Cast of ‘Kingdom 2’ Grieves After Staff Member Passes Away in Car Accident

The team behind Netflix original Korea drama “Kingdom 2” mourn the loss of a staff member.

On Tuesday, a staff member surnamed Lee was on his way to work on “Kingdom 2” never made it to the filming location in Pyeongchang, Gangwon Province. Sadly, on the way to there, Lee got into a fatal car accident that took his life. Reportedly, Lee was transporting props for filming, which made the news even more heartbreaking.

Talking about the accident, the production team said that the entire team is mourning the loss. “After hearing the sad news about [Lee] we are all grieving,” they said. Offering their deepest sympathies and condolences to the deceased and family members, they have decided to stop filming for the time being. They plan to honor a period of mourning for all those involved in the production.

Meanwhile, “Kingdom” and its second season, is a mystery thriller that takes place during the tail-end of the Joseon Dynasty. With a sickness that appears to reanimate the dead, the prince and his trusted colleagues are the only hope the country has.




By O.C


Bae Doona Talks About Tackling Her First Historical Role in ‘Kingdom’

When she decided to star in Netflix’s “Kingdom” actress Bae Doona found herself in her second original production by the giant online streamer that at the same time turned out to be a first for both.

Image source – Ilgan Sports

Kingdom” is Netflix’s first original Korean drama that has found a way to tap into a market that may not be familiar with Korean history: zombies and Bae Doona.

Zombies have become increasingly popular since Night of the Living Dead by George A. Romero with works like Dawn of the Dead (1978), 28 Days Later (2002), Resident Evil (2002), Train to Busan (2016) and the “Walking Dead” (comic, games, and series featuring the gruesome and decaying creatures. Likewise, Bae Doona, an international star has appeared in several projects like Cloud Atlas (2012) and Netflix’s “Sense8.”

Together, the creatures and the actress make a powerful force. In fact, it is a combination that even Bae acknowledged a unique draw of the show. “For Koreans, [historical dramas] are familiar, but I think it is because there are people that know nothing about the that it appears refreshing. Besides that, zombies are very popular, so there is an element of familiarity,” the actress acknowledged with a small laugh.

Image source – Netflix

In the series, which is set during the Joseon period, Bae plays Seo-bi a physician who set’s with the Crown Prince Yi-Chang (Ju Ji-hoon) to investigate a mysterious plague spreading throughout the southern region of the country while also dealing with political power plays. Notably, this is Bae’s first time acting in a historical drama.

“Since this is my first historical drama, I was constantly worried about experimenting and finding something that worked for me (trial and error). Nonetheless, I did season one because there was a small number of episodes. If there were I a lot, I wouldn’t have dared to take on the challenge,” said Bae. “I thought [Seo-bi] would be a supporting role,” she revealed.

That was not the only challenge for the actress — she was also originally very squeamish when it came to blood and injuries. Talking about how she used to be, she says that when her brother, who works as hospital orderly, told her about his first operation she “couldn’t eat kimchi” afterward. However, now it is different.

Drawing inspiration from her sibling, she reveals she wanted to “express a bold character” who is familiar with illness and blood. “I thought about people who were trained, who are exposed, and who are not surprised to see a body […] I wanted to portray a character that became stronger when she becomes desperate. I acted thinking that Seo-bi lived her whole life not being surprised by blood,” she said, talking about her methodology.

Now that she has gotten the hang of her role and the genre, you can expect to see Bae in the second season of “Kingdom” on Netflix.





Translated by O.C


[OPINION] Changes in Korean Drama From 2000s-Now

In 2019, there have been a lot of historical record breaking in terms of drama viewership for cable TV. Looking back on how much Korean dramas have changed over the last 2 decades, the Internet wins the grand prize for its role!

As an avid Korean drama fan since childhood, all I can say in short is… a lot has changed since the last century. You know time has really gone by when you remember actor Hyun Bin in his lead role in My Name Is Kim Sam Soon (2005) when he wasn’t buff with his spiky hair.

My Name is Kim Sam Soon (2005)

There was a time when a good portion of the dramas airing were historical dramas.

