Drama Casting & News
Dating tips aplenty in tvN’s sorta-drama Play Guide
by | January 24, 2013 | 41 Comments

Huh. I got all excited at this news of tvN (yay!) casting a new project (yay!), especially since it features a Ramyun Flower Boy as its lead (yay Park Min-woo!)… and then read the article and got confusappointed by this so-called Play Guide.

It’s a new scripted series all set to debut tomorrow night, and is a drama-slash-how-to manual for lonelyhearts on finding romance. Park Min-woo (who was so endearing as the devoted Ba-wool in Flower Boy Ramyun Shop) plays a hapless young man who’s failed at a thousand love confessions. He turns to Sohn Dam-bi (Light and Shadow), the CEO and “love agent” of a company doling out dating advice, who purports to have a 100% success rate implementing her own strategies.

They’re calling Play Guide a drama but we may have to attach a few caveats to that term, since this adopts a different format. It’ll air five episodes in 10-minute installments, each one focusing on a particular romance woe—whether giving out tips for how to beat that one-sided love, or how to escape a lifetime of being perennially single. The project is co-produced by Hyundai, and I wouldn’t normally bat an eyelash at a big-name sponsor except for the fact that the car is so prominently displayed in the show’s promos. (It’s so blatantly placed that I thought for a second that the stories had pulled photos from a car ad the actors had done together.)

So… will this be more than your average product-placement endeavor? We groan at the obvious phone ads slipped into every drama these days, but usually those are over in a few seconds and I figure that if the production needs the money, who am I to sniff at where they get it? On the other hand, this seems to be taking things a step further into the branded entertainment realm… though perhaps with a leetle bit more story than Lee Min-ho’s Toyota ad-videos.

I do love Park Min-woo (and his dimples!) and Play Guide is really only a 50-minute commitment in the end. On the other hand, it sounds like Cyrano Dating Agency crossed with a Hyundai CF, and maybe I’m better off waiting to catch Park in his upcoming cable drama, OCN’s The Virus, which premieres in March.

The first episode of Play Guide airs on tvN on January 25.

Via BNT News, ETV


41 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Lovebug

    Wow he looks so grown up! I am also confusappointed! (and will add that word to my daily vocab, thanks!!!). Its basically a commercial…

    • 1.1 Lovebug

      Um I know this isn’t a big deal to most, but this is my first time having the first comment evar!! As I come here and comment pretty much everyday I am going to go ahead and… Woot!!

  2. Mystisith

    Not fan of the “blurred boundaries” shows in general. You don’t know what to think of it and you get a headache. I still like the kid tho, and if he can have a paycheck for this…

  3. Viki

    tvN and a Ramyun Flower Boy? I’m in! and wow, the last picture of him in suits, he does look grown-up compared to Ramyun!

    • 3.1 nasus

      i’m in for whatever TvN offers me!

  4. kdramapedia

    I… I really don’t understand… Like, what’s the point? Well, aside from CAR AD screaming at us?

  5. shina

    awww… it’s like everything lights up when he smiles. And the dimples?love it. I’ll probably check this out, just cause he’s in it.

  6. Biscuit

    I suppose the setting for each episode will be Park having issues, calls Sohn for advice, picks her up, and the next 10 minutes will be in the car.

    Sohn: For a successful date, make sure the setting is right! *coincidentally Sohn goes through the different music features of the radio station*

    By the way, where are we going?

    Park: To that cafe in that district…. ah.. is this the right way? *checks GPS*

    *Park speaks to the talking GPS*

    Sohn: Dont forget that you cant be stingy and must always wear the right clothes. *opens the sunroof while talking*

    *As the two arrive at the cafe to talk, there is a 360 view of the car as they get out. When they are seated by the waitress indoors, coincidentally they sit by a window displaying the parked Hyundai outdoor*

    • 6.1 Ennayra

      This sounds about right. And having actually watched 4+ episodes of Lee Min-ho’s Toyota ad-videos, I would know.

    • 6.2 come2noona

      Ha! I think you just nailed it!

    • 6.3 Laurita

      so good 🙂

    • 6.4 KDR

      Ha! Sounds about right!
      I love Ba-wool-ah but I’m hesitant to watch this..

  7. Annie

    So this is going to be a 50 minute commercial?

  8. ilikehim

    I’ve always thought he looked like Park Jae Bum…but before reading the article, I legit thought the first pic was Lee Je Hoon.
    I wasn’t into Flower Boy Ramyun Shop, but he was my favorite thing.

  9. m a r a

    LOL. I thought this was a CF, but I do love Park Min Woo from FBRS, so, I hope this new project will be good.

  10. 10 annnsow

    ahh Park Min Woo, this fresh rookie actor hmmmmmm

    I’m not going to watch this (doubt it’ll be subbed anyway), just waiting patiently for his new drama :).

  11. 11 Danna

    It already feels totally like those Toyota ads

  12. 12 ck1Oz

    Ehm it’s a car ad. No 2 ways about it.
    Anyone else think it has anything to do with a story?
    Okay a car ad with a story…

  13. 13 Noelle

    Dimples be worth it! I can deal with a few cars thrown here and there oh so subtly in the viewers faces.

  14. 14 Melmax

    Love both, glad our Bawol is truly spreading his wings with Son Dam Bi… Will watch with a few grains of salt, thanks…

  15. 15 february

    OMG im so happy with this news! !! I miss Kim Ba Wool . I love his natural acting and his cutie pie face. As for Son Dam Bi, I like her as a singer but not as an actress. I found her acting is bland and boring. But i hope Ba Wool can help her improve *just sayin

  16. 16 jollyroger

    Oh I remember those Lee Min-ho Toyota –CFs!!! Even his perpetual hotness couldn’t save that thing.

