Min-ho, Do Ji-han join the Silla flower boy ranks in Hwarang
When your drama centers around an elite group of warriors famous for being as beautiful as they were skilled, we can pretty much expect an explosion of flower boys in the cast. Metaphorically, that is. I like my flower boys in one piece.
Hwarang: The Beginning got off to a solid start by casting Park Seo-joon (She Was Pretty) and Park Hyung-shik (High Society) in lead roles as two of the Hwarang soldiers (plus Go Ara as the leading lady), and now has confirmed adding both SHINee’s Min-ho (Because It’s the First Time) and Do Ji-han (Basketball) in supporting roles.
Set in the Three Kingdoms era, the drama takes place in the 6th century and depicts the lives, loves, and growth stories of these young men. Basically, Flower Boy Goes Sageuk. And that’s not just being glib; its youthful pretty-boys-coming-of-age angle is a hallmark of its producers, the Oh Boy Project, which did the Flower Boy franchise on tvN: Flower Boy Ramyun Shop, Shut Up: Flower Boy Band, and Flower Boy Next Door. Given how I loved all those shows — the names can sound rather shallow but the dramas have had their share of substance and emotion — I’m hoping the pattern continues with this one.
Park Seo-joon plays a man who rises from his low birth and becomes a legendary warrior, while Park Hyung-shik will play King Jinheung, who keeps his identity hidden and joins the Hwarang, transforming from weak young man to strong ruler. Min-ho has been cast to play an aristocratic young man described as an optimist who brims with confidence and overcomes obstacles cleverly. He’s chivalrous, skilled with the sword, a natural leader and all-around perfect. Do Ji-han will play a young man “with good looks” (which, duh) and outstanding intellect. Probably the quiet one then, which suits his image.
Both actors have been alternately promising and outright bad, depending on the role, but I have hope (because one must always have hope) that their trajectories will follow an upward curve. I might’ve written off Min-ho after his first several dramas, but I did find him cute and charming in the coming-of-age cable drama Because It’s the First Time, and while Do Ji-han seemed like he might break out when he landed the lead in Basketball, the drama then aired and killed those hopes. He was pretty green then, but I think he’ll do better as a small part of an ensemble than headlining a sinking production.
Hwarang: The Beginning is still awaiting a timeslot, but it does plan to be entirely pre-produced. It’s looking at a premiere in the latter half of the year, to air on KBS.
- Hwarang confirms cast, secures summer broadcast on KBS
- Park Seo-joon, Go Ara, Park Hyung-shik courted for historical drama
- Character teasers for youth drama Because It’s the First Time
- I Need Romance writer, director reteam for cable youth romance
- Basketball: Episode 1
- Cameos and character posters for tvN’s Basketball
- Cuteness behind the scenes of Medical Top Team