Drama Casting & News
Hwang Jung-eum, Kang Ji-hwan as potential drama couple
by | October 20, 2012 | 76 Comments

Okay, so I started reading this news with a “meh” attitude, and by the time I got to the end of the page I was just about hopping in anticipation. The drama is titled Incarnation of Money (or Money Incarnate; it’s a working title and neither translation really works for me, but we’ll see what they come up with). It’s an upcoming SBS weekend show from the producers of Giant and History of a Salaryman. And it’s courting Hwang Jung-eum and Kang Ji-hwan.

Okay, now for the details. Hwang Jung-eum (Golden Time, Can You Hear My Heart) appears to be the stronger prospect at the moment, having confirmed that she’s “favorably considering” the role (and some articles even have her as a done deal). She’ll be reuniting with the writer and director, having worked on their first project together, hit drama Giant, which surpassed 40% ratings and was a multi-generational epic. Since the team went on to claim hit number 2 with History of a Salaryman, suffice to say that Round 3 is facing some heightened expectations.

Her character description piques my curiosity: Hwang plays the daughter of a loan shark and “knows nothing but money.” With a personality described as pragmatic and a strong work ethic, she eventually becomes the president of a savings bank. It’s a different type of heroine than we’re used to, in a dramaland that loves its leading ladies to be on the victim side of that loan shark equation; they’re always the ones being chased by the money-grubbing gangsters, not the ones on their side.

Her character will start out “ugly” and then get an extreme makeover; she starts out overweight and wearing glasses and braces. “With tons of hard work and lots of money, she undergoes a transformation to become a top-class beauty.” I sort of groan at the necessity to make her go from extreme to extreme, but it sounds like her ugly duckling past informs the character and carries over into the present.

Then things get wacky: Our hero named Lee Cha-don knows of her past and is in debt to her, but happens to be locked up in a psychiatric hospital on a remote island. Already I like this. Kang Ji-hwan (Coffee House, Detective Cha) can do wacky and dramatic like nobody’s business, so I’m totally seeing this. So our heroine goes to spring him from the joint, armed with faked marriage registration documents, beginning their faux-spouses routine.

But that’s not all. Then! She starts to suspect her new not-husband of having killed her father, who died under suspicious circumstances. Just as “her ideal man” makes his appearance and kicks up the love triangle.

This sounds cracked. And I mean that in a good way. If I hadn’t seen History of a Salaryman, my eyebrows would be UP TO HERE (points at ceiling) right now. However, since I did watch that kooky show, which had some of the zaniest comedy in recent drama history (with stellar acting and fantastic directing), I am instead really excited about Incarnation of Money (or whatever they end up calling it). Can’t you already picture it? I mean, I’m not so blinded by actor-love to be a fan of everything someone does, when that includes some real crap stuff (Lie To Me), but I am just itching for Kang Ji-hwan to be in something great that uses all of his talents.

Some reports state that this drama, at 24 episodes, will take the post-Five Fingers weekend slot. Which happens to be previously announced as Alice in Cheongdam-dong’s slot, which makes me nervous for that show. Other reports state that Incarnation of Money will follow Alice. Do countdown clocks come with a Confused setting?

Via Osen


76 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. greenie


  2. Mystisith

    Production Team behind Salaryman = I’m there! And that premise with dramas cliches put upside down? I don’t even mind the cast.

    • 2.1 lenrasoon


    • 2.2 D

      and i’ll be right next to you. i love love love that drama (not necessarily all the characters)

      now will they be having some rooster…

  3. Hannah

    KANG JI HWAN!! I know people didn’t like LtM but honestly, he was just so good in it, the plot was terrible. I am so excited that he and YEH are in new dramas. End of 2012/Early 2013 are shaping up to be a good year. AND LSG is coming back! Haven’t seen anything with Suzy in it, besides the entertainment shows, and MissA, but I like her so I will also give that a try. YAY!

  4. Laica

    This. Sounds. Awesome.

    I really hope KJH takes the role, it sounds perfect for him as you said. And I’ve been dying to see him in something GOOD.

    • 4.1 Laica

      Also, production team: please give the poor girl good hair this time. I feel for her.

