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Jang Nara romances young grandpa Shin Ha-kyun in Mr. Baek

Reverse-aging fantasy romance Mr. Baek has its leading lady, with Jang Nara (Fated To Love You) signing on to join Shin Ha-kyun (All About My Romance), who plays the 70-year-old chaebol hotel chairman who only cares about money, who inexplicably finds himself in his younger body one day.

Now that I think of it, I’m betting the title is meant to be Mr. Back, as in traveling backwards, isn’t it? Groan. If you were gonna be that literal, couldn’t he at least be Mr. Quantum Leap? (In early stories the character was actually named Baek, but now his name has been changed to Choi Shin-hyung, which is another age-related pun because it means “newest model.” Hur hur.)

Jang Nara has made a career out of playing the everygirl Candy type; after wrapping on a character defined by her quintessential ordinariness in Fated, she now portrays the plight of the underemployed Korean wage earner who lives paycheck to paycheck. After her father dies, she works from dawn till night at multiple part-time jobs, but despite her difficult circumstances she keeps a super-positive attitude and values her family’s happiness above all else. Yes, this is a character we have seen time and time again (and are probably pretty tired of at this point, no?), but I trust Jang Nara to find a way to make her relatable and sympathetic despite the banality of the setup. I guess that’s what the magical body rejuvenation is for?

After working in part-time job hell for a while, the heroine finally manages to score her first full-time job, which is how she meets our hero and falls in love with him. Through him, she realizes the preciousness of youth (…I presume since he’s already lost his once, and is coming upon it a second time with new insights). Furthermore, the relationship also makes her take a look inward for the first time and discover what her dream is. I suppose pursuing dreams seem like something of a luxury when you’re living hand to mouth, but nothing like a cosmic ticking clock to spur one to learn important life lessons.

Mr. Baek (Back?) comes from the writer of Emergency Couple and the PD of King’s Daughter Soo Baek Hyang, and will premiere in November as a Wednesday-Thursday drama on MBC.

Via Joy News

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Jang Nara always manages to tug at my heartstrings. I'm looking forward to seeing how she'll put a spin on such a trite setup.

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Me too... She was awesome in both Fated-to-Love-You and School 2013. Hope she'll do well again in this new drama.

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I think she'll be likeable no matter whether she put a spin on it. A fabulous actress really. I loved her in all her Korean comeback projects so far.

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she tugs at my heartstrings the way a starved child does. I wish she'd put on some weight..her emaciated look just makes her seem sickly and i feel too repulsed to appreciate her character. ugh those eyes sticking out a mile from the thin wan face and those frail hands with every nerve sticking out and the nonexistent bosom. I don't see how that's considered attractive #_#

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There you go, thin-shaming.

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^Yep, She's pretty actress. But gain some weight please, Ms Jang. She always looks like a hmm how can I say, not healthy girl >> Pale/wan :(

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She doesn't look starved to me, at all. What's wrong with you? People can be naturally thin, you know. It's not as if she's deliberately trying to cut down on her weight. Plus, if she did gain weight there'll be people saying how she's getting plump and stuff. Not to mention that she looks perfectly normal to me. Seriously, the way you say stuff just makes you sound like a hater. You are the one who repulse me.

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Jang Nara-Shin Ha-kyun! What an unexpected but amazing casting! I've got my hopes up now.
On the down side, not a fan of the writer's previous works and it worries me. But at least we will see some brilliant acting for sure.

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Yep, to put it crudely, EC was pretty much crap.

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My favourite actress currently! But judging by how late she took on the role, she must be doing a favour for MBC. It's reminiscent of how Lee Dong-wook took up Iron Man, but I hope this series can be a ratings success instead.

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Did LDW really take on Iron Man for that reason? Just as a favour?

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They couldn't find a leading man so he was persuaded by his CEO or something. For JNR, she never had back to back roles even when she was insanely popular. There's no reason for her to do this now except if MBC begged her to. The character is in her comfort zone and it's clear that's why MBC found her to take up the void. Heck, I think even Shin Ha-kyun wasn't really keen on this as well because he was cast so late. You do have to applaud MBC for managing to find such big name actors to save them from having to air nothing though. I'm really impressed.

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Wow, I'm suprised it really works that way. Just another day in de Kdrama broadcasting industry, huh? The fact that MBC can manage to find such big names at the last minute amazes me too.
Maybe this is a silly question, but the must be tons of actors and actresses(albeit less famous) dying for a show like this one? Why don't they cast people who want to do it? Is having big names on a possible bad show gonna fix it's problems??

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Successful Story of a Bright Girl and My Love patzzi made back to back...I not bother going into the chinese dramas she made back to back.
But she did the same thing sort of with BFB the lead lady KBS wanted didnt come through and they kind of through the project JN's way almost in hope and she came through for them, of course the fact it would air on the same day as she made her debut did have a lot to do with her taking it on.

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Yep. He jumped in at the last minute to save a sinking ship. We know the result. Back to Mr Baek: When A listers are not fighting for a role (understand: Many said no before), there is generally a good reason: Bad co-star (not the case here) or bad script (my bet).

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I'm pretty much sure MBC has a deal with Jang Nara to give her Best Actress at MBC DA this year! hehehe

I don't see any reason for Jang Nara to do this, because FTLY was just wrapping 2 months ago.

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FTLY is a month ago not 2 months. saw lot of FTLY's fans feel not happy over this news bcuz it happened all of a sudden. It seems Jang Nara does a favor for MBC. I don't think the script is really that good bcuz it's from EC's writer which is a bleah for me and her role is not that new/rare. for sure MBC knows how to market their dramas. FTLY got the most expensive drama sold in china due to Jang Nara's popularity there. now seems MBC wants it to happen again.

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I think the same way. Just because FTYL is popular or something, then MBC cast her again. Ehm but again, Award show in Korea is based on popularity so I wouldn't be surprised anymore. I'm pretty sure MBS will forget about Miss Korea - Cunning Single Lady-or maybe A New Leaf because the ratings are not good or maybe less popular *sigh* And they will go to Triangle - FTYL - Journal something (sorry, can't rmb the tittle) and do not forget Jang Bo Ri!

I hope someday she will take the role as villain girl hahaha

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As i said so many times dose it really matter that it been done before? As long as one its fun and two the actors act, rather than in many drama coming out of korea recently, just look good and say the lines..as in not acting, then why all the anti because the theme been used before?..like a certain song..'.it just another pretty love song and what's wrong with that?", the same can be said for the comdey/romance...

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No one's really hating though. Personally, I don't mind and I'm actually quite looking forward to it.

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OMO! Am I dreaming? Yes! Yes! Yes! Totally LOVE it!
What's with drama Gods lately? It seems they've been giving me all my favorites actors and actresses.

I've got Park Shi Hyoen in the Greatest Marriage which btw is still awesome! I'm going to get Joo Sang Wook and Han Ye Seul in the Birth of Beauty. And now this!

Shin Ha Kyun and Jang Nara!

I love this year! The best year of kdrama ever! I get to see all my beloved this year started with Jo Hyun Jae in the King's Daughter. Gotta to love 2014!

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I adore JN as well. But I find this casting much more amusing because the protagonist is supposed to have returned to his youth while JN never lost her's. Seriously, she never ages. Sometimes she is suspect she's an alien from another planet.

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hehe exactly. She was the perfect actress to do Baby Faced Beauty, and here she could easily be the one who ages in reverse because that is pretty much her in real life.

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I love Shin Ha-kyun. Will watch this for him. Jang Nara, I must say she considers rest via. My Spring Days (which is too good to be true) and takes on the same timeslot again. Fated and then Baek. She loves MBC's Wed Thurs primetime slot. Hahaha!!!

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She probably gets a kick out of going against strong opposition. I remember when BFB came out it had to go against YEH's Lie to Me and LDH's Miss Ripley. FTLY had JG and IOTL. Now she's up against King's Face (ok, this one is just so so) and Pinocchio which stars the two hottest young stars in SK right now. She must really enjoy this type of challenges LOL

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I was considering it until I read that the writer wrote Emergency Couple. That show went on a downhill spiral.

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Yep. Once I saw that the writer is the one who wrote Emergency Couple, it is an "uh-oh" situation to me. I hated Emergency Couple and it really made me dislike the male lead and his cringing acting. The only good part about EC was Choi Yeo Jin and Lee Pil Mo.

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+1 but I'll still check the first couple episodes at least maybe we'll get lucky and there are promising assistant writers who can save this?

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I think the only good thing about EC was Baby Gook.

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Yes! I was going to say the same thing.
Fluffy hair wins!

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Baby Gook-ie was definitely the best thing about that show! He was so damn adorable. The other Gook-ie (Chief) was another bright spot, but otherwise the show was so crap that I have serious reservations about anything else by the same writer.

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Sounds like the drama version of Miss Granny???

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Excited to see JNR in another drama after loving ftly so, so much. Don't think I will ever like an OTP as much as the jang couple though.

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Too bad I like both actors... But story seems wacky & not the fun kind (please no Blade Man like drama). Writer is really weak. Pass for me unless I hear really good things at the end & then I'll marathon.

