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Song Seung-heon and Go Ara for reaper-human romance in OCN thriller Black

For potentially his first cable drama ever, Song Seung-heon (Saimdang, Light’s Diary) is eyeing the upcoming fall OCN thriller Black as his next project, while Go Ara (Hwarang) is also in talks to become the female lead. Black is be about a a grim reaper who borrows the body of a man and ends up falling in love with a human woman. Because this goes against the rules of heaven, he’s punished by having any record of his existence erased such that there’s no trace of him left in the world’s memory.

If he confirms, Song Seung-heon will play the lead character, Han Moo-kang, who has two nicknames: “Grim Reaper of Criminals” and “Man in Black.” Moo-kang was originally a bright, cheerful man with a flamboyant fashion sense, until a secret caused a complete reversal in his life. Now he’s a stoic, blank-faced individual who wears black from head to toe. He’s known for not flinching at the most gruesome of crime scenes and for staying expressionless when faced with gory brutalized corpses.

On the other hand, details on Go Ara’s character have not been released, but I’m assuming she’ll play the human woman that the grim reaper fell in love with. From reading the synopsis, it seems like a mish-mash of 49 Days and the secondary love story in The Lonely Shining Goblin, both of which I enjoyed for the heart-wrenching dilemmas presented in loving a technically immortal/dead spiritual entity. (There’s also a a pinch of Hollywood movie Meet Joe Black in there.)

Just one more reason to watch if you’re into dark mysterious dramas: Black is a collaboration between God’s Gift–14 Days writer Choi Ran and Voice PD Kim Hong-sun, and this pair definitely knows how to play up those excellent thrilling elements.

OCN’s new supernatural crime-thriller Black will premiere this October.

Via DongA Sports

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The premise sounds intresting(the supernatural part at least) but don't know if i can be sooo happy about the cast,esp. Go Ara,she is so-so...

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the story soo promising plus its writer and PD but for the casts I'm gonna think twice or three to watch it.

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Yes! Another fantasy thriller drama is coming out. When you say it is like a mash up of Goblin and 49 days, how can my interest not be piqued. I can't wait especially if it is starring Go Ara and Song Seung Heon.

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Go Ara and Song Seung Heon? Meh. :(

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They actually suit each other. They are both beautiful and......

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HAHAHA I died at your comment and totally agree!

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HaHaHa....that is so on point

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and… umm… and… "interesting"?

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the main reason I don't watch any episode of Saimdang..

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He was quite serviceable in Samidang, but again there was Lee Young Ae who is terrific and some other amazing casts.

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I agreed, the premise sound so interesting. Although, I don't like the casting choice for the female lead but will give this drama a shot. IMO SSH is perfect for this type of role!

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The premise sounds good. The writer and director are good. Song Seung-heon was fabulous in Saimdang... But Go Ara? Please No.....

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I agree. Song Seung-neon definitely better than her. Her facial expressions are so cringeworthy

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Go ara can be decent if the role and script fits her. So hopefully this one will.

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Sound a lot like Meet Joe Black... But doesn't that make this drama a plagiarism case from the very start???
Hope this is just me being pessimistic

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Having a similar premise isn't plagiarism. Otherwise any natural disaster movie, any rom-com, any super hero movie and so on could be accountable to plagiarism. Now if this drama directly copied the movie script that would be different. But this sounds different. In Meet Joe Black he was Death, not a grim reaper, and he had no issues inhabiting bodies (while in this it goes against heaven and causes memory loss). This also sounds like a crime procedural drama with romance thrown in while Meet Joe Black was a romance/drama.

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Song Seung Heon and Go Ara display a horrible repertoire of acting throughout their careers; not once have I been fond of their past works. This just shows, even if you have been acting for numerous years, improvement has yet to prevail.

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SSH has improved actually. Not much, but he did.

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The premise sounds really good and interesting. I am not a fan of Song Seung-heon as an actor. He is quite stiff, but I guess if he is playing a stoic, blank-faced character then he will be perfect for the role (aka no acting required). A lot of people don't like Go Ara but both me and my mom like her so I am happy with her casting.

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Haha, I'm not a fan of Song Seung-heon, either, nor have I even really ever watched his projects, but from what I read about his acting here on DB, I thought the same thing about how he could possibly pull off this role based on the character description.

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Go Ara is extremely pretty almost post card pretty but the problem is she is just pretty. her prettiness doesn't translate into acting prowess though. I like this genre cant they zero down to Kim Seul gi for that part?

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Right. Go Ara is gorgeous and I'm almost certain she's capable of prowess (she's got spunk), but of course, I've yet to really see her show that off and really own her roles. I really did love her in Reply '94, though. I thought she was outstanding there. Or maybe it's the Reply/Answer Me effect, which is totally a thing.

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I feel that she is mediocre at best, but then I haven't seen Reply series yet, May be I will form a different opinion then. But her acting in Hwarang did put me off. may be it was just a poorly written character.

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I watched 1988 and 1997 but dropped 1994 after a few episodes. Come to think of it, I have not completed any drama where Go Ara is lead actress. She's really pretty though, and has one of the most beautiful eyes I have seen.

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NJH's drama is about water god's bride and now SSH's drama is now about grim-reaper. Goblin is influencing a lot of fantasy dramas these days.

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the water god's bride remake was already planned in early 2015 which is more than a year before goblin aired..so i don't think Goblin had any effect on it....

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Also Jung Il Woo's character in 49 Days was also like a Reaper/Scheduler.

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I think so too. There are reapers in the mini drama Three Colour Fantasy (the first one), and in The Best Hit the guy has saved the girl's phone number under Reaper (if I'm not mistaken).

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um no.arang and the magistrate back in 2012 had a grim reaper and NJH drama and arang are both written by the same person.

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Definitely a lot of aspects about this show that already reminds me so much of Goblin--with the whole grim reaper falling in love with a human woman, wearing black from head to toe, existence erased from the world's memory, and even down to the nickname "Grim Reaper of Criminals," which was something that was mentioned in Goblin, in Grims' last life when he reincarnated into Lee Hyuk, the detective. Ha, couldn't help pointing those out, but I'm sure this is gonna be a lot different than Goblin, of course.

Considering this is on OCN and the writer and director involved are behind shows like God's Gift and Voice, this show is probably gonna have the same tone as those shows, so it's interesting that the main synopsis is about a romance between a grim reaper and a human woman.

Song Seung-hoon's casting is meh to me, but gotta admit that I think he could totally pull off the whole "stoic, blank-faced," "not flinching," and "staying expressionless" part! Go Ara is gorgeous and is really likable, but other than her stint in Reply '94, where she was just fantastic in, she hasn't really been all that captivating in anything else.

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Aww, come on, when do the girls get to have the fun? Would it kill you, dramaland, to have the girl be a reaper for once? Has it ever even been done? Regardless, I might check out this drama for Go Ara. I've just finished You're All Surrounded, which she was really cute and likeable in. I wouldn't mind seeing her back on my screen ?? Also she looks really pretty in the poster.

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EXACTLY. I feel like it would be kind of fun if they were both grim reapers...oh well!

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It probably would! He could still be the emotionless, I'm just doin' my job kind of reaper, and she could still be the standard plucky (I'm assuming that's what the drama's going with, because dramaland only has two types of heroines), cheery one only she's now bringing souls to the other sides so yay, complexity there. Also, twist: she doesn't give a damn about hot robot reaper because he's silent and stoic and boring and she likes to steal the pretty boys he has to send to the other side to send them there herself instead because why not?

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I know right. Those plots about a "supernatural" man falling for a normal human woman are so boring.

By the way, I read some time ago a Korean article (during Goblin broadcast I think) which criticized this trend because it is often a way to show a male superiority on female characters. Like nowadays being rich and genius is not enough for male leads, they should have superpowers too, so that female characters are really really helpless.
This analysis was very interesting, particularly with the Goblin example, because this drama combined every possible way of showing male superiorities (being older, rich, immortal, having superpowers next to an orphan poor underage girl).
Actually I don't think male characters with superpowers always show a sort of male superiority on females (for example in I hear your voice, it was well balanced since the male lead was younger and all), but in Goblin it was really too much (probably because the female character was also too much in misery).

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That's fascinating and so very true. At least make the supernatural man a poor guy who needs a human girl to give him food and shelter!

I'm with Kip on advocating for girls to get in on some of the supernatural fun. Let there be female reapers! In these sort of supernatural guy+poor human girl stories, the male actors always win out since the supernatural guy will obviously have the more compelling backstories, more angst and more range of emotions and growth.

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Agreed! The power imbalance is skewed toward the male gender in normal dramas already anyway, so with the supernatural piled on top of it I just try to stay away from the thing all together, unless it's a noona romance like I Hear Your Voice or I hear really good things about it from people I trust. It's not exactly about just the guy having powers, though that's part of it too. The girl doesn't need to have powers and they can still be equal, but they need to be equals. Only then can I really root for them, and make the premise worth my time.

