Ji Chang Wook’s Reverse-aging Drama Mister Baek Moves to MBC and Pushed Back to November

There’s something slightly off whenever I watch Ji Chang Wook act, and that’s probably more him always picking characters I don’t particularly like. He’s a good actor and probably headed the Lee Jong Seok route for me wherein all he needs is one role that gets me right in the gut and I’ll be all over him. His upcoming drama actually sounds right up my alley considering I loved Big and Miss Granny and in general like the age/body swap hijink genre. Ji Chang Wook will be headlining the drama Mister Baek, which was initially going to air on SBS after It’s Okay, It’s Love but for whatever reason suddenly changed networks and the premiere date got pushed back. Mr. Baek will now be a MBC drama airing in November after My Spring Days, which itself will air after Fated to Love You on Wed-Thurs.

MBC must really love Ji Chang Wook after Empress Ki and this network change makes sense since Mr. Baek was left floundering without a time slot when SBS decided that Song For You (courting Rain and IU) would get the post It’s Okay, It’s Love airing. Mr. Baek will be about a man in his seventies who reverse-ages back to his thirties and gets his chance to do over a life that originally had him living to be rich and miserly but without anyone who cares about him. Imagine Mr. Scrooge reverse-aging instead of having the three ghosts to point out his errant ways. I’m game to give this concept another go and have a feeling Ji Chang Wook is just right to play this character as a grumpy parsimonious fish-out-of-water. He’s got two new magazine spreads out this month, one for Arena magazine that looks like a seaweed crawled on his head after a rock concert and the other a very bright and casual Sure magazine pop of color. Continue reading

Lee Jong Seok Looking Cheerful and Rested at the VIP Movie Premiere of Roaring Currents

I’ve finally fallen for the charms of Lee Jong Seok despite years of wondering what exactly makes his fans gaga over him. It’s probably the height of irony that I actually grew to like him after Dr. Stranger, a troubled drama with a polarized audience base which plenty of his fans probably want to erase from his resume. I still think his face is a little off looking, probably his lips being too wide and his cheekbones too taut, but strange looks have never deterred me from liking an actor, case in point the mesmerizing Kim Woo Bin. I like him now because I see something special about his acting which actually reminds me of why I love Lee Jun Ki so much. Lee Jong Seok gives it his all into a role and performance in a way that never feels fake and collecting a paycheck. There’s a tendency to overact but most of the time he’s really alive onscreen and easy to watch.

He’s back in the limelight after sticking with the Dr. Stranger production for an extra week after the drama ended to film additional scenes to be shown exclusively in the C-movie scheduled to be out at the end of the year. He looked exhausted by the end of Dr. Stranger, moreso than the other three leads since he had the most scenes and carried the show, so it’s a relief to see him looking rested and relaxed attending the VIP premiere of the upcoming sageuk war movie Roaring Currents (Battle of Myeongryang, Whirlwind Sea) starring Choi Min Sik and Ryu Seung Ryong. I really liked Lee Jong Seok’s hairstyle towards the end of Dr. Stranger which he’s still sporting at the movie preview, and his black jeans and black-and-white splashed paint button down looks great on him. I’ll probably go back when I have time to finished up School 2013 now for the purported best bromance of Jong Seok/Woo Bin. Continue reading

Lost You Forever Chapter 33: The Wind is Moving, The Person is Still

I can’t believe the end of volume 2 of Lost You Forever is finally translated! I’m letting out a major sigh of relief and accomplishment despite knowing the journey is hardly at its end since volume 3 with many more chapters looms on the horizon. Chapter 33 wraps up the much more action and romance packed volume 2 of this epic novel. Volume 1 was simply titled 长相思 which means “Eternally Missing You” but the English translation was the more melancholy “Lost You Forever”, which I guess is the same end result. Volume 2 was called 长相思:诉衷情 and the added phrase means to lament sadness but the English title was “Love You Forever”. This volume really was a lot about love and we saw how three different men loved Xiao Yao and how she loved them back. Beware of volume 3 called 长相思:思无涯 which translates literally as missing with an endless cliff and the English title is “Missing You Forever”. You’ve all been forewarned, but then I did also say this novel has a happy ending so also be prepared to feel all conflicted and twisty. So much happened in volume 2 as the action moved to the vast Middle Plains and Sheng Nong Mountain.

Xiao Yao died and was resurrected after spending 37 years in a clam shell with her same heartbeat demon soulmate Xiang Liu. She was all ready to live happily ever after with nice guy Jing when he went and might’ve knocked up calculating Yi Yang and then had to marry her. Xiao Yao’s broken heart took a backseat to helping Zhuan Xu win the Xuan Yuan throne and after that was said and done she nearly fell apart until she realized medicine was more meaningful than pining over broken promises. She almost married dull as beans Feng Long, who may or may not have a man-crush on Zhuan Xu, but got a last minute reprieve in a super dramatic awesome Fang Feng Bei wedding crashing sequence. Everything culminates in this ending chapter to volume 2 where Xiao Yao is going to confront Jing and finally the two of them are going to hash things out rather than pretend all is swell. I may love Xiang Liu to the Heavens and back but its impossible to deny that he’s got no future with Xiao Yao unless he gives up the single most honorable thing in his life, and if he did that he wouldn’t be Xiang Liu. That makes Jing still the only guy who has a chance with Xiao Yao, and maybe he’ll finally man up and do something about his dysfunctional family that keeps trying to kill him and in the process actually rekindle things with Xiao Yao. Continue reading

Honey Lee Completes the Cast of SBS Weekend Drama Modern Farmer with Lee Hong Ki

The Modern Farmer drama family has been firmed up this week with the addition of Honey Lee to round out the main cast. It’ll be her first drama in a year since last year’s underwhelming Shark. Have to confess I like Honey Lee way better in real life than onscreen. She’s super brainy having graduated from Seoul National just like her good friend Kim Tae Hee, was a former Miss Korea and is a professional level gayageum player, and is dating smexy hottie Yoon Kye Sang. She’s also got a dimpled smile that’s to die for. The only Honey drama I’ve watched the whole way through was Pasta and that was for the chemistry between leads Gong Hyo Jin and Lee Seon Kyun. Here’s hoping she brings whatever ephemeral charisma has been missing to Modern Farmer where she plays Lee Hong Ki‘s first love and the leader of the farming community where the four rock stars move into.

Earlier reports had AOA‘s Kwon Min Ah as the female lead but with Honey Lee’s casting I’d say she gets the top billing over newbie Min Ah which is fine by me. Not sure how the chemistry will be between 31 year old Honey and 24 year old Hong Ki but I’m game to give this a shot. The rest of the members of Hong Ki’s onscreen four-person rock band will be Park Min Woo as the second male lead, actor Lee Si Eun from Answer Me 1997, and another FNC Entertainment add on in rookie Kim Jae Hyun of the rap-rock boy group N.Flying. The drama is described as funny and heartwarming as it showcases how the rock band members bond and find love and meaning in the countryside as farmers. Modern Farmer premieres in October on SBS following Glorious Day. Continue reading

Jaejoong, Yoochun, and Junsu are Triple the Handsome for Marie Claire Korea to Promote New JYJ Album

It’s good that Triangle is almost done airing, despite getting a random two-episode extension, because the promotions are going to explode in a few days when JYJ releases its second full-length album Just Us. It’s the group’s second full-length album since The Beginning was released three years ago, and will likely be the last album released by JYJ for the next two years. After promoting the album and going on tour this fall, all three members of JYJ including Jaejoong, Yoochun, and Junsu will be enlisting for their mandatory military service. No word yet on which division(s) they are interested in joining or whether they will do the entertainment route or active duty. I keep my eye out for this group since they’ve been around forever and are quite talented, not to mention they successfully sued SM Entertainment and managed to have a career afterwards.

