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My Ajusshi cast lineup secured with Lee Seon-kyun, IU headlining

Casting has been confirmed for My Ajusshi, the project from Oh Hae-young Again’s writer and Signal’s director that had Lee Seon-kyun (This Week, My Wife Will Have an Affair) attached to it very early on. He has just confirmed, and so has IU (Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo) to be his leading lady.

My Ajusshi is about three middle-aged brothers, each dealing with their different burdens in life, who meet a cold and prickly young lady who is similarly going through her own life’s difficulties. Together, they help each other heal and grow. Lee Seon-kyun is set to play the middle brother, Park Dong-hoon, who works as a structural engineer of an architectural firm that has the motto “Safety first.” He’s a stoic and quiet individual, but knowing Lee Seon-kyun, I’m ready to see him inject a lot of quirky charm into the character.

Then there’s IU, who I’ve liked before in her other previous prickly pear role (The Producers). In that drama, despite her outer selfishness, I could see glimmers of self-awareness and a soft inner heart, which is what I’m hoping for in her upcoming role. Her character begins as a contract worker, employed on a three-month probationary period. So when her boss tells her to find out Park Dong-hoon’s (Lee Seon-kyun) weakness, she has no choice but to try in order to maintain her employed status. But once she gets to know him and his warm personality, she begins to shed her own tough exterior and jaded mindset about others.


Na Mun-hee, Oh Dal-soo, Song Sae-byuk

We can’t forget about Lee Seon-kyun’s onscreen brothers: I’m so excited for this trio—it already looks like a comedy match made in heaven. Chungmuro’s number one funny man Oh Dal-soo (Master, Tunnel) will be playing Lee Seon-kyun’s older brother, who went bankrupt twice after trying to launch his own business when he was fired from his company. As a result, he was run out of his house by his wife, and now lives with his mother again. Despite all that, he’s a romantic who looks back on his failures with a good humorous attitude.

And the youngest brother will be played by Chungmuro actor Song Sae-byuk (Night of Seven Years, Sound of a Flower) who has been primarily active in films since his breakout role in The Servant. His character is similarly in the movie industry: At twenty years old, he was proclaimed a genius prodigy producer whose independent film made it to the Cannes International Film Festival. However, it’s been twenty years since then, and he has yet to debut officially as a film director, and he ends up relinquishing his dreams in despair due to a set of fateful circumstances.

The mom who raised them all will be played by Na Mun-hee (I Can Speak, Dear My Friends). Her two biggest worries are her first son, who is living with her and currently undergoing a separation with his wife, and her maknae son, an unmarried bachelor at age forty with no prospects. The actress is so cute and funny in so many heartwarming family films and dramas, and I’m very much looking forward to her interactions with Oh Dal-soo.

My Ajusshi will be broadcast at the beginning of 2018 on tvN.

Via Hankyung News

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i was really excited for this because i love Lee Seon Kyun to death but, not i'm a bit worried i hope its not a love story more of an endearing friendship. but i might have to pass on it for now.

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I feel the same way. He deserves a better leading leading lady. But maybe adding her to the cast will help with ratings. I have only seen her in Scarlet Heart Ryeo, and did not like her acting at all.

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IU has my utmost respect for taking on this role after the gigantic meltdown displayed by so many of her fans last week. I almost did not think this drama will go forward because I thought director, writer, and LSK would have been too intimidated by the whole shenanigans. So now my hats are tipped to everyone involved. They must have a lot of faith in the PD-writer combo. Add to that combo this cast of veteran actors, I think we will have a quality drama to enjoy even if it does not do well ratings wise.

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I have read as well that fans of IU were raising hell because of this show. But can you really blame IU for saying yes despite the objections? This is her opportunity to work with the amazing PD Kim Won Suk! he is like in my opinion the Korean equivalent of Frank Darabont. A pure genius in his own right with Misaeng and Signal that practically revolutionized TVN. I agree the character is somewhat similar to Cindy of Producers which btw IU nailed to a tee and probably her most heartfelt performance. I hope her fans realized that IU is really good once she completely understood and immersed herself into the character. It's when she acts all innocent and cute that she gets rear ended with bad acting reviews. I will trust PD Kim will deliver another great story that will make us reflect into our own life. I also heard that he has total control of his projects and casting, so he probably saw something with IU that will fit with his storyline and narrative. Can IU fans just relax and sit back? Don't overreact until you will see the material then criticize because who know maybe you guys will be singing a different tune once the project will air on 2018.

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For some record, tvN top 3 highest drama this year so far (if we exclude Goblin) were Forest Of Secrets, Live Up To Your Name and Buamdong Revenge Club, which have senior actors as the leading casts. I predict the upcoming Wise Prison Life will do well in rating as well. So I think My Ajusshi will do well in rating, with / without IU or any popular names among the younger generations. My Ajusshi seems to have ingredients that majority of viewers would love, so I think it won't be a big problem to be rating success although it might not be a massive hit. About the casting of IU, I trust the PD on this. She isn't terrible, with the right direction, she could do a good job (well, it's the same for everyone).

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some fans, huh ? they should have been proud of their actress. beside, it seems that IU much more mature than she looks. she dated older guy in irl, for god sake, don't hysterical much. this could be a good experience for her acting, pairing up with more experience actors. the story itself doesn't sound cheesy. it creep me more if the character still on high school and the man like 1000 years old (yes, i am looking at you, Goblin). i now lot of people less disturbed by that. but compare to that, 25 is still proper age and less creepy, at least for me.

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I think her fans are concerned about the image of other anti using it as an excuse to bash IU more with the whole Zeze controversy a few years back. But I'm looking forward to this, not only because of IU but I really like Na Mun-hee. I think the cast will carry out a solid drama!

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No, no, and bet ya, I'll watch it anyway. Damn you, kdrama gods!!!!

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Besides all the criticism, I've been IU's fan since "You're the Best, Lee Soon-shin". And I think she mas pretty decent in "Moonlovers". Actually, "Moonlovers" problemas mas the por writing, in my opinion.

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argh, what's wrong with my keyboard. sorry for the misspelled words.

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I really like IU, to me, my objection to casting her is I don't see her pairing up well with Lee Seon-kyun. But, obviously the director saw something in her. I am gonna watch it regardless. Great PD and great lead will hopefully equal great show.

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I liked IU in The Producers waaay more than KSH. And being new to k-dramas I did not even know KSH was in MLFS, so all my love went to GHJ and IU (still does).
All that whine about ML, but from what I get it was a director problem more, and I did not see it since I don't watch sad endings.

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IU is the weakest link in these casts, but I trust this PD's decision to cast her, who looks like she could be the first granddaughter of Na Mun-hee in this drama. Her casting must be made because of some specialties she has, including but not limited to her popularity.

Anyway, looking forward to see this drama next year. This could be a heartwarming comedic drama with some romance - I hope it is more on platonic love though.

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(disclaimer: I am a huge fan of IU's music)

To be fair, there isn't a single mid 20s actress that would have the acting experience of the rest of the cast and it is simply a matter of years even if they started acting in their mid teens.

Interesting thing is that the PD/writer appears oddly specific that the main female character is in the mid20's. Even a 30 year old female would refer to an early 40's male as an ahjussi (I think). Is there a general guideline on the age gap when that is appropriate in Korea? (x years ~ ahjussi?)

x= 10? 15? 20?

Or perhaps that rule only applies to people under 30? Once you pass 30, you are not expected to refer to anyone by ahjussi anymore?

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past not pass...

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There is plenty of talented actresses in their 20s who are experienced enough for this cast.
Na Moon-hee's co-star Shim Eun-kyung (23) in "Ms Granny." Park Hae-il's co-star Kim Go-eun (26) has a great reputation as a young film lead from the get go. Park Bo-young (27), Go Ah-sung (25), Kim Tae-ri (27), Park So-dam (26) etc.
Even dramaland's Baek Jin-hee (27) and Park Eun-bin (25) etc.

They are miles ahead of IU and they don't need the acting experience of someone like Na Moon-hee to play the role of a young lead. She too started in her 20s doing dramas.

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Now that you put it that way, I want to see one of these actresses in this drama instead. Kim Go-eun already had a movie with LSK and everyone seems to think they had very good chemistry. But obviously the director has someone exactly like IU in mind, otherwise why cast someone who is 24 but looks much younger?

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Well, most of these girls got their breaks in films with good directors, co-stars and materials to work with.

We all want our best actors in our dramas but the reality is, this is also a business to those behind the drama.

I think this is a good opportunity for IU. I can get behind her because she at least can show some kind of passion in what she does unlike some idols who would rather be somewhere else doing something else while acting.

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I take your point. There are certainly a list of actresses in the age range who are better credentialed and recognized for their acting talent.

This discussion has been had many times before. Casting IU appears to be more of a commercial rather than artistic decision. That is not a sin, in and of itself, but lamentable given the amount of "better" talent available.

I'll be taking an "anticipate but don't have too high expectations" approach to this drama. The premise itself has proven to be polarizing. It will need a deft touch.

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Agreed!

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I think it's unfair to assume that IU was casted just for commercial purposes of the series. I don't object that this young woman is very popular in Korea but this project is way too big than IU's popularity. This is more about PD Kim Won Suk and his TVN comeback project after Signal. There is a reason why he casted IU out of all the more qualified actresses. This is also not the first time PD Kim worked with an idol, looked at Im Si Wan and his heartbreaking performance in Misaeng. He's the type of director that does not do cheesy love lines and fan service for the ratings. He is more focused on relationships and character developments. IU is so lucky to have been considered by PD Kim as one of the female lead roles. I am sure she is already preparing and working like crazy to immerse herself into the role. PD Kim is a known perfectionist, strict, and very uncompromising so I will be interested on how he will bring out the best out of IU's performance. After her acting criticism from Moon Lovers, IU is taking it to the next level and putting everything on the line by agreeing to work with probably the most prolific director in k-drama land. This is not an easy task for IU, she will need to give it all and PD Kim won't have it any other way.

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Holy Christmas.! How much did they pay Oh Dal-soo to be in this drama. He is more than just a funny man thank you very much and he hasn't done a drama in his entire career if I remember correctly.

This is exciting!

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I haven't seen Oh Dal-soo in anything but went to check out his work after the news of this casting came out. Holy cow his resume! Based on the synopsis and the rest of the supporting cast I already know LSK will have a heck of chemistry with everyone, making this drama enjoyable regardless of how the connection with IU is portrayed. And I've said this before, he will manage to bring out the best performance out of his leading lady. Check out Lee Yeon-hee in Miss Korea is you don't believe me.

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yeah this is as surprising as park joong hoon being in bad guys 2 haha

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I'm pretty certain she will prove you wrong. As long as she work hard, she will make it. She has the most potential to become a good actress from an idol status in her generation. Female actress used to get alot of critism thsn rhry deserved.

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I find her a decent to slightly above par actress depending on the role. I really enjoyed her in The Producers and found her tolerable in Moon Lovers. I don't think she alone can ruin a show.

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She was actually pretty decent in Dream High, too.

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I forgot about that one! I saw it so long ago!!

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Heol~

If IU have fantastic chemistry with Lee Seon Kyun just like she did with Lee Joon Gi in Scarlet Heart, I will watch it..

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I don't think this will be the romance people think it is, and I actually do like IU a lot, so I'll try this out.

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This is actually a pretty awesome cast. Hopefully this will go better than IU's last drama.

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Heck Yes!
IU is going to be fine. She is in good hands and she it'll take a crappy script for her to struggle.
She's got two "incredibly gifted" actors in Lee Seon-kyun and Oh Dal-soo (one of Chungmuro's most beloved). How cool is that?
Then add grandma Na Mun-hee to the mix and it's going to be a complete treat.

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Wtb a freaking edit button. *she*

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Yeah, I agree! This is a great choice for IU. The director is pretty trustworthy too imo. I don't expect great things from him, but he always does a good, respectable job.

Have you seen Oh Hae-young Again? It seems that the writer also worked on I Live in Cheongdamdong, which is a good sign.

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Yes I did and I like this writer. I have a good feeling about this.

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Me too :) I'm ready for 2018 at this point (even if I'm getting old haha).

Are you interested in any of the end of the year dramas? I'll probably try Smart Prison Living, but I'm pretty tired of Shin Won-ho so we'll see.

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I'm ready to check out a couple and "Smart Prison" is one of them.
I haven't liked anything with Jung Kyung Ho in it since "Cruel City." I hope this will be a good show for him and the rest of the cast of course.
The cast of "Bad Guys 2" probably has the most talented actors from Chungmuro.
I have to check out "2 Cops for Jo Jung-seok although I'm not excited about the whole drama.
I'm rooting for "Money Flower" without even watching it lol. Jang Hyuk deserve more but I don't like this writer since "Jang Youngsil." Remember that sageuk that we didn't even get to finish after dropping it a couple times? lol

I've been watching movies and nothing else.
Next year looks more promising but we say that every year haha.

