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News bites: June 11, 2016


Rain, Victoria

  • Ummm, did he not learn from his first experiment with an f(x) member? Rain and f(x)’s Victoria have been cast as the leads in Chinese drama Endless August, and filming will begin soon. [Joongang]
  • With a budget of over 24.6 billion won (roughly 21 million USD) greenlit by global entertainment company DMG, the upcoming blockbuster Chronicles of Empress Wu is sure to be a high-quality production. During a recent press conference for the Chinese fantasy sageuk drama, it was announced that timeless beauty Kim Hee-sun (Angry Mom) had signed on to play the famous empress, but her agency refuted that claim, stating that they had not received a script nor any information regarding the character. The actress stated, “I’ll make a decision after I confirm what kind of character she is in the drama.” [Star News, Dispatch]

  • Kim Hee-sun, Kim Kang-woo

  • Kim Kang-woo (Goodbye Mr. Black) will take a break from the screen and take to the stage instead, where he’ll share the role of Hamlet with Kim Dong-won in an adapted version of the Shakespearean play. Hamlet, the Play will run from August 2 through October 16 at Seoul’s Chungmu Art Center (formerly Chungmu Art Hall), and tickets will be available for sale starting mid-June. [My Daily]
  • Park Hae-jin is getting his own webtoon, which will be released solely to members of his fan club, CLUB Jin’s. Park’s agency, Mountain Movement Entertainment, contracted newbie writer hyesso to produce a webtoon called The Secret Life of a Top Star. Spanning four or five episodes in total, the webtoon will launch July 1 and will be published serially on Mondays in four different languages. Park’s currently busy hosting fan meetings across Asia; he recently held one in Taiwan, and he plans to visit Thailand at the end of July. [Hankook Economy]

  • Park Hae-jin

  • KBS recently repackaged and aired Oh Gu-shil on their cable channels. The cute and easily digested web drama (each episode is around 2-3 minutes long) is about titular thirtysomething Oh’s work and love lives. The first season premiered last September, while the second season was just released in May. [Joy News 24]
  • It’s sweet that director Hwang Dong-hyuk’s Miss Granny cast is supporting his new omnibus film, Bugs Attack. Shim Eun-kyung and Sung Dong-il recently wrapped filming for their segment Mosquitoes (shudder), as did B1A4’s Jinyoung (Warm and Cozy), who was coupled up with former KARA member Han Seung-yeon for Cockroaches (double shudder). About a surprise attack from massive bugs (yech, practically convulsing now!) the film will incorporate elements of comedy, action, horror and thrills. Jinyoung is confirmed for Moonlight Drawn by Clouds, so we’ll see him on the small screen again beginning in August. [Osen]

  • Jinyoung, Detective K

  • A third installment of Detective K will reunite Kim Myung-min, Oh Dal-soo, and director Kim Seok-yoon next year for another comic action adventure. Filming is slated to begin next summer. [My Daily]
  • Perhaps being paired with new blood will breathe some fresh life into Taecyeon’s acting: Rookie Baek Seo-yi has been cast as his unrequited love in Bring It On, Ghost. Her character’s considered the campus goddess and is fawned over by the boys of the university, including Taec. The show airs on tvN on Mondays and Tuesdays beginning July 11. [Xports News]
  • Kim Bo-mi (Neighborhood Hero) joins Black Cat as the director of an animal hospital and the bestie of a wannabe actress played by Chae Soo-bin. Produced by MBC and bankrolled by Chinese investors, the Korean-Chinese web drama starring Im Shi-wan and L will premiere on Tencent’s QQ before the end of the year. [Xports News]

  • Baek Seo-yi, Kim Bo-mi

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"Ummm, did he not learn from his first experiment with an f(x) member?"

My thoughts exactly! But since it's a Chinese drama, it can turn better than the other mess, at least Vic is popular in China so it's bound to succeed.

Park Hae Jin is so good at fanservice. Can't wait for the webtoon. Kind of reminds me of a novel a Japanese writer wrote about Lee Seung Gi -with his approval, it was so sweet.

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I watch Beautiful Secret with f(x) Victoria and she is adorable there, really adorable
I think she is okay

but the warning reminds me of Red Light Fx song (I don't like this song, it's weird), but here's the anthem

Aye aye aye aye wait a minute
Under the rule of the jungle
The weak gets devoured

Just push ahead,
Yeah push ahead
Oops, I got stepped on

Aye aye it’s a red light light
I don’t even know what’s wrong with the current situation

Aye aye it’s a red light light
Listen carefully to the whoever is trying to warn us
Red light

Try to breathe for a moment
Try breathing, try breathing Eh eh oh
This isn’t war

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Yah. I thought she was tolerable in "beautiful secret". Sometimes, you can tell she's acting (not natural) but I didn't mind. I thought she was ok.

