In this week’s round-up, Secret Love Affairs premiers and previews, sussing out the You From Another Star craze in China, casting news, anticipating Avengers 2 in Seoul, and beauty queens from yesteryear!
1. My most highly anticipated drama this season Secret Love Affair, hit the ground running with ratings of around 3%, pretty much assuring us that it won’t meet the fate of the PD’s previous drama which died a premature death. SLA‘s first two episodes is pretty much everything I expected–gorgeous, grown-up, and meaty. I’ve tempered my raging excitement simply because it’s much healthier. I no longer obsess–it didn’t even occur to me that tomorrow’s Monday already. Congratulate me!
The preview above for tomorrow’s ep shows Sun Jae’s education beginning in earnest. That’s right Hye Won, school the boy.
2. SBS confirmed the cast of It’s Ok It’s Love with Noh Hee Kyung alums Gong Hyo Jin and Jo In Sung taking lead roles, with Lee Kwang Soo, Sung Do Il, and DO (EXO) rounding out the cast. It’s billed as a rom-com which is new territory for Padam Padam/ That Winter The Wind Blows writer. But I’m keeping an eye out for this one mainly since I adore GHJ and the premise–psychiatrist meets novelist-with-a-disorder–sounds like it could be fun. IOIL premiers after You Are All Surrounded in the summer.
3. You From Another Star aka My Love From Another Star aka the drama with too many damn names, was a huge hit in China during its run, and there’s been quite a bit of press lately from Chinese, Korean and even US media documenting the craze. The Washington Post even front-paged the story, but this to me seems like an attempt to embarrass the Chinese rather than a true indication of how important they think this piece of news is. (And please WP stop calling them soaps. Try ‘mini-series’ instead. It’s not hard to understand the difference.)
But in any case, any drama that has racked up 2.5 billion views is no small thing. The show has sparked a craze for chicken and beer, Jeon Ji Hyun’s make-up has been sold out, even the books that Do Min Joon reads are enjoying brisk sales. That means big bucks, and big brands like Louis Vuitton, Samsonite and YSL used in the show have also been cashing in. Here’s what floored me to learn though—some of these brands did not pay a cent to be used on the show, but have seen sales in China and beyond skyrocket. Talk about free advertising! I hope some smaller Korean labels managed to get in on some of that action.
4. Filming of Avengers 2 starts in Seoul soon and Korean netizens have welcomed the cast and crew in style: by Photoshop trolling them. Pictures of the superheroes superimposed over Korean landmarks, in Korean street protests and others have gone viral. It’s pretty hysterical. For more funny, there’s more Korean PS trolling goodness here.
5. I’m catching up on Miss Korea and it seemed serendipitous to come across this article highlighting some actual Miss Koreas from the past. It’s lovely to see, and to be reminded that beauty standards are always evolving.
Enjoy the week ahead!