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Hong Jong-hyun up to rival Im Shi-wan in The King Loves


Hong Jong-hyun, Park Hwan-hee

It’s been a while since the upcoming sageuk The King Loves was first announced, but there’s finally some new movement on the casting front. Hong Jong-hyun (Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo) has been offered the second lead role in the main love triangle opposite Im Shi-wan (Misaeng) and Yoon-ah (The K2), who are already confirmed. I actually started to think better of Hong Jong-hyun as an actor the minute he went full evil in Moon Lovers, so maybe he’ll continue to improve and get away from the bland roles he’s done up until then. You know what, I’ll just be happy if he gets a new stylist who doesn’t give him wet rat Goryeo hair.

The fully pre-produced sageuk is set in Goryeo and tells the tragic story of two best friends and the beautiful woman they both love. Im Shi-wan stars as a crown prince who becomes future King Chungseon, while Hong Jong-hyun and Yoon-ah will play fictional characters in the retelling of his life story. The crown prince is an antihero whose virtuous outward appearance hides his snakelike twisted thirst for power. He’s beautiful and eloquent, and especially gifted at bringing people to his side. Yoon-ah plays the daughter of the wealthiest man in the nation, a man of royal descent who will stop at nothing to become richer. She’s described as the Goryeo-era Scarlett O’Hara, who will be loved so fiercely by two men that she will bring about their ruin.

Hong Jong-hyun is up to play an elegant, refined young man of royal lineage who loses everything to his best friend, the crown prince. The one thing he realizes that he can have that the prince can’t is the love of one woman, and he’ll become a tragic figure who destroys a friendship for love. Well, to be fair, I think they’re all going to be complicit in the tragedy and the destruction.

Park Hwan-hee (Jealousy Incarnate, Descended From the Sun) has been cast in an unspecified supporting role, and child actor Yoon Chan-young (young Yoo Yeon-seok in Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim, young Byun Yo-han in Six Flying Dragons, young Lee Dong-wook in Bubblegum) has just joined the cast as Hong Jong-hyun’s younger counterpart in the early episodes. Nam Da-reum (The Lonely Shining Goblin, Memory, Six Flying Dragons) is set to play young Im Shi-wan, and Lee Seo-yeon (The World of Us) will play young Yoon-ah.

The King Loves begins shooting this month with the child actors, and is currently in talks to air on MBC in 2017.


Yoon Chan-young

Via IS Plus, Xports News

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WANG WON REINCARNATES INTO RIN HAHAHA? i love Hong Jong Hyun?

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Wang Yo ?

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Hong Jong-hyun and Goryeo and preproduced *much reminding of ML heartache*
But seriously can't wait for Im Shi-wan's comeback. I know already that I will be tuning in. Let's keep our fingers crossed that this show will be good.

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Me too. I hope Byun Yo- han is put to good use. He was under used in six flying dragons in my opinion

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BYH isn't in this, btw.

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I too appreciate him more after his role in ML, hopefully this will be better produced and he'll continue to do well. From what I've read about the novel the main romance is actually between him and Yoona, I'm looking forward to it.

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This sounds great. But is anyone else just a little bit...a LOT bit... worried that this is way more drama than this young cast can handle? Im Shi Wan was very good in Misaeng, sure, but he didn't carry it - not even close. And his character wasn't supposed to be particularly emotive or passionate, etc... Point is, I never felt like he was asked to do a whole lot for long stretches. Sure, he had moments, but it wasn't sustained because the great Lee Sung Min was there to carry the heavy baggage, plus he had a great cast of other young actors with him. OH, and fantastic writing and directing.

I don't really think he can hold his own if the writing and directing are not just perfect - he's not Lee Joon-gi, able to rise above the mud.

And Hong Jong Hyun, I think similarly. I mean, maybe he will surprise me based on some of his final scenes in MLSHR? I don't know. Fingers crossed, because I like all these kids, I just don't know if they are ready for this.

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i believe both Im Siwan and Hong Jong Hyun are "up to it" -- they are both excellent actors for their young ages.

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altho... Yoona...

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I doubt she can handle a sageuk or match Im Siwan but it could be worse. I still wish they'd got someone better, though.

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Honestly she's not /that/ bad? it's not like she's that under-qualified compared to her costars here lol. but moreover knowing this kind of plot, its most likely her character wont get much to do or given much personality beyond being pretty, somewhat cunning and the object to be fought over by the leads. so like, not exactly the most demanding of roles.

a stronger actress could have done more with very little but seeing a great actress wasted in a one-note role is the worst tbh. i mean the role might be way better written than i suspect but im deeply skeptical about it lol. Yoona wouldnt have been my first choice regardless but it's not like they couldnt have done worse. cuz they def could have lol.

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Im Siwan, I'm not so nervous about - he's done ok even when faced with a terrible script and unsympathetic character *coughTrianglecough*.

Hong Jong-hyun, though, I really appreciate how he stepped it up in Scarlet Heart - especially in his later episodes of full crazy, BUT I'm glad he's sticking to second lead. I don't think he is up to lead roles, and would like proof that SH was not a one-off first.

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Im Shi Wan is OK, but I do think he needs a good partner, who probably has sageuk experience. I always in the opinion for Sageuk drama, at least one of the main leads should has some experience in sageuk. Maybe someone like Baek Jin Hee (too bad she is busy with another drama at the moment).

Hong Jong Hyun is OK too, but yes let's him stick to secondary roles for now. Rather than be the first lead and give us disappointment on his acting, better do secondary / suppprting role and surprise us.

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I would have loved a Baek Jin-hee reunion, they had great chemistry in Triangle and she has the gravitas to hold a sageuk screen.

Missing 9 looks like a bit of a mess too, pre-emptively speaking - I wish she got more interesting projects.

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Missing 9 actually looks like one of the most intriguing upcoming dramas to me, especially with the Police Unit 38 writer now on board. So, despite the backstage mess, I'm glad she took the project. I think I may be looking more forward to that than this, surprisingly.

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@pogo Missing 9 is something I'm looking forward to actually. But wish BJH next project will be a sageuk and of course meatier role. I don't mind if she wants to do one more villain role.

@Chandler same goes with me. But part of me want her to back to sageuk, maybe after this project..

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They are all in their late 20s how are they particularly young? Siwan is 28 , Yoona and Jonghyun are 26.

If anything this is much better and mature casting for this type of story than Master of The Mask with Yoo Seung Ho having 23,L having 24 and Kim So Hyun having freaking 17.

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I think what @alienshore7 meant was if these casts can handle this sageuk, since it sounds a heavy, not merely romance sageuk (like Moonlights) and these three have no / less experience in sageuk, and on top of that their acting skill are arguable.

It is not about being young generally, and about Yoo Seung Ho and Kim So Hyun, despite of them being younger, their acting skills are way better and they got experiences including sageuk.

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BTW they are still considered young since not even reach 30 yet. I am still considering them as young actors.

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@Sera The Ms Temper, thank you so much. Yes, that's mostly what I meant for sure. All 3 leads are still relatively inexperienced in sageuk AND the men are still a bit inexperienced as leads. Yoo Seung Ho and Kim So Hyun have A LOT of experience in sageuk and even as leads by comparison, despite being younger. And they are more proven commodities.

Although, to be frank, when I said "young" I meant that too since I am nearly 40. They are all kids to me.

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they're all in their mid 20's afaik and if it were up to me i woulda cast actors in their 30's instead. i even have names for who i'd liked to have seen in the drama but eh doesnt matter now lol. i'm only 27 myself but very few of the 20 year olds active in k-ent at the moment have ever really blown me away. the closest to come to it was kang ha neul tbh. but his drama roles dont show much of his actual talent the way his movie roles have. but even so i wouldnt have cast him here as a first choice (i'd def pick him over siwan or jonghyun tho lol)

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26 is still mid 20's but moving on the facts are Siwan and Yoona have zero experience in sageuks. and this isnt a cute fusion or fantasy sageuk they are being given here. it's not baby's first sageuk. i'm not saying they'll be AWFUL but its completely reasonable to have doubts tbh. i've had doubts since hearing siwan was the lead let alone yoona and hjh. and i dont think any of them are bad actors. but there's a wide range between bad and great. and i feel like for this type of story older and more experienced actors would have been preferable. yoona and siwan are idols (or ex idol i guess in siwan's case) and hjh was a model not that long ago so like...idt OP is being unfair here

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Im Siwan was in Moon embracing the Sun. He was a played the younger version of the female lead's brother. And IMO he was able to deliver a good job. Even if it's was short, it's still a sageuk.

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I have good impression on Hong Jong Hyun over his portrayal of the mad king in Moon Lovers. But you sure have the point here. The fact is that HJH performed better and stepped up his game the moment he was given more screentimes and one and one scenes with Lee Jun Ki. And LJK has the tendency to make his male co-stars (I am saying male because god knows IU was so pretty tame) perform better. I don't know much about Im Shi Wan but I am so looking forward to what more HJH could offer.

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Thank gad someone said it haha. I will still watch but I'm with you, this cast lacks experience and skill for what sounds like a very heavy and emotionally complex drama. this is weird casting all around. i know people are already ready to call Yoona the weakest link but tbh her role is prob the least demanding anyway and imo she's not that much "worse" than jonghyun or siwan.

i liked jonghyun in white christmas and moon lovers and i thought siwan did p well in misaeng but you are correct taht neither has ever had to carry a huge role or drama themselves and apparently their relationship is at the center here.....I dont have high expectations as a result
it's too bad cuz otherwise this is exactly the kind of stuff im about haha.
but yeah i plan to check it out regardless, i think they will all be better than they've been in the past but will they be good ENOUGH ehhhh...jury's still out lol.

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You are correct that Misaeng was on Lee Sung Min's shoulders, but I think it must have been a wonderful school for any talented young actor. And talented he is. It's not easy to play a reserved, shy person, who boils inside, yet he did the "reserved" part while making you guess all the turmoil this exterior was hiding. That's very difficult. (See for instance in Bride of the Water God: the lead is supposed to be aloof and kingly, and he just comes across as wooden.)
After Misaeng he also did a film playing a villain, and now this. The writer is the same one who penned "Faith", which had its flaws, but all-in-all was a well-written and very enjoyable drama, so I'm hopeful that she'll do a good job.
Most of all, Im Siwan seems to be a very intelligent and hard-working person, a thinking person. So whatever talent he has, I'm sure he's working hard at cultivating in the best way possible. I've seen 3 episodes of The King Loves and so far he is doing very well in both the innocence and the shrewdness of the young prince. Hong Jong Hyun? Wherever I've seen him, he sucked. I didn't see Moon Lovers, though, and people say he was much better there. I hope he was, I wish well all young artists. So far he has failed to impress me in The King Loves but it's still early. Yoona is no better and no worse than all the other young actresses. If I didn't know she is also an idol, I wouldn't have guessed. After all why a model turned actor (Lee Yeong Suk) is OK and an idol turned actor is not? If anything, an idol has to do more "acting" and interpretation of feelings with their face, voice and body language for their songs and music videos. and knows more about show business than a model who has to be mostly impassive and look cool while presenting clothes. I'm not bashing models, just saying that idols have more affinity to acting. So let's give them a chance. There are "actors only" who cannot act, and there are idols who have turned out to be very good actors. What I'm saying is to look at the end result, without prejudice.

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Park Hwan Hee seems to be going places. Good for her! It pays to act in the right drama. She was a rookie actress who starred in DOTS, and she's gotten more parts since then in UF and JI. Wishing her the best as she builds up her career.

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I hope she has a very good role in this drama. Sometimes supporting role can be a scene stealer, and under some circumstances can outshine the main lead.

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I really like the story, i read the source material and if they have a good screenwriter to adopt this it will be a good drama.

I think Siwan ,Yoona and Jong Hyun will visually be a perfect match, lets see how they do acting vise.

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OMG Yoon Chan Young and Hong Jong Hyun reunion after Mama!! Sad they won't share the same screen as YCY will play HJH's younger character.
Good luck to the production team! Hope whatever happens to the drama it will better than Moon Lovers.

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I know right. I liked this boy in Mama, and hope we will get to see him more. He's like a grown up boy already when I saw him as young Yo Yeon Seok in Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim recently.