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The best thing about acting in a Chinese drama is that they are in general so bad that even if it tanks no one's going to say anything. Also, Victoria is hardly a guarantee for success. She hasn't had any memorable works so far.

Anyway, on Kim Hee-sun's casting, the drama's not called Chronicles of Empress Wu. I thought it sounds weird since Fan Bingbing's drama just came out not long ago it's unlikely that anyone will go all out and make another version. It's actually a drama about a deity called He Xian Gu. I'm guessing they are setting this in the Tang Dynasty that's why they have Wu Zetian as one of the characters.

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Thank goodness. I thought her being cast as Empress Wu was way to weird.

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You are kidding. I'm Chinese. I knew too well that Victoria's acting was heavily criticized in China, I admit most of our young actors' acting skill sucks though. Every single project of hers flopped, and she hasn't been accepted as an real actor in China.

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That's about what I said (well, what I actually wanted to say) on Victoria, except I'm trying to put it in a nicer way.

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Finally some truth. I watched her work because other poeple were in it and was shocked at how bad she was when I've been reading so much praise online in the kpop world.

There are some gems in the youngins of the Chinese industry. Zhao Ji Ling, Zhang Tian Ai, Yang Mi and Liu Yi Fei just to name a few. All around Victoria's age and so much better then her and popolar too. Not Zhang Tian Ai yet since she only broke out this year but the others sure are.

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What truth? It's her very personal opinion coz she is obviously very negative biased against her. Stats and numbers what matters more than some fan girl's subjective opinion.

And you are funny comparing established A-listers (Zhao Ji Ling, Yang Mi and Liu Yi Fei) to her just do downput her lmao It's like bringing up established A-list male actors to put down Kris/Luhan etc. Low attempt.

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"Finally some truth. I watched her work because other poeple were in it and was shocked at how bad she was when I’ve been reading so much praise online in the kpop world."

So what's exactly the problem? People watched her work and found it good hence those praises. Their opinion. You watched it and found it bad. Your opinion. Are their's opinion bad because it doesn't match your opinion? Everything should match your subjective opinion to be "good" and "true"? Not to mention your opinion contradicts the viewership ratings her work got. So maybe it's your opinion was wrong? Who knows. After all you are just one random manga-reading late teen, early twenty kpop fan girl.

And I don't even think you are that much deep informed about c-entertainment btw.

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I am chinese too if that's relevant here.

"Every single project of hers flopped"?

You must be KIDDING. Who are you trying to misinform and downput?

Her latest drama BS is 2016's #1 in rating on Hunan TV and is ranked #7 among all mainland dramas in 2016. Heck it even did better than God of War, a historical drama, despite being a modern idol drama lol You must admit stats and numbers are more relevant than your personal opinion which is obviously negatively biased against her because... you are a fan of other mainland celeb? Yang Yan fan girl? chinese "patriot"? Don't act like people here know nothing about c-entertaiment and stop spreading false info.

Yes, she is not on par with established A list actors yet. But that doesn't mean you can spread lies and misinform people here, Jane.

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I don't give a shit about Yang yang, he's just one of those beauty face without any acting skills in my eyes. I don't know anything about the rating, because l'm not c-drama fan. However, as an ordinary ueser of Chinese social media who browse weibo and wechat everyday, the only thing I know about this drama is her horrible acting. Nobody talks about the rating nor the story of this drama, but her horrible acting in a clip of the drama where she tries to act a claustrophobia by screaming and grabbing her hair was widely circulated and teased harshly by public. Tbh, I'm annoyed to see so many posts of that. Isn't it ridulous the hottest topic of a drama is the heroine's bad acting?

I'm not a hater of Victoria. If she improves in her future projects I'm happy to watch. The reason I bring this up is I don't want foreigners to think Chinese viewers are so low-standard to recognize acting as bad as this.

Of course it's all my personal opinion, so is yours

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Normally I wouldn't have a problem with constructive criticisms. But the moment you put misinformation (read a lie) in your comment it stops being such. It becomes a false statement. Not to mention you just admit you don't have that much of knowledge about c-entertainment.

