Jang Ki Yong’s Poignant Turn as a Troubled Hero in ‘The Atypical Family’

jang ki yong daughter
jang ki yong daughter
Credit: JTBC

Jang Ki Yong captivated audiences right from the debut of JTBC’s new series The Atypical Family, showcasing a never-seen-before somber aura. Portraying the character Bok Gui Ju, a time traveler who has lost his time-slip abilities due to depression, the actor makes a dramatic shift in tone from his previous roles, donning a black hoodie and visibly drunk, signaling the depth of his character’s despair.

Jang Ki Yong gives life to Bok Gui Ju’s painful past, including the loss of his wife, which he portrays with lifeless eyes, an indifferent tone, and slumped movements. He interacts tensely with his mother Man Heum (Go Doo Shim) and coldly with his father Soon Gu (Oh Man Seok), while deliberately saying hurtful things to his sister Dong Hee (played by Soo Hyun). He extends this cold demeanor toward Da Hae (Chun Woo Hee), whom he views as an uninvited guest.

However, Bok Gui Ju shows a softer side in front of his daughter Yina (Park So Yi), displaying hesitation even to knock on her room door, revealing his internal struggle and remorse. Nevertheless, any mention of Yina brightens him up, showcasing his deep affection and attempts to connect with her.

Jang Ki Yong’s portrayal shifts dramatically when recalling his past. His character smiles brightly during the happy times with his wife and when holding his newborn daughter, contrasting sharply with the present-day Gui Ju. His performance reaches a peak of emotional intensity as he repeats his late wife’s name during a flashback of her death.

Despite the melancholy surrounding Gui Ju, the second episode hints at a budding romance with Da Hae, who starts to open his heart little by little. Jang Ki Yong masterfully conveys a mixture of gratitude and complex emotions as he watches Da Hae care for Yina during her first menstruation, a moment he feels inadequate to handle himself. Also, the revelation that Gui Ju could physically interact with Da Hae, unlike the people he saw during his time travels, adds a new layer to their relationship, sparking anticipation for how their story will develop in the coming episodes.

>> Jang Ki Yong on Why He Chose to Be a Father in ‘The Atypical Family’ For His Comeback

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