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News bites: October 25, 2014

  • Kim Haneul (Gentleman’s Dignity) may be heading to China: She’s in negotiations to lead a joint Chinese-Korean film called Making Family. (That’s not a translation, but the actual Engrish title — cringe.) If Kim takes the role, she’ll be paired with Chinese actor Aarif Rahman (One Night Surprise, Cold War). The actress just wrapped the movie Forget Me Not with Jung Woo-sung, and while I’m excited that she’s in pan-Asian demand, would it be too much to ask that she return to dramaland soon? [Ten Asia]
  • Endless Love may have been cut short, but Jeon So-min wasted no time in scoring her next role. She’s joining the upcoming JTBC drama Maids as an attractive but manipulative houseservant. Her character’s described as being better suited for the life of a gisaeng than a kitchen maid, as she knows how to use her looks to her advantage and tempts men as a hobby. She’s driven by a desire to raise her social status, and she aims to land a wealthy nobleman to turn her life around. With that hope, she begins a clandestine relationship with the young master of the house, played by Lee Yi-kyung (Trot Lovers). [JTBC]
  • Gong Hyo-jin (It’s Okay It’s Love) has selected something new for her next project: She’s been cast as the lead in her very first play. Educating Rita, the 1980 stage comedy by British playwright Willy Russell, will be revived by Jo Jae-hyun, whom the actress worked with on Snowman. The popular play has remained on stage globally, spawned an eponymous film, and been brought to Korea before, but with Gong’s commitment, its return to a domestic stage is garnering fresh buzz. The two-actor play is about a disillusioned hairdresser, Rita, who seeks self-improvement under the tutelage of Frank, a literature professor. The production company will double-cast both characters, and another favorite, Kang Hye-jung (Marriage Plot) will be pitted against Gong in the role of Rita, while the middle-aged Frank has yet to be cast. First performances will start in December, and the play will run for approximately two months. [Osen, Star News]
  • I love these two: Kim Seul-gi and Yoon Hyun-min have coupled up again for a pictorial in Ceci’s November issue. In the accompanying interview, Kim said, “My kiss scene with Hyun-min [in Discovery of Romance] wasn’t in the script. He didn’t warn me beforehand and ad-libbed a kiss scene. I was so shocked I fell over backwards.” When asked to talk about one of Seul-gi’s strong points, Yoon said, “She’s very quick to react. If you just look at her outward appearance, she’s cute, but her sincerity when it comes to acting is tremendously strong.” Kim returned the compliment, saying, “No matter how well you act, if you can’t connect with your counterpart, it doesn’t work. If it wasn’t for Hyun-min, I don’t think the Do-Sol Couple of today would have existed. I would really like to work with him again someday.” [Osen]
  • Kim Heung-soo (Records of a Night Watchman) has landed the male lead opposite Shin So-yool (Yoo-na’s Street) in the upcoming daily drama Sweet Secret. Kim will play a director at a fashion company; a straight-and-narrow type with a gruff exterior. He’s been hurt badly in the past and he refuses to let people get close to him, but when he gets to know single mom Shin So-yool, he begins to change, little by little. Tiffany, the young daughter of Shin So-yool’s character, helps break his tough outer walls down, and he becomes a pillar to lean on for the mother-daughter duo. Sweet Secret will air on KBS in November. [XSports News]
  • Lee Sang-yeob (Will You Love And Give It Away) is also crossing over to China. He’s been cast as the male lead in a rom-com drama called Transformation of a Flower Boy. Set against the backdrop of luxury resorts in China and Saipan, Lee will play a prickly chaebol heir. He’s as handsome as a statue with the arrogance to match his notable good looks, but he also has a cutesy, innocent side. The drama will follow his struggles and misunderstandings with the female lead, a broke but positive-minded college student, and the ups-and-downs of their relationship as they discover the meaning of true love. [Dong A]
  • Filming has begun on The Exchange, which stars Jo Han-seon (Thrice-Married Woman) as a man who travels to a remote island on vacation with his wife. They meet a man shrouded in mystery, played by Ma Dong-seok (Kundo Age of the Rampant), and eep (!!), I fear for them already. Directed by Kwon Hyung-jin (Wedding Dress, Truck), The Exchange is set for a theatrical release in the first half of 2015. [Sports World]
  • Kim Bum (Goddess of Fire Jung-yi) will take on the lead in a Chinese movie for the first time. He’ll be in a love triangle in Reborn Lovers with Taiwanese star Joe Cheng and actress Likun Wang. About the lead character’s memories of a beautiful first love and a suspicious blaze that occurred in his youth, Reborn Lovers is being billed as a young adult mystery melo film, and will debut next year in China. [World Daily]

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Lol...why does China keep stealing all our actors?

