Do you think that if Ji Sung hadn’t been awarded the Daesang at the 2015 MBC Drama Awards, there’d have been actual mutiny? Not that there was much question that he would get it, but MBC has figured out ways to make head-scratcher decisions before.
Like, say, suddenly increasing the number of award categories and winners almost to double its usual amount, so as to give everybody something. I have nothing against giving deserving actors their recognition, but the drama list has already carved into three categories, and now you have actor, actress, supporting actor, supporting actress, new actor, and new actress awards for each category.
Moreover, just in case that wasn’t enough, MBC also gave some people not two, not three, but as much as four separate acting awards. Was it really necessary to give Ji Sung both the Daesang and the Top Excellence award for the same drama? (Typically it’s understood that the Daesang winner is pulled from the Top Excellence pool, so somebody else wins Top Excellence.) It’s nuts! I mean, just take a look at that winners list. You might wanna take a deep breath before diving in (it’ll take a while to get through it all)…
Jung Woo, Seolhyun
I guess in hindsight, Kim Jung-eun (Oohlala Spouses) was smart to turn down the SBS weekend drama My Heart Twinkle Twinkle, legal disputes and all, because that show is regularly pulling in 2% ratings (pretty abysmal, when successful weekenders sometimes break 30-40%). It also frees her up to headline a new MBC drama called Make a Woman Cry, as a cop-turned-ajumma-hero. It sounds like a fun role for her that runs the gamut from dramatic to comedic, all in one unusual character.
Jang Shin-young, Bae Soo-bin, Sohn Eun-seo
Hm, SBS is going through a lot of shuffling for its upcoming weekend drama Twinkle Twinkle My Heart, which has already changed its title (from Goddess of Sales) and gained and lost some stars, most recently Kim Jung-eun and Kim Su-ro. Jang Shin-young (My Spring Days) has been floated as a possible replacement for Kim Jung-eun, and now Bae Soo-bin (Greatest Marriage, Secret) is up to replace Kim Su-ro, with Sohn Eun-seo (Her Legend, Love Rain) also in the mix to join.
Sohn Eun-seo would play the younger sister to Bae Soo-bin and falls into a love triangle with Oh Chang-seok and Lee Tae-im. The drama sounds like a lighthearted family show that centers around a success story involving two families connected by fried chicken. I know, that’s a weird way to describe a drama, but that’s what we’ve got. I can guess from the writer’s credits (Goddess of Marriage, Sons of Sol Pharmacy) that it’ll probably have a large cast and smallish stories, and if SBS continues to pursue its makjang-free policy, Twinkle Twinkle My Heart ought to be light on the angst. And while there are a lot of actors in the cast, it appears that the main lead will be played by Nam Bo-ra.
Noh Min-woo, Yang Jin-sung
So Ji-sub, Kim Ji-won
It’s been a while since Kim Jung-eun has had a solid drama project that hasn’t gone sideways on her (Oohlala Spouses, Korean Peninsula), but I’m always rooting for her to return in something good. She’s currently being courted to headline the upcoming SBS family weekend drama Goddess of Sales, as the eldest of three sisters who struggles to succeed while getting revenge for her family’s loss.
Forever the Moment (우리 생애 최고의 순간, aka The Greatest Moment of Our Lives) is an underdog film about underdogs. Despite the high productivity of the Korean film industry, sports films are relatively uncommon compared to other genres. And Forever the Moment is a sports film. About handball. But despite the relatively obscurity of handball as a sport in Korea, the South Korean women’s handball team has frequently won medals in the European-dominated sport at the Summer Olympics, scoring back-to-back golds at the 1988 and 1992 Olympics.
Likewise, director Im Soon-rye was known more among critics’ circles for making low-box-office-performing film-festival darlings like Waikiki Brothers. But just as Korea’s women’s handball team somehow managed to rise beyond their obscurity to score Olympic medals, Im Soon-rye’s Forever the Moment managed to become a hit at the Korean box office in 2008, which manages to win its audiences the same way her previous films won over critics: attention to character.
It’s back to dramaland for Kim Jung-eun, a year after her body-swap rom-com Oohlala Spouses. The actress has been cast to headline a new series that’s being helmed by PD Lee Hyung-min, known more commonly as the Misa PD (I’m Sorry, I Love You), despite also having directed more recent shows like Kim Nam-gil’s revenge thriller Bad Guy and Kim Jung-eun’s (failed) big-budget action thriller Hanbando.
‘Tis the season: Awards time is upon us! And beware of the massive photo-dump that awaits you.
Here we are with the red carpet of today’s (er, yesterday in Korea) 49th Grand Bell Awards (Daejong Awards), one of the big film ceremonies of the year. Coming up later this year is another of the big ones, the Blue Dragons, while springtime is host to the Baeksang Arts Awards. Not to mention all the year-end broadcaster awards for dramas, music, and variety television programming.
Phew. That’s a lot of congratulating. Then again, Chungmuro and dramaland are prolific beasts, with lots and lots of material pumped out every year.
You wouldn’t know that from this winners list, however, seeing as how it was heavily skewed—crushed, dominated—by one film. Just take a look for yourselves: