Cosmetics, Cameos, and Drama News

This week has been a fun one in dramaland with all the teasers dropping. Some of them are brilliant and have ramped up excitement for the shows (Wanted, Scarlet Heart: Ryeo), and others…well, I’m sure someone will have fun checking them out. If the others turn out to be better than their teasers implied, I might give them a shot. We are two weeks into June and I haven’t finished a single drama this year because I end up disliking everything I’ve tried.

  • Korea’s Cosmetics Production Exceeds W10 Trillion.” The Korean cosmetics industry is booming–anyone else remember the YWCFTS days, when everyone was clamoring for Jeon Ji-hyun’s liploss/lipstick/whatever-it-was? Over US$2.59 billion worth of product was exported in 2015, including over a billion of that to China alone. (I’ll even admit to buying these Dermal Collagen Essence face masks on Amazon. They’re fun and way cheaper than the ones they sell at my local beauty shops.)
  • Workers Say No to Forced Weekly Drinking Sessions.” Second-hand embarrassment has always kept me from enjoying the slurring-can’t-stay-on-their-feet-drunk stage characters frequently end up in dramaland, and it turns out most IRL office workers dislike it even more than I do. I’ve been at my current job for almost three years now, and I can count the times I’ve gone on after-hours outings with my co-workers on a single hand with plenty of fingers to spare. I’m with the 45% who say that once a month is more than enough.
  • Yoon Eun Hye Films Cameo for C-drama Remake of Coffee Prince with Yang Le and Xu Lu.” Apparently there is a Chinese remake of Coffee Prince, and Yoon Eun-hye is stopping by for a cameo. Huh. I didn’t know this was a thing.
  • Park Eun-bin, Park Hye-soo up for JTBC’s Age of Youth.” We need more college dramas, dammit, so I was very pleased to discover that this new JTBC program is going to center on the lives of five college-aged women. I’m not sure if the “all under one roof” thing means that they’ll be roommates (à la the sharehouse in Surplus Princess) or all in the same small apartment building (à la the heroine and second male lead in Master’s Sun). Either way, I’m excited, especially with White Christmas writer Park Yeon-sun at the helm. Any chance this will go dark? Please?

Overtime, Dangi, and Drama News

From the culture of overtime work to popular webtoons to an infographic breakdown of stats about Korean women, this week has provided me with a lot of interesting reading. Oh, and Jeon Ji-hyun and Lee Min-ho are coming back to dramaland, no big deal.

  • Overtime still seen as sign of diligence in Korea.” I’ve worked overtime before–the latest was until 1:30 a.m., though that only happened a few times a year. And let me tell you, that was a miserable experience where I ended up screaming at cars as I drove 40 minutes home. I can’t imagine regularly putting in 12+ hour days (unless I was being paid massive amounts of money), so here’s hoping that these labor law bills go somewhere.
  • South Korean Webtoon artist tackles sexism at home.” (TW: domestic violence, child abuse) With webtoon-to-drama adaptations so popular nowadays, I would be interesting in something like Dangi being moved to the top of the list of possibilities to shed more light on these problems. This autobiographical webtoon tackles the author’s experiences growing up in an abusive family (and how much of the abuse directed at her was sexist). Season two will be featuring stories sent to the author by her readers.
  • “‘The Handmaiden’ tops box office.” I kept hearing awesome things about this movie via Twitter thanks to the movie’s highly positive reception at the Cannes Film Festival, and I’m happy to report that it is doing well in its domestic release. When will this be coming to the US?
  • A Snapshot of Korean Women Today.” This infographic has a neat breakdown of stats about Korean women, from how many hours they spend on housework, their education and employment rates, and average age of marriage (and remarriage).
  • Jeon Ji-hyun, Lee Min-ho team up in new SBS drama Legend of the Blue Sea.” The drama-watching community is going to explode this fall, basically. The initial offer for Chinese distribution per episode is apparently $50,000 grand–in comparison, DotS (the previous record holder) was just $27,000. I’ll probably check it out, but I’m already calling it that I won’t stick with it, considering how much I wound up hating YWCFTS. Still, best wishes to all involved: may you get lots and lots of cash from this.
  • “‘Descendants of the Sun’ director’s cut to be released.” Looks like fans who are still obsessed with the Song-Song couple are in for a treat later this year. The director’s cut will include deleted scenes, behind-the-scenes footage, and a reedited version of the finale episode.

Popularity Contests, Running Man, and Drama News

This week brings you popularity polls (and streaming stats), the Cannes Film Festival, and typical drama rumors. There are so many people I want to return to dramaland to redeem themselves!

  • “Yoona and Kim Soo Hyun Top the Vlinkage 2016 Most Popular Korean Male and Female Star List in China.” I remember my early days in dramaland, when I didn’t know many stars by name. Now I can comfortably identify about three-fourths of the people on these two lists (though I’m a bit baffled by the rankings on some of them). Best of luck in China this year!
  • “‘Handmaiden’ vies for Cannes prize.” I’ve never read Fingersmith, the novel this movie is based on, but based on what I’ve heard about the book (and director Park Chan-wook), this could be amazing. I can’t wait until it comes out in the U.S. Best of luck at the Cannes Film Festival!
  • “Jeon Ji-hyun in talks to star in new drama from You From Another Star writer.” Jeon Ji-hyun was one of the few redeeming things about YFAS, and I would love for her to come back to dramaland. Here’s hoping this time around Park Ji-eun (the writer) steps it up and provides a male lead I don’t want to kick in the shins. It’d be nice for someone to redeem Lee Min-ho, too, before he finally heads off to the military. PD Jin Hyuk needs a good project to redeem himself, too, though he did his best on the fiasco that was Doctor Stranger.
  • “Weekly Top Ten K-dramas.” I had no idea that Heirs was still so popular on DramaFever two and a half years out, but it came in third place behind Running Man and Descendants of the Sun. I remember my circles of the internet being a little baffled by DF’s involvement in producing Heirs, but apparently it is paying off for them. If only it had been a better show.
  • “‘Running Man’ and ‘Hurry Up, Brother’ Meet for Epic Reunion.” I’ve only ever seen the cut of when Kim Jong-kook showed up on HUPB and scared the crap out of the members; here’s hoping that we’ll get to see this reunion episode on Running Man proper.
  • “Jo Jung-seok jokes his way through interviews for Time Renegade.” I know, I know, celebrity personas are typically a carefully managed and controlled thing, but the only thing I can think of when I read this interview is how adorable JJS is. I’m keeping an eye out for his upcoming drama with Gong Hyo-jin–provided it settles on a broadcaster, at some point.
  • “BONUS PODCAST! Interview with Gwynne Meeks.” So one of my BFFs gets to talk on this fun podcast with some cool people about fanfiction. No big deal.