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Spooking the guest-ghosts away in tvN’s Hotel del Luna

Anything coming from the Hong sisters inspires a lot of apprehension, as well as cautious hopefulness, which is exactly how I’m approaching their newest project tvN’s Hotel del Luna. Two new teasers have been released, featuring the two leads IU (My Ajusshi) and Yeo Jin-gu (My Absolute Boyfriend), giving us a glimpse of their characters as an owner and manager of a hotel that only caters to ghosts.

In the first teaser, we see IU’s Jang Man-wol character sitting, looking bored with a wine glass in hand, and surrounded by people dressed to the nines. She looks up as a man approaches her, which turns out to be her hotel’s manager Gu Chan-sung (Yeo Jin-gu). He slams down some bills in front of her and declares that her excess spending has pushed the hotel’s finances to the brink. That’s pretty ballsy behavior from an employee, especially to a boss like Man-wol, who goes from serene boredom to spitfire fury in a second. She curses and barks at Chan-sung’s insolence at daring to question her spending habits, and her temper is enough to spook the guests into poofing away. The teaser ends as she gets up in Chan-sung’s face and pretends to smooth down his collar, ominously saying, “Do you want me to make you disappear like that?”

The second teaser focuses on Gu Chan-sung, who is a top-flight hotelier, even appearing on global magazines like Times and Forbes (lol). He’s definitely a workaholic by nature, judging by the chaos on his desk, and his status as the top of his industry despite his young age. I’m interested to see how he ends up working at a hotel that only serves the dead, given his reputation and prestigious background. He coolly walks down the hallways of the hotel he now manages, only to faint from fright at the sight of a ghost in a room. Man-wol just gives a small, exasperated grimace, and stands over him as he comes to, noting that he’s all-around a good hotelier except for the fact that he’s “weak.”

Hotel del Luna will premiere on July 13 and air on tvN’s Saturday-Sunday slot.

Via X Sports News

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Some people born in 1997 don't really look it. Kwak Dong Yeon is one of them.
Yeo Jingoo, is not.
He looks his age or even younger in these teasers and I don't know why but it's really distracting!

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I have always felt Yeo Jin-gu looked older than his age. He Who Must Not Be Named is a 1997er who looks younger than his age.

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Really? Huh. Well now I don't know what to think lmao

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I think YJG looked older than his age but now he looks his age.

For KDY, he still looks older than his age.

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Kwak Dong Yeon was born in 1997? I never would have guessed that!

I have shoes that are older than that... *ahjumma issues*

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Every time I have said this on here, and this is about the third time, someone always looses their mind over it and it's hilarious. Yes he's 97 line lmao

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I am with you on this he looks very young in these teasers and every time I see him in that suit and tie sitting behind that massive desk I burst out laughing. This is going to take a LOT of suspension of disbelief.

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Well at least I'm not the only one!! hahahaha

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The worst is I'm not convinced he has the acting skills to pass himself off as older than his age either. If he looked like KDY I would be willing to buy it but neither his looks nor his acting convinces me he is a top tier manager of any sort.

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Really? This is one aspect I'm personally not worried about haha. He portrayed a character in his mid twenties while he himself was 16 (potato star).. for me, it is not jingoo's abilities, but his bad luck with choosing consistently good dramas to star in

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That is exactly the point he wasn't good in that role either. He can't act as a much older character convincingly and he looks younger than his age here. The combination isn't working for him

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He didn’t look his age in Potato Star (which was 15 in international age). I think he has no problem mature if the role is supposed to be older. It’s because his roles are set young on by the script. A young Harvard grad seems to be the profile here. That’s actually just about his age. Except people irl don’t start running a hotel business at this age. Many times kdrama put leads in positions that’s just not believable for the age group. Not even real life chaebols run family businesses at the drama age.

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Haha maybe. But at this point, he looks odd to me in anything that isn't sageuk to be honest.

