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Uhm Tae-woong courted for new tvN romance

Here’s a fall drama to look out for: writer Kim Do-woo of My Name Is Kim Sam-soon (also What’s Up, Fox? and Me Too, Flower!) is teaming up with PD Han Ji-seung of Alone in Love for a new romance drama on tvN. It’s called Valid Love, where “valid” is a homonym for the heroine’s name, Illy — so it’s also called Love With Illy. The offer is out to Uhm Tae-woong (Could We Love, Sword and Flower) to star, and he’s currently considering.

The drama has been picked up for the fall Monday-Tuesday slot, and will be about a woman who has an extramarital affair. It promises to be more than just a drama about adultery, though I have to tell you, this show’s got some odds stacked against it in the sympathy department, at least on paper: The heroine meets her husband when she’s in high school and he’s her teacher, and then after eventually marrying him, she then has an affair with a different man. At least they won’t be lacking for any dramatic conflict?

Uhm Tae-woong is being courted to play a 41-year-old marine lab researcher who meets the heroine while teaching biology at a girls’ high school. There IS going to be a way to make this less icky than just, She marries her teacher, right? Anyway, after becoming a married couple, she has an affair and he finds out and flies off the handle.

But the husband sounds like the hero of the story — besides the obvious fact that they’re wooing Uhmforce to play him — the drama is about the growth and maturity of the married couple, and will be a cheery story about how they’re fated to be. Okaaaay, but Fate needs to get a grip until both parties graduate, is all imma say about that.

Valid Love follows My Secret Hotel (which follows High School King of Savvy) and premieres in October.

Via Joongang

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Imma gonna agree with you!

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Since the premise is a little shady to me I'm crossing my fingers that the married couple is somehow a contract marriage because I really like Uhm Tae-woong but I'm not crazy about the stated premise.

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Yeey love UTW in romcoms (this is one right?)

Maybe YEH as the cheating heroine?

At least a likeable actress.

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The drama theme lately, adultery, pedophilia and then this drama try to combine both. Great --"

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Pedophilia refers to attraction to children (under 10) while Ephebophilia is the attraction to a teenager (aged 15 to 19) which is what we've actually been seeing in dramas of late. It's still inappropriate but not quite as wrong as pedophilia which is pretty much the wrongest of all wrongs.

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Oops.. My bad. Wrong choice of word.Thanks for the correction. Yes, what I mean is adult dating a minor. It feels so wrong to me. Is there a law regarding dating a minor in Korea?

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Where I come from 18 is considered adult.

But since when it's against the law for let's say a 17 year old DATE (with consent) a grown up??? People actually get arrested for doing so? When I was 19 I liked a 17 year old guy, should I go into hiding?

I seriously don't understand how you actually think. It's one thing to dislike it, but your reasoning is sh****

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The law is different depends on where you are. But in some country it is illegal and It's called statutory rape when adult having sex with a minor because minor are legally incapable of giving consent. And yes, a lot of people go to jail for this. I'm not sure if it's only dating though.

For me personally, it's just unethical for a teacher to date their current student. So I just said that it's feel wrong for me. I don't get why you get so worked up and swear at me. People have different opinions. You don't have to understand it but you need to respect it

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@Fab I think there's a huge difference between a 19 year old liking and wanting to date a 17 year old; and a relationship between a 17 year old and a 41 year old. In the case of the former, they are on more equal footing developmentally, in life experiences, can be said to occur quite naturally and is, in most cultures, more culturally acceptable. In the latter case where the age gap between the adult and minor is so large, one cannot overlook the power imbalances in the relationship, and there is a tendency of exploitation and abuse.

Not saying that relationships with such large age gaps can't be successful, merely that it is better to go into those kind of relationships as a mature consenting adult rather than as a minor.

