Upcoming Korean Dramas 2010
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[caption id="attachment_6771" align="alignleft" width="376" caption="My Country Calls"][/caption] It can be both difficult and frustrating trying to keep track of all the dramas that air throughout the year and all the upcoming ones. Casting and drama news pops up on Soompi or Dramabeans or equivalent sites and then disappears into the black hole of the web. There are few things more pleasant than looking forward to upcoming dramas however - breathlessly counting down the months and stalking the web for tidbits on the actors and production - and given that, here's a round-up, from this Dramafever writer to you, our users, of most of the major and/or announced upcoming dramas of 2010. Enjoy! (I'm sure I missed many, leave them in the comments if you choose).
May-Giant (50-episode historical epic starring Lee Bum Soo), Birdie Buddy (was there ever a sillier title? If this sports-themed drama with relative newbie UEE at the helm succeeds, you can knock me over with a feather) , and My Country Calls (adorable premise and Lee Soo Kyun is always charming) are all premiering this month. -Coffee House - May 19th-the Kang Ji Hwan/Park Shi Yeon starring vehicle by the writer of huge Hallyu hit Full House will take over Oh My Lady's spot. Kang Ji Hwan is a best-selling author who is torn between a publishing executive played by Park Shi Yeon and a cafe employee played by Ham Eun Jung(I was wildly confused when I first saw the trailer because Ham Eun Jung bears a striking resemblance to Park Shin Hye in You're Beautiful, from facial structure right down to haircut and clothes, but eventually I realized they are in fact quite different people). I remain confused by something else however - it's practically a golden rule of Kdramas that the male lead always falls for the klutzy, impulsive, boyish girl with the lowly job(i.e. Ham Eun Jung's character) rather than the beautiful, well-styled, successful career woman(Park Shi Yeon's character in this drama) - but all indications thus far are that Park Shi Yeon is the main female lead. I suppose we shall have to wait and see how that plays out. Jung Joon Ho of Iris will make a cameo in the first two episodes. -Bad Guy- May 26th-after several re-shufflings of its time slot, Bad Guy is finally back on in May, with I am Legend pushed back to August. With a high-profile star(Kim Nam-Gil of Queen Seon-duk) and even more high-profile director(Lee Hyung Min of I'm Sorry, I Love You), this revenge drama has gained a lot of attention, and its trailer gives it a deliciously dark, moody vibe. It co-stars Han Ga In of Dr. Kkang and looks like a cross between a gangster film, a thriller, and an arthouse piece(whatever else, the cinematography should be amazing).
June-Kim Suro- June 29th-a 32-episode weekend drama based on the true story of Kim Soo Ro, the legendary founder of the city-state of Geumgwan Gaya during the Three Kingdoms Period. It stars Ji Sung(Swallow the Sun), Seo Ji Hye and Bae Jong Ok. -Dae Mul(aka Big Fish) - Hallyu star Kwon Sang Woo plays a male gigolo to Go Hyun-Jung(of Queen Seon-duk)'s president (it should not come as a surprise that it's a manhwa adaptation). What's not to like? -Road Number One - highly anticipated war epic with a host of top stars including So Ji Sub, Kim Ha Neul, and Yoon Kye Sang(perhaps this will finally be Yoon Kye Sang's real leap to serious leading man status - 2007's Who Are You was his initial breakout but he followed it up with a supporting role in the disappointing Triple last year) . So Ji Sub's Cain and Abel co-star Shin Hyun Joon cameos as a North Korean officer. -King of Baking, Kim Tak Gu - Park Shin Hye returns alongside Yoon Shi Yoon of High Kick through the Roof. Yoon is the illegitimate son of a baking legend who after being cheated of his position by his father's family, is determined to make his own career and become a famous baker in his own right. He will be caught between two women, his first love who betrays him and another(Park Shin Hye) who stands by him through everything. According to Soompi, the story is based on the real life story of Paris Baguette's president, Heo Young In, and the first six episodes will focus on the main characters' childhoods, with the adult actors stepping in only in the seventh episode. [caption id="attachment_6772" align="alignright" width="350" caption="Coffee House"][/caption]
