Kang Ji Hwan has worked equally with all three major television networks in Korea but for the last 6 years he’s only done SBS dramas. None of them have been as big of a hit for him as some of his iconic roles such as in the KBS fusion sageuk Hong Gil Dong or the MBC daily Be Strong Geum Soon. Back in January there was news articles touting his drama return in Spring of 2014 for the KBS revenge drama Golden Cross which was slated to follow Age of Feeling (Inspiring Generation) in the Wed-Thurs time slot. This weekend started off with some bad news for me when I heard Kang Ji Hwan’s agency officially confirm that he’s turned down Golden Cross and will not be doing that drama. That bummer of a news was followed the next day with the confirmation that he will be headlining the KBS Mon-Tues drama Big Man. That totally felt like someone slapping me first and then giving me a big hug, at least it ended with the hug rather than the other way around. Big Man will be following Full Sun (Beyond the Clouds) and won’t premiere until mid-April. That time slot was initially going to Mozart Romance with Jang Hyuk but that drama appears to either have been shelved or merely delayed and I can’t figure out which but really want it since it’s supposed to be a rom-com. Big Man, on the other hand, has a synopsis that reads like a hero’s journey drama crossed with a birth secret revenge flick then toss in some romancing on the side. As the titular Big Man, Kang Ji Hwan will be playing an orphan from the lowest rungs of society. He grew up poor and uneducated, and because he’s constantly looked down upon he doesn’t try to live a meaningful life and instead just plays. He once dreamed of becoming a boxer but due to the unjust circumstances in life he’s given up that dream and lives with a chip on his shoulder as a street thug. The only silver lining in his life is a restaurant ahjumma who he adores and is like a mother to him. She has a store at the marketplace and he helps out there during the day while being a driver at night for people who drink too much. He starts to have a new dream which is to open his own store one day. Then comes the twist to this story that comes in the form of a birth secret so read on for more.
Overnight Kang Ji Hwan’s character becomes the supposed illegitimate son to Korea’s richest chaebol family. He’s brought into their world but he starts to sense they have an nefarious ulterior motive so he begins to plot his revenge. He will have a romantic love line with a girl he meets along the way, and his story of revenge against his cold and calculating rich family will be very satisfying for the viewers to watch. Directing will be the PD who did My Fair Lady and Flowers for My Life while writing will be the screenwriter who penned Nonstop 2 and Cutie Pie. With Kang Ji Hwan onboard I’m definitely checking this out and I’m also finger-crossed he gets paired up with a leading lady I like. His last drama Incarnation of Money didn’t grab me with its story from the outset, and my apathy towards Hwang Jung Eum tipped that drama in the direction of dropped. While the bare bones synopsis for Big Man doesn’t sound particularly interesting right off the bat, there is tons more detail to be filled in so I’ll be keeping my eye trained on this one for the next two months.