Not that it has anything to do with the relative quality of the series, but with Baker King Kim Tak Gu ending its run last week with ratings just shy of 50%, the Wednesday-Thursday competition was stuck with the King‘s leftover crumbs. Particularly badly hit was Playful Kiss, which hit a new low of 2.8%. The strain of working on a non-hit drama along with being a busy idol has evidently taken its toll on star Kim Hyun Joong, who in these screen caps appears to have developed dark circles under his eyes, and… a mustache? Nevertheless, an online-only side series featuring the same characters and sets is still set to hit YouTube in November. The online project could be part of a campaign to reignite excitement in the series overseas–before the first episode aired in Korea, Kiss had already been pre-sold to air in 12 other countries.
In film news, Jang Dong Gun‘s Hollywood debut The Warrior’s Way will be released simultaneously in Korea and the US. It’s a fantasy western with Jang playing a swordsman who falls in with grizzled gangsters, and it premiers December 3rd. Lee Byung Hun‘s controversial, ultraviolent horror film I Saw the Devil was picked up at the Toronto Film Festival for release in North America, and will hit theaters in early 20011. No word on whether American audiences will see the original cut, essentially banned from Korea because of its gore, or the re-edited version which finally allowed the film to be released. And if genre movies aren’t your thing, check out the rave review for the “haunting” family drama Enlightenment Film, said to capture the impact of Korea’s tumultuous 20th century history on one unforgettable family, which just opened in Korea after a tour of international film festivals. No word yet on an international release, but it’s a film to keep on your radar.
Back in Kdrama news, fresh stills from the presidential drama Daemul certainly have Go Hyun Jung dropping the dowdy look we saw in earlier iterations. But isn’t the “prom queen” vibe a little too strong, especially for a drama said to tackle more meaty, adult issues? I’ve never seen a president in such dazzling heels!
Dr. Champ, the judo-romance that starts at the end of this month, held a press conference that featured stars Uhm Tae Woong and Kim So Yeon. The color code for the day must’ve been: girls in tan, guys in brown.
Finally, the Korean site 100Beat asked its panel of experts: in the idol-crammed world of Kpop over the last ten years, who thrilled audiences and who left us shaking our heads in disbelief? The top (and bottom) 5 idols of the 2000s are right here.