Rating:
Average user rating 3.5
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Fighting a god in MBC’s sci-fi action thriller Item

I love a good action sci-fi, which is surprisingly not as common in dramaland as you’d think, which is why I’m looking forward to seeing whether MBC’s upcoming Item turns out to be my newest sci-fi addiction. The newly released character teasers, and stills, for each of our leads certainly look promising, and I’m eager to see how Joo Ji-hoon (Kingdom) and Kim Kang-woo (My Husband Oh Jak-doo) go toe-to-toe in what looks like an epic battle ahead.

The first teaser focuses on our hero, Joo Ji-hoon’s prosecutor character Kang Kon, who informs us that there are unbelievable things happening recently, as evidenced by the air rippling around him on an empty train platform and an overturned train carriage. He asks someone, “What if the object conveys powers beyond normal human limits?” We see flashes of this referenced superhuman power, from a strange red whip-like rope, to unnaturally strong people, and a train nearly flying through the air. He foreshadows that the cases that will occur from now on will be different to what he’s faced before.

Next up is our resident profiler, Jin Se-yeon (High-End Crush)’s Shin So-young, who remarks that she has a weird feeling that all these cases feel like the same one. She joins Kang Kon in investigating all these strange incidents, and she must find out the truth of the power-giving items pretty earlier, since she declares that she needs one, as it’s the only hope left for Kon. Hm, the teasers seem to imply that So-young may have some past connections to these items, and she tearfully asks why she keeps recalling the events of “that day,” as we briefly see her underwater and a shadowy figure. The captions say that, “In order to catch a criminal, you must become one.”

And last, but certainly not least, is the darkly intriguing sociopath Jo Se-hwang, played by Kim Kang-woo. The last time Kim Kang-woo played a sociopath was in Story of a Man, which I really enjoyed, so I’m excited to see him tackle this role, which seems different enough to distinguish the two performances. Jo Se-hwang is a character that is skin-crawlingly good at playing the humble and contrite corporate executive in the public eye, while maintaining a serious (and quite literal) God complex when not in front of the cameras. The captions encapsulate his character in one sentence: “Why do you believe in god? I am god.” Ok, looney tunes.

Item will premiere on February 11 and will take over MBC’s Monday-Tuesday slot following Bad Detective.

Via Osen, Geumkang Ilbo, Herald Pop

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I'm really looking forward to this one.

No wait. I'm not looking forward to this. I have no expectations whatsoever. #lowexpectationsfor2019

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Low expectations are always win/win.

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I'm sure Kim Kang-woo will do an okay job as the villain. If not, I can always go back and watch him our mountain ahjussi in all his vested glory. Joo Ji-hoon seems to be a somewhat okay actor too. I'll give him a solid chance.

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Come on, it's Kim Kang-woo. Like him or not, he never failed us. Not to mention he's already played the most iconic villain of Korean drama, Chae Do-woo

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My 2019 resolution is to not expect excellence from actors, writers, or directors. While 2018 was littered with drama disappointment, the ones I picked up on a whim with no expectations were often the ones that blew me away.

Thus: I'll give this one go. KKW might be okayish. (see, I can't be disappointed if I have this attitude)

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It is from Save Me's writer. This show can't be anything less than good

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So we should warn Joo Ji-hoon to not drink the water then?

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I see Kim Kang-woo, I click

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😂😂😂

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Our husband.

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our husband indeed.

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@pakalanapikake I'm here because of you

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Why? Oh, Ju Ji hoon? Or Kim Kang woo? Or both?

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N-n-neither (I still haven't got to Kingdom goshdarnlyfe getting in the way this time). She's the only reason I know about this drama, so any interest I have in it is kinda because of her lol.

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#It'sAllMyFault #MeaCulpa

@sicarius, was I supposed to report back on KINGDOM? If so: It has a great twist in it that I never saw coming. Joo Ji-hoon -- the whole cast, in fact -- is excellent. Good pacing. Top-notch production values (sets, costuming, and cinematography). The cause of the epidemic is ingenious. It made me want to scare up a copy of The Mirror of Eastern Medicine to find out what Heo Joon had to say on the subject. However, at only six episodes, which all came in at under an hour including lengthy credits, I felt as if the show had just finished the set-up when it suddenly ended. It has been described as being like individual movies, and that's the sense I had, too. Whether we will see character development like that in regular Kdramas, or whether it will be abbreviated as in Kmovies, remains to be seen.

