Am I showing my bias when I say that I think Lee Dong-wook is the perfect choice to host Strong Heart after Lee Seung-gi‘s departure from the popular variety show? Ok, so maybe the word “perfect” is stretching it a bit but the widespread skepticism over his confirmed MC position, while warranted, is way too over-exaggerated.
“But wait!” you might say. “Isn’t Lee Dong-wook the guy who starred in the melodrama La Dolce Vita as the man who may or may not have committed suicide? And isn’t he the guy who came back from the military only to make us shed tears in another melodrama, Scent of A Woman? He’s going to bring the funny on Strong Heart?”
Why, yes. I think he can totally pull it off. Sad puppy dog eyes and all.
Lee Dong-wook is no stranger to comedy. Well, romantic comedies anyway. But his dramas tend to show him playing more of the romantic, while his female counterpart picks up the comedy load, like in the Hong Sisters hit My Girl. So after watching him go a comedic toe-to-toe with Lee Si-young in the recently concluded drama Wild Romance, I realized he has more going for him than a pretty face. Lee Dong-wook can also be funny! His character in the show was a far cry from the brooding roles I’d seen him play in the past and his ability to do physical gags shocked me. Who knew the guy who made me shed so many tears in sadness could also do so in hilarity?
“But wait!” you might say again. “Lee Dong-wook has no variety experience. There’s a difference between acting a funny role and being funny in real life.”
But after doing some research (and by research I mean Youtub-ing countless hours of squee-worthy behind the scenes clips), I’d say that Lee Dong-wook’s humor is very dry and unconventional. He doesn’t display the booming humor of someone like Kang Ho-dong or the over-the-top antics of Boom, but his subtle wit is clever enough to keep me thoroughly interested. His random phone calls to SNSD members in both Strong Heart and Invincible Youth 2 solidified my belief that his brand of humor will play well on screen. What I’d like to see is a co-host join him every episode just like how Kang Ho-dong and Lee Seung-gi did back in Strong Heart‘s earlier days. I’m not totally sold on the idea that Lee Dong-wook can carry an entire show on his own but I’m confident that if he partnered with an experienced MC, preferably one whose humor is opposite to his, he could really shine.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndRT-OuYvOU&w=560&h=315]
And yes he’s awkward, but I think that makes him even more endearing for the MC position. We’re used to the traditional MCs and we know what to expect of them. Lee Dong-wook as the new MC for Strong Heart is something new, unexpected, and has the potential to open the doors for a new kind of humor, while keeping in tact the conventional one. Plus, there has to be a reason why the show’s producers chose him as their guy. Perhaps they know something about him that we don’t. I think viewers may be pleasantly surprised.
What were your first reactions when you heard that Lee Dong-wook would be taking Lee Seung-gi’s place as the host of Strong Heart? Do you think he can pull it off or is he in over his head?