Drama Casting & News
Betrayal, conspiracy, and bickering partners in melodrama Monster
by | March 21, 2016 | 25 Comments

You know, if only Monster weren’t a 50-episode drama, I’d probably be all revved up and rarin’ to go — the second teaser is out, and it looks intense and full of angsty performances. (Note: On desktop, the video player autoplays, so turn your sound down or get ready to hit pause if you don’t want it to play. Apologies for the annoyance — MBC has been oddly restrictive about access to its Monster videos, and this was the only one I could find.)

I wouldn’t say that the length is enough to kill my interest, but it does make it feel like a daunting undertaking and an extra commitment. Although I suppose that this writer pair — Giant, History of a Salaryman, Incarnation of Money, Empress Ki — is used to sprawling epic stories that unfold over time and involve lots of characters.

The drama’s also released a couple new posters, and the tagline in the one featuring both leads, Kang Ji-hwan and Sung Yuri, reads, “A fateful beginning, a love that couldn’t be protected.” The one below tells us “Cruel reality — become a monster to confront it.” On top of being young lovebirds, the couple gets entangled in the same conspiracy that claims their families and makes them comrades in arms. At least in the immediate aftermath; it looks like their lives will take differing paths that keeps them apart until they meet again as adults, when he’ll have a new name and identity.

The new teaser gives us a glimpse into the backstory that sets up the central conflict of Kang Ji-hwan losing everything and coming back full of rage and vengeful intentions against those who wronged him. The preview mostly features Lee Ki-kwang playing the hero’s younger self, back when he was part of a large chaebol family; we see him wearing a prison jumpsuit and being told by a sly-looking Jung Bo-seok to trust in him, his uncle and only relative. Of course, that uncle is soon issuing orders and cackling villainously while the caption reads, “A greedy deal.” (Jung Bo-seok does play deliciously evil villains, so I’ll be looking forward to hating him violently.)

Then Lee Ki-kwang is surprised in the middle of the night, and he says in a frightened tone that he’s afraid his aunt will kill him. The caption reads, “Don’t trust anybody.” Someone asks, “Are you going to pay someone to do it?” Bae Jong-ok, the aunt, says, “I must find out what you’re plotting.”

Then Lee Ki-kwang climbs on the railing of a bridge, and his uncle says encouragingly, “Try jumping. You won’t die.” The teaser ends on one of the drama’s taglines: “Cruel reality — become a monster to confront it.”

I did prefer the former title Tyrant to Monster, but I can see why the production may have wanted to change it; the descriptions have used the word tyrant to refer to chief antagonist Park Ki-woong, a chaebol outcast who finds his way back into the fold and turns cold and cruel. Meanwhile, monster refers to the hero’s identity, and it feels more appropriate to make the title about our progagonist than his enemy.

Speaking of whom, the drama is clear about Kang Ji-hwan and Park Ki-woong playing rivals, but it looks like we’ll get lighter moments with them too, judging from the stills featuring them dressed in touristy Hawaiian shirts and looking like bad spies together. In the scene pictured, both characters are given a mission to undertake in order to join the chaebol corporation Dodo Group, and they’ll have a bickering chemistry. Aw, do they have to be enemies? They look so cute together. Who needs revenge when you could have each other?

Monster will premiere on March 28 as MBC’s next Monday-Tuesday drama.

Via iMBC, TV Daily


25 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Evelyn Lee

    I was reading “Note: On desktop, the video player autoplays –” and then a sound came on randomly.

    Thank you for the notice otherwise i wouldn’t know where it come from, hahaha.

  2. Kiara

    Watching this for Jung Bo-seok.

    • 2.1 juniper

      Amen. I just hope the role is up there with Jo Pil-yeon lol–if it is I’ll be sitting on the fence, wanting him to get what he deserves and wanting all his evil plans to succeed lol. Fingers crossed this will be good! Or entertaining at least 🙂

      • 2.1.1 Kiara

        My interest in this show depends on him and his character.

        • juniper

          They usually write pretty good villains, even if other aspects of their shows don’t always come together. I’ll probably stick with it until the adult section before I make up my mind whether to watch or not, but he’s pretty much the only reason I’m getting excited for this.

  3. mary

    I thought Park Ki-woong looks manly enough but in that pic with the suits, he looks like a kid beside Kang Ji-hwan. (Was it the bowtie?)

