January has been a busy news month for Lee Yoo Bi, a relatively newbie actress that I’ve been keeping my eyes on since she made a decent turn in Nice Guy followed by a stunning performance in Gu Family Book. 2014 is starting off with a bang for her and in the last week alone she’s made the headlines in three different ways. The first is getting named one of the new co-MCs for the SBS music program Inkigayo along with EXO members Suho and Baekhyun. I expect EXOtics to flay her alive. If she makes it through hosting Inkigayo on the side, she’ll still have her acting career to build up and her first leading lady role may be right around the corner. MBC must’ve loved her performance in GFB as much as the viewers did because she’s in talks to be Lee Dong Wook‘s leading lady in the upcoming weekend family drama Hotel King. The age difference isn’t all that big with Lee Dong Wook being 32 and Lee Yoo Bi is 23, but visually she does look a lot younger then her age and can easily pass for late teens. Lastly comes the juiciest ondit in her busy week – the tabloid breaking story that Lee Yoo Bi is dating SHINee‘s Jonghyun (i.e. one of the SHINee guys I don’t have a clue about other than he is not Min Ho). Both side’s agencies have leaped forward to refute the news and claim they are just friends and hang out a lot with other friends. What’s making netizens chortle on both sides of the ocean is the fact that this dating news was broken by a well-known reporter Nam Hye Yeo who is credited with the following high profile dating breaking news: Seo Taiji and Lee Ji Ah, Honey Lee and Yoon Kye Sang, Lee Min Jung and Lee Byung Hun, Lee Hyori and Lee Sang Soon, Baek Ji Young and Jung Suk Won, and Ji Hyun Woo and Yoo In Ah. Heh, that’s an impressive breaking dating news list. So there you have it, and of course Shin Se Kyung‘s name is being bandied about simply because she once dated Jonghyun as if she doesn’t have her own life to live afterwards. I’m happy Lee Yoo Bi got the MC gig, curious if she accepts Hotel King and what her chemistry will be like with Lee Dong Wook, and can totally care less whether she is dating Jonghyun or not. I’d say she ought to be pleased with a buzzy month because even scandal news is better than no news.
Lee Dong Wook as the titular hotel king isn’t new territory for him at all since he played a hotel heir in My Girl though I don’t remember seeing him do much hotel management in the course of finding Lee Da Hae to be his fake sister and then falling in love with her. Hotel King is slated to follow Golden Rainbow and air for 32-episodes so it’s not a major commitment if she accepts but will definitely be a prime breakthrough opportunity to keep making a name for herself that doesn’t involve being known as Kyun Mi Ri‘s daughter.