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KDrama Preview: Dong Yi

February 24, 2010

I never finished Dae Jang Geum. I really did try but after propelling me into déjà vu land for the umpteenth episode, I decided to watch a Top Chef marathon instead. Even though the titular role belongs to Han Hyo Joo, I fully expect the “star” of the sageuk to be Lee Byung Hoon. (And I’m using the term “star” very loosely.) As the man behind Dae Jang Geum, Yi San, and Huh Joon, one can fully expect an insipid and frustrating sageuk to start in March. (In case it wasn’t clear, I’m not a fan.)

Dong Yi (Han Hyo Joo) tells the tale of a water maiden who becomes the king’s concubine, and rises to become the mother of the 21st king of the Joseon dynasty. Ji Jin Hee will take on the role of Dong Yi’s husband, King Sukjong, while Bae Soo Bin will again fall in love with Han Hyo Joo and play her everlasting protector. Lee So Yeon (Temptation of Angel) will attempt to hone her villain skills by playing Lady Jang Hee Bin, a well known power hungry queen in Korean history. Apparently, this rendition of Jang Hee Bin will be slightly differently from other numerous dramatizations of the character, as she is motivated by the love for her son rather than thirst for power.

Besides the fact that I’m not a fan of Lee Byung Hoon sageuks, I’m not that big on Han Hyo Joo either. She’s sure pretty but just so very meh and I think she’s going to have a tough time maneuvering from her teens to a consort in her 50s. (She looks exactly the same in these released photos portraying the different phases of her life.) I couldn’t sit through too much of Temptation of Angel, but Lee So Yeon scares me a little so she’s probably a good candidate for Jang Hee Bin. The main draw for me is definitely Bae Soo Bin, who has quite a bit of sageuk experience under his belt with The Painter in the Wind and Jumong. To be honest, I was hoping that he would take on a good role in a good drama, after the disaster that was Temptation of Angel, but it looks like that’ll have to wait. (Does anyone else think he would have been a great Song Tae Ha in Chuno?)

Dong Yi has already brought a small amount of calamity to my life by forcing an extension on Pasta. As much as I love Lee Seon Kyun and Gong Hyo Jin‘s “yes chep”, the extension is not helping the already scanty storyline.

Dong Yi is scheduled to run for 50 episodes and there is always the possibility of an extension with good ratings, which would not be a surprise. (It’ll initially compete against The Birth of the Rich and Oh My Lady.) It looks like I will not be tuning into MBC on Mon/Tues night for a very long time. Below are a few more pictures without Bae Soon Bin. Darn you MBC!! And a few Happy New Year promos from the cast.

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