It’s pretty neat watching a star’s star wax and wane. Lee Seo Jin was one of those stalwart Hallyu leading men in the early to mid-2000s as he racked up one drama after another with his combination of manly allure and boyish dimples. He played one of my favorite male characters of all time (Naeuri!!!) in one of my favorite dramas of all time (Damo), but then never quite captured my heart the same way again. He’s equally at ease in modern dramas such as Lovers and definitely a go-to guy for epic sageuks such as Yi San and Gye Baek. He’s worked with famed screenwriter Kim Eun Sook in the aforementioned Lovers, but so far he hasn’t done a Lee Kyung Hee melodrama yet. That looks about to change as Lee Seo Jin is considering returning to television in early 2014 with a Lee Kyung Hee penned drama for KBS. His popularity has shot up recently with his hilarious luggage boy and travel agent gig for four adorable and sometimes cantankerous halbaes in Grandpas Before Flowers. First he was basically waylaid to go to France with them, and either he got PTSD or he was just faking how exhausting that trip was because he signed on for a repeat experience going to Taiwan next. The entire show is just precious because its so heartwarming and hilariously real with all the anxiety that befalls Lee Seo Jin. I think he’ll be ready to jump into crazy 18-hour a day drama shoots and consider it a breeze after his GBF experience. I’m super thrilled to see Lee Kyung Hee is preparing her next drama since her last one Nice Guy (The Innocent Man) was beyond fantastic for me. I’ve actually loved most of her dramas from Sang Doo, Let’s Go to School to Thank You to I’m Sorry, I Love You. The iffy ones for me were A Love to Kill and Will It Snow for Christmas, both of those had pretty flaming second half meltdowns script-wise. What lowers my expectations for this upcoming drama is the rumored leading lady of Kim Hee Sun. I’m not even going to mince words – I can’t stand her. Her acting is OTT and screechy and her voice grates, in general she was a major reason why Faith was so unpalatable for me. However…..I am not writing her off completely since she could be co-starring with Lee Seo Jin, who has a much more manly aura than Lee Min Ho and is also older than her. That might calm her down somewhat. It’s still months away before this drama airs so the casting will likely be confirmed closer to the end of the year.
Lee Kyung Hee usually picks fantastic actors and actresses for her dramas. And she can even spot talent, Rain was a newbie when he did Sang Doo and it’s still his most raw and amazing work to date. Her drama leading ladies have all been capable, with the exception of Han Ye Seul. And here I feel like Kim Hee Sun is yet another outlier who hasn’t shown me she has the depth and intensity to do a Lee Kyung Hee drama. I’ll have to keep my fingers crossed that either she doesn’t accept or she actually turns in a game-changing performance.