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I don't know what the law is in Korea but I know that the age of consent differs worldwide (some places, it's 14 or 16 or 18). However in some places where the age of consent is under 18, it is still considered a punishable offense if the adult in question is a teacher (which is the argument a lot of people use against the teacher-student relationship in Pretty Little Liars - in the US state that the show is set, it would still be illegal for them to date because she was his student). So even if it's not illegal for him to be dating a minor, it's still wrong because he's her teacher (which then brings up the imbalance of power inherent in a teacher-student relationship). There are a lot of issues around this type of pairing, in short.

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LOL. That's a new one. In what I'm about to say, I'm not criticizing you for pointing out the technical terms. But what a ridiculous splitting of hairs they are.

It's a concept no doubt initiated by professionals who are trying to prove themselves oh-so-sophisticated by parsing something disgusting. One one hand, they try to minimize the wrongness of an adult seeking a sexual relationship with someone who's not an adult. On the other, these same people are usually on the bandwagon of all-things-feminist; loudly condemning inequalities in relationship power dynamics. Hypocrites.

That's exactly what's wrong with relationships between adults and kids/ youth/minors/...whatever label you want to assign. Unless they have a stunted EQ, an adult will always have more relational power than a minor. That translates into the power to manipulate. And in this regard teens are the biggest class of potential victims, because they so often recklessly overestimate the quality of their judgment. There are good reasons civil society draws boundaries around adult/non-adult relationships. It takes a long view of the outcomes and seeks to protect the vulnerable.

This parsing (and the relative morality it's tied to) brings one thing to mind: intelligence and wisdom are NOT the same thing.

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Your response is rather unfair.

By your logic, much of humankind merits your disgust since it was rather common for adults to marry people who are considered minors nowadays. Many arranged marriages involved grown male adults with barely nubile girls, sometimes prepubescent girls. This was true in Joseon Korea, pre-industrialized Europe, etc.

Which is why I think Koreans still find it acceptable to pair much older men with much younger women in their fictional world.

You might still find the practice deplorable. I certainly find it repugnant - especially as a proudly self-professed feminist (though I don't understand what feminists have to do with terminology distinguishing pedophiles from ephebophiles). But that doesn't mean that I fail to recognize that historically human societies have had different notions of what's morally acceptable or that moral relativity has its place in recognizing other people's worldviews. We don't have to agree with whatever is different, but we have to recognize that difference. To do so, it helps to have a rich enough vocabulary to distinguish different historical phenomena.

Such a perspective - rather than an ahistorical chauvinism - to me is true wisdom. Ahistorical chauvinism = little knowledge being a dangerous thing.

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I guess I should defend myself here. I did not point out the difference in terminology in order to say that I find nothing wrong with this kind of relationship. I don't think adults should date minors at all - that's not up for debate. I only clarified the terms because I imagine most people have a very visceral reaction to even just the word pedophilia and as such, I wanted to point out that while this situation is definitely wrong and inappropriate on a number of levels (and I'm certainly not debating the existence of a power imbalance, even if he wasn't her teacher), it is not as abhorrent as pedophilia (imho). While I appreciate that you seemed to be speaking generally with regards to whoever decided to come up with separate terms for these various attractions, as the person who pointed out the difference, I felt I should comment, lest people think I'm condoning this situation.

Also I think it's unnecessary to drag feminism into this - feminism gets a bad enough rap as it is, it doesn't need to be connected to this debate.

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People need to re-read GF's description of the drama. It only says that they first met in high school. Didn't say anything whether they dated or not at that time. GF writes that they eventually marry which could mean anything, including the more "acceptable" possibility that dating doesn't start until well after college graduation. Until more information is released about the script, I would give the benefit of the doubt to the scriptwriter not to write an in-your-face drama despite what was done in High School King of Savvy.

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thank you for that!

.. i rather we have all the facts than start jumping around like beans in a hot pan

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OK, cable channels have got to stop doing dramas on extramarital affair. Adultery drives a couple apart in reality - it does not show them that "they're fated to be".
Annnd, the age gap between the leads is apparently 20+ years? :o

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I missed all of the dramas containing adultry. Though big age gabs are just as (un) realistic I can tolerate them a lot more.

