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Romantic adventures in space in Ask The Stars

If you’ve ever wondered why there aren’t more rom-coms set in outer space, Ask the Stars may be the perfect drama for you. Though we haven’t closed out 2022 yet, this drama is already one 2023’s buzziest dramas thanks to its A-list cast and the first stills feature our headliners, Lee Min-ho (Pachinko) and Gong Hyo-jin (When the Camellia Blooms). It’s the first time the two have ever been paired as leads and the story will follow their romance as it blooms aboard a space station.

The stills are our introduction to Lee Min-ho’s character Gong Ryong, an OB/GYN and space tourist who buys a ticket to the space station where the narrative takes place. Interestingly, his name is a homophone for the word dinosaur in Korean and I am already wondering if that’s going to have something to do with the plot (or maybe his personality?). Onto non-dinosaur topics, we also get to see Gong Hyo-jin’s character, Eve Kim. Eve is a Korean-American astronaut and is considered one of the best in the field. Personality-wise she’s an utter perfectionist; the word “mistake” isn’t even in her vocabulary.

Romantic adventures in space in Ask The Stars

Looking at the supporting cast, we have a love triangle on the horizon. In second lead, Han Ji-eun (Stockstruck, Bad and Crazy) will play Choi Go-eun. The daughter of a famed entrepreneur, she’s the CEO of an electronics company — and Gong Ryong’s fiancee. Her complicated family relationships mean that she has a strained and competitive relationship with her brother (the casting for that role has yet to be announced).

In space, we will have Oh Jung-se (Little Women) playing Kang Kang-soo. He’s a researcher specializing in space experiments and is in his 10th month of space duty as the drama begins.

Kim Joo-hun (Big Mouth) will play Park Dong-ah, a veteran astronaut who’s already completed three tours at the station. He leads with his instincts and though he can come off cranky, he has a side of him that’s straightforward and pure. It was also recently announced that Lee El (My Liberation Notes) will be joining the cast, but details on her character aren’t released yet.

Romantic adventures in space in Ask The Stars

When the news first came out about this show and the backdrop, I was a little on the fence about everything. Then when I was reading about the drama and learned about Lee Min-ho’s in-show occupation, my first thought was: “Who is having babies in space?!” But seeing that he’s a space tourist rather than astronaut doctor, it makes more sense. And with the recent popularity of legal dramas, I’m half-relieved that he’s not a space lawyer.

I love that dramaland is branching out into new spaces (hah) and though I love both Lee Min-ho and Gong Hyo-jin, when I think of them together, they come off to me like oil and water. Very different vibes and on-screen presences. But with the right script and good direction, I can see it all coming together in an unexpected way, so Ask the Stars is at the top of my watchlist for next year. Lee Min-ho is so great at hitting all the right romantic notes that it feels like people forget he’s great at being funny too. And since this is a rom-com rather than a straight romance, I’m hopeful we’ll get to see Lee Min-ho work his comedic chops in addition to being the swoony leading man.

The creative team for the drama is made up of PD Park Shin-woo (Lovestruck in the City, It’s Okay to Not Be Okay) and writer Seo Sook-hyang (Greasy Melo, Jealousy Incarnate). Sci-fi rom-com Ask the Stars will air in the first half of 2023 on tvN.

Romantic adventures in space in Ask The Stars

Romantic adventures in space in Ask The Stars

Via Maeil Kyungje, Newsen, JoyNews, Sports Chosun

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I agree with both Lee Min-ho and Gong Hyo-jin, when I think of them together, they come off to me like oil and water.

For me GHJ could have chemistry with anything when LMH always lacks chemistry with his costars, he does everything he needs but at the end there are no sparks.

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agreed, wrt LMH - i think i'll stay on the fence on this one... wait, a rom-com in space?? i'll have to watch for Gong Hyo Jin and Oh Jung Se.

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Interesting premise, will check this out.

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I am not going to be rude about LM as I appreciate that there are Beanies who like his acting. This won’t cut it for me though even if I like GH’s acting.

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Well, it gets the award for most unique setting for a rom com. If it avoids any other genre apart from slice of life and is up to the quality of PD and writer’s previous works I am in.

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By the way, what happened to "City of Stars" which was announced several years ago?

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Oh, good question. Was that supposed to star Hyun Bin?

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Now, a romcom in space and the odd pairing of LMH and GHJ? Doesn’t sound like a very interesting proposition BUT - and this is a BIG BUT….

