Well, the official cast has been announced for the third season of the hit family sitcom series High Kick, which had big successes with 2006′s Unstoppable High Kick, and then 2009′s High Kick Through the Roof.
My interest has waned in the series since the controversial ending to the second installment, but I have to give them some credit for coming up with a pretty amusing third title (still a working one): Counterattack of the Short Legs. HA. But the cast list doesn’t really excite me, and if anything is surprising for being so heavy on the pop stars and musicians. Is there a music slant this season, or is it just coincidence?
The full cast list, in order of their pictures in the chart below:
- Ahn Nae-sang (Sungkyunkwan Scandal, Three Brothers)
- Yoon Yoo-sun (The Duo, My Girlfriend Is a Gumiho)
- Yoon Kye-sang (Best Love, Phungsan Dog)
- Lee Jong-seok (Secret Garden)
- Krystal, idol starlet from f(x)
- Seo Ji-seok (Manny)
- singer Kang Seung-yoon
- Park Ha-sun (Dong Yi)
- Kim Ji-won (CF model, Romantic Heaven)
- comedienne Park Ji-sun
- Julien Kang (High Kick Through the Roof)
- Go Young-wook, former member of pop group Roo’ra
- Baek Jin-hee (Acoustic)
- as well as singer Yoon Gun
- and singer Lee Juck.
girlfriday: Isn’t Yoon Kye-sang too big a star for High Kick 3?
javabeans: He’s had leading roles before, but he hasn’t had a lot of big hits — some memorable flops like Road No. 1, Triple, even Who Are You, which I loved but did single-digit ratings.
girlfriday: Really? Didn’t he pretty much go from basking in the idol glory to basking in the Star Actor glory?
javabeans: I don’t think he basked much, actually. Heh. And aw. I think Best Love was his biggest mainstream role to date.
girlfriday: I suppose I haven’t seen that much of his work, but I thought he was bigger. Not that this is a bad move, but just a surprising one.
javabeans: He may…perhaps…be disproportionately big on Dramabeans compared to, oh, real life. I accept no responsibility.
girlfriday: Dude, it’s TOTALLY your fault! You’ve been blinded by the hotness.
javabeans: No, not the hotness, the adorable little-boy-ness!
girlfriday: Either way you’ve been blinded. Or I’ve been duped.
javabeans: Duping implies he’s not actually hot.
girlfriday: HA. Okay, got me there.
javabeans: At first I thought it was strange he took a second lead role in Best Love, but after seeing the show, I’m beyond glad he took it. So tired of anemic Hong Sisters second lead actors, and he made that role work. I’m still sorta torn up about him, and that’s despite rooting 100% for Dokko Jin. Can I have more than 100% of love to give?
girlfriday: Yes, in my math, you can have as many percentages as you want, because no matter how much you love Gong Yoo, someday a Seung-gi is gonna come along, and screw up the numbers. So yeah… you just go with it. I speak from actual number-crunching experience.
javabeans: Remind me not to let you do my taxes.
girlfriday: Even I don’t let me do my taxes.
javabeans: I think scoring High Kick is considered a coup nowadays, since it’s shot people to superstardom practically overnight.
girlfriday: But mostly young newbies, yeah?
javabeans: Mostly, I think, but I definitely got to know other actors through it that I wouldn’t have otherwise. Even being a small part of a huge sensation is gonna benefit you more than being the star of a sinking ship, yeah? Big fishies and ponds and such?
girlfriday: So he’s gone to spread his Little Fishy wings?
javabeans: Can we mix that metaphor more? Yes, he’s going to fly to bigger pastures, where the water’s greener.
girlfriday: Heh. Is that… better? I can’t tell anymore.
javabeans: Let’s say green water is good. For acting careers and idol singers.
girlfriday: It seems like idol actors are getting more flak in the Korean media these days (or again, rather) but there’s a spike lately for some reason.
javabeans: Really? I thought it was getting better. Did something happen?
girlfriday: I don’t know if there was an inciting incident or anything, but there have been more op-ed pieces about the idol actors “taking” roles away, statements from veteran actors against it, etc.
javabeans: Has Lee Soon-jae been cranky again?
girlfriday: Yunno. Cranky Grandpa’s gonna be cranky.
javabeans: I think there’s actually a stark divide. Mediocre-to-bad idol-actors are always going to be attacked (not entirely unfairly) for the constant attempts to capitalize on idol fame. But I feel like the media conveniently forgets a big chunk of the idol-to-singer transitionees, the ones who have ironically transitioned so well that some people forget where they started. And then they’ll bust them out when it’s convenient to their argument.
Singers Krystal, Kang Seung-yoon, Go Young-wook, Yoon Gun
girlfriday: Right. It’s interesting that if you succeed as an actor, that past is conveniently forgotten. Not that anyone’s going to forget that Yoon Kye-sang was in g.o.d.
javabeans: I was just going to say that his past totally gets forgotten! Some people don’t even know he was in g.o.d.!
girlfriday: Haha. Maybe it’s ‘cause WE’re in the generation that wouldn’t be able to forget it, but I do think he’s in that group of actors who transitioned successfully enough to shed his idol past (not that it’s a bad thing, but just what the media does).
javabeans: Then there are the ones like Rain and Eric — there’s no escaping their singer halves since they’re so famous for it, but they’ve done well enough in the acting realm that they escape the scorn. Mostly.
girlfriday: Or their stars were too big to fuck with.
javabeans: I do think they’re decent actors though, fame notwithstanding. They’d have made that transition pretty well if they hadn’t been that famous, don’t you think?
girlfriday: Yeah, they’d be playing leading men anyway.
javabeans: I’m more surprised that the rest of the High Kick 3 cast seems kind of…lackluster? The older generations are always solid (Ahn Nae-sang!) but Park Ha-sun, Lee Jong-seok? Eh.
girlfriday: And old? Well old-ER than the (High Kick) norm?
javabeans: There are some young’uns mixed in there, but yeah. I guess there’s no reason to mimic its prior seasons completely, just ‘cause Season 2 was so closely structured after Season 1. But it’s a curious choice, since it’s such a youth launchpad. Where’s the Kim Bum? The Jung Il-woo? The Park Min-young? The Shin Se-kyung?
girlfriday: Yeah, it seems severely lacking in the Big Stars of Tomorrow trajectory that it’s usually on. It’s interesting that High Kick has become the launching pad that sitcoms used to be in yesteryear. I’m thinkin’ WAY old school, like Song Seung-heon in 3 Men, 3 Women.
javabeans: I know MBC made a concerted effort to steer away from campus sitcoms in favor of family ones, hence the dying of Nonstop and the rise of High Kick. Maybe the demos were better.
girlfriday: They were just stuck in the prehistoric sitcom format. But it’d be interesting to see a rebirth of that genre, like single-camera, HD, no laugh track, fresh music, and fresh faces. Particularly funny ones.
javabeans: Yeah, I’m looking forward to that. In like 2040.
- Yoon Kye-sang in Phungsan Dog
- GQ actor round-up, javabeans version
- Best Love: Episode 1
- High Kick 3 to air in the fall
- Family sitcom High Kick gets a season 3
- Producers talk about High Kick’s controversial ending
- Japan buys High Kick Through the Roof
- High Kick 2 fills out its new cast
- Unstoppable High Kick