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Upcoming Dramas: “Arang and the Magistrate” and “Faith”

Lee Minho Faith 2

How happy am I that Lee Junki picked a drama for his drama comeback after military service? The combination of a fantasy sageuk, Lee Junki and Shin Mina just seem to be destined for some awesome crack.

Arang and the Magistrate is based on a famous tale of a young woman named Arang who was murdered and returns as a ghost to haunt the magistrates that are posted in her town. In the drama, Lee Junki shows up as the new magistrate and they- with Shin Mina as Arang- fall in love. It will be directed by Kim Sang Ho, who also did the excellent Can You Hear My Heart. The drama is written by Jung Yoon Jung who penned seasons 1 and 2 of Chosun Police. I didn’t watch the series, but obviously this woman knows her sageuk stuff.

The drama is described as a fantasy-melo-sageuk so I’m expecting it to be angsty. I mean, it’s a love story between a ghost and a human. If it is not comedy, we know where this is headed. I’m glad that there is this fantasy trend in K-drama land these days. The fantasy genre regenerates normal, everyday things and makes them strange again. When you throw four men from the Joseon era into modern Seoul (à la Rooftop Prince), you are able to look at the world through their eyes- the things we take for granted everyday are really a marvel of technology and human development. As they say in anthropology, “To make the strange familiar, and the familiar strange.”

I also enjoy the fantasy genre in K-dramas because they inject the all-too-familiar love stories with some epic-ness. I love my epic dramas (see Damo) but that trend died down with the rise of dramas like My Name is Kim Sam Soon. I enjoy dramas about everyday people but dramas these days take these regular people, paint them in extremes, and push them into makjang territory. The fantasy element buoys the same ol’love stories without fauxcest, interfering mothers, and birth secrets. The world keeps our hero and heroine apart, not their own stupidity. (Okay, maybe I’m making QIHM too much of an example of the fantasy drama, but its on my mind…what can I do?)


Faith stars Lee Minho (YAY!!!!!) and Kim Hee Sun. Set further back in history, the story takes place in Korea’s Goryeo dynasty, where a modern day plastic surgeon, played by Kim Hee-Sun, is kidnapped and brought back in time. She falls in love with Lee Minho who is bodyguard to the king.

The drama is helmed by director Lee Jong Hak and writer Song Jin-ah, who together have produced some of the greatest dramas in K-drama history, like Sandglass and The Legend. I don’t remember a lot of Sandglass but I have watched The Legend. All I’ll say is that you can look forward to some really high quality production and carefully thought out writing. I thought The Legend was one of the most tightly written fantasy-sageuk-political drama out there.

I know Lee Minho will deliver but I’m not sure about Kim Hee Sun. I used to watch every drama she starred in the late 90s and early millenium but I feel like her acting never improves. She just doesn’t have enough charisma on screen. And chemistry-wise…Lee Minho and Kim Hee Sun? I don’t see it but we’ll see how this turns out. Anyway, hurray for watching Lee Minho wield a sword. Can you imagine the hotness just exploding on screen? Except he will be wearing all that gear and I won’t be able to see the long legs I love so much.

I’ve also included below some pics of the drama set that a fan took. I love it already.

Interesting tidbit- The cast also includes Lee Philip who has starred in three of Song Jin-ah’s dramas- The Legend, Story of a Man, and now Faith. That’s three out of four dramas he’s been in since debuting in 2007. Either Song really love him or he just follows her around like a puppy.

Arang and the Magistrate will air Wed-Thu starting at the end of July after I Do, I Do finishes on MBC. Faith will air Mon-Tue starting August 13 on SBS.

“From Past to Present”

Now give me some news about Nice Guy, Korean media, instead of ridiculous speculations. I want Song Joong Ki on my screen so badly!

24 Comments Post a comment
  1. WeWe #

    Yeayyy….never saw (well, actually forget which one) Lee Jun Ki drama before so i’m happy to see him and Shin Mina(only watch her in movie Naked Kitchen) in sageuk barb.
    About Faith, no comment.

    June 20, 2012
    • delicatecloud #

      Do watch the drama “Time between Dog and Wolf” – this is one of Lee Jun Ki’s best dramas, if not the best, IMO. Highly recommend this drama which introduced me to Lee Jun Ki.

      June 20, 2012
      • joonni #

        Hmm…I love Lee Junki but I stayed away from that one because I felt that he had reached a point when all his acting was about angsting. It felt like he was losing subtlety and nuance in his acting as he kept on doing more of those angsty dramas. Would you say that I would be safe from that in “TBDW”?

        June 20, 2012
      • delicatecloud #

        @joonni – i know what you mean about his acting being “angsting” as I could not finish his drama “Iljimae” eventhough i really liked him as an actor after TBDW. In TBDW, LJK was very nuanced and very subtle as he has to portray two different characters in the drama and as the gum chewing Kay he was driving Ji Woo crazy, the characted played by Nam Sang Mi. The story is action/romance and because of the premise of the story it does have emotional angst, which is inevitable but he did not, in my opinion,dwell on it. I thought it was brilliant acting on his part – that his desire for revenge (which consumed him and gave him the impetus/raison détre to live) over-rode his need for an emotional base in his life. This greatly conflicted with his need for an emotional base, which as the audience you clearly see and his struggle to realize this. I hope that this short synopsis does not give any “”spoilers”” ….
        Given my disappointment with Iljimae and My Girl, in terms of LJK, i am really hoping that this drama will be where he will show his acting chops again.

