Year-end awards are here! At least the first of the bunch is, with MBC putting on its ceremony the night before SBS and KBS follow suit with theirs.
These awards ceremonies are historically more like thank-you gifts to actors than actual acting awards based on strength of performances, and it’s a fact I’ve long accepted as part of the business. It is a business, after all, and often ratings are as important (or, ha, more important) than artistic vision or production quality. So keep that in mind as you read through the list, because there are bound to be one or two or maybe twenty decisions that you don’t agree with. Some are certainly odd enough that despite knowing that the stations do this every year, I’m still perplexed (or indignant on behalf of the nominees who didn’t win—or worse, those who weren’t even nominated) at the winners list.
This year, Empress Ki was the big winner, which is a bit of a surprise in that the drama isn’t even half through its run; it seems like it would be more of a 2014 award pick than a 2013 one. But on the other hand I’m not that surprised since MBC often doesn’t have many big hits, so they’re keen to give the nods to whichever shows drew the ratings. It’s certainly more understandable than awarding Drama of the Year to… wait for it… Hundred Year Inheritance? What the what?
It’s also why I’m sad that some dramas I really enjoyed didn’t get anything (ahem, Two Weeks), though I’m not surprised by it.
Daesang (Grand Prize): Ha Ji-won (Empress Ki)
Drama of the Year: Hundred Year Inheritance
Top Excellence, Miniseries, Actor: Lee Seung-gi (Gu Family Book)
Top Excellence, Miniseries, Actress: Bae Suzy (Gu Family Book)
Top Excellence, Special Production Drama, Actor: Kim Jae-won (Scandal),
Joo Jin-mo (Empress Ki)
Top Excellence, Special Production Drama, Actress: Shin Eun-kyung (Scandal)
Top Excellence, Serial Drama, Actor: Lee Jung-jin (Hundred Year Inheritance)
Top Excellence, Serial Drama, Actress: Han Ji-hye (I Summon You, Gold)
Excellence Award, Miniseries, Actor: Joo-won (Level 7 Civil Servant)
Excellence Award, Miniseries, Actress: Shin Se-kyung (When a Man Loves)
Excellence Award, Special Production Drama, Actor: Ji Chang-wook (Empress Ki)
Excellence Award, Special Production Drama, Actress: UEE (Gold Rainbow)
Excellence Award, Serial Drama, Actor: Yeon Jung-hoon (I Summon You, Gold)
Excellence Award, Serial Drama, Actress: Hong Soo-hyun (Would You Give Love Away)
New Actor Award: Oh Chang-seok (Princess Aurora),
Lee Sang-yub (Would You Give Love Away)
New Actress Award: Jeon So-min (Princess Aurora),
Baek Jin-hee (Empress Ki)
Writer of the Year: Jang Young-chul, Jung Kyung-soon (Empress Ki),
Gu Yeon-sook (Hundred Year Inheritance)
Actor of the Year, awarded by PDs from all three broadcasters: Ha Ji-won (Empress Ki)
Child Actor Award: Kim Hyang-gi, Seo Shin-ae, Kim Sae-ron,
Chun Bo-geun, Lee Young-yoo (Queen’s Classroom)
Golden Acting Award, Actor: Kim Sang-joong (Gold Rainbow),
Jung Bo-seok (Hundred Year Inheritance),
Jo Jae-hyun (Scandal)
Golden Acting Award, Actress: Kim Bo-yeon (Princess Aurora),
Lee Hae-sook (I Summon You Gold),
Cha Hwa-yeon (Would You Give Love Away)
Popularity Award: Lee Seung-gi (Gu Family Book),
Ha Ji-won (Empress Ki)
Best Couple Award: Lee Seung-gi, Bae Suzy (Gu Family Book)
Lifetime Achievement Award: Park Won-sook
So Ha Ji-won led the Empress Ki sweep, beginning with her Daesang and also managing to pick up a popularity award as well. Fashion-wise, I… can’t say I love this look. Individually the parts aren’t bad—despite the hairdo, which is flat and old-fashioned—though I think it’s the silver Dynasty power sleeves (power cap sleeves?) that push the look over into dated territory.
It’s possible Ji Chang-wook (Empress Ki) is wearing more makeup and hair product than his co-star Ha Ji-won. So pretty, but tonight his look screams campy.
Of the Empress Ki bunch, I think it’s Baek Jin-hee who wins for this flowy, dreamy gown that she glows in. She’s such a talented actress that I’m happy for her to be moving upward. Empress Ki is not even her first MBC drama (she’s also done High Kick 3 and I Summon You, Gold) so we have to take it with a grain of salt that her award was for New Actress, but as we know, MBC likes to spread its love around to give everyone a shot at something.
Same color dress, entirely different effect: What a strange droopy chest on Han Ji-hye (I Summon You, Gold), who won a Top Excellence Award for her weekend drama (incidentally, the same award she picked up last year for May Queen). From the left side you can see that it’s a sort of front panel, but from all other angles it looks like her dress started falling off itself. Not my favorite look.
Her co-star Yeon Jung-hoon (I Summon You, Gold) looks put-together and polished, picking up an Excellence Award.
What can we say, MBC loves Kim Jae-won. He has won the same Top Excellence award for three years straight: Can You Hear My Heart in 2011, May Queen in 2012, and Scandal this year.
His co-star Shin Eun-kyung (Scandal) also won an award in the same category.
Joo-won is a good actor, no doubt, and perhaps a budding great one. But I expect his Good Doctor role to net him more acclaim for his work this year (perhaps at the KBS awards tomorrow) than his role in Level 7 Civil Servant, which actually got him an acting award here. Here’s a snippet of an exchange between the Dramabeans crew:
Javabeans: “You guys, Level 7 got an award.”
Girlfriday: “For stupidity??”
Javabeans: “Hint, it has ‘excellence’ in the title.”
Gummimochi: “Excellence of stupidity?”
Shin Se-kyung won an award for When a Man Loves. (Other nominees in her category, who did not win awards: Kim So-yeon and Park Ha-sun for Two Weeks and Lee Yeon-hee for Gu Family Book.) As an unnammed DB member wondered: “HOW DID SHE WIN AN AWARD FOR A THING SHE CANNOT DO.”
Gu Family Book wasn’t really a success of a drama in MY book, but in MBC’s it’s the drama with high-teens ratings so it did pick up a number of trophies. And I won’t argue against Lee Seung-gi, who did a solid job and beat out nominees Kwon Sang-woo and Song Seung-heon.
On the other hand, how can anybody justify giving Suzy (Gu Family Book) the Top Excellence over both Go Hyun-jung and Jung Ryeo-won? I love Suzy. She does not deserve an acting award over those two (though I could see her beating out fourth nominee Choi Kang-hee for Level 7, because, psh, Level 7). Javabeans: “How did Suzy beat Go Hyun-jung in an acting category?” Girlfriday: “Does everyone at MBC have a head injury or something?”
Lee Yubi (who looks adorable in her bright pop of red) was so good in Gu Family Book but she wasn’t even nominated for anything. Maybe I should stop trying to make sense of MBC awards. Like, ever.
I wish Hong Soo-hyun (Would You Give Love Away) had chosen a more lively look to celebrate her win, because this pink seems to fade her out, especially without bold makeup or accessories to brighten up the look.
Something tells me Lee Sang-yub is on the up-and-up; after putting in a few roles as a solid tertiary character, he’s doing well with weekend drama Would You Give Love Away, which earned him a New Actor award.
I’ll be honest, I don’t really understand this dress worn by UEE (Gold Rainbow). I think I kind of like it? But ti’s also like a skimpy dress worn over an even skimpier dress, with a great ol’ slit and half a side and some swoopy-stiff draping going on. Like I said, I don’t realy get it. But it’s interesting?