Aw, that's so cute about Kim Seul-gi and Yoon Hyun-min!!!! I can't believe he ad-libbed it! That makes it so much better! Now excuse me while I go rewatch it ten times over...

I'll probably keep tabs on Shin So-yool's project too. It sounds a bit typical, but in a cute sort of way and I really really like her.

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Would definitely not call it stealing. $$ is the obvious drawcard.

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Can I ask what episode it is? (dropped the drama, watched it beacause of the two, but got tired skipping scene looking for their scene.)

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It's episode 15, a very good one for our favourite couple!

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Thank you!

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LOL right?? I feel like everyone's heading to China. Of course they have a much bigger market there, but most of their dramas/movies are either too long, has hideous CGs, dubbed, is plain bad or all of the above.

Plus honestly, its awkward seeing Koreans act in Chinese productions because everyone can speak the language other than them. It makes it slightly awkward even when dubbed.

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I speak Chinese and I prefer it so much when the actors are dubbed. I can't stand the Shanghainese accent, the Beijing accent, the Taiwanese accent all appearing in the same drama. That's even more awkward.

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That's very fair. I don't speak the language so I don't care much for the accent since there's subtitles anyway. But knowing that a voice doesn't belong to an actor, or worse if it's Korean and you know the person doesn't even compute abc in Chinese, I find that ridiculously awkward and a turn off.

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I know what you mean! I watched TW-drama Extravagant Challenge because I love Skip Beat, but watching Siwon being dubbed there was sooooo awkward for me. I had what I guess were too high expectations, since I heard he was in Super Junior M and had assumed he would know Chinese. I'm a little more experienced as a viewer and consumer of Asian cultures now. ;)

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Please... I rather have them dubbed to protect my ears and my mind!... It would be awkward and IRRITATING for me to listen to them speaking in incorrect tone/words/whatever and all the emotion/character that they tried to act will be lost!

Lucky for you that you don't understand Chinese but please be considerate for those who does. Would you want to hear an Asian actor acting and speaking horrible French/German /English or any European language for an hour?

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I agree with you. But for me, I can't stand different accents even if they do speak Chinese, so I guess I'm a little extreme maybe.

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I get what you mean.. My friends have issues with that too. They can differentiate the Mandarin and Cantonese accent spoken by different people in different countries... Lucky for me I can only differentiate between Mandarin, Cantonese and Hokkien and not their accents..

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I think Mandy's point was she wants the Korean actors to speak in Korean and their lines subbed -- not for the Korean actors to speak broken Chinese. That is my preference at least. Every time I watch cross-Asian productions, I always wish to hear the actors speak in their own languages because dubbing ruins my movie experience especially if I know the actor's real voice. But I'm someone who hates all dubbing including anime. I prefer my anime to be in its original Japanese voice-over.

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I get that but personally for me, it's weird that one speaks in Korean, another in Chinese and they actually understood each other..

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oh i prefer my anime in Japanese too with eng subs ;-) never watch those in dubbed version... i totally get what you and Mandy meant... I dislike watching Mandarin movies/dramas dubbed in Cantonese or Cantonese drama/movies dubbed in Mandarin or Chinese drama/movie dubbed in Korean/Japanese.. or Korean drama dubbed in Mandarin or my anime dubbed in Mandarin/English....but for this case, I prefer him dubbed to protect my ears and my mind!

My take is... if his character is Korean.. yeah, do speak in Korean... but if he plays a chinese or overall story is in chinese, I would rather have him dubbed.

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"Its awkward seeing Koreans act in Chinese productions because everyone can speak the language other than them."

Please... I guess you either didn't read my comment or didn't get my point. I don't like seeing Koreans act in Chinese productions because its very obvious they don't understand or speak Mandarin. Everyone around them is comfortable in the language even without it being dubbed while they just don't know what they're saying which at times kills the emotion that they're trying to portray.

