Drama Casting & News
Chuno fends off continued criticism
by | January 31, 2010 | 149 Comments

The bigger they are, the louder the criticism. That’s why I’d take the following with a teeny grain of salt, although it cannot be denied that KBS’s blockbuster hit drama Chuno is garnering a lot of criticism, much of it directed toward its lead star Lee Da-hae.

When the drama first aired, there was a little talk of Lee Da-hae looking “too pretty” — note that she plays a slave, and then a runaway, all while maintaining a pristine appearance even when the men around her are shown in their grimy, masculine glory. But that first wave of commentary faded after a few days, even if most fans seemed to feel she ought to have looked a little dirtier.

Then came the much-maligned cleavage shots when her character was attacked and her outer top removed, showing off her bustline. Some viewers thought it was gratuitous, but again, those comments mostly trailed off after a few more days. The controversy probably would have died down if the drama didn’t follow with more scenes of that ilk, and now it’s like every other article about Chuno is one pointing out the growing criticism.

The producers probably overreacted by trying to pre-empt complaints; anticipating the public’s reaction, they blurred out Lee’s bustline for a following broadcast. (In that episode, Oh Ji-ho’s character treats Lee’s character for an injury and removes her top.) Of course, this was even worse because viewers complained that the effect was unnecessary, and the obvious blurring actually made the scene seem more suggestive that it would have been.

After that wave of criticism, producers announced that they would not blur out any more scenes. They defended their use thus far, saying, “This isn’t a movie but a public television network, so the blurring was unavoidable. We wanted to preserve the quality of the drama, but we had to make this choice. Please be understanding.” They added, “In order to preserve the drama’s level of quality, we will not use the blurring anymore. We will be mindful of the public broadcast guidelines, and not do anything to impede the visual quality.” As a prime-time broadcast series, Chuno bears a 15-and-up age label, meaning that there’s some latitude for mature content, but there’s still an expectation that producers will curb excessive violence, language, or sexual suggestiveness.

And yet, that’s not the end of things. Lee Da-hae’s face makeup is another source of dissatisfaction; fans complain that it takes away from the believability of the storyline to have her perfectly made up. And then, there’s her manicure — surely out of place in Joseon Korea — which the actress defended as a necessity to keep her nails from weakening. Lee expressed her frustration at the comments on the January 30 episode of Entertainment Weekly, where she said that an actress’s life is a difficult one.

One article points out, “Of course, criticism is another expression of interest. However, why is Chuno singled out for such constant criticism?”

For one, viewers tend to have certain expectations when dealing with historical pieces, and this isn’t the first time this issue has been raised; actresses have in the past been accused of putting vanity before accuracy. This reminds me of Gu Hye-sun being singled out while shooting King and I for wearing circle lenses (cosmetic contact lenses designed to make the iris look larger, giving them an anime-like quality).

In the drama’s defense, it’s not a conventional sageuk but more of a fusion piece that takes liberties with reality. The drama places more of a premium on visual flair and filming style than it does on sticking with historical convention.

I agree with aspects on both sides of the argument, because the biggest reason for all this attention may just be because of Chuno‘s popularity, and popular targets always attract heated responses. On the other hand, Chuno has stirred a lot more criticism than similarly big dramas like Seon-deok or IRIS. And although these issues didn’t bother me too much while watching the drama, I did think, “Gee, Lee Da-hae looks really pretty, but her cleanliness takes me out of the drama.”

As for the matter of the cleavage shots, the first time I heard about it, I laughed because it seemed like such a petty complaint. I think the producers would have been better off not bothering to blur out the subsequent scenes, because that called attention to it and made it look a lot worse. One article points out the inconsistency of the public’s response, because after an episode aired with blurring, there were complaints. The next day, the episode contained unblurred scenes, and yet viewers complained more.

However, I’ll argue that it may not be that viewers are just being inconsistent; they’re just tired of seeing the same shot over and over. Lee has by now been seen baring her cleavage on numerous occasions — near-rape, injury, undressing — which has viewers weary of the excess. (For instance, I joke that the male shower scene is fanservice I can live with and not annoyingly gratuitous, but if you gave me a shower scene in every episode, you bet I’d find it pointless.) As a result, some viewers have called Lee’s character weak and inactive, and “only good for baring skin.”

On the whole, these seem like minor quibbles, but perhaps they’re indicative of more than just a matter of makeup or prettiness. I don’t see why they couldn’t dirty Lee up a little; the dirt certainly doesn’t make her male co-stars look any less attractive (and in fact may add to their appeal). I can understand viewers who are dissatisfied to see her looking pristine, wearing lipgloss and modern makeup, and showing off a modern manicure; it has nothing to do with disliking Lee herself, and is more about the drama putting vanity ahead of credibility. It feels a little self-indulgent.

But it’s not stopping viewers from watching, either. Chuno continues with ratings in the low- to mid-30% range.

Via TV Report, My Daily, Joy News, Now News, Consumer News, OSEN, Asia Economy, My Daily, Mediaus, Segye, Newsen


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149 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Sora

    still having watched Chuno, but now i can’t wait to ^_^

  2. tina

    i laughed when i read about those complaints of her bustline, but damn! i didn’t realize it was shown that much (i haven’t watched the show yet). i guess i would be wary of it too. makes me wonder if viewers will complain if they make lee da hae ~dirty~ because she ain’t looking perfect haha.

  3. cuteleedahae

    Actually, I’m dissapointed that LDH apologized to the public bcos of this critictisms, she should ignore it-it is fusion sageuk, if you look at the action scenes, rock music used and many illogical things, u know this is more for entertainment-and I love seeing beautiful things, even in Chinese drama, the heroin alwyas look very2 pretty even in the midlle of fighting.

    I love her acting also-her character needs diff level of acting, and she’s doing just fine..yeah some viewers love the character of second actress, cute and bubbly, but that charcter is soooo common in kdrama, and I WILL never want LDH to act like that in her role.

  4. s

    I do feel bad for her but not bad enough to diagree with criticisms. Fusion or not, things like looking pretty should not take away from the storyline or the sense of reality within the scope of the show. It may just be the director’s fault but it does make her seem a little vain and unwilling to bend for the sake of character integrity.

    ah well..

  5. me

    i seriously think lee da hae’s the problem. she apparently wants to keep her image so she has her crew do her make-up, nails, and squeeze her non-existent boobs together (she always does this for all cleavage bearing dresses, like at award ceremonies and stuff). if it was a more serious. less vain actress, she would not do all that.

    and her character un nyun / hye won seriously is useless and frustrating. she’s always seeking help and causing trouble to the heroes (but i guess the plot calls for the drama). she always makes the stupidest, irresponsible decisions (why go through a wedding if you’re just going to run away?).

    seriously, her scenes are such a bore. the ones with sulhwa are so much more fun and kim ha eun is a better actress.

  6. lsk4020

    I’m slowly coming to terms with trying to ignore minor quibbles with the drama; I’ve seen too many k-dramas to love Chuno for the sake of loving it, yet I realize that it only hurts ME more by disliking it based on minor things like how pristine LDH looks in every single scene. I’d rather just focus on enjoying the good parts.

    However, I’ve also come to realize that as a whole, Chuno seems to have very weak female characters…the only one with (a potential for) depth is that Qing (or was it Ming?) assassin. Besides the slave girl in the side plot about the uprising, she’s the only female in the drama whom I don’t intensely dislike.

    All in all, I agree that because this drama is such a huge blockbuster, the criticism it garners is harsher than it maybe deserves. I say, people should just give it a chance and maybe with less scrutiny it can fully grow into its potential.

  7. Chuck

    I’ve never understood that type of criticism. I’m speaking of the relative cleanliness of LDH’s character. It is a non-essential aspect of a drama, and strikes me as pettiness. It’s not like they made no attempt to show that she was a servant/slave. Her clothes in the begining were in fact ragged, with holes in them. Her shoes were the same.

    How many Korean men in those days looked as physically fit and muscular as the main actors in this drama? Not one, I dare say. No one complains about that, however. How many had perfect teeth? All of them? It would seem so, if this and every other drama is any indication. I’m not at all bothered by the men being muscular and having shiny white teeth, and neither am I bothered by LDH being clean with nice, shiny hair. It’s a lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

  8. CrimemasterGogo

    Go complain to the Director and make up people. As long as her acting isn’t being criticised it should be fine. Korean netizens tend to be over the top in their criticsms, or is it that broadcasters take their views far too seriously and give them too much weight?

  9. Angela

    It’s kind of funny how they’re trying to be historically accurate by showing her cleavage and half-dressed state… but can’t seem to be bothered to throw some dirt on her, and chip some nails, lol.

  10. 10 Beatrice

    I’m inclined to agree with a lot of these complaints, especially since her character strikes me as pretty weak to begin with. I wouldn’t mind her magical cleanliness, perpetually manicured nails, and expensive-looking hair so much if only her character were a little bit more interesting. but so far it seems to me like LDH just gets saved a LOT in this drama. She does look beautiful, but that striking image is 95% of what makes up her character. In light of that, I can see why these complaints seem to persist.

  11. 11 pabo ceo reom

    It’s like nitpicking just to nitpick. Is this slight backlash from East of Eden thing?

    And hey, apparently besides fangirls, fanboys watch dramas too. 😛 (ok kidding..)

  12. 12 the indian girl

    why does this whole issue just leave me with a big fat bleh…if its a good drama then just watch it and enjoy it for whats it worth…no drama is prefect and all of them come with their own unique set of flaws tht make them more endearing…lets not get into over analyzing everything…its entertainment pure and simple..every1 is entitled to their opinion abt the entertainment industry, but lets not fuss abt it pls…its not joke being in front/behind the camera and putting yourself other….its takes a certain kind of guts to do tht..lets respect tht!

    tht said LDH is this wht u get for taking my Jun Kiiii away from me for even 2 years…damn u woman damn u…now we all know why he was soo into you :( cant compete with tht sigh sigh

  13. 13 hjkomo

    It’s funny and sad that netizens have nothing better to do than hone in on one actress with their criticism. It’s the PD (director) who’s in charge of how a character looks. Un-nyun’s ragged, dry, and chapped hands were clearly shown in the flashback scenes. And as far as I’ve seen, no one is criticizing Kim Ha Eun’s (Seol-hwa) lipgloss, blush, and EYELINER.

  14. 14 cuteleedahae

    and for sure the critictisms come from female viewers-usually men will never complaints on manicure, cleavage and beautiful faces. Well maybe I’m wrong, or men in Korea are different. Howver, based on my survey and what I read in Naver, men are going gaga over her pure white skin, they love her.

  15. 15 Amber

    I’ve never lliked LDH after My Girl. She’s always seemed very stiff to me, like a beautiful porcelain doll – not natural in her acting or screen presence at all. Perhaps viewers are finally getting tired of her and that’s where these complaints are coming from?

  16. 16 ditto

    seriously.. Kim Ha Eun doesnt look the least bit dirty either.
    wat about HER makeup.. GEEZ

  17. 17 midnight

    OMG.. YAAaaA.. Kim Ha Eun is also too clean for her role.. why isnt anyone criticizing HER.
    the knetizens have nothing better to do but nitpick little details that are simply obsurd and ridiculous

  18. 18 selena

    HAHA.. i bet people are just JEALOUS of ldh, thats why they are picking on her

  19. 19 ldhforever

    awww… poor ldh.
    the criticisms are realli misplaced.
    ldh fighting!!!

  20. 20 zzzzzzzz

    ldh is a good actress AND shes simply stunning :]

  21. 21 Beatrice

    Well, like I said, I think the criticism is targeting LDH’s character as opposed to KHE’s because the former has comparatively little in the way of personality to make up for these details. And as details they WOULD be insignificant if only Un-Nyun/Hye Won were likeable enough to make people not care about the technicality of her presentation. But if that’s the most salient aspect of her character then that’s what people are going to hone in on.

    I don’t think this is a problem with the actress so much as with the direction and writing. It just seems like aesthetics and visual presentation is more of a priority in this production that character development, and that’s what bothers me.

  22. 22 mimi

    Kind of funny but I’ll agree with those who thought they showed too much bustline. I mean if you look at her white make-shift bra, it really could have been placed higher to show less cleavage. In the first of the scenes to show her unclothed, a tad lower and we would have seen her nipples. Really. C’mon.

    Park Shin Hye wore the same wrap bra for You’re Beautiful and they did it in good taste.

  23. 23 faridah2201

    People need to stop picking on these little details, if this is the only thing people can find wrong with the show then it most be amazing. I haven’t watched it yet, prefer to marathon sageuk dramas, so now I am even more excited to watch it

  24. 24 Sere

    This is what netizen complain about? Sheesh! I love Chuno, but if I should say something negative about it, and more specifically about Un-nyu, I’d go with how underdeveloped and flat LDH’s character is. True, her pristine clothes don’t help, but they don’t bother me as much as how her character is written.

    Maybe it’s just me, but I love Seol-hwa a lot more than Un-nyu and if I’m more fond of a secondary lead -wait, is she even a secondary lead?- or hell, rooting for her more than the main lead, doesn’t that mean there’s something wrong? That said, I really really love Chuno.

    I’m with lsk4020. I choose to focus on the main picture and just enjoy the parts I like.

  25. 25 haikuwarrior

    I’ve watched only a few episodes of Chuno so far. I want to wait until most of the drama is over because I know I’ll snarf the whole drama in one or two days once I start again.

    I agree with Chuck in his statement. Chuno, if anything, seeks to portray a stylized version of each part of its story. Chiseled heroes a la “The 300″, pristine heroine, rock music action, gorgeous environment. That is part of the reason why it is able to be a blockbuster and that is the reason why it brings it 30% ratings.

    If overzealous netizens want more realism from their television they can watch the Discovery Channel.

  26. 26 mak

    Differences btw LDH and KSE-well the forrmer is most popular and most beautiful one-of course subjected to critictisms from those lonely soul of cyberworld.

    Is being weak and helpless and saved so many time by the HERO is and offence to some people? I like her characterer in here, make OJH looks so powerful, if director wants LDH to act like Zang Yiyi in CTHD, OJH character won’t look interesting.

  27. 27 dealsw

    See i thought I was the only one noticing her cleanliness and looking like a princess rather than a slave…and true her character is boring and weak not intersting at all and her acting also Im not feeling it..

    I wish that the director should have done her role as a princess rather than a slave its more fitting.I guess its not why its popular thats why theres alot of criticism if your doing the job perfectly you will be getting a little pick but not alot of complain……

    And yes Lee da is not that pretty so maybe she is afraid to look dirty maybe she terrified to look ugly onscreen…….Ive seen Jung Je yeon looking messy and dirty in Blood and she still looks beautiful maybe thats why she looks clean all the time and have a perfect make up shes not confident on how she looks……

  28. 28 Marie

    OMG the things people pick on… Please just leave LDH alone I think she is doing a great job. I personally think narrow minded people will complain about anything.

    I like this quote; ” Love looks through a telescope envy through a microscope”

  29. 29 Snikki

    I actually know of women who don’t get dirty even after a full day of toiling under the sun. So it’s not like it’s impossible. LDH happens to be one of those (lucky!) — on and off-screen.

  30. 30 g-face

    yeah she is wayyy to clean. I mean look at her hanbok for goodness sakes! Somehow after all that running, sleeping on the dirt, etc, it miraculously doesn’t seem to get dirty. pretty unrealistic right there…


    I look at diff perspective on comments abt LDH-with all this stupid and silly things like this, I can see LDH can gather intelligent fans rather than sick souls. Well, most of them have saw Chuno till eps 8 and look at their discussion in Soompi, brilliant and informative, they are not in the level..well u can guess from some of the comments above.

  32. 32 samsooki

    If THAT is the extent of the criticism… if THAT is the best criticism that these netizens in Korea can muster, that LDH boob-line is exposed and she’s not dirty enough, then either:

    1. Chuno is really a near-perfect drama otherwise, or

    2. This is just another example of bullpoo criticism that really gives a much more accurate picture of the criticizers than it does the drama.

    And, Chuno is not perfect. There are historical incongruities, a bit of acting lapses occasionally, stilted direction and lazy writing. But overall, I think Chuno rocks. It is incredibly difficult to put together a drama with the kind of sweeping cinematography and direction that they are trying to accomplish, all the while keeping the minutiae all in a row.

    I think that people who watch Chuno will continue to be more than entertained. I’m hope that the Chuno production will not be affected by mindless criticism.

    (btw, if there is criticism to be had for Chuno, I would start and end with the writing and direction – breathe some fire into Un-Nyun’s character, give greater meaning to Eop Bok’s existence, expand the conspiracy, and figure out what to do with the Seol-Hwa character before she’s just becomes The Orabeoni Whisperer (a new KBS2 spin-off series due to air in the fall of 2010)).

