With the weekend dramas Golden Rainbow and Thrice Married Woman well into its airings, the networks are finally getting down to business of locking down the main leads for the follow up dramas. Today both MBC and SBS dropped casting news but it’s not exactly double the happiness when I heard it. I’ll do the happiness inducing good news first with Hotel King, the drama to follow Golden Rainbow on MBC. The leading man has already been confirmed as Lee Dong Wook who is ready to reprise the role of a hotelier but this time in less slapstick management style than in the silly fluff that was My Girl. As luck would have it, his leading lady is looking more and more likely to be his MG co-star herself Lee Da Hae. Somewhere I see closeted away MG fans coming out of hiberation and dusting their fireworks to set off. Hotel King is a serious 32-episode drama about a cold hotel president who climbed his way to success but bears a hatred of his father for abandoning him and his mother. No word yet on how the leading lady character fits into the story line but I’m good with anything other than as a swindler and/or a fake relative of the male lead. I loved MG the first time I watched that drama but have to confess that once the adrenaline dies down the story makes zero sense upon second watch and the ridiculous dialogue starts to drive one batty. It’s not a drama that holds up to multiple re-watches IMO but I think the characters remain memorable and the fashion so hideous it’ll always bring a smile to my face to remember Lee Dong Wook’s fur collared coats and Lee Jun Ki’s shaggy hair. Speaking of Lee Jun Ki, he was reportedly in talks with SBS to headline their next weekend drama Angel Eyes, which is taking over for Thrice Married Woman in the Spring. I had heard the network was hoping to land Han Ji Min to be the leading lady but today the anvil dropped on this drama casting and now both are out. I think this casting smells like the usual SBS jumping the gun in revealing its talks with Lee Jun Ki and Han Ji Min but ultimately neither were interested so nothing came of it. SBS is now in the final stages of casting discussions with Lee Sang Yoon and Gu Hye Sun to do Angel Eyes. I’m sorry to fans of Gu Hye Sun but the moment her name popped up my brain popped a blood vessel in screaming Nooooo. Angel Eyes and Hotel King will be direct head-to-head competitors in the same time slot on the weekends and I know which drama of the two I’ll be more keen on checking out.
Angel Eyes is about a pair of first loves (played in the high school years by Kang Ha Neul and Nam Ji Hyun) who are separated because of the male lead’s family situation. The female lead is blind and after she gets surgery and regains her sight then reunites with her first love again. I hear she’s also an EMT but not sure how she can do that job being sight impaired. Angel Eyes is helmed by the PD of Will It Snow For Christmas, Only You, and What Happened in Bali and writing is the screenwriter behind Operation Proposal and Boys Over Flowers. I love love love the PD but conversely majorly loathe this screenwriter, and now Gu Hye Sun’s involvement makes sense if it’s reuniting her with her BOF screenwriter. Over on the MBC side of things, the Hotel King screenwriter previously did Feast of the Gods and the daily Goldfish and this time she’s paired up with the PD behind Just Like Today and My Life’s Golden Age.