Would I want to hear an Asian acting and speaking horrible XYZ language? No. Thats exactly why I don't like Koreans acting in Chinese productions. Having them dubbed isn't really a solution in my books because I know that isn't them talking but someone unknown to me. Of course you can have your own preferences, but voicing out what I like doesn't mean I'm not being 'considerate' or others.

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Pardon my language.. When I read that you don't care about the accents and only read the subs... I was quick to jump into conclusion on the "considerate"

Yeah, I don't like them dubbed either.. I prefer bi-language actor to act in Chinese move... like Takeshi Kaneshiro as an example.. he is too A-list to act in this drama... but in this case I rather them dubbed because it's too weird to watch both characters speaking in different languages and understood each other...

Anyways there are many drama and movies out there.. if we dislike watching dubbed version, I don't think we will miss out anything... most chinese productions that involve korean actors are usually with bad scripts... and they probably need them for the $$$ and the korean actors need $$$... it's a win-win for them

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@trekkie - Yea, recently Hallyu has been on the ascend which means a whole lot of Chinese and Japanese productions will aim for Koreans to star in their dramas/movies.

I usually skip them because of reasons you stated and also the awkwardness of it all. But a whole lot of good/popular actors seems to be heading there which means it lessens the available A-listers in Korean productions. Which is kinda upsetting because those are the ones I love to watch.

Hopefully the trend will die down soon. Or they'll find a way to make productions good without dubbing or something. Not sure how it'll happen but if this is a long term thing, ideas will hopefully pop out...

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@Mandy - "But a whole lot of good/popular actors seems to be heading there which means it lessens the available A-listers in Korean productions. Which is kinda upsetting because those are the ones I love to watch."

The trend would not go down unless Korean productions provide better working conditions and better pay to their actors.

To properly enjoy our K-drama, I would love that my Korean actors not to be overworked, be safe on-the-set or on the road and with better pay..

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OMG That made me imagine...What if in Heirs, Lee Minho had never gone back to Korea, and we had to listen to him speak English for the rest of the series??? I'm already cringing just at the thought!

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You'd think they'd have plenty of people to act.

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There was once an article about why Korean actors/actresses enter the Chinese market. It's all about the money (they get higher pay rate in China/Taiwan vs S. Korea) and better treatment (they get a 4-5 star hotel stay, their own van, and own makeup & hair stylist).

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Not to mention, these treatment are paid by the production and it's not coming off from their paychecks.

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Another reason is that the working conditions are better - no live shoot, shorter hours, more time to rest. I seriously wonder how those korean actors are going to adjust to the live shoot system when they're back.

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China's not stealing anyone! The actors & actresses go there cause they actually give more money!

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Stop going to China people! I swear the Chinese productions which are popular only star Chinese/actors from sinophone countries. Well... other than Bratty Princess, but that was a long long time ago. I can't remember any Korean actors scoring huge and memorable roles in popular productions, especially in movies. You seriously just need a popular Korean drama to work in China. This is the age of the internet after all, they CAN see it even if they're not in Korea.

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Well, as far as I know Lee Da Hae won most popular award for Love Actually in China, and her co star Joe Cheng won the same award for that drama in Korea.

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That drama was a flop. They just gave her the award because she is popular, but the drama stank. There were quite a few criticisms online too. Joe Cheng got an award on virtue of having starred with a Korean actress, no biggie. The drama itself didn't do Lee Dahae any good, except perhaps financially. The only dramas (starring Korean actors in lead roles) that did well in China, from what I know, were:

1. JNR's Bratty Princess. It was a huge hit. I'm not Chinese, but I watched the drama and heard that it was the highest rated ancient series that year.

2. Some of Chae Rim's dramas and this girl called Chu Jakhyun or something. CR is a bigger star, but the in the most popular production she acted in she played like a semi-lead role. The ones she actually starred in were not terribly well-received but still okay. She had a series too with Alec Su that was pretty popular. CJH on the other hand wasn't really a hallyu star when she went to China (she wasn't even big in Korea itself, unlike JNR and CR), but she starred in a few wuxia productions, though none of which I watched. She was the female leads but the roles weren't major. The dramas however, I think, was quite popular.

3. One of Park Haejin's dramas. It's more focused on the female lead though. The title is something like a girl's road to marriage, I can't really remember. I personally, thought it was horrible (the 1st episode anyway).

This is from watching many years of TW and C dramas. I may remember things wrongly though.

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Love Actually, is not a flop, it was among top 5 rating during the airing time. I followed the rating data because I'm Joe's fan. It was stated clearly in Love Actually baidu forum.

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The show was heavily criticized by netizens for bad plot and horrible acting. The reason why I thought it was a flop was because I actually watched the 1st episode and gave up after that. I didn't hear it being discussed much also. Of course, it could have done very well ratings-wise, so I'm sorry for saying that. But top 5 at airing time is not great anyway. The thing is, if you ask the Chinese which Cdrama LDH acted in, none of them will be able to say it was Love Actually.

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The Chinese drama Endless Love / Stealing Hearts with Cha In Pyo was also good but I'm not sure whether it was popular back then. It was showed in my country quite long time ago.

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I've... never heard of it. The only drama I watched Cha In-pyo in was the one with the four constables. And I remember thinking that the show was weird because all of them had weird hair. And CIP's hair looked like he just tied it up instead of wearing a wig, which is about as weird as it can get really.

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And the only Chinese drama with Cha In Pyo I have watched was Endless Love (http://wiki.d-addicts.com/Endless_Love). It took me by surprise since I did not know that he was doing Chinese drama. And it was pleasant that he did not look awkward at all in a Chinese drama.

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Unless Korean production has better working condition and better $$$ for the Korean actors, I believe fewer and fewer would go to China (except Idols who cant act)

It's disheartening to read news of your favorite Korean actors are not getting paid, broke their bones, nearly got killed or in an accident or getting some IV poked into their arms due exhaustion etc etc..

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Note : "Idols who cant act" is referring to those who REALLY can't act.. I love my idols who can act :)

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I would say, go to China by any means if the opportunity arises, people. This also extends to entertainers in other regions that are notorious for overworking their artistes eg. HK TVB actors and actresses.

As a viewer, I find it irresponsible and selfish to expect our favourite actors and actresses to stay put in their home grounds for the sake of better quality productions, knowing the excruciating conditions that they are subject to. Would you yourself stay put in a job that pays you peanuts and overworks you, knowing that there are better offers out there?

It's true that the productions that the Korean artistes star in may not be that good, but given time, that may change, if they invest time and effort into understanding their new environment and making better contacts. After all, the other side also have to assess how you fare as a working partner versus their own local talent. Notable examples who made a success out of starring in great China productions are Ada Choi from HK and Nicky Wu from TW.

And maybe back home, the Korean networks and TVB will be forced to change their practices if they keep losing talent to China...

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*And maybe back home, the Korean networks and TVB will be forced to change their practices if they keep losing talent to China…*

THIS.

By all means, they should go. And then when koreans lose their biggest stars, maybe the production companies will get their act together and start treating them as human beings. In the long run it would mean better dramas with better stories and consistent acting.

One can dream :P

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Wow, I just googled Aarif Rahman and he's HOT.

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HE IS, gosh. Apparently he's dating Fan Bing Bing. If it's true, I don't know who's more lucky. Such gorgeous people.

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aarif rahman seems like indonesian name

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I found out his father is mixed Malay / Chinese/ Arab while his mother is pure Chinese, that's some nice mix, anyway if he is really dating Fan Bing Bing than I have to say he's the lucky one to capture the heart of a top star like her.

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awwww the Do-Sol kiss was ad-libbed?!!! Thank you, Yoon Hyun-min, I might have had permanent poutface if I never got to see them kiss, Kim Seul-gi has always been awesome no matter which actor she's paired with but I love that she's getting love lines now.

And while it sucks that I won't get to see the play, I am THRILLED to hear that one of my faves - Gong Hyo-jin - is working with one of my other faves (Kang Hye-jung. Seriously, I wish she'd come to dramaland sometime soon too)

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Sweet Secret sounds good. Its been a while since ive watched a daily. Angel's Revenge was my last. Hoping KBS will upload it to youtube as they do their other dailies

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Get it Wang Li Kun! She has some good movies coming out next (shamelessly waiting for SOWK with Kris)

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While Chinese dramas or movies ahrent as great their conditions that is offered to the artists are soooooo much better. There is less hours on set, scripts or already completed, the dramas are not live recorded and are fully completed for a later date release and mostly better pay and freedom to act. The artists are not locked into a contract to stay and film to one particular network. Basically the working conditions are so much better thats why many famous Korean, Tawainese, Hong Kong and even Japanese artists head over there
But the out come of these dramas arent as good all eps are dub, scripts arent as good but who cares its good and fast money. One drama pay there would be equivalent to maybe 2/3 dramas filmed in their own countries. Hope that makes sense why so many are leaving