July-What's Up?- a campus drama set in a university musical department, this has been viewed as a sort of sequel to writer Song Ji-nah 's 1999 drama Kaist, which launched many current famous actors. It gained almost instantaneous buzz due to Song Ji-nah, a writer hugely famous for Kdrama classics such as Sandglass and Legend (and who seldom makes lower-concept dramas like this one), and has cast a round-up of rising young actors. Im Joo-hwan of mania hit/cult favorite Tamra the Island takes the lead, while Im Joo-eun, a relatively new actress who's been watched with much anticipation after her excellent turn in first-ever drama role in Hon, co-stars. Daesung of huge K-pop group Big Bang also stars, as does Jeon Hye-Jin of Smile. -Paradise Ranch - this has been described as both a "bright, cheerful story" and a romance melodrama, so I'm a bit confused about exactly how comedic/tragic it's going to be, but based on its vibe thus far I'm guessing it's going more for romantic comedy than melodrama. It's set on Jeju Island and stars Lee Yeon-Hee(East of Eden), Choi Kang Changmin (TVXQ), Joo Sang Wook(Queen Seon-duk), and Yoo Hana(Sons of Sol Pharmacy, Taiwanese drama My Lucky Star). Kang Changmin is the heir of a chaebol family and Sang Wook is a resort owner, and the two compete for the love of Lee Da-ji(Lee Yeon Hee). It was originally set to air in May but was delayed so that popstar-turned-actor Changmin could take acting classes, and currently doesn't have a definite air date, but I would assume it would air sometime in July or August. (The acting classes don't sound promising to me - we've all seen singers-turned-actors who failed miserably-but as I adore both the female leads I'll be checking this out anyway. Have a cute interview in which Lee Yeon Hee discusses tutoring Changmin).
August-My Girlfriend is a Gumiho - bringing together much-loved writers the Hong sisters(You're Beautiful, My Girl) and much-loved actor Lee Seung Gi, who capitalized on an already successful singing career with his excellent turn in Shining Inheritance, this drama is set for wide success. A fantasy drama about a cowardly man who falls for a gumiho, a nine-tailed fox of Korean legend who looks human but eats organs to stay alive, it has yet to cast a female lead. -I am Legend - August 2-this story about a group of rocker ahjummas was originally highly anticipated but has lost some of its appeal with the departure of high-profile lead Kim Sun Ah. (Side note: I consider its epic fantasy/historical sounding title wasted on what is essentially a modern day romantic comedy, though I suspect they were going for some kind of empowered feminist statement about the divorcee-turned-rocker protaganist). Originally set to premier in June, it's run into consistent production difficulties (the male lead had still not been cast a few weeks before debut) and has now been pushed back to August from its original June premier date. Athena - the Iris follow-up(not sequel) may or may not debut in August
September/OctoberRunaway, the new Rain-starring drama from the writer and director of Chuno is set for a September/October release. Jeon Ji-Hyun of My Sassy Girl is the strongest possibility for the female role SungKyunKwan Scandal, which has been labeled the historical version of Boys Before Flowers, just started filming and its air date is as yet unknown. It revolves around four good-looking young men in the the Joseon period (netizens have labeled them "Joseon Dynasty's Quartet") and is based on Jeong Eun-kwol's best-selling novel. It's gained buzz for its casting of TVXQ's Micky Yoochun as one of the four; he will play rich boy Lee Sun-joon who falls for a girl dressed as a man (another one? Are they trying to make some sort of cross-dressing quartet with Coffee Prince, You're Beautiful, Painter of the Wind and now this?). Song Joong Gi takes another of the lead roles. It's set on the campus of Sungkyunkwan university. My Princess, which stars Song Seung Hun and is written by the writer of City Hall, On Air, and Lovers in Paris (which means half the world, metaphorically speaking, will be watching it), begins filming in August and is set to premier in the second half of the year. Faith, a medical sageuk directed by the PD of seminal dramas Legend and Sandglass, recently lost its leading man with Lee Junki forced to head off to the army early, and Kim Hee Sun was rumoured to be the female lead but nothing appears to have been confirmed yet. It's set to premier in the second half of the year. Other dramas still far away on the horizon include the Queen of Housewives sequel and Chuno 2. There have also been (as yet unconfirmed) rumors that Daniel Choi and Gu Hye Sun will star together in an upcoming drama called The Musical. Last but not least, a number of big-name actors currently don't have any roles, and we're all impatiently waiting for Gong Yoo to announce his first post-army drama role, for Jang Hyuk to choose a follow-up to his recent smash hit Chuno, and for Jang Geun Seuk to follow up his star-making turn in You're Beautiful.
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