An example of what is Korean historical drama- some in the video would also go on my top  historical drama list.

In the past, historical dramas could be expected to have certain traits. Lots of beautiful traditional hanbok, accurate depictions of historical events, usage of Korean like Old Korean or Middle Korean (what is used today is Modern Korean) and traditional Korean music as part of the OST. While there are a lot of dramas I could mention as an example, the ones that many would be familiar are probably Jewel in the Palace also known as Dae Jang Geum (2003), Hwang Jini (2006) and Emperor of the Sea (2003).

Jewel in the Palace (2003)

Many scenes were about traditional Korean cuisine, hence its role in the start of the Korean Wave. After this drama became globally popular, Korean restaurants started becoming widespread in many major cities as many people became interested in trying Korean food like bibimbap. 

Emperor of the Sea (2003)

All members of the main cast in this mega-hit drama are today’s household names, Choi Soo-Jong, Chae Shi-Ra, Song Ill-Kook (triplets’ father), Soo Ae and Chae Jang-An. While some had already reached the heights of their career before this show, for others it sent them to the top!

Hwang Jini (2006)

This drama’s theme was traditional arts. The cast had to spend many hours learning to dance from an expert, the costumes were beautiful, the songs were well balanced between traditional and modern (modern classical). The drama’s success resulted in the lead actress Ha Ji-Won winning the 2006 Grand Acting Award.

Historical drama is not limited to hanbok or court intrigue

While many Korean dramas consist of wearing what is stereotyped as traditional Korean clothing, that doesn’t mean there aren’t others. One of the most iconic historical dramas would be Rustic Period aka Yainshidae (2002) depicted in the 1920’s to The Korean War when western clothes like suits and dresses have become widespread. As one of the THE highest-rated TV shows in Korea’s broadcasting history, the drama is based on a historical figure Kim Du-Han who happens to be the grandfather of Song Ill-Kook and the great-grandfather of the nation’s triplets-Daehan, Minguk and Manse.

Rustic Period (2002)

This drama had many action scenes attracting a male fan-base. Covering romance, bromance, trip to memory lane for the older generation, intrigue for the younger ones, this was considered the family drama to watch all together. Even now, there are references to this drama because of how memorable the drama is.

On a side note for those who haven’t been captivated by the nation’s triplets.

Korean Content Globally Accessible

In the past, before the Internet became widespread, Korean dramas could only be aired from the 3 major public broadcasting companies. During that time, there were limited slots for dramas to air, so with lots of demand but limited supply, each drama to be slotted for a broadcasting company had to go through a very competitive selection.

Accessing Korean content abroad before the Internet

Previously up to the early 2010s, the main TV broadcasters were KBS, MBC and SBS. To watch Korean drama, you had to rent it from a video store (if you live in a city with a big enough Korean population) or pay a lot of money to access a Korean channel. However, even if you paid a lot to watch Korean drama on TV, there was a time when you have to watch it as it airs, not where you can go back on your smart TV and catch up on past episodes at your convenience. Additionally, watching 2 new episodes every week on TV outside of Korea meant you are going to be very behind on your drama. By the time it starts airing in the US, chances were the drama was almost done with its season back in Korea. So what many people opted for (including myself) was to go to the Korean video store and rented videos of the new episodes of Korean drama which would be only 1 week behind Korea’s broadcasting schedule. Note it wasn’t DVDs but video tapes where you need a device to rewind it for you before you can start watching it all over again!

Now in 2019, with the Internet, cable TV, web dramas and more in Korea, there are so much content available it has become somewhat overwhelming to prioritize your time when deciding which Korean drama to watch. Korean dramas have been globally recognized to be a very profitable market, hence companies like Viki, Netflix, Amazon, Hulu etc. distributing Korean dramas on their sites. Not only that, some of the mentioned companies are even producing or investing in Korean drama.

With lots of demand and supply in the 2010s, it wouldn’t be too strict to say that the quality of Korean content has dropped over the years. From the time when there was only 3 broadcasting options to today where there’s so many options and marketable groups, it has become more profit driven than ever before.

Of course, when there are negative aspects, there are also many positive aspects as well. Korean media has become more accessible resulting in more interest for Korea, more fan bases leading to what is the continuously growing Hallyu Wave. There are more opportunities for those aspiring to go into film and more economic growth. Depending on what is considered more important for each person, the pros can outweigh the cons.

My Take On This

With many positive aspects, I hope that growth (profits) will not blind the entertainment industry in forgoing quality for quantity. In the end once all the profits, growth and potential are temporarily earned, these dramas will remain to become evidence for the future generations as they study history. Just as we ourselves used historical artifacts like music, books, physical propaganda and chess to understand the past, it will apply the same in the future. Or even now where kids (Gen Z) do not know what a game-boy, furby, beanie babies and walk-mans are.

By Sara N



Disclaimer: The opinions or views contained in this article may not represent the opinions or views of Kpoplove, The Korea Daily, its employees, agents or affiliates.

Canadian Sitcom ‘Kim’s Convenience’ Begins Airing in Korea

Canadian sitcom “Kim’s Convenience” is also gaining popularity in Korea.

This past Sunday, the Canadian sitcom “Kim’s Convenience” broadcast for the first time on TV Chosun. According to IMDb, the show details the “misadventures” of a Korean-Canadian family running a convenience store in Toronto. The show first started airing in Canada in 2016, and after three months, over 900,000 people had turned in to watch the program.

Since then, actor Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, who plays “Appa,” the father of the family, won the Best Actor Award. Moreover, the producers greenlighted a third season that will begin later this year.

Online video streaming site Netflix took notice craze and popularity of the program and picked it up during the second season. Netflix likely played a huge part in the show’s growth by distributing it to audiences worldwide.

Meanwhile, TV Chosun will air “Kim’s Convenience” at 11:50 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.



Original article

Translated by O.C


[Opinion] Music to Stay Flat While Television and Film Will Excel in 2019

It may be a new year, but expect trends in music to continue into 2019 while television and film improve quality, content, and reach.

Image sources – Big Hit Entertainment, Netflix, YG Entertainment

There was a lot of changes and triumphs in the K-pop music world in 2018. In particular, a lot of groups started to test out the waters in the U.S. following BTS’ success.

Boy groups like GOT7, MONSTA X, NCT 127, and Super Junior going on media tours around the states. MONSTA X also became the first K-Pop group to do the Jingle Ball tour, and Red Velvet was the first girl group to have in independent fanmeet. Moreover, BLACKPINK and Hyukoh will be the first groups to perform at Coachella. In the midst of that Jay Park released his first single “Soju” under Roc Nation.

This year will probably have more of the same as these groups — and maybe a few more — continue to branch out into the western music market.

Hopefully, more soloist like Dean and Hyolyn will be able to do more collaborations and branch out in the entertainment world stateside. Dean has already partnered with Eric Bellinger and Syd. He has also had other fruitful experiences.

Likewise, soloists like IU, Heize, Chungha, Sunmi, Crush, Ben, Roy Kim, and more will prove even stronger this year, allowing only well-established groups, reality show artists, and soloist from them (think Kang Daniel), and those with large fandoms having a sustained presence on charts.

Besides that, I don’t see anything out of what I have pointed out taking place. Maybe a couple emerges or someone is caught doing drugs again. Hopefully, the public doesn’t freak out resulting in artists leaving companies to date openly.

On the other hand, Korean television — dramas and other entertainment programs — and films are posed to make an even stronger impact.

Netflix will play a large part in expanding the audience for Korean content around the world. The world’s largest Subscription video on demand (SVOD). According to Money, in July 2018, Netflix had over 125 million subscribers worldwide with 56 million in the U.S. A small yet fast-growing portion of that worldwide number is from South Korea.

For the past two years, Netflix has made a dedicated effort to increase the amount of Korean language and subtitled content on their platform. This includes films like Okja, original content like “Busted,” and obtaining exclusive licenses to translated and stream popular dramas like “Mr. Sunshine” and “Something in the Rain.”