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Korean production should learn from the Chinese... that way their actors wont get "stolen"

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I rarely watch Chinese movies and dramas unless they're good (with recommendation from Koala and Teadrama)... cos some are mostly are bad or catered for guys audience or recycled/remakes from old HK dramas/new K-dramas

For something fresh and different, I prefer US TV Series and Jdorama, for rom-com, I prefer K-dramas, for wuxia, I prefer Chinese

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I prefer Chinese wuxia dramas too. They have a bigger budget and the actions scenes (I think) are a lot more polished. Wuxia dramas based on wuxia novels usually have a pretty decent plot as well. They just make Korean sagueks look shabby.

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Chinese (and in my opinion, previously HK) wuxia make Korean sageuk look shabby -> my thought, exactly! :)
no offence to the sageuk, but i rarely could find a good one. I love wuxia since i was little, so maybe the long experience has put my standard so high, haha..

on the effort of reducing my rants, i stick with this grouping (in the order of favouritism as well )

wuxia: chinese (now), HK (mainly 4-5 yrs ago)
mystery/detective and slice of life: j-dorama
romcom: korea

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Korean sagueks have less action and focused too much on politics which I tend to skip over those parts. I prefer Chinese wuxia over Korean sagueks.

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Kim Bum...interesting. It seems like he somehow has a bad reputation in the Korean drama industry which is why he hasn't been able to make it to lead actor status there, but glad he's able to get one in China.

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What's his bad rep? I haven't seen anything bad he did.

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I heard he's known for his bad attitude or something. But don't quote me on that. I know he wasn't taken as someone being the 'same level' as MGY when they dated. But maybe that's just in terms of success they've had individually...

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Yeah I also heard some rumours about Kim Bum's attitude problems but I don't know if it's true or not, anyway he's quite popular in most asian countries even though he mostly known for playing second leads, part of that has to do with his role in 'Boys Over Flowers' and also it helps that he has a handsome face, he has played male lead before in a drama called ' The Woman Who Wants To Marry' but sadly that drama tanked out in the ratings, since then I haven't seen him play male lead roles again, his last drama with MGY was also a flop, so it's a very good news for him to get a lead role in a Chinese movie, he's still young so he still has a chance to turn around his career.

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Did not know The Woman Who Wants To Marry did not do well. I liked it and laughed a lot at parts.

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I want to see that play. Love Gong Hyo Jin and Kang Hye Jung!!

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Do any of you remember when Maids was the name of a drama they had to change? it offended the domestic workers.
Is it the same word, or a different one?

http://www.dramabeans.com/2011/04/maids-changes-its-name-to/

So maids ended being Romance Town, though it should be been Greed.

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I should have linked this one, too:

http://www.dramabeans.com/2011/03/maids-deliberates-over-name-change/

OMG YY and I were having a ball. I miss her.

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I remember. I am comment 31 there.
I busted up laughing on YY's Chlorox Love suggestion when I read it.

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Greed all the way... I couldn't finish it despite my love for the whole cast.

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Happy to see Kim Heung Soo land a lead role :)

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My impression is that being an idol or an actor in Korea really sucks. They have grueling schedules that are inhumanly long and exhausting. I'm talking starting your day at 6am, and not finishing with things until past midnight. I'm talking live shoots that goes on till the wee hours of the morning. No time to sleep, no time to eat. They work like machines. Hence you hear so many stories of actors or singers collapsing from fatigue. That's unheard-of here in the US (OUR celebrities mainly collapse from hangovers or overdoses). Anyway, considering how hard they have to work, their pay is disproportionally low (since a lot of the money they earn go to their management and agency), so I totally understand why so many kpop stars and actors want to seek greener pastures in China.

The problem, imo, isn't the actors who are leaving, or the Chinese companies that want to recruit them, it's the Korean companies that treat their stars poorly and make them not want to stay. These companies need to reform or they'll keep losing actors and singers to China.

On another note... if China is already importing Korean actors, they might as well import some Korean writers, too, to help out with the script because honestly, Chinese dramas suck balls when it comes to the writing... and having a few good actors aint gonna make up for a bad script.

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