Gong Hyo Jin Likely Joining Cha Tae Hyun, Kim Soo Hyun, and IU in Producer

This drama line up just went from woah to WOAH in the span of half a day. I said before that the casting for upcoming KBS Friday night drama Producer appears to be going at lightning speed, which goes to show how much attention KBS is lavishing on this project as well as how much clout screenwriter Park Ji Eun has these days after penning You From Another Star. Hot on the heels of revealing singer-actress IU in talks for one of the female leads, today comes news that veteran leading lady Gong Hyo Jin is likely joining the drama to round out the four main lead cast.

The drama will be akin to On Air, set in the behind-the-scenes entertainment world and having a two male lead, two female lead structure. The age bracket of all four On Air leads were the same but here there will be Cha Tae Hyun and Gong Hyo Jin playing ten year veteran PDs while Kim Soo Hyun is a rookie PD to have a loveline with IU’s child star turned top singer. The drama will be a first of its kind, being produced by KBS’s variety show department and directed by two veteran KBS variety show PDs. I’m a little (a lot) confused on what to expect but with the lackluster fare these days might as well be game for a surprise. Continue reading

Kim So Hyun Joins Sensory Couple as Yoochun’s Beloved Younger Sister

This is comforting drama casting news which helps to alleviate some of the earlier disappointment. Upcoming SBS Wed-Thurs drama Sensory Couple, based on the webtoon The Girl Who Sees Smells, starts filming next week with leads Yoochun and Shin Se Kyung confirmed. Today comes the addition of rising child actress Kim So Hyun playing the critical supporting role of the younger sister of Yoochun’s male lead who is a cop. Bear in mind that his character is described as numb and grieving after losing his little sis to the hands of a serial killer and we all know right off the bat that So Hyun is going to have to bite the dust in this show.

The close sibling relationship is going to be a treat to watch, and a funny twist on Kim So Hyun playing the childhood love interest of Yoochun’s character in Missing You (with his childhood counterpart being Yeo Jin Gu). In the drama, Yoochun’s condition of being unable to feel emotion is caused in part by his beloved sister’s death – he is critically injured trying to save her from the clutches of the serial killer and ends up in the ICU himself, hovering near death. He miraculously wakes up three days later but finds himself unable to smell or taste anything. His condition is contrasted with leading lady Shin Se Kyung who is a surviving victim of the same serial killer and finds herself with the supernatural ability to see smells. Continue reading

IU and Cha Tae Hyun in Talks for Producer Which is Still Courting Kim Soo Hyun

The casting of upcoming KBS Friday night drama Producer is not only shaping up to look really promising, it’s also casting at the speed of light it seems. A day after Kim Soo Hyun was revealed to have received the script and offer for Producer, penned by the scriptwriter from his last drama You From Another Star, the other male lead’s name also came to light straightaway. After three years away from the small screen post the KBS sageuk flop Jeon Woochi, Cha Tae Hyun has also been tapped to join Producer alongside possible costar Kim Soo Hyun. Cha Tae Hyun would be a veteran PD of over ten years experience while Kim Soo Hyun’s character is the rookie PD of the network.

The drama is going for a two male lead/two female lead structure and now the first possible female lead has revealed to be KBS darling singer-actress IU. She’s moved up on doing KBS dramas, first with a supporting role in Dream High, then the female lead in weekend drama The Best Lee Soon Shin, and finally as the female lead in prime time Wed-Thurs Pretty Boy (Bel Ami). It was only during Pretty Boy did I become an IU fan, she was fantastic playing what should have been a thoroughly annoying character of a kooky girl obsessed with the most handsome oppa in the entire world, except she made her endearing and likable. What a feat! Like the other two male leads, IU is still in talks but I wouldn’t be surprised if KBS firms up the full cast this week whatever it turns out to be. Continue reading

Song Joong Ki Confirmed for Kim Eun Sook’s Descendants of the Sun

I always go into Kim Eun Sook-penned dramas with optimism. She’s written my favorite K-drama of all time so how can I begrudge her a few misses here and there. Now that the male lead is basically confirmed (99.9% at least) for her upcoming drama Descendants of the Sun, the optimism level has skyrocketed for me and is parked somewhere in the vicinity of the star called euphoria. Song Joong Ki is going to be Kim Eun Sook’s next leading man, y’all! That’s a position that virtually guarantees ratings and/or buzz, though it also comes with the high probability of playing a grabby asshole off the bat who needs to learn to love and mellow out.

