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News bites: March 7, 2015


Song Ji-hyo, Byun Yo-han

  • Song Ji-hyo and Byun Yo-han are confirmed for Ex-Girlfriend Club, and we now have more details on Song’s character: She’s a former flame of Byun’s! How awkward that she’ll be producing the film adaptation of her ex-boyfriend’s popular webtoon, but she’ll do it to save the studio she works for, which is in dire financial straits. She signs on to produce before knowing what the content is about — and when she finds out the webtoon is about the writer’s previous relationships, she suffers a near mental breakdown. Rounding out the group of ex-girlfriends are an older divorcee, a heodang girl who lacks any qualifications, and a third-rate actress (one of them might be played by Hwayoung, formerly of T-ara). Ex-Girlfriend Club begins filming at the end of March and will air on Fridays and Saturdays on tvN in May. [Dong A, Star News]
  • Lee Il-hwa (Mom in the Answer Me series, Family Secrets) has been cast in Trot with Joo Sang-wook and Ahn Sung-ki. As a refresher, the movie will be about a bicycle delivery man, Joo, and his relationship with the merchants at the Hwanghak-dong marketplace. As his relationships with them deepen, the shopowners, including Ahn, will try to play matchmaker for Joo, and while there isn’t any information on Lee’s part yet, I’m guessing she’ll also play one of the well-meaning small-biz owners. [OBS]

  • Lee Il-hwa, Lee Jung-jin

  • Lee Jung-jin (Temptation) has been cast in a Chinese drama called Can We Love Again, in which he’ll play the male lead, a second generation chaebol. He’s viewed as the highly successful president of a large conglomerate of businesses, but on the inside, he’s concealing deep pain. The drama will be about a couple in a loving marriage who give up their happiness to salvage the family business, and will demonstrate that, while it might be easy to get divorced, it isn’t that easy to remarry. This will be Lee’s first Chinese drama, and Can We Love Again will premiere on March 13 on Zhejiang TV. [Star News]
  • Hong Su-ah (Dating Skills) will make her screen comeback in the upcoming horror film Malice, in which she’s been cast as the lead. She’s a woman who envies her friend/classmate from high school so much that she eventually wants to take everything of hers — call her The Talented Ms. Ripley. Malice is expected to be the first scary movie released this summer. [Sports World]

  • Hong Su-ah, Park Jin-woo

  • Park Jin-woo (Glass Mask) is back again, but in another daily drama. In Love You Starting Today, he’ll play a med school graduate (but in his heart of hearts, he wants to become a patissier) and the perfect potential son-in-law. He’s the complete package in the eyes of others, but inside is a deep wound he’s never told anyone about. The drama will be filled with complicated blood ties and include plotlines about adoption and un-adoption. Yep, it sounds like a daily! Love You Starting Today will be directed by the PD of Chuno and The Princess’s Man, and will first air in April on KBS. [Korea Economy]
  • Lee Hee-joon (Yoo-na’s Street) joins Robot, Sori, as a National Intelligence Service agent who challenges Lee Sung-min on his unsanctioned use of an artificial intelligence robot that crash landed in Korea. Aw, give his character a break, he’s desperately searching for his missing daughter. The human sci-fi film will begin filming in the second half of 2015. [Osen]

  • Lee Hee-joon, Webtoon Last

  • IRIS writer Kim Hyun-joon will be adapting the hit webtoon Last, which received over 60 million views, for the small screen. Written by popular webtoon creator Kang Hyung-gyu, it’s about a man who is on the fast track to success in the financial world until a miscalculated stock gamble leaves him penniless overnight. He becomes a part of the vagrant crowd that lives in the Seoul subway stations, and on his journey back up from rock bottom he’ll take on the boss of the Seoul underworld and his gang, who have profited from exploiting the pitiful homeless. Last is expected to air on one of the major broadcast stations before the end of the year. [TV Report]
  • Remember how Sensory Couple changed its name from Girl Who Sees Smells? Well, it’s changed its name back again. I hope the marketing team didn’t get too far with their promotional materials, as the show airs in just three weeks! Girl Who Sees Smells follows Hyde, Jekyll, Me on SBS in April. [Xports News]

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Ex-Girlfriend Club sounds cute, I'm really looking forward to it. Song Ji Hyo never seems to have as much charisma in her dramas as she does in Running Man, it's rather odd, but I really like her so I look forward to seeing how she goes being paired up with Byun Yo Han, who I'm so excited to see in a romcom. I want to see his latest film but it's never as easy to find movies subbed as it is dramas *sigh*

I don't know anything about the webtoon Last but that little summary makes it sound pretty interesting. I'll keep an eye out for any further news on that, I reckon.

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really disappointed to be honest Im not a fan of song ji hyo she was downright annoying in emergency couple. I had hoped that han groo would star instead oh well...

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han groo would've been good, i agree... but song ji hyo was great in Jackal is Coming... i thought she was a hoot!