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This is strange to me because he has such an adult-looking face (and has since he was a teen).

His oldest-seeming roles are those where he has to go darker (like Cray in TCC or Circle). He doesn't really know how to do light and mature. Where are his directors in these roles? I don't understand why they aren't coaching him more.

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I've always felt that his achilles heel is light and mature. He tries but never convinces me in those roles it always comes of as "acting" or "trying too hard". His dark roles especially in historical are phenomenal but clearly everyone has their limitations. I want him to steer clear of these light romcom dramas until maybe he becomes a bit more experienced in real life around women in general and romance in particular.

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Yes, exactly. He's so great in any role that requires emotional complexity, but give him something light and easy and it comes off immature. Maybe he's one of those people who does better the harder something is. Like that person in school who would always get the easy questions wrong, then nail the most difficult ones.

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He's said many times before that a) he's not a method actor, and can transform into and out of a role for a given scene and b) that he has a naturally bright and positive personality. And I wonder if it's that some of these characters are too close to his own personality and so he doesn't feel like he needs to step into the role as much, and it comes off as less invested. So what you said makes sense.

Or, I also like Jane's idea that he just hasn't experienced enough in life to be able to draw on, especially for rom coms. Though I've heard he's doing really well in AB (I haven't seen it).

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I am watching Absolute Boyfriend and my biggest beef with Jin Goo there is that he plays a robot in the drama but so far has displayed no robot acting skill. If he has tried, I don't see it and if he hasn't even tried, then I take the PD to task. Like you, I wonder if it's not the PD's direction, why do they not coach the actor?

Reading comments in Absolute Boyfriend, I have also realized that fans are more bowled over by Jin Goo's looks and cuteness. When it comes to romance, Jin Goo is doing everything right by the book. So if you want to talk about technicalities of acting, I can't fault him. He is also very expressive.

What is lacking is the X factor in romance and I am not sure if it's entirely age related because I have seen young actors do well in this aspect.

I do not know what is the answer but I think he should continue trying in rom coms instead of sticking to what he does best.

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@outofthisworld I doubt he himself hasn’t thought of being more robotic. I just don’t know why they have him act 3 different ways — pre-DaDa BF, DaDa BF, Diana DF. It’s like the robot has multiple personalities. Why was Diana’s BF so cold? He stopped all BF-services from the beginning, while he won’t quite it when Dada said multiple times to quit it. I just think this script is unstable.

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@geliguolu
Seo Kang Joon in Are You Human Too is a fine example of playing robot with subtle but very discernible differences.

On playing robot in AB, the buck stops with the PD. I too think the script is problematic, I never understood how Zero Nine/Young Gu works.

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@outofthisworld Didn’t watch that. But didn’t he have a human role? Then it’s absolutely necessary to play the robot like a robot. That was the direction in I’m Not A Robot too. AB is different because there’s no need to show the difference between human and robot. I’m fine to suspend belief and accept that AI has reached a level of high impersonation. Still, 09 should be the same boyfriend manner to any girl, at least in the beginning. What ‘s with the different robot settings?

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@outofthisworld
I completely agree about him missing the "X factor in romance." I've only ever seen him have platonic chemistry with his costars. And I don't think it's an age thing. Maybe he just hasn't figured out how to do romance on screen yet, or maybe he doesn't get romantic attraction in general. Speaking as someone who's aromantic, there are definitely people who don't have a mode other than platonic. Either way, as a actor, romance seems to be a challenge for him, so I hope he can figure out a way to make it work. If he wants to get those kind of roles, that is.

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He could also be homosexual in real life and unable to build chemistry with female actors or he is entirely asexual and unable to understand how to build sexual tension. Either way he is definitely missing something in interpretation and it shows more with each romantic role he does.

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@ash27

At this moment, he doesn't have the natural charisma for romance nor sex appeal. I do not know if it is something that can be cultivated. Some actors just seem to ooze with it, even if they are barely 20.