I will not miss this reunion piece by the Writer-PD combo of Jealousy Incarnate (Dare To Dream), my fav romcom of all times. In addition, this writer’s works ranging from the older Lawyers of Korea to Pasta and Miss Korea are all my favorites too.

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LMH looks good in these stills. Acting quibbles aside, I clearly get why this guy is so popular. He has the it factor in spades.

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She's back! She's back! I love Gong Hyo-jin and I admit to liking Lee Min-ho too so the only thing I don't like? Space but this is one going on my next year's watch list and hoping for a good story.

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@stroopwafel Enjoyed your line “if you ever wondered why there aren't more rom-coms set in out space" EXCEPT I've actually watched several rom-coms set in space, including one on HBO this spring, which made such an impact on me that I had to look up its title, Moonshot. I found the main couple very cute, however, so I’d recommend it to any rom-com obsessive like me.
Speaking of my rom-com obsession its pathetic how my ears perk up at “rom-com set in….” (DB NEWS: .."announces a new rom-com set in the fiery depths of hell".. ME: Sounds fun! Tell me more!)

But this setting in space is a little worrying for kdrama tropes. I sure hope there isn’t a love triangle, because it could get a little too intense in the space station. Also, we know that the supportive best friend or gay friend will most like be a chatty supercomputer or robot, unless the human friend has a partner back on earth. At least there will be no forced separation, though I suppose time skips would be possible with the kind of suspended animation chambers like in 2001: A Space Odyssey. There is unfortunately a big potential for a white rocket of doom.
Anyway, I know I’ll be giving this one at least 4 episodes of watching, because we know space is the final frontier of rom-coms.

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Re tropes, I expect wrist grabs will be easier in zero gravity.

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When I read "But this setting in space is a little worrying for kdrama tropes" I thought, I wonder how they will orchestrate the infamous WTOD, and then you nailed it with the WROD, lol!

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Well, I'm excited to see Gong Hyo-jin back onscreen, and I like the writer, but I also can't imagine GHJ and LMH together.

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LMH'S acting is much more relaxed and natural when he is cast opposite older actresses.

BUT on the hand, it feels like GHJ can't help treating younger co-stars as her dongsang.

Win-lose situation? Where the win is LMH, it is more like semiwin-lose situation.
Throwing in the writer-director combo though, will tip the scales to more win.

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I don't have strong feelings either way about LMH, but I didn't care for Gong Hyo-jin in either "Master of the Sun" or "Camellias." And the premise sounds unappealing to me. So I'll probably skip this. But then again, I thought the premise of "King" sounded awesome and it was pretty lame, so maybe I'll be wrong this time, too.

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Gong Hyo-jin is why I am excited for this one. Honestly, if anything, I have some qualms about Lee Min-ho as the ML. I know that he is A-list but his acting has bever impressed me- there are many very much more talented actors out there. But with Gong Hyo-jin as the FL this should still be a good show.

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I'm always excited to see Gong Hyo-jin!

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Honestly, I'm skeptical. Visually, it looks stunning. Not sure about the pairing of the leads, but the stills make it look like it could work. I love Oh Junge-se, but this looks like it has the potential to be a hot mess. Here's hoping it turns out all right.

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I hope it’s funny!

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Gong Hyo Jin! A rom com! In space!
Say no more show, I’m in.

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>”Then when I was reading about the drama and learned about Lee Min-ho’s in-show occupation, my first thought was: “Who is having babies in space?!” But seeing that he’s a space tourist rather than astronaut doctor, it makes more sense. And with the recent popularity of legal dramas, I’m half-relieved that he’s not a space lawyer.”<

I just laughed so hard, that’s exactly what I thought, to the point of saying out loud “right, because you NEED an OB GYN in space “ 🙄
Thanks for the morning laugh 😆

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I find it VERY interesting that Gong Hyo Jin has nearly always been paired with male leads just a little older than herself. In fact her biggest age gap was with Cha Seung Won in Best Love which interestingly wasn't obvious at all. The rest of her co-stars have been very much in her own age range. And she has only recently been paired with younger male leads, only her two latest dramas, while lots of actresses her age keep getting cast opposite younger co-stars.

I would love to read some insight on this from @welh, who has vast knowledge on the ins and outs of k-entertainment.

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Oh my gosh I'm watching this lol. And hey! It sounds like it'll be a different character for GHJ than many previous!

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16 (?) episode hours in a space station makes me feel a little claustrophobic, so i'm not sure if I'm on board even if I really like Gong Hyo-jin and am neutral about Lee Minho. Does the space station even have a cafe? HOW WILL THOSE KDRAMA ROM-COM CAFE SCENES TAKE PLACE?

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