I confess to never listening to their new music but the last two years both Yoochun and Jaejoong have been hit-and-miss with their acting projects in ways that are memorable for me. Jaejoong is currently vastly improved in Triangle and really the Lee Bum Soo idol-whisperer magic has struck again. I actually like Jaejoong’s male lead character the most in that boring drama and his performance is also the most interesting to watch. I’ll consider his epic fail in Dr. Jin as a huge step back after a great first impression in Protect the Boss, and now he’s stepped back forward again. I’m less partial to Yoochun as an actor though he’s overall a much stronger actor than Jaejoong is, and probably ever will be. The problem I have with Yoochun is that he’s just not charismatic to me, whereas Jaejoong for some reason totally makes me want to stare at him when he’s onscreen. To ramp up the return of JYJ as a musical group, the handsome trio graces the cover and pages of the upcoming edition of Marie Claire Korea. They seriously look so fine together, love this pictorial! Continue reading

Park Seo Joon and Baek Jin Hee Deny Published Dating News, Claim to be Just Close Good Friends

Well that was quick. It took about under an hour for the respective agencies of actors Park Seo Joon and Baek Jin Hee to immediately issue denials over the published report that they had been dating for the past year. This news article didn’t come from the sleazy hands of Dispatch or Sports Seoul, since neither are idols worth camping out to catch on secret dates, but instead a woman’s monthly magazine called Women’s Sense published an story in its August edition that the former I Summon You, Gold! costars were a real couple for the past year after being paired up as a reel couple. If this is true then I’m not surprised, and anyone who suffered and slogged through ISYG shouldn’t be surprised either. Those two had massive overflowing amounts of chemistry that I’ve not seen before or since from either Park Seo Joon or Baek Jin Hee with any other costar.

It’s unlikely that a published magazine would risk libel to out a couple that is famous but not all that famous (yet) without having their sources checked so Women’s Sense went to the press likely having done its due diligence. Both Park Seo Joon and Baek Jin Hee’s denials are nearly identical – they are very close and good friends but not dating. Period. I’ll take that with a grain of salt but am happy to let them issue that denial and have it wave in the wind. As up-and-comers both are very talented and unique in looks and acting style so that they don’t blend into the wood works. It’s probably not a good time to have a public relationship so whether they are merely good friends or super good friends with benefits, I’m just happy to report the latest on dits in the K-ent dating circle and have folks draw your own conclusions. Continue reading

MBC Releases Action-packed First Teaser for Records of a Night Watchman

It’s finally time to pull back and the curtains and see what Records of a Night Watchman has to offer. The first teaser preview is out and it’s definitely worth checking out. It looks less sageuk and more historical fantasy. I’m seen K-dramas so heavily fantasy such as Bae Yong Joon‘s The Legend (Legend of the First King’s Four Gods) and even Jumong had fantasy sequence. Both those dramas were set in ancient Korean times, with Jumong about the founding of the Goguryeo state and The Legend about a later Goguryeo king. It’s strange that Night Watchman is doing a fantasy element that resembles both of those other dramas since Night Watchman is set in the Joseon era and by then it’s harder to sell a world filled with shamans, conjuring up demon snakes from the mountain, spirit girl from a wild tribe, etc. But if the drama is telling me that there are ghosts and the royal heirs are afflicted with the ability to see ghosts, then I suppose crazy witchcraft and wizardly goes as well.

The first teaser is the real deal packed with tons of scenes from the drama. All four leads are looking good, Jung Il Woo feels like a redo of The Moon Embraces the Sun except he’s the male lead this time, Go Sung Hee‘s wild girl hairstyle is a tad too much and hopefully less poofy on top later on, Seo Ye Ji is lovely in a hanbok, and Yunho does not offend the sensibilities in the brief glimpse of him. Choi Won Young seems to be hamming it up as the ghost-seeing King who later goes crazy while Yoon Tae Young does his best magnetic warrior impersonation. I’m trying hard to not mention Kim Sung Oh‘s villainous shaman character because the second he shows up he’s going suck up all the attention because of how far out his role and appearance is compared to everyone else. Him….and the cheesy first peek at the mystical dragon snake thingie at the end of the teaser. It’s a slithery blink-and-miss appearance. Continue reading