Er? Okay, first things first: There are TWO dramas called Yi Sun-shin set to premiere this year, and it’s confusing to say the least. One of them is what you’d expect for a drama by that name — an historical drama starring Uhm Tae-woong as the legendary naval commander Yi Sun-shin. Then there’s a totally different drama set in modern times that has nothing to do with the famous war hero at all, called You’re the Best, Yi Sun-shin, about a heroine who was for reasons unfortunate and unknown, named after the admiral. It’s like naming your daughter George Washington. Parents are weird.
It’s a KBS family drama set to air on the weekends following ratings hit My Daughter Seo-young, about a single mom with three daughters who grow up in a small island village. The youngest of them, Yi Sun-shin, heads to Seoul to become a star. The casting reports are still unconfirmed at best for all the roles, but so far, we’ve got: IU (Dream High) as youngest daughter Yi Sun-shin, Yoo Inna (Queen Inhyun’s Man) as second daughter Yi Yoo-shin, and Sohn Tae-young (Two Wives) as eldest daughter Yi Hye-shin.
You can see how the name thread went from good to okay to bad by the time they got to the third daughter, which is strangely a recurring motif in dramas (See: My Name is Kim Sam-soon). I like the sister casting, if it all goes through — each could easily headline her own drama, so they’ll certainly carry interest in a big family drama with multiple plot threads.
And then up for the hero role is Jo Jung-seok (The King 2 Hearts), in what would be his first non-sidekick role, after a fantastic year of being a scene-stealer. Another reason to pay attention is the drama’s director, PD Yoon Sung-shik, of Gaksital and Story of a Man. Not his usual fare, but that actually makes me all the more curious. Writing is Jung Yoo-kyung, of Marry Me and Insoon Is Pretty. Looks I might have to jump on the family drama bandwagon this spring.
You’re the Best, Yi Sun-shin is set to premiere in April on KBS.