I think a well written role and good PD can do wonders. Some rookies shine in their first rom com just because they had these.

Jin Goo is doing the right thing by taking on rom com roles now. Ability to do romance(not necessarily rom coms) is required in almost all dramas, whatever the genre.

From the teasers, I think IU is killing it so at least Jin Goo has a good partner. If it's going to be funny, I will definitely watch.

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Aaand now we're in danger of assuming the dude's sexuality. Let's just stop now. His romance scenes don't work for everyone. End of story.

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(@outofthisworld
Yeahp sex appeal is not a thing learnt or taught, it's just a thing people have AND because everyone experiences attraction differently, different people will have sex or romantic appeal to different recievers, that's thankfully how the world works)

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Thanks @sicarius! I totally agree.

Geez, I was just about to post a nasty reply to the above.

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@outofthisworld
So true. The writer and PD can make all the difference. Since he clearly has the acting skill, I think if he has a good script to work off of and a director who has a more hands-on style, it could help a lot. And like you said, IU looks like she'll do great based on the teaser, so that bodes well. I'm really most apprehensive about the Hong sisters, but it looks interesting enough I plan to check it out.

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When he played the mad king in TCC he nailed the sexual tension in the scenes he had with his "cold queen". Which is why I know he's capable of it and can have that X factor. So I don't know why it doesn't translate.

Also, yes his sexual orientation has nothing to do with any of this. It's called being an actor.

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@ultramafic Now that you mentioned the crazy king in Crowned Clown, I think you are right. There was actually sexual tension or at least it wasn't cringey.

Maybe, Jin Goo should play the opposite of earnest, wide eyed lover boy. Romance aside, I thoroughly enjoyed his portrayal of the King in Crown Clown. It was when he was the clown that my interest died.

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Some actors are an absolute delight to watch in light and fluffy roles or in comedies. It may seem easier than emotional or complex roles but not necessarily or always so.

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I can't really explain it. The first thing I saw him in was TCC. When I found out he was born in 1997, I immediately went "oh yeah ok that makes sense, he looks like a 21/22 year old". As opposed to KDY who when I found out he was born in 1997 I went "I'm sorry he's what now? he's younger than me????" *shrugs*

As for his ability to act in this kind of role, I've only seen him in TCC and Monster Boy and I found his romance scenes in TCC extremely cringe worthy so let's just say this drama is gonna be a wild ride from start to finish.

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Kwak Dong Yeon is so underrated.

I was just cracking my head to think of an actor of Jin Goo's age who can do light/comedy as well as serious roles. I need to look no further.

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KDY is amazing. He needs a lead roll stat.

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Same about KDY. I thought he was late 20s in RR. I would kill to see him in a lead role.

But remember the scenes when he was Cray with the queen? Those had the proper sexual tension. It was when he was Clown they were cringe-fest. I don't know if science can even explain it.

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When I found out he was that young in MLDBC I was in shock for like a week lol. He looks and acts irl, and seems on screen to me like a 27 year old lol.

At the risk of sounding liking a broken record when it comes to TCC, I too thought he had brilliant tension when it came to the Cray and the Queen but those were not supposed to be romantic (unless there's something wrong with you). It was the later moments with the Clown that did nothing for me.
In scientific conclusion he should only play the bad guy or the anti hero LOLOLOL

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I shouldn't be excited for this drama, because Hong Sisters seem to be losing their touch judging from their more recent projects, but I am! IU looks good and convincing in the teasers, and I can already imagining her rocking this role. And while I (strangely) couldn't bear to watch any of Yeo Jin-goo's recent dramas, this one made me interested.

Will I be ready to be disappointed by Hong Sisters once more??

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Just bring your bar as low as the ground! It can only be better than that!

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Just dig your own grave and watch it from in there then you'll be right.

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It will be dark, cozy, and nice...? At least...?