Also, @ar, you make a really good point about how the male leads always win out because they get automatically meatier characters. And when the girl does get to have powers, like in Legend of the Blue Sea, there's a tendency for the male to assert his maleness somehow by condescending down to her, teaching her the ways of the world as though she's just an helpless newborn rather than say, a stranger with her own perspective and values coming from another place. Contrast that with You From Another Star, where when we meet the alien hero, he's already been taught. He's capable. He's assimilated. You don't see him in that same position of vulnerability. And you never see the girl infantilising him in the rare case in other dramas that you do. He's just naturally given respect by the narrative even as someone who's different, and he's never treated like a child. So when I say I want more of girl reapers, specifically, I want that. Good (tragic?) backstory, upward character trajectory that we can root for, angst if needed. She doesn't have to be likeable, but bonus if she is. Still most of all, she must be respected by the narrative. She could, and probably would be helpless at the beginning, but do we really have to meet her that way?

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The lead girl in Star of the Universe (first part of Three Colors of Fantasies) is a Grim Reaper who is quirkily bad on her job. In fact, there's a whole office of them ^^ Liked the plot and the vibe, wistful but not angsty.

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Yes, she was fun reaper and so cute. I loved that little gem too, nice music to boot.

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You are right...I thought so too...it would be fun if the grim reaper is the female one instead....again, Kdramaland sometimes is a little too stereotyped....

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Well after You're All Surrounded and Hwarang, I might stay away from any Go Ara. I like when her characters show spunk but when the story call for something heavier, she just fails.

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I agree...she is only okay in her acting,she lack the 'buzz' or whatever it is....

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The premise is interesting with a good pair of writer-director. But the cast.... Maybe I'll pass on this one.

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Can they just cast Lee Dong Wook and Yoo In Na once again? Like Goblin Vol. 2 with less romance and more action

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When will Yoo Inna gets to be female lead again? sigh.

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that's my wish too...to let LDK be the reaper again....he totally nailed it !!

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I mean LDW

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"Stoic, blank-faced individual" who is known for "staying expressionless"? Yup, sounds like Song Seung-heon all right! I am sorry but I just really can't stand him!

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He honestly doesn't do it for me either. I just find him rather bland. I've been hearing that he improved slightly in his recent drama, but I'm not sure if that could change anything for me.

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no offend but I think SSH kinda handsome muscle man that only would perfectly fit for some CF or something

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So he basically just needs to be himself.

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Lol, it sounds like some drama writers have been reading the unholy alliances over in Staff Spotlights.

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Really, Go Ara & hand towel? (does anyone else remember that nickname? lol) I like the premise... not so thrilled with the lead couple—I like them both, really! I just... wish.. they... were... better.

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????

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"known for staying expressionless"

sounds like a role to suit Song Seung Hun since he's usually expressionless when acting anyway.

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The plot sounds nice but the cast... I think I'll skip it ?

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Will there even be romance with how bad these two are? It's like porcelain vase meets wooden block...I'm sure given the right directing they can prove me wrong. However they're known for their bad acting, so while the premise sounds interesting it'll be a skip from me.

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Uhhhhhhhh can we please get a different cast ?

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I second that... I want Kim Jae-wook comes back to OCN lol

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Omo yes please!

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OMG as long as I know he never be 1st lead. why nobody offer him such role?

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The premise is interesting, and the cast, while not stellar, is not bad enough that I would skip it because of the cast.

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I hope he turns it down. He's tolerable enough surrounded by decent actors. But Go Ara is not experienced enough to make his performance less wooden.

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Meh tbh they deserve each other.

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I can only imagine these two as a pairing in a fluffy romcom, something like My Secret Romance for eg. Not in some thriller drama with some heavy stuffs. ? Maybe will check when it airs later.

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agree, Go Ara seemed to be better in rom-com and not in heavy drama.....

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Go Ara turned down the drama with Seo Kang Joon?

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Is it supposed to be a Goblin's spinoff or something?
Well I'm glad that Goblin influencing more people to make drama with supernatural genre (though it'll probably got more romance scene than the supernatural one)
Song Seungheon and Go Ara act well in their respective works, maybe SSH can portray the reaper well since he got this stoic image, and I got the feeling that Ara's character probably a spunky one? I pretty like Ara in You're All Surrounded.
But I don't know about their chemistry.
I can just wish this drama got really great story so I can hold on despite the unfavorable casting people talk about, because I really like supernatural aka scary aka ghostly drama.

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I don't think Goblin is influencing anything because Choi Ran, the writer has announced Black as her next project way back in early 2016 in a magazine interview, way before Goblin happens. I also remember reading elsewhere that Black was supposed to be aired on tvN. But after a long time of silence, Black reappear and gonna be on OCN.