I sure hope the second season is longer.

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@pakalanapikake Same, I loved it! And what, pray tell, is the Mirror of Eastern Medicine?

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@beantown January 30, 2019 at 5:56 AM

The Dongui Bogam (동의보감), whose title is translated as The Mirror of Eastern Medicine, was compiled by the celebrated Korean physician and medical scholar, Heo Joon. First published in 1613. The English translation was published in 2013. An alternate translation of the title: “a priceless book about medicines of an Eastern Country,” per https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dongui_Bogam.

Dongui Bogam includes traditional native Korean materia medica.

Heo Joon's life has been portrayed by Kim Joo-hyuk in GU AM [his pen name] HEO JOON (2013), and the actor's father, Kim Mu-saeng, in the 1975 drama JIBNYEOM. Yoon Si-yoon and Kim Kap-soo played the role in the fantasy sageuk MIRROR OF THE WITCH (2016), which features a mirror to ward off black magic, plus a tip of the hat to Heo Joon's life work, which figures late in the show. I've got a soft spot for both the recent Heo Joon dramas. ;-)

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And @beantown So why am I having so much trouble with Kingdom?? I ff thru all the zombie scenes because I've seen too much of the same (blame Walking Dead). Just tell me what episode the twist is in. I do like JJH and garwsh, what's-her-name. Did NOT like 6 episodes that ended in a silly cliffhanger (how do they get out of this, I'll bet it's easy). The only terrifying moment was when a certain someone was stuck under the floor. But then I haven't managed to watch the whole thing.

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@pakalanapikake Thank you! As always, you are a bottomless fount of information❤❤❤❤❤

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@linda-palapala maybe that's the problem! I avoid most (if not all) television shows, so I have not been over-exposed to zombie madness.......unless we count Night of the Living Dead (and I don't want to think how many decades ago that was!)
I agree the cliffhanger ending was crap, but since I understood it to be due to budget constraints, I'm willing to go along. I also really liked how they spent the bucks!

Is it perfect? No, but it's a 9/10 for me.

P.S. My rule is if I'm ffing, then I'm quitting because it's not good enough to hold my attention. I am trying to watch Faith, but it's too ....

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I mean you can but I'm kind of avoiding comments on it till I've watched it so I will be back to reply to this when the crowned clown isn't taking up all my attention.

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@sicarius I've learned my lesson - I'm waiting for Clown to finish airing before I watch it, as in then being able to binge it because that's so much more emotionally impactful.

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@beantown: Well Night of the Living Dead was hecka good even by today's standards. My daughter and I are exploring Film Noir from the 40s and 50s and she complains there are no film techniques these days that are as good (she only watches American shows).
As far as Kingdom, at least it's on Netflix where I can ff thru the zombie horde stuff to get to JJH scenes.
Budget constraints? That explains a lot, though they sure spent the money for Mr Sunshine. Do you know when the "2nd" season is coming out?
Speaking of Netflix's budget, they spent a lot on Altered Carbon. I didn't really like the tv series very much though I loved the books. The author, Richard K Morgan, is a friend and he just sent me his latest book "Thin Air" that takes place on Mars. It ruins your idealistic view of terraforming Mars because, like a lot of kdramas, it's the corporations and people with power who are ruthless.

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I couldn't watch Faith either.

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God, that's good to know!! Its somewhat atrocious

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I'm in for Jo Ji Hoon but, damn.... Kim Kang Woo caught my attention as soon as I open this news. I miss him after My Husband Oh Jak Do, and hope that he will get more attention from this.

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Kim Kang-woo doesn't need to get more attention. He's already earned his place in the industry. I don't follow k-ent industry so I don't know if he's A-list or not, but imo he's the most versatile actors in dramaland. I've finished four of his dramas and he played distinctively different characters each time.

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Oh this is my fault. I only followed a few of his project. I followed K-ent and the news about the project from him seemed still low key. I became a fan after circle and my husband Mr Oh, that's why I said that he deserve more attention. May be I need to get to know about him more :)

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Lord help me. What have I done?! ;-)

Oh, right. Joining the Joo Ji-hoon cheering squad. ;-)

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Maybe this time 'round JJH will get the girl.

