Drama Casting & News
Han Ji-min to potentially conquer blindness in Angel Eyes
by | January 15, 2014 | 76 Comments

Ooh, so Han Ji-min (Padam Padam, Rooftop Prince) is the latest actress to be floated as a potential leading lady for upcoming drama Angel Eyes, and while she is not confirmed, she’s the first of the bunch that I’d be really happy to have starring opposite Lee Jun-ki (he’s not confirmed either, but news reports make it seem things are leaning in that direction).

(I am generally fine with a couple of the actresses who’ve been mentioned before (Han Ye-seul, Kim Haneul), but when Han Ga-in’s name briefly popped up as a possibility (which has since been denied) I groaned out loud, because I really want Lee Jun-ki with a co-star who’s up to his level, and she… is not that. Still, Han Ji-min is by far the best of the bunch and I could see her working really well with him.)

So Angel Eyes is the weekend drama that reunites two first loves after they are painfully separated in their late teenage years. Twelve years later they reconnect, and the drama kicks off. Sounds pretty sparse for a plot, doesn’t it? Which is why I was happy to have the added tidbit that apparently Han Ji-min’s character (should she take the role) is a blind girl who then receives an eye donation that enables her to see, and as an adult is an emergency rescue worker. Hence the title: she’s a savior angel and she has eyes! Why did I ever think dramaland might mean the title in anything but the most literal of ways? Silly me.

First off: Oooh. So does this mean that when the lovers are reunited, she won’t even know it? Because she never knew what her first love looked like? And he would recognize her while she didn’t and he therefore feel loads of delicious (and yes, overwrought, but don’t forget also delicious) angst about it?

Secondly: We cannot have a Korean drama about eyeball donation—especially one potentially starring Lee Jun-ki!—and fail to mention this epic three-part music video series he did in his early career, which dealt directly with eyeball donation. Below, Lee Soo-young’s “Grace” series of music videos. See ya in fifteen minutes:

But no discussion of Korea’s weird fascination with eyeball-donation love stories would be complete without this one, KISS’s “Because I’m a Woman” video starring Shin Hyun-joon (two years before he would then donate his eyeballs to Choi Ji-woo in the classic tearjerker—hur hur—Stairway to Heaven):

All Angel Eyes needs is for Lee Jun-ki’s character to not only be the first love but also be the heroine’s eyeball donor for me to… actually, I don’t know what I’d do in that case. Burst out into shrieks of laughter? Put my own eyeballs at risk with the violence of my eye-rolling? Grab the popcorn and curl up on the couch to devour the buttery melo angstfest? Yes, yes, and extra butter please.

Angel Eyes will follow Thrice Married Woman and premieres in March, hopefully with both/either Han Ji-min and Lee Jun-ki… unless it’s terrible in which case I want none of them touching this thing with a ten-foot white cane. With the PD of Will It Snow For Christmas (moody and sensitive) and the writer of Operation Proposal (ermmm) and Boys Before Flowers (uh-oh), I think this could really swing either way.

Via Star News


76 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Lil_ole_me

    Seriously all my non Korean friends ask why all Korean music videos feature a blind person storyline

    • 1.1 Jo


  2. PollyRose

    Wow…I was just giggling about the penchant for eye donations in old school K-music videos the other night listening to one of your older podcasts. Now this…timely, dramaland. Oh so very timely.

  3. Dana

    Han Ji-min and Lee Jun-ki were supposed to star together on the drama Hero (2009), but it didn’t happen. maybe this time…

    • 3.1 glace

      yeah, HJM dropped out–I think because she knew it wasn’t going to be very good ha. She has a knack for choosing good dramas so there’s still hope for this one. I’m just glad she wouldn’t be blind throughout, even though it doesn’t make any sense :p

      • 3.1.1 Lilian

        erm…hope it has more plot than That Winter, the Wind Blows. That drama was awesomely beautiful with a great OST but storywise….

  4. :)

    When I heard about that eye-donation thing, it reminded me of Sad Love Song which starred Kwon Sang Woo….

