This time on Would I Date Him? I reflect upon the leading man of Beautiful Mind. Full disclosure, I’m a Jang Hyuk fan. If he’s in a drama, I will watch it. I’m not commenting on Jang Hyuk, but on the character he portrays. Also, all characters evolve throughout a series, I’m discussing the evolved character.
Our candidate: Lee Young O portrayed by Jang Hyuk from the series Beautiful Mind.
His Background: Surgeon with a label of Psychopath. Young O was operated on as a child by his adopted father who believed he damaged Young O’s brain’s frontal lobe (years later he’d learn that he did not damage Young O’s frontal lobe). Believing his son was without empathy (due to the frontal lobe damage), the father trained Young O rigorously to read non verbal cues and fake emotion to appear normal. Hand in hand with this training were years of abusive negative messages “you are a monster” and the shame of the psychopath label. In episode 1 Young O is hard, uncaring, and focused on his dominate brilliance as a surgeon. By the final episode Young O has evolved to be more self aware, caring, and focused on his helping his patients.
Pluses: Smart, Determined, Willing to Trust. Young O is brilliant in diagnosing issues and unflappable in the Operating Room. Young O is determined that the patient get that best care possible. His opinion is almost always right. But he’s willing to listen and adjust treatment if needed. The hospital’s management were criminal and focused on lining their pockets so Young O could never trust them. But the hospital had some caring doctors and nurses that Young O learned to rely upon and helped. He found his “wi-fi” / supportive person in leading lady, Jin Sung (Park So Dam) who helped him trust in his ability to love.
Minuses: Supposedly without empathy. Young O was labeled a psychopath and had to battle that stigma throughout the series. Not many people treated him objectively, based on his actions, but rather treated him deferentially, based on the psychopath label. Whether or not Young O could feel empathy was a source of debate throughout this series due to the murky details the writer, Kim Tae Hee, provided. Young O could also snap into anger quickly.
Would I date him? No. Young O’s emotional intelligence isn’t high enough for me. The series ended with everything positive between Young O and Jin Sung, and I was glad for them. Jin Sung is Young O’s “wi-fi” and attuned to him. I’ll leave Young O to Jin Sung, knowing that a kind, loving, patient woman is reaping the benefits of having Young O in her life.