Is it red carpet season already? The various year-end awards ceremonies for films and dramas will start rolling in this month and go through the end of the year, but the red carpet festivities kick off with the Busan International Film Festival, now in its 20th year. The festival runs from October 1 through October 10, and stars gathered on opening night to promote their latest films. It’s always fun when costars come together to these events, and that seemed to be the theme of the night.
Unsurprisingly, the color theme for the dress code was mostly black and white, but a few actresses managed to turn heads even without flashy color. It was a windy night, which seemed risky for some dresses, but it did make for some beautiful shots in motion. There are no awards tonight—just the red carpet—so let’s get right to it.
The first teaser is out for KBS’s Strange Daughter-in-law, formerly titled Killing Mother-in-Law, which was too misleading for the light comedy, and then Taming Mother-in-Law, which some deemed too disrespectful. The first title was a bad one that made me wonder if we were actually talking about murder (it turned out to be a metaphor), but the second one would have been fine by me; ultimately, though, the show is centered around the fake-daughter-in-law played by Dasom, so I guess it all works out.
The show looks like it’s going for tongue-in-cheek light humor, with Dasom playing an idol star who gets cast on a reality show whose concept is “daughter-in-law experiment.” She’ll have to navigate the tricky role of playing the daughter-in-law in a rural clan head household—where gender roles are old-fashioned and steeped in generations of tradition.
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.
In 2009, eleven years since the release of the genre-defining Whispering Corridors, and four since since the fourth entry into the series, Voice, the fifth Whispering Corridors film was released. Entitled A Blood Pledge (여고괴담5: 동반자살), it might also be the last Whispering Corridors film, as it’s now been over five years since its release and there’s been no word of a sixth. And part of that might be because A Blood Pledge represents a nadir for the series, even as a relatively tolerable horror film.
Like Voice, A Blood Pledge opts to shift genre from straight horror to mystery and returns to the theme of suicide, previously a critical component of Memento Mori. In this case, we open with a trio of students, Soi (Sohn Eun-seo), Yoo-jin (Oh Yeon-seo), and Eun-young (Song Min-jeong), pledging to commit suicide together in the school chapel. But later we only see a different student, Eon-joo (Jang Kyung-ah), plummet to her death before the eyes of her younger sister, Jung-eon (Yoo Shin-ae).
When I first heard of JTBC’s new drama Her Legend, I read the description of a poor and plucky Candy-girl who works her way up in the luxury handbag world and filed it away in my head as “that purse drama.” Little did I know that the drama would actually be overrun with handbags; it’s like the I Do, I Do promos all over again, only we’ve swapped one compulsive shopper’s vice for the other. Not that I would know anything about that. Ahem.
Park Se-young (School 2013, Faith)
javabeans: Nothing says “edgy” like a photo shoot that is obviously trying way too hard to give you nightmares. We GET it, ARENA, you want to be cutting edge and fashionable. Only when did evil-looking devil-imps sprouting foliage out of their heads come into fashion? Did I miss the memo about spring?
girlfriday: Clearly you’re not getting the deeper meaning behind the… um… artistic juxtaposition of nudity and haute couture. ‘Cause yunno, just wearing a dress doesn’t quite get the point across, apparently.
javabeans: Yes, to sell the pretty dress, you need to set up a tableau and create a story and conceptualize… a concept… that makes you want to spork yourself. Art 1, Self 0.
girlfriday: And they say art appreciation is dead.
Well, we’ve given out our awards for 2012; now it’s time to see how MBC distributed its honors. And if past years are any indication, there are bound to be some head-scratchers and some obvious political choices. Then again, that’s sort of the name of the game all across the board, isn’t it?
The thing about this station is, every year I see MBC’s award list and think, “Oh right. The station did have some hits after all,” which makes me wonder whether I’m misremembering the year as a sparse one for the broadcasters. And then I think a little more and realize that basically, this was all they had. Wasn’t much competition within categories, which is why you got dramas cleaning up in multiple categories, ’cause what else would’ve taken it?
MBC also has the habit of creating categories or altering them without explanation, which just reinforces the idea that they’ve got a list of shows they need to give awards to, and would rather fit the categories to the shows than vice versa. Ah, dramaland.
Another round of Variety Roulette is here!
This time we tackle We Got Married, the show where stars pretend to be newlyweds in front of the camera. It’s a show that girlfriday watches regularly but which I’ve only caught in snippets, never watching a full episode from start to finish. It takes some getting used to the premise when you’re entering it cold, but hey, that’s the name of the Variety Roulette game, right?
SONG OF THE DAY
Super Junior – “Walkin'” [ Download ]