Black Comedy Heard it Through the Grapevine Premieres This Monday

Tomorrow a new K-drama arrives in the Mon-Tues slot for SBS, taking over from the critically acclaimed and ratings winner Punch with Kim Rae Won and Jo Jae Hyun. If I have time and the mood for something serious kicks in I’ll probably do a marathon of Punch, I like my darker dramas in one sitting so the tension can build slowly like an anaconda squeeze. I am planning to check out Heard it Through the Grapevine which skews dark like Punch but has been described as a black comedy. In the hands of a lesser PD I might write off Grapevine as attempting something too big for its britches since black comedies are notoriously difficult to get right. For every Heathers type perfect balance there are a dozen neither dark nor comedy failures.

Grapevine is getting the most press for being the return to prime time for PD Ahn Pan Seok who has done cable the last few years with A Wife’s Credentials, The End of the World, and last year’s Secret Love Affair. This time the central plot isn’t adultery but is still set in the rich and rarified world where money can suck a soul dry. Go Ah Sung plays a whip smart but poor high school student who gets knocked up by rich boy Lee Joon, though theirs is an actual chemistry-filled romantic attraction that will be tested when she’s brought into his stifling rich family to give birth. Playing his parents are seasoned actors Yoo Joon Sang and Yoo Ho Jung while her parents are Jang Hyun Sang and Yoo Bok In. The ratings battle will be interesting to watch as it goes up against seemingly dead of arrival Blood and rising sageuk Shine or Go Crazy.

Final preview for Heard it Through the Grapevine:

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Black Comedy Heard it Through the Grapevine Premieres This Monday — 11 Comments

  1. What a chameleon. I didn’t even know that it was going to be this week already. Monday and Tuesday are happy times for me again. This and Ho Gu’s love, which coincidentally somehow shares a theme are (going to be) one of the better shows out there right now. It’s a double header treat for me.

  2. I can’t understand Korean so I can’t be sure, but there hasn’t been any humor in the trailers I’ve seen. They’ve seemed very melodramatic. I wonder if a lot of the comedy will be lost in cultural translation. I’m not looking for a rom-com, but I don’t want accidental makjang.

  3. Seriously cannot wait. I don’t think I ever saw a black comedy on Korean television, but with this cast and Ahn Pan Seok this drama just can’t go bad. Will it be ‘my cup of tea’ is another question. Monday/Tuesday dramas have been realy awesome lately: first Healer, than totally unexpected but completely awesome Hogu’s Love…I wish I could say the same about Wednesday/Thursday dramas, but I haven’t seen a good one in months. I mean Ji Sung is fantastic as usual, but I am already over that split-personality trend. Boring.

  4. I like the vibe of it
    will check for 8 ep, hope it good
    and hope the acting is good, but 32 ep is too much for me
    usually I can’t stand that long

    the only long drama I watch saeguk (Jewel In The Palace, Dong Yi and Seon Dook) but I didn’t finish Empress Ki

    Hope it is a good drama

    • Black comedy is where humor is used in the bleakest set-ups. It can be subtle or slapstick. Also called gallows humor. Finding what is funny in the face of death.

      In other words, it isn’t supposed to be funny, and you are told you really shouldn’t be laughing at this, but you can’t help it and laugh anyway.

  5. i thought kill me heal me got some of black comedy especially during shin se gi scene. But yeah… black comedy is hard to make. But PD ahn pan seok may found success for it.

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