Drama Casting & News
Kim So-yeon returns to IRIS franchise with another cameo
by | April 16, 2013 | 47 Comments

Kim So-yeon was one of the original cast members of IRIS and returned to the franchise for a cameo in Athena, so it’s no surprise to hear she’s coming back again for IRIS 2. She’ll have played the same character across all three series — Kim Sun-hwa, the North Korean spy who (Athena spoiler?) then left that life behind after the first series ended, only to have it follow her and end up killing her new husband and child.

She’s connected to IRIS 2 via Im Soo-hyang’s character, named Kim Yeon-ah, who is Sun-hwa’s younger sister. Her upcoming appearance was teased in a recent episode by a comment made by Chul-young (Sun-hwa’s former spy boss, played by Kim Seung-woo), “I believe Sun-hwa’s alive somewhere.”

It’s one way to boost interest in IRIS 2 for its finale week, that’s for sure, especially since Sun-hwa had one of the best character storylines in the original IRIS. I didn’t watch enough Athena to get to her appearance there, but the cameo was reportedly the best thing about that show. It does seem like a last-ditch effort on the show’s part, though, since ratings have been flagging in the single digits; the last episode drew an 8.2%. Perhaps worse than the numbers is the drama’s relative lack of profile or buzz; those are things you can’t really quantify, but it does seem like the show is flying under the radar.

I’d point to the show’s curious lack of plot energy as the culprit; things look very good and there’s a lot of stuff going on visually (explosions and action, as the genre requires), but by all accounts it’s very hard to care about what’s actually happening. Lots of flash but no point. (Note: I couldn’t sit through IRIS 2 at all, so these are limited impressions. Still, by contrast I found the first IRIS totally flawed and yet pretty watchable.)

IRIS 2 ends its run this week, after Episodes 19 and 20 air on Wednesday and Thursday. Next week, Lee Dong-wook’s sageuk thriller Mandate of Heaven takes over the timeslot.

Via Joy News


47 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. hellothere

    If I ever get around to subjecting myself to any of the IRIS franchise, KSY would be the only reason. Love her.

    • 1.1 pabo ceo reom

      Aye aye! She’s one of my favorites!

    • 1.2 smokeyp

      Loved KSY in IRIS 1. She is such an underrated actress.

      IRIS 2 was greatly miscast, never been a fan of the leads, both over and underact and just never seem to imbibe the character. It’s always clear they are playing a role and I find their acting skills below average.

      Add the boring plot, really stupid leaps of reasoning and IRIS 2 with it’s million dollar budget as been a colossal fail.

      • 1.2.1 GABANA

        KSY also not that great-unable to push any high rating for her latest drama. No one interested to talk about her, except her delusional fans.

        • Katherine

          What are you going on about LOL.

  2. acejihyo

    my first impression was just that…it was so /boring/. complete snoozefest tbh.

  3. V

    I could barely sit through the first two episodes of Iris 2, which sucks because I LOVED Iris 1 and really wanted to love Iris 2.

    • 3.1 matinsoleil

      Like you I just loved Iris 1!! Liked it a lot actually! I’m at ep 4 of Iris 2 and It’s slow, I’m not into the story or the characters. Don’t know if I’ll finish it. Too bad

  4. yoga girl

    does anyone know which ep her cameo is?l would love to watch it just for her.

  5. dramacafe

    Finally a reason to watch IRIS2!!! I watch (with the help of the ever reliable fast forward) until episode 6 and finally gave up. Now, I’m excited to watch it again.

    Someone should give her an action drama all her own coz she kicks some serious ass and is really believable doing the action scenes which is very rare in female drama actresses plus it’s a bonus she’s a very good actress.

  6. Daktari

    As long as they don’t kill her character off, I am all for the cameo. She has been the only character for whom I cared about in the whole IRIS franchise.

    A straight up revenge drama starring KSY where she goes after her husband and child’s killers might have made a better plot for IRIS 2.

    • 6.1 Pat

      I totally agree. They threw the best character away. I am watching 2 which keeps churning the same gunfights where only the bit players die and no one every disables anybody’s car so they CAN’T drive away for the 15th time!

  7. Orion

    This has me excited as much as it has me worried. The people in charge have clearly no respect or vision for their own work. The fact she was a villain in the film, which they later “cancelled”, as the plot was not convenient for continuation, speaks for itself.

    So what are they planning to do with her this time? I mean, Cheol Yeong was probably the best character in the whole franchise and unless something changes, all he got was a lousy few scenes and a really pathetic death.

    I really fear that they might completely botch her reappearance as well. I think deciding to continue an ok work (even though I did not like ‘IRIS’) and ending up ruining its name is bad enough, but when you also bring back characters from it just to treat them in such a bad way is downright nasty.

    I hope her role is treated well and I do hope Cheol Yeong is alive and will get his cool moments as well. They are the best characters that have been in all three series and they deserve much more. It won’t save this train-wreck called ‘IRIS2’, but I will at least not absolutely hate the production team which I know simply dislike and find incompetent.

  8. crazedlu

    I’ll probably tune in to see if they end END the franchise. And with Kim Soyeon there, that’d be cool. Mandate of Heaven!

  9. ida

    wow. 8.2%.
    that’s low. and Im Soo Hyang said on happy together (before the drama began airing) that they’d be back on the show if the drama topped 30%. (initially something higher, but Lee Da Hae was like, wait wait, lol)
    y’know, I really wish MCs on variety shows wouldn’t ask the cast to predict/set a goal for the ratings.
    ALTHOUGH i DO understand the importance of ratings for those higher ups.

    Lol. It’s probably not funny for the cast/team, but maybe this will be what kicks the people into realising this shit was shit.

    • 9.1 ida

      (p.s. I do love kim so yeon though. and (most of) the rest of the cast. just the stupid story is what I lol at.)

    • 9.2 sososo

      that show they are human, they only can predict, not sure where you are coming from, if simple thing like this so difficult for you to understand.

    • 9.3 KDaddict

      What killed Iris 2 for me is Lee Da Hae. I don’t dislike her in other shows, but in this one, she seems to think that acting like she hasn’t slept in days, which she probably hasn’t, would pass for having deep thoughts, profound emotions, being serious, etc. She looks like a dead fish.

  10. 10 Kiara

    She’s been in a few flops lately and she is going to comeo in another big flop. Sigh…

    • 10.1 Kiara

      err cameo

      • 10.1.1 Nicole

        Did Gabi flop?

        • sososo

          Yes, Gabi is a terrible flop.

          • Heaven Peace

            Hey!!! You guy should be use your brain before comment any negative post. Kim So Yeon’s recently jobs both movie (Gabi) and drama (The Great Seer) main problem is script and her role also lack opportunity to show her perfect acting like previous. So, flop or not it’s up to others factors not because of her latency. Please understand…

          • Kiara

            No one said anything negative about her or her acting ability. My comment was about the latest drama flops that she has been in and no one is blaming her for it. Its bad luck like MGY. I really like her and wish that she choose a better project next time.
            People like you need to chill out and use your brain or go hangout at Soompi or Allkpop with your kind. Good or bad we are going to have different opinions here.

  11. 11 John

    Lee Dong-wookโ€™s sageuk thriller Mandate of Heaven takes over the timeslot.

    My viewing will be a sageukpalooza since I’m already watching Jang Ok-jung, War of the Flowers and Gu Family Book

  12. 12 Trn

    Honestly, her cameo in Athena was the most interesting part of the whole show!

    • 12.1 Pat

      It’s the only part I even remember.

    • 12.2 jaehee

      Totally Agree!!!!!!!!!!!

    • 12.3 joak

      very much agree.

  13. 13 sososo

    she was totally under the radar in The Great Seer, but at least people acknowledged her as star power in cameo category.

    • 13.1 MEalways

      To be honest,
      I watched Great Seer and although she depicted a strong and determined woman, the story not really backed that up and gave a good chance to show her good ability. (On the other hand) I had to give Ji Sung thumbs up for his ability to live up this drama).

      It was so different when she played Sun Hwa at IRIS 2. I really impressed and thought she did very well (she even got several cuts due to her act). The way she looked at Kim Hyun Joon and knew she had unrequited love, was priceless….

      Basic is, IRIS 2 just repeating the same plot and kind of not having its own uniqueness.

      I love Lee Bum Soo, although again I have to blame on the story, but I salute him. I like him in The History of the Salaryman yet I hate him (his character) at IRIS 2. Ho!
      He’s the one who keeps me watching IRIS 2.

      It really sad to see such a companion of good actors/actresses and big budget could help make it a big hit, as the previous one.

  14. 14 amatea

    Kim So yeon fighting !

  15. 15 ray..

    i know she’ll coming to this series. remember when chul-young been shot and lying on the ground…the one that walk towards him is her!!!!(they just show her walking-leg thou)… definitely her!!

