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Kim Kyung-nam eyes new role in sageuk, possibly with Park Hye-soo

MBC is planning a new sageuk called The Red Sleeve Cuff and a leading role has been offered to actor Kim Kyung-nam (The King: Eternal Monarch).

The drama is based on a popular novel by the same title, written by Kang Mi-kang. The title references the red cuff that served as a sign for ladies of the court, who were considered to be part of the king’s harem.

Centered around the life of real historical figure Deok-im (who later became Queen Consort Seong Ui-bin), the story has a focus on her romance with King Jeongjo (taking some creative license, of course). From a lowly palace maid, she rises in rank to be appointed as lady-in-waiting for the Queen Dowager (King Jeongjo’s mother), and eventually becomes King Jeongjo’s highest ranking concubine. Her son is declared successor to the throne as well, but he sadly dies in childhood and never becomes king.

According to reports last month, the role of Deok-im was offered to Park Hye-soo (Swing Kids, Introverted Boss) who is currently considering the role favorably.

If Kim Kyung-nam accepts, he will be playing the part of King Jeongjo. Born with the name Yi San, he becomes second in the line of succession as the eldest living and legitimate son to Crown Prince Sado. As a youth, he worked hard to become worthy in the eyes of his grandfather, King Yeongjo. By all appearances, he was perfectly suited to become the next king. In his heart, though, and even after becoming king, he continues to carry the trauma of his father’s death. His resolve and dedication to his duties become further shaken after meeting and falling in love with Deok-im.

Although this does sound similar to MBC’s 2007 drama Yi San, King Jeongjo is a well-known and well-liked historical figure who has been portrayed in many different dramas and films. And I would definitely be interested in seeing Kim Kyung-nam’s take on the character if he accepts the role. Hopefully he’ll be back on our screens soon!

Written by Jung Hae-ri (Ruler – Master of the Mask) and directed by PD Jung Ji-in (Let’s Hold Hands and Watch the Sunset, Radiant Office), MBC’s The Red Sleeve Cuff is currently being planned to air early next year in 2021.

Via Maeil Kyungje, YTN

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I really want Kim Kyung Nam in a lead role! Really! Since Come and Hug Me, I think.

But Ruler - Master of the Mask was so bad than even Yoo Seung Ho and Kim So Hyun could save this drama...

I'm not a big fan of Park Hye Soo neither, she doesn't have a lot of presence on screen, it was a good point for Age of Youth but otherwise...

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Yes! Hope oppa's career will skyrocket through the mess that was King. Will definitely watch if he agrees!

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I know that Kim Kyung-nam is the new up and coming actor, but I'm more excited about a sageuk with Park Hye-soo. I've missed her a lot! I can't believe her last drama was Introverted Boss, she deserves a redemption arc. She was incredible in Swing Kids.

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MBC’s 2007 drama "Yi San" was a great drama. Well documented with a side of romance between Yi San (Lee Seo-jin) and Lady Seong (Han Ji-min).
Why do they want to remake a good thing?

Oh dear, the writer of "Ruler – Master of the Mask." This was one of the worst sageuk I've seen.

Kim Kyung Nam, keep thinking really hard about this please.

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I get what you are saying but Jeongjo is among the half-dozen or so of the most influential and interesting of the Joseon monarchs, possibly the most interesting if you factor both the relationship with a lower born concubine, apparently endless survived assassination attempts and the still controversial death of his father. I just checked on Wikipedia and there have been 13 depictions of him from 1989 - 2015 (which supports both our points :)

I compare him to Lincoln -- by the time Spielberg's movie was released, there had been many admirable movies and television productions about his life and administration but hey, the film was well worth it.

Besides, KKN presents a more ruggedly masculine charisma than Lee Seo Jin (although I loved Yi San, too) which matches up better with my perception of a king who survives so many attempts to kill him.

As for your comment about the writer and Ruler of the Mask -- I can only sadly nod my head in agreement.

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Hyun Bin was a verrrrry buff Jeongjo in the 2014 film The Fatal Encounter 😍

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@bbstl,
You said it!

Plus, Hyun Bin faced off against Jo Jung-seok. What a movie.

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Oh baby! 👀

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I miss Park Hye-soo and finally Kim Kyung-nam is offered a leading role! If they accept I’ll solely be watching for the actors because the writer is a huge yikes

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When I hear about another show/movie about this particular grandson/dad/grandfather portion of Korean royalty thinks, "Ah. Prince in a rice box time again." Am I the only one that does this?

I can't help but think of the rice box as soon as I see mention of any of their names. Even if they don't mention the names, if I see a mention of tragedy and a rice box...same thing.

And now I'm curious...is any other time period more covered in dramas than the one involving these three historical figures?