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Oooooh Han Groooo. The character draft fits her. Great choice! Honestly Song Jihyo was one of the reasons why I watched EC. But dude, after EC, I AM DARN WELL SURE I am not a fan of hers anymore. There is a certain magic that EC did that made me not like Song Jihyo as an actress, a celeb, or even a cast of Running Man. But prior EC I was wishing some kind of ideal love team for her in a drama. I regret the decision (to have watched EC... or to have liked her die-hard before)

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Well come to think of it
I dropped EC because the newbie (in my experience) stole my heart. Dr. Gook aka LEE PIL MO hahaha I dropped it because the Dr Gook stole my heart and I just couldnt bear the thought that he'll be left in tears. *dropped*

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Song Ji Hyo is an interesting person. She fills a certain set role on Running Man, yet she isn't a scene stealer and allows others to shine.

I liked Song Ji Hyo's chemistry with Kim Jae Joong in "Codename Jackal". They were having fun filming together, and it showed.

In Emergency Couple, I did not feel much chemistry between her and Choi Jin Hyuk. It felt lacking, forced and BLAND at times. I don't think that was all from her end though...as a whole, I find Choi Jin Hyuk rather boring.

I have conflicting feelings about Song Ji Hyo. I like her as part of the cast of Running Man. On her own she doesn't do much for me.

I admit that my image of her was slightly blown after I saw "A Frozen Flower". I could never look at her completely the same way again.

I don't look forward to her as a lead actress in any drama...rather, I prefer that she is able to work as part of an ensemble that will draw out her flaws, quirks and goofy-ness.

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Previous to joining RM, SJH mainly had secondary or tertiary supporting roles.

Her popularity on RM really boosted her career in dramas as the female lead.

Have not seen any of her more recent stuff, but SHJ isn't exactly the most emotive actress and she is pretty much an introvert around people she doesn't know well -hence, the awkwardness/moments of silence during her early eps on RM or when she guested on FO.

Since then, her variety skills have gotten better, but she is at her best when "bad" Ji-hyo shows up or when the other RM members poke fun of her (such as in the Gong Hyo-jin ep where KJK and Suk-jun totally rattled her when they made comments like how she is "taller" than GHJ when the 2 are sitting down and that she looks older than her sunbae) or when she is just acting all adorkable.

But even then, she isn't exactly the type of RM member who can create something out of nothing - which is the reason why she often doesn't get much screen time when there are big female celebs guesting and the games aren't conducive to SJH's strengths.

Despite being previously an MC for Inkigayo, SJH was a bit "stiff" in being the MC of the recent RM ep w/ Shinwha.

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I was one of the few that actually liked Emergency Couple, lol, but yeah, the two leads had no chemistry whatsoever. I didn't mind Ji Hyo though; she was better in that then in Mandate in Heaven, at least. If she's going to act, a romcom suits her more than other genres.

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Yeah, romcoms would seem to suit SJH, but she needs to pick the right one (one w/ good writing and character development).

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What's with this hangroo fever. I've seeing her name on most article about tvn dramas.

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- I like the name change back to Girl Who Sees Smells. It sounds more interesting.
- Lee Hee Joon will play a villain in the Robot one? Oooh. Sounds... different?
- Byun Yo Han news, yey! I'm finally watching Misaeng. He's such a hoot. Glad tvN is giving him a lead role.
- Speaking of Misaeng, Lee Sung Min is EVERYWHERE these days... I'm glad for him and his career. Just hope the guy gets a bit of rest.

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Hey mary, thanks for Dbrief. I wanted to thank you on twitter but I dont have an account there and I was having a hard time posting on Unpeoblematic because of the capcha thing. Thanks again!

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Oh, hey. I'm glad you like it! Also, thanks for taking the time to tell me about that contact page problem. I changed the URL in the Chrome store to my wordpress blog so people can talk to me without registering for an account.

(And my apologies to other beanies who didn't like the off-topic posts. I promise I'm not spamming or anything. I just didn't realize people couldn't contact me so they're using the DB comments to do so.)

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I agree about changing the name back! Everyone was really happy when they changed it to Sensory Couple, but I was bummed because I personally think Girl Who Sees Smells captures the quirk and charm inherent in the premise much better. It's also the name of the original so I don't see why they wanted to change it.

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Only drama I am interested in from the list is Ex girlfriends' club! I can already imagine Song Ji Hyo's character in my head hahaha. A little bit to Oh Jin Hee from EC :)

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I'm looking forward to The Girl Who Sees Smells, sound interesting!

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Song Ji Hyo Is good in running man, but as actress she's bad, in korea everybody know her as mediocre actress

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True - I don't know why she gets a pass around here when better actresses (which isn't saying much tbh) get slammed.

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classic case of offscreen image (from Running Man etc) affecting the way people see her in dramas imo.

I've never been a fan of the "but he/she is so funny on variety shows!" excuse many fans give for their faves' poor acting performances anyway. I would have liked someone like Park Ha-sun or Kim Min-hee for this role, but even if SJH isn't ideal it's still better than some other actresses of her generation I've seen.

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You have han ga in and kim tae hee on jihyo's generation. All naturally very beautiful but acting wise uhmm mediocre at best....If I have to rank these 3 according to acting I'll put 1. song ji hyo 2. han ga in 3. kim tae hee.

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KTH has surpassed them, at least she did for "My Princess" - where she gave a surprisingly touching/emotive performance to go along w/ pretty good comedic timing.

Definitely one of the better performances I've seen in a romcom not done by Gong Hyo-jin or Jung Yumi.

Along the same lines, much maligned Lee Yeon-hee gave a very good performance in "Miss Korea."

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Also have to add Shin Min-ah as a top performing rom-com actress.

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you talked to everyone in Korea? hyperbole much huh!

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`Last `has Lee Min Ho comeback written all over it.

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I thought of Ji Chang Wook instead.

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I've heard about this webtoon before and the character is in his 30s.

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Kang Ji Hwan! I can see him pulling it off.

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aww yesss for Byun Yo-han's first drama lead! Song Ji-hyo's not the greatest actress but she's pretty ok even if she's bland in some dramas. and I don't know about Hwayoung but if she is even half as good an actress as her twin Hyoyoung (who seems unfortunately relegated to small roles forever despite being quite natural and versatile) I think she'll be fine.

(now I really hope the Hong sisters lock Kim Woo-bin and Kang So-ra into those lead roles stat, that's the next casting news I want)

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It's a pity Hyoyoung doesn't seem to be on the track to mainstream acclaim - she's done really well in the all the roles I've seen her in. Maybe she needs to grow out her hair like her twin. Or get a better agency.

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This is why idol casting, in the end, is such a fail - even for the ones who have talent, it's all about how popular they are as idols first and not at all whether they can act. Which is a disservice to everyone.

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Could we get Kim Rae-won to be the main character for 'Last'??

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Oh! I would love that!

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Seeing Song Ji Hyo's photos in comparison to most actresses, I am beginning to appreciate her beauty.

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She does look natural, doesn't she?

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Yes she does. And she has that quality. Just different. at least among actresses that i know of (not many), in her (my) age group. The other is Eun yun hye. Did i spell that correctly? Lol

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Not the same can be said for her talent though.

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I think the same of her. She has this natural beauty. There are a lot of pretty actresses. But I don't get the 'natural' vibes from them.

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Early on, I though SJH was more "cute" than gorgeous (i.e. - Kim Tae-hee, Song Hye-gyo, Shina Min-ah, etc.), but she can be really photogenic and her best feature is her smile.

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Oo kim tae hee and song hye gyo! Also beauties!

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I just hope song ji hyo's character doesn't suck like in emergency couple. The characters she gets to play are dull and boring. So pleasuhh let this character be cuul. Maybe that'll show a different side to her acting. Looking forward to byun han's performance. He reminds me a bit of ji chang wook

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Thank you for the news-updates~ I look forward to Song Ji-hyo & Byung Yo-han - it sounds rights up the rom-com alley of sarcastic humor, hijinks and ...heart? (gotta keep the alliterations once it starts.... )

ALSO reading all these upcoming drama synopsis in a flash: I wonder why all these main characters have the 'deep wounds that no one else knows.' I guess it makes for more compelling story, but ahaha it seems so much deja vu....

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Song Ji Hyo's character sounds the same as Emergency couple except they were not married and not doctors. I hope this drama would have be written better than Emergency couple. About her acting she did good in Emergency couple considering it was her first romcom. I'm looking forward to this drama. I'll watch this first before judging her.

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She shined in some scenes. I wouldn't rate her as an excellent actress, but some people here paint her as if she's horrendous. The problem with many is that they see SJH as her MongJi character.

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I think Song Ji Hyo has the potential to really become a great actress, but she really has bad selections for both dramas and movies. I'm always wary of films/dramas that she's in, even though she's one of my favorite actresses...

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I really look forward to seeing Song Ji Hyo in another romcom. I think her character in Ec was written better than the other characters. I really liked her acting EC. It was way better than her acting Crime Squad. Her RM character just stuck so well that her acting is always judged. But she's a good actress. Sure, she's not the best because she's a little awkward on scenes and with people, but to me it works. I maybe a part of the minority who thinks her acting doesn't really suck but oh well. She still has more time to improve anyway. At least she's getting the spotlight now, compared to six years ago. More oppurtunity for her to improve her skills.

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Trots, the story sounds like Il Postino (The postman).

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I always remember an episode in Emergency Couple, before the Gary Cameo, where Song Ji Hyo was drunk and talking on the phone while Dr. Gook was just observing her. I think that scene showed how she can be adorable and very endearing, which was what I liked about her character in Emergency Couple. I am really looking forward to her future shows.

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