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Yun-ho braces for criticism

The first reviews are starting to come in for the first episode of Heading to the Ground, which aired today (I haven’t watched it yet, but I plan to), and the reaction is tentative and mixed. Most acknowledge that headliner and newbie actor Jung Yun-ho‘s acting is still raw and awkward, although many give him credit for the effort.

You know, as I’ve followed the lead-up to today’s premiere, I have to say that Yun-ho has handled himself pretty well, given his situation — he’s sort of stuck between a rock and a hard place in choosing to take a principal role for his very first acting gig. As the leader of a highly popular idol band that is famous throughout Asia, it’s not likely he would have been able to shrink into the backdrop as a supporting character, but being Headliner #1 does make him a prime target for criticism.

And with each report that comes out, I’ve been impressed with Yun-ho’s comportment, and even surprised at how humble he’s being. (There’s modesty, and then there’s insulting yourself, and sometimes he veers closer to doing the latter.) For instance, after the Wednesday night premiere, he released his thoughts via his management agency: “I was excited but watched the episode with a calm mind, and checked [my acting] meticulously. I could see a lot of my own inadequacies, and deliberated carefully about how to improve.”

Prior to the premiere, he had spoken of his role as a growing experience for himself as an actor as well as his character. He said, “As my first time acting it’s very difficult and tiring, but I’m filming to the best of my ability.” He explained that he thought it was arrogant of him to evaluate his own acting at such an early stage, but said, “I rate myself at 0 points, and I’ll mature along with my Bong-kun character.”

The day before the premiere, Yun-ho left a message on the Heading to the Ground message board, greeting fans and asking for them to “watch with affection despite my weaknesses.”

Is the modesty exaggerated or genuine? I don’t think it matters; perhaps you’ve figured this out before, but the way to earn a Korean’s respect is to prostrate yourself and admit to your flaws — exaggerate them if you must — rather than to assert your pride. Confidence is good and all, but one step too far and the “hold your head up high and bear it” approach begins to look like arrogance. Much safer to take the humble route and let the highly critical public be the ones to assure you sympathetically, “Oh you’re not so bad.” (After all, who wants to slam the guy who’s only too willing to slam himself?) It doesn’t hurt that the guy has thousands upon thousands of fans rooting for him; he explained that he has been cheered up by text messages from fans, who somehow found out his cell number and have been sending him approximately 50 messages daily. (Apparently, fans weren’t positive that it was the right “Yun-ho” so they avoid calling outright, and instead send texts like “Heading to the Ground fighting!”)

As for the actual acting… “awkward” and “unnatural” are the most common descriptors, although others say cautiously that it’s “better than expected.” Since this is just the beginning, many comments are willing to cut the guy some slack and see how he improves.

Scenes from Episode 1:

Via Asia Economy, Newsen, Consumer News, Max Movie, OSEN, Star News

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I used to like Yunho alot back when he still have his "cute original teeth" now he just look flat in the mouth area and look like an average regular male who have their teeth done!

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I'm iffy on this drama to begin with. First they have Go Ara who is mediocre at best, and then a pop singer.

I guess we'll see.

Also, his name annoys the crap out of me. U-know Yun-ho?? Seriously? Whose bright idea was that?

Positive note since this comment is mostly negative. . .Go Ara is really pretty.

There.

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everyone knows how to criticize and points out the negative. How about giving
the guy some positive notes such as for trying hard and doing his best. There is
always room for improvement no matter how perfect a person is. Fighting,
Jung Yunho! Hope your series will be a hit, I for one will definetly be watching.

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lol @ the screencap. that's why i lovingly refer to him as the "best actor" among TVXQ. oh well, i'm still tuning in as soon as the subs are out. i've never seen a go ara drama, so this'll be the first.

@ mishane

U-know Yunho is his stage name (like other members of TVXQ have). i haven't been following the latest drama or kpop news but i think he goes by Jung Yunho as an actor.

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I'm going to watch cautiously as well. I will support him, but I know how bad his acting used to be. Hopefully he has improved a lot.

He's always been very humble though, so I don't really think it's an act.

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Yeah i was watching this and it pained me to see his over acting but its just cuz i see him mostly as u-know yunho and not jung yunho. It takes time to digest his acting but i really think the script and direction is a flawed as well. Him being the leader of the top asian group is also something the general public and crazy netizens will always try and use as an excuse.

In general yunho is famous for his humbleness and he never boast about himself, ever. He's probably the most caring and sweet person there is on earth which makes you think how that could happen since he's stunningly gorgeous.

I think his good looks also hindered in his acting. if he just acted a lil more naturally and control some of his expressions then i won't doubt its perfect. But hey, it's a good first attempt.

Looking forward to the subbed version.

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i am going to watch this drama because it seems to fall onto the category that i often liked (light, funny, romcom).. and I liked Go Ara in her last drama with Yoon Kye Sang,

BUT it airs against My Fair Lady!!!!!

I wish this drama the best of luck as well as the lead actor for his first acting gig, but not a lot since I am rooting for MFL to rake in the ratings.

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Give the guy some slack,
at least he has pearly white teeth to look at. Hhahahha

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Looking forward to your review Javabeans, then I'll decide if its worth checking out.

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This drama really doesn't look good, but I like Yunho so I will check it out. From all the reports I've read (quite a few from this blog), I wonder if Yunho's motivation to do well actually hinders how natural his acting comes off. He seems to overanalyze his role and this in effect actually doesn't allow him to just become his character. I've seen his banjun dramas, and so I'm quite prepared for what is to come. Having said all that, I do hope he grows as an actor. He just seems to work so hard for it!

I wish they had casted a stronger female lead. Ara's pretty but she's just not a good actress. Casting both Ara and Yunho loses quite a bit of credibility.

Looking forward to your recap, if you are doing them :]

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Yunho has always been very articulate. He has the ability to describe his effort whilst remaining humble, always recognizing that there is room for improvement.
Awkward and unnatural are apt descriptions. I really do hope he improves because netizens can be so unrelenting in their criticisms.

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True Yunho might be overdoing his acting a bit but it's necessary since he's portraying a character who is a bit kooky itself.
so far he's better in every scene he's in compared to Kim Hyun Joong in BOF.

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I like Yunho and all but sorry to say that because of his crazy fans who are terrorizing and bashing the competition like Swallow the Sun and My Fair Lady on korean boards cause it is up against their idol's drama, it totally turned me off into watching his series. I cant stand dirty competition and crazy fans who bash other dramas and celebrities cause of their insecurities.

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it's true that yunho's acting was a bit awkward, and exaggerated at times but im willing to cut him some slack and see how he grows as an actor...

ara's acting was too blah for me...

and im gonna have to bring up yoonji here even though she's the second female lead i believe that she did well and i hope she continues to do well....

i'm actually feeling her chemistry with yunho more than ara with yunho...but its just me.... :)

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It seems that every singer will turn to be an actor, every actor turns to a singer and every singer and actor will turn be entertainers in variety shows. Full package, all in one.

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the first episode didn't impress me very much. it seemed to lack a certain fire about it. i think go ara can be a decent actress in the future, but she's still very young and still a little stiff. she seems to lack warmth and subsequently, onscreen charisma, for all her beauty. again, i think it might be her age. she looks so incredibly young. her previous drama who are you was a good watch, but i thought she was so YOUNG.

yunho was all right. not great, but i've seen worse actors who started out as actors, not as singers. i thought he had what go ara lacked - warmth and passion. and i wasn't expecting the comical aspect of his character, and i thought it worked out for him. again, he wasn't perfect, but i thought he was rather likable. if his acting improves, he's someone whom i'd like to watch in the future, acting-wise.

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I tried watching this without subs and it wasn't really bearable. LOL. Such OTT acting.

I really like Yunho as the humble and extremely likable leader of DBSK - he did not convince me with his acting though, unfortunately. I read the ratings were only 7.2%, so it's definitely off to a rocky start.

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oh my gosh, your articles are like SAT material. such good vocabulary!

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Yunho is incredibly humble. I've heard him compliment himself a handful of times and it was only when he was around him fellow TVXQ members or when an interviewer asked him out-right what he thought his good points where (and when he answered he always seemed really embarrassed).

People who work with, be it in Japan, korea, Thailand, or China, are always amazed at how down-to-earth and friendly the guy is so I really don't think his humbleness is an act. :)

Are you going to be following Changmin's drama as well (I think it's called Paradise Meadow)? It will be his acting debut as well and I have higher hopes with him. lol I love Yunho to death but his acting has always been really forced, Changmin on the other hand shows a lot of potential.

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The first half of the first episode was awkward....maybe cos the he was suposed to act cute and he was overdoing it but I still found it quite funny. Maybe I forgot it was yunho or something but the second half seemed a little easier to watch. I am not the biggest fan of aegyo, so it was a bit cringworthy at moments hehe....but overall I want to see the second episode.

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by the way......he is no-where near as bad as hyun joong..... sorry but the guy was hard to watch, I had to forward everytime his face popped up (no joke)

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I love him, and though I haven't seen episode 1, I hope to be catching it real soon.

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Honestly, he could've done a better job. But I'm not expecting much, especially it being a romantic comedy.
But props to him for being a better actor in the very first episode than Hyun Joong halfway through the drama. LOL.

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Netizens always cut some slack for the ones they love but they can be so cruel to those they don't love (2PM's Park Jae Beom). This might be unrelated but this is actually the first thought that came to my mind when I read some people's comments about "cutting him some slack." Sorry, maybe I'm not over the whole ordeal with Park Jae Beom yet. Please don't consider this as offensive or bashing.
As for Yunho, I feel that he's better doing the calm expression scenes than when he does the excited/ confused/ surprised expression (he tends to overact in these kinda scenes. It happens a lot with newbie actors)

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@Artemis,

"I read the ratings were only 7.2%, so it’s definitely off to a rocky start."

That's pretty good, considering that it's a youth drama opposite two moderate hits. This should do between 5-9%, though both Lady Castle and Swallow the Sun are kinda underperforming right now as well.

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from those stills, i'm not sure i want to watch it. It's good he did his best though, but that doesn't necessarily mean i should watch it lol. Maybe i will when i have time.

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pass i like ara but i can't stand yunho...

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Should have taken acting lessons for two years before taking a lead role and to

become a professional actor you have to learn tha hard way -

that is start from the bottom!!.

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i tried to watch it but honestly the overacting of yunho pulled me away from the monitor.

its too much sometimes, makes me cringe.

but I like yunho as an idol, he knows how to be humble.

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Man, I haven't even watched the first episode yet, but those screecaps scream awkward acting. I know he had his teeth fix, but his mouth looks really funny. Does the cast has ANY good actors? I never heard of the other two before.

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the teeth, the teeth, please do something with his teeth! they look too big for his mouth!

the only one i know in this drama is go ara, and she's not gonna move me into watching this drama. she was sooooooooooooo boooooooooooooringgggggg in WHO ARE YOU? not even the acting of the male lead (what's his name again? can't remember...) could lift me out of my boredom. I tried to watch it, but everytime go ara puts me to sleep. i lasted only up to episode 3. i think go ara should just stick to modelling or appearing in CFs, and her acting roles should be given to more deserving actresses. but if she is really serious in pursuing an acting career, she should at least attend an acting workshop before she takes on another acting project. she's pretty, there's no doubt about it, but she's the most booooooooooooringggggggg person (i am not going to call her actress because she's not) i've ever seen in a drama.

gosh, even talking about her makes me want to sleep!

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I watched the first episode, and my feelings are overall, surprised.

Honestly, I am a DBSK fan, but I am picky about what dramas I am watching and stuff. So, I decided to give this drama a chance, although initially, I thought I ought to not see it (I mean, did you see VACATION?!), but the previews got the better of me. And well, I didn't think it was that bad. Actually, I kind of enjoyed it.

Maybe it's because I am a DBSK fan, but I thought some part were actually really funny, and Yunho's expressions (many times, not always) were believable in my POV. Yes, it was awkward, and unnatural (my god, the beginning), but I thought it got better as we got further into the episode.

And also, I really like the story..? So far that is... I think the pacing is pretty good, and the episode left me anticipating for the next one. I really hope this drama becomes a success... and people should give Yunho some more props for trying his best - I think everyone can see that he's putting a lot of effort into his acting...through his acting :)

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I lke him. And he has the potential to make it big in the acting deprtment..

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The fact that there are plenty of comments here means there are followers.

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I am looking forward to your review, javabeans! :)

I've read mixed comments about his acting, but for the most part, everyone seems to think that he's better than expected. Of course, everyone's expectations were probably pretty low since we only have the Banjun Dramas to go by and lol none of them could act in those. (I'm a DBSK fan btw and Yunho's my fave, please don't bash me XD.) I gotta wait for subs, but I am looking forward to watching it. ^^

Oh and about the modesty, it's probably real; the guy is super humble and genuinely nice in real life. I've met him in person once and he's sooooo friendly and nice to fans, even when there's a hoard of them getting in his personal space XD. Apparently, he's one of the most approachable celebs in Korea, haha.