  33. 33 gia

    what a big deal, it was ok
    fighting ldh

  34. 34 Acalle

    I have the same comments/complaints that LDH looks too clean compared to the men. Running a way for days and still maintaining a flawless make-up and spotless white hanbook while her companion looks like a rag. The appearance of the two is too extreme. This is probably the director’s fault, not exactly hers. But would the actor have his/her own opinion? Her acting is alright and her look is undeniable pretty.

  35. 35 qwerty_u

    a friend of mine long time ago told me about that trick using the cleavage bandage or tape to make bosom more out there! i never tried it coz i’m not into those things…i guess it works like magic! hahaha!

  36. 36 huh

    I’m surprised people here are so offended by this article when it is repeating lots of the comments I see here in the Chuno recap posts. Is it okay when you say it but not when someone else does? I’m confused.

  37. 37 Gems

    Some comments here are just plain spiteful. I’m not going to waste my time arguing with haters who clearly cannot differentiate what aspects of a drama production that an actress has control over.

    And major eye roll at this comment: “And yes Lee da is not that pretty so maybe she is afraid to look dirty maybe she terrified to look ugly onscreen…” In case you’re wondering, it is the latter part of the comment that makes me ill. I can’t stand character assassination.

  38. 38 xiahkixiri

    Oh God, why. I agree with the grime adding to the male leads’ appeal, heh. As for Lee Da Hae, well her character is also prim and pristine. IDK, the female slave who likes the slave good with rifles, her face is a bit over-dirtied, that doesn’t look realistic to me either. And yep, Seolhwa is also too pristine and pretty and made up. A flaw of the drama in general I guess. The main thing that tends to take me out of the drama is the music during the fight scenes, too PotC and overdone, but other than that I’m mostly good, and Chuno has a LOT going for it, good far outweighs the bad, not a dull moment. The later caps, that IS a lot of boobage but the drama’s giving full visual impact, including gratuitous scenes for both males and females and yno, let’s roll with it. It would be good if she had more to do, though.

  39. 39 Sonam

    But her cleavage is so beautiful! Why not? The guys are baring their chest away to glory. I have never liked manicured nails especially on guys. Ewwww. Give me clean a little rough around the edges nails and I am impressed. …..This person has character and better things to do!!!

  40. 40 nora

    Is that all, to me soo little complaints, I thought peole complaining about her ACTING, but her physical build and her manicure-I’m rolling in my bed now LOL.

    I remembered reading JB recaps on ep1 and 2 before-LDH IS WONDERFUL AS EXPECTED, so in which eps she is lacking or not wonderful anymore?

  41. 41 moochi

    people make a big fuss over nothing

    seriously netizens in korea have nothing to do, go study or improve yourself before you criticize others, and like some other commenters have noted, a lot of the negative comments are childish and senseless

    ok the cleaniness, fingernails and all those, how is this going to affect the drama as a whole? i think u can criticise a drama based on the actors’ abilities and as well as the directing/plot/storyline, not on something like minor visuals.

    if we really need to compare, r we going to talk about how iris can’t spell, in you’re beautiful they aren’t actually playing the instruments and in pasta the kitchen always looks so clean when ppl keep dropping food all ove rthe floor…
    like seriously, why make such a big deal over nothing, it’s just a blur on the boobs.

  42. 42 Chuck


    I like this quote; ” Love looks through a telescope envy through a microscope”

    Exactly. People are looking for feet of clay in heroes, or celebrities, as the case may be..

  43. 43 ALYN

    Why is it that the producers behind this drama can’t just stick to their vision and stop allowing themselves to be led by the fickle audience?
    You will never please everyone so stop trying and just do what you think is best, for god’s sake.

  44. 44 Z

    Haha!! You gotta admit, that is a whole lot of flesh being peddled! It kind of stinks for her because she’s a really good actress (I haven’t watched Chuno but I’ve liked her other work) and could probably very easily carry the character without the accouterments, and it’s really not her fault. But, WOW, that’s a lot of skin… porcelain, unblemished skin at that… I think I would have trouble getting past that too.

  45. 45 Sere


    Do you even need a reply to which one of your scenario is more likely?

    BTW, I agree with everything you said. And this? “The Orabeoni Whisperer (a new KBS2 spin-off series due to air in the fall of 2010))” I love you for this. I’m waiting and hoping for some character growth for her cos I really, really like her character, much more than Un-nyu so far.

  46. 46 Quidam

    LOL @ the people who think LDH has a say when it comes to the make-up & wardrobe. Quit looking for an excuse to spew hatred, haters.

    Geez……all of this is nonsense. LDH should not have to worry/apologize over this.

  47. 47 Anonymous

    Did she get a boob job? I don’t remember seeing her boobs that big in My Girl. Sorry..but she comes across as a vain person in real life.

  48. 48 Qwenli

    I agree that if you want to show the boobs, than don’t blur it. They should have wrap the white cloth higher to cover the cleavage, her boobs and skin are delicious looking but maybe abit too much for public tv broadcast.

  49. 49 Jill4675

    (For instance, I joke that the male shower scene is fanservice I can live with and not annoyingly gratuitous, but if you gave me a shower scene in every episode, you bet I’d find it pointless.)

    Pointless???! Gee, I don’t think it would be! 😆 😉

  50. 50 lilly

    I agree maybe LDH was too scared to look dirty makes her flawless skin ugly you know her she has a reputation to question the directors if she doesnt like something thats why she quit East of Eden before bec. she always wants to be the center of perfection……

  51. 51 smash

    I totally agree about the too clean and too pretty thingy…I was totally dissapointed why the directors are doing this anyways everybody is running and after that she still looks perfect whats up with that come on!

    I agree her character shd have been a princess role and yes I guess she is too sensitive about how the way she loooks thats why her acting is not a good like in My girl now shes more calculative thats why her acting is getting to the backseat..

    I think LDH is way too sensitive on how she looks even in pictorials I loook at her pose and shes so stiff and terrified to made mistakes I wish she would step down on come to reality once in awhile so she will improve her acting……

  52. 52 gailT

    on Philippine television, there is an actress who always looks perfect, clean and “rich”-looking even if she’s playing dirt-poor characters. it always irritates me, and I complain about it, even if I have stopped following her dramas. someone pointed out to me that other actresses doing exactly the same thing elicit hardly a peep from me. it was then I had to admit to myself that I was jealous because she’s too beautiful.

    imho, it always helps to try to be honest with oneself.

  53. 53 pohonphee

    ho, ho, ho get more curious to watch chuno.

  54. 54 Life is not fair

    @ 50

    In EOE, Song Seung-heon was the center of attention at preproduction to postproduction, end of discussion, and Lee Da-hae was in no way the center of attention in that drama. In Choono, she’s yet to be the center of attention. It’s the perfectionist mentality of Korean netizen when it comes to beautiful actress and Teen-girl-idols.

  55. 55 missthiri

    i have no problem with cleavage as long as the production preserves the great cinemotography as it has been doing.

    i think lee da hae looks like she had no hardship at all when she didnt look tired at all when she barely had any sleep at the inn and while she was at monastery. That’s up to where i am at Ep 4 or 5. Looking pretty as a lead actress is fine so long as the look does not interfere the character from our audience point of view.

  56. 56 pussycat

    Lots of jealously and childish comments that I can see here. Smash, may I know where LDH said she sooo afraid to look dirty and not beautiful to the producers, any link to that cos I want to SMASH her also.

  57. 57 heya

    i do think she should show a little bit of dirt on her clothes and all that. it’s not that hard. and her character, well…it’s not her fault. she’s used as the center of the whole story right now, a link to the other more colorful characters. I’m just being patient and hoping that she will improve and they let her character be more..alive, *maybe after falling for tae ha? will she have a spark in her life…hehe* but in all seriousness, lee da hae, dear, its ok to get your hands dirty and be your character than act your character. but i still have faith in you; this is just the start. good luck my dear!

  58. 58 ockoala

    Sigh, I wish so many of the comments weren’t nebulous and character-assasinations along the lines of “she doesn’t want to look dirty” “or “she’s a diva”, etc.

    I hope folks can legitimately critique an actress or drama without resorting to such baseless attacks, which has no place in such a thoughtful and welcoming forum as DB, or actually anywhere for that matter.

    I find myself going from curiosity to indifference to slight annoyance at the UN character through 8 episodes, and how LDH has been asked to portray her. LDH can be quite fierce and animated, so I’m sure she’s been asked to keep UN demure, gentle and my #1 pet peeve, kinda “limp-wristed” and all woe-is-me. Failure of the script and the director not to try to elicit more than glimpses of the tough inner UN.

    Her too clean outer appearance only adds to my already legitimate pet peeves with her characterization, but is in no way the sole critique I have. In the end of the day, I am loving Chuno for all its flaws, and hope that the story continues to develop along with the character development of all the major characters. My fave so far is TH, but acting-wise, Jang Hyuk is soooo unbelievably committed, I love DG.

  59. 59 abcdefg

    People can really be funny in their petty jealousies. Those who nitpick on LDH’s appearance are just jealous of her good looks + the fact that she’s in a hit drama. Keep up the good work LDH and to the rest of the cast of Chuno!!!

  60. 60 Taohua

    I am amused by the whole situation to be honest (I was wondering why they did the blurring in the episode 7 when in the episode 3 they didn’t). I will admit the pristine appearance of both ladies (more magnified on LDH b/c of the white hanbok) was jarring, but that’s the director’s call.

    My issues with Chuno is mainly the writing…like samsooki said Un-nyun is still so under-developed (though her character can only improve right?). It’ll be interesting to see how the writer is able to tie in the love story b/t JH, OJH, and LDH along with the political conspiracy involving OJH and LJH and the crown prince’s son. There are so many characters (with various plot lines) that are given significant attention that I’m almost worried how the writer’s going to be able to tie everything together at the end.

    And while, IMO the director has done better work and that there are better fusion sageuks out there (including one done by the same director), Chuno is very entertaining (and beautifully picturesque) and I’m enjoying it for the most part, especially any scene Lee Jong-hyuk is in. He’s character Hwang Chul-woong is my favorite by far (and he totally owns everyone in this :)

  61. 61 Daisy

    I read OJH’s comment somewhere(sorry, couldn’t remember where it from,) said that her character must maintain her prettiness throughout the drama since her character is a red dot in the drama. And she was acting in accordance to what’s required by drama, not that she ‘was too scared to look dirty makes her flawless skin ugly.’

  62. 62 mandy

    In my opinion, LDH doesn’t seem to take criticism very well….

  63. 63 nerdswag

    i want to watch chuno. but i really don’t care for LDH, she is a pretty weak actress…

  64. 64 Awesome Dude

    More cleavage! Lee Da-Hee Fighting!!!

  65. 65 Nea

    I agree. When I first read the complaints, I thought they were laughable but now can understand that maybe its the inconsistency rather than the actual act.
    For me personally, I’m still trying to understand the “need” for Lee’s expect for her pretty and flawless appearance.
    I will be honest and say that I had hoped that her character would be different. Alas, here we are. My only hope is that we don’t get many more scenes with her trailing behind OJH clutching her chest! That got old quick!

  66. 66 peaches

    i LOL’d at the blurred cleavage images. haven’t seen this drama yet to make anything of the criticism. what episode are they on?

  67. 67 Sakura

    It is not what she wants to look pretty all the time in chuno, ask the chuno production team? . By the way KBS interviewed, her look stunning beautiful and the hairstyle remind me of Nicole kidman hairstyle when she acted Far and Away – Nicole didn’t look dirty either in that cowboy movie – no one criticised her.
    We are glad that she is laughing during the interview.

    I hope the hairstyle she worn will be shown in Chuno. We enjoyed this drama and put others (drama) on hold and we want to see the gradual change in Un Nyun (not suddenly) .

    It goes without saying of course three men with one woman is more interesting then one woman with one man right ? I love dae gil
    The director and scriptwriter should not appeased to the netizen complaints then the essence of the story will cast away in thin air and it will not be another CLASSIC DRAMA for KDRAMA like winter sonata. GO GIRL Lee Dae Hae !!!.

  68. 68 pussycat

    @ Mandy, most actress can’t take criticism, even YEH was crying when people bashed her acting in MFL. Kim Ta Hae once said she feels like want to commit suicide when reading people comments abt her acting.

    In LDH case, most of the comments are on her (more PERSONAL ATTACK), not her acting-she is already well known as TALENTED actress-(those who don’t know that, just googled on it)-so I think this more harder for an actress to take.

    It’s hard for some fans of other idols, to see LDH always got compliments in acting career but their idols never got recognition for that.

    Anyway, I find LDH’s antis are quite nice-they follow up her career, they watch her drama and even join all the discussion whenever her name appeared. I’m not a good anti, cos if I don’t like that ator/actress, i won’t bother abt them at all.

  69. 69 mookie

    I have prob with how her character is written (or directed) AND how blank/vacant her eyes r even in intense scenes for her character. So it’s both the writing (and/or the directing) and her as an actress NOT upping the ante, there were scenes I thought she could’ve done more if say it was in the hands of JDY. It’s just a little rant, i’m not thinking it’s buggy enough for me to stop watching or she’s subpar, she’s alright, but I expected more fr her.

    I can care less of the pristine appearance or her cleavage.. I do think some viewers have a prob with her character and didn’t know how to point the exact finger… I’m all for equality. If the men r dressed in kitchen rags, the ladies can bare boobies.. apparently in that fictional time and space, there’s a critical shortage of textiles.

  70. 70 mimi

    To all who are saying netizens are being too petty by commenting on the pristine face and cleavage exposure:

    Isn’t this article about just that?? Isn’t that what we were supposed to comment on since the movement started in KOREA, got so much press, and thus JB wrote this article? I mean folks comment on the subject matter then get criticized for commenting on it rather than saying, for example, how great the cinematography is, etc. I don’t get it.

  71. 71 nycgrl

    I haven’t watched this yet but I don’t think it would hurt to throw some dirt on her to make it a little more realistic if she is suppose to be running away and sleeping on dirt floors.

    That said the women in kdramas seem to get the brunt of criticisms whether they are petty or more serious (e.g. bad acting).

  72. 72 ockoala

    @ ah twin

    “apparently in that fictional time and space, there’s a critical shortage of textiles”

    Mwahahaha, I have nothing more to add, I need more wine before I read anything else you want to write. 😉 Btw, those are some impressive bodies underneath if we have to bare anything in this world.

  73. 73 Tushka

    It should be the director who receives the criticism. He/She makes the decision as to how each character appears on screen. Yes, as a slave/run away, she should not be so clean, but I’m sure the director is trying to protray that her character is “pure”. sybolism, it’s a part of film making.

  74. 74 Taohua

    Yeah, while I partially blame the writing, I also have to agree that LDH’s acting isn’t up to par either. She is obviously talented (Green Rose, My Girl) but something’s missing here. Maybe a comparison could be made with Lee Young-ae who took a pretty static character Jang-geum and made her approachable and humanized her. I mean the script to Dae Jang-geum wasn’t exactly spectacular, but the acting definitely elevated the story IMO. To be fair though, there are still 16? 12? more episodes left, so hopefully it’ll improve.

  75. 75 fizzle

    Yeah, I agree with the first comment. I’m going to watch episode one right now to see what all the fuss is about.

  76. 76 asianromance

    the blurring thing is hilarious! they totally called more attention to his bust!

    though the cleanliness issue is annoying, i think to make her suddenly look dirty (in response to criticisms) will just make the drama look uneven. Maybe it’s easier to just imagine Chuno is a folktale/legend and that since it is being retold, things have been retouched for effect. the guys are stronger and dirtier. the girls are prettier etc.

  77. 77 Mathew Kraft

    Lee Da Hae’s interview with KBS.

    COPIED :-

    Through an interview with KBS’ Entertainment Tonight, Lee Da Hae speaks up of how hard it is to be an actress.

    She stated, “I’ve been hurt due to negative comments. I’m thinking about quitting the internet for awhile… I’ve experienced a lot from this recent incident.

    I will work harder from now and will make Hye Won a better character, so please don’t hate me too much and look upon me favorably.”

    Lee Da Hae has been receiving much criticism due to a certain clip from her new drama, Chuno. To what would have been a revealing scene, the scene was censored off with a mosaic effect. However, the censorship was apparently not enough as she received a lot of negative feedback.

    To this, Lee Da Hae stated, “I think it’s hard living as an actress. I want to be born as a male actor in my next life.”

