Kim Hye-soo takes on Ko Hyeon-jeong

  • Published : Oct 19, 2010 - 17:57
  • Updated : Oct 19, 2010 - 17:57

The fall drama season is proving to be rife with controversy.

A week before news broke of the addition of a new director to SBS’ Wednesday and Thursday night series, “Dae Mul,” the press had a field day with a comment made by Kim Hye-soo on a television program on Oct. 8.

On an MBC entertainment show, Kim responded to a statement made about MBC’s Wednesday and Thursday night series’ losing streak, saying, “Overall, MBC is a wreck.”

The 40-year-old actress voiced her bold opinion weeks after MBC decided to cancel her current affairs program, “Kim Hye-soo’s W,” which will air its last episode Oct. 29, instigating speculation linking her remark to the show’s termination.

Ironically, Kim was getting photographed for the poster of her brand new MBC drama, “Home Sweet Home,” when she reportedly criticized the network.

The mystery melodrama, which delves into a possible murder case, is set to hit the small screen on Oct. 27. 
The cast of MBC’s “Home Sweet Home,” (from left to right) Lee Sang-yoon, Kim Hye-soo, Shin Sung-woo and Hwang Shin-hye, pose for photos during a press conference on Tuesday at the Grand Hyatt Seoul (Park Hae-mook/The Korea Herald)

In the upcoming series, Kim plays Kim Jin-suh, a psychiatrist out to uncover the truth behind the death of Sung Eun-pil (Kim Kap-soo). In doing so, Kim realizes that the deceased Sung’s wife, Mo Yoon-hee (Hwang Shin-hye), may not only have been involved in Sung’s death but that she has also been having an affair with Kim’s husband, Lee Sang-hyun (Shin Sung-woo).

Just a glance at the plot foretells the telenovela-esque nature of the new drama, where stakes will be high and cat fights will abound.

“I can just sit back and watch them duke it out,“ director Oh Kyung-hoon said of the synergy that one gets from pairing top actresses like Kim and Hwang.

Director Oh, however, was quick to refute presumptions that the drama will be an extreme soap opera.

“This is most definitely not a telenovela-style drama about illicit affairs,” he asserted at the drama’s press conference Tuesday. “Our series explores the relationships between married couples.”

Up against formidable rivals KBS’ “Fugitive Plan B” and SBS’ “Dae Mul” Oh explained why he felt he could take them on.

“Primary viewers of Wednesday and Thursday night miniseries are changing,” he explained. “10 years ago it was viewers in their late teens to their late 20s, but now it is shifting toward those in their late 20s to their mid-40s. So our concept is to target females in their 30s and 40s, which is why you could call this work female-centric. But people who like mysteries and American and Japanese dramas have also been taken into consideration.”

The series’ success, however, will depend on the power of Kim Hye-soo who pulled respectable ratings in her last drama, SBS’ “Style” to attract more viewers than the highly charismatic heroine of “Dae Mul,” played by “The Great Queen Seondeok” star Ko Hyeon-jeong.

It looks like Kim might turn the tables.

On Oct. 17, news broke that not only had “Dae Mul” scriptwriter Hwang Eun-kyung been replaced by Yoo Dong-yoon prior to airing, but that a new director, Kim Chul-kyu, joined the team and started co-directing with “Dae Mul” director Oh Jong-rok.

The changes will affect “Dae Mul” as early as this week, possibly affording Kim Hye-soo’s drama an opportunity to swivel viewers away from the currently popular “Dae Mul.”

“Home Sweet Home” starts airing Wednesday and Thursday nights on MBC on Oct. 27 at 9:55 p.m.

By Jean Oh (oh_jean@heraldcorp.com)