    I hope this is a good drama, they’ve both been gone from our screens for too long.

  4. CR

    I have such a hard time watching the really long dramas that do a time skip between young actors and adults. I fall in love with the young actors and don’t want to see them go.

  5. chasen8888

    Now I’m definitely watching this; apart from Kang Ji Hwan and the main leads. You have the past alumni from Giant my favorite saga – Jung Bo-seok is so good at being evil, just love to hate him. However, I’m somewhat concerned about the subbing crew – who is doing it? As well as the fact that I do not recall Kang Ji Hwan ever doing a 50 episode drama – wish him luck because its going to be exhausting.

    • 5.1 Subject

      Kang Ji Hwan did play in a daily drama 11 years ago – Be Strong, Geum-Soon! (163 episodes!) but I don’t remember much of it.
      Anyway, I’m going to watch it. I almost loved everything that Jang Young-Cheol wrote including the masterpeice “Giant” and the hillarious “History of the salaryman”. I was bit surprised to see that he’s going to write solo this time, without his wife. Hope for good.

      • 5.1.1 Kiara

        I noticed that his wife’s name is missing. Director Lee Chang-Min is not part of this show either :(.

      • 5.1.2 no name #6

        Not sure where you both got your info, but both writers are definitely listed on the official site. They are still working together. 🙂

        • Kiara

          Asianwiki :(. Should’ve checked Dramawiki first.

  6. Kaylie

    Why does Lee Ki Kwang look identical to Kim Young Kwang. O.O Am I the only one who thinks so?

  7. Cafe

    I don’t know what to do!!!! I like the revenge premise, it seems more dark-ish and dramatic than GMB.

    And if it comes from the teams behind Empress Ki, Salaryman, etc (who did a pretty nice work, perhaps dragging up a bit some things, but with all the dramatic effect on it) BUT, Monster has 50 episodes!! 50!!!!!!!!!!

    On the other hand, KKW in GMB is AWESOME, and I want to whatch it only for him!

    The sad thing, it’s that I have no time, so it’s time to pick one revenge drama and go full ride.

  8. kuromitsu

    I really wanted these two to have a happy ending after the mess that was Hong Gil-Dong’s ending, but since this is a 50 episode revenge drama, I’ll have to pass.

  9. Sera

    The return of King of Villains. Yuhuu..

    Anyway, it is too late, but if (I say if..) the cast of GMB are being casted for Monster I think it could be more interesting. So far not really interested on the castings of this drama aside from the supporting characters, but will see how it goes first.

  10. 10 whitewire

    Watching this for 3 main elements:
    1. Giant
    2. Jung Bo-seok (Jo Pil-yeon in Giant)
    3. Lee Duk-hwa (Hwang Tae-seop in Giant)

    Esp. Jung Bo-seok ♥

  11. 11 whitewire

    Giant writer? Hmm, is this the same drama which initially casted Seo Kang-joon as the main lead? That one did not have “Monster” as its working title.

    I’m so confused. Pls enlighten me.

    • 11.1 whitewire

      And TYRANT is a better title than Monster. So I am guessing that it’s the same drama. Nevertheless, I’m thrilled because of Jung Bo-seok — the great despicable, evil, cruel villain Jo Pil-yeon of Giant. He looks so hot.

      • 11.1.1 Sera

        and yes Jung Bo Seok is the legendary villain. He looks hotter with that hair.

    • 11.2 Sera

      The title of this drama originally was Tyrant then changed to Monster. And yes SKJ was initially casted together with Hwang Jung Eum. The same drama from the same writer.

      Like you I am excited for Jung Bo Seok & Lee Duk Hwa. I am confident on the writer but tbh not really confident on the main leads, but gonna give chance for them.

  12. 12 row.an

    wow. i almost didn’t recognize kikwang.

  13. 13 anduril

    I couldn’t truly pay attention to the trailer. I kept thinking, “Oh no! The INCEPTION bwaaaaaaa sound has even infiltrated kdrama!”

  14. 14 okdubu

    man – kang jihwan and park kiwoong in a drama together DOES sound interesting. but the plot and length, not so much. any chance the two will become bros?? frenemies?

  15. 15 jadwaltelevisi.com

    Another pair play is also very fitting biting is Kang Ji-hwan and Yoo Seong-ri. Both had played together in a drama, the “Hong Gil Dong” in 2008.

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