The "horror in elevator" scene from Beautiful Secret you are referring to was in focus because it was Hunan TV (the broadcasting channel) and the production team themselves that first posted that scene cut online and praised Victoria's acting in it. And yes it got polarizing responses from viewers. Polarizing to mixed, Carl, NOT uniformly negative. How do I know that? Ratings, Carl, ratings. The drama competed against mega hit ancient costume drama The Legend Miyue in its time slot, and averaged #2 ratings in csm-50 rating system while averaging #1 spot in nationwide ratings. This is the response from the "public", Carl. And that response was very different from what some residents of online forums, entertainment blog readers, and fan girls say. In some way this is similar to what we see in korean media articles. The real "general public" (people of all ages including grandmas, grandpas, ahjummas, housewives, ahjussis and so on) just doesn't care about every petty things so called knetz make big deal about.

The reason I mentioned Yang Yang was, since 2014 she is getting so much shit from his delulu fan girls. She was already getting dirt from "nationalists" and bandwagon fake "patriots" for staying with SM after Kris, Luhan controversy, then those defensive oppa fan girls. Then there are also some kpop fans who have access to chinese sns, with their own agenda to shit on her ("I hate her because she is doing better than my kpop bias"...)

Other than that, generally I welcome any kind of constructive criticism because it allows fans not lose their sense of reality.

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Shall I put an end to this argument? Just to clarify, I'm a foreigner but I know Mandarin - native proficiency. Not trying to brag, but just putting it out there so you know there's nothing lost in translation.

In terms of viewer ratings, these are the statistics from the Chinese wiki:

Yr 2015
1. The Empress of China (3.060) [Ep18 -]
2. Legend of Miyue (2.677) [Ep1 - 64]
3. Legend of Miyue (2.614) [Ep1 - 64]
4. The Journey of Flower (2.123)
5. Cruel Romance (1.993)
...
15. The Empress of China (1.401) [Ep18 -]
...
21. Beautiful Secret (1.249) [Ep1 - 18]

Yr 2016
1. Legend of Miyue (3.594) [Ep65 -]
2. Legend of Miyue (3.502) [Ep65 -]
3. Les Interprètes (2.05) [Airing]
4. The Wrong Ride* (1.501)
5. Beautiful Secret (1.422) [Ep19 -]

* In pinyin, Shang Cuo Che, or literally, on the wrong car.

Both The Empress of China and Legend of Miyue were airing on two channels simultaneously. So you may want to add that up (or not). Of course, these are CSM50 ratings which take sample from urban households. In kdrama context, it will be something like AGB/TNmS Seoul ratings. CSM50 is the more widely used measure though, because ironically the national rating has a smaller sample size of ~6000 households whereas CSM50 has a sample size of ~60000 households. Also, the channel itself also plays a part. Out of all these dramas, only The Empress of China (15th ranked), Legend of Miyue and The Wrong Ride did not air on Hunan TV.

The national ratings (used only by Hunan TV and CCTV, for reasons unknown):

Yr 2015
1. Hero Dog
2. Cruel Romance
3. Legend of Fragrance
4. The Empress of China
5. The Wife's Lies
...
8. Beautiful Secret
...
13. The Disguiser
...
23. Legend of Miyue
...
31. Legend of Miyue

Source: http://www.tvtv.hk/archives/2860.html

The top 13 dramas all aired on Hunan TV. I couldn't find any 2016 rankings which included Beautiful Secret, possibly because it premiered near the end of 2015 so they didn't consider it a 2016 drama. In a nutshell, I don't think Beautiful Secret outdid Legend of Miyue. Not that I think it probable in the first place.

I don't think flop is the right word to describe Victoria's dramas, but none of her dramas generated any real buzz. You can cherry pick stats and say it performed better than The Disguiser, which was much more well-received. But I can say also that it lost to Hero Dog. But wth is Hero Dog anyway? Will you say the public liked Hero Dog better than The Empress of China? Also, saying that God of War will do better because it's a historical drama is fallacious, because they don't work like that. It'll be better if you say it's a big budget production instead. I'm not biased against Victoria, I think her dramas are performing at a level where I'd expect them to which... isn't great to be honest.

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It's true CCTV+HuNTV really cares more about nationwide ratings anyway. BS sure did outperform Hunan TV's expectations as they crowned it as their #1 ratings (final episodes with 3.98%) drama in 2016 so far.
Also BS ranked #7 out of 105 c-dramas aired in 2016. The night time tv drama ranking goes like this: 1. Legend of Miyue 7. Beautiful Secret 16. Chronicle of Life 17. Imperial Doctress 20. God Of War Zhao Yun 27. Ode to Joy etc.
And again, good stats indeed do indicate success of the drama. If it's not then what is it??? I don't get it. Do you know why it seemed like BS didn't create a huge buzz? Because why it should, first of all? It wasn't even a big budget production with A-list casts. From the mid of the story, it followed a typical "makjang" storyline which all those housewives, ahjummas and grandmas love. I doubt they would run to all those internet forums and blogs next morning to discuss about how good the drama was lol But yes we have result numbers and it's good.
So in the end we all admit it was a misinformation that "every of her projects flopped", and her drama was faaar from being a flop lmao Nor there was any kind of "SM drama curse" thing lol

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I think it really depends on the actors and drama. China has had some amazing TV series lately, like Nirvana in Fire.

I'm also impressed that China is very willing to cast actors and actress of different Asian ethnicities. It's very Hollywood of them.

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I think there are some great Chinese dramas, mostly period dramas. But in general, they suck. I'm watching Les Interprètes and it's so bad (I don't know why I'm still watching really), even though there's Yang Mi (established A-lister) and Huang Xuan (newly minted A-lister). Everyone's acting is awful except for HX's. It's actually a decent production budget-wise though. From the trailer it totally looks like it could be a pretty good drama, with some really beautiful shots. But the script is absolutely terrible. I wonder how it passed any inspection.

Sometimes I think they are trying too hard to go Korean, which is annoying because I don't want to watch period dramas with pastel color costumes, modern make-up and the leading man with man bangs. I mean, I want to see a "true" period drama, so darker colors please and shave your head if you have to.

And the casting? It's great that there is diversity, but people will kick up a storm about it. Like KHS's potential casting for Empress Wu, I can already imagine people saying "why cast a Korean for a Chinese historical character", which is understandable really. Korean actors are generally limited to modern dramas so that they don't draw that much flak.

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Frankly, I am not sure what everyone's problem is with Krystal's acting. Everyone loved Krystal in Heirs. I think her acting was fine. The drama My Lovely Girl on the other hand may be a different story. It is not her fault that drama wasn't the best.

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KBS recently repackaged and aired Oh Gu-shil on their cable channels. The cute and easily digested web drama (each episode is around 2-3 minutes long).

2-3 min?
I dunno a webdrama can be that short! ?

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Yeap, web drama it can be like that short. Because the target usually for smart phone user on the go. Means that they only watch for short time while walking, waiting etc etc. Sort of like extended version for commercial CF that normally 30s-60s airtime.

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It's really cute! I just finished watching season 2, though personally I liked the first season a bit better. Surprisingly, they can say a lot with a such short eps!

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Where did u watch it? Links please :)

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Season 1 with Eng subs is on OnDemandKorea. I watched Season 2 as it came out on Ohgusil's fb page without eng subs though, but I'm guessing ODK will release S2 with subs soon?

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Kim Kang Woo playing Hamlet. Now that is something I really wish I could see.

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Goodblye Mr. Black was lets just say a mixture of hits and misses, mostly latter one but he sure did shine and owned his role. I wish I could see him going all in for this role, one of my favorite plays. I hope when he does comeback to dramaland, it'll be a lead role and something exciting. He surely deserves it.

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I agree with the both of you.

Kim Kang Woo is always perfect no matter the role. I have seen him in films as well as TV shows and he makes the best out of what he's given (though I personally believe that cinema is his forte).

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It seems DMG is really rich! They also put 40 billion won for that drama with Lee Jong Seok.

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'as did B1A4’s Jinyoung (Warm and Cozy), who was coupled up with former KARA member Han Seung-yeon for Cockroaches (double shudder)'

At first I thought the double shudder was referring to the two of them being paired up together, but then I realised it was because of the Cockroaches.

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Okay... I'm actually interested in watching Bugs Attack...

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Seeing Kim Hee-sun & Kim Kang-woo pictured side by side -a hint of future things to come in kdramaland. I certainly hope so.

Dear kdrama fairies: Oh, pretty please...with sugar and cream and a strawberry on top.

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Oh God, Rain , NOOOOOOOOO!!!!! Please don't make the same mistake again. You looked so miserable in My Lovely Girl as you ealized too late that the script, director, editing and the simply catastrophically AWFYL acting by Krystal doomed this show. And to have your lovely voice dubbed in Chinese. How can this drama possibly be good. Please get serious. Marry Kim Tae Hee and start taking on intense roles like A Love to Kill again. You're WAY to good an actor to stoop so low.