In doing so, Netflix witnessed an increase in users’ time spent on the site from 14 minutes to 284 minutes from just a year ago.

Additionally, with the loss of Dramafever last October, Netflix has become one of a handful of sources for K-entertainment that is professionally translated and available worldwide. That leaves sites and apps like Vapp and Viki, which heavily relies on fans for translations.

Something that these entertainment programs and movies have over K-pop music is that it appeals to a broader audience.

Image source – KBS

There is a reason why many credit a drama for staring the Hallyu wave. “Winter Sonata,” a Korean adaptation of a Japanese show, hit a nerve with audiences in Asia and sparked a desire for more content.

Stories or love, struggle, adventure, and growth are universal in a way that the now more hip-hop leaning K-pop is not. Moreover, movies like Burning touches artistic circles that are willing to watch foreign language content than music.

While K-pop music will undoubtedly expand more in 2019, television and film will take the cake.




By O.C


Disclaimer: The opinions or views contained in this article may not represent the opinions or views of Kpoplove, The Korea Daily, its employees, agents or affiliates

MBC, SBS, KBS, and SK Telecom Partner to Create South Korea’s Biggest Online Video Service

SK Telecom and South Korea’s three public broadcasting networks are working together to create South Korea’s biggest online video service.

[그래픽=차준홍 기자]

The Content Alliance Platform consisting KBS, MBC, and SBS, which run video on demand (VOD) service Pooq and SK Telecom, which owns the mobile media platform Oksusu, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to cooperate in the creation of what will be South Korea’s largest online video service on Thursday afternoon.

According to the MoU, SK Telecom and Content Alliance Platforms intend to integrate video services Oksusu and Pooq. Though this merger, Oksusu members will be able to access Pooq content while it also secures content from the MBC, KBS, and SBS.

SK Broadband, an IPTV subsidiary of SK Telecom, launched Oksusu in 2016 as a premium video service. To date, Oksusu offers over 150,000 movies, a variety of TV dramas, and several VOD from over 100 different channels.

Likewise, MBC, SBS, and KBS started Pooq in 2012 with the intention of providing television content on demand from the networks and 70 other channels. Currently, Oksusu is the country’s largest online platform with close to 10 million subscribers while Pooq comes in second with just under 4 million members.

Image source – Pooq

Although the two have a combined subscription base of around 14 million, they are facing a serious crisis. While Oksus is the No. 1 over-the-top (OTT) service in terms of number of customers, it is far behind monthly net users compared to YouTube and Naver TV. Additionally, LG Uplus’ video portal and KT’s mobile Olleh TV have gained ground since their respective launches.

Moreover, another problem is that South Korea’s OTT service does not differ greatly in terms of contents. Although South Korea’s OTT businesses are increasing the number of their own production content, there are few cases where they have experienced significant success in the market.

Against this backdrop, U.S. based businesses like YouTube, which began offering Korean language service in 2008, and Netflix, which started streaming in the county in 2016, have taken a huge part of the market share.

Image source – Netflix

In particular, Netflix’s user base has skyrocketed as it works with production companies to create and steam original content like “Busted” which stars Yoo Jae-suk and “Kingdom” with Bae Doona. Further, users spent an average of 284 minutes per month on the streaming service, up from a mere 14 minutes a year ago.

However, Pooq and Oksus have still shown to be more popular — for now.

According to WiseApp, an application analysis company, consumers ranked Pooq, Tving, and Oksusu and their top three favored media and video service applications. Moreover, while Netflix has been making great progress in the Korean market in the in the past year, during the same period, the monthly service hours users spent on Pooq and Oksus more than doubled.



Sources (1)(2)

Translated by O.C


‘Prison Playbook’ Actor Park Hae-soo to Get Married

Actor Park Hae-soo will get married in January next year.

On November 30th, Park Hae-soo’s agency BH Entertainment announced, “On January 14th, Park Hae-soo will have a wedding at a venue in Seoul”.