    Not only has she been receiving criticism for that one particular scene, but she has also been getting negative comments regarding her painted nails. Some viewers have complained how her painted nails did not match the old setting of the drama.

    To this remark, she explained, “My nails are on the thin side so even if I don’t paint anything, the lighting from the film set reflects off my nails and gives off a shine. This is really a misconception.”

    However, despite the negative comments she has been receiving, there is a positive outcome from this drama. She gets to work with hot men!

    Lee Dae Hae stated about two of her male co-stars, “Jang Hyuk is no doubt the best. Oh Ji Ho was just born with that body!”

  78. 78 maria

    listen, i like lee da hae as much as the next person,but she really just doesn’t strike me as the sort of actress that would put *her craft* over her personal vanities. do you get that feeling? i just don’t see her doing something like Yoon Eun Hye did in Coffee Prince– remember that scene on the bus when she took off her wig, schlepped herself about in blue slippers from the garbage and cried her mascara’s face to bits? …javabeans even commented on that– something about how there are so few actresses that would be willing to sacrifice their vanity in putting everything into a scene like that– and i agree! ….just my opinion. sorry. :S

  79. 79 Annie

    i hate these criticisms, it is not her fault that the drama production wants this. ps none of the main girls in the storyline look unclean, like isnt the second girl also a hiding from a group, and she is travelling with slave hunter,,,,,she still looks very clean too

  80. 80 Sandy

    I hope Dae Gil’s love for Un Nyun will not be shaken and so too with Un Nyun.

    Like what javabeans said “OTP” .

    Oh ! ! waiting for that moment ……… will it happen?.

  81. 81 mookie

    channeling the story to my dad (very avid Chuno watcher), his first question: is there a stat on who complained what and when? Clearly it’s the ahjummas complaining about too much skin and another subset of the male and younglings complaining about the blurring. and now SBS pissed them off by ‘drawing legs on the snake’ <some Chinese proverb

  82. 82 omo

    I think LDH is a decent actress and I’ve been following the majority of her projects. Totally agree that her character here is as weak as the one in EOE.

    But my rant is not about LDH. Gosh, by the same token, couldn’t they have scrubbed the men down, oiled them bodies, tied their hair up in perfectly coiffed knots and salon-strengthened those manly nails, so that I can enjoy them in full view?

    It’s the disparity and inconsistency that’s bothering me.

  83. 83 blabber

    All having said, I agreed with JB. She is the one that are very rational, do just and objective in her opinions and writings.

    I think i can passed the make up and prettiness. She is simply stunning but why not the dirtiness. I know is fusion seaguk but that too obvious. For example is one acted as a homeless, crazy who didn’t shower and live by the street character, she/he should immersed and willing to look what the character supposed to. That what we called a brilliant actor or actress.

    It maybe nitpicking or pettiness but when a GREAT actor/actresess which are brilliant in their work they wouldn’t come into this term or situation. LDH for my taste is not that strong actress herself. She has the potential but not just yet. Step to the ground i wanna see.

    The problem is may some of it is the production which I can overlook since I thought CHUNO is awesome and what with the other actress KES. But here when I read


    in others dramas, in awards ceremony we can she is kind of want/ try very hard to look pretty/center of attention. I hate to say this since I like her when I saw her.

    Well, LDH has lots of fans so the other way around. Its normal when we love someone we tend to overlook or can take it easy of certain things. My take, watch it if you want or don’t watch if you can’t take or disturbed by LDH’s weak acting, character etc. Above all, CHUNO still stands out of its own.

  84. 84 blabber

    @ maria: listen, i like lee da hae as much as the next person,but she really just doesn’t strike me as the sort of actress that would put *her craft* over her personal vanities. do you get that feeling? i just don’t see her doing something like Yoon Eun Hye did in Coffee Prince– remember that scene on the bus when she took off her wig, schlepped herself about in blue slippers from the garbage and cried her mascara’s face to bits?

    “but she really just doesn’t strike me as the sort of actress that would put *her craft* over her personal vanities”

    Indeed. That what I thought too. YEH. I’m not a fan. But i really impressed with her professionalism. LDH is on my watch list since I can’t really get into her yet no matter hard I try though she is potential as an artist.

  85. 85 Philippa

    its pretty dumb that people complain about stupid things like this. JEEZ GROW UP! who cares???? its just a showww!!!!! celebrities always looks nice on tv and movies!

  86. 86 pussycat

    Now I know where the hater coming from, some just give a clue intentionlly/unintentionly.

  87. 87 David Chen

    Don’t know why ?, Lee Da Hae always get slammed – up and down !

    left and right !. But she is still not jobless !!! marvelous actress.

  88. 88 marni

    I don’t think people are jealous or being unreasonable about LDH and her “editorial like” look. I stopped watching at Ep 3 because she is a main character and was not believable to me. If she played a princess then her look would be perfect but she plays a slave. This is not a fashion video. It’s a drama about slave hunters and slaves???

  89. 89 WSaaid

    As fas as I am concerned, the personalities between UN/HW is different than that to SH due to their backgrounds. Eventhough she is a slave, she has a quiet and calm disposition. She carries herself with a bit more dignity. SH came from a different background and has had to learn to toughen herself up. So her personality is different. Moreover, there are implications that she is a gisaeng(sorry for the misspell, if any). Both of them has endure their own misfortunes and they wear it differently. That’s all. If would not at all be interesting, if bith characters have the same personalities. Variety is what makes it interesting…

    As far as dirty is concern, why is the criticism directed at SH since she has been as clean as UN/HW. The same applies for looking made-up. SH is as made-up as UN/HW is and she too travels with the boys.

