Main writer behind The King Loves revealed to be Song Ji-nah
Huh. Interesting development for MBC’s The King Loves: It has been announced that writer Song Ji-nah is the main screenwriter behind the upcoming melo sageuk starring Im Shi-wan (Misaeng), Yoon-ah (The K2), and Hong Jong-hyun (Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo). This show has been curiously unforthcoming with regards to promos, especially given that it’s due to premiere in less than a month, so while I welcome the update, I have to admit this news has me both happy and really confused.
On the one hand, I’m thrilled to hear that Song Ji-nah is returning to dramaland through The King Loves, because she’s behind some of my all-time favorites (Healer, Story of a Man), and this won’t be her first sageuk (Faith, Legend, Great Ambition). And although Faith and Legend had a decidedly fantastical element that The King Loves won’t, she’s no stranger to exploring beyond the genres of her previous credits, having done everything from campus dramas, like What’s Up and KAIST, to action-thrillers, and historical dramas across the time spectrum. So, I have faith (hur) that she’ll deliver a smart, fast-paced, heart-wrenching story in The King Loves, of a bromance destroyed by a Goryeo crown prince and his best friend falling in love with the same girl.
On the flip side, this news is so weirdly timed: Shoots for the fully pre-produced show have already wrapped up this month, and they only just announced Song Ji-nah’s involvement. The writing team for The King Loves was unusual in and of itself in that it’s credited to a company of writers called Airborne. From what I gather, the story is that Airborne is made up of Song Ji-nah’s mentees, and she was initially only going to participate in an advisory role, like a creative director of sorts. However, due to the complexity of the plot and characters, Song Ji-nah got more and more involved in the writing process and essentially became the lead writer, though they’re still undecided as to whether they will change the writing credits to include her name.
So, it does seem like this development wasn’t planned from the beginning, but I can’t understand why the show’s producers wouldn’t have capitalized on this news before: Song Ji-nah is considered a star writer in Korea, and while many of her recent projects haven’t been unqualified hits ratings-wise, she’s still widely admired and respected for her ’90s mega-hits Eyes of Dawn and Sandglass, both of which remain two of the highest-rated dramas ever. I certainly hope that the drama itself won’t reflect its poor promo game, since I’m excited to see Im Shi-wan take on the dark, ambitious lead role of Wang Won, and it doesn’t hurt that the real-life figure he’ll portray led a pretty fascinating life (among other things, his maternal grandfather was Kublai Khan).
MBC’s The King Loves is due to follow Lookout in the Monday-Tuesday slot, and will premiere in July. *Prays* Pleasebegoodpleasebegoodpleasebegood…
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Tags: The King Loves