Kang Haneul, Hyeri up for deserted-island adventure romance Picnic
I had thought this “adventure romantic comedy” drama was dead, but it’s back on the books at MBC, albeit with a new title: Initially called Gaia, the drama now bears the title Picnic and is still courting Kang Haneul (Misaeng) for the lead role, with Hyeri (Entertainer) as his potential co-star.
I’m surprised Kang Haneul is still in contention for the main lead, not that he isn’t worthy of it — it’s that although he’d been offered the role initially when Gaia was first announced, the drama then lost its initial writer, Song Ji-nah of Healer, Legend, and Sandglass, and Kang Haneul also stepped away to work on his other projects. But now Kang is up for the lead again, having wrapped up pre-produced fantasy sageuk drama Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart: Goryeo, so maybe it worked to the drama’s advantage that it took all this time to get back into motion.
Picnic is described as a fantasy adventure rom-com that drops (literally) a cast of idols onto an uninhabited island when their flight crash-lands there. They find themselves in a place far from civilization, and thus begins the human adventure rom-com that features “a seemingly impossible love fantasy.” On top of the romance, Picnic will also be a coming-of-age story for its youthful leads, featuring growth and maturation among its cast. Can we also have lots of ridiculous island hijinks, a la Rain in Come Back, Ajusshi?
Why it’s called Picnic, though, I have no idea — the ordeal sounds like it ain’t no picnic, that’s for sure. (Badum-ching.) Kang Haneul’s would-be character is a successful idol with a prickly personality, while Hyeri’s role would be of an ordinary girl who happens to be on the flight. I do prefer Hyeri to the first potential casting that was floated (SNSD’s Yuri), although I admit that I thought twice after Entertainer, which seemed like a big step back after she’d broken through with Answer Me 1988. But at least we know Hyeri has it in her.
The drama, initially hoping for the Monday-Tuesday post-Monster slot in September, is now looking at a 2017 broadcast and will be a Korean-Chinese co-production. It will be directed by Choi Byung-gil of Angry Mom.
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