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It will be if it's a hobbit hole... wait this is a grave though hmmm

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Warm and Cozy :-p

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LOL

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I have never watched a Hong Sisters drama so I'm diving in blind. Wish me luck, cingu's

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Oh boy. All of the luck.

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All of the luck for you. Their drama used to be an entertaining, mindless fun so I just hope they bring their mojo back.

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As someone who has watched their shows many many times my comment here might be helpful:
http://www.dramabeans.com/members/midnight/activity/470145/#acomment-470162

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I think this is the first time where IU owns her role from the get go while the male counterpart feels underwhelming... Usually it's the opposite. Yeo Jin Goo looks too young to be a supposedly Harvard graduate (lol) and top-flight hotelier.

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Hes grossly miscast in this drama and his romcom skills are subpar at best.

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I haven't been able to watch IU ever since her terrible acting made me rage-quit Scarlet Heart Ryeo. I am not a big fan of Yeo Jin Goo's acting, either (he's definitely a big part of the problem, along with terrible writing, with Absolute Boyfriend) so I think this is a pass.

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My Absolute Boyfriend ends on July 18, so when Hotel del Luna premieres, Yeo Jin-gu will be on four days a week.

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Well, those days just got prettier, lol.

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Wonderful

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MAB got cut by 2 episodes (4 if you count the 30 min format) so the drama ends on 11th. Doctor Detective starts on 17th July.

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the writer should focus on both leads or else...

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This is from the Hong sisters? I've always loved their work because it's always unpredicable but on the other hand I just can't watch YJG nor IU. I'll stick to reading the recaps then.

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I'm intrigued.

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Drama please be good, please. The teaser has excites me too much.

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Please, Hong Sisters ;___; I just want them to be funny and punny.

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I really like YJG as an actor, but he looks too young for this role. It's kinda frustrating because I like him but I think he's not the ideal actor for this role.

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YJG is just not it. This one is only for IU. They should just focus on her character and keep the romance to a minimum or not at all.

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IU's Manwol reminds me of Han Yeseul's Anna Jo from "Fantasy Couple". Not surprising since they are both dramas penned by the Hong Sisters, but her cursing ("what bullcrap are you saying!") at Yeo Jingu in the teaser made me recall Anna Jo's "Look at the state of this place!" Wonder if it's going to be Manwol's catchphrase 😁

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Oooo I might have to give that drama a watch before this airs

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I didn't know Yeo Jin-gu was the ML in this one! Please be good!

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More like let him be good in it because from the trailers he absolutely doesn't match the character nor iu. He needs to up his game if he wants to continue doing romance genres.

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Havent seen any KDrama for a while since Spring turns to spring. I did like Hong Sister's drama before Warm and Cozy. I am interested in this Drama though mostly because of IU and the ghost theme.

It is interesting Hong Sisters havent dont many dramas recently - wonder how they make $$$?

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They just did Korean Odyssey last year though. Before that there was a two or three year hiaitus.

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The trailers are encouraging. I really like IU and think she's growing into a seriously good actress the last few years. Her character looks quirky and strong in the trailers so I'll be tuning in. My biggest complaint about the Hong Sisters is their female characters, though quirky, tend to start out pathetic or wimp out in the second halves of the series. Even My Girl, Gummiho girl, Hong GilDong girl did this after their delightful starts. Master's Sun girl started weak but got strong, whereas the nun in Beautiful was annoying throughout for me. I watched most of Korean Odyssey and main female character did nothing for me. Just seemed bland.

But I do love their male characters. These guys might be arrogant and alpha, but they're funny, very flawed, and always personable. Full of character ; )
Dokko Jin! Hong GilDong! Masters Sun guy! Loved them.

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Hope this is good. I've watched all of Hong Sisters drama and all of them entertains me from My sassy Girl Choon Yang up to Korean Odyssey. The greatest love and Masters Sun are still their best drama.

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Those are my faves too, and notice how they both were consistently good throughout, no huge lull in the second half like in most of the others.

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