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Okay, adultery is definitely a turn-off, but a 41-year-old and a high school student?! Er...

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they always try to make the bad thing like cheating and so into a touching thing and even make people side with the one doing it...u want another relationship,tired of the husband one word:Divorce and hook up with who ever wants...
and i see there is the age gap romance and most likely the gap will be a reason most sure among other things why we 'll be told he cheeted on him and then of course being fated they forgive and find real love...
i will give it a try if the cats is good but i'm against adultery no matter the reason...

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I thnk there's nothing wrong with in love with big age gap as long as they really love each other, of course the young one should already consider as adult (above 18).

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I got excited when I saw TvN romance - but then I read the synopsis...dating a teacher while in high school AND she has an affair? Is it a Soonjung Manhwa type deal where he's an emotionally stunted loner who has never had a relationship before? And they have a pure romance with no physical contact? Still ethically wrong though. Can't quite excited for this one. But we'll see what happens when more details come out. I won't totally write it off yet, solely based on my TvN goodwill.

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curious if the dude with who she cheats is a youngster/her age

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Maybe they MEET in school and marry after she graduates from university or something? Since he is supposed to be some kind of researcher, it's possible that they could re-meet somewhere else making this whole thing less uncomfortable.
Also, the way high school girls are portrayed nowadays on TV, she would either be an enourmous skank (thus the adultery, but why would she marry him? Money?) or a über-shy wallflower (but then why have an affair?). So I'm interested, if only to see how and if they will proceed with the ickiness factor of 20+ years of age-difference.

... Let's wait and see who will be cast as the wife ... and what ages she can pull off.

(But seriously ... is this some kind of a new trend to counter-act the myriards of noona-romances that we are flooded with???)

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I vote for more Noona Romances. Bring em on! There's never a shortage of new younger actors (which we don't want to see in more important roles till they improve their acting) and we want to see more of our favorite kick-ass actresses who get less and less roles as time goes by. It's a win-win!

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Cjsnxfjdnndcjdnjdnnsndd!!!!
Han Ji-seung is finally directing another drama!? And with the writer of Kim Sam Soon!? I LOVED what he did with Alone in Love! Omg. You guys have no idea how happy this news makes me. And with Uhmforce! This is too good to be true!

-This is my reaction before I read the description. Why. Why. Whyyyyyyy. So not my thing, but I'll probably check it out anyway.

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Also I thought I'd add that one of my high school teachers is actually now married to a former student. I mean, they weren't interested in each other during that time, but they just happened to meet each other after she graduated college etc. and started dating. He was actually a really great guy, and he wasn't creepy at all. If they did it like that, I wouldn't mind. But it sounds like they might fall for each other while she's still his student and that...eh. Not cool.

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I don't know, adultery isn't always an instant reason to miss out on a drama - I loved The Naked Kitchen and Secret Love Affair, and both of those involved adulterous wives as the heroine.

(more bothered by the meeting her husband when he's her high school teacher tbqh)

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wut. well, I trust in Uhm Tae-Woong's choices when doing dramas, so it can't be all the bad, right? RIGHT? (please don't let this be gross please don't let this be gross please don't let this be gross)

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Sword and Flower was awful

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It could have been great in theory. Not sure UTW should be held responsible for the failure in execution.

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I just hope this trend of adultery stops. It's disgusting and flossing over serious matters whilst calling it a rom-com/growth story/cheery-fate is just WTF. Even if the husband were an abusive bastard, if one's unhappy in a marriage, there's something called divorce. If it isn't used, the person cheating - even if a victim - is also much at fault.

This one is doubly bad because a high school student is a minor so having an affair with your teacher is so very wrong. And on top of that adultery. Just, eww.