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Supernatural dramas has been around WAY before Goblin. Only think I hate about Goblin is that from now anytime there is a fantasy/supernatural drama ppl will compare it to Goblin

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The premise sounds interesting. I know it reminds people of Goblin and 49 days but it is not the first time reaper characters are introduced to a drama/movie project. I am not so sure about the cast because neither of them have been very consistent in their acting and their performance relies heavily on the performance of their co-stars. If it is just Go Ara or Song Seung Heon with some other experienced lead, I think it will be fine. Two of them in one drama, could be a disaster. The writer and director combo sounds quite reliable maybe they can work their magic.

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All I can say is oooooooooooooooo SSH please accept

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Yes! Can't wait! I loved the love scenes in Meet Joe Black. This drama seems to have lots of echoes.

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I love OCN and this drama's plot sounds pretty good, but the cast....... No please. I liked Go Ara in You're All Surrounded fine and she is so pretty, but it wasn't until Hwarang that I noticed her mediocre acting.

I hope they don't confirm. I want a strong cast to match with the strong PD/writer.

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This drama seems alot crying scenes. But Go Ara so terrible in crying scenes.

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What an awkward pairing. Then again, in still pictures, Go Ara does seem to have a similar aura to SSH's girlfriend Liu YiFei. At least, to me. I really like Go Ara (she always seem so game for everything) even though her acting is mostly middling. I want her to do well, but I'm not sure if this role will help develop her craft and bolster her resume. I suspect it may be one of those roles that serve the heroine as the object of the hero's affection/savior-from-hero-angst and not much more. I wish she would take on a slice of life drama similar to Fight My Way or go completely dark.

I wish SSH will pick up a rom-com. He has a lot of natural charm. He almost sparkled in My Princess. I'd like to see him paired with Kim Sun Ah or Ha Ji Won.

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Looks like everyone is trying to jump on the Grim Reaper bandwagon, aiming for another ratings gold. But who can top Lee Dong Wook? Don't like the leads, so I'll pass.

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Plot is interesting but Kim Woo Bin is still my favorite grim geaper~
well, at least SSH can do stoic blank faced amazingly....

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OCN, im a beggar who still begging you for TEN Season 3. I known it's not popular or has massive ratings, but still... :(

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The story sounds really interesting. Hopefully it will be good. I am not wowed by SSH's acting but hopefully he becomes better.

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when one drama came out with a unique storyline/concept such as goblin (grim reaper), scarlet heart (idol lines up)..later, i mean at the same year, u will see another one or two kdrama will pop out doing the same concept..

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Plot sounds awesome, Go Ara not so much.

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I'm cool with her as long as the hero does not have to save her in every episode

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LOL !!

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The plot sounds good.

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They were previously rumored for the drama Triangle together, but both turned it down. I guess somebody really wants to pair them up. I like Go Ara, but so far she can only excel in certain roles. Hopefully, she's improved after the let down performance of Hwarang.

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Go ara can't act! None of her drama she acted in has convinced me she can do any better. Why is she getting all the important roles? Who is backing her? It is so annoying! The script sounds awesome! But why her? And SSH acting is not enticing like a bunch of other actors. I'm just so sad that Korean dramas these days hired weird matching couples. No matter how good the story is, I can't bring myself to watch people who can't act.

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Well we have the right to say our opinions but your comment is so much!! It angers me whenever I see these kinds of comments as if people like you can say bad words and nonconstructive criticism blah so on.... that it can hurt other people. You think you can act? then show it! and when people who see you tell something bad about you,what will you feel? You can say all you want but you don't have the right to say that to any person who does their best to be able to give viewers good entertainment!! Ugh! technology made people more and more judgmental nowadays...as if they are perfect!

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I like the story... Hope it will be not just a carbon copy of goblin. No sure about Go Ara...she is OK ut I do not really like her when she cries... Lol

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Sounds interesting but a little like Goblin...haha....

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It looks like a nice story and I enjoy most dramas from OCN. I just hope it won't end like 49 days did

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Now thinking more and more i'm sad they didn't choose new faces or less known actors but with amazing acting to cast...There are soooo many great actors in Kland and not just the popular ones...

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This is certainly going to be a lot of acting.

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I need to see the trailer

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I'm part of the minority who would be excited to watch this.

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I definitely got the "49 Days" vibe from reading the plot summary, but then had to do a double take because of the attachment this has to the writer of "God's Gift - 14 Days"... I still have nightmares about that ending T.T

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