Uh, did Lee Jang-woo come in character as eccentric David from his current drama Pretty Man? That’s a KBS show (he’s probably here because last year’s role in MBC’s Oh Ja-ryong Is Coming netted him a New Actor award), but who knows, maybe he zoomed over after drama shoots ended for the day. I refuse to consider the possibility that this was just his planned look.
I bet Lee Yoon-ji is having a grand old time filming her ridiculous but entertaining weekend makang King’s Family, which just hit 40% ratings. But that’s for KBS, and we have to look to 2012 for her last MBC role in The King 2 Hearts. She looks awesome and confident, as she tends to do on the red carpet.
I love Lee Jung-jin, but how on earth MBC named its weekend crazy-maker Hundred Year Inheritance its Drama of the Year is beyond me. Reaction from HeadsNo2, who actually watched that show: “NO. NO…. NO WAY. REALLY. I’m in shock.”
Seo Hyun-jin seems to be doing quite well on MBC, having racked up a string of roles with the broadcaster: The Duo, Feast of the Gods, Goddess of Fire Jung-yi, and her current drama King’s Daughter Soo Baek Hyang. The white gown with red lip was a popular look of the night, and for the most part it has its desired effect. Seo’s was neither my favorite or least favorite version of the style tonight.
Honestly, I think it was the child actors and teenagers who upstaged the adults for this awards show, starting with Kim Yoo-jung (Gold Rainbow). She’s both adorable in a young-girl-growing-up way and in a full-blown Future Leading Lady way. Everything about this works.
I wonder how long she and Kim So-hyun (I Miss You) will be compared and perhaps set up as friendly rivals; they’re only a few months apart in age, and they’re both becoming popular at about the same rate (which is to say, skyrocketing to fame). I’m almost certain this is the same dress Kim So-hyun wore the night before at the MBC Entertainment Awards, which makes me love her for letting one gown do double-duty. Sweet and chic, and still just 14 years old.
Speaking of skyrocketing fame, here’s her co-star Yeo Jin-gu (I Miss You).
The entire child crew of Queen’s Classroom picked up awards in the Child Actor category, and arrived together as well. In order of appearance, we have: Kim Sae-ron, Seo Shin-ae, Lee Young-yoo, Kim Hyang-gi and Chun Bo-geun.
Minho was the only one from the crew of Medical Top Team, most of whom opted to skip the awards since they didn’t win any of their categories. I guess when your ratings averaged around 5%, there was just no winning.
Kim So-eun (Horse Healer) also does the light-dress-red-lip combo, and works the va-va-voom.
Ah, the craziness that was Princess Aurora! I’m reading the Korean media headlines about that drama and laughing my head off at the descriptions: “The drama that should never have been.” “The drama that was a waste of airtime.” “The drama that was a sub-drama.” At least its suffering cast picked up some nods, with lead actress Jeon So-min winning for New Actress.
Her co-star Oh Chang-seok (Princess Aurora) was unceremoniously killed off in one of the writer’s “death sprees,” but he also earned a New Actor trophy.
And here’s the third leg of their love triangle, Seo Ha-joon (Princess Aurora).
Kim Bo-yeon, their Princess Aurora castmate, also won an award; hers was a Golden Acting Award that is given to veterans. It’s one thing I do appreciate about the MBC Drama Awards (glass half full!), because veterans might not otherwise get awards despite often putting in as strong (or stronger) performances as their headlining co-stars.
Another Golden Acting award winner was Cha Hwa-yeon, who was in several MBC productions (I Miss You, King’s Daughter Soo Baek Hyang) but won specifically for Would You Give Love Away).
Lee Hye-sook won her Golden Acting award for I Summon You, Gold.
Kim Sang-joong (Bad Daddy forever!) won for weekend family drama Gold Rainbow.
And last but not least, Park Won-sook took home the lifetime achievement award, after putting her time in a number of MBC productions like Hundred Year Inheritance and Gold Rainbow.
Via Star News