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Ehhhhh?? Why are you doing this, Dramaland? What's up with all these grody relationships, lately? I watch these dramas, and sometimes they're done so well I want to blot out the huge elephant in the room, but I really need to stop fighting my conscience. Yeah, call me immature or whatevs ORRR look at the story and realize it's got ICK written all over it. No, I do not support grown adults having relationships with teenagers nor am I for adultery. Tadahhh.

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I agree! I've heard ALL about how well Secret Love Affair was written and directed and great performances, but Gross. I can't bring myself to watch it - I don't care if the characters will change and find redemption in the end. It was so sad to have to miss out on seeing Yoo Ah-In but the story is just not for me.

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Ugh, Fate.

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A "cheery story"?? It doesn't sound cheery to me - sounds depressing and hard to swallow. I don't know much about UTW's acting. I only saw him in Cyrano Dating Agency (movie) but I liked him on 2Days1Night. He seems like such an average "dude" - kinda of clueless and good natured.

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There's a reason he's called Uhmforce. (it's his acting chops) ;)

And that's why is was so surprising to see his non-acting persona on 1N2D - he's such a laid back dork but can bring out the EMOTION and INTENSITY when in a role.

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(Sarcasm)

You know...using the word "icky" to describe your reaction to an older adult being involved romantically with a teenager apparently gets you reprimanded as having a childish vocabulary and called out as narrow-minded particularly on the High School King of Savvy threads (e.g. HSKOS recaps 11 & 12).

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I took a look at those threads, since I have yet to see the drama (despite all the raves on here)...and I wanted to see it for myself.

Oh wow...you were not kidding at all! *shakes head* I read through maybe 1/4 of the comments from ep12 (all replies to the first question!), and what in the world...

Since you wrote (sarcasm), does that mean you agree with that? Just curious.

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No, I didn't agree because one's response to and reaction about the romantic pairing depended upon your very own lens (perspective), life experiences, and points of view.

Dramabeans is a wonderful and informational website offering insightful and well written kdrama recaps. Each day Dramabeans provides the opportunity for us to interact/engage with kdrama fans from around the world.

Unfortunately, people can sometimes become so impassioned about a certain topic of contention (or subject matter up for debate) that they end up loosing sight of the fact that different viewpoints do and will exist.

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Very well said...because that's exactly what I'd hope anyone commenting here should keep in mind.

Those that are diehard to try and force their opinion on others and not even considering the others' opinions are the ones that are closed-minded themselves. We all have our own views because we all have brains to think for ourselves, right? :)

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I know people who follow kdramas are from different countries and cultures, but it's SO SCARY how conservative some people are. I already read a big discution about noona romance and the legal implications of that. Now I'm reading this discussion about adultery. Both from TVN dramas. I really think people should think a bit out of the box and understand that tvn dramas are always unconventional in some way. About the age difference, there are a lot of different situations. In high school king of savy, for example, its pretty clear the male character is not being seduced or used by the female. And even then people talk about how dirty this is. My parents have a big age difference and they have 30 years of marriage. Real life is like that. About adultery, I don't feel comfortable about it too, because its a honesty problem in my opinion, but people get involved in different situations and it's possible see this in another way.

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I can't remember, but was there a similar negative response to the older brother wooing of the heroine in Reply 1997? Personally that one was pretty "icky" to me. He was a teacher, she was still in high school; he had been engaged to her older sister; and he and his brother were considered family members.

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Hopefully the people calling the teacher-student premise icky were also equally horrified by the gender reversed versions that we've been treated to in the past. The adultery is what I can't get over and I'd rather not watch a tVN take on anything that weighty.

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I love Kim Do Woo! What's Up fox and Me Too Flower are two of my favorite dramas, and of course Kim Sam Soon is great as well. She always gives her characters such great dialogue, and has these heroines that just tug at your heart. To this day I haven't found a heroine who is quite as real to me as Byung Hee is.

My sister and I have always thought that she wanted to explore a relationship where the man is much older than the woman, considering the second leads in those 2 dramas--I didn't like it at all in WUF, but that was because the guy was such a jerk; I liked it well enough in MTF. I hope this being on cable will give her opportunities that the non-cable channels don't afford, although tvn dramas aren't exactly daring.

