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Dennis Oh joins East of Eden, because it has credibility to burn

I mean, that must be it, right? For a series billing itself as a multi-generational saga full of revenge, action, and intrigue, casting an acting lightweight like former model Dennis Oh (short for Dennis Joseph O’Neil) is a gutsy move that must be the result of an excess of confidence, or optimism, or something.

Then again, main star Song Seung-heon ain’t such a noted thespian either; maybe MBC’s counting on the female viewership to be so dazzled by the confluence of male beauty that they’ll forget to notice their acting. Or, perhaps they’re counting on their strong female lineup (Lee Mi-sook, Lee Da-hae, Han Ji-hye, and Lee Yeon-hee) to shoulder that burden, along with the supporting cast (Yeon Jung-hoon, Yoo Dong-geun, Jo Min-ki). By the way, I don’t know how a drama can have so much money poured into it and such an otherwise all-star cast and yet seem so dull and trite to me. Not one speck of interest.

I don’t hate Dennis Oh; I’m just a drama fan who’d rather have valuable airtime given to people who are good at their job. He seems like a nice guy who fell into a career for which he is not suited purely because of his looks. More power to him for taking advantage of the Korean obsession for the half-Caucasian members of their fold. Does that mean he shouldn’t be judged by the same professional standards that “serious” actors are held to? Oh hell naw. Especially since you can’t call him an inexperienced noob anymore, with a bevy of ads and CFs and two drama series under his belt (Sweet Spy, Witch Amusement; I tried to be nice in his Witch days but in the end I was forced to admit I’d been overly optimistic).

I mean, I understand that the man is beautiful — sure, without question. But can he act? Not really so much.

The character he takes on in the drama is a (multi)millionaire casino heir, shedding Dennis’ heretofore sweet image in exchange for a “tough” one instead. (Maybe he ought to take the Keanu route to success and speak as little as possible, limiting himself to fierce glowering, fight scenes, and action struts.) East of Eden follows current Monday-Tuesday drama When Night Comes on MBC and is set for an August premiere.

Via Hankyung

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Star studded cast for this drama but this always give me a bad feeling as most tends to flop.

Hopefully this will not be another one!

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I almost wet myself at the Keanu comment. So true.

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Hopefully with Dennis O'Neil being in the cast we might get to see some English dialog with Lee Da Hae à la Daniel Henney/Jung Ryeo Won. Whether that's a good thing or not, is a matter of personal taste :)

But yeah, the story sounds so incredibly typical and boring with 50 episodes as the kicker.

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I say they're pushing their luck. Plugging in Dennis O. means one too many cuts of the same flat mold. That said, I *am* looking forward to seeing Yeon Jung Hoon again!

I'm not usually a fan of blatantly derivative plots, but I'm kind of disappointed that the series isn't taking more story tips from the titular film.

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He was one of the ones who was first casted even before the girls were, he claims he has gotten acting workshops.

I just hope they keep his role to a minimum.

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He's hot. That's their reason for casting them. We all love eye candy right?

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Hahha, I love your comment about Dennis and Keanu *kekekeke* So true... Maybe that really would be for the best, because none of them can act ~ And I also hope they will keep his screen time to a minimum AND that they won't go English on us too much because it's hard to even watch let alone hear...

I must say that the cast has won me over so I'll be following this drama, but yeah I do think it's a pity that the story sounds so typical (there seems to be a lot of parallels with Sandglass?)... also skeptical about the length of 50 episodes... but well we'll have to see!

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Meh. I don't see any issue with casting Dennis Oh at all, especially since he's not in the main casting. Precisely because it's a multigenerational drama -- kind of an evening soap version of the daily drama -- there's less pressure for any one actor to carry the show. It's much more important that the casting finds broad appeal. But I'm not sure if they've done that. Very, very early on, they were talking about Park Shin Yang carrying East of Eden, and he would have been the right demographic for the show.

In any case, and I'll say this again -- if the show does well, the breakthrough actor is going to be Park Hae Jin. Good in Fabulous Chili Sisters, good (and very emo) in By Land and Sky. He's the next Binnie.

@KOBE!!!!

Good to see you here!!

I've never seen Lee Da Hae act before, so I'm looking forward to seeing how Choi Ji Woo she can be . . .

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What I find interesting is that when Lee Da Hae started out she was the supporting actress to Han Ji Hye in Sweet 18. But now the roles are reversed!

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Personally -- if ratings didn't matter -- I would have cast Choi Jung Won as top female lead. She not only has the right glamour for the part, but she actually has emotional range and subtly. Very underrated as an actress.

@vis,

"(there seems to be a lot of parallels with Sandglass?)…"

I'm trying to not think like that, because there's absolutely no way this show will be that good. It would be a completely unfair expectation.

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That is a great picture of Dennis......but yeah, I've hated him ever since Witch Yoo Hee.

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I agree with Belleza about Park hae jin. He's actually the only guy on the casting that I'm interested in. I don't care much for dennis O, song seung hun or Jung hoon. Park Hae jin on the other hand is a cutie and he has alot potential.

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Eh, after all these years, I still get Dennis and Daniel mixed up. I swear, they look like twins. ehehe....you're right, the best route for Mr O would be a mute bad ass action hero. The key word being "mute." Oh, and "cold" so that he doesn't have to show too much expression XD

I have a soft spot for SSH though....the euphoria of Autumn Tale has yet to wear off for me ^^ A guy who can make me cry that much must be doing something right.

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he is a pretty good actor compared to other model turned actors. i'm not feeling any excitement about this drama, the plot and rest of the cast does not interest me. it would be sad if this turned out to be a flop.

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Hey javabeans, you're a great blogger! Quality journalism! haha. Thanks for all the updates. i definitely followed your Who Are You episode summaries all the way!

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ahh, I understand what you mean. The role should be given to someone that is actually a real actor that knows how to act.

These days, appearances sell. Dennis hot look and charm attract more audience= more money.

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haha. korean's lame obsession with halfies ;p

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well if we have a choice of playing the role between Dennis O and Daniel Henney, I would definitely pick Dennis O! (Sorry to Daniel Henney fans) because for me, he has more advantage than Daniel when it comes to acting.

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Hi javabeans! As always, great input, excellent writing. I agree with you about the lack of "feeling" towards this drama despite its spectacular cast. I am actually a little alarmed because I like SSH. I still have not gotten over "my pain" over his Autumn Tale so I was hoping to see him deliver another performance such as that of AT. But I have yet to see any significant excitement in any forum, even his at soompi or other sites. So many of us must feel the same way. I hope it delivers, though.

Agree with ruthiepoof, I'd pick Dennis O over Danniel Henney anytime, anyday - acting and otherwise. Danniel Henney doesn't cut it for me. He's too impersonal, almost "blank" for me.

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sweet image to a tough one?? i wonder if it's going to end up like Kim Jung Hoon's role in Witch Amusement-where he starts off saying, this role is different from my other roles. i play a total baddie in this. and then it ended up with him being a weak character. i bet this have Dennis Oh casted in East of Eden because they can't afford anyone more well-known and better. I already have a bad feeling about this drama- big hype, star-studded cast, and a storyline that doesn't seem interesting- revenge and the whole being switched at birth thing. furthermore, there is going to be 50 episodes! but i wish them the best of luck- i love SSH in the one movie i saw him in, love Lee Da Hae too!

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terrific commentary on this upcoming drama-i agree Dennis O is awesome eye candy, honestly he can't act even when he speaks english-ha ha ha,let alone korean, SSH is nice to look at too,i only liked him in :he was Cool:, otherwise i think he's rather boring, is it really necessary to have it run 50eps? Yeah i wish they could have casted someone of Choi Ji woo;s caliber she is totally underrated..as for Lee Da Hae um, i find it hard to like her acting, she has improved somewhat, still not enuf to win me over..as for the rest of the cast i m not too familiar w/ them, but perhaps they will make it watchable.....
dramabeans i think u r an awesome commentator on kdramas,etc...your opinions are spot on and sometimes so incredibly funny....

