, he was not looking for a character who could only make viewers laugh, he felt it was more important that this person must be likeable. And don’t we all concur?
Although fan girls all over are lamenting that they have yet to see Joo Won bathing on 1N2D, we have a lot more treasures from the show. Like how cute he looks when he sleeps. Especially in the episode where he sleeping on Seung Woo’s chest like a baby. He also looks very child-like in the morning when he just wakes up. It makes you want to go and hug him.
Many fans who watched him in Bridal Mask could not believe that this is the same man who portrayed the fearsome and manly Lee Kangto or cool and heroic Gaksital. Except for the fact that Joo Won in person is really athletic and has proven to be good in running, cartwheels and all, he is a complete aegyotistic baby on 1N2D.
Lee Kangto may have braved the horrifying box of nails in Bridal Mask but Joo Won cannot even take a flick on the forehead from his hyungs. Look at him scrunching up like this.
Who would forget his encounter with the queen bee? It was hilarious to see this strapping 1.85m tall man freaking out because there was a bee in his room. As Bridal Mask was airing at the same time, many viewers could not believe that Joo Won who looked so suave and heroic in the show as the brave masked hero, could be cowed by an insect. If anything, people loved him more. Not too long ago, there was another challenge where the members had to stay still in a position they assumed. Joo Won’s terrified expressions when a moth came near him made viewers roared in laughter again. Then as if the salvage his image, in a recent episode when he was tasked to cook rice, he commented on a beauty tip about washing face with rice water. But he quickly admonished himself that he had to show a more manly side now and added that he wished the camera was rolling when he got a bug earlier. To top it all, he walked away singing “I a maa…aan….” That was just one of the most hilarious thing I have ever seen.
Besides getting to see how ridiculously funny his fear of bugs, we also get to see Joo Won’s enormous appetite on 1N2D. Having an innate competitive streak, he hates to lose but I seldom see him gloating over the losers when he or his team wins nor lose his cool when he loses. The only thing that gets to him is when it comes to food. He was one the verge of crying or actually did when his side loses the bokbulbok. And not to mention how adorable he was sulking in that adorable episode where his team lost the barbeque meal. His retort was that he would buy beef when he earns lots of money. I am sure he can afford to buy the beef but still it was hilarious to hear him say it.
I love the way he eats his food. He just looks absolutely good and adorable be it with his cheeks stuffed like a hamster or the way he picked at the * fish or even when he is eating and talking with his mouth full of food. I am usually turned off by men who chomped down their food and talk when their mouths are stuff but when it comes to Joo Won, I just smile silly and gush.
In a recent interview, he said that viewers seemed to love it when he makes mistakes. Of course, my dear boy, because you are especially cute when you fail. Remember how he slipped and fell on his butt when he was trying to kick the jaegi. We also love it when you give the most inane answers to trivia questions like the latest episode. All the hyungs were laughing their heads off including the usually straight faced Bird PD who doubled up. You were even cute in your deviousness, like hiding your hyungs shoes so as to foil their breakfast mission. Many times, you made funnyman, Cha Tae Hyun laughed so hard that he looked like he’s having a fit. Joo Won does not really need to worry about being funny. He is not as fast and witty as Tae Hyun nor as goofy as Jong Min, but he is certainly funny and absolutely adorable in his own way.
I am also glad to read that he and his hyungs have become so close that even when they are not filming 1N2D, they chat with each other and even planned a trip together. They also gather for a meal every time after the filming ends. I think Joo Won has and will benefit much from this show and also, he will have many valuable things to learn from his sunbaes. Lee Su Geun is a veteran and good at MC skills. Uhm Tae Woong and Kim Seung Woo are two very experienced and well respected actors. And Shi Kyung can perhaps share some tips with Joo Won on singing.
Crossing the 6 months’ mark, I would say Joo Won has done better than expected in his first variety show. He has found his niche in the show without comprising his genuineness. His hyungs all love this maknae, the viewers love him with all his aegyoness. So, it is no wonder that recently, when it was rumored that Joo Won will be leaving 1N2D, the reactions were so strong. Now, fans of Joo Won and fans of 1N2D cannot imagine the show without him.
credit: photos from Softy’s blog, coolreborn, septmoon16 and other web sources.
article links from Dramabeans