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I love KDW too! She has tackled difficult material with her earliest drama Snowman to really great success, and that had a central relationship that was equally as fraught as it sounds like it will be here.

So I have complete faith that she knows what she's doing. I'm excited for this!

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At this point, the premise seems a bit vague to me. When they say that he meets her when she's his student in high school, does that mean that he'll be romancing her in that set-up? Or will there be a time jump where they'll end up marrying after the girl graduates or something? I'm hoping it's the latter.

I know it's too early to judge, but there's something about it that throws me off.

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Sorry but I think this is just, so wrong, ethically wrong. What about our values that has painfully taught us the relationship between the teacher and student??

We have seen so many news regarding teacher and student relationships having an affair, and sexual affairs.

Is this gonna encourage more issues about the relationship of teacher and student?

I mean, I'm not against big age difference among couples, but not when they are still young. Like when if the guy is 41, and meets someone at 30, or 29, I think its perfectly fine. But when someone 30 meets someone at the age of 15, its just ethically not right.

The girl has to graduate first, please.

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Do all the writers suddenly feel the need to talk about extra marital affairs suddenly?

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i guess 'adultery' is this season's 'time travel' ?

i'm very much against adultery in real life and chances are will not be watching.

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I was excited to hear about Uhm Force's potential return to dramaland...until I read the premise.

I wasn't aware of the hubbub over the issue of age difference in High School King of Savvy.

That being said, I'm a bit apprehensive to believe that this'll be the real storyline because it seems a bit too much. A teacher/student relationship is already a controversial issue, but add adultery on top of that? It seems a bit extreme to potentially air, even if it's cable. This possibly could be the writer/pd throwing this out there to gauge reactions and/or plausibility... then adjust accordingly.

Also, this is early in the game and not enough details. Now, what concerns me with this story is whether he was 41 when they first met (I'm thinking it'll be his current age)...because that really isunethical - no matter if "age is just a number." Now, if she was in college - I'd have no qualms whatsoever.

I consider myself open-minded but the topics of adultery and teacher/student relationships are no-nos in my book, sorry. That ain't being "conservative"...it's just simply my preference.

And I find it a bit disturbing how heated the argument is on both sides, with snideass wording and calling into question one's intelligence just because they don't agree with you? Childish and narrow-minded are what they are, not the opposing opinion.

Everyone has their own viewpoint and can think whatever they want on their own, so just expressing their disdain/support for the subject matter shouldn't be cause to bash them.

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Very well-said! I couldn't agree more. You took the words out of my mouth. :D

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High level of ewwwwwwwwwww.

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It seems that many fellow beanies are disturbed by the teacher marrying the student. I think it may be an overly strong reaction. As long as they don't marry while she's still in high school, there is no reason to get disgusted. Thinks like that do happen and it doesn't have to involve any immoral or illegal actions. Sure, it's risky, but the description doesn't mention any craddle-robbing, rather the life of the already married couple. We don't even really know when the plot takes place - how soon after their wedding it is, it could be just as well be several years (good old timejump).

Maybe I am less sensitive about the topic because our District Prosecutor happens to be married to her former teacher?

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Eh...i don't really care for this drama. The truth is...if I ever cheated on my husband, he would leave me in a heart beat. That's the truth...because it involves real human emotions. He has given me everything that I have ever dreamt of...and if I decided to go screw that up, well...shame on me. Why portray a message that a marriage can still work without trust? Why...portray a message that it is okay to cheat...because the person you hurt will always be there?

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Even though this is Uhm Taewoong we're talking about, (and I love Uhmforce with all my heart) I gotta say that the premise sounds completely meh to me.

Yeah, this drama aims for the lessons you'll get after 'maturing' as a married couple, and it actually sounds realistic and warm, but I just can't picture how they're going to make this less "uncomfortable"

I'll just cross my fingers for our beloved Uhmforce

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