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Seeing that a bunch of new kdramas are either about to start or have been announced, I thought it would be fun to do one of those periodical 'here is what's coming up, and here are my 2 cents' posts.

Below are all the upcoming kdramas that are on my radar, alphabetical order, and what I think about them.



City Conquest - ahahahahahahaha. It stars handsome plank of wood Kim Hyun Joong, evil secondary girl from Rooftop Prince, and is written by the Lie to Me person. It is very considerate of them to stick all these horrors in one drama, thus preventing the blight of multiple dramas at once. I'll check it out anyway, because I am fond of action dramas, but to say my expectations are nil would be being optimistic.

Horse Healer - OK, a period medical drama is marginally less boring than a modern one (the only thing that would get me to watch a modern medical drama would be a threat to life and limb), but this is a traditional sageuk which means about a million episodes and a glacial pace. I only have room for one of those and, guess what - I am going to pick the one with magic, swords and Ji Sung. The cast is solid but nobody that would make me check out a drama that otherwise doesn't appeal and, seeing as this is about a veterinarian becoming a royal doctor, I can't help but imagine it as some sort of Doctor Doolittle Rises Through the Ranks. With Hats.

IRIS 2 - I don't really think IRIS needed a sequel (it's one of my favorite dramas of all time, and it stands alone just fine) but it's not really a sequel, despite the name, but a spin-off - all the leads are different. And another spin-off, Athena, was horrifyingly bad and I could not get through it - and seeing how much I love even the most mediocre action kdramas (Lobbyist, I am looking at you!) that is saying a lot (in my defense, the 'action drama' principle is offset by the 'I have yet to tolerate Su Ae as a heroine in anything' principle). However, I am very excited for this. I don't expect it to be another IRIS, but I do think it has a great chance to be a solid fun ride. Why? As I said, I enjoy most action kdramas, so by its mere genre, I am predisposed to be optimistic. More importantly, this stars Jang Hyuk and Lee Da Hae, two of my huge favorites who always set the screen on fire even when the drama itself is flawed. And! This is the third drama in which they play a couple (after Robbers and Chuno, though in Chuno they were not the end OTP. I was fine with that but I am still going to imagine their characters as Un Nyun and Dae Gil reincarnated). They have ridiculous levels of chemistry rarely seen and when they are on-screen together, I just don't care about anything else. Honestly, as soon as they said 'Jang Hyuk and LDH are on board,' they could have told me the drama would be written by a ten-year old and focus on the importance of finishing one's vegetables, and I'd be on-board.

I Miss You - the melodramas are clearly back. I was worried they were extinct, but thankfully my worries were premature. Hooray! This is a romantic melodrama. YAY! Starring Yoochun, whom I've adored in everything. Yay! The leading lady is rumored to be Yoon Eun Hye, of great chemistry with her leads and wonderful chops (even if iffy script-picking). YAY!!!!

Jeon Woo Chi - normally this would be really high on my radar. It's a fantasy fusion sageuk, with revenge, mentions of Hong Gil Dong, and Uee as an assassin compelled by black magic who is restored to herself once a month. Yet, my big big obstacle is Cha Tae Hyun, the leading man. I know this places me in the minority of one, but I don't like him. I think he's dreadfully unattractive and nothing I've seen him in has ever convinced me he has on-screen charisma to overcome the instinctive dislike I get. I am going to give it a chance but honestly - I wish it was almost anyone else.

King of Dramas - big-headed producer of hits, perfectionist writer, shallow star. Yaaaaawn. Hasn't this story already been told repeatedly and well in Worlds Within and On Air (and less well, but also starring Siwon in Oh My Lady). There is nothing to excite me about this. Siwon is very cute but has yet to save an otherwise unappealing drama (and is second lead here anyway), the same goes for Jung Ryu Won and, while it's the evening for unpopular confessions, I am instinctively averse to Kim Myung Min solely due to his "OMG he is suuuuuch a maestro' fanbase.

Secret Agent War - oh, I am excited for this one! It stars Joo Won (who is fast winning the title of biggest workaholic, which is quite contested in kdramaland) as a secret agent who finds out his ex was one too etc etc. It's based on a hilarious movie with Kang Ji Hwan (come back to dramas, KJH!) and Kim Ha Neul. I am quite excited for this for a number of reasons - (1) Joo Won has yet to pick a bad drama or a bad role (2) it's the only light-hearted drama on the list. Even a dramatic misery fan like me needs to lighten up now and then, (3) the premise sounds delightful. The one pause is it's done by people who did Plan B, which was appalling, but then they also did Chuno, which was sublime. And they are basing it off their own movie which was wonderful, so it's a known quantity. I am an optimist, so yay!

That Winter, The Wind Blows - Jo In Sung, Song Hye Kyo, written by Noh Hee Kyung. My most anticipated kdrama possibly ever. This one is a dark melodrama that brings together two of my all-time favorite actors, neither of whom had a drama for a while (I don't believe JIS has been in a drama since 2006!). The plot - he needs money so he tries to scam a distrustful blind heiress by pretending to be her long-lost brother, sounds utterly twisted and utterly up these actors' alley. And that writer and that PD! It's a dream come true, pretty much. I mean, I am obsessed with Jo In Sung and would probably watch him if his drama was about clown school or something, but this - mmmmmmm. The downside: I can't see any. Though it goes without saying that if you want a cheery drama, look elsewhere. I, meanwhile, will wallow wallow wallow in the perfection that is agonized and broken Jo In Sung pining for traumatized Song Hye Kyo.

The Great Seer - yet another one of those traditional sageuks with a million eps, but I am definitely checking out this one because I am very fond of the cast - Ji Sung, Ji Jin Hee (sporting a manly beard he stole from Warrior Baek Dong Soo), Kim So Yeon etc. And occasionally, a measured pace of a normal sageuk is quite good for a change of pace. Plus, completely irrationally, this is giving me flashbacks to that silly Heian Love game on which I wasted much too much time with Abe no Seimei as a dating partner...

Yawang - Su Ae as a ruthless woman trying to be the First Lady, Kwon Sang Woo as her former lover, who feels used and wants revenge. I am way on-board despite my reservations about Su Ah, simply because the plot sounds dark and delicious and like a much much more twisted Daemul. Bring it on!

What are yours?
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November 2012

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