        June 21, 2012
        • joonni #

          Thanks for the info on TBDW. I think I’ll go check it out now.

          June 21, 2012
  2. jomo #

    Gats on my screen! I love GATS!

    Thanks for this story. That bridge is from KimSooRo or KimSoRoo, or something.

    PS NOT ENOUGHT Yoo Seung Ho! LJK says that YSH’s part is comic. Looking forward to seeing him as usual.

    June 20, 2012
    • Hi Jomo, what are Gats? Thank you.

      June 21, 2012
  3. WeWe #

    Anyway, a bit oot here, can you tell me where is the shooting location for sageuk drama/movie? Some friends of mine will visit SK in Oct and they like to hunt those shooting places *talking about drama craziness*
    Thank you in advance ^ ^

    June 20, 2012
    • joonni #

      In Korean it’s “창원해양드라마세트장” (Chang-Won Hae-Yang Drama Set Location). A lot of drama shave been filmed there (Princess’ Man, Warrior Baek Dong Soo, Gae-baek, etc.)

      June 22, 2012
  4. Niki #

    oh drat! for a moment there, i thought i saw Boong Do! And i scrolled further down and realised that that was Jun Ki. sigh……i think i will always think of Boong Do whenever i see that vibrant blue joseon garb in future…

    Cant wait for Arang! Shin Min-Ah looks like she will rock the role. Loved her in MGIAG. And Junki….i welcome back thee and thy gorgeous flying mane of glory!

    June 20, 2012
    • joonni #

      As a magistrate though, I don’t know if we will see much of the mane. Darn.

      June 20, 2012
  5. tarianant #

    Reason to watch Arang: awesome story premise
    Reason to watch Faith: awesome mane of glory

    June 20, 2012
    • joonni #

      Perfect, tarianant. Perfect.

      June 20, 2012
  6. delicatecloud #

    Can’t wait for the drama “Arang and the Magistrate” as i have high expectations for Lee Jun Ki as I have not seen him in as awesome a role as he did in Time between Dog and Wolf. Keeping my fingers crossed. He looks awesome in the photo!!

    June 20, 2012
  7. Kas #

    Umm am I the only one who doesn’t find Lee Jun Ki to be attractive? He is a little too feminine for my taste. I do really like Shin Mina so I am not sure if I will tune in yet.
    However, I am really excited about Faith…or rather my faithful love for Lee Min Ho!!!

    June 20, 2012
    • jomo #

      I totally agree that he is feminine, or could be. His early photo shoots exaggerated his adrogenous looks, too.
      LJK in still photos, however, is very different from him speaking and in motion.
      When you add his very low and sexy voice, and masculine mannerisms, it is a different experience.

      June 20, 2012
      • joonni #

        The more you watch him, the more you realize how masculine he looks.

        June 20, 2012
      • delicatecloud #

        I agree. Not just LJK is being made to look androgenous in photo shoots- many of the new young actors are looking more and more “feminine” and androgenous with all the guyliners and make up too in magazine covers, CFs etc!

        June 21, 2012
    • Silk #

      I have the same feeing as yours. I find Lee Jun Ki is a little bit feminine and his acting is ok. So not a big fan of his. I like Shin Mina and she looks very nice in this pictures. This drama reminds me of the famous ghost story that starred Leslie Cheung and Jolie Hwang.

      June 20, 2012
  8. Not a big fan of Lee Junki. Well, I actually only saw him in Ijimae which… wasn’t my cup of tea (maybe because I saw Return of Iljimae first). But I’m definitely going to watch Arang because of Shin Min Ah. Is she going to play all supernatural characters? First a gumiho, now a ghost.. 🙂

    I don’t care, I have a serious girl crush on her… can’t wait to see her onscreen again 🙂

    June 20, 2012
    • joonni #

      Iljimae got pretty bad by the end. I think they were doing live-shooting by then and the editing was horrible.
      Shin Mina is seriously gorgeous.

      June 20, 2012
  9. tya #

    Love between human and ghost..emm..sound interesting..
    Ghost = ugly = spooky
    Shin mina as a ghost = beauty = ???

    Lost of word or should i say i dont know which word should i choose to describe Shin Mina as a ghost..heheheehe

    June 20, 2012
  10. rafflesia #

    I have more faith in Arang and the Majistrate despite Lee Min Ho is in Faith. The story seems more intriguing than Faith and I hope Shin Mina character is not like in the gumiho story. I watched her in other drama, “Devil” and i think non-comedic character fit her well. After QIHM, I feel that all the dramas currently played now is mehhh…… not interesting enough. In fact, I am not following any current dramas though Dramabeans has good recommendation for one or two. Hope Arang and the Majistret will be worth it. Fingers crossed. Patiently waiting for July…….

    June 20, 2012
    • Sofapinda #

      Same here! I’m still QIHM coma. The other dramas airing just don’t look that appetizing to me. Hopefully Arang can cure me.

      June 22, 2012

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