The agency continued and said, “the bride-to-be is 6 years younger than the actor and she is not a celebrity. The two first met last year through a friend and have been dating. The wedding will be private, only with family members and close friends. Actor Lee Ki-sub, Park Hae-soo’s long-time friend, will host the wedding. Also, the actor’s musical actor friends and Park Gwang-sun of Ulala Session will sing for the wedding.”


Original article
by Audrey Joung


Ji-Soo Talks About His Role in Upcoming Netflix Drama ‘First Love for the First Time’


Actor Ji-woo revealed how it feels to appear in the romantic drama “First Love for the First Time.”

Image source – OSEN News

At the See What’s Next Asia event held at Marina Bay Sands resort in Singapore actor Ji-soo (Kim Ji-soo) talked about his role in an upcoming Netflix drama. “First Love for the First Time” (working title) is a new romantic series that details the first lover stories of different young men in college.

Talking about the drama Ji-soo said that although it is “bright, youthful, melodramatic story of people in their twenties,” it is something that people of all ages can relate too. This is because it deals with falling in love for the first time, something that most adults have experienced in their lifetime.

While Ji-soo has appeared in other series that have a romantic story, he usually portrays a strong character such as a detective or factory worker. In this drama, he challenged himself to take on characteristics opposite to his past roles. “I play a character with a free but warm heart,” he said. ” I think I [wanted] this roles because I have a masculine image,” the actor explained.



Original article

Translated by O.C


Lee Seung-Gi to Replace Lee Kwang-Soo in Next Season of Netflix “Busted!”

Lee Seung-Gi has confirmed to join the second season of Netflix original variety show, “Busted!”

On November 8, Netflix event “See What’s Next Asia” took place at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. During the event, producer Jang Hyuk-Jae of the Netflix original variety show “Busted!” announced the addition of Lee Seung-Gi as the program’s new member.

Image Source – OSEN

According to the source, Lee Seung-Gi will replace the original member Lee Kwang-Soo in the second season of the program. Jang further explained, “Lee Seung-Gi joined us without any information. He knew that he was the new member of the program, but nothing else about the program was given to him.”

He continued, “while he seemed very smart and looked like he was starting to figure things out at first, he was still very lost. We are confident that we have resulted in some funny scenes with him.”

Regarding the news, actress Park Min-Young also shared a brief comment. The actress said, “even I didn’t know Lee was joining us. When Lee Kwang-Soo announced his sudden departure, I assumed someone new would be joining us. I kept on making my guesses, but I eventually gave up. Finally, Lee Seung-Gi joined us in filming. I’ve only worked with him for one episode, but I feel like we share many things in common.”

Original Article
Translated by Dasol Kim


Yang Hyun-Suk Apologizes for Controversial Scene From “YG Future Strategy Office”

Yang Hyun-Suk has publicly apologized to Chinese fans for the controversial scene from the agency’s exclusive black comedy sitcom, “YG Future Strategy Office.”

Since its premiere, YG and Netflix collaboration sitcom “YG Future Strategy Office” has been under fire for containing wrong information about China. Previously, several Chinese news outlets have pointed out the mistakes, ultimately resulting in Chinese fans criticizing the agency on various social media platforms.

Image Source – Netflix “YG Future Strategy Office,” Instagram @fromyg

One of the episodes in the sitcom features BIGBANG’s Seungri participating in the Chinese version of “Show Me the Money” alongside Jinusean’s Jinu. Accompanying these two artists are two security guards, who are dressed in the traditional Qing Dynasty clothing.

The problem arose when these two security guards are seen captured by the Chinese local police after trying to take some food without permission. While tied down by the rope, the two guards continuously shout, “I’m a pig” in Chinese.

This particular scene, as well as others, especially angered the Chinese fans. Soon, they took it to various social network platforms to criticize YG and “YG Future Strategy Office” for belittling the country. At the end, they demanded an apology from Yang Hyun-Suk.

In response, Yang Hyun-Suk uploaded his apology in both Korean and Chinese on his Instagram. In the apology, Yang said, “we sincerely apologize to our Chinese fans. I have ordered the production staff to correct and delete the scenes containing misinformation. We will be more careful in the future.”

Original Article (1), (2)
Translated by Dasol Kim