  90. 90 WSaaid

    As far as dirty is concern, why isn’t the criticism directed at SH since she has been as clean as UN/HW. The same applies for looking made-up. SH is as made-up as UN/HW is and she too travels with the boys.

  91. 91 Qistianti

    Wait till you see Seol Wa’s gypsy look !!!
    Her character, seventeen years old girl spending money on her clothes and make pretty for the riding men. Interesting “species”.

  92. 92 happy reader

    “seriously, her scenes are such a bore. the ones with sulhwa are so much more fun and kim ha eun is a better actress.”
    i agree to that…
    sulhwa character + KHE acting = A+ ( she’s an street performer, so for me it’s kinda make sense if she wears make up)
    UnNyeon is supposed to be an ex-slave duh..!! can she please acts a little un-princessy-like? her screaming is frustrating me! “ah..ah..ah” bohooo..everytime sometimes happens, she can only scream scream and scream..and she’s getting on my nerve
    her weak character annoys me tooooo much + LDH acting seems ‘fake’, and out of place + super clean clothes and neat hair and make up = C-
    the scenes with dae gil, general choi and wang son (+ sul hwa too) are the most enjoyable

  93. 93 Anonymous

    I really got to start watching this show, heard too many good ravings about it! and lee da hae is gorgeous but i wouldn’t mind if her character revealed less celvaged and make up looks okay (from the pictures) but it always annoys me when an actress is wearing nail paint on set, clearly that hadn’t been invented yet, please keep it real, at least on set. (:

    Help me out please if you’re not busy!!
    Feed Me!Adopted from Valenth

  94. 94 Angie

    she actually doesn’t wear noticeable makeup..i can only detect her lip gloss
    look at sulwha or the lady boss of the dancing troupe..they really wear alot of makeup
    i think da hae looks pretty in a simple way. since her enslavement was in the past anyway and now she’s a noble i don’t think she had to be “dirtier”

  95. 95 Anonymous

    Chuno is not for kindergarden level of thinking, most of the characters are mysterious to me-to some KSE character is interesting (Yes), but no depth and very easy to play (suitable for children to love it), UN/HW is more complicated, reserved and passive, fragile and most importantly very ladylike and sometime she shows intelligent side of her. I love this character-very new to me, and rarely seen in kdrama world. Being an experienced actress and already prove how versatile she is in her previous work, I’m glad LDH willing to venture another character eventhough is a weak character, and she has done a good job so far.,—- she acts a lot with her eyes. My favorite is her her amazing chemistry with both actors JH and OJH, one of the best, overshadowed her chemistry with Lee Dong wook.

    Just thinking, if KSE is the main actress, will she give the same impact on excitement of CHUNO-can u imagine Jang Hyuk and Oh Ji Hoo going crazy over her character and look. Think about it ya. Anyway, I love KSE and her character here, but just for fun, not something to think abt and remember. CHUNO is more for people who appreciate art and quality.

  96. 96 ellen

    Some people are just so JEALOUS OF LEE DA HAE that they are waiting like vultures to get a bite of her! NO WONDER SOME SHOW BIZ STARS CAN’T TAKE THE CONTINOUS NIT PICKING ANYMORE.

  97. 97 Phyllis

    I have not been able to watch any more than a few segments of the first episode. I have been reading about it, but have not become too excited, yet. This complaining about Lee Da-hae does not surprise me. I winced and experienced dyspepsia when I saw and read that she would be acting in it. I have not been watching Korean Dramas very long. I watched her in “East of Eden” and was very relieved when she left the show. I just do not like her. I am not sure I will be watching this drama. One reason I love Korean Dramas so much is because they are void of sexual innuendo. It is so refreshing when I compare it to American television.

  98. 98 coral09

    Wow, those are some revealing shots of her bust, more than i’ve seen in any kdrama – but definitely not uncommon in american tv shows! LOL @ blurring out those scenes, maybe they need to switch this drama to an HBO type of station then since viewers and producers can’t agree on what is right. I agree with LDH looking too refined for a peasant, she needs to look dirtier and more plain, kinda like lee yo won before her queen days. I’m only on episode 2 but i guess I have a lot to look forward to!

  99. 99 ellen

    I hope that Lee da Hae does not get discouraged or shy away from acting on any Kdramas. Maybe that’s what those nit pickers expect her to do.
    She is suppose to be wearing her underwea! How is she suppose to hide part of her boobs to make it look more natural than this. Tell the director to hand her a towel to cover her front so the viewers dont see? Why reject to look at beauty? her (underwear) attire is not vulgar!
    Why pick Lee da-hae as if this is all her fault. Is she the only one responsible for her presence & performance on screen? She’s even nit picked for her beauty!!!
    Did she do her boobs?? I can’t believe these narrow minded nit pickers.
    Why doesn’t anybody nit pick the other casts like the female slave who smiles with perfect white teeth & flirts & carries on with her chores happily with no trace of burden!!! What about the gisaeng with the slave hunters? Should Hye won bath in the mud at the temple? Besides, she was well groomed as a bride. Bathed in perfumed water not mud!
    How can you enjoy Chuno if all you think about is think how to nit pick Lee Da Hae. As for me I want to enjoy Chuno. Its not perfect but its one of the best historical drama I have seen. The main cast are beautiful! The scenery is magnificent. Truly breathtaking! THANK YOU CHUNO!

  100. 100 hahafatgirl

    It’s seems like LDH is taking the criticism too personally. The netizens are complaining about a character’s look and not her acting. She needs to lighten up. I’d be happy If the only criticism about me is that I look “too pretty” 😀

    So far, LDH’s character is nothing more than a pretty damsel in distress, waiting for her man to come rescue her – which I find disappointing but I guess thats why the title is called “Slave Hunters” and not “My Girl”.

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