I’ll admit it. I took a significantly longer time than usual this week when considering all the eligible Man Crush Mondays since I wanted to feature the first crush of 2015 that will start the year off with a great bang. In the end though, I couldn’t get Jang Tae San from “Two Weeks” out of my mind and, somehow, he really felt like the perfect fit to start a new year of crushing. At first, he didn’t possess a single crush worthy aspect; he was a reckless gambler, a womanizer, violent, and the people he associated with were those you generally tended to avoid.
But the amazing thing about Jang Tae San is that he grows on you because, slowly, you realize he’s actually not that bad. The moment he realized he had an eight year old daughter he never knew about was the moment he began to change, again, for the better. I say again because the only other time he had ever changed to become a good person with goals and ambition was with Seo In Hye, the mother of his daughter.
Jang Tae San is rough around the edges, but he’s not a bad man. He’s simply a man who went through an incredibly difficult past and is prone to making bad decisions. As I watched him grow and change throughout the course of “Two Weeks,” he, slowly but surely, became more and more crush worthy.
The specifics? Let’s take a look at five reasons then! (Spoilers ahead.)
1. Jang Tae San tries.
In the beginning, he kept pushing Seo In Hye away because he didn’t think he deserved her, but when she placed her faith and trust in him, loving him despite, or in spite, of his flaws, Jang Tae San wanted to change for her. His first step was to enroll in school in order to transition himself towards a better career.
Let’s not forget that Jang Tae San lived eight years of his life without even realizing that he had a daughter, but once he knew, he did everything he could to save her from her illness. He became a father in a heartbeat, but he fully embraced it and was touched to the core with every interaction he had with his sweet, little girl.
In the end, he tries to be a good father. He tries to make Seo Soo Jin proud to call him her dad. He tries to make himself worthy of Seo In Hye. He tries to be a decent man. Jang Tae San is full of attempts to be something more than what others make of him. He doesn’t think he can amount to much, but when it counts, he tries.
2. He’s clever and quick on his feet.
It still amazes me how fast and creatively Jang Tae San’s mind works. Throughout the sixteen episodes of “Two Weeks” and over countless varieties of situations, Jang Tae San always stays one step ahead of the game, even with people pursuing him from all ends. It was practically him against the world, but he emerged as the victor and that leaves me shocked each and every time. His ability to move like lightning with his plans formulated on the run, he thoroughly impressed me with his skills. For a gangster who bummed around, it was certainly an unexpected, but not unwelcomed, trait. In fact, it’s what adds intrigue to Jang Tae San.
3. Jang Tae San has a secret sweet side.
He reminds me of a sour patch kid sometimes. Sour on the outside, but once you make it past that barrier, he’s incredibly sweet. But unlike the candy, that sweetness only comes out around one person… and an extension of that one person. Seo In Hye and, of course, their daughter. His tenderness towards them is on full display like a bakery case, but that’s because Seo In Hye brings it out in him. (When I start comparing men to food and candy, you know I’m a goner! Ha!) Her love towards him in the past and her buried love for him in the present brings out the best in him. Plus, what other idiot would willingly eat copious amounts of shrimp even while knowing he’s allergic to them in order not to disappoint his date?
4. He’s protective.
Jang Tae San may not have much going for him in life, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t do what he can for others and those he cares for. How many people would willingly tarnish their name and reputation by going to jail for a serious crime they didn’t commit in order to protect the one they love? How many would make themselves out to be nothing more than scum by cruelly breaking up with the one they love in order to ensure her safety? Controversial as it may be, how many would choose to abort their unborn child, made out of nothing but love, in order to lessen the responsibilities and burden for a would-be single mother as a result of that separation? In his own way, Jang Tae San was protective, doing the only thing he knew he could in such a dire situation. It hurt and scarred him to leave her and to think that their child was no longer in existence, but he knew it was necessary and, for that, it makes him admirable and respectable.
5. Jang Tae San seeks self improvement.
When it’s all said and done and when all truths were finally revealed, Jang Tae San didn’t simply settle into a family life with Seo In Hye and Seo Soo Jin. He knew he had a long way to go before he could be a family man, a father, and even a potential husband. He didn’t jump the gun and bite off more than he could chew. After all, it had only been two weeks since he even knew he was a father… Instead, Jang Tae San created happy memories for Seo Soo Jin, came to a mutual understanding and respect with Seo In Hye, and created new goals and ambitions for himself. There was a lot of maturity in his thought to become a better man with a stable career and a lifestyle that would suit caring for such a young, bright girl like his daughter. He wanted to ensure that he would not disappoint his family and so he chose to, temporarily, walk away in order to self improve and find his worth. The day he finds what he’s looking for is the day in which he finds his place in the world – beside Seo In Hye and Seo Soo Jin.
A man who knows what he needs to do and sets out to do is is not only commendable, but crush worthy. With these reasons, I felt that Jang Tae San is not only a great Man Crush Monday choice, but also the perfect fit to start off 2015. The beginning of the year is a time for resolutions, a time to self improve and work on the weaker aspects in us. It’s a time to cherish loved ones and family and to remember what’s important in life. With Jang Tae San setting a positive example and offering a source of motivation, I hope 2015 will be a great year for all Soompiers.
But enough about what I think of Jang Tae San. What did you think? Was he worthy enough to make it onto our Man Crush Monday list? Who would you like to see next? Don’t forget next week is our monthly Mystery Reveal, so make sure to get those nominations in!
Oh, and before I forget… check out Jang Tae San’s confidence and how quickly he can falter. His look of uncertainty and surprise is pretty endearing.
He he he. Charming, right? Until next week, Soompiers!