Choi Jin Shil Is Newsmaker of the Year for 2008

Choi Jin Shil’s suicide has been voted by Korean netizens as the biggest news to have happened in the Korean entertainment world this year.

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Gourmet draws first blood, beating Strongest Chilwoo

Following “Yi San” finale on Monday, the battle for ratings supremacy for the Mon-Tue timeslot in Korea kicked off yesterday night with SBS “Gourmet” facing off against KBS “Strongest Chilwoo”. After the first round of battle, “Gourmet” holds the advantage, just edging out “Strongest Chilwoo”.

According to TNS Media Korea, both dramas aired two episode back-to-back yesterday with “Gourmet” achieving 13.2% and 16.1% respectively. “Stongest Chilwoