Drama Casting & News
Poster and teasers for JTBC’s Heartless City
by | May 13, 2013 | 77 Comments

The drama formerly known as Undercover has undergone a title and casting change, but we’re full-steam ahead for its premiere in two weeks. The new Monday-Tuesday drama on cable network JTBC is now called Heartless City, and though the cast isn’t a huge draw for me, the teasers are beautiful and mysterious, and effectively made me stop to check out what this drama’s about.

The noir crime thriller comes from the PD of I Need Romance and its sequel, and stars Jung Kyung-ho (Smile, You) as a drug lord. One day a woman he grew up with at an orphanage comes knocking on his door, so he brings her into his world, only she’s actually an undercover cop. She infiltrates his organization to capture him, but while undercover she gets murdered, and he’s naturally the prime suspect… though he swears he was framed.

Nam Gyuri (Haeundae Lovers) plays the cop who was that undercover agent’s best friend — they were practically sisters and her death leaves Nam Gyuri completely alone in the world. So she does the crazy thing, and goes undercover in order to finish what her best friend started, with the intention of finding her killer. What happens, of course, is that she ends up falling in love with the kingpin. How’s that for complicated?

Lee Jae-yoon (Yawang) plays the role that Jo Han-seon was initially cast for — he’s Nam Gyuri’s superior on the special task force and was engaged to marry the undercover agent who was killed. He’s basically blind with rage, and so he sends Nam Gyuri in despite all logic and judgment telling him otherwise.

I find it hard to get invested in Nam Gyuri’s characters, so I’m not sure how the drama proper will hold up, but the director’s touch in the teasers did make me take notice. The drama promises a very dark world, with everything from the city’s cold towers to its seedy underbelly. I’ll believe it when I see it, but at least on cable my expectations are a smidgen higher for just how dark they’re willing to go. I’m more interested in the undercover murder plot than anything, because that’s a great setup for mystery, suspense, and throat-catching tension. The teasers’ taglines: “A vicious love stains the city,” “A mixed-up fate shakes the city,” and “A vicious fate rules the city.”

Heartless City premieres May 27 on JTBC.

Via Xports News


77 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. kakashi

    Huh. That was so not on my radar at all … thanks for the reminder! I will check it out for Jung Kyung-ho but I must admit to severely disliking Nam Gyuri.

    • 1.1 Jo

      I think Nam Gyuri is pretty..but her face is always frozen. Like there is one expression she always has….the “muuuungggg” face

      • 1.1.1 Kiara

        Its not just the frozen face, her eyes too. She’d be great in a horror drama.

        • Kandiboo

          i think it’s due to the (probably) vast amount of plastic surgery done… kinda sad.

          although i’m not into thrillers etc, it sounds pretty good

    • 1.2 Joy

      Argh yes. I don’t like her acting and she’s just to doll-like for me >_<

  2. Daisy

    Looks so good! I like Nam Gyuri!

  3. mcflan

    It sounds interesting and I really love Jung Kyung-ho, but Nam Gyuri… Well I’ll give it a try anyway.

  4. Ivoire

    This sounds quite interesting… Thanks, GF!

  5. sara

    Nam Gyuri? Umm no thanks. Her acting wasn’t good in 49 days or Haeundae Lovers. It seems she just knows how to “act pretty”….Her face also looks VERY unnatural. How did she get a lead role for this?

    • 5.1 Newbie

      She’s one of the actresses to me that were changed by eyelid PS to the worse. I can’t see anything else but those owlish, unnatural eyes. Pass.

    • 5.2 df

      agreed with the plastic surgery. She almost does not look real 🙁

      • 5.2.1 Nicole

        She reminds me of those girls who make a living having transformed themselves into “living Barbie dolls,” like that one Russian girl.

        Exemplary case of where too much plastic surgery just dehumanizes a person.

        • mars

          Dehumanizes a person? I’m pretty sure that’s what the comments picking apart her appearance are doing.

  6. LangitBiru

    Lee Jae Yoon in this drama! Looking forward for this. I need him to act in happy rom-com drama again. Not some action. Need to see his happy face

  7. Mystisith

    Hum. Not my cup of tea, plot or cast wise. Pass.

  8. sanaa

    thanks GF, I like Nam and Jung so i’ll definitely check it out!!

  9. jandoe

    SO up my alley. Hope it gets subbed!

  10. 10 liz

    they look hot. I’m in.

    Jung Kyung-ho can do badass and looks so hot doing it!

    Missed him ^^

    • 10.1 anotheraddict

      I’ve only seen Jung Kyung Ho being sweet and innocent, so I’m looking forward to seeing him be badass.

      If nothing else, it looks like it’s gonna be gorgeous. My aversion to Nam Gyuri is fairly mild, and since this is a jtbc production, I’m feeling optimistic.

  11. 11 anvesha

    He is not nearly old enough to play a druglord (or you know.. he looks too young to be one)

    I think I would like the story but yeah I’m no a fan of Nam Gyuri, so umm.. I might just watch it for Jung Kyung Ho.

    • 11.1 liz

      really? In my country druglord can be even between 25~28 year old.

      Nowdays they star young…

      • 11.1.1 liz


      • 11.1.2 ravens_nest

        Very true. It depends on how young you start and how tight your game is. Other factors could include whether there is a pre-existing hierarchy that you simply took advantage of on your way to the top.

        It also depends on how big his territory is supposed to be. If we’re talking all of Seoul (impossible) than def not. But if we’re talking one or two districts in Seoul, then it’s definitely possible to rise that high, that young.

        But it mostly has to do with playing it smart. I’ve known some young drug lords that have their game up around 30 years old. The question after that is, how long can they last at the top?

  12. 12 Kay

    what an interesting premise for a story, I might just check this out….

    Not a fan of Nam Gyuri though but LOVE Jung Kyung-Ho..

  13. 13 WeWe

    hmmm…….Cyrano drama-version vs Heartless City??? Definitely opposite genre.
    Love both premises but not familiar with the cast.
    So I’ll decide after watching first and second ep.

    Thank you for the info 🙂

  14. 14 Carmensitta

    I’m totally looking forward to this one! I don’t necessarily love Nam Gyu Ri, but I have nothing against her either.

  15. 15 hellothere

    This sounds so good! I was on board from those gorgeous teasers, but now I know more about the plot, I’m so in. Cable keeps on being awesome. JKH and NGR look like they have awesome chemistry.

  16. 16 Gihoe

    I love both of them, so I’m gonna watch it without a doubt.

    It was time for a leading role for Nam Gyu Ri, loved her in 49 days…

  17. 17 myra

    May 27th will be a busy day as 3 dramas will premiere then:Shark, Dating agency and Heartless city…
    I can’t wait to see Kim Nam Gil again…:)

  18. 18 df

    OMG a noir k-drama *imagines Anthony Kim furiously working behind the scenes*

  19. 19 df


    why does this dude look so constipated in this shot

  20. 20 snow_white

    Wow….the premise sounds so interesting..

  21. 21 Fab

    nam gyuri
    Subconsiously a turn off…

    Overall the drama sounds nice.

  22. 22 mk

    Let me be shallow and comment on how GORGEOUS Gyuri’s pink dress is. *sigh*

  23. 23 Delicatecloud

    Definitely my cup of tea!! I love Jung Kyung-ho since I first saw him in “Time between Dog and Wolf” will watch and hoping that it will be subbed!

  24. 24 fred

    “Art” kinda reminds me of Wong Kar Wai’s movies like “In the Mood for Love”, and Nam Gyu Ri trying to act as Maggie Cheung…

  25. 25 Zareen

    Ugh. The premise sounds SO GOOD. But nam gyuri does nothing for me :/

    • 25.1 houstontwin

      Nam Gyuri didn’t come off well in Hydundai Lovers. She seemed to have a very limited range (not to mention excessive plastic surgery) but, just like you, the premise sounds good, so I am willing to give it a try. Maybe NG will have an opportunity to stretch her skills.

  26. 26 beggar1015

    Sounds just different enough for me to at least give it a try. That is if anyone is subbing it.

    • 26.1 beggar1015

      I see DramaFever plans to have it

  27. 27 OMG

    another one to add to my evergrowing list of kdramas….most of which are cable ones these days!