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No Yoon-ah no please! After K2, I have lost my faith in her as an actress and not in a saeguk!

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I second this sentiment. The K2 completely ruined any chances that I would like her again. She was the downfall of that show. I can only hope the writing and directing are better as to illicit a much better performance from her.

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She was fine in The K2 ,she did the best with what she was given . The writing of her character was awful, even Yoona said in the interview Anna was supposed to have a true revenge arc in the story but writer made the changes last minute and made her into this typical suffering heroine.

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I'm curious why the writer made a last minute changes to her character, though.

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Writer made changes to all the character but Yoojin. After drama ended all the main actors, from JCW to Yoona to Cho Seung Ha ,slammed the writer for changing the original story line. She only bothered with Song Yoonas character and it was obvious. Don't get me wrong, Song Yoona gave an amazing performance but part of that was that her character was much better written than the rest.

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Really? Honestly I didn't care about what happened to the rest of the casts since that drama was quite a mess and just care about Yoo Jin only.

If I were the writer, if I need the reason to change Yoona's character last minute is because I don't completely trust her ability to do more than typical suffering heroine. Too bad for Ji Chang Wook's role btw.

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BTW, the writer is a 'he'. And I was perplexed what was the original storyline supposed to be, because aside from Anna's character, I think the plot delivered as what per their synopsis.

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@Sera The Ms Temper: So you are saying that neither Ji Chang-wook, Cho Seung-ha and Lee Jung-jin were capable of more? Because their characters where flattened last minute as well. They all said it in their post-drama interviews that their characters were not development beyond a certain stage.

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Weirdly enough they did the same thing to Sooyoung character in 38Taskforce. Sunghee was suppose to go darkside, but the reduced her to a guest appearance.

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Hope this will be the dark, bloody, complex AND coherent drama i wanted Scarlet Heart to be!

The character descriptions all sound intriguing, especialy the King and the Female Lead. She doesn't sound like a righteous, precious Snow White(read: bland glib idiot). I love messy period affairs.

Since the protagonist is an antihero, does that make HJH character more like the first Male Lead( in character, i mean)? It wasn't specified whether he's evil or not.

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If they stick to original novel, Rin (HJH) and San (Yoona) fall in love and Rin is the hero of the story who gets the girl in the end. Won( Siwan) is the antihero who wants to make San fall for him by force but he also has sentiments for Rin as well. I doubt they will leave his bisexuality in the drama, cause there are only hints of that in the novel and we know how Korean are with sexuality in general.

The role Park Hwan Hee is up for is Dan who is Rins sister and first wife of Won.

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I would love it to bits if they did the bisexual angle, where the lead would want to destroy the couple because he wants both of them. It would make it all the more melodramatic. :)

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Wow, @liki, it sounds so complicated and tangled up, though I'm spoiler averse, so I skimmed through your post.

I don't think they'd ever make any character bisexual which is sad because it could make everything even more messy, a la Frozen Flower. They could make it implied though, like Gwi and Scholar-nim in SWWTN, just more stronger chemistry. Now this has got me thinking' has there been a drama where the male leads had a strong chemistry that verged on homoerotic? I know there are, but I'm coming up short.

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So it seems you have read the novel? Because somebody did a very detailed synopsis here http://kkul-jaem.blogspot.gr/2017/01/yoona-im-siwan-and-hong-jong-hyun.html, and there was deep friendship but no homosexual hints in it. Maybe the recapper didn't get them? Or some people are quick to label every deep friendship as sexual? I cannot say, since I haven't read it firsthand.

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Weakest cast for a sageuk. Good luck!

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Lol @Kiara, the brevity of your comment made me laugh, especialy since I know you have plenty of thoughts on sageuk!

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I have actually seen Yoona in her Chinese project, please don't roll eyes but yeah I deserve it. Saguek is probably not a good idea for her. I like her but a bit more work and then do one perhaps.

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I have seen that drama too (although not finish it) but isn't her role kinda of candy type too?

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Candy with awful dubbing and lack of movement of proper facial muscles to emote, trust me, it wasn't good. Wasn't a train-wreck but not good either.

