It’s that time of the year again: When posters and teasers explode left and right. When press conferences and interviews and promotional stints crop up every other minute. When fan wars start. Again. When netizens frantically flip channels – and old-schoolers flip through the newspaper – to figure out… *drumroll*
What to watch? That, my fellow Gardeners, is the big question as we enter the next couple of weeks. Though we did have a mini-drop a few weeks ago – Heartless City, Dating Agency: Cyrano, Shark, I Hear Your Voice among others – the big drop is coming this coming week/end for most channels and time slots. So. Let’s take a peek at what shows will be scrambling to make their mark this summer.
KBS: The Good Doctor*
Starring: Joo Won, Joo Sang-wook, Moon Chae-won, Kwak Do-won, Kim Young-kwang, Kim Min-seo, etc.
It won’t be until August when The Good Doctor will take over for Shark, but Joo Won lovers are already pumped. As for me, I’m not sure I’ll be able to handle what is sure to be a weepfest – not by intention, but because I’m a watering pot. Joo Won will open the floodgates as he takes on the role of an autistic young man (who has the mental capacity of a 10-year-old) becoming a pediatric surgeon in this “human medical drama”. Kleenex, please.
MBC: Goddess of Fire Jung-yi
Starring: Moon Geun-young, Lee Sang-yoon, Park Gun-hyung, Han Go-eun, Jeon Gwang-ryeol, Lee Kwang-soo, Kim Bum, Song Ok-sook, Jung Bo-seok, Seo Hyun-jin, Sung Ji-roo, Jin Ji-hee, Park Gun-tae, etc.
Some seriously solid names all around, and it’s Moon Geun-young’s return to sageuk-land after her Daesang-winning performance in Painter of the Wind. I’m sure our Patch Friends are excited to see Woo-jae – I mean, Lee Sang-yoon – grace our televisions once again with his adorable dimples. He’ll be playing Gwang-hae, king of Joseon and lover of the one woman he cannot have: Jung-yi, the first female potter in Korean history. Slated for 32 episodes.
SBS: Empire of Gold
Starring: Go Soo, Sohn Hyun-joo, Lee Yo-won, Jang Shin-young, Ryu Seung-soo, Yoon Seung-ah, Go Eun-mi, Park Geun-hyung, etc.
The Chaser was arguably the best of 2012, and its production team is hoping to have lightning strike twice with Empire of Gold. A good chunk of the actors have come back as well, and I’m so so sooo excited to see Sohn Hyun-joo turn calculating and evil as the antagonist in this follow-up to his Daesang-winning reprisal of a powerless, ordinary father determined to bring justice to those who tore apart his family. He is always fabulous – always, always! – and I can’t wait to see him with Go Soo. Seriously, Go Soo and Sohn Hyun-joo battling it out for The Throne? Bring it on. Slated for 24 episodes.
KBS: Sword and Flower (aka Blade and Petal)
Starring: Uhm Tae-woong, Kim Ok-bin, Kim Young-chul, Choi Min-soo, Ohn Joo-wan, Lee Jung-shin, Park Soo-jin, Lee Min-ho (younger), Jo Jae-yoon, etc.
A sageuk dramatic revenge weepfest. Best description ever, no? Long-time-no-see-on-TV-Kim Ok-bin will be out for blood – specifically, that of the illegitimate son of the man who killed her father – in this Goguryeo period piece. Big names once again, yet I’m most excited for Jo Jae-yoon, our adorkable thug who fell in love with a cop in The Chaser. Slated for 20(? 36?) episodes.
MBC: Two Weeks*
Starring: Lee Jun-ki, Kim So-yeon, Ryu Soo-young, Park Ha-sun, Song Jae-rim, Jo Min-ki, Park Hyung-shik, Ahn Yong-joon, etc.
A cast I’m excited for, though we won’t see ’em until August. A ‘real-time’ drama in which Lee Jun-ki will have two weeks to find his daughter’s killers. Just kidding. For realsies: A man who lived life without much purpose ends up being accused for murder – and then learns that he has a daughter who has leukemia. Lovely week, eh? He has 2 weeks (why, may I ask?) to do whatever he can to save his daughter… Sadly, Ryu Soo-young will be playing second fiddle to Lee Jun-ki… T_T Ps. The title is literally “to-week-seuh” (think “two weeks” with a Korean accent). Every time I read the title, I read “Twix”. *stomach growls*
SBS: Master’s Sun*
Starring: So Ji-sub, Gong Hyo-jin, Seo In-guk, Kim Yu-ri, Jung Ga-eun, etc.
The Hong Sisters are back with ghosts and romance in what they’ve dubbed a “horror romantic comedy”. So Ji-sub will play our hero who has always seen, heard, and done only what he wants. Spoiled brat, meet your new girlfriend (not too much of a stretch to assume they’ll get together, right?), who has become a recluse and given up on herself because she hears and sees what others cannot. Fingers crossed for a better outing than that-which-will-never-be-mentioned. Because I fear… if this one doesn’t go over so well, you sisters may lose me forever.
The current crop still has a ways to go thus not much news about upcoming shows. TV Novel Eun-hee (KBS morning) recently replaced TV Novel Samsaengi, and my baby Pure Love (KBS afternoon) will be replaced by Ruby’s Ring in late August. Sad panda.
KBS: The Wang Family*
Only rumors floating around so far with regards to the casting, but there’s still a steady buzz around this one because fabulous Moon Young-nam is penning it. For those who need a refresher: Terms of Endearment, My Rosy Life, Famous Princesses, First Wives Club, Three Brothers, etc. etc. are all hers. It’ll take over for You’re the Best, Lee Soon-shin.
MBC: Scandal: A Very Shocking and Unethical Case
Starring: Kim Jae-won, Jo Yoon-hee, Ki Tae-young, Shin Eun-kyung, Jo Jae-hyun, Park Sang-min, Kim Hye-ri, Kim Kyu-ri, Jo Han-chul, Choi Chul-ho, Han Geu-roo, etc.
This one has been flying under the radar, but it has a solid, solid cast. I feel like we saw so many of these people just a few months ago (in different projects), which makes me feel… weird. I’m still in previous-drama-mode, so we’ll see if they can unethically shock me with the story of a cop getting swept up in scandal with a lady and somehow learning that his ‘father’ actually kidnapped him as a child and “learning about true love” with said lady. *brain trying to process too much at one time* Slated for 36 episodes.
SBS: Goddess of Marriage
Starring: Nam Sang-mi, Lee Sang-woo, Kim Ji-hoon, Jo Min-soo, Lee Tae-ran, Jang Young-nam, Kim Jung-tae, Kwon Hae-hyo, Jang Hyun-sung, etc. etc.
Okay, I’m happy to see Nam Sang-mi and Lee Sang-woo and Kim Ji-hoon, but man oh MAN am I so excited for Jo Min-soo, Lee Tae-ran, and Jang Young-nam!! Another rock solid cast – seriously, why are these upcoming shows so stacked?! – that looks to be twisting and turning and trying our minds – and patience! – with various notions and fantasies and realities about that wonderful institution called marriage. Slated for a measly 32 episodes. (I would be more than happy for a good 50 episodes with this crew!)
Summer in Dramaland, here we coooome!!
*shows that will start in August (or later)