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Though I am happy for JNR to get another project, somehow, I'm a little sad to let go of her as Kim Mi Young. With this new project, means I will look at her as her new character and letting her go as KMY. :/

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i think the drama is gonna be interesting becos actress jang nara did well in school 2013 and fated to love you

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Interesting, what you said about Jang Nara always playing Candy roles... I wonder if there is something about her affect or her physical appearance that has her typecast. It might be fun to see her playing a cold and even evil character once in-a-while.

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most likey true she is small with big eyes and pale skin it is also what helps her look younger than she is.
Though she done a lot of Candy girl roles it is wrong just to say they all the same roles, as each one is different from the other, it tends to lead a lot of people to think she lacking as an actress somehow, as indeed I think many in korea did before her 'comeback' dramas in recent times. They tended to always remember her from bright girl or my love patzzi with no thought of the many years she spent in China had chanced her from a singer/idol who acted to a full actress, that is still growing in her talent.
As for her as a cold or evil, will you could try Iron Masked Singer where she was just that..at lest the cold woman out for revenge, and she said often enough that at some time she would like to act the Femme fatale..I can not see it happening at lest in a korean mainstream drama, but maybe a film one day.

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bjmharm, thanks for the recommendation! I will look for Iron Masked Singer.

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Her character in School 2013 was no Candy though....

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The thing is she's a good enough actress to make the Candy not feel like Candy, lol. She's sweet but not saccharine or Splenda (fake). She's great! So, while some can't bring out the character within the Candy arch-type, she can and it's always a pleasure to watch. I dunno, maybe she'll change it up more often one day but I'm cool with her anyway I get her, lol.

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I'm all ready looking forward to this, as it's a bit different than most shows, with the back in time slant. I'm wondering how they're going to work this out, if she falls in love with him as a younger man, will he stay that way or go back to his true age and then what?

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And then hey will end up together... happily ever after

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Yay, I am so glad! I love her to bits! I'm definitely on board for this drama!

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That was a fast return for JNR and this is immediately after My Spring Days. MBC should really thank her. Anyway I just heard Lee Joon was confirmed for second lead. Will look forward to this.

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"I suppose pursuing dreams seem like something of a luxury when you’re living hand to mouth, but nothing like a cosmic ticking clock to spur one to learn important life lessons."

I really like the way you phrase this. But life seems to keep on piling financial demands on you (your college fees, your mortgage, your parents' medical bills, your child's college fees, your own medical bills, ...), such that there never seems to be any time when you can feed your heart and your stomach at the same time.

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Hey JB, sorry to ride on this post but is daebakkpop.com one of yours? cause i was browsing through its gossip segment and realised that all its posts related to dramas are exactly like yours.

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Not again!!! Another candy girl type of character.

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I wouldn't define her character as a candy girl though, it's just how javabeans chose to see it.

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This is such a great pairing; I love it already!!! T___T
Now, I'm even more excited to see. A bunch of my fave actresses are doing things! Lee Si Young is upcoming, and Jung Yumi's who's drama just wrapped, Yoo In Na, and Jang Nara. I need Jung Ryeowon in something, lol.

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can I say I love Fated to love you because of Jang Nara. I find her a wonderful actress and became a true fan when I watch her in her chinese drama. Favorite is My Bratty Princess. If you have not seen it check it out. I must watch School 2013. She is very beautiful and unique, relatable. Looking forward to another one from her.

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I also love My Bratty Princess, not solely because of Jang Nara, but because I think Alec Su is also wonderful there. They make a perfect couple ^_^

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She needs to put more meat. She was young, cute and very adorable in successfully story of a bight girl. She's only in her 30's. she can gain back her baby face by gaining just but right weight. What difference does it makes when you are very thin, you look way older and very matured like sudden drop down to 40's just my 2 cents! She was at her cutest and my fav scene is when the Jangs were at d rooftop gathering Jang Hyuks clothes with her pink dress and her new awesome and beautiful transformation indeed. Was able to take a shot, don't know how to re-post. I do hope she is going to sing the ost, like that dongyi OST. What a lovely song to hear. Already listen to it countless times so addictive and to her other songs like sweet dreams, her duet with john park etc. Wonder if I could buy compilation of her songs!!!

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Idkkkkk this sounds kind of creepy to me think I'm going to pass on it

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That was fast for Jang Nara.

She was lovely in FTLY. I like her. I'd like to see her in more different roles, but she's an endearing actress.

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Looking forward to jang nara and shin ha kyun pairing....BOTH GREAT ACTORS...

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Like SHK .. a great actor. Hope JNR work comfortable with him and create gud chemistry together also. Wish for another GREAT drama from her again after FTLY... JNR... fighting

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Can't wait to watch the next eps. It's hillarious!!!

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