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Lol, the Six Flying Dragons reunion between the younger cast is probably the most promising news here.

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Goryeo-era Scarlett O'Hara? Including Scarlett's bitchiness and everything?!

Unlikely, especially given that it's Yoona in the role, but one can hope...

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lol, if only they'd make her extra snarky but charming and seductive.

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Seriously, I think Nam Da Reum and Yoon Chan Young is one all the time.

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thought

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same here

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That Nam Da Reum has been in a lot of product lately. I was really impress about him in entourage.

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Hope this won't lead to him being cast as the "sageuk bad guy" from now on. Though I agree that it did help him shine in SH:R.

Yoona isn't the worst idol actress they could've chosen...but she does come off kind of...hollow(?), I guess, on screen. Not very compelling.

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lol jealousy incarnate in a sageuk?! :D

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My thought exactly!

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LOL, girlfriday!

I actually started to think better of Hong Jong-hyun as an actor the minute he went full evil in Moon Lovers, so maybe he’ll continue to improve and get away from the bland roles he’s done up until then. You know what, I’ll just be happy if he gets a new stylist who doesn’t give him wet rat Goryeo hair.

I enjoyed his portrayal of the devious Wang-Yo, and welcome another turn in a sageuk. In fact, I'm overjoyed at the prospect of a gat-free mane of glory this time around. I can dream, can't I? ;-)

That said, playing second fiddle sounds like an excellent strategy for HJH to gain more experience, and this time he won't be the baddie we all loved to hate in MOON LOVERS. In addition to his badassery on the way to the Sageuk Cliff, he conveyed believable pathos after it finally set in that Mommy Dearest didn't give a rat's derriere about him other than as a tool in her quest for power.

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I read Nam Da-reum and Yoon Chan-young and squealed! Will probably only watch the episodes they are in!

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I also liked HJH playing evil characte in Moon Lovers.

Planning to watch this for Siwan. And I love NDR!! ^^

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I am rooting for Im Siwan to have a successful show, but I don't think I can take another Sageuk heartbreak. It took me years to get over Bidam/Seondeok. I don't know how long I'll be nursing my wounds from So/Soo, so I'll probably have to pass on this one. But I'll read recaps if DB will do them. Fighting show!

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SoSoo heartbreak is pretty scarring, I'm lurking around the soompi forum for therapy. I haven't been tempted to watch another drama ever since :(

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Nam Da Reum and Yoon Chan Young!
My SFD heart <3

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Hong Jong Hyun did shine in dark roles. hopefully his second time around in a preproduced drama would fare better narratively and has better production

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Agree with you on Hong Jong Hyun. I watched him in 'we got married' and while watching i was thinking, with that stone attitude he can't be an actor, he must be a model ?. Some more, I don't remember watching him in any drama. Only after ML I see him as an actor, a good one?

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Isn't it funny how everyone is slamming Yoona and making assumptions on the story without having read the book?

In the book Wan, Rin and San are childhood friends and even when Wan becomes king for the first time (the book follows the history quite closely and Wan was actually king twice). They stick together and support him. It isn't until San and Rin develop feelings for each other that jealously steps in. However, Wan is not jealous of Rin because he has San but because they share he cannot be part. Wan loves Rin and San equally. It is a love that goes beyond friendship because they are his family. If had to entrust his whole life to someone, it would be San and Rin. It is not a love triangle in a conventional sense since San does not need to decide (her decision is clear from the start.) or is put between to men. However, the friendship breaks when Wan feels betrayed by both of them, Rin and San.

Regarding San: she dresses as boy to save young women from being sold. She is interested in politics and stuff like democracy. She is quite forward thinking but gets herself often into trouble. However, she is kind and cares for the people around her. Sometimes a bit stuck up and bitchy.

And knowing Yoona work ethic which praised by many of her co-actors, she will work her butt of. If you cannot stand her, don't watch it or watch only cuts of it. But don't bitch about bad she is, when you have not even seen her.
None of the co-actors she has worked with needed to talk highly of her, but they did.

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sageuk

Yes, I approve. I just hope they are liberal w/the guyliner, cause dang, it made his eyes so pretty in 'Scarlet Heart'. :is shallow: :don't judge me:

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