This could practically be News Bites: The ♥Romance♥ Edition, with all the star hooking up and breaking up we’ve had lately. Seriously, is something in the water over there in Yeoeuido? Or did all the celebs decide to out themselves while people’s attentions were diverted with all the other star romances, thinking they could avoid a bigger hullaballoo down the line? Quick, bury the lede! Preferably while they’re still preoccupied with Rain!
Let’s take a look at all the love in the air from the past week:
- First, gossip leaked over the weekend about a possible dating relationship between Park Ha-sun (High Kick 3) and Ryu Deok-hwan (King Gongmin from Faith)… which seems like kind of an offbeat pairing, no? Both sides leapt into damage control mode and issued denials, saying they were “just friends.” (They worked together last year filming the movie The World’s Saddest Goodbye—playing siblings, ha. Go to town with that, gossip network.) [Source: Star News]
- …and so they did. Especially when, the next thing you know, up crops a photo of the two frolicking poolside at a Singapore hotel, looking suspiciously cozy. And all the netizens went, “Is this what just friends do, hmmm?” *arched eyebrow* [Source: Newsway]
- Then, a huge shocker: Rain and Kim Tae-hee, a couple? Rumors broke out after a photo was taken of them wearing masks, sneaking around on a supposed date. Speculation flew around in a confused frenzy. Was this really a date? Was it misunderstanding? Were we witnessing the birth of the biggest star couple since Hyun Bin and Song Hye-gyo? [Source: Sports Chosun]
- Everybody denied it, of course. (“She’s not dating anyone!” “He’s just friends with her brother from army duty!” “Lies, lies, all LIES!”) [Source: Newsen]
- Until they confirmed it was true, that is. [Source: Mk.co.kr]
- The next day after the scandal broke, Kim Tae-hee’s reps did an about-face from their initial stance and affirmed that the romantic sneaking around had been going on for a month. I’d say the fan response was mostly positive (after the initial shock), although I suspect there’s a corner of fandom that’s flooded with tears and angrily shredded “Rain Is Coming” posters. Maybe a really big corner. [Source: Naeil]
- On a slight tangent, Rain was then assailed by news reports of a more unpleasant nature. In a nutshell: He was accused of leaving his army post for personal matters. He was allowed to leave for military-related reasons on three separate occasions, but took extra time returning and met with personal contacts, which is a violation of military regulations. (Also a prime time to get his photo snapped with his secret girlfriend.) Rain acknowledged his wrongdoing and is awaiting punishment, though will likely not face brig time. [Source: Seoul Shinmun, Asiae]
- And THEN, freshly discharged Kim Nam-gil sent a food truck to the set of School 2013 on New Year’s Day, a gesture so seemingly random that it could only mean one thing: He’s dating Jang Nara? [Source: Newsen]
- With all the recent gossip still swirling around, it seems like everyone’s minds jumped to the same conclusion, only this time it was the wrong one, and the parties involved were all left scratching their heads in confusion. Kim Nam-gil, Jang Nara, AND Daniel Choi issued statements to clarify the situation, calling the dating rumors a misunderstanding. [Source: Newspim]
- After some actual research—y’know, instead of knee-jerk scandalmongering—it was revealed that Kim Nam-gil happens to be friends with both Jang Nara and Daniel Choi. Plus, he had a small role (his TV debut, in fact) in the original 1999 School, hence the food truck gift. Ha to the nice gesture that got blown waaaay out of proportion. (Apparently the media caught wind of the younger cast members tweeting about it and jumped to connect the dots… in all the wrong ways. Oh, social media. Your power is so easily corrupted.) [Source: New Daily]
Phew, that’s a lot. But wait! We’re not done yet!
- THEN, news broke that another star romance was blooming, this time between onscreen lovebirds Lee Jang-woo (I Do, I Do) and Oh Yeon-seo (Baby-Faced Beauty), who are currently romancing each other in the MBC daily drama Oh Ja-ryong Is Coming. Aww, they are really adorable together, and while I don’t watch that show, this explains why I hear they have cute chemistry in it. This time the stars came right out and confirmed it, letting us bypass the whole “No, it’s false!” “We’re just friends!” “All right, ya got me, it’s true” rigmarole. Phew. [Source: Break News]
- That just made everybody curious to see the new couple in action, even if it was just fake-action, and Oh Ja-ryong saw an immediate spike in ratings, logging its highest numbers to date. Its January 3 episode recorded a 13.9%. [Source: News1]
- However, that presented a pickle for producers of We Got Married, since Oh Yeon-seo happens to be paired with MBLAQ member Lee Joon on that reality show. We know it’s fake, they acknowledge that it’s fake, and yet there’s still the baseline premise hovering over the show that we’re going to pretend we believe it’s a real marriage, and therefore we can’t have the “newlyweds” dating outside their fake-wedded bliss! It just isn’t… seemly, I guess? [Source: TV Daily]
- Well, We Got Married fans are peeved, and it’s looking likely that Oh Yeon-seo will quit the show. Hm, does that mean she’s about to pick up a militia of anti-fans for pulling Lee Joon off too? [Source: Sports Chosun]
- On the heels of all this lovey-dovey news, Choi Jin-hyuk (Panda and Hedgehog) and Sohn Eun-seo (May Queen) have split after nine months of dating. I guess not all love lasts forever. [Source: E Daily]
…annnnd that does it for our Star Romance Bulletin. I told you it was a doozy!
‘Course, that doesn’t mean there isn’t any other news. It just isn’t quite as juicy.
- Im Soo-jung won’t be coming back to television so soon after all: She’s decided against taking the SBS drama All About My Romance, citing scheduling conflicts. The drama is adapted from a novel of the same name and boasts the rather pat tagline of being about the world of “romance that’s like politics, and politics that’s like romance.” And is a romantic comedy. [Source: Star News]
- In Im Soo-jung’s place, producers were courting Gong Hyo-jin to star, but she also declined. Now producers are on the hunt for a new leading lady—other cast members are set, with Shin Ha-kyun and Hong Soo-hyun among them. It’ll follow That Winter, The Wind Blows, which puts its premiere in April. Chop chop. [Source: TV Report, TV Daily]
- In other news, Gong Hyo-jin does have a spread in the latest issue of High Cut (pictured above). [Source: High Cut]
- So does Jo Jung-seok (The King 2 Hearts), pictured below. He’s adorable. [Source: High Cut]
- Kang Ho-dong’s new variety show now has a title to go along with its timeslot! It’s called I Like You, Meeting Night. What’s with these variety show titles? The program will take over the Win Win timeslot beginning January 22. [Source: Joy News]