Who doesn’t know Yoon Jihoo ? [Boys Over Flowers – 2009]
The world knows Jihoo of Boys Over Flowers more than any other character, in fact even Kim Hyun Joong himself complains Jihoo is known more than him.
Jihoo is the yellow long haired dreamboat, not loud, mysterious with a slight smile or smirk. Minding his own business, day dreaming/sleeping of an imagined first love till he was disturbed forever by a girl named Jandi.
He was actually Jandi’s crush but Jun Pyo laid eyes on her first to punish her for daring to defy the F4 like what was done to other students before her arrival at that exclusive elite school. Jun Pyo’s hatred later turned to romantic interest.
Jihoo inevitably gets drawn to her orbit and never left it. Oh how we all rooted for him to get the girl at the end. But it must have been how scripts goes to highlight the role of the other lead. It is often said, if the audience fell for the second lead more than the first lead, either his character was well written or it was well acted. In BOF it was both.
But Jihoo had other issues -the unrequited first love, his parents’ untimely death, when he was abandoned by his grandfather, and the burden of taking care of the family fortune. He remained stoic and quite detached though with a little fun from time to time with the F4 till he found his soulmate.
Kim Hyun Joong carried the role/name so successfully that it remained attached to him through the years. Despite criticisms of his acting in the SK remake of the Japanese Drama Hana Yori Dango -the author herself said KHJ literally stepped out from the pages of the manga into the small screen. His fans couldn’t get it how he transformed himself form his usual happy go lucky persona from only a few a few months ago as the young bridegroom of Hwang Bo in WGM to someone reserved like Jihoo. They are not used to him receding into the background all quiet and observing.
Media couldn’t get enough of Kim Hyun Joong as Jihoo -with interviews left and right quoting his famous lines when he was on a boat. Advertisers pursued him for their products and he was on everybody’s lips-including the noonas,,the imos, the ahjummas,the omas and even the garabuchis.
Jihoo placed Kim Hyun Joong riding on the Hallyu wave . What if he didn’t accept the role?
That question is now moot and academic for It must have been his fate and destiny to be Jihoo.
Boys Over Flowers English Subtitles – Korean Drama
Credit: Shirley G. Quast