Annyeong! How did dramaland treat you this week? Mine felt pretty blah, so I marathoned School 2013 and I think I’ve found my vote for the year’s best drama! In other K-drama news…
1. 7 days till Gong Yoo appears on Running Man! As I mentioned last week, Gong Yoo and his The Suspect co-star Park Hee Soon will be guesting on the famed variety show on 8th December. I am beside myself! For a moment there, we weren’t so sure because of conflicting reports of airdates and cancelled appearances before. But now that a preview is out, it’s a done deal! Here’s a taste of what we’ll see next week, and it looks like there’s a good chance my lovely will get wet…heh.
2. Speaking of previews, another highly anticipated drama You Came From the Stars dropped a rather fanservicey one this week featuring soon-to-be everyone’s favourite alien Kim So Hyun brooding in the shower. I guess SBS felt like it needed more ammunition other than the simple fact of this being Hallyu goddess Jeon Ji Hyun‘s return to dramaland after a 14-year absence. In any case, coming from the PD of Painter of the Wind and Tree With Deep Roots and the writer of Queen of Reversals, it sounds like we’ll be in good hands. The drama takes over from Heirs on 18th December.
3. Reality show Cheongdamdong 111 debuted two weeks ago on cable channel tvN featuring a look into the inner workings of entertainment company FNC Entertainment, home of K-pop bands FTIsland and CNBlue and actors like Lee Dong Gun. The latter and CNBlue’s Jung Yong Hwa are currently starring in the under-appreciated drama Mirae’s Choice (aka Marry Him if You Dare) for which the company is also producing it’s pretty awesome soundtrack. The show promises a behind-the-scenes look at not only the lives of the bands but what goes into moulding a future Hallyu star.
Not being a fan of FTIsland or CNBlue, I found the latter to be the most interesting bits of snippets I saw: cowering trainees being scolded by the fearsome “Witch” i.e. their head trainer who cuts them down with icy glares and insults. Just like what you’d expect! As for whether this is put-on for the cameras, who can tell? But just remember that nothing ever airs on television without a script.
3. Spike Lee’s remake of the Korean landmark film Old Boy opened this week in the US to lukewarm reviews. I haven’t seen it myself so I can’t weigh in, only to say that I have liked many of Spike Lee’s films and I intend to see this one. If you haven’t seen the original Park Can Wook film you should. It was one of my first Korean films and I remember the stomach-churning experience of it if not the narrative details. It kicked off my love for Korean genre flicks of the bloody kind.
4. As a companion piece to last week’s Ideal Korean Man, Eat Your Kimchi dropped What’s the Ideal Korean Woman. Turns out it’s a short list. A really short list. The only requirement–beauty! And I got nothing else to say about this….
5. Did you know that Koreans are the world’s top users of credit cards? And that Jinro Soju is the world’s biggest selling liquor (which makes Koreans the biggest drinkers in the world)? And that there are 2500 match-making companies in Korea? Other factoids in this CNN article 10 Things South Korea Does Best.