Drama Casting & News
Will Salon H become the next Goong?
by | January 21, 2013 | 81 Comments

(I wouldn’t hold my breath, but don’t let that stop you from hoping.)

Where lightning strikes once, there will always be producers camping out wanting it to strike again, it seems. In the case of manhwa writer Park So-hee, there are big hopes for future success based on the overwhelming popularity of Goong (aka Princess Hours), the fusion fantasy-trendy drama from 2006 that swept the nation (and much of Asia) and brought to life Park’s manhwa premise wherein modern-day South Korea still has a monarchyβ€”and a hot young prince of marrying age. It was a Cinderella tale dressed up in gorgeous, innovative new threads and became a pop-culture sensation.

I’m not sure the premise of her new adaptation has anywhere near the scope of Goong, but producers have licensed Park’s popular webtoon Salon H for a live-action drama, which has apparently been in the works for the past two years as a collaboration between manhwa content company Korea Data House (which published Moss, which was then turned into the acclaimed 2010 crime film) and beauty salon brand Ra Beauty Core.

The drama adaptation rights have been secured by Curtain Call Media, which produced shows like My Princess, Miss Ripley, Oh Ja-ryong Is Coming, and the upcoming Level 7 Civil Servant. So at least we’re dealing with drama specialists here, not a show slapped together by beauty industry pros.

Salon H has been running as a Nate serial since last June, with a mobile outlet as well. The story is supposedly fresh for its beauty-salon milieu, though it sounds familiar enough at the heart: It’s the story of growth and development of a heroine, starting from her introduction into the beauty industry as she navigates her way to becoming a star designer through lots of hard work. But I won’t write it off for that trite setup alone, since the devil’s always in the details, and the series promises to entertain with a diverse array of personalities. As with everything, the execution is the thing, not the concept.

The manhwa-to-drama jump is pretty common in the biz, both with dramas and films, and there have been enough successful adaptations to justify the move. Though that’s not a guarantee, since you’ve got a number of them that didn’t make the cut. Even so, with hits like Boys Before Flowers, Gaksital, Le Grand Chef, Iljimae, Return of Iljimae, City Hunter, and of course, Goong in your manhwa-adapted ranks, you can see why there’d be hope.



81 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. UJ

    This actually sounds fun… Plus the manhwa/manga adapted dramas are fun to watch… Except a few horrendous piece of work.. I am looking at you Marry me marry… I hope they cast interesting and lively young actors for it… A cast like that of FBND πŸ˜€

    • 1.1 pogo

      or even the original Goong, I wouldn’t mind rookies who turn out to be the next JJH and YEH.

    • 1.2 Jo

      i just pray there will be no idols.
      It sounds like a made-for-idols drama though..

      • 1.2.1 Steph

        If you think about it, YEH was an idol… And this was her first leap into drama I think… So I wouldn’t be surprised.

        • bd

          YEH’s 1st acting role was in a film (while raw, she showed natural charisma).

          Unfortunately in Goong, YEH overacted the whole aegyo/cuteness thing, but I’m lying the blame on the PD.

          As for Goong – don’t see how anyone who wasn’t a pre-teen or teenage girl would have liked it.

          Mediocre script/writing and uneven acting – but it had that whole fantasy girl-prince thing.

          • racheose

            I was in highschool (14yrs old) when they aired princess hours dubbed here and i didn’t watch it even once. A classmate of mine looks exactly like JJH maybe that’s why I didn’t watch haha

            but i’m watching it now because my friend threathened me to and she evn filled my laptop with cuts osts and pics. ^^

      • 1.2.2 Annie

        SM is producing a Korean version of Skip Beat for this year (presumably) so maybe that’ll fill up the idol quota? Or maybe it’s just wishful thinking?

        • Ladymoonstone143

          Really? For real??? I be the happiest person on this side of the planet…lol

          • Annie

            Yes, currently in pre-production.

        • aby

          seriously?? when will SM learn??

          • Annie

            When hell freezes over. Or Japan stops giving 2 hoots about Hallyu.

        • Laurita

          OMG, I will have to prepare my weapons as I won’t let anyone to destroy my precious manga.

        • MsGB

          Whatever happened to the Korean version of Absolute Boyfriend or Absolute Him (I think)? I heard about one time and that was it. It was suppose to have Kim Ha Neul as Riiko and TOP as Night. Does anybody know what happened?

          The K-ver. of Kimi wa Petto/You’r My Pet was cute too!

        • UJ

          huh what??!!!
          but didnt SM already lent its Idol actors Siwon and DongHae for the Taiwanese version…why would it participate in another version??? its crazy!

        • Lovebug

          I am scared for this, but I loved the taiwanese version (my first taiwanese drama). Well except for the ending. But they will be shooting the sequel and it will be released in 2014. I am hoping soo much that this true.