  17. 17 momoi

    I got interested in the show since I heard Son Dam Bi and Seungah Oh are supposed to be in it. Sad it’s so short and kind of a long commercial basically, but I still want to watch it ^_^

  18. 18 meiyih

    i might watch it if they cast Kang HyunMin lol i can imagine him goin crazy celebratin the $$ he’s goin to get frm the car commercial n try to persuade Min-ah to join in to double the earn :p

  19. 19 snow_white

    cyrano dating agency was one of the most boring films i’ve ever seen…..
    this show doesn’t seem interesting….what with 10 min episode!!

  20. 20 littleminozpuffer

    “though perhaps with a leetle bit more story than Lee Min-ho’s Toyota ad-videos.”

    OMG HAHAHAHAH that was my first thought xD

  21. 21 kfangurl

    Aw.. It’s definitely a car ad, just boosted in the story dept. Not very exciting, imo :/

  22. 22 ravens_nest

    This is just good marketing. I’m not groaning at all. I’m not a business person but I live with an entrepreneur and I’m friends with many business men and women, so I talk shop with them a lot.

    Crossing an ad with a light and trendy drama short starring cute young actors on a reputable tv station just sounds like good business to me. I can respect that kind of out-of-the-box thinking.

    And we can at least hope that the story and advert will meld better since they know from the get-go that it’s a glorified ad. Maybe the car(s) will be less shoehorned into the story than in a regular drama.

  23. 23 ninji

    Sounds like the Taiwanese drama Heartbeat Love with Show Luo pretending to be gay when meeting Rainie. Which also was a commercial thingy for Australia. And that was okay, and cute, so I’m hoping the same for this.

  24. 24 rainerust

    I hate to say this, but Taiwan has actually been doing a few of these ad-drama things, and they’re not bad. Some are cute and quirky, and have a heart (even if the product placement is terribly obvious). Some actually even have a story (although I waved my fist angrily at one that started out with a story and ended with…I have no idea what).

    I must say, though, that a car ad-drama is quite challenging – I mean, how to maximise the car IN the drama, without it becoming too ridiculous aka Lee Min Ho’s infamous Toyota CFs?

    Love the boy though, and whee for all the Flower Boys from the Ramyun Shop coming up with new stuff!, so might still end up checking out a couple of the eps.

    • 24.1 ♪♪ ♥ leehyuk ♥ ♪♪

      ad-drama is impactful if done right and it all depends on the business objectives – what they want to sell? brand or sales scope to specific group of people or etc…

      and yes, ad-drama is not something new in the advertisement world.. if not mistaken, there is global annual advertisement event thing that give awards to the best commercials…

      If Lee Min Ho’s Toyota CF objective is to focus on customers gender female i.e. to get ahjummas to buy Toyota… i think it’s a bad idea.. anyways, i think love story with car actually works.. they can highlight what the Hyundai Car can do for the love birds in the romance area..

      Car commercials is challenging and majority guys love them especially with sexy ladies in it… anyways, my colleague who works with commercial company… is particularly impressed with this commercial… i remember he told us that this car ad works…


      it’s funny, it’s relatable for most countries in the world who knows Star Wars… and the audience is for the family… and a mother will definitely be interested and remember Volksvagen if they want to get a car..

      • 24.1.1 Laurita

        This car commercial really put a smile on me at the end. 🙂 But it’s short. Is it possible to make fun with a car for more than 5 minutes? Hmmm….

  25. 25 Athena

    Yummy lead, I almost didn’t recognize him! This reminds me of the American project where Ford Motors sponsored the 10 minute web series “Dating Rules From My Future Self.”

    The show was actually pretty cute even though it was a really long car ad. I’m hoping that this one can do the same but if not I can settle for staring at Park Min Woo 10 minutes at a time.

  26. 26 malta

    The car is the evil second lead trying to get between our OTP!

    • 26.1 Rovi





      XD to da max

    • 26.2 coby


  27. 27 Steph

    That boys dimples don’t quit! And I’m so mad and perplexed. A commercial? Really?Judging you for disappointing me.

  28. 28 dulcedeleche

    Arg this is a marketing “No”. If you’re gonna try to pull off advertainment (advertising + entertainment) you need to sponsor something relevant to your brand….like maybe an Italian-Job -car- chase type of show.

    Think of Castaway….Fedex basically sponsored the whole movie but it worked well for branding and it wasn’t in your face all the time while you watched it.

  29. 29 Suzy

    Wow, he’s insanely tall and lean O__O

  30. 30 errr

    give it a try before judging, ppl.
    ok, i’ll admit i watched because an idol i loved(Oh Seungah) was in the first episode there as the client’s love interest. n as the love interest in a 10 minute drama there’s really not much to be explored. but so far the drama hasn’t been shoving the car in your face all the time, in fact, some nonsponsored dramas shoved the product placement even more than this, surprisingly. Son Dambi n Park Minwoo made quite an adorable team. and the client, Park Jaemin is so winning..i mean, how can you not love such an adorable nerd who’s a muscle guy who cries easily. haha. overall it’s a light, fun watch i’d say. and from 1st episode it definitely looks more like a drama than an advertisement. 🙂

  31. 31 OceansofPeople2013

    Surely many girls were fall in love with him with a guy like that with his nice tips for everyone..

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.