Of all the idol actors or actresses that can’t act worth a lick, I have a personal soft spot for Kim Hyun Joong. Perhaps his turn as Baek Seung Jo in Playful Kiss endeared him to me so much so that his stiffness sorta bounces off me like teflon. I do wish he would take a second lead role and perhaps use that to work on his technique more (okay, a lot), but it looks like K-drama producers have pegged him as the leading man or not at all. He spent the latter part of 2012 filming the dark manhwa adapted City Conquest, with the first part of filming taking place in Japan for its overseas shoot. Back then the drama didn’t have a network and was being independently financed by the production company, which probably got a lot of Japanese investors hence the overseas location shoot there. Sadly for the production team, CC got a time slot on KBS only to then lose it in an about turn. At which point Kim Hyun Joong dropped out and the rest of the drama folded thereafter. It was a shame because I liked the rest of the cast consisting of Namgong Min, Jung Yumi (of Rooftop Prince), and Park Hyo Joon. I wasn’t particularly sad this drama got shelved because it seemed so ambitious but having Kim Hyun Joong playing a very gritty character hell bent on revenge was such a heavy burden for him to shoulder this drama could easily turn into a hot mess. Well now I get to actually sample the wares because Japanese cable network DATV aired a thirty minute special called City Conquest: Episode Zero consisting of completed footage from the overseas filming as well as BTS scenes. I gather DATV owned the rights for the Japanese broadcast and since this drama had footage already shot, might as well try to put it into something that can be aired and sold with some commercials. After watching it, I have to say shelving it was the right idea, but it also wasn’t a hot mess. There was some visual appeal and as usual I remain stunned by how good looking Kim Hyun Joong is onscreen. But from what little I see, he doesn’t have chemistry with Jung Yumi and I’m not feeling any gut check feeling with the story either. Sometimes its better to cut one’s losses and this instance fits the bill. I rather enjoyed what little of CC was shown but it’s not a drama I wish could be resurrected. Wolf, on the other hand, is one incomplete drama I still desperately want to see how it was all intended to unfold.
City Conquest Episode Zero: