Kim Jung-hyun drops out of MBC drama Time halfway through its run
It’s been a turbulent week for dramaland; I never expected to watch two dramas lose their male leads in a single week, but this new one makes Yoon Doo-joon leaving early for army duty seem like a minor hiccup. Kim Jung-hyun, lead actor of MBC’s current Wednesday-Thursday drama Time, has quit the series halfway through its run, citing bad health. His agency released an official statement saying that Kim quit the production for health reasons, specifically eating and sleep disorders, which he attempted to manage while shooting and could no longer do.
It wouldn’t be the first time (or sadly, even the hundredth) that an actor, writer, or director overworked themselves into the hospital while making a drama. Kim Jung-hyun is still inexperienced when it comes to headlining a series (he went from supporting roles to playing the lead in ensemble dramas School 2017 and Woohoo Waikiki), and he even went through a round of bad press when Time first premiered because of his apparent bad attitude at the press conference to promote the show. He apologized at the time, saying that he was just very engrossed in his character—a terminally ill chaebol heir—but now I wonder how fatigued he was already at that point in the shoot.
Time has aired 16 episodes so far of its planned 32-episode run, and the producers announced that there are no plans to recast the part that Kim Jung-hyun is vacating. I honestly don’t know what’s better or worse at this point, because the drama now has to find a way to write the hero out of the story in a way that makes sense. I guess the small upside is that in a melodrama about murder and revenge, it’s the kind of plot twist that’s not completely out of place in that world?
Time airs on Wednesdays and Thursdays on MBC.
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