Three Huge Age Gap Korean Projects Coming in 2018 with Mr. Sunshine, My Ahjusshi, and Love Sling

I’m amused by the hand wringing by K-netizens on the coming 2018 romance (or romance-adjacent) K-dramas with huge age gaps. Like this hasn’t happened before, and enough times to make it just a meh reaction from me. I even loved one particular such pairing the Lee Bum Soo and younger than him by 20 years Yoona in Prime Minister and I. It never felt squicky in that drama and their chemistry was just pitch perfect. I’ll keep an open mind for the upcoming three bigs in 2018, all with big name casts and production teams. There is Mr. Sunshine by screenwriter Kim Eun Sook with Lee Byung Hun romancing Kim Tae Ri who is 20 years younger than him in real life. The screenwriter of Another Oh Hae Young is doing My Ahjusshi with also age gap of 20 years Lee Seon Kyun paired with IU. And last but not least there is K-movie Love Sling where college age Lee Sung Kyung has a crush with her college classmate Kim Min Seok‘s dad played by Yoo Hae Jin, which kinda sounds like a K-version of Taiwan drama An Innocent Mistake.


Three Huge Age Gap Korean Projects Coming in 2018 with Mr. Sunshine, My Ahjusshi, and Love Sling — 48 Comments

  1. You need some truly phenomenal acting to pull these couples off and not make it look too gross. I don’t mind age gaps but you’ve got to admit that it grosses most people out to see a man romancing a young woman and he could be very well be her father just by looking at their age difference. My Ahjusshi is said to be a ’’healing’’ drama but I don’t believe it for a second. That title alone sounds like a bad ero movie and there’s no way they wouldn’t incorporate romance in it. LBH looks straight up like a cradle robber. KTR looks so youthful (I’m sure she’s a big girl and she can handle himself) but knowing how she has to romance with a guy in his fifties (and known to be shady in his private life) is yucky. LSK and YHJ couple looks like a sugar daddy – sugar daughter duo.

    • Agree.I am also not buying the “My Ahjusshi” dtama not having a loveline between the leads.I think they said that “healing” thing for damage control.They saw the backlash after the announcement was made.They cant afford to have negative publicity before the promos, and drama has even aired.They will hint at one of them having romantic feelings for the other.If for one reason or another, the ratings do not meet expectation..they could easily make this “family” drama into romance.

    • By the way, both are TVN right?the IU drama and the Kim Tae Ri drama?Maybe TVN is so confident because of Goblin? and most of their hits this year, have all featured mature actors?But I still feel this is pushing it s tad too far.

      I dont mind the movie tho.Korean movie projects have always been unconventional. Rather than the age gap and the fact that its a romance, they should be worrying whether LSK will match Yoo Hae Jin in the acting department. One has zero movie credits, the other is a veteran character movie actor with loads of acting experience.

      In the dramas Ive seen her in, Its Ok thats Love, Cheese in the Trap, and Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo.I have always found her to be a bit of an overactor.So I hope the director will guide her well so she doesnt overdo it in her effort to build chemistry with her male leads.Also is Yoo Hae Jin a box office draw since he is the prominent name in this production?

      • yup yo haejin movies are mostly boxoffice hits,whether being the lead, supporting cast i guess its the reason they are confident by casting lsk,

      • Oops I’ve got so many typos. Well, it was past midnight here so I guess that’s a good excuse ?
        Anyway, yes. Both are tvn. Tvn is the only station that could afford the production costs. I read that SBS declined Mr. Sunshine lol. I agree with you on that Yoo Hae Jin and Lee Sung Kyung part. Movies can have unconventional romances because they have a specific audience and they have a bigger room to be more artistic. And you know what they say, Art Imitates Life. So seeing morally ambiguous characters with thought provoking themes is far more acceptable in the silver screen than in television. I’m afeaid that LSK’s acting is definitely not on par. I have no idea why YHJ would pick up a project with her as a co-star but I guess she’s seen as marketable. Also, YG might have something to do with this too. I do think LSK was at her best in Doctors. That’s as close to natural acting she has managed to come.

      • maybe iu casting have something to do with loen,they have stake in studio dragon the for my ajusshi, not only lsk coz of yg.

      • @prettyautumn..hmm I see.I dont know about LSK being marketable, but I can see how YG might have had an influence in this.He’s the one who manage to squeeze in Nam Joo Hyuk in Jo In Sung’s “Ansi City” even though NJH was still being criticised for his acting in BOTWG.

  2. Yeah right, healing drama! Heal what? Of course one’s heart! Most K-dramas have romance, that’s why they had an audience in the first place with so many ajhummas. They can dream about those fantasy romance. Now they are treading on a controversial area. Daddy age and daughter loveline. Puke!

    • Puke indeed. Can’t wait for the time when video clips of LBH and KTR kiss scenes will be all over twitter and other media platforms and how i-fans will spazz over this couple and actually ship them

      • Arggh so gross?.Just imagining the shippers and stuff makes me sick already.The media play too.Prepare to be bombarded by endless updates on this drama once they start the promos.Unfortunately, there is a higher chance of this drama doing well, than being a flop.Its TVN.It will be aired on a weekend(Saturday and Sunday).Its in a prime time slot(21:00).Examples of dramas that aired on TVN in that time/day slot this year e.g “Secret Forest”, “Deserving of the Name”.Kim Eun Sook’s “Secret Garden” was also a primetime weekender(10:00) although it was on SBS.But it might be KES first drama not being an international hit, unless they somehow throw in a famous idol as a supporting cast.Lee Byun Hun is a good actor but does he have the charm to get the i-fans buzzing or not? we will see.

    • never understand why Ajhummas will like watching Daddy-Daughter romance… I would think a cougar-theme drama will be more appealing to ajhummas? or am I in a different culture here… must be… yikes… lolol…

  3. I wouldn’t worry about Lee Sung Kyung when the biggest issue is firstly IU in all of these pairings. At least the other 5 actors are amazing at what they do. IU’s O_O face is really not something attractive and she’s never had a real ratings hit either probably other than Producer which hit 18% or something. That was due to the star power of the other 3 A-list actors.

    Anyway regarding Mr. Sunshine, I honestly just can’t see how KTR and LBH can work out. I doubted GY-KGE too and honestly they weren’t great together but it was still not as odd and mismatched. And on a shallow note, the hotness factor is dialed down so much lol. Goblin had Gong Yoo and Lee Dong Wook. DOTS had Song Joong Ki and Jin Goo. Heirs had Lee Min Ho and Kim Woo Bin. This drama has Yoo Yeon Seok (sooooo much heart) and LBH (not so much). I’m disappointed lol.

    • I agree with you regarding IU. She is a very limited actress. With this kind of theme, at least they need to cast a stronger actress to sell the story and at least not making the pairing feeling so creepy.

      I have never been a fan of any KES’ dramas and I agree that the pairing of GY +KGE in Goblin really is lackluster. What sold Goblin is actually the fantasy element (though I don’t like the drama at all). As for Mr. Sunshine, with the lack of fantasy element, I strongly think it depends on the romance to be impactful and here, I totally cannot see the pairing between LBH+KTR could actually substitute whatever hollow writing of KES.

    • lol I know a visual downgrade indeed????.Before anyone starts yapping about LBH being a good actor.I dont care.The required acting standard in Kim Eun Sook dramas is quite low.All that is needed is for the visual to be?.The male and female to have chemistry?.The male lead to exude alot of charms and say the cheesy lines, without sounding too cringy/or make them heartfluttering.Her scripts are nothing to write home about.The latest casting is tae ri, yoo yoon suk, kim sàrang are perfect.I like them but LBH..sigh

      • I agree that iu isn’t the most versatile actress but with the right director i think she can be great. Her role in producers as Cindy was actually really good and she nailed her character. Ofc the same can’t be said for SHR where the pd didn’t know how to direct her and her performance in that just ended up a mess.idk who the pd is for this drama but if they know how to tap into her abilities iu might be able to give a good performance.

        THAT being said i hate everything abt my ajhussi and it just gives me gross and icky vibes and i wish iu had nothing to do with it at all lol

  4. As much as younger women-older men romance is rather normal in real life but I really do not wish to be overloaded with this theme for much of my drama watching next year.

    I so don’t understand what’s the problem with casting same actors. Many dramas that featured OTP with the same age actually the ones that really could sell the romance. And the one thing that irked me is that it seems in K-ent, they have no problem casting older actors but older actresses now have to compete a place with younger actresses and seem to not be able to co-exist? What sort of BS is that

    • I think established older actresses like Ra Mi Ran, Kim Hee Sun etc. will much prefer to choose women-centric dramas (e.g Avengers Social Club, Women of Dignity), instead of Kim Eun Sook’s crappy male-dominant k-dramas… when do older actresses have to compete with younger actresses… just wondering? and which established reputable actress wants to work with creepy LBH??

      • What I implied is that why is that actors in the same age range with those named actors above not being paired with actresses of the same age as well? LBH is a creep but I am viewing this scenario on the position that he is an actor, why can’t just cast someone of around similar age with him? Why set the trend of this old men-younger women? Much like how I feel crept out by the romance in Goblin. It would not feel so creepy if they casted Son Ye Jin instead of Kim Go Eun. I mean, if older actors kept getting paired with much younger actresses, then what about those actresses in the same age group? What kind of roles are they left for them?

      • That’s one sick mind of Kim Eun Sook!! I don’t understand her either…. never enjoyed watching GY with KGE ?

      • Which established and reputable actress wants to work with LBH?

        I think some people really need to wake up. How about Jeon Do Yeon? Han Ji Min? Gong Hyo Jin? Han Hyo Joo? Those are just at the top of my head and there are tons more who’d love a chance to work with LBH. Thing is, despite what we all think of him as a person, he’s as successful a movie star and A-lister as it gets. He’s a guaranteed success in the box office despite all the crap he does in his personal life. So wake up and smell reality a bit. All these younger actors/actresses would love a chance to work with him and with Kim Eun Sook (despite her sometimes crappy writing).

        These people are all professionals. They don’t make decisions in an emotional rush. Oh he’s nasty in real life – I don’t wanna work him despite the amazing opportunity? Only naive or actress with lack of guidance makes decisions like that. It’s stupid to say no to this and Kim Tae Ri isn’t stupid. As much as I hate the idea of him being a romantic lead, if I were an actress, I’d take it up in a heart beat if given the chance.

      • @Butterfly, I think you are the one sleeping… you sound like you know these actresses personally… I only asked a random neutral question, it’s fine all these 4 women want to work with LBH, let’s wait & see… But, HJM, a reputable actress? Seriously?? Why do you put her in the same category as JDY?

      • Most of LBH’s movies do well, but no one is a guaranteed success, his last movie with Gong Hyo Jin only got around 300,000 admissions.

      • @butterfly.Um except not really.There is a reason why he is “all so A-list and box office hitmaker” but they failed to secure an A-list level or even B-list level actress in an appropriate age range for the drama.Instead they had to settle for a 20s newbie movie actress who is two decades younger than him.Why all the actresses you have mentioned accepted to work with him in movies but none of the actresses of their calibre, is clamouring for an opportunity in the KES drama even though it could offer a career boost.

        There is also a reason why it has taken him almost a decade before making a drama comeback.He left the drama scene with a hit(IRIS).He has been scoring many box office hits but he couldnt show his pervy self in the dramas for such a long time.Why?That said, if he made a comeback in a crime/action/thriller/historical genre.No one would butt an eye.But comeon now a Kim Eun Sook fairytale romance?

      • @Butterfly: This is the type of thinking that allowed Harvey Weinstein and many other powerful industry people to continue their reign of terror. Power, influence, and opportunity can’t justify sleazy behavior. We shouldn’t be normalizing the actions of sexual predators.

    • @butterfly lbh ghy movie flop,it was shown last feb. his last movie fortress although it reach 3m ticket sales its with veteran actors, and shown during the very long chuseok holiday,its not always a guarantee that lbh name alone in movies is a sure box office.

      • single rider flopped as well. some genres are just not popular, LBH can’t make everything work.

  5. Sorry I draw the line on these older fellows and younger women. Who gains from these matches? It seems sleazy to me. So you think a woman 20 years older, romancing a younger man would be cool too? How many of you girls want to see this phenominum get started?

  6. I don’t get why mature romance automatically means you have to pair an old guy and a young girl (or vice versa) together. Most of the time, the pairing just comes across as gross. And it’s not that common in real life either, unless you are a celebrity. Whatever lol, I’ll stick to my age appropriate pairings.

    • I am of the same opinion. Most of the time, the romance that truly sold are the ones coming from OTP of close age gap. Have there ever been an older man-young woman’s pairing that truly sold in K-drama yet??? I don’t remember any. I so don’t understand why the need to set this trend. And KES…. she’s doing it back to back ever what’s with the overrated Goblin and coming up Mr. Sunshine.

      • Can’t think of any except for Goblin actually…
        At least we know people won’t ship LBH and KTR, since he’s married and had scandal before.

      • if this one gets successful, ktr will be getting that cf money not lbh,so accepting this one actually benefits her, and i think only few will ship dis 2, maybe the people who have sick mind,hoping big name actors and actress will have a comeback during the run of dis drama, so that articles abt it will be buried, its a cable drama so kissing will be intense, unlike terrestial tv where der is heavy censorship

      • Unless Won Bin comes back, we know that dramas airing the same time as Mr. Sunshine will get buried :/
        Even Jun Jihyun and Lee Minho pairing couldn’t steal the attention from Goblin (although that was a boring drama, admittedly). But I think Weightlifting Fairy kinda managed to hold its own internationally, so there’s still hope that a surprise hit could happen.

    • Goblin and Doctors sold the older man – younger woman couple like hot cakes. IHYV and Secret Love Affair sold the older woman – younger man couples too. Those are what I could think of. Obviously the grossest one was Goblin because the female character was written so juvenile it was disturbing. I think KES is really into Lolita/ nymphet themes lately.

  7. Not interested in another cradle snatcher / young girl pairing on TV. Grosses me out to no end.

    I am so sick of KES already. DOTs is watchable only because the female lead is a strong, independent woman. Couldn’t finish Goblin because GY was made to look like a sugar daddy. Won’t watch another KES drama unless she makes a drastic change and makes the female character stronger or at least on par with the male lead.

  8. honestly,i really don’t care about age gap drama, as long it good drama,why not.
    and it just acting in fiction story, if they can build the chemistry in professional way,that’s great!

    • So agree with you. What is the problem with age gap anyway? Maybe it’s not common, but there are couples like this. Between me and my husband are almost 13 years difference, and we are together for 17 years with 2 kids. We have a couple of friends among which there is a difference of 19 years and they are together for 20 years now … So, if they can make the relationship credible, why not? Better wait and see!

    • Agreed. I don’t have any bias against age gaps, unless I simply can’t suspend my level of disbelief to the point of buying into the romance. But for me that mostly has to do with chemistry between the leads (I never saw it between GY and GE in Goblin).I’m sure there will be another trend that comes along to replace this current one. It’s just how things work in any industry. I’ll remain optimistic, and I think I will give all these dramas a chance.Perhaps I’ll be surprised.?

    • Agree. I think if they can pull it nicely, why not? However, whether they put LBH with Kim So Hyun, Kim Tae Ri, Ra Mi Ran or even Go Doo Shim, that dude still looks greasy in my eyes.

  9. I think for having the sugar daddy concept, the guy must be look sexy even he’s an older man. They need strong alpha and charismatic guy while the girl should be at least has mature looks. Otherwise it feels like pedophile lol….

    I still think the guy like an Eric or Jung Woo Sung still looking hot when paired with the girl type like Nana or Esom (Because the Life is Our First).

  10. @prettyautumn if you are talking about the storyline then yeah..all the couples you have mentioned have the ickiness factor.But even so, comparing with these upcoming dramas..they werent so repulsive.Here we are feeling the father-daughter/uncle-niece vibe just by their visual alone and we all know they all have 20+ age difference in real life.They cant even decrease the guys age or increase the women’s age by that much because it would suspend belief.

    By pairing alone:
    Doctors pairing= 9 years difference
    IHYV pairing= 10 years difference
    Goblin= 11 years difference

    so we are still in the oppa-dongsaeng/noona-dongsaeng category here.

    Secret Love Affair was also along aunt-nephew vibe(19 years) but first, they never sugarcoat saying its a “healing” drama or making it a fairy tale romance like the LBH one and normalising.Second, YAI possesses a very mature aura both in the way he carries himself and in his acting.So it worked.While the ladies in these new dramas dont.

  11. I was ready to watch mr. Sunshine but after pairing him with a young actress, I lost interest. I watched goblin but never felt the chemistry between the leads. Actually, goblin is so forgetable. And with IU’s casting in my ahjussi, i say goodbye my ahjussi.

  12. the relationship with big age gap is painful, ofc it can happen but the circumstances are special but all this drama make it like a lifetime achievement and feed the fantasy of having someone who is handsome, rich and all rounded problem solver man is all you need when you were young

    • Why is everyone acting like they know exactly how each story will go? Maybe I haven’t seen as many dramas as everyone here has, but in my limited experience, while there are plenty of dramas that are very traditional and predictable, there are also many that are completely fresh and creative.

  13. How could anyone see LBH pictured next to that young girl and think they make a good couple…? It looks yuck to me. He looks old enough to be her dad.

  14. old pervert pair with young woman make me sick. those three old pervert will no doubt have kiss scene in the drama.

    that womanizer LBH will no doubt be kissing making out with that young actress. that the price she pay for acting in the drama.

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