Woo Do-hwan and Lee Yumi to lead Netflix’s Mr. Plankton
Lee Yumi, Woo Do-hwan
The cast and creative team for Netflix’s latest original series Mr. Plankton has been announced. Woo Do-hwan (Bloodhounds) and Lee Yumi (Mental Coach Jegal) are set to co-star, with Oh Jung-se (Revenant) and Kim Hae-sook (Revenant) in supporting roles as a mother and son duo.
Woo Do-hwan will play Hae Jo, a drifter who’s never received affection from anyone in his entire life. His birth having been considered an unhappy accident, he has never known who his father was. The ambiguity around his birth origins has meant that he’s always been treated as an outcast. A piece of news shakes his world and it prompts him to take off on a journey to find his roots and his biological father. When he embarks on his trip he meets Jo Jae-mi (Lee Yumi) and they end up as unlikely travel partners.
Jo Jae-mi has always wanted nothing more than to have a family of her own. It seemed as though Eo Heung (Oh Jung-se) was the answer to her prayers, but on her wedding day she becomes a runaway bride and takes off, joining Hae Jo on his family-finding mission. She’s described as “the unluckiest woman in the world” and I’m already wondering if it’s because of her life, her unusual engagement to Eo Heung, or the circumstances of her meeting Hae Jo. (Maybe all three?)
As for Eo Heung, he’s the much-cherished only son of a family that has a strong, abiding pride in its deep roots. The family’s elders were so set against his marriage that he decided to tell a little fib to earn their blessing: she’s pregnant. Wanting to avoid an out-of-marriage birth, they accept her and the imaginary unborn baby as the newest additions to the family. So when Jae-mi leaves Eo Heung on their wedding day, he’s stunned. He sets off to find Jae-mi and Hae Jo, determined to follow them to the ends of the earth if he has to.
As the final member of the main cast, we have Kim Hae-sook as Beom Ho-ja, Eo Heung’s mother. Ho-ja married into the Eo clan at just 17, and her first years in the family were difficult. She was treated terribly by her in-laws but now she leads the family’s 60-year-old food company. She’s a force to be reckoned with and when her son’s stood up on his wedding day, she’s furious at Hae Jo, the man her future daughter-in-law has run off with. She will find him, no matter what it takes.
The drama’s title is a little unusual, but it’s a nod to the life protagonist Hae Jo leads when we meet him. He’s a man with no attachments in this life — he just drifts along like plankton in the ocean. This story in the hands of this creative team has so much potential: the writer, Jo Yong (It’s Okay to Not Be Okay) and PD Hong Jong-chan (Juvenile Justice, Dear My Friends) have worked on projects that depict found families and fraught relationships so beautifully, and with this cast to boot, my expectations are pretty high right now.
There’s no specific air date set yet, but Mr. Plankton is expected to premiere in 2024. (Beanies, I’m very proud of myself right now for not making any Squid Game and/or SpongeBob SquarePants jokes.)
Oh Jung-se, Kim Hae-sook
- Bloodhounds: Episode 1 (First Impressions)
- Revenant: Episodes 1-2
- Kim Tae-ri and Oh Jung-se pursue a demon in Revenant
- The people’s hero Woo Do-hwan is MBC’s Joseon Lawyer
- Under the Queen’s Umbrella: Episodes 1-2
- Tomorrow: Episode 1 (First Impressions)
- Mental Coach Jegal: Episode 1 (First Impressions)
- All of Us Are Dead: Episode 1 (First Impressions)