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I find Dennis better looking than Daniel, but his acting is atrocius. Anyone who has seen Sweet Spy would've witnessed the worst acting ever in a Korean drama. Even worse than some of the American extras in Love Story in Harvard!

You know this would be a 'MUST SEE' drama for me if it was less than 20 episodes, if only to see the all star cast. But alas, it is 50, and unless there's some English action happening between Dennis and LDH, it just isn't worth the investment.

@belleza

How do you know it's the same Kobe?! Surely there are plenty of Kobe's out there who are sad enough to participate in a website with a 95% female demographic. Right?

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DANG 5o eps
WOW

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I just realized one interesting difference between how Hong Kong incorporates hapas vs. Korea.

In the Hong Kong entertainment industry, most of the hapas are women, like Karen Mok, Michelle Reis, Cecelia Cheung, etc.

Also they completely brush aside their mixed-ness as well (i.e. if they have parents in the movie then both of them are Chinese). This is also the case of hapa male actors like Anthony Wong.

So I guess Hong Kong is more like Hollywood in that manner (e.g. having Keanu be completely white :) )

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he may not be able to act but boy is he HOT! :)

and thats all that matters to me, lol

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I'm personally looking forward to East of Eden a lot. I love multigenerational sagas, anything that has the passage of time in it.

@Jessica,

To put it nicely, mixed race had been kinda dicey in Korean culture, moreso than Japanese or HK culture. (Beautiful Days really turned my head having a prominent supporting character of mixed race.) So, literally, having a Daniel Henney or Dennis O (or Hines Ward or Tasha being "embraced" post-success) do as well as they have is a sign of progress.

@Kobe,

My mistake. So . . . think you can get Jerry Buss to sign Ron Artest? :D

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@belleza: Not really. Hines Ward and Tasha "stick out" a lot more than Dennis or Daniel. I think it will really be progress when we see a non-white half Korean person in the same type of role that Dennis or Daniel Henney always get to play.

I'm going to watch East of Eden. Yes it sounds like a typical K drama, but frankly it's the only drama that's caught a bit of my interest these days.

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I have always wondered....where is our female version of Dennis or Daniel? Don't us guys deserve some hot or cute Korean American actress gracing the K-drama scene regardless of their acting ability? Imagine someone like Ursula Mayes starring in the latest silly rom-com or sappy melodrama :)

@Belleza

Well, it's my way or the highway. Just like when I wanted to get rid of Shaq. Artest is in for sure, and we will be getting rid of Lamar Odom because I cannot stand playing alongside that wuss.

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Hmm, not really feeling the site's new colors . . .

@Shannon,

Yeah, but my argument is that even a few years ago, a "Danny" wouldn't even had a shot. Though with Korea's love of hip-hop,

@Kobe,

Can you also tell Sasha to sign with us already? If he wants the MLE, I'm going to cry. :(

"some hot or cute Korean American actress gracing the K-drama scene regardless of their acting ability?"

Japanese-British model Eva Popiel is probably the closest one I can think of. Her acting is not really there, but she was very likable in Likable or Not.

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@Kobe,

Lee Yu-jin had a big part in Boolsae(Phoneix). Her father is Hispanic American, but she grew up with her mother in Korea. I think I remember reading she was scared to announce her heritage for fear of discrimination.

http://english.chosun.com/w21data/html/news/200408/200408080032.html

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Yes, I agree, Dennis O has the all the acting ability of a gerbil, but he's a hell of a lot cuter, and you have to admit -- didn't you get a little frisson of pleasure from his bromance scenes with Jae Hee in Witch Amusement? You can see from that bit what casting directors must have caught enough of a glimpse of to give him the green light for acting.