      • 4.1.1 Danna

        Yes…someone needs to save her from all the hairy distractions on her heas…cuz she is a really gorgeous woman….hopefully the extreme makeover part will taje care of that

  5. Arhazivory

    Well, this plot sounds win. And I loved HoTS! <3

  6. Natalie

    Baha what the heck is with that premise?! Sounds bizarre, so I’m in!

  7. becca_boo

    Oh, this could be fun. Very fun.

    Thanks for sharing the news!

  8. sumee

    Ohhhhhhhhhh..NICE !

  9. Daisy

    Hwang Jung Eum please please please sport a decent hairstyle!

  10. 10 noi

    the team behind giant and salaryman? i’m so in.

    but hwang jungeum……… sigh. i hope she can give a breakthrough performance like jung ryeowon did in salaryman

  11. 11 Noelle

    I’m all for KJH. Hopefully this show utilizes him well.

  12. 12 dulcedeleche

    oh no. I’m torn. Do I want this to come before Alice or after? I’m not sure between KJH or PSH, who will win in the battle for my affections.

    Actually Alice should come first. Since they started filming already…and have a confirmed cast.

  13. 13 MaB

    Well is definitely sounds interesting and loved History of a Salaryman!

  14. 14 Jinny

    WHY OH WHY. I love the description and promising plotline (promising in terms of ensuring that I’ll laugh until my sides hurt) but I dislike both actors (I’m sorry, I just can’t get into their acting…don’t kill me!) Hopefully they’ll have some kind of new quirky twist that makes me their ultimate fan or they’ll be bearable enough for me to watch 😛

    • 14.1 AAAA

      I recommend “Be Strong, Geum Soon” for a look at Kang Ji Hwan’s capabilities when he meets a decent script. (His other dramas are forgettable, even though he was very good in them, just bad scripts, co-stars, and plots) Incarnation of Money and Be Strong Geum Soon are two of his best works, in my opinion. They are the only ones with scripts good enough for his acting abilities.

  15. 15 rearwindow

    This sounds totally whacked out, but I’m excited. Is it weird that I’m particularly stoked for Hwang Jung-eum to be in a drama with NORMAL HAIR FOR ONCE? I swear I’m not all that shallow. I’m just scarred from Can You Hear My Heart?

  16. 16 Roxy

    HJE is gorgeous but gosh the hairstyles’ she recently had in her previous dramas are just TERRIBLE. From CYHMH (dreaded bowl-haircut) to Full House 2 (god-awful).

    So since she’s supposed to be a ‘top-class beauty’ in this drama please give her a decent do, PLEASE DRAMA GODS.

  17. 17 ck1Oz

    The plotline is absolutely bizzare.So bizzare that I am going to watch it.Besides it’s from the team from Salaryman. At this point,unless its a totally rotten actor would watch it just to see where the story goes.It would be sure different from the usual slapping mother in law weekend fare.

  18. 18 Toystar

    KJH yes! Love him and this sounds like fun so I’m down!

  19. 19 peace88

    I’m in for sure, love both of them as well which is a plus, I would rather watch this then Alice in Cheongdam-dong, but since they have already start shooting Alice I’m sure this show would be coming to 2013.

  20. 20 Lila

    Too many projects coming up! I want to watch them all but don’t have time. KJH!!! I think I will

    Hwang Jung Eum is pretty here, kind of reminds me of Park Si Yeon.

  21. 21 jomo

    KJH would be crazy to pass on working with this writer/director team. Especially since it sounds like the part was written for him.

    HJE – can you never start out being NOT ugly once?
    Cause you aren’t.

    I wish the make-over angle didn’t reinforce the stigma of being unattractive, especially overweight as being equal to bad personality. We need to be evolving, writers.

  22. 22 Annie

    I ship it. Praying for HJE’s hair right now…

  23. 23 sPark*

    I love Kang Ji Hwan. I even watched Lie To Me until the last two episodes for him. I haven’t finished any of his dramas except Capital Scandal (I just noticed), but I’ve always watched until right before the last two episodes lol His projects have been pretty meh lately, but I still adore him. Hwang Jung Eum hasn’t always been my favorite, but I adore her in Giant. I hope this drama is all sorts of awesome because I loved Giant and watched some of History of a Salaryman. The drama plot sounds crazy and I can’t wait. I hope this drama is better than HOAS.

