Lee Jong Hyun came back earlier this year with That Man Oh Soo, a fantasy romantic drama with a rather twisted plot. Playing the titular character of Oh Soo, he hails from a family that has been tending to a magic tree for the past 500 years. This tree bears flowers that carry various grains of pollen possessing various emotions. When mixed in any liquid, the particular emotion can be aroused in the person who consumes it. Along with the power of making people feel certain emotions, the caretaker of the tree can sense the emotional aura that is produced by every person. For example, they can tell when a person is consumed by anger, love, lust or jealousy. They can then give them the potion that will help fix their emotional issue best. This is why the family runs a coffee shop where they can put their pollen to good use.
Despite the power he possesses, Oh Soo has never sought love and continues to be unaware about his own emotions. For this reason, he appears a little cold and unfriendly for most of the show. Furthermore, having lost his parents at a very tender age, and the great responsibility of tending to other people, he’s grown up a little too quickly and seriously lacks the ability to express himself. However, he meets Seo Yoo Ri (played by Kim So Eun), who is dumped by her boyfriend in Oh Soo’s presence. Since she frequents this coffee shop across the street she lives on, Yoo Ri and Oh Soo come closer due to these constant encounters. However, in an attempt to save her previous relationship, Oh Soo had mixed the love potion in the coffee, which only Yoo Ri drinks, falling in love with Oh Soo. Unaware of what has happened, Oh Soo pursues Yoo Ri and both of them fall in love. The catch is that the caretaker of the family can not make the person he loves consume the potion because that will cause misfortune to the family.
The entire drama was set around Oh Soo figuring out the fact that he can fall in love. As he stepped out of his comfort zone and pursued Yoo Ri, we learned more about the power of the tree over those who tend to it. Other than this basic premise, the drama was rather banal. There were certain scenes where Jong Hyun truly shined, especially in his one on one scenes with Kim So Eun. The intensity in his eyes and the emotions projected in some of the scenes, really broke away from Jong Hyun’s acting in his previous works. I could definitely see him breaking his shell as far as acting goes. I still believe he has a long way to go in the acting department but I could see the extra effort he put into this role. I am proud of Lee Jong Hyun, and with the impending military enlistment, I wish he goes healthy and comes back healthier. He has done well.