Thursday, October 28, 2010

Promotional Posters for ‘Mary Stayed Out All Night’ revealed!

Scheduled to air on November 8th through KBS2TV, “Mary Stayed Out All Night” has finally revealed their promotional posters, aimed to deliver the individual appeal of each character.

Released on October 27th, the posters feature Moon Geun Young (‘Mary‘), Jang Geun Suk (‘MuGyul‘), Kim Jae Wook (‘Jung In‘), and Kim Hyo Jin (‘SuJun’).

The photos was shot on Seoul’s HongDae Street, a charismatic location which perfectly reflects the youth who have been casted to color this drama.

Meanwhile, a second teaser trailer has also been released, check it out below.

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Jung So-min’s city chic transformation

Jung So-min, who just completed her first run as a leading lady in MBC’s Playful Kiss, shows her sophisticated side in a modeling campaign for accessory label Hazzys. Jung looks chic and polished, very different from the cutesy and sometimes childlike Oh Ha-ni, but still manages to maintain her youthful charm.

It’s actually much closer to the image of her Bad Guy character Mo-nae, who was a rich spoiled princess. She could have been a detestable character, but I loved that Jung kept her relatable and pitiable, especially in regards to her first foray into love.

I certainly hope the industry doesn’t try to shoehorn the 21-year old actress into roles that she isn’t ready for, age-wise, because I love her adorable earnest appeal. I would hate to see her openness and naivete stomped out by trying to capitalize on her star potential. She’s too good to throw under the bus.

While Playful Kiss flew relatively under the radar, Jung So-min certainly didn’t. She’s a rare find, I think, because her acting chops are real, and not overdone. Her facial expressions are amazingly readable and never forced, and she can make me feel what she’s feeling at every turn. I’m excited to see what’s ahead for her.

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Sungkyunkwan producers would also like an extension

With its adorable and heartwarming storylines, not to mention engaging cast, Sungkyunkwan Scandal has attracted a mighty fanbase that belies its modest ratings numbers (although those have been steadily climbing as well). As a result, it has been flooded with fan requests for extensions, and even despite it being late in the game (with only this week and next week remaining), producers have also spoken up to say that they’d be eager for one as well.

First off, the caveat: Don’t get your hopes up. We can hope, but I don’t think an extension is forthcoming with the obstacles it would have to overcome in a very short period of time.

With that said…

To compare the fan fervor of Sungkyunkwan Scandal to other popular dramas, the source article compares the online activity from the first 16 episodes (which is what Sungkyunkwan had aired as of the article’s publish date) of various dramas. Sungkyunkwan’s official homepage message board has more than 120,000 messages posted by fans, which is triple the response of Chuno, four times as many as Baker King Kim Tak-gu, and twice as many as IRIS.

Additionally, the drama’s board at popular portal DC Inside has 160,000 messages. It is DC Inside’s second-most-active drama board, next to uber-hit Boys Before Flowers.

It’s interesting to note that those other dramas all hit 30% ratings (with Baker King topping 40%), while Sungkyunkwan started off at a modest 6.3% and has steadily risen to its highest number last Tuesday, 14.3%. (It was aided by the departure of long-running Dong Yi.)

The fans who are eager for more of their drama crack point out that the love story between Yoon-hee (Park Min-young) and Sun-joon (Micky Yoochun), with only three episodes left after today’s broadcast.

The CEO of production house Lemon Rain, Kim Dong-rae, said, “It’s a story that can easily be extended, by ten episodes or any number. Even in this situation, we could add another four. We’d like to do it, if only the actors would agree, but it’s difficult because if the production period goes on for longer than planned, it interferes with their schedules.” He added that it’s disappointing to end it this way.

What would he like to do in the hypothetical situation of an extension?

Kim said, “We would be able to get deeper into the emotions of Moon Jae-shin (Yoo Ah-in), and expand on Lee Sun-joon and Kim Yoon-hee’s story. Aside from the love story, there’s a lot of plot about the academic angle. There’s so many good stories to tell that I’m sure we could really make a great drama, but realistic conditions aren’t supportive.”

The difference between extending a drama like Dong Yi and Sungkyunkwan Scandal is because the former is longer-running, has sufficient time to establish its presence, and consequently draws in enough advertising money that the stations are eager to capitalize upon. Miniseries, however (20 episodes or less), often find themselves hurting financially with extensions, and production companies are less likely to move forward with them. (Plus, despite the show’s online popularity, mid-teen ratings are usually not considered high enough to be worth the broadcaster’s while.)

This is why it’s unusual for Sungkyunkwan’s producers to be so willing to take that financial risk, and to declare themselves ready to forge forward with full confidence.

The sticking point remains the cast, and in particular lead actor Micky Yoochun, who is about to embark on an Asian tour with his pop group JYJ. Initially the drama was scheduled to conclude filming at the end of September, but that has already been pushed back once and conflicted with his schedule.

A few more statistics that attest to the drama’s popularity (as if we didn’t already know): The OST has sold over 120,000 albums, and the episodes have been seen online from KBS’s homepage 190,000 times (compared with Chuno’s 150,000 and Baker King’s 130,000).

credit : javabeans@DB

Monday, October 25, 2010

Wedding stills for “Mary Stayed Out All Night” revealed

KBS’s newest drama to take the place of “Sungkyunkwan Scandal,” “Mary Stayed Out All Night,” has revealed pictures of a unique wedding scene that has been attracting lots of attention.

The still cut features Moon Geun Young, looking highly confused between grooms Jang Geun Suk and Kim Jae Wook. Although one would assume for her to be happy to be earning the affection of two perfect men, she instead looks worried and indecisive.

Their wedding attire is also worn in their own unique style, consisting of skinny jeans, boots, and chains for bohemian prince Jang Geun Suk and a mini wedding dress for Moon Geun Young.

The background itself is also different from that of a standard wedding scene one would expect, instead featuring a grave and autumn leaves strewn about the floor.

Moon Geun Young commented, “Just the thought of wearing a wedding dress is extremely exciting. The dress itself is so cute. I have two grooms in today’s photo shoot and so I held on to the hands of two men. I think it was a unique experience and a fun filming.”

Jang Geun Suk added, “I became a very unique groom today and wondered what it would be like to have a wedding in this style. I’ve never seen a groom wear clothes like this at any wedding, but I like it enough to want to try it one day. The photo shoot has a very different concept that makes me anticipate how it’ll finalize itself.”

Kim Jae Wook concluded, “This is my first time seeing such a unique wedding. Just the fact that a bride is marrying two men is unique in itself, but the set is also very eye catching. It was a fun photo shoot and I would love to participate in a wedding like this if there is one.”

“Mary Stayed Out All Night” is rewritten by the writer of “Goong,” In Eun Ah, the original being a web-comic by the writer of “Full House,” In Soo Yeon. The romantic comedy drama is a story about four different young adults finding dreams and love under a virtual marriage.

The drama will debut on November 8th through KBS2TV in the Mon-Tues time slot.

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New drama “Secret Garden” reveals its first teaser

For the upcoming SBS drama, ‘Secret Garden’, Ha Ji Won transforms into a tough stuntwoman named Ra-Im who aspires to become a martial arts movie director. Always butting heads with cold businessman Juwon (played by Hyun Bin), the two somehow exchange souls – a fantasy-romance storyline unfolds as the two characters are drawn together by their harrowing experiences.

The Korean netizens’ responses to Ha Ji Won’s transformation have been very positive so far. After watching the teaser, netizens commented, “Incredible, I’m looking forward to ‘action’ Ji Won” and “Korean Angelina Jolie?”.

The producers of ‘Secret Garden’ stated, “This is a fantasy-romance drama. We have prepared both exciting action and deeply romantic scenes.”

‘Secret Garden’ will begin airing on November 13th, after ‘Life is Beautiful’. In the meantime, watch the teaser below:

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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Playful Kiss’ will continue through YouTube

MBC’s ‘Playful Kiss‘ came to an end on the 21st of October. Though it didn’t succeed in its ratings, the drama definitely had some fans that were disappointed to see it end so soon.

However, ‘Playful Kiss’ will be releasing special episodes through YouTube as of November 2nd. What’s even more exciting about this announcement is that it will have a different storyline than the TV version!

The drama ended its run on MBC last night with a rating of 5.9%.

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Jang Geun-seok rocks out for Mary

KBS drama Mary Stayed Out All Night, set to air next month, will be Jang Geun-seok‘s fifth time playing a musician. Most of those previous instances featured him as the leader in a band, and this time’s no different: He plays Mu-gyul, the free-spirited lead singer of a Hongdae indie band.

(Those other roles were: a rock band singer in Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Do, a rock band singer in The Happy Life, an idol band singer in You’re Beautiful, and a talented trumpeter in Beethoven Virus. I might be more worried about Jang being typecast if he were a mediocre actor, but he’s shown a good amount of range despite his still-tender years (he’s 23), whether he’s portraying youthful innocence, hauteur, boyishness, or criminal tendencies.)

The scene pictured here was filmed in the Seoul district of Hongdae, and in the drama takes place on November 8 — the show’s actual premiere date. Pictured is the band that takes its name from its leader, Totally Mu-gyul (완전무결). I guess I can see why they’d take that name if he is the creative engine of the team (a la Dave Matthews Band or Jang Ki-ha and the Faces), but I wonder how the other dudes feel about that. The others are: Ri-no on second guitar (played by Kim Min-kyu), Yo-han on bass (Geum Ho-seok), and Reo (Leo?) on drums (Park Chul-hyun).

Jang said about performing in front of fans, “Opening up the filming set to the public before the drama premieres isn’t an easy thing. But the producers discussed it in meetings and decided to film it with the fans in order to make the scene feel more vivid. Filming is going so well and the fans cheered us on so enthusiastically that I’m happy. I’m still worked up right now. I truly give my thanks to all the fans.”

The songs sung by the Totally Mu-gyul band will be on the drama’s OST; perhaps they’ll rival the A.N.Jell fervor of You’re Beautiful fame?

credit : javabeans@DB

A deluge of new stills from Secret Garden

Admittedly, I don’t have high expectations for SBS’s body-swapping fantasy-romantic-melo-comedy (woo, genre mishmash overload!) Secret Garden, despite liking the main cast (Hyun Bin, Ha Ji-won, Yoon Sang-hyun, Kim Sa-rang, Philip Lee). And I am not a fan of the On Air and Lovers writer-PD pairing.

But I’m not writing it off yet, because body-swapping hijinks can yield some interesting results, such as the wonderfully funny and heartfelt 2008 Yoon Kye-sang offering, Who Are You?, which surprised me by being so much better than I thought it would be. There was also 2006′s comedy Please Come Back, Soon-ae, which was light and amusing.

(Note: It’s funny that in English, the term is “body-swap,” whereas in Korean it’s “soul-swap.” Significant or not? Food for thought.)

The story: Hyun Bin plays Joo-won, the typical cold, rich businessman. I’m okay with this cliche since the premise so thoroughly overturns it by putting him into the body of Ha Ji-won’s stuntwoman character, Ra-im. Yoon Sang-hyun is Oscar, a playboyish Hallyu-star singer who’s big in Japan (who should never wear his hair straight again, as far as I’m concerned, based on all the stills of him so far). The connection? Joo-won and Oscar are cousins, yet also bitter rivals. (Example: If Oscar buys a sports car, Joo-won buys a sports car dealership. Dudes, just whip it out and measure it already.)

Another hostile pairing is between Ra-im, aforementioned stuntwoman, and Yoon Seul (Kim Sa-rang), an educated and talented CF director. They get tangled up in one particular encounter, and the former scrapes the latter’s pride, rendering all future encounters tense and contentious.

Rounding out the main cast is Philip Lee (who I’ve been referring to mentally as “sex on legs” since his role in last year’s Story of a Man — rawr), who takes the role of martial arts director and Ra-im’s instructor. The role will likely take advantage of his fluency in English, as his character studied abroad and worked in the Hollywood system.

The drama airs after Life Is Beautiful wraps, its first episode broadcasting on November 13.

credit : javabeans@DB