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i think we must give him a chance.yunho is just starting his debut for acting. who knows what will happen next.i mean, almost all actors and actresses must build first their base.then we'll see what he will build afterwards. YUNHO aja! :D

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as i was watching it, i don't know i just felt embarrassed for yunho. i feel like the viewers will secretly make fun of yunho. It was really over the top, the acting i mean. I was cringing the whole time. The emotions and the funny story seems fake and forced and yunho is just so bad at it. Even the way he walks is weird. Everything is unnatural. And yunho and go ara looks like siblings than a couple. Everything is just so misplaced and weird.

I want to support yunho but i don't think i can take it. Sorry yunho!

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I give him points for courage - taking a lead role with no acting experience or training (?) is not recommended for anyone. Perhaps he should have started with a smaller role. Also, many actors try to break into the leading role and quite a number have better acting chops than YH. Not sure if it's fair that he is cast in a role he's not quite ready to handle (if his acting does not improve).

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heheheh.. thanks no critism for a ra.. since i watched this because her hehehehe.. fighting ara

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i, for one, was not that pumped up 'bout this drama BUT surprisingly, it was pretty good =) yoonji and yunho have MORE chemistry in one episode compared to goo hye sun and minho's in the entire drama >,> and well, that's all what i need, chemistry xD rain and megan fox can really act together but if there's no chemistry, then ... *turning off the TV*

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i have to agree with LOL #40...
i think the chemistry between yunho and yoon ji is more believable and more convincing...

i think i mite just continue watching this for that reason...

even though im already aware that ara and yunho will likely end up here...

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omg i'm watched episode 2 and i can't bear to finish it.
i'm really trying to have hope that yunho will improve with episode 2
but it was bleh and i heard the ratings were pretty low compared to episode 1.

i really wish yunho started with a small role before he jumped to a lead star.
His acting is so unnatural and i think he really over calculated it thats why his acting is so forced.

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I would rather not comment on yunho's acting for now. it is probably his very first time acting seriously in a drama. There would definitely be mixed comments right now, both from fans and non-fans. I think I will give in around 7-8 eps and see how yunho's portrayal of bong jun progresses. If it's still not up to standard then, maybe i wouldn't continue watching, even though I am a zealous yunho fan. But this dude is AMAZING when it comes to dancing. his limbs seem to move independently of his body!

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Aw, just like Leader-shi to talk like... a leader XD
He always gives his best to not bring down the rest, and speaks directly with confidence. Even if his acting is not top notch, it's his first time and hopefully he'll learn and progress through out the series.

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judging from the pictures above, haha yun-ho expressions are soo funny and abit overacting but this happens alot to newbie actors. hence i think he will improve as drama progress. as for female lead, what can i say? despite having acted in dramas before, her acting is still the same. ( really awkward)

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The expressions seem quite exaggerated already...lol. :)

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i gottA say i'm a lil bit disappointed with the show & how it goes.I was really anticipating it. But , again its yunho first attempt in acting.
..the editing of the show sucks i guess...there is no intro at the front part? the scene jumps too fast

i can see there is a chemistry going on between yunho & yunji although she's not the main cast
yunho acting is till a bit awkward at some parts. he gotta act more genuine.
but lets see how this show progress..but somehow i think his character don't suit him well.I don't think yunho fits the cute image .. i prefer him acting as a noctorious character like in Tokyo holiday.

Somehow he has this image of a bad boy.I'm still not sure whether to follow the drama though cause normally sports drama gets
a lil too boring if they focus too much on thee sports section & talking..

Let wish this drama will do well & yunho will improve as the drama continues.

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It’s one of the over hyped dramas. As we know they tend to suck really bad (remember Boys Before Flowers?), at the beginning at least. I didn’t expect much from Yunho and Go Ara (they are good to look at though). However, I think for the exaggeration and blandness, much of it can be blamed to story plot and directing. I had a hard time keeping focused after 5 minutes of watching. I hope it will improve from the next few episodes (it needs it desperately), otherwise I don’t think I can continue to watch it.

I guess my love for idol superstars aren’t pure enough. I remember I ditched Strongest Chill Woo after 4 episodes (they lost me at Zorro).

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It’s one of the over hyped dramas. As we know they tend to suck really bad (remember Boys Before Flowers?), at the beginning at least. I didn’t expect much from Yunho and Go Ara (they are good to look at though). However, I think for the exaggeration and blandness, much of it can be blamed to story plot and directing. I had a hard time keeping focused after 5 minutes of watching (everything felt so random). I hope it will improve from the next few episodes (it needs it desperately), otherwise I don’t think I can continue to watch it.

I guess my love for idol superstars aren’t pure enough. I remember I ditched Strongest Chill Woo after 4 episodes (they lost me at Zorro).

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Sorry about the accidental double post. My FF is acting up ..

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