Dennis Oh joins East of Eden, because it has credibility to burn
I mean, that must be it, right? For a series billing itself as a multi-generational saga full of revenge, action, and intrigue, casting an acting lightweight like former model Dennis Oh (short for Dennis Joseph O’Neil) is a gutsy move that must be the result of an excess of confidence, or optimism, or something.
Then again, main star Song Seung-heon ain’t such a noted thespian either; maybe MBC’s counting on the female viewership to be so dazzled by the confluence of male beauty that they’ll forget to notice their acting. Or, perhaps they’re counting on their strong female lineup (Lee Mi-sook, Lee Da-hae, Han Ji-hye, and Lee Yeon-hee) to shoulder that burden, along with the supporting cast (Yeon Jung-hoon, Yoo Dong-geun, Jo Min-ki). By the way, I don’t know how a drama can have so much money poured into it and such an otherwise all-star cast and yet seem so dull and trite to me. Not one speck of interest.
I don’t hate Dennis Oh; I’m just a drama fan who’d rather have valuable airtime given to people who are good at their job. He seems like a nice guy who fell into a career for which he is not suited purely because of his looks. More power to him for taking advantage of the Korean obsession for the half-Caucasian members of their fold. Does that mean he shouldn’t be judged by the same professional standards that “serious” actors are held to? Oh hell naw. Especially since you can’t call him an inexperienced noob anymore, with a bevy of ads and CFs and two drama series under his belt (Sweet Spy, Witch Amusement; I tried to be nice in his Witch days but in the end I was forced to admit I’d been overly optimistic).
I mean, I understand that the man is beautiful — sure, without question. But can he act? Not really so much.
The character he takes on in the drama is a (multi)millionaire casino heir, shedding Dennis’ heretofore sweet image in exchange for a “tough” one instead. (Maybe he ought to take the Keanu route to success and speak as little as possible, limiting himself to fierce glowering, fight scenes, and action struts.) East of Eden follows current Monday-Tuesday drama When Night Comes on MBC and is set for an August premiere.