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I've seen 3 dramas that aired in 2017 lol. When I finally finish Woman of Dignity it'll be up to 4. There are a couple more that I was kind of interested in but never ended up watching, and I'm not sure if they're worth it now haha (Man to Man, Argon, and Girls' Generation 1979).

I totally remember Jang Young-sil! I hung in there for a while, but that one episode where he goes to China did me in. On top of everything else, the production values were so bad hahaha.

I'm into western historical dramas atm. I recently watched Canal Plus's Borgia and absolutely loved it, and now I'm dithering between HBO's Rome and the BBC's I, Claudius. Borgia wasn't perfect, but it's the first western historical drama that I've seen that seemed to actually care about history and honestly recreating the time period, so it gave me hope. I felt like I was watching a sageuk! (Only with a lot more sex and gore lol.)

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Same here. I've finished 3 dramas this year. "Forest of Secrets" "AOY2" and "Girl's Generation 1979."
Still need to watch "Rebel's final episode.
I think you'll enjoy "Girl's Generation." It's such a charming slice of life show and I love the era.

"Borgia" is on my watch list (Netflix). I don't even know what it's about but saw Jeremy Irons on the poster so I saved it.
I'll probably try after Christmas.

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Yay, I'm super glad you liked Girls' Generation 1979! I was interested in it based off the premise without knowing anything about the people involved, so it's a relief to hear it turned out. I need to watch Forest of Secrets, too. It seems like it was really well-loved around here. (My 3 were AOY2, Whisper, and Circle. Enjoyed 2/3.)

There are actually 2 shows about the Borgia family that were made at exactly the same time. Jeremy Irons is great in "The Borgias", but I prefer the version with John Doman ("Borgia"). Even if the performances are more uneven, it does a really good job depicting life and politics in Renaissance Italy and the Roman Catholic Church. (Basically, the Borgias were this really infamous Spanish family that took over the papacy in the 1490's and attempted to use that power to carve out a secular empire among the Italian city states. A lot of Machiavelli's "The Prince" is about the pope's son, Cesare.)

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I can see this relationship somehow. Also correct me if I'm wrong, but relationships with an age gap do exist in real life right. I have seen girls who married older partners and they had no issues with it. Like someone who was 25 something and married a 37-38 year old guy. And she was quite mature herself so if anything she was more comfortable with her partner. I think a lot of taboos that we imply on ourselves is a long product of societies, customs, culture. I myself have friends of different age, so when it's about love, does it matter how old someone is? Either younger or older, when you connect to someone it doesn't get restrained by age limits maybe, our feeling that is. And the story itself sounds interesting, I mean I could totally see this happen. My favorite jane eyre felt for Mr. Rochester who was like fortyish too maybe lol [don't remember correctly], so often people who had lot of struggles in life tend to identify with someone who sees them for who they really are. If anything, I am just more curious about the storyline and how chemistry between LSK and IU will unfold.

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In this case, it's a 25 yr old plus girl with a mid 40 yr old man, since he is the middle son. Couldn't they simply just get a 30+ yr old actress? There are many out there. And it doesn't help that IU has a baby face and can pass off as a late teen. She looks young enough to play his daughter.

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I read an article(forgot which one exactly) which says that there isn't going to be a romance but more of a heartwarming, coming of age, family story? They form a sort of unlikely camaraderie which i think sounds great. Hope they stick with that concept and not turn it into something romantic at the end.

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It would be great if that's the case! I like them individually, but for some reason the pairing bothers me. Probably because I grow to feel meh with big-gap couples on screen. What you described sounds more like my cup of tea.

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Yea same here, it's meant to be a healing drama.

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This seems like a really talented cast all around. It appears (and I certainly hope) that the writer will make the age differential a central theme. Even if they keep it light, it can be explored in a sensitive and relatable manner.

I commented in another article that wide age differential relationships (younger female) may become more common simply due to the demographics of S Korean society (more men in the mid-30s to mid 40s age bracket and fewer women in total)

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Oh Dalsu second leading?? Um

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I think we put too much emphasis on 1st, 2nd 3rd etc leads etc in dramas.
In films, the 2nd lead is just as good and as important as the lead especially with actors like Oh Dal-soo.

In this case Oh Dal-soo is probably content with playing another supporting role especially with a leading man like Lee Seon-kyun.
I'm looking forward to their chemistry like he always have with his co-stars.

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I like him, but I'm genuinely confused- I love love Lee Seonkyun and they have the capacity of making sparks fly well, but I'm honestly surprised that he'd second lead after his immense Chungmoro success, if you get my drift :P

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I don't know, I think it's harder for less conventionally handsome and older actors to get drama lead roles these days. Or maybe he has a movie to shoot at the same time, so this project will not have to take up all his time. And I have also heard that some heavy-weight supporting actors just try to do act the hell out of their roles and in turn able to outshine the lead actors.

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Oh I see what you meant and I do agree. Yes he is a big deal in the film industry. He is talented and bankable (the 100 million dollar man).
He probably just want to do something low key after going from one movie to another.

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Kinda shocked to see this news that IU has confirmed with the casting. But anyways, as the PD casted her maybe she kinda fits on the character as a cold and prickly young lade which was similar to her character in Producer. Still will watch this for Lee Seon-kyun. 😊😊

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Aww, this drama seems sweet. I just have this feeling that the production crew really put thought into the casting.

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The production team actually released an official statement saying that they really try to choose the best actors for these roles.

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The premise sounds heartwarming. So Lee Seon-kyun will play the steady, prosaic middle son whom his mother doesn't even worry about? I smell hidden resentment about to surface ^^

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As much as IU love and adore her fans, I've always felt that she was always her own person, creativity-wise. She has been under a lot of controversies and scandals on her past album concepts but nevertheless she continues to experiment and develop her own style and character, musically. So it's not really a surprise to me that she would take this project despite the overwhelming negativity from her so-called "fans". She's 25 in Korean age now and I know that's far from old, but with nearly a decade of experience in the entertainment business, she's definitely grown a lot since her debut. Her recent album expresses this mature vibe and sense. One song even details the changes in her. It makes sense that she'd seek acting projects that would also express this maturity and growth in her.

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I look forward to checking this out. IU, Lee Seon-kyun and the rest of the crew, fighting !!

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I want to be surprised by how good this is. Hopefully, it will turn out well. Hopefully. Fingers crossed 🤞🏾.

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As it will be a warm drama.

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I hope it will be a steamy sexual relationship, just so I can enjoy the meltdown among certain sections of the kdrama community!

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I wouldn't go quite that far (LOL), but yes, I have been thinking the same. Give them a romantic line, and let them show how it can be done in a sensitive manner. After all, LSK used to have the romantic image before the recent deluge of younger actors came to the scene and pushed him out of the picture. In any case, I couldn't believe some of the insults heaped at him just based on his age and looks, not to mention the complaints about how this is feeding middle-aged men's fantasies, and borderline pedophilia.

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Can’t wait to hear LSK’s wonderful voice ☺️*.*

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Wohoo! Yes!!! I’m so happy I will get to see IU and Lee Seon Kyun again!

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I saw online in netizenbuzz that this will be a "healing" drama instead of a romantic one, if that's the case I'm all for it. These are some really good actors, so expectations are gonna be so high for this. Maybe this writer will be like how Park Hye Ryun knows Suzy's limits within a script.

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omg, i don't like lsk. didn't like him as 2nd lead in coffee prince, moreover as lead in his dramas. tried watching pasta because of ghj and ms korea bcoz of lyh, but for the life of me i can't finish episode 1 because of him.
i'm anticipating iu in a new drama (i agree she's not the best actress out there but she's watchable to me), but bcoz of lsk, i'll pass on this one. they should have offered this to maybe joo ji hoon or jo hyun jae, handsome actors with good acting chops.

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Is it just me or does IU super look like Chae Jung-An in the pic used? Looking forward to this drama, hope IU can make a good comeback in a good drama after the heartbreak and tears that was Moon Lovers T_T. And obviously Lee Seon Kyun, we don't even have to worry about.

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Also I don't understand why people are giving so much flack/hate to IU and LSK for the age gap :(. I mean if they (the viewers) didn't at all mind the age gap in Goblin or Marriage Contract or even the upcoming Mr.Sunshine, then please don't hate on these two either.

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Because the people who wrote the comments just assumed this would be a typical drama, with typical romantic development, even perhaps a lolita-esque story. Never mind that she is almost 25. They did not bother to check that the PD is not your average director, did not bother to find out what the synopsis was (no romance was ever hinted explicitly, or even implicitly), and if they bothered to find out who LSK is, they would realize that LSK is no longer interested in playing the typical man-pursuing-woman character.

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