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.
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.