With his expressive eyes, a charming smile, and a stare that makes your cheeks blush, Kang Tae-oh is an actor who commands attention in every scene.
When Kang Tae-oh’s eyes met Park Eunbin’s in the first episode of Extraordinary Attorney Woo, it felt like we were seeing the actor for the first time—and falling in love with him at first sight. The initial attraction to his character Lee Jun-ho grew into a full-blown crush and by the final episode, viewers would definitely want to see more of him in future works.
However, Tae-oh is off to enlist in the military within the year so we might not be seeing him in new projects anytime soon. To help you out, we’ve listed down eight of his most iconic K-dramas so you wouldn’t miss him too much.
KBS Drama Special: The Effect of a Finger Flick on a Breakup (2021)
Breakups are hellish—and Tae-oh’s portrayal of Cha Min-jae is painfully relatable. The first half of the one-act drama shows Min-jae as an absentee boyfriend who eventually loses his partner as a result. His initial joy over his “freedom” turns depressing in the second half as he desperately tries to get her back. We won’t spoil the ending but make sure to prepare your tissues before watching.
Doom at your Service (2021)
Oh, to have Kang Tae-oh as your barista in your favorite coffee shop. Tae-oh is the definition of eye candy and the most-trusted bro in Doom at your Service where he portrayed the role of Lee Hyun-kyu. While the fantasy series revolves around the love story of Tak Dong-kyung (Park Bo-young) and Myul Mang (Seo In-guk), Tae-oh’s charming presence is hard to ignore. Plus, it’s such a sight to see him as the bestie of the main lead.
Run-On (2020 to 2021)
We only have one complaint about this K-drama: we need more Lee Yeong-hwa (Kang Tae-oh) and Seo Dan-ah (Choi Soo-young). Yeong-hwa is an artist who finds love in a spunky careerwoman, making her the muse of his personal works. Scenes of him sketching Dan-ah with a careful gaze is more than enough to make our hearts warm—even if their love story ends in tears.
The Tale of Nokdu (2020)
While it’s a visual treat to see Tae-oh in a hanbok, seeing him as the second lead is nothing short of heartbreaking. Tae-oh takes on the role of Prince Neungyang in The Tale of Nokdu where he ultimately becomes king. The Prince, who’s set to marry Dong Dong-joo (Kim So-hyun), is known for his looks (rightfully so) yet it’s not enough to catch her heart. The Prince slowly gets deep in falling in love with the idea of his arranged bride that he ends up in heartbreaking despair.
My First First Love (2019)
Kang Tae-oh can sing his heart out, and his role as Choi Hun proved it. He comes from a well-off family but he’s financially cut off by his father for going after his own passion. Despite failing in his auditions, Hun remains passionate about his dreams of becoming a musical star. As someone who’s not used to living a simple life, he finds himself in many shenanigans before gaining maturity along the way.
Ah, Kang Tae-oh as the second lead is such a hit to the fangirl feels. His role as Kim Jin-woo in Evergreen is no different. Seeing him in a romantic tug-of-war against Oh Soo (Lee Jong-hyun) for Seo Yoo-ri (Kim So-eun) is fun to watch in the first half until you realize that he never stood a chance to get the girl. If only we can give him a big hug at the end of the series.
Love on Ice (2018)
Reaching for the stars is not a walk in the park, especially when it comes to the field of sports. Kang Tae-oh embodied the spirit of speed skater Ho-young with such finesse that you can almost feel his determination to reach the top. Skating scenes aside, what sealed this K-drama for us is seeing the strength of Tae-oh’s ability to emote through his eyes. The frustration, anger, and love shine through.
You Are Too Much (2017)
Kang Tae-oh surely has an affinity for choosing roles that make us cry. In You Are Too Much, he takes on the role of Lee Kyung-soo, a blind man who’s abandoned at an orphanage. He finds comfort in playing the piano which allows him to show more of himself without his disability. In a twist of fate, he crosses paths with Jung Hae-dang (Goo Hye-sun/Jang Hee-jin), a woman with a beautiful voice that’s hauntingly similar to his mother’s.