  16. 16 hanie

    Well, I guess I’m super shallow cause now I’m all interested to watch Iris 2 finale. I tried to watch Iris 2 for Beak Sung Hyun & Joon but the story is sooooo uninteresting… Pretty but empty.

  17. 17 Doris

    I agree Iris 2 is boring another reason is because Lee Da Hae and Jang Hyuk have been paired many many times, so there’s no more excitement.

  18. 18 snow_white

    I planned to watch iris 2..as i didn’t see the earlier shows of the franchise..
    But even then..i never gave it a try…and of course..after so many negative reviews…will not watch it..

  19. 19 Lilian

    my fav so far is definitely the first Iris. I am a Super Junior fan and a Choi Siwon fan =D but even I could not bear Athena…It was boring! I gave up on Iris 2 after 4 episodes, too.

  20. 20 hoochie

    Yay but I still think she should have been a main character for IRIS 2.

  21. 21 KimKas

    IRIS 2 is totally an upgrade compared to the mess that Athena was. So, for those of you who have missed Athena : good, let it stay that way.

    IRIS 2 actually looked better and more cohesive than IRIS, but then again I was so hooked up by IRIS that I just wanted IRIS 2 to be half as good and my expectations were pretty low after the shock that Athena gave me.

    Overall, it’s not so bad, but you have to be a fan of the spy-genre to actually like it I think. None of the characters are doing a bad job, far from it.

  22. 22 JJ

    i cld’ve watched this is the original casts were in it & i luv kim so yeon as well but with iris 2 tho i like some of the male actors, i think i’ll pass!

  23. 23 Dark Justice

    Wow great news. I was actually missing her character. Though to be honest I was expecting more of a Cameo Role from her. Plus I was hoping to know her reaction when she found out that her sister was working for IRIS the very organization that she tried to take down. It would have been a great plot point. Also the little misunderstanding that she had with her old boss to clear that up would have also been nice as well. I also suspect that it was her coming to inspect the so called body of her boss. He may have called her so that she could be reunited with her sister. Things didn’t go as expected though. ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™

    I do wonder when you will finish doing the Recaps of this show. (Even if you do it after 5 years would be nice as your time is precious so I wont rush you. but I don’t like leaving things in the middle) Till then if you can direct me elsewhere that would be equally well as well. ( I missed out on a few episodes and knowing what happend would be nice. Since it is not possible for me to rewatch said episodes the only Hope that I have are via your Recaps.)
    The eps that I have missed so far are 5,8 and 13 so if you can just do the recaps for just these eps will be just as good.) Unless you are not watching this show ๐Ÿ™

    Take care

  24. 24 YOO GUN

    why so many people here just give negative review
    about iris 2 ,
    i am the one who follow every episode by every week ,
    n till now i still waiting for ep 19 n 20 for eng subbed .



  25. 25 Cool

    just finished the end of IR2. Even KSY appeared just 3-4 minutes. But she is kick ass!!! Her action skill always excellent. Hope to see she play action drama theme again!!!! But IR3???? Will we fooled by Taewon again?

  26. 26 sotongpok

    hey javabeans, just a note: im soo-hyang’s character’s name is yeon-hwa, not yeon-ah (:

  27. 27 Shadow

    @Dark Justice
    You can find “weecaps” at kaedejun website. kaedejun is one of the writers here.

    Her cameo at the end was somewhat puzzling.

    She and Yeon-Hwa get attacked by a bunch of people and Baek-San’s bunker with his nuke is shown opening and it starts counting down. Could this be a lead in to IRIS 3?

  28. 28 joak

    the only reason i watched Iris 2 was because of KSY’s cameo appearance. unfortunately, she appeared in the VERY LAST episode. damn them. had to sit through 20 episodes of complete boredom for just 3 minutes of her. but hey, at least i enjoyed those 3 minutes of butt kicking. i started smiling like a big idiot when she finally appeared hahaha. pretty sure they’re planning an Iris 3, and i really do not want to watch it if it will be Iris 2 2.0.. but.. i might not have a choice if they tease me with KSY ๐Ÿ™

  29. 29 Julio

    Love you crazy korean girl!!! LOVE Kim Sun-hwa. Its the most interesting character since the beginning. Kicked main female role ass in Iris 1 (sorry Kim Tae Hee)
    We want more Kim Sun Hwa!!!!

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