    Interestingly, I just had a recent marathon of Stairway To Heaven which also starred Kwon Sang Woo just a few days ago (yes, I know, there was all sorts of crazy in there, but a lovable OTP and mesmerizing OST managed to capture my heart – and that was over 10 years ago)

    Hope Han Ji Min accepts, but I’m not that excited about the pairing.

    • 4.1 eny

      that exactly what i thought, I really love sad love story that is one of my favorit melodrama, I really couldn’t watch drama with similarity story esp. when i already love the other drama so i guess i give up this drama

  5. pogo

    Her acting has never really stood out to me, but she’s not too bad and had decent enough chemistry with her leading men in the dramas I’ve seen her in.

    Of course, this potential pairing sounds highly unlikely to be as swoony as Jun-ki with Shin Mina, but after the spectre of Han Ga-in as possible leading lady……let’s just say I am grateful for anyone who can act (and I hope to god the script for this is not a mess, really)

  6. 괜찮을거야

    Mannnnn, when I first read this, all I could think about how I loved the Grace- Secret MV story because it was pretty unique. I actually wish someone made a drama out of it or even movie.

  7. sweetcloud

    Hahah I burst out loud in the train reading the part about him being the potential eyeball donor. But I’d actually watch too. Well LJK alone pretty much makes me watch anything and everything, but that storyline would just be so far fetched it’s awesome. Or something.

    And yay for the Lee Sooyoung MVs, that’s actually how I first heard about LJK and fell in looooove with Oppa and his eyes!!

  8. Fab

    I love the leeds!! HJM is by dat better than the other actresses…
    And LOL, I had no idea about the blindness obsession, funny and scary at the same time; donating your eyeballs is waaaay special.

    • 8.1 Fab

      Thnx auto correct for ruining my comment…

  9. miri13

    “All Angel Eyes needs is for Lee Jun-ki’s character to not only be the first love but also be the heroine’s eyeball donor for me to… actually, I don’t know what I’d do in that case. Burst out into shrieks of laughter?”

    I did. Still laughing

    • 9.1 RyeBlossom

      I actually cringed >_<
      Lee Jun-Ki is going to do a good drama next, right???

  10. 10 AJ

    Liked her in padam padam but not rooftop, looking forward to them working together though. LJK is a seriously underrated actor.

  11. 11 Kiara

    Since Lee Jun-ki has been vocal about wanting to work with her I’m 90% sure he will take it.

    • 11.1 Kiara

      “With the PD of Will It Snow For Christmas (moody and sensitive) and the writer of Operation Proposal (ermmm) and Boys Before Flowers (uh-oh), I think this could really swing either way.”

      What to do with this writer? He/She is the only thing that I don’t like about this project.

      • 11.1.1 Rossi

        Yep the writer equals to a BIG BALL OF EEKS! for me too.

      • 11.1.2 May Lynn

        Uh-Oh. I hated BOF and Operation Proposal. Darn. I love Jun Ki and Ji Min. And I’ve been hoping for these two to get pair and now that it’s a potential, I’m not sure if I’m up with that writer.

  12. 12 ilikemangos

    I like han ji min and I love her eyes. they’re always brimming with tears (kind of reminds me of yoon sang hyun in that aspect).

    Lee Jun Ki & Han Ji Min woud make a deadly melodramatic couple indeed. This is a case where i like the OTP so perhaps i might be in the mood for melo to check this out. Then again, i only make room for a melo every season or so. Who knows if i’ll have maxed out my melo limits by the time Full Sun ends.

  13. 13 krystal.anne

    Hmm i was not really a fan on Han Ji Min, her acting never really stood out to me but atleast she is better than Han Ga In. I still seriously hope Lee Jun Ki do not accept this but i trust his judgement so if he happens to accept this then maybe he did saw something good in it.

  14. 14 Sophia

    While I like Han Ji Min in certain dramas, I never really thought of her as a good actress. I like Han Ga In so much more. Still, I doubt I would watch any weekend dramas, even if Lee JunKi is the lead, so it really doesnt matter to me who gets the part. Jung yoo mi would be a good option though.

  15. 15 Tara

    Hmm…with further details emerging, this could potentially be an interesting plot. Emphasis on potentially, though…because it IS a weekender. Judging just from recent ones as of late, they have been incredibly makjang-y and craptastically horrible to the point of unwatchable-ness…so I’m hoping this might break that streak. Although I don’t hold out that much hope…since it is a melo.

    (Golden Rainbow is the only one that has its good moments due to the OTP, but it’s so freakin’ makjang-y.)

    The whole eyeball donation thing? I get that it’s supposed to be like the ultimate sacrifice sort-of-thing, but ew. I remember thinking that while watching Stairway to Heaven.

    I’m a fan of Han Ji-min, who, unlike Han Ga-in, CAN act. (Thank you, for saving us from her potentially starring in yet another drama.) But for Han Ji-min’s sake, I hope this drama will be a good one…

  16. 16 kanz

    LOL. I’m still laughing at javabeans’ comment regarding blindness and eyeballs donation.
    The story looks like the continuation of movie ‘Always’. Anyway, actually i hope LJK don’t take this drama so he can choose Joseon Gunman instead.

    • 16.1 Norkys

      This is exactly what i thought! Joseon Gunman… but (!) with both of them – Han Ji Min and Lee Jun Ki 🙂

  17. 17 neyrie

    Lee junki and Han ji min…!!! So IN!!!
    I can feel already feel the chemistry combustion from just the thought!!!

    • 17.1 Norkys

      Me, too! 🙂 🙂

  18. 18 Rossi

    Man, those music vids. They’re such quintessential introduction to Korean pop culture right up there with the trope of sudden amnesia, truck of doom and while not a trope but still very important “there are cars, buses, even bicycles as transportation options but imma run for my love all the way to the airport cause that’s how serious my love is” shtick.

    Also the “science” behind “Because I’m a woman” bugged the heck out of me.

  19. 19 AnOpinion

    I think some people here have exceptional sixth sense. I mean, there was someone who said that LJK and HJM should pair up for the upcoming saguek for KBS and here they are (potentially) starring together in an SBS melo. Haha 😀

    • 19.1 Norkys

      It was me. 😀

  20. 20 maddragonqueen

    I’m pretty sure… I mean… don’t you have to be dead to donate your eyeballs? I kinda think you do…

    • 20.1 javabeans


    • 20.2 eny

      i guess so, that is my question too

  21. 21 peeps

    There’s such a thing as eyeball donation?? I’ve only ever heard of Corneal transplantation…

    Who knows? I’m not a doctor. *shrug*

  22. 22 Mandy

    I’m a little confused. Isn’t TMW a 50 episode drama? Then wouldn’t it mean that it ends around mid April rather than March? If it’s cut short, then it makes sense for casting news to come one after the other for this.

    Honestly, anyone other than Shin Se-kyung is probably better than Han Ga-in so this is good news in that sense. Even if I’m not really a fan of HJM’s acting. I find her a little detached from her characters, like I’m still watching her rather than being engrossed on who she’s playing. Hopefully this changes my opinion if I do decide on seeing it.

    On a really random note: Does anyone know what happened to the follow-up for Warm Words? I remember LJS being courted for the Medical drama, but I really doubt he’s doing it. Warm words is ending soon and I’m just curious how SBS aren’t yet scrambling for a follow-up drama.

    • 22.1 javabeans

      I see Thrice Married listed as 32 rather than 50.

      In the post-Warm Words slot is the Lee Bo-young drama God’s Gift. http://www.dramabeans.com/2014/01/lee-bo-young-confirms-gods-gift-14-days/

      • 22.1.1 Mandy

        Oh is it 32? Dramawiki says 50 for whatever reason. And riiiiiight! I completely forgot about God’s Gift… I guess the medical drama would be a follow up to GG then… Thanks for clarifying that JB!

