The Original National Producer, Jang Geun-suk
Jang Geun-suk is an essential figure when talking about the early Korean Wave or Hallyu days as one of the pioneers of its spread worldwide. Having starred in numerous Korean dramas and performing in soundtracks for a few of them, Jang Geun-suk is a staple Korean icon who has fans young and old. But, as of 2018, there is news that he will enlist soon as part of the Korean mandatory military service required of all men before the age of 30. This will halt his career for the first time in a decade with a 2 year hiatus from all activities, including dramas, music, and variety shows.
With the dawn of his enlistment, there is news regarding what division he will choose to enlist to. Recently, the news came out that he will not enlist in active duty but will serve in the alternative social worker route instead. Why is Jang Geun-suk not serving in active duty when he has expressed a desire to do so before? Does it have anything to do with the mental disorder he was diagnosed with previously? Let’s find out!
Prince of Asia’s Career
Jang Geun-suk started his career early at the age of 5 as a child model and has been active in the entertainment industry ever since. He has been in his fair share of movies and TV series, earning him the title of Prince of Asia. He starred in dramas such as You’re Beautiful, You’re My Pet, and Love Rain. His career does not stop there. When his acting career skyrocketed in 2011, he started dabbling in music.
His career in music expanded his fanbase even more, and his debut single charted on the Oricon chart, the standard for the Japanese music industry. This spawned into concerts and fan meets while he explored his musical career and toured domestically and internationally. Some of his well-known hits are “Let Me Cry” and “Darling, Darling”. This booming music career made him the perfect candidate to become the national producers’ representative on the first season of the famous Mnet survival show Produce 101.
On Produce 101, he left a huge impression on the fans and public alike. Phrases such as “It’s Showtime!” became widely popular among the youth and are often used in parodies of the show. This reinvigorated his acting career, and he recently starred in the drama Switch: Change the World. The drama was not a hit like his previous dramas were but it pulled a fair share of viewers in with a plot revolving around crimes and legality.
Jang Geun-suk stars as the double-lead role of a prosecutor and a con man. These characters both mirror parts of his real-life personality as they express different parts of him as an actor and reveal how versatile he is in various roles. What is notable about this drama is that Jang Geun-suk mentioned in the press conference leading up to the premiere that it will be his last before he enlists as he will be turning 30 in August of the same year. This saddened many fans, but as promised, the announcement of his enlistment came the following July.