Korea has been in the throes of older woman-younger man drama pairings for years so I’m pretty inured to it all. Unless its totally incongruous to me, for the most part if the storyline and the chemistry sells it then I’m game. Kim Tae Hee is a heck of a lot older than her co-star Yoo Ah In in their upcoming revisionist sageuk Jang Ok Jung, Live in Love (back to its original title), but in real life Jang Heebin was a few years older than King Sukjong so I didn’t have a conceptual issue with this pairing. The cast attended the press conference today and I almost burst out laughing when I saw Yoo Ah In in costume. He looks SO YOUNG. Not just younger, like seriously so young I thought he was prepping for his high school play on King Sukjong. In SungkyunKwan Scandal, he played a student-aged character, not to mention with his mane of wildness and facial hair he managed to look suitably dashing. Looks isn’t everything and a good actor can transcend visual limitation so I’m keeping my fingers-crossed that Yoo Ah In will bring the gravitas and intensity he’s shown in previous sageuks and just blow my worry out of the water. I don’t mind that Kim Tae Hee looks her age (early 30s), because she’s very pretty still and perhaps King Sukjong is attracted to her lush womanly charm. It’s impossible to critique outfits at a sageuk press conference when the cast shows up in character costumes, but I love how bright and colorful the outfits are which fits the Spring airing timeslot of this drama. I do have concerns that the second leads will outshine their headlining counterparts – Hong Soo Hyun is luminous as Queen In Hyun and this is a type of role where she’s already excelled once in The Princess’s Man, Jae Hee looks dreadful in this particular sageuk outfit but he’s got the intensity and charm to win hearts as the silent protector type, and Lee Sang Yeob is totally too cute for words but I’m guessing his Prince Dongpyong might be an antagonist type character to King Sukjung. We’ll find out next Monday whether JOJ is sink or swim from the get-go.
Third teaser for Jang Ok Jung: