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Air City Preview

Although kdramas premiere all the time with staggered start dates without a real “season” to speak of, with the current batch of dramas mostly winding down, we can await a new crop of dramas soon, just in time for summer.

Starting this weekend (May 19), we get AIR CITY, marking Lee Jung Jae‘s return to television after eight years away. The absence is understandable as he’s a huge film star, so you can count on anticipation being high. (Oh yeah, I guess his co-star is pretty famous too.) Lee Jung Jae! On my television screen! For weeks on end. Heart, be still.

 
I’ve learned you can’t judge a drama by its pre-premiere hype (Witch Amusement has made that point abundantly clear), but obviously the learning is slow and inconsistent because I still have high hopes for several, based on preliminary information. Coffee Prince, for instance, stars Yoon Eun Hye as a girl who pretends to be a boy (hilarity ensues!), which sounds fun enough even if someone probably should have pointed to She’s The Man as a cautionary tale. Still, it sounds light and fluffy once you get past the initial shenanigans. Also upcoming are War of Money, Bad Couple, Time of the Wolf and Dog… But those come later.

 
PRODUCTION INFO

Director Lim Tae Woo :: “제5공화국” (The Fifth Republic), “막상막하” (Equal Match), “베스트극장” (Best Theater)
Scriptwriters Lee Sun Hee :: “모델” (Model), “거침없는 사랑” (Unstoppable Love), “로맨스” (Romance). Also Lee Seo Yoon, Hwang Hye Kyung, Lee Myung Hee

Official site: http://www.imbc.com/broad/tv/drama/aircity

 
First off, it looks like MBC is going all out for Air City — just look at the production quality of those stills. Furthermore, casting two giganto-stars like Lee Jung Jae and Choi Ji Woo immediately raises the bar of expectations, for better or worse. Centering on the high-pressure, fast-paced lives of those working at Incheon International Airport, the stories will be big, the stunts (which Lee Jung Jae and costars are reportedly doing themselves, largely) will be big, the scope will be big. The stakes will be high, and I’m curious to see how they keep up the momentum, because it sounds much more like a blockbuster movie than a drama series. Will they be able to keep it going?

I’ve got to say, it’s not my typical type of drama, but it’s different. I don’t have much to say about Choi Ji Woo except that she looks pretty. I haven’t seen her in anything — or rather, let’s just say I’ve never finished watching anything she was in… But no matter. Because (sorry for the repetition): Lee Jung Jae! I don’t have that many favorite actors, but Lee Jung Jae was my first actor-crush EVER. It’s possible I had a few fleeting star-crushes prior to him, but I honestly can’t even remember any of them now — but I remember Lee Jung Jae.

With a resume boasting well-known hits like Il Mare, An Affair, Oh! Brothers, and Typhoon, you might also remember him from his breakout role in 1995’s super-hit drama Sandglass (모래새계), as the silent, loyal, self-sacrificing bodyguard in love with Go Hyun Jung…

(credit to some korean site and eyeofdawn.net)

…but really, to me, he will always be the young, irresponsible, goofy Joon from the 1994 KBS2 drama Feeling (느낌 / neukkim).

But enough of fangirl crushes.

 

AIR CITY CHARACTER LIST

LEE JUNG JAE
Character: Kim Ji Sung (33)
Government official, in charge of Incheon Airport personnel.
The airport is his “frontier”

Originally possessing a passionate and sentimental personality, because of his profession, he cannot leave tension and pressure aside even for a moment. As a government official, he takes care of all matters related to preserving the peace within the airport: He handles issues involving terror, industrial espionage, hijacking airplanes, hostage situations, narcotics, North Korean defectors in disguise, medical quarantines, smuggling intelligence for domestic crime syndicates, forged passports, cyber-terror.

With keen powers of observation and judgment, he acts quickly to ensure no trouble arises. He isn’t the type to compromise the system and logic of things merely believing that justice will be followed. In order to achieve his aim, he’ll do everything in his power, even disobeying orders, so he’s always running into problems, big and small.

Because he couldn’t handle a painful farewell, he volunteered to go to the Middle East as a “black-suited” (covert) agent. Exercising harsh discipline participating in turbulent and dangerous missions, he wanted to forget everything. However, upon returning to his home country after three years, he’s thrown into chaos when he re-encounters his old love.

Though he can’t help but conflict with the airport employees for his work’s sake, as his innately warm, bright disposition begins to come out, they become a family.

Although he clashes sharply with the Operations Headquarters Chief Han Do Kyung, as they experience danger together, they build up a strong trust and confidence between them. Seeing such a steadfast and strong woman faced with confusion because of a younger sibling, he finds himself moved with compassion… But even as their attachment and familiarity grows, that woman cannot sense his love for her even in her dreams.

 

CHOI JI WOO
Character: Han Do Kyung (31)
Incheon Airport Operations Headquarters Section Chief
The airport is her “haven”/”refuge”

Has authority over the administration of airport operations. A beautiful professional, she speaks five languages; her judgments are cool-headed, decisive. On the outside, it looks like she wouldn’t even bleed one drop if you pricked her, but her heart is unexpectedly generous and deep. However, when she’s alone, she’s assailed with pity and loneliness. She bears a deep hurt from her youth.

With her elegant appearance and rational manner, she gives off the slight impression of being a veteran at romance. In truth, she’s had several romances in the past. The problem is, she’s never experienced a love to cause her pain, or make her act foolish. She thinks those passionate romances in movies or novels are simply fiction, and sees her friends’ or colleagues’ experiences as mere exaggeration or silly attachments.

However, one man begins to stir up unfamiliar emotions in her. Although she serves in an airport overflowing with meetings and farewells, she finds the idea of meeting and parting frightening, and thus fears genuine communication with other people, and has built up a wall around her… but because of unrequited love for one man, everything is shaken. Of all the people in the world, it’s a man she works with, and still more dangerous, he’s a government agent. Encountering love and farewell with Ji Sung, she learns how to love herself, and communicate with the world.

As two women working in the airport, she feels a sense of solidarity with the airport hospital doctor Myung Woo, and builds up confidence with her. However, learning that she was Ji Sung’s old love throws her into confusion. Even with this complication between friendship and love, they come to treat one another with respect and sincerity.

 

LEE JIN WOOK
Character: Kang Ha Joon (31)
Airport Administration Team Manager
Airport is his “battle turf”

Quick-tempered with a habit of talking aggressively, he’s a passionate and deep-hearted man. At the airport, he watches over the several thousand closed-circuit security televisions, managing all incidents that arise.

Running up and down endlessly between the land and air sides, like a bulldozer he works to resolve all complications and problems. Because of the nature of his work, his personality is hardly pleasant. Although day after day is met with constant stress, still, he enjoys his work.

He becomes a firm source of refuge for Do Kyung. But, his feelings for Do Kyung become more and more complicated. As workplace superior and childhood friend, and also an unrequited love, he doesn’t know how his relationship with this one woman became so complicated.

 

MOON JUNG HEE
Character: Seo Myung Woo (31)
Airport Hospital Doctor. Ji Sung’s former girlfriend.

A general medical examiner at the airport hospital, she also performs exams on emergency patient cases in airplanes during flight, as well as quarantine inspections. Without participating in the warzone-like emergency rooms, she’s become a determined veteran in the art of medicine. When she takes off her doctor’s gown, she exudes a soft, feminine appeal.

In her days as an emergency room intern, during her most difficult times she met a patient, Ji Sung, and the two passionately fell in love, but they ended up separating. Upon finding out that Ji Sung has returned to Korea, she leaves the university hospital she was working at and volunteers to work at the airport emergency facility. She acts coolly to Ji Sung after their three-year separation, but her feelings of love return to her vividly.

Although she wants to restore their love again, they’ve come too far. Also, he now has a young, intelligent, woman next to him, a woman who doesn’t tremble in fear like herself.
Han Do Kyung stands by his side.

She finds herself mixed up in both her friendship and jealousy with Do Kyung.

 

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Oh yeah, I guess his co-star is pretty famous too.

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haha...yeah.. I guess she is pretty famous. =)

After reading this, I agree it sounds like a movie instead of a drama. I would be very afraid if this was by SBS...but since it will be on MBC..I guess I have more confidence that it will not turn out poor.

