Ah… It’s that exciting time of the month again – the day of our monthly Mystery Reveal! I hope you were all equal parts excited and curious as I was about who our Man Crush Monday is this week. Last time, our mystery turned out to be Kwon Shi Kyung from “Surplus Princess.” Who, I wonder, is our lucky man this time?
The Soompier nominations were taken from the last four Man Crush Monday articles, including November’s Mystery Reveal, Kang Moo Kyul from “Mary Stayed Out All Night,” Lee Gak from “Rooftop Prince,” and Hong Ki Hoon from “Cinderella’s Sister.”
Just like before, I wrote down all thirteen nominations on a piece of paper, tossed them into my trusty tin can, and used it as my maraca as I danced to my K-pop playlist before drawing one out at random. Keeping true to the guidelines before, repeated nominations were accepted as long they came from different Soompiers in the same article or the same Soompier left identical nominations on different articles.
There were so many great nominations and I really loved seeing the variety of characters, but for the month of December, there can only be one mystery. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the scrap piece of paper that will determine the fate of this week’s Man Crush Monday. (Drum roll, please!) Our lucky man is…
Cha Jung Woo from “Cunning Single Lady!” Aha! While I found the drama amusing while it lasted, it wasn’t unforgettable or one that made a big, emotional impact on me. However, I do remember Cha Jung Woo with fondness for several reasons, but rather than spoiling the fun by simply listing them here, let’s go into the greater details together on why I can definitely agree with the Soompier who thought Cha Jung Woo was Man Crush Monday worthy. (Spoilers ahead!)
1. He’s a dork.
Men can be awkward, goofy, and just plain dorky. Cha Jung Woo is the epitome of that kind of man. From his younger college years to his older adult years, it was a trait he had never been able to shed, but no matter what age he is or at what point in his life he’s currently living, it’s still endearing. There’s actually a very warm, down-to-earth feel to see a man like Cha Jung Woo sporting the occasional nerdy expression or freaking out like no tomorrow over something seemingly minor. Not only that, but who can forget his thick, round glasses and his haircut, commonly known either as the bowl or the watermelon cut? Haha! He was embarrassed when his past photos got revealed to his employees and while I can certainly understand that, a part of me also felt that he should have totally embraced that side of himself with love and pride! (Plus, Cha Jung Woo as the nerdy Superman? Epic! Hehe!)
2. Cha Jung Woo doesn’t let hardships get him down.
For some people, when the going gets tough, they give up without a fight. They lose courage and withdraw, suffering from self doubt and low self esteem, but… Cha Jung Woo is different. He may feel down, but he doesn’t stay down. Instead, he uses those hardships as a way to gain strength, to toughen himself even more, to aim for an even higher achievement, and to succeed – if only to prove others wrong. Two of the best examples would be none other than his ex-wife, Na Ae Ra, when she divorced him during one of his lowest moments in, to him, a cruel way, and his business partner, Gook Yeo Jin, when she mixed personal and business matters into the same pot and attempted to strip him of his title as President of D&T Soft Ventures using her father’s connection. Reacting as the typical strong-willed Cha Jung Woo though, he resigns first, but in both situations, Cha Jung Woo refused to admit defeat and was determined to get back to the top and he, of course, succeeds!
3. He’s computer savvy.
There’s something super neat (okay, okay… and hot!) about watching a man working with his hands and Cha Jung Woo is most confident when he’s fiddling with the computer. It doesn’t matter what aspect of technology it is, like taking apart and putting it back together or building software from scratch, he excels at it all. You name it, Cha Jung Woo can probably do it. I love the confidence that oozes out of him as soon as he touches a computer and the way he leaves everyone mesmerized with his capabilities. His fingers fly at the speed of light and he, himself, moves just as fast, almost like a doctor commanding his team with exact precision during a life threatening situation for a patient… except in this case, the patient is, well, a computer.
4. Cha Jung Woo doesn’t let success get to his head.
Feeling that sense of accomplishment and knowing that you’ve succeeded after working hard for so many years is a very rewarding experience, but for many, that moment when you’re on top can also be bad news. Allowing fame, success, or wealth to change the core of your being is a fairly high risk when you suddenly start soaring. You start thinking that you’re invincible, that you’ll stay on top forever. You begin to lose your sense of self as you concentrate on more success, more fame, more money. In the end, you’re just a shell of the person you once were.
Sounds like quite the horror story, right? Luckily, Cha Jung Woo never lets that happen to him. Even with his success, he still has two feet firmly planted to the ground. He might act high and mighty around Na Ae Ra, but that’s only because he had something to prove. In reality, he’s not boastful and he’s an excellent employer and co-worker. He’s respectful, kind, thoughtful, and considerate. There was never any indication that he had changed from the person he used to be just because he was no longer poor and working hard to try and make a living. It’s normal to have your pride and after what he thought was the ultimate betrayal, it made sense for Cha Jung Woo to put on a facade, but once he realized the truth, that mask came crumbling down faster than it would have if someone had bulldozed it right off his face.
5. He’s human.
Well, let me clarify. I never thought Cha Jung Woo was an alien, a monster, or a robot. It’s just that he’s so… normal. We see a lot of men in dramas who are arrogant, gifted by God, flawless, wealthy beyond our wildest imagination, really an alien, capable of time traveling, and so much more. It’s like they almost possess inhuman qualities that sets them apart from us, the viewers, and by witnessing them in action, they become our fantasies. They are men who can rarely be found in real life, but Cha Jung Woo… he’s just like your every day man. He’s known failure and success. He’s been poor and wealthy. He can be smug yet humble. He’s cocky yet uncertain. He’s known happiness, sadness, love, and loss. He’s everything that we are and everything that we are capable of being if we desire because it’s actually possible to achieve.
What did you think about Cha Jung Woo? On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate December’s Mystery Man? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to leave those nominations for our next Mystery Reveal coming in January!