Jo Hyun-jae’s new drama, Ad Genius Lee Tae-baek
Oh, finally a reason to perk up about new KBS drama Ad Genius Lee Tae-baek! Yes, I am completely aware that this is motivated by nothing more than shallow reasons. And your point is…?
Jo Hyun-jae is one of the last (or perhaps THE last) main cast member to be added to Ad Genius, playing a likely rival to our hero in the Monday-Tuesday drama that sounds a lot like Baker Bachelor Ad King — in that the drama is really a success story celebrating hard work, contrary to the “genius” in the title.
Calling him a genius might lead to expectations of a rich, brilliant hero to whom success comes easily, but thankfully the story focuses on a more interesting characterization of Lee Tae-baek (Jin Gu), painting him as the underdog who comes to Seoul from the sticks and climbs his way up the ad-world ranks through dint of his blood, sweat and tears. The heroine is Park Ha-sun, whom I love for her one-two punch of sweet sincerity and bulldoggish ferocity, while Han Chae-young plays to her glamorous, sophisticated image as a cool, pragmatic top ad executive.
Jo Hyun-jae sounds like he’s her perfect match, also playing a cold-hearted advertising exec… Oh wait. Only You reunion! I wonder if Jo Hyun-jae will have a romantic pairing with Han Chae-young again, although I suppose their roles are miles apart since this time she won’t be the plucky Candy that the chaebol heir loved and left (and knocked up!). Still, they were cute together in that drama which was all kinds of bleh otherwise, and I’d love to see them back in fictional love.
Jo’s character is a team leader at an ad firm and is named Andy Kang… and you know what that means: More excuses to bust out with “Kang-ah!” Yeah, it doesn’t quite work the same way when it’s his last name, but just try and stop me.
Ad Genius Lee Tae-baek takes over the Monday-Tuesday timeslot from School 2013, and premieres February 4. It’s a 16-episode drama — woohoo! And here I was worried that those were all but going extinct.