MBN jumps back into the drama game with Yeonnam-dong 539
It’s been several years since cable channel MBN has had drama programming (its last drama was 2014’s Tears of Heaven), so it’s a nice surprise to hear that they have a new drama offering in the works, tentatively titled Yeonnam-dong 539. The upcoming drama has confirmed that one of the lead roles will be played by Lee Jong-hyuk, who is himself making a drama comeback, his last dramaland project being tvN’s Bubblegum in 2015.
Yeonnam-dong 539 sounds like an interesting slice-of-life, omnibus type of show, where the focus in each episode will shift between different housemates who all live in the same sharehouse. Lee Jong-hyuk’s character is a detective on the cyber investigations team who specializes in voice phishing. Unlike most detectives we come across in dramaland, though, he sounds like a big ol’ teddy bear inside and out, with endless sympathy for the underdogs of society and a strong sense of responsibility, while also being more soft-hearted than most.
The show has done some lightning-fast casting, and the supporting cast includes Oh Yoon-ah (Saimdang, Light’s Diary), Lee Moon-shik (Nothing to Lose), Go Woori (Begin Again), and stage actor Choi Woo-hyuk. I’m familiar with Oh Yoon-ah and Lee Moon-shik, who are both veterans in dramaland, but I’m not sure what to expect with Go Woori and Choi Woo-hyuk, the latter of whom is making his television acting debut with Yeonnam-dong 539. It’ll also be interesting to see how the MBN show will format the housemates’ vignettes, and whether they’ll be more independent of each other, or if it’s going to be more of an ensemble framework, with a general theme highlighting each episode.
MBN hasn’t set an exact premiere date for its latest foray into the dramascape, but Yeonnam-dong 539 is preparing for an early 2018 broadcast, so we can expect the show to come on the airwaves sometime in the first few months in the new year.
Oh Yoon-ah, Lee Moon-shik, Go Woori, Choi Woo-hyuk