  23. 23 anais

    Javabeans, it’s so obvious you had a hoot writing up this post. Ha! Thanks for such wonderful, snarky writing! 🙂

  24. 24 coffeenlucia

    LOL Stairway to Heaven was one of my first kdramas… then after I watched You’re Beautiful I was like, well that’s different..

    • 24.1 mary

      LOL talk about whiplash

  25. 25 Ennayra

    What up Stairway to Heaven reference! That was my first ever Korean drama. Oh how naive I was – I actually expected a happy story. I never did finish that drama (16 eps in maybe), but I went on to find ones that weren’t makjang and fell in love with K dramas :-).

  26. 26 hanie

    No comment on the drama but thanks for Grace MV.
    It’s been ages that I’ve watch that MV…
    Guess I need to comb thru my external for Clazziquai Sweety MV.

  27. 27 yasmin satria

    Oooooh, Grace series! The seal for my love to Lee Jun Ki after watching him in My Girl. Remembering how epic those MV for my teenage self seven year ago *gosh, that long? I feel old*

  28. 28 candycow

    Hmm, if it’s the scenario you came up with, then it’s a copy of a Chinese/HK movie from a long time ago. I remember bits of it as a kid, but it’s exactly what you mentioned: the girl was blind, dates a guy, gets eye donation, and then she passes the guy without knowing it’s him anymore. And he (now blind), doesn’t go looking for her. Can’t remember how it ends though.

    • 28.1 Sophia

      Sounds similar to the So Ji Sub movie Always where he plays blind guy.

      • 28.1.1 Sophia

        Oops…he played the blind guy at the end, he was seeing throughout most of the movie.

  29. 29 Min

    Han Ji Min sis , I love you .she has angel’s eyes!

  30. 30 hahahaha

    I hope Han Ji Min don’t accept ” Angel eyes” and Han Ga In accepts hahaha, as drama Hero , is fan’s LJK happy ? hahaha .

    • 30.1 hahahaha

      I love Han Ji Min , and I hope she accept other drama .

    • 30.2 winnew

      How can she accept it when she is not even offered the role?

      • 30.2.1 hahahaha

        so Han Ga In accepts….hahahaha, catastrophe !!!!!!!!!!

  31. 31 Bin

    I don’t like Lee Joon Ki , but HJM is a googd actress
    hope she don’t this drama !

    • 31.1 Bin

      I don’t like Lee Joon Ki , but HJM is a good actress
      hope she don’t accept this drama !

  32. 32 Kim Yoonmi

    The eyeball transplantation is a hoax. Only the cornea is transplanted and it only works with certain kinds of blindness. So the whole fiction of whole eyeball donation is a lie. (Yes, even in the golden dramaland of Medical Mecca, The United States of America (usually with Johns Hopkins mentioned because it seems that’s the only hospital they know, like the only universities they know are Harvard and Yale).

    But who watches dramas for accuracy?

    I don’t know about the whole blind as makjang thing. the only place I thought it was really well done was Beast and the Beauty. Cute, light, funny and well-played without the whole eye donation thing.

    • 32.1 Kim Yoonmi

      Oh and the whole The King God Dramas, where I think I’m one of the few that like the ending where it made fun of the Americans are the holy center for all medical procedures thing with the ending.

  33. 33 kooriyuki

    Hold on, if he’s the eyeballs donor doesn’t it make him blind?!

    And why am I totally reminded of You’re My Destiny…

  34. 34 Quiet Thought

    Really, if eye-transplants were possible, all the American soap operas would feature them. As it is, they only appear in American horror movies.

  35. 35 Quiet Thought

    So, as near as we can tell, the final name for this drama will be “I Need Romance IV: I Need Eyeballs”

    • 35.1 Sophia

      Ha! Funny

  36. 36 Hyun Bin

    Drama of Lee Jun Ki : ” Two Weeks” , ” Arang” are low rating .