Will watch out for the series!!! =)

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My dear javabeans/sarah...

Thank you so much for this wonderful blog and especially this entry.
You're the best.

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Choi JiWoo's character just seems to embody the image she has already.

This looks like it'll be one crazy ride. It really does sound like a movie with all the action and the slick production. I imagine it to be fast paced and full of drama. Why do I get the feeling the whole story will be ruined iwth a complicated love story though? I hope they achieve a good balance between the romance and the action. I want to see good drama damn it!

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I didn't intend to watch this, but upon learning that Lee Jung Jae, whom I dubbed: my guy from Il Mare, now I can't wait. The trailer honestly looks awesome, but again, like you said, I dunno if a)I'm gonna like this kind of thing and b)it's gonna live up to the hype and keep the excitement going. Hopefully it is and I am.

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Oh yeah, I guess his co-star is pretty famous too..

Hahhaha exactly my thoughts. im sorry i realize there are tons of CJWfans out there.but im not really not one of them.i think her only drama i watched without fastforwarding the scenes was Now and Forever with JO HAN SUN(isnt he like a hottie?) hehhee but that was tough too, i pratically just look at her co-stars really

but i agree,i will definitely look forward to it.hhahaa this is just great. im sure its not gonna disappoint (hopefully!!) i learned this lesson all too well.

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Been waiting for this drama since months and months ago.. haha.. :) can't believe it's finally here... 4 more days! woohoo!! heheh..

Can't wait to discuss this with you too... aren't you excited to see your first love back on TV screen, Sarahbeans? hehe!

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lol shenny! sigh, my first drama love indeed. he was so cute and young in Feelings/Neukkim! it's so strange since his image is so refined and mature now, and i just remember goofy young lee jung jae... seriously, if i could get my hands on a copy of Neukkim i'd blog the hell out of it! one of the original trendy dramas!

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Man, it's nice to meet Feelings' fan out there!

I felt head over heels for LJJ in Sandglass but still love the first time I saw him in Feelings the most. His manner, his bike, his helmet and everything, so old school, captured my youth completely.

My friend has a copy of Feelings back home, but bad quality and is dubbed in Vietnamese (I hate dubbing!). I guess you wants an original one, like me? WEcan continue to search together :))

Cheers!

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TB, I'd love a shiny new DVD set of Feelings/Neukkim! Sigh. It's so old that it's kinda forgotten in Korea, too, although I'm sure there's a way for them to get it somewhere... maybe... I used to have an old VHS copy at home too, but what I really want is a DVD (re)release! Heck, if they did, I'd sub the entire series myself, that's how fondly I remember Neukkim!

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really anticipating this drama! i wonder who i'll root for as i love both Lee Jin Wook and Lee Jung Jae!
never liked CJW in all her characters in other dramas, except for Winter Sonata(ep 1-3)

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ooooooh...this looks like it will be good. i'm with you javabeans when you say heart, be still. be still indeed ^___^ hahaha

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Will you be doing a review of "I came in search of a flower"?
It's the one with Cha Tae Hyun from My Sassy Girl and Kang Hye Jung from Oldboy and Welcome to Dongmakgol...
I've heard so many good things about both actors...

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Thanks for your drama preview.
I'm looking forward to this drama. I'm okay with Choi Ji Woo but I'm really happy to see Lee Jung Jae in a drama. I've never seen him in a drama, but I watched most of his movies. I hope this will be an exciting drama.

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I love Choi Ji Woo!

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It sounds like a movie more so than a drama, but I hope it turns out to be good!!

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thanks for posting this -- I like Lee Jung Jae too! though I can't say the same for Choi Ji Woo :)

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I just finished this series... and on a scale of 1-10, i give it a 7? 8? ... and Lee Jung Jae is sooo hot in it too.. hahaha.. but the story line is kind of dissappointing. I didn't like the ending either... then again, i guess it really depend on the person. I'm hoping he'll do more dramas in the future though.

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Lee jung jae is the only saving grace in air city. the last few episodes came out kinda disapointing. i don't know what pushed him to be black agent again...

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