Tag Archives: Korean drama

Fate of Bye Bye Birdie Buddy and The Musical

“The drama isn’t on until it’s on.” That is the conclusion reached after witnessing innumerable postponements and scrapped completed dramas which waited patiently, some eventually seeing the bright electric illumination of a network broadcast, but others only the dark forsaken shelves of an archive vault.

The latest casualty shipped off to cinematic Siberia is Bye Bye Birdie Buddy, girl group After School’s UEE’s first lead role. After being shuffled around indefinitely, it was finally shelved from MBC’s lineup. The only reason I was looking forward to seeing this was to see the insanely adorable Jin Ji Hee in her first post High Kick Through the Roof 지붕 뚫고 하이킥 project.  Her portrayal in High Kick of the bratty queen, potty-mouthed, yet innocently honest Jeong Hye Ri was incomparable.  Besides her, I personally didn’t have much expectation or anticipation from this golf drama of lame punned title.

Now onto another drama in limbo, but with better prospects given its heavier combined star weight. Also starring another High Kick Through the Roof alumnus is The Musical, which will be Daniel Choi’s first post HKTTR return to the small screen after his endearingly dorky turn in the recent box-office charmer Cyrano Agency 시라노; 연애조작단. It will also star Gu Hye Sun of Boys Before Flowers 꽃보다 남자 fame and Ok Ju Hyun of former girl group FinkL in a love triangle.

The Musical revolves around three stages and angles of the theater industry personified by the three leads- a wannabe startup actress, an established diva, and prolific composer, who show us the lives behind and in front of the velvet curtains. Again, the only reason why I really want, no, really need this drama to follow-through is because of the HKTTR history.

Side note: If one hasn’t figured it out yet, I love the drama HKTTR, except and that is a galactic-sized ‘except’, for the last episode, which rightfully is in contention for THE worst ending in the whole history of k-drama. After 125 glorious episodes of hilarity, banter, and satire unsettling etiquette, trends, bowel movements and other bodily functions, plus booting above all the infectiously addictive romantic journey of Ji Hoon and Jung Eum played by Daniel Choi and Hwang Jung Eum, the producers pissed it all away within the span of the last 9 minutes of episode 126!

The Musical is just quietly finishing its filming as management irons out its rollout. With fingers cross, I hope the talks go smoothly and audience can tune in to it soon.

My Princess’s Edict

When casting news of a new drama called My Princess 마이 프린세스 (2011) came out, it could not be helped that a most sarcastic reaction and laughing bout duked it out trying to burst out from me. But seriously, are the producers insane to let two of the most infamously bad actors anchor the same project? Who else can it be but Song Seung Heon and Kim Tae Hee, well known for their lack of acting skills despite years in the industry with innumerable opportunities to hone and improve upon them. At the same time, because they are also just as well known for their blessed physicality which has garnered them a much more positive response, they have been able to coast by on them. In the past, they were each fortunately paired with good to exceptionally talented co-stars, thereby minimizing the collateral damage they leave behind in their earnest efforts to emote any believable, uncringe worthy emotions. But now, on their own, it waits to be seen if their looks can save them.   

This harsh statement is made after having endured hours of their latest spectacular performance failures- East of Eden 에덴의 동쪽 (2008) for Song Seung Heon and IRIS 아이리스 (2009) for Kim Tae Hee.  Even Song himself was embarrassed and apologetic for having won the end of year Daesang award in acting as evidenced from his subsequent public posts on his webpage and other outlets. Why he won would beg a separate post on the behind-the-scene industry politiking and drama of self-promoting awards shows.

As if the casting match is not befuddling enough, the character descriptions ought to slam dunk one to the ground in hysterical fits- Song will play a chaebol bred career diplomat while Kim will play an ordinary late-entry college student. Really? Song who’s known for his lack of and short range for conveying facial expressions and intent and  Kim who’s known as the smart Seoul National University graduate student?

The premise is almost your typical romantic-comedy pinwheel set up: the two leads are mutually attracted, while there are one-sided second leads whirling around them scheming to break them up and/or pining away at them. Park Ye Jin who played Princess Cheonmyeong  in 2009’s Queen Seon Deok 선덕여왕 is said manipulator out to re-steal Song’s character for herself out of jealousy at her former boyfriend’s new relationship. Ryu Soo Young from 2008’s Lawyers of Korea 대한민국 변호사 takes on his first project after being discharged from his military service will be an archeology and art history professor crushed on by his female students but who secretly crushes on Kim’s character. Neither second leads are compellingly strong actors either judging from their filmography, which only adds to the disenchantment and lukewarm anticipation for this project. The only factor in this production that may save, if not miraculously turn it into a winner is the confirmed fact that Kim Eun Sook will be the writer, whose current work on Secret Garden 시크릿 가든 (2010) is romping fun to behold.

My Princess will tell how Kim’s character literally becomes a princess. This will certainly add an additional layer to the mounting demands of suspension of disbelief the producers are requiring as Korea does not have a monarchy last checked. Will there be another caveat at the beginning similar to Goong’s 궁 (2006)? I’m frightened to watch this, but simultaneously compelled to see how it pains out.

My Princess is slated for a January release on MBC Wednesday-Thursday evenings taking over Home Sweet Home‘s 즐거운 나의 집 timeslot.

Jang Hyuk’s Midas Touch

Who would’ve imagined that the Jang Hyuk from back in the days as the prototypical dorky cowering boyfriend to uber alpha girlfriends i.e Shin Mina and Jeon Jihyun could transform into such a delicious scroundel complete with reverberating gruff throaty voice, scruffy facial stubbles, and six- (maybe even eight-) pack choco abs. But here he is, in contention- rumored or what not- to lead the best scripts floating around where his potential roles’ characters are craft without a speck of sugar.

After last year’s all around cinematic K.O. Chuno (2009), Jang Hyuk had been in talks to lead dramas such as romantic-fantasy Secret Garden (2010) and action-adventure Poseiden (2010), which ultimately didn’t pan out, delaying seeing this surprisingly wide-ranged transformative actor sooner. Last seen in the Chinese remake of All About Eve (2010), taking on the character Jang Dong Gun played in the Korean version (2000), he has finally confirmed his latest project- Midas.

Midas will be broadcast on SBS network (which is having an amazing lineup all the way to next year) centering on the business world and several of its movers and shakers. Jang Hyuk’s character hasn’t been completely fleshed out yet, but in the high-stake, make-or-die cutthroat financial world, a three-piece Hugo Boss suit draped, smoldering shark persona might not be far from possibility.

Flanking him are Lee Min Jung, fresh off her local box-office topper Cyrano Agency, and Kim Hee Ae, ready for a comeback since 2006’s My Man’s Woman.

Midas, taken from the tragic Greek mythological character King Midas, who simultaneously gained and lost everything he came in contact with, is a telling title for a drama set in the world of tycoons, stocks, securities, and mergers and acquisitions. With the continuing fallout of the global financial crisis with its varying recession lows, there should be plenty of source material for inspiration and content to work with. Director Kang Shin Ho reunites with Jang Hyuk once again after their collaboration in Tazza (2008) to steer him and company through All In (2003) and Jumong (2006-2007) famed screenwriter Choi Wan Kyu‘s script.

Midas lines up after Athena:Goddess of War.