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I'm trying really really hard to agree with you - but I just can't focus with that distracting picture of Dennis.

Its seriously one of the best pictures I've seen of him.

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If you don't understand the Korean acting.. his acting doesn't turn out to be so bad.

With a good set of subs - I really didn't notice the 'poor acting' until this was pointed out by other Korean speaking fans. Maybe bad pronunciation or language expression.. but his facial expression seems adequate.

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dennis eres guapo y las peliculas que haces son fenomenales

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This is the most unfair article of Javabean towards dennis,i bet! I don't think Dennis “poor acting"as you think. Have u seen East of Eden?He is not even the supporting role,he is just a speacial cast on this. I think the major barrier for Dennis in Korean Drama is because he is a half American. Sometimes,the story line really give him a limitation in acting,especially in 'witch".i think this "witch" is a suck. He wasn't as poor acting as you think. Just give some fair comment..he improves a lot in East of Eden but i just hate Korean to make his role in suck.

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Agree, He has acted so well in sweet spy.

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are you kidding me?
every single scene he is in is awkward. every single one. his script is poor too, to be fair. but come on... every sentence he speaks sounds so uncomfortable. brutal acting... he was better in witch. that alone says enough about his acting in this drama. i've seen social outcasts act better in a high school drama class.

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just stumbled upon this Dennis Oh guy and somehow led me to Sweet Spy. am only halfway through it currently(only get to watch it streaming online as they don't seem to market any region 2 dvd sets for this.. y oh y!! or maybe i just havent searched hard enough.) don't understand korean so gotta rely on english subs, unfortunately.
got addicted not so much 'cos of Chairman Han but the abundant elements of humour sporadically spun :D plus the intertwined plot, pretty entertaining i must admit! :D

despite that, i couldn't help but do a search on whether there'd been any comments on the guy's acting as i was starting to form my own conclusions/judgement.(i really shouldn't, i know)

gorgeous looking chap, absolutely no doubt. however, perhaps at the moment(3yrs on?), he's enroute honing his acting skills, guess i'll check it out for myself whether it's any different after i finish Sweet Spy. Especially as he hadn't been chopped after Sweet Spy, but from the various articles online, he's been in Witch Amusement and then East of Eden, i wonder if looks, style and attitude really do play so much more of an important part in one getting a role to play than actual acting ability.... hmm...

i guess for the former, unless they undergo complete physical overhaul(cosmetic surgery etc), looks can't really be changed, you either look picture perfect or you don't. whereas acting skills, that can be learnt as experience and exposure grows? maybe? having said that, not sure that's the case for keanu reeves though! :S

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your so cute.................................heheheheh

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i don't understand you guys...you really hate Dennis Oh right??...i dont think that he's acting skill is "poor"..i'm soory about that...im just a fan of him...

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i agree of what kithie's tell about denis oh, he so hot.... i don't care if he is not good in acting, for me he's ok compare to other who doesn't have good looks and poor incting...every drama series needs to spice it up and denis really fits for it. i hope sweet spy has a part two i relly love that show. more power denis love you so...

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for a guy like Dennis Oh, who got his role for Sweet Spy two weeks prior to the first shooting day of the drama, i think he is not that bad for a starter. i noticed that as the story goes on, his acting is progressing. trying to make it look like that he understands Korean in the drama is already difficult but he did a good job in there. honestly, i couldn't think of any Korean actor (not even Daniel Henney - no hard feelings to his fans) who could be a sweeter spy than Dennis. judging from his interviews, i find him cool, simple, kind, shy, and humble. and let's all admit it - he is very hot and now famous!

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Dennis Oh is FINE! Sweet spy is acting progressed and he was a good fit, for an international character who was half Korean. He looked as if he could really fight in life and his beauty is nothing short of Amazing....

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OMG... this drama is just the best ever... can't stop watching it over and over again <3 <3 <3...

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