    • 36.1 kyuri

      The rating of k-dramas doesn’t equal to the qualities of dramas.
      And both dramas of Lee Jun Ki mentioned here got many good reviews in terms of the stories and his superb acting.

  37. 37 jenikz

    Omg i totally thought han ji min would be cast for this role while reading the previous article on this dramas casting woes.

  38. 38 Hyun Bin

    I don’t like Lee Jun Ki !!! I like Park YooChun or Huyn Bin , plzzzzzzz

  39. 39 Jewel

    A little more synopsis described here is becoming more interesting than the first articles. It can be a fresh and great melodrama, more than the scandals between families and chaebols…
    I’ve no doubt for Lee Joongi’s acting. If he accepts it and gets a nice co-star who can act par with him, this one will almost sure be another memorable drama of LJG again.

  40. 40 swanl

    Among all those actresses mentioned above, I think Han Ji Min is the most fit the role.

    So I hope Han Ji Min can accept this offer as this is a new character and new challenge for her, in fact, I think she can transform to all roles she played perfectly, but I hope she pair up with other actor as I think Li Juk Ki is kind of limit to all the roles he played. And all of his dramas have low rating in Korea.

    I think the writer is very important to make the drama successful, but I’m not sure whether this writer is good or not.

    • 40.1 Riamnico

      Lee Jun Ki is a great actor in which he continuously proves with his eye expressions and acting in all projects. He can do the epic fighting scenes without stuntmen also. Neither all his dramas are low rating nor the rating has nothing to do with the offers an actor receives.
      Since the proofs of his talents get the trust from many PDs and writers out there, he can always return with different complex characters and quite unique plots. Undeniably, LJK is one of the rare versatile actors among many k-actors who repeatedly play the similar roles they can do comfortably.
      Han Ji Min is just an okay actress compared to his abilities, but she’s the best among other actresses being courted for this drama though.

  41. 41 Cocoboo

    Ooohhhh now the story sounds more interesting with that new tidbit about the heroine’s eyes.

    HAHAHA. I really hope Jun Ki isn’t the eye donor tho.

  42. 42 Mrs.Jang Guem Suk

    Seems someone is extremely excited about this

  43. 43 Sadie

    uh-oh …sounds tragic…but it’s not his eyes that were donated right? cuz that means he won’t be able to see…urgh..but these two would make a lovely pair

  44. 44 shininngab

    Two Weeks and Rooftop Prince OTP swap with PYC/PHS in 3Days while Junki/Jimin on Angel Eyes?

  45. 45 Fab

    But…where does it say that ljk is donating his eyes to her? It says that once they reunite after a painful separation in the past, the girl can NOW see but she can’t recognize the guy… please correct me if I am wrong, I don’t want anyone to give away their beautiful eyes..

  46. 46 Naos

    omg lol, halfway through this post I was like “the funniest thing is this isn’t even the only Korean music video I’ve seen about eyeball donation” and then bam, there’s the one I was thinking of. This has got to be the weirdest popular trope that you wouldn’t expect to be a popular trope.

  47. 47 springlove

    ROFL to haters and bitter people…

    Let me ask those antis, are you an actress yourself? LOL i will give you a grandslam award since you can confidently say that Han Ji Min and Han Ga In didnt impress you with their acting. SMH to you… Han Ji Min is an award winning actress, she is being sought out as one of those who can portray different roles.

    To those haters, keep quiet okay. Your comments are just a laughing stock.

    • 47.1 Jewel

      Excuse me, it’s true there are many viewers who don’t like the acting of han ga in but comments here didn’t have any bad about han ji min, written to be seen as by haters. Also, winning acting awards for kdramas mostly based on the rating, it’s not fair taking them seriously to judge on the actors’ skills.
      I agree so both Lee Jun Ki and Han Jimin can act well for different personalities. None actor is confirmed for this drama yet though.

  48. 48 JenBbo

    Um… I think… I rather LJK take the sageuk rather than melodrama. T.T The eye donation and the angst there will most definitely be gives me the creeps.

    Nothing is confirmed yet so…

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