Sneak peek: A different kind of Hong Gil Dong
Who’s excited about Hong Gil Dong??
The upcoming drama (the official title is “Kwae-do Hong Gil Dong,” which translates roughly to “Sharp Blade Hong Gil Dong”) has been on my radar ever since it was announced because it’s the next project for screenwriters Hong Mi Ran and Hong Jung Eun, who wrote three series I thoroughly enjoyed: Delightful Girl Chun Hyang, My Girl, and Fantasy Couple. A lot of times with dramas, they sound interesting and I get all excited, then watch an episode or two and drop it in boredom. With these two, I’d practically commit to a series sight unseen because I know it’s going to be (1) funny, (2), fast-paced, (3) and have great, sparkling characters. Oh, and romance peppered with funny dialogue, hilarious clashing, and lots of chemistry.
It’s described thusly:
“The drama is decidedly different from any sageuk dramas we’ve seen thus far. From the actors’ wardrobes to its styling, it plans to show the essence of what a fusion sageuk is. In particular, there are a lot of fantastic action scenes and fiery sunsets, but the harshest and most brutal scenes have been reduced, so anyone, male or female, young or old, will be able to enjoy it.”
Unfortunately, the Olive Nine-produced drama doesn’t air till early next year (KBS2, Wednesday-Thursday), but at least we have these newly released preview pictures to whet our appetites…
SONG OF THE DAY
Sorea – “이 노래를 부를게요” (I would sing this song) [ zShare download ]
The second reason I was eager about this drama was upon hearing their casting for the main role, the Robin Hood-y historical figure of Hong Gil Dong — here played by Kang Ji Hwan. Aside from being cute and all that superficial stuff, he’s got a charisma and an ability to absorb into his characters in a way that a lot of young actors in his generation don’t have (or haven’t yet figured out). I’m confident he’ll totally own his role here.
In this drama, the main character of HONG GIL DONG, played by actor Kang Ji Hwan, is a complete change in direction from the way he’s generally portrayed. In the preview pictures, Kang Ji Hwan sports naturally mussed hair and, peculiarly, sunglasses — bespeaking a completely new Hong Gil Dong character.
I’ll admit it. I was notably less excited to hear about Sung Yuri being cast, because I don’t think much of her acting. The best thing people can say about her is “she’s pretty” and “her acting has improved…” (Ha, when you start out scraping the bottom of the barrel, it would be horrifying if you didn’t improve.) But fine, I’m willing to give her a shot, and I’ll even promise to TRY to, maybe, if I feel like it, possibly tone down the bitchy snark. Kind of. Because I know a lot of times the only things separating a mediocre actor from a potentially good one (although perhaps not a great one) are a good script and strong director. Hey, the Hong sisters did wonders for Han Ye Seul and Oh Ji Ho in Fantasy Couple…
Born into a noble family but living without regard to her social status, the cute roughneck HEO INOK, played by singer-actress Sung Yuri , shows an uncommon glitter in her eyes. Her character displays athletic prowess and is just as skilled as the guys in the martial arts.
And then there is baby-faced uber-cutie Jang Geun Seok, who really shot to fame after his role in Hwang Jini despite his tender years (he’s a 1987-er).
Jang Geun Seok, playing LEE CHANG HWI who ascends the throne in the drama, just oozes charisma. Having caused women’s hearts to flutter as Hwang Jini’s first love in the drama Hwang Jini, he shows yet another side to his handsome charm.