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No you're not the only one lol. Once you learn about the rice chest it's extremely hard to forget it.
And I haven't even seen anything set in this time period before 😂😂

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Nope, you’re not the only one at all 😦

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A leading role, finally. Have I only been waiting for forever.

*tries to remember what she knows about the historical time period and why it sounds vaguely familiar*
Oh yeah. Suwon. His father was mentally ill and was starved to death in a rice chest in 1762. Jeongjo built Hwaseong Fortress in memory of him. That's right.
Walking round Hwaseong and Suwon was one of my favourite parts of my Korea trip last year.
Anyway.
The Subject Matter: Interesting
The Director: Radiant Office was an underrated gem
The Writer: I haven't seen RMOTM but... let's just say we're cautiously interested 😂

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Yes to all.

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Cautiously interested is the way to go!

Really excited for KKN, because I've been waiting for this news for a while.
I also haven't seen RMOTM, and I can't quite imagine Park Hye-soo in that role. I'll have to see it for myself.

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*fist bump for simultaneous rice box mention posts*

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From THE KING to a King. Kim Kyung-nam is coming off an impressive performance in THE KING. (He is also a favorite of mine). I am sure it will be very hard for him to decline the offer of a lead role. If he takes the offer I am sure he will give it the best he can. He is age appropriate and from CAHM we know he can do ‘tragedy’. Writer and PD look like they are both in-house MBC staff.
I am a survivor of RULER: MASTER OF THE MASK (2017). I watched all 40 episodes. It had problems but some of today’s dramas would love to have its ratings. From PD Jung I enjoyed RADIANT OFFICE (2017).

FYI. Possible Upcoming Sageuks. It appears that towards the end of 2020 through the middle of 2021 as of now we may have on offer 5 sageuks. I am getting the airing date from MDL:
1. QUEEN CHEORIN. (Shin Hye-sun) Nov. 2020;
2. NEW SECRET ROYAL INSPECTOR (KIm Myung-soo) Dec. 2020;
3. JOSEON EXORCIST (Jang Dong-yoon) Dec. 2020;
4. BOSSAM—STEALING FATE (Jung Il-woo) June 2021; and
5. THE RED SLEEVE CUFF June 2021.

Are we looking at a repeat of the Great Sageuk Year of 2019?

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@marcusnyc20 bong-soo,
Thank you for compiling the latest sageuk scorecard for 2020-2021. We have a lot to look forward to. Will QUEEN CHEORIN be able to conclude before the end of the year? (It drives me nuts when dramas span two years. They tend to fall between the cracks at awards time.) If only the shows could be spread out and staggered a bit. Two premiering in December and 2 launching in June. Yikes. How do you spell "cruel and unusual punishment"?! ;-)

I hear you about RULER. That was one hard-earned bean. LOL! I came close to dropping it, but for some reason soldiered on to the end. Show certainly suffered in comparison to REBEL and SEVEN DAY QUEEN, but it did have some touching moments, an excellent veteran cast deserving of better, and lovely music.

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@pakalanapikake,
One potential issue I see from the sageuk list above is the possibility of overlapping dramas. You recall in 2019 (now of happy memory in a lot of ways lol) THE CROWNED CLOWN and HAECHI overlapped for seven episodes. For those watching both (for me anyways) that became a tough haul and part of the problem was how dark HAECHI was filmed. Talk about a strain in the eyes! However I loved both dramas.

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@marcusnyc20 bong-soo, @kiara, @wishfultoki,
I'm girding my loins for a couple of serious mental workouts in the event that we're faced with two sets of simultaneous sageuks. I could well and truly lose it under such circumstances, and end up in the Old Sageuk Geeks' Home.

Don't get me started on the ill-illuminated sets. Arggg! My peepers were kaput after squinting into the gloom reminiscent of an pretentiously atmospheric eatery that had neglected to pay its electric bill. Hrmph! ;-)

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Yay! Thanks for the news @marcusnyc20 and @pakalanapikake. I would have missed this if you hadn't tagged me... I've been MIA from DB for a few weeks. I'm thrilled that Kim Kim Kyung Nam's been offered a lead role, and in a sageuk to boot! *does happy dance*

Regarding simultaneous sageuks, I'm notoriously bad at juggling them, but it means more dramas to binge later ;)

Uh-oh, I still haven't watched HAECHI but I haven't quite recovered from the murky darkness (literally) of ARTHDAL CHRONICLES..

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@wishfultoki,
July 14, 2020 at 7:40 PM

In my 2019 crop of sageuks, I think I rated HAECHI #3 by a hair behind #1 NOKDU FLOWER and #2 KINGDOM. It is a solid show. It was a joy to see Jung Il-woo back from the service. He is excellent in sageuk, and reminded me of his turn in MOON RIVER / THE RETURN OF ILJIMAE. Kwon Yul was dandy, as was Park Hoon. I was tickled to bits that Jung Moon-sung landed a Best Male Character award for scheming Prince Lee Tan at the SBS Drama Awards.

Sadly, Go Ara was injured on the set, and had to cease her damo fisticuffs. She had been doing so well, darn it. I was glad to see her in a cameo in HOSPITAL PLAYLIST, and think I read somewhere that she's been cast in another drama. She really needed to take time to recover from her injury.

Show is a relatively long one at 24/48 episodes. But it's worth it. ;-)

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@pakalanapikake,
You give a very good survey of HAECHI and rightly so highlight some of the fine performances. Let me offer a couple of thoughts:
1. Lee Geung-young gave a wonderful and nuanced performance as Minister Min;
2. Go Ara was going along great as damo Chun Yeo-ji. Her action scenes were fantastic and she was totally erasing the memory of HWARANG when bad luck struck; and
3. Kwon Yu. His comic scenes/movements early in the drama were a surprise to me but not totally.
My viewing history of KW started with WHISPER (2017) and VOICE 2 (2018) where he was anything but funny.
The first time I saw KW do comedy was in the Ma Dong-seok's film CHAMPION (2018) and it was there that I was shocked that he could be funny.
So after seeing Kwon Yul's performance in HAECHI and o/t Heo Sung-tae's performance in PSYCHOPATH DIARY
I thought there should be an award for best performance by an actor performing against type in a drama.
And the Award for
Best Character Actor Performing Against Type in a Drama:
Kwon Yul, Haechi, SBS
Heo Sung-tae, Psychopath Diary, tvN,

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Thank you for the casting news for Kim Kyung-nam, @tccolb. It wouldn't be his first sageuk, considering that he made his drama debut in FAITH in an unspecified role. I was mightily impressed with his performance in COME HERE AND HUG ME, and figure that he's got the chops and emotional range to do a good job portraying Yi San / King Jeongjo.

My dream casting for King Yeongjo: Jung Bo-suk (whose most recent sageuk role was King Chungnyeol in THE KING IN LOVE) or Jung Jin-young (who was magnificent as Yeonsangun in THE KING AND THE CLOWN, and as King Yuri in THE LAND OF THE WIND; he's currently knocking it out of the ballpark in MY UNFAMILIAR FAMILY). If young King Yeongjo appears in this drama, I'd be thrilled to bits to see Jung Il-woo revisit his excellent turn from HAECHI. ;-)

I'm more than a bit leery that the scriptwriter penned RULER: MASTER OF THE MASK. It had a few good bits, but they were far between. On the other hand, s/he also wrote the sageuk GYE-BAEK (which I haven't seen yet), and a dandy MBC drama special that starred Kang Ha-neul and Seo Hyun-jin: REBELLIOUS / REBELLION / BOOLON. Fans of REBEL: THIEF WHO STOLE THE PEOPLE would enjoy it (hint, hint). In the meantime, I'll keep my fingers crossed that THE RED SLEEVE CUFF will be a major improvement upon RULER. If it turns out to be as good as KING MAKER: THE CHANGE OF DESTINY, I'd be happy as a clam.

As for potential leading lady Park Hye-soo, aside from YONG-PAL in which I think she played Joo Won's kid sister, the only other production I've seen her in is SAIMDANG, LIGHT'S DIARY. In it, she plays the young version of Lee Young-ae opposite Yang Se-jong (young version of Song Seung-heon). I thought she did well, and looked very good in hanbok.

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Hmmm, with Jung Il-woo already considering BOSSAM—STEALING FATE, I don't think he'll be able to reprise King Yeongjo from HAECHI. ;-)

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@pakalanapikake,
I noticed that the 77 episode YI SAN (aka LEE SAN, WIND OF THE PALACE and available subbed at ODK) is not on your list. Even though I am a ODK subscriber I don’t think I could attempt that. Interestingly it was not a weekend drama but a M/T MBC drama that aired for 6 months.

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It’s good for historical references since it’s the more historical version of King Yeongjo.
Out of all the younger actors the one that I love most was Yeo Jin-goo’s Yeongjo in that mess called Royal Gambler.

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@marcusnyc20 bong-soo,
Thanks for the heads-up about YI SAN, WIND OF THE PALACE. 77 episodes is fewer than JUMONG., but I don't know if I could plow through such a long one nowadays myself. On the other hand, @kiara says it's a more historical version, and that would be worth watching.
There are other dramas that are higher on my list, such as SHIN DON (thanks to Jung Bo-suk, Oh Man-seok, Kim Yeo-jin, and Jung Sung-mo).

@kiara,
I recall hearing the Beanie howls about DAEBAK / ROYAL GAMBLER as it was airing, so I haven't bothered to watch it. But I've considered doing so. ;-)

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@pakalanapikake
It’s like “SEJONG the Great.”If you want history on Korea’s most beloved king that would be the sageuk to watch.

I’m so done with the writer of the Royal Gambler. If it wasn’t for Choi Min-soo, Yeo Jin-goo and Jun Kwang-ryul I would have dropped it.

I’m not particularly excited for any of the upcoming sageuks. Not in the writing department.

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@pakalanapikake,
The longest sageuk/drama that I have attempted is the excellent JEONG DO JEON (2014) but I am currently in a holding pattern after episode 41 of 50. I am waiting to see if it ever becomes available on a legal site.

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@kiara July 13, 2020 at 8:32 AM
Thanks for the pointer to SEJONG THE GREAT. I'm glad to know that it gets your seal of approval. He's one of my most-admired Korean historical personages. It's going to take me a while to work up to 80 episodes. I'm doomed. ;-)

I'm tempted to watch ROYAL GAMBLER specifically because of Yeo Jin-goo, Jun Kwang-ryul (who is currently knocking out of the ballpark in KING MAKER), and Jang Keun-suk (who was great as the tragic Kim Eun-ho in HWANG JIN-YI) -- oooh, and thanks to your comment, Choi Min-soo (who was outrageous in THE STORY OF THE FIRST KING'S FOUR GODS and LAWLESS LAWYER, and heartbreakingly tragic in FAITH).

@marcusnyc20 bong-soo,
Fatigue set in after 41 episodes of JEONG DO JEON? Hmmm. I know that feeling.

In late February I put CRUEL PALACE - WAR OF THE FLOWERS on hold after ep. 23 of 50 when I could see Jang Hee-bin getting ready to move in for the kill against Sohyeon Seja's Crown Princess, which was too depressing for me at the time. It wasn't sageuk fatigue so much as fear and loathing on behalf of the doomed Seja and his family after all they'd been through as hostages in Qing. Joseon factional politics and infighting, especially at court, really gets to me at times. I think I'm way overdue for a Three Kingdoms-era drama. What I wouldn't give for another show like THE KING'S DAUGHTER, SOO BAEK HYANG. ;-)

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I watched Yi San years ago, and I liked it quite a lot, but I do look forward to this series because it seems like it will put a bit more focus on the female lead. Yi San, naturally in its title, focused mostly on the male lead and his work and struggles, and the female lead was quiet and tried to stay away from trouble. I look forward to a series where she is more in the foreground and see a bit more of her side, even if there are taken liberties.

One thing that makes me curious, however, is that I read once about the real couple, and it said that the woman, while she was the dowager's servant, rejected the king twice, and before he asked her a third time, he hurt her slave/maid-friend severely, and she then said yes. When I read that the first time, I thought that sounded more like something an antagonistic second lead would do, and I have to admit I imediately wanted the writer of "Queen for Seven Days" to pen that story, either where the male lead is good but is definetely a product of his time, or one where he is the obsessive second male lead for the main couple, and the story would be kind of like the Chinese drama "Legend of the Phoenix", where the female lead has to marry the emperor as a concubine even though she and the male lead love each other dearly, because the emperor isn't a villain... but he is pretty selfish and shortsighted that he accidentally becomes their antagonist.

I doubt that part of the history, IF that part of the history is true, would be shown in this drama, though. But it was something I was surprised by when I was younger and swooned at the idea of a real-life king who proposed to a servant several times, even when she dared to say no to the king.

At any rate, I am starved for period drama, so I look forward to this and see if maybe being based on real history, thus having certain limitations compared to fictional history, will help the Ruler:Master of the Mask-writer. :P

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AWWWWW KIM KYUNGNAM AS LEAD! After continuously watching him with his soft puppy quality in Where the Stars Land and Come and Hug Me (yes, don't argue me on this) I'd like to see another puppy in love quality he serves REALLY well. I'M SO EXCITED until....

"Written by Jung Hae-ri (Ruler – Master of the Mask)......."

GOD.........

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that is when you have to have faith in the actors to paint and draw out the story that is supposed to be.

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Ruler had Yoo Seunho AND Kim Sohyun... Two of the best actors I know, they also had amazing chemistry yet.......

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He was the best part of TKEM, so I hope to see him soon!

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The trauma of Ruler Master of the Mask is real. If you want notes on how to write the worst drama with the best lead actors you should watch it. Mind you the lead actors both together and apart only had 6 hours of screen time in a 20 hour drama most of which required them to be saved by a gazillion people and crying their eyes out for no reason.

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I have noting to add expect that Kim Kyung-nam is a talented actor who deserves to get a lead role! He always in the background, but he always delivers. Also the picture you guys used for him is very cute & oppa-like.

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