    • 23.1 AAAA

      You need to watch Be Strong Geum Soon, he was excellent in it. Great screenwriting, great co-stars, great ending. Not often a drama finishes on such a high note. Very good story line and pacing.

  24. 24 Suzi Q

    Agree with you. Why do being overweight in Korea equate to unattractive and an ugly personality and that she needs an extreme makeover? Sounds like 200 lbs. Beauty similar plot, so Been there Done that……
    Both HJE and KJH can do funny and quirky comedies, but why does she always get cursed with weirdo hairstyles?PLEASE find her a beautiful hairstyle….so she doesn’t look like a DORK.
    Sounds like a great production team. I hope they have a great script because KJH was wasted in LTM.

  25. 25 hara

    i hope they will change the lead actress though. not so fond of hwang jung eum… but kang ji hwan? am sooooo in!

    • 25.1 pipit

      Me too. I’d rather have somebody else if the male lead is KJH.

  26. 26 reeen

    she definitely looks plastic enough to make the makeover thing believable 😀

    • 26.1 Ara

      I hate to agree with you but something about her face definitely seems plastic. I think some people’s faces can just take it better than others or they have better features to work with; look at PMY, she had her jaws shaved down and some sort of nose job and you basically can’t even tell!

      • 26.1.1 RealKDramaaddict

        I have never been impressed by her acting. In fact, I disliked her in every drama she starred. Lots of unnatural crying or always cheerful, two types of expression, did not feel any depth behind her eyes.

  27. 27 canxi

    What did I just read? LOL, so awesome.

  28. 28 asianromance

    Heroine who worked for her riches? Kang. Ji. Hwan, Locked up in a psych hospital and the heroine breaks him out?! I am in!

  29. 29 dandelion

    To be honest, Kang ji hwan is my least favorite actor. I find his acting overrated.

    All the dramas I have watched him in he was overacting like crazy. He overacts his dramatic scenes and also the comedic scenes. The only drama of his where his overacting worked to his advantage was Hong Gil Dong. Another thing that drives me nuts about him is his squeaky voice, it is not pleasant to the ears!

    Hwang Jung Eum, her acting isn’t bad, but I don’t like the vibe that she gives off onscreen and offscreen.

    • 29.1 eny

      i didn’t see his acting overated, i think the story of many drama/ movie that he portray overate esp comedy. I see 90 days falling in love n coffee house it’s not overate.
      This drama sounds interesting n the actor/actress is fine for me ,i’m gonna check it

      • 29.1.1 dandelion

        I watched 90 days of love and Fireworks and he totally overacted when delivering his lines. I dont know if it’s because of his Stage Musical background or what, but his movements and line delivery may it be on melo or romcom is very exagerrated and I don’t like it.

    • 29.2 noona

      Probably because he had his start in theatre. I noticed theatre actors usually exaggerate their movements to better convey their emotions.

      Even I thought he moved his head too much on 90 days. But he has improved a lot since then.

    • 29.3 AAAA

      He suffers from having had too many bad scripts. I recommend “Be Strong, Geum Soon”. He was very good in that. Plus, the production and writing is excellent.

  30. 30 topper

    Production team of Giant and History of a Salaryman. Now that’s a good project to sign up for.

  31. 31 dal

    I’m happy for Hwang Jung-eum to have another drama. Just reading this news sound so good all ready. I can’t wait to see both of them.

  32. 32 Keshia

    This is so cray cray that I’m in love with it already. Can’t wait!!

  33. 33 QIII

    I wonder if Kang Ji Hwan is still JB’s husband or did she kick him to the curb after Lie to me?

    Sounds like fun

    History of the Salary Man is a drama in my top ten
    I would follow the writers of HOTSM even to the depths of makjang hell because they would find a way to make it fun.

    • 33.1 mary

      I thought KJH was Koala’s husband and JB was married to Jae Hee..?

      *confused with all the claiming*

  34. 34 Addylovesbwood

    Wished they casted her in as Joo Won’s leading lady in Secret agent. oh well!

    • 34.1 bluemoon

      That would be awesome

    • 34.2 karen

      Yeah, now that you mention it, I suddenly realized that Hwang Jung Eum will be very suited to be the leading lady of Secret Agent! I can imagine it very well. She’ll embody the character perfectly. Plus I can picture that she’ll looks good with Joo Won, and their age gap is only 2 years.

    • 34.3 Roxy


      Thanks for pointing that out… but what are the chances of that happening right?

  35. 35 bluemoon

    ohhhhh sounds so interesting……………love the cast so far………..Agreed, HJE is gorgeous but she needs better hairstyle in her dramas…..that short mushroom now in CYHMH and FH2 is not that flattering on her…………….

    ohhhhh can’t wait for this drama

  36. 36 Mai

    Sounds like fun!!! Can I just cross my fingers and toes that she finally gets some nice hair (refer to CYHMH & FH2). Sounds like a bizarre storyline but these two can definitely pull it off.

  37. 37 lenrasoon

    Honestly i love KJH but i got more excited when i heard that the team from History of the Salaryman are behind this, so i’m keeping my eyes on this one.

  38. 38 Annie

    I wish I liked KJH more. I just really hate his voice.

  39. 39 Sajen

    sounds insane in a good way just like the awesomeness that was History of a Salary Man.

    while of the two this is the show that interests me more despite Moon Geun Young’s presence in Alice in Cheongdam-dong but um isn’t Alice already filming with a confirmed cast how could this possibly air first?

  40. 40 saltandpepper

    Kang ji hwan… 🙂

  41. 41 shi suisen

    The male lead just happens to be locked up in a psychiatric hospital on a remote island? I’m sold. XD

  42. 42 cheekbones

    Totally shallow and a bit off topic, but that’s one smexy Kang Ji-hwan there in the pic. *drools*

  43. 43 df

    Kang Ji Hwan in that picture = MY BODY IS READY

    • 43.1 Celest

      lmao I pretty much had the same reaction as well xD

  44. 44 Mar

    Like the premise, mostly. The ugly duckling trope, yeah, it has to say something, be part of character development, or to me it is annoying. Especially when they put attractive women in bad clothes or glasses and call them ugly. I’m more inclined to be okay with a clueless dork that gets some fashion advice. Overweight kid that grows up and loses weight as she matures whether it’s over coming a medical condition, or part of growing up or she has a hobby that’s physical, I can be okay with that. Someone that decides to “get hot” to attract a hot asshole, not so much. Not sold on the female lead. She was okay in Golden Time, but I really do not have a good feel for her abilities. KJH will of course work the hell out of it no matter what.

  45. 45 n818

    ”……but I am just itching for Kang Ji-hwan to be in something great that uses all of his talents.”

    I KNOW ! Which is why I’m so excited. Hopefully it works out.

  46. 46 bear99

    I’m totally IN !!
    Hwang Jung Eum + Kang Ji Hwan would be da bomb for this kind freaky thing … Both not afraid to look wacky and weirdo. I love this kind of actors were they not really care about beauty image whatsoever, all they care is great acting.

    Plus the producer of Giant and Salary Man ….what can I say. We talkin about quality of a drama. I have no doubt this drama will be rockin!! I hope this drama will air after five fingers !!!

  47. 47 malta

    History of a Salaryman is the only reason this drama sounds like it could work.

  48. 48 Amberscube

    Hmmm… interesting. I love HOTS and this one could work for me.

  49. 49 subject

    Count me in. Wherever Giant and Salaryman’s producers will go, I will follow. HeadsNo2, prepare yourself, I look forward to your brilliant recaps here.

  50. 50 Lilian

    loved Kang Ji Hwan in Coffee House. Hope more news is revealed as to who us the third wheel in the love triangle.

    • 50.1 subject

      And I REALLY hope they won’t use the cliche of love triangle. This writer does NOT use this technique which is one reason why he is one of my favorite writers.

Add a Comment

Stay civil, don't spoil, and don't feed the trolls! Read the commenting policy here.

 characters available. Comments will be truncated at the word limit.