Song Joong Ki has reportedly met in person with screenwriter Kim Eun Sook and after the lengthy discussion of the drama and role, he accepted the offer from her and is a virtual lock to star as the leading man. The production company and his agency are playing it safe by saying the final final confirmation will come only after Song Joong Ki is discharged from the army this May, but the reality is that he’s basically doing it barring some unforeseen last minute hiccup. This is one K-drama production that had to lock in the leads early (and I expect the female lead to be signed soon as well) because the story reportedly has over 80% overseas location shoots and will be fully pre-produced with filming taking over this entire summer with an early fall premiere date on KBS Wed-Thurs. Continue reading

K-media Discusses Possible Drama and Movie Comebacks in 2015 for Popular K-actors

Now that the first batch of 2015 K-dramas have shaken out the ratings rankings and audience feedback – wins for Punch, Kill Me Heal Me, Shine or Go Crazy, losses for Hyde, Jekyll, Me, Blood - the media is looking ahead to the possible big name castings to come. One drama that just got a leading man is Yoochun for Sensory Couple so that’s one popular name certain to be returning to the small screen soon. Up next is Kim Woo Bin getting the offer for the Hong sisters upcoming island rom-com Jejudo Gatsby, an offer that I pray he accepts so that he can finally flex his drama leading man muscles. The media remains forever wondering if this is the year Won Bin acts again.

Kim Soo Hyun has already made it known that he plans to do a drama this year, and whether it ends up being the KBS Friday night drama Producer penned by his You From Another Star scribe remains to be seen. No matter what he picks he’ll have no shortage of offers. Eyes are also on Lee Jong Seok, who has done back-to-back-to-back dramas starting from I Hear Your Voice to Dr. Stranger to Pinocchio, all with good to great results. He’s a steady workaholic, plus SBS loves him, so the media is wondering if he’ll be on the SBS line up towards the end of the year. Finally there is much attention on the returning from the army Song Joong Ki, confirmed to have received the offers for Kim Eun Sook‘s upcoming Descendants of the Sun as well as the fantasy movie Fist Fighting. Continue reading

Park Min Young Focused on Her Acting and Counters Netizen Critique of Her Looks in Healer

I’m comfortably bipolar when it comes to Park Min Young. She is one of the few acting talents that I judge project to project and don’t carry too much previous opinion forward when it comes to whatever she’s lined up next. It’s pretty evenly split on her dramas I loved her in (Man of Honor, Healer, A New Leaf) and hated her in (Dr. Jin, City Hunter, Sungkyunkwan Scandal). She’s got a natural camera-friendly effervescence, but doesn’t have the deeper acting chops to deliver every time, which means delivering even when her character sucks, or the script is bad, or the directing is wonky. She reflects more the costars she has, good ones elevate her craft and bad ones expose her limitations.

With Healer wrapped up two weeks ago, Min Young has been doing the post-drama interview rounds which has unfortunately been dominated by recent netizen complaints about her looks in that drama. Bad acting is totally a legit complaint, even after a drama has wrapped, but there is none of that with respect to her performance as sunny with a side of grit Chae Young Shin. K-netz is harping about her looks, namely she looks older and isn’t styled very attractively in the drama. Now that’s just silly. She’s actually aging well IMO, and despite wishing she didn’t do that much work on her face early on in her career, what’s done is done and luckily it hasn’t impeded her ability to act. Her face emotes nicely and I thought her look in Healer was supremely adorable (other than Young Shin’s latter helmut half hairdo). Continue reading

Second Even More Hilarious Hyde, Jekyll, Me Fanmade Crossover with 50 Shades

Devoid of any narrative context, and frankly there hasn’t been much that has made sense, one of my favorite (if not the favorite) scenes in Hyde, Jekyll, Me so far has got to be the ending scene to episode 10. The moment when Ha Na walks into Seo Jin’s bedroom and he just stares at her. It’s the exact same way Jin Heon stared at Sam Soon, to reference Hyun Bin’s most famous drama. And yes, his most famous drama remains My Name is Kim Sam Soon regardless of how Secret Garden gave him a second Hallyu wind. It’s the look of pure intensity that wrapped in attraction, confusion, appreciation, and resignation. Like he knows she’s the one even if it wasn’t something he wanted to happen, but he’s understands how lucky he is to have found her.

Binnie saves this drama on so many levels, or specifically on three levels if we want to just tally up Seo Jin, Robin, and now Terry. I wish the drama was just reduced to his scenes but obviously that wouldn’t work. Which makes the latest fan produced cross-over with the hit movie Fifty Shades of Grey even more hilarious and hits the spot than the first too short fanmake video, giving us once again a jazzed up version of this drama. This second MV is a full movie length trailer and actually uses the movie dialogue with Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan, which leads to two startling conclusions which I’ll get into below. Check it out for supreme laughs and get us few still watching the drama psyched up for next week’s episodes. Continue reading

First Stylish Comedic Teasers for Falling for Innocence with Jung Kyung Ho and Kim So Yeon

The first teasers are out for the upcoming jTBC drama Falling for Innocence (Falling for Soon Jung). Starring Jung Kyung Ho, Kim So Yeon, and Yoon Hyun Min, the drama takes over the time slot from sageuk Maids, which I confess to never getting in the mood to watching despite hearing good things about it. This one is a different story, I adore all three leads and more importantly the drama seems lighthearted wrapped in a heavier theme. It’s been too long since Jung Kyung Ho got to flex his comedic chops, he’ll always be one of the first and most memorable beta-males in K-dramas with his Smile You character.

His last dramas were all dark with Cruel City followed by Endless Love, it’s time this guy is allowed to be goofy again! Bonus points for Kim So Yeon also hitting up her own breezy side since her image toggles between hard-ass no nonsense woman and klutzy gal. The drama revolves around Jung Kyung Ho’s cold corporate shark who gets a personality transplant into a warmhearted man after heart surgery, after which he falls for his own beleaguered secretary played by Kim So Yeon. The PD directed Big Man, My Fair Lady, and Flowers for My Life but this will be the scriptwriter’s first penned drama. The first two teasers made me laugh out out which is always a good sign. Continue reading

Blood Promises Future Change Addressing Viewer Anger Towards the Leads Bad Acting

I haven’t seen K-netizens this mad about bad acting in a drama in a long time, but then again, I haven’t seen such levels of bad acting in a drama in a long time. Perhaps it’s due to the bad being doubled in amount, with both leads Ahn Jae Hyun and Gu Hye Sun stinking up the screen in Blood, and that excess visual pain seems to snapped the wire of patience and tolerance for underwhelming output. I also haven’t seen the K-media openly cover the viewer anger towards Blood after the first four episodes, now there is even a petition already passed a thousand signatures demanding KBS replace Gu Hye Sun in the drama even midway through. I doubt that will happen but there may actually be improvements to come.

The Blood production responded to all the outrage by promising that Gu Hye Sun’s acting will change going forward, acknowledging the criticism against her overacting, effected line readings, and awkward non-blinking stares. That’s fine and all, but what about Ahn Jae Hyun! He’s just as bad as her and the double standard, or shielding of him, is so not cool. Either fix them both or just let this drama become a comic standard for what not to do when casting leads. It’s understandable that there is less leeway for Gu Hye Sun bad performance since she’s a ten year veteran in the industry whereas Ahn Jae Hyun has been acting for just over a year and this is his first leading role. With that said, all eyes will stay on Blood to see what positive improvements await. Continue reading