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Unfortunately, China seems to be where the big bucks are. After all, it looks like Ji Chang Wook has gone there and is never coming back... T^T

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Oh tell me about it. How desperate we are for Ji Chang Wook to do ONE drama in korea....at-least before he enlists himself in the military. But it doesn't seem like so right :(

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This is doubly sad because, try as I might, every Chinese drama I've started I've had to stop because they are just SO bad. I have to think this is agencies pushing their stars to act in Chinese dramas for the increased money but Rain is his own manager after starting his own company. The last thing I want to do is start doubting the intelligence of my very first crush in k-drama and k-pop land, after I saw the amazing hard work he has put into his career since starting from the streets when he met JYP. Now I'm so worried about him I can hardly stand it.

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Well, you can view this positively really. Come Back Ahjusshi just ended, so you can't expect him to take up another Kdrama so soon because of viewers' fatigue. Nothing wrong with making some money during this period by acting in a Chinese drama (even if it's terrible) since he's not going to do anything else anyway.

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I can hardly blame him. Come Back Mister flopped, despite being a good show. He's gotta go where the demand is.

IA about C-dramas, a lot of them start off well and then the writing goes haywire. Love Me If You Dare is a good example, a great first 16-17 episodes and then the writer lost it completely.

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I actually thought Love Me if You Dare was quite good, even if the book was 1000000x better, but honestly, if you have leads who are as good as that, a show is going to be good. I haven't seen Wallace Huo in a horrible drama yet. Nirvana on Fire was also pretty good, as well as a lot of their period dramas. Where China seems to go wrong is in their modern day dramas. Some are great while others suck.

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A webtoon about Park Hae-jin? And only given to his fan club? 4 episodes? This is the first I'm seeing something like this. I don't know but this is kind of weird....Am I the only one?

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He is creating a brand around him and his name, very slowly. For lack of better example, like the Kardashians. I think financially speaking, not a bad idea as long as he keeps doing good work in dramas or in movies.

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That's is not weird. Not long ago, an idol group hired webtoon artist to make a cartoon based on their track title. The comic included in their album.

Even Taecyeon also got a business of plush item named OKCAT where it produced daily items from plushies to folder and everything. I think it been slow down because of his busy schedules.

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Rain... I wish your new drama would be as successful as Diamod lover! Good luck!

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the scenarios are sometimes very good ("Come Back, Mister", "A Love to Kill") or very bad (MLG, especially the last episodes), but Rain is always excellent. He is born with a gift for acting and likes this profession, he has a sensitivity and infinite possibilities. After occasions there is or there is not, and the success of a drama or movie, it really depends of the choice of the most people, so, the choice of easy entertainment. It's life!

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rain x victoria reminds me of rain x lee na-young in The Fugitive: Plan B

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i don't like watching rain with a dubbed voice...
; (

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Victoria is very loved and established as an idol-actor (her acting is actually not bad) and a singer in China, so I don't understand the negative reaction T.T

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KKW as the Korean Hamlet? WOW... I'd love to watch him in one of the greatest Western roles to this very day.

His roles, mainly in films, have always been quite diverse which makes me even more curious. How will he captivate Hamlet's psychology? Will it be something like a monologue or a full-length play? In what ways will the director adapt the original? So many questions, so little answers (or no answers at all!) *sigh*

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Im kinda ??? About Rains drama... Hope its a good one and the plot starts and ends interesting. idk about Victoria's acting but we all know the money is in China so I dont really blame them for going there... Hope we get News from Ji chang wook returning from China to at least do a korean webdrama :(

Im gonna goggle the web drama because its interesting to have tiny doses of a story and make sense. Theres dramas that have tooons of episodes and are meaningless.

PHJ's webtoon sounds like a good idea. You often see idols selling merchandise with their logos and stuff so he might further capitalize with his image.

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FYI, Victoria's side hasn't confirmed yet whether she accepted the role or not. Fans murmur that she rejected it. If you notice all these news about the drama casting is coming from Rain's side so far.

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Yah. I thought she was
tolerable in “beautiful
secret”. Sometimes, you
can tell she’s acting (not
natural) but I didn’t mind.
I thought she was ok.

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I don't really understand why you'd think it's dangerous for him to work with Victoria simply because she's in the same GROUP as another actress he worked with? What kind of logic? And she's very well known in China as a good actress. It's not a korean production, so the viewership and reaction should be completely different because Victoria's popularity is far greater in China. Geez.

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China has a lot of corrupt money to burn in the entertainment industry.

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