      • 1.2.3 am

        I’ve read Kara’s Gyuri and MBLAQ’s Thunder are headlining this. So…unless they have last minute changes, there will be idols in this drama.

        • am

          Oh wait, is Salon H same as nail..something…paris? Or I’ve just mixed things up? Someone correct me.

        • Annie

          I don’t think this is the same drama. At least, I sincerely hope not. The production company just announced that it had acquired the rights and there has been no contact with MBC about scheduling.

    • 1.3 Ms.Simone

      If people are adapting manhwas and mangas can someone please make the Rose of Versailles into a drama already. Now that anime has a rich story to develop.

      • 1.3.1 Hamster428

        But characters in that one are French. You can’t have Asians parading around in blond wigs like a cosplay… or can you.

        • Biscuit

          They could just make the characters Korean and turn it into a sageuk.

          • janice

            OMG Hilarious. I am for it!

    • 1.4 oftheshore

      OK, slightly OT, but here’s my embarassing Goong story. I watched Goong when I first moved out to study abroad. I downloaded individual episodes and usually deleted them from my HD after watching. At some point, I bought a new laptop and gave the old one to my dad. As you may have guessed, some of the episodes remained safe and sound on the HD. Can you imagine how shocked I was when my dad called to ask me about “that palace drama with awkward teenagers”? πŸ˜€

  2. hellochloe

    IKR, it seems to be more about the prolific manhwa authors than the story tbh. Case in point: Manhwaga Woon Soo-yoon (Full House, Mary Stays Out All Night). Her stories are meh, but they end up adapting her works? What gives?

  3. pogo

    Goong the manhwa is enjoyable, but it’s also an OTT mess of ridiculousness sometimes – the only reason why the show is as enjoyable as it is is because the writers made some major changes to the characters (both lead and supporting – manhwa Shin and Chae-gyung have very little resemblance to the characters played by Joo Ji-hoon and Yoon Eun-hye), and those changes were for the better.

  4. yee

    This looks more interesting than Goong.

  5. alua

    I’m not familiar with Salon H, but I’m going to have to look that up now.

    I’m trying to think which manhwas I would like to be made into dramas.

    My Heart Is Beating is one that I like a lot.
    Utopia is another one, but I don’t think I could handle that in drama form unless they changed the ending.

  6. cherkell

    Nopes, sorry. NOTHING WILL EVER BE THE “NEXT” GOONG EVER. It was one-of-a-kind, will always be one-of-a-kind, and should never ever be spoken of in the same breath as any other proposed production. So there. πŸ˜›

    BTW, ‘Warrior Baek Dong Soo’ was also adapted from a well-known manhwa… and since it wasn’t ‘critically acclaimed’ in some reviewers’ eyes, that sure was a helluva fun one to watch!! πŸ™‚

    • 6.1 bd

      You wouldn’t be or have been a pre-teen girl – were you?

      • 6.1.1 cherkell

        Hah. I could eat you KDrama Newbies for breakfast — been watching these puppies since 1993. But thanks for playing!

        • hz28

          Just because you have been watching it for forever doesn’t mean that you have any idea what you are talking about.

      • 6.1.2 pogo

        Way to take it personally that someone likes something you don’t like – bitchy, much?

      • 6.1.3 pogo

        also, this is the second time you mention pre-teen girlhood as an insult to anyone who likes Goong – if you’re going to troll, at least come up with a fresh line or two.

        • bd

          So – are you telling me that guys were a big audience for Goong?

          Sure, there may have been a good no. of young women and/or older women, but Goong’s audience was fairly limited.

          • pogo

            ….which didn’t stop it from getting its ratings into the 20 percent region, i.e. it was pretty successful in Korea. Whatever you say about the quality of the drama – and it isn’t the greatest, sure- insulting its fans is a bitch move, and unnecessary.

            Also, I’d hardly call appealing to young women AND older women (as you yourself concede) a ‘limited’ audience given that they’re about half the population, unless you have issues with stuff that appeals to a female audience – and I will not even comment on the implications of that. (and I would like to see what guys Boys Before Flowers, The Moon That Embraces The Sun or My Name is Kim Sam-soon appealed to. I really would.)

        • bd

          And that still doesn’t detract from Goong having mediocre writing/acting.

          Not that I have agreed w/ everything JB has stated in her reviews, but she’s usually spot on.

          This is what she stated about Goong –

          “Beautifully executed but slow. Overrated but entertaining. Mediocre acting at best.”

          • pogo

            We’re all literate here, thank you very much. And JB, unlike you, stayed classy and didn’t insult the fans.

          • zodd

            Same opinion here. Goong had an interesting premise but everything else was mediocre and overacted.