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No joke, the image of the clown made me shudder.

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Clowns are 1000x scarier than zombies.

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So uh... how are you finding the Crowned Clown?
(you know what's better than both? Zombie Clowns.)

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@sicarius,

*gasping for air after total immersion in JUMONG and LAND OF THE WIND*

CROWNED CLOWN is excellent. This week's episodes presented exactly the version of the story that I have wanted to see since watching MASQUERADE.

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Oh I see we're gonna have fun on the next recap then. Although I agree this week was phenomenal and at once my favourite and least favourite episodes so far.

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I have a new appreciation for Prince Lee Chang (I prefer him than Shin), I will check it for him alone. But then you add Kim Kang-woo in the mix, I'm sold. It's funny because I always think I don't like him, yet I finish at least four of his dramas.
Don't know much about the writer and PD works except save me, which I never finish because it was too scary 😭

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Kim Kang Woo. I know he’ll pull this off. Another sci-fi thriller he was amaze-balls in: CIRCLE. Where’s my sequel?!

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I actually had forgotten that Mr. I-age-like-fine-wine a.k.a. Kim Kang Woo is also in this 😍😍😍😍

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I'm sooo.. watching this!!

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Please be good.

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Kon as in, yamapi's kon? (sorry xD)

yes for JJH , no for jin se yeon tho
are there any other sci-fi kdrama besides Circle? i think because sci-fi CGs/gimmicks are expensive that's why they don't make more of 'em.. also cause they tend to be dark and heavy

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Recently there's one which just finished last week with WTF ending.
Good for you that you forget about it already. I'm considering visiting shaman to wipe out anything related with that mess from my brain.

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Moa? Haha

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is MoA considered sci-fi tho? i feel it's more thriller-fantasy

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I'm here for fantasy-thriller (btw fantasy and sci-fi are not interchangeable) but not gonna lie after "Along with gods" I find Joo Ji Hoon extremly hot, so it's like cherry on the top :D

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joo ji hoon impressed me in kingdom so I'll check this out too

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Kim Kang Woo as a villain ! *o*

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OOh, i love everyone in this cast and Kim Kang-Woo is a special favorite because he's pretty much a straight-up double for a kid I knew back in the day. Plus SCIFI!!!!!!!!!!!!! So hoping i can see this either on viki, kocowa, or netflix. Thanks.

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I am a sucker when it comes to sci-fi thriller drama. Love the plot and the rest of the cast minus the profiler, Jin Se-yeon. I only appreciate her performance in High End Crush and I cannot even utter the rest -:)

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Thanks for the update on ITEM, @tipsymocha. It will be interesting to see Joo Ji-hoon and Kim Kang-woo in a rematch after their evil conspiracy as Yeonsangun (KKW) and his old buddy and chief procurer (JJH) in the sageuk film THE TREACHEROUS / GANSHIN. (Warning: It richly deserves a restricted rating for all manner of graphic depravity and violence.) Aside from CIRCLE: TWO WORLDS CONNECTED, the only other productions I've seen KKW in are two short films in the omnibus FIVE SENSES OF EROS: "I'm Here," which was very touching, and "In My End is My Beginning," which was later made into a full-length film, but didn't do much for me. One of these days I'll get around to watching him in THE SLINGSHOT.

As for JJH, I've seen a bunch of his films and dramas. Just stumbled across I AM THE KING, and will watch that as a comic parallel to THE CROWNED CLOWN, but this time with the future Great King Sejong installing a slave doppelgaenger in his place while he goes on walkabout among the hoi polloi. It sounds like a romp.

As for ITEM, I'm still reminded of Rambaldi devices from ALIAS, and also WAREHOUSE 13. I just hope it doesn't sprain my brain too much. ;-)

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keeping my fingers crossed for this one;)

I haven’t heard anything good about Jin Se Yeon’s acting, but I know Save Me’s writer is good with badass female character so.. (pretending not to look forward to the drama to protect my sensitive wittle heart)

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Lead male checked! Antagonist checked! Lead female? Not so fast!! Hmmm.. I can't see her doing tough female criminal profiler! She has beauty like that of Go Ara! But Go Ara does female badass so well!! I just think those two guys need more tough female lead! But let's just for more reviews from all kdrama fans!

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