In April & May, we saw one of the most highly competitive seasons for Korean dramas starring an array of next generation Hallyu wave stars. Rooftop Prince, King 2 Hearts, Fashion King and Love Rain engaged in ratings warfare, with Rooftop Prince narrowly scraping the highest average rating of 12.1% nationwide. Some started off slow but rewarded loyal viewers with satisfying conclusions, while others lured viewers into a mind maze with promising beginnings. Since the dramas are drawing to a close, new ones are rushing in to fill the shoes of their predecessors. Question is, will the slipper fit?
Big will start airing June 4th 2012 and is currently scheduled to consist of 16 episodes. This fantasy, romantic comedy will star Gong Yoo (The first shop of Coffee Prince, Finding Mr Destiny) as the main male lead and Lee Min Jung (Midas, Boys over Flowers) as the female lead. Female idol, Suzy (Dream High) will also partake in this project and will be a highlight for Miss A fans.
Synopsis… 18 years old Kang Kyung Joon (Shin Won Ho)’s spirit suddenly becomes transplanted in the body of 30 years old Seo Yoon Jae (Gong Yoo) after accident. Seo Yoon Jae is a successful doctor and engaged to high school teacher Gil Da Ran (Lee Min Jung). Gil Da Ran just so happens to be the teacher of 18 years old Kang Kyung Joon.
Jang Ma Ri (Bae Suzy) is a girl who loves Kang Kyung Joon (Shin Won Ho) and is willing to try anything to help Kang Kyung Joon’s spirit escape from Seo Yoon Jae’s body.
Prediction… Big will fill the leave of the Monday & Tuesday drama Love Rain and I believe the drama will do even better than LR. Screenwriters Hong Jeong-Eun & Hong Mi-Ran have a resume boasting of blockbusters 2011 Best Love, 2010 My Girlfriend is a Gumiho, 2009 You’re Beautiful and more. By employing veteran actor Gong Yoo and attractions such as the widely popular Suzy, the drama will be sure to reap in a heap of loyal fans and maintain steady viewership.
Bridal Mask/Gaksital (KBS)
Bridal Mask is based on the manhwa by Huh Young Man and started airing on May 30 2012. The first 2 episodes had ratings of 12.4-13.3% and stars Joo Won (Ojakgyo Brothers) and Jin Se Yun (My Daughter the Flower). The drama was originally set to start airing on May 9, but the death of a stunt double caused by a crew-bus accident delayed the production.
Synopsis… Gaksital is a famous manhwa set in the 1930s, during the Japanese occupation. The hero, Lee Kang-to, is known as ‘Gaksital’ because he wears a mask to hide his face — one of those traditional play masks, specifically the rosy-cheeked one reserved for the female role, aka the bride. He’s an unassuming young man in real life, but when he dons his superhero mask, he fights injustice and rights wrongs during one of the darkest periods of Korea’s history.
Prediction … While the main actors and actresses are relatively new to the television screen, the interesting storyline and fast paced introduction has caught the attention of many netizens. The drama has set off with a good start, topping the ranking charts in comparison to the 2 other dramas that started airing on May 30 – I do I do and Ghost. Though it may be cruel to say this, but by overcoming hardship and death, the staff of Bridal Mask will be sure to give their all and achieve spectacular results.
Ghost also started off with a death of an actress … on screen. The suspenseful drama marks the comeback of So Ji Sub after his 2 year mandatory military service. This drama claims to be the Korea’s first cyber-investigation drama and will aim to expose the dangers behind the internet world and high-tech gadgets.
Synopsis … The series is about Kim Woo-Hyun (So), who is the only son of a high ranking police officer. Woo-Hyun entered the police academy ranked first and graduated from the academy ranked first. As a detective, he then joins the cyber investigation department. Woo-Hyun works to reveal the secrets of those that hide within the cyber world.
Prediction… Ghost had a bad start with a rating of 7.6%. While the cast is solid with So Ji Hub and Lee Yeon Hee, I doubt it will be able to fill the shoes of Rooftop Prince. I, for one, would rather watch US crime shows than watch Ghost. Nonetheless, glad So Ji Sub is out of the military and still looking as sizzling hot as ever. ;P
I Do I Do (MBC)
The romantic comedy has recently started airing on May 30, starring lovely lady Kim Sun Ah (My name is Kim Sam Soon, Scent of a Woman). Cousin of singer Hwanhee, Lee Jang Woo (Smile Dong Hae, Man of Honor) is the main male lead.
Synopsis… Hwang Ji An is a successful 30 something year old shoe designer who ends up pregnant after a one night stand with the new office employee, Park Tae Kang.
Prediction… While I simply adore Kim Sun Ah and have just purchased the DVD set for Scent of a Woman, pregnancy dramas or movies are not my cup of tea. Moreover, neither director Kang Dae Sun or screenwriter Jo Jung Hwa have popular projects under their belts … ever. But, don’t let my personal opinion stand in the way of you judging for yourselves! The hilarious start of “I do I do” has collected numerous rave reviews.
Can’t live without you (MBC)
This family, romantic drama will span over 100 episodes. O.o I know. It caught my attention because of rookie actor Park Yoo Hwan, brother of JYJ’s Micky.
Synopsis… This drama conveys the joy and love a large family encounters through family conflicts and reconciliations.
Kim Min Do (Park Yoo Hwan) dreams of becoming an internationally famous movie director but he does not have any special career attributes. He meets Doctor Min Ji Soo (Park Sun Young) and marries her.
Prediction … I will definitely not be watching this drama since i prefer to live my own life rather than watch others live theirs. This inclusion was caused by a weakness of the heart due to the passing of Park Yoo Hwan’s father last month and brotherly support from Micky. Nonetheless, ratings do not lie and the first episode of “Can live without you” .. oops i meant Can’t … was only 6%. KBS 1TV “I’ll Give You The Stars” at the same time rated 20.1%.
Other Strong Contenders include:
I Need Romance (tvN): Starring Jung Yoo Mi (The Great Gye Choon Bin), Lee Jin Wook (Myung Wol the Spy) and Kim Ji Suk (Personal Preference). A story about a love triangle and will start airing June 20th.
I Love Lee Tae-Ri (tvN): Ki Bum (former SuJu member) will have his comeback with ILL. Park Ye-Jin (My Princess, Mr Idol) is the main female lead. I’ve seen PYK act in numerous projects but still fail to see why she made it as an actress when she lacks looks, talent and personality. Also, she was born in 1981 … you do the maths.
Which dramas are you looking forward to? If you have already started following one, let us know of your thoughts!