Everyone is very excited for the news that Lee Byung Hyun has signed up to star in Kim Eun Seuk’s upcoming drama. This will be his first time back to tv-land since Iris (which in dog years of Kdrama, was a very, very long time ago). To this, I shrug my shoulder. Why are we surprised huge stars are willing to work with Kim Eun Seuk still? She is THE drama hitmaker in Kdrama right now. Has been for years. It’s almost universally known that a show of hers will be instantly popular and the stars (well, the male leads) become instant household must-haves. (Gong Yoo, Song Joong Ki, Lee Min Ho) Her shows are pretty much shoo-ins for the lexicon of the Kdrama-much watch. So when I see so and so top star has agreed to be in her show, it gets an ‘eh’.
Now her premises though, that’s a different story, and her upcoming drama is no exception…
The new drama is called Mr. Sunshine, which, you would think would be a contemporary, however, it is actually a saeguk taking place in the time right before the Japanese rule over Korea. This is what makes me step back and say ‘huh’ a this will be the first time that Kim Eun Seuk will be setting herself firmly into the saeguk. With Goblin, I believe there was some scenes in the past (man, I have got to sit down and watch this drama!) however, most of the main plot takes place in contemporary times.
I love that Kim Eun Seuk continues to use her popularity to push herself as a writer. She isn’t afraid to try different genres, different plot devices and networks, ready to cash in on her fame, don’t mind allowing her the opportunity. There are a lot of writers out there, not just Korean, not just television, that once they find their audience, their niche, they stick there, almost recreating the same story over and over again. I’ve dropped many a favorite writer because of this. It takes guts to do what Kim Eun Seok is doing and I admire her for that.
Now. Will I watch the show? I hate to say it, but probably not. This is one of only a very few of her dramas where I said right outside the gate ‘Naaah’. I’m just not a saeguk fan or political stories and as most saeguk are political, saeguks are really not for me. Also. I’m just not sure how well she is going to be able to pull this off. Her power is in her characters and witty banter, will this translate to a saeguk with such a serious topic?
I mean there can’t be any way that this story ends happily, right? Although, I guess I just can’t see her writing something that has a bad ending, right? Although, didn’t we just talk about how she is growing and changing? Sigh. I don’t know, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.