  28. 28 lovebug

    I want to watch purely for the awesomeness that is Jung Kyung-ho. I am perplexed by the Nam Gyuri casting. She’s someone I want to like, but don’t know if she is really capable of pulling something like this off. I hope to be proven wrong.

  29. 29 JoAnne

    Don’t know her from a hill of beans…but that was Hot Stepbrother from Yawang, and I think adorable Coach from Operation Proposal? That’s enough to get me to watch an few episodes, at least!

  30. 30 Sajen

    never heard of it before I saw it on Drama Fever’s coming soon list. I haven’t got a clue who the guys are as for Nam Gyuri I loved 49 Days but for everyone else, and the story, not her, I don’t really have an impression of her one way or the other.

    The story sounds like something that can either be very good, or be completely fed up, and a lot of that has to do with acting, so I might give it a try but I’m not getting my hopes up.

  31. 31 Brenda

    I LOVE Jung Kyung Ho! I’ve been anticipating his comeback since he was discharged. I find the premise extremely interesting and am completely excited to see him back on the small screen. . .it’s too bad I don’t care for Nam Gyuri.

  32. 32 Abbie

    Looks and sounds cool. I have no problem with Nam Gyuri. She’s not terrific, but she is pretty good. Looking forward to this.

  33. 33 rainerust

    Sounds kinda like Lust Caution. Hmmm. I love JKH but I’m not sure I could sit through this drama for him. I might just rewatch Smile You again instead…

  34. 34 niKai

    The cast left me scratching my head but I love revenge thriller in general so maybe I’ll give this one a try.

  35. 35 Jushi

    This drama has the corniest plot I’ve read in awhile. Really cheesy.

  36. 36 atomickitty

    I like Nam Gyuri.

  37. 37 Steph

    This has been on my radar for a while now. It sounds like somethign right up my alley. She goes undercover and falls for the kingpin? Yes, please!

  38. 38 Exquisitemelody

    looking forward to this one!! Really loved him in smile you and I didn’t think she was so bad in 49 days. I hope this is as dark as they’re making it out to be!!

  39. 39 müge

    the more Jung Kyung-ho is getting older, the hotter and more manly he becomes. I loved his new look!!!

  40. 40 Gh

    It sounds good to me and i hope this drama gonna be awsome .and nam gyu ri i love her and really loved her in 49 days so i,m gonna wtch thisl drama

  41. 41 ruiisassezhot

    Just saw episode 1! Sooo good!! The acting, ambiance, and music are great. Definitely met my expectations after seeing the trailer.

  42. 42 Aj

    My favorite drama right now…

    Nam Gyuri is uncomfortable to look at but I love the story

  43. 43 Lauren

    So far I’m enjoying this drama – it’s a nice break from historical ones now airing. And I like the cast.

  44. 44 Nana

    After the first two episodes i was hooked, i can believe how good this drama is. Well written amazing cast i just can’t wait any longer for Monday and Tuesday to watch the episodes this waiting is killing.

  45. 45 Jessy

    already watched 4 episodes..Gosh, it’s so capturing..never expected to be excited like that

  46. 46 KimKas

    What little I have seen so far of Moojungdoshi is very promising. I am not expecting Nam Gyu Ri to have such a prominent role (she hasn’t, thus far), this is more looking like being Jung Kyung Ho’s main role, and thus far it’s looking good.

    Still early days, but Moojungdoshi is definitely worth a look-in. Much like The End of the World, which was pretty awesome, even though it was slashed to 12 episodes from 20 initially. JTBC have been airing some pretty good dramas, impressive stuff.

  47. 47 Lala

    Your all stupid I like Nam Gyuri is pretty, a good actress, and her expression is the best part of her acting.. Can any of u low life’s do her expression I don’t think so!!! That’s why her acting is unique…u all would be jealous

  48. 48 Aju'

    I luv this drama!!!

  49. 49 Marbleloaf

    Beautifully done drama! Not a fan of nam gyuri but can easily say this is the best drama Ive seen in ages!!!!

  50. 50 sinyard

    Fave drama so far this year. JKH is brilliant in his role and the ost emotionally sexy. Addictive in the extreme…

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