  7. Fasiris Fay

    Hmm, let’s see where this goes. Sounds interesting!

  8. cheekbones

    I’ll wait for the casting news to decide whether to be excited or not. I do like these kind of setup, but indeed, it’s all in the execution.

  9. dbfan

    Oh memories! Goong was really one of a kind that Goong S was just a disaster in my eyes. This is will be interesting. Looking forward to it.

    For me it’s hard to top Goong, as it remains in my coveted number Korean drama, mind you it was probably my first full korean drama. πŸ™‚

    • 9.1 HaibaraChristie

      Wow, I feel like Goong takes the cake for “most sentimental drama” because it seems like it was everyone’s first (or something else along those lines.)

      It was my first full Kdrama too. There’s something about it that makes it super special, even though it wasn’t exactly the best drama out there. πŸ™‚

      • 9.1.1 oftheshore

        I started with Coffee Prince, but hey – that one also had YEH. YEH-factor?

    • 9.2 shepo

      I like Goong because it seems like living in a very beautiful dream..
      who doesnt enjoy a good dream?

  10. 10 aby

    as long as there will be no idols…. im fine with it…

  11. 11 leile

    sounds a lot like the Tdrama ‘The Magicians of Love’ which by the way was crap so hope this goes better!

    • 11.1 Celest

      I was gonna say the exact same thing. One of the worst dramas I’ve ever seen in my life…scarred me so badly that I probably won’t tune in to this one unless it really is good

    • 11.2 Laurita

      lol, it really sounds similar. Better not be.

  12. 12 Carol

    Jung Il Woo as scissors’man will be so great!!!!!!!

  13. 13 Annie

    For people familiar with the manhwa, it looks like the female lead is a student/fresh out of school and the male lead is… alpha-male stylist? Broody classmate?

  14. 14 LangitBiru

    Somehow it remind me of manga Paradise Kiss…


    • 14.1 Biscuit

      Even as a die-hard pk fan, theres very little common other than dealing with…… well… what? PK was a slice-of-life kinda story that was also very serious in tone. Not to mention it revolved around more of the fashion and modelling Industry…

    • 14.2 andi

      It reminds me of the manga “Beauty Pop.”

  15. 15 whitethorns

    Goong was my favorite. I probably watched it 3 times already.

    • 15.1 snow_white

      Goong was a bit boring for me…..I only liked the scenes featuring the OTP πŸ™‚

      • 15.1.1 Kiara

        Same here, I didnt get the hype over it.

  16. 16 kfangurl

    Goong!!! My very first kdrama, & an all-time classic in my books! I can’t even count how many times I’ve watched it – 5? 6? πŸ˜›

    Just based on my love for Goong alone, I’d check this out, just to see πŸ™‚ I have a soft spot for manga-inspired dramas, so I hope this turns out to be good!

  17. 17 saranga

    goong was all rightβ€”better than boys over flowers, quality wise, although the lee min-ho craze was really something from another universe. (twas insanely fascinating to actually witness a true case of overnight stardom).

    the dramascape is so dull lately, i’m pretty much willing for anything to happen. i’m not watching a single primetime drama!! i adore childless comfort, and look forward to that on the weekends. but i’ve grown weary of alice and butterfly. plus, i have winter doldrums so i’m just feeling for something frivolous and fun and pretty. something goong-ish actually feels perfect to break it up.

    • 17.1 oftheshore

      Are you me? I also don’t feel excited over any primetime drama at the moment, and like you, I don’t want dramatic drama but would rather take something fluffy and fun. FBND looks good, but there is a seroius subplot, and I need to wait and see whether I will be able to watch this.

      • 17.1.1 WM

        As someone looking for fun and fluffy to stave off winter blues, I can say that FBND has been really great. Yes, there is a more serious subplot, but it’s the cute in between and an overall feeling of “awww” (I don’t know any other way to describe it) that makes it very easy to watch. There’s also the feeling that the show will end with a nice, big, gorgeous bow on top, which helps. Of course I’m only 4 episodes in and it could go end up going sideways, but so far the writing is keeping the drama pretty much on track. Besides, the lead male, running across the street wearing nothing but a panda hat, matching panda slippers, a robe, and a pair of ridiculous boxers all to pound on a door? Yeah, that had me rolling. πŸ˜€

    • 17.2 Lovebug

      On the same page with you ladies. I am feel that I am in a drama funk with the airing dramas. Everything seems so serious or draggy right now. Would love a easy, breezy, well executed cute drama right about now.

      I would give this a chance, but goong got really draggy and nonsensical towards the end. Begining to feel like dramas with good/well executed endings are so rare these days.

      • 17.2.1 pogo

        yeah, it really didn’t need those last 4 episodes – the extension just involved lots of non-OTP stuff+pointless separations and became a real drag.

        Though the last two episodes made up for it, it’s got to be the first drama I’ve seen where the OTP separate AFTER clearing up all the he-doesn’t-love-me/she-doesn’t-love-me confusion.

  18. 18 SammiJ

    Anyone else thinking Beauty Pop? It was a manga under Toykopop I think, with a makeover/beauty shop premise.

    • 18.1 Biscuit

      Only resemblance is that both stories have to deal with hairstyling. In the manga, it was a rich boy (middle school?) with a big ego who had a bickering relationship with a secretly genius hairstyling girl with a hard exterior due to a past event. She had no intentions of being a star designer.

  19. 19 Biscuit

    For some reason, dramas adapted from manhwas/mangas and novels (MNIKSS! Coffee Prince!) usually seem to seem to do better… Without even thinking of Goong, I think this will be a fun watch.

  20. 20 TS

    What is salon H about? I just read a few pages and this guy’s obsessed with scissors, er, why? Hairdressers need them sharp and fast, so what’s the deal here?

  21. 21 theedie

    Goong is the one drama I absolutely, desperately wish would get a reboot. The original drama was an absolute mess and the the manwha just meandered til the end. I couldn’t even continue reading it. Both had their moments, but as a whole just UGH. What I would LOVE to see is if someone just took the basic premise of common girl becomes the crown princess and just completely retools the whole thing. And please, no cliche ending where they decide to give up their titles in the name of love. I’d much rather see something where they actually take charge of the positions they’ve been allotted and use the rare opportunity to make a positive difference in the world.

    • 21.1 Biscuit

      Lee Seungi and Ha Jiwons drama was pretty good. Didnt care for Kim Tae Hee’s My Princess though… Have you watched either of those?

      • 21.1.1 theedie

        See My Princess, thought the couple was cute but everything else was severely lacking to say the least. Haven’t seen King2Hearts, but have read the summaries. Looks like a good drama, but it doesn’t accomplish what I’d wish for from Goong. Still waiting for the day they do Goong right though I’ve pretty much given up hope.

  22. 22 fishy2love

    Salon H’s story sounds a bit like an old Taiwanese drama called Magicians of Love…

  23. 23 Phemmy

    Please cast Jung So Min! Yay. *Hoping*

  24. 24 Unnursvana

    They can try to make Salon H the next Goong, but nothing will be able to replace Goong in my heart. Still very excited over this news! Goong was my first kdrama love.

    Can it be on SBS and have Joo Ji Hoon as the lead? I would also want Yoon Eun Hye as well, but that is maybe too much wishful thinking…. OR THEY COULD JUST DO A CAMEO TOGETHER AS THEIR CHARACTERS IN GOONG. It would be the best thing ever!

    … I am getting a little bit carried away here. This was a very good way to begin my day.

  25. 25 HijauDaun

    found this real story :

    “From wrestler to hairdresser”
    By Bahk Eun-ji


  26. 26 Lulu

    am i the only one not as excited as everyone else??? i am not really looking forward to it because goong really disappointed me. i liked the manhwa more than the series, despite all the eye candy, all the cute scenes, and the best kiss scenes i still didnt like it….anyways my 2 cent

  27. 27 TinaFee

    Goong is the best ever ever! korean drama for me! πŸ™‚ I know it was more fantasy than reality. but it was funny, romantic and … Yes to a new series but please please with actors cute and with the best chemistry like JJH and YEH.

  28. 28 Hmm

    Sounds like a drama catered towards Suzy.

  29. 29 Asabiyet

    Goong was the first K-drama I saw and after suffering through a couple of episodes I was like “That’s it?”. I thought it was a horrible teen drama. Of course I was chased with torches when I openly said that LoL

  30. 30 Jemrie

    I really liked Goong, I agree it was slow, but there was something dreamy about it, I kind of liked the slow moments, the costumes and sets. It had an atmosphere that stays with me and it’s the only drama I get in the mood to repeat on occasion. Not sure about this one though; I don’t know if the hairstylist plot is speaking to me, which is kind of ironic since I am a hair stylist. But I usually like drama adaptions of manhwa/manga, so I will keep an eye on this one.

  31. 31 chulz08

    I like Dara Park to play on this as the heroine.. πŸ™‚

    just random thoughts, since she really begged for Korean drama..

  32. 32 Sabella

    Hmm. I think Salon H’s success will depend on the cast, their acting abilities and chemistry with each other, and the overall execution of the source material. Even a mediocre concept can be made into something a bit magical with the right attention paid to the details. Goong was flawed, no doubt, but it did have some lovely moments across its 24 episodes. Here’s hoping the same (or better!) will be true of Salon H.

  33. 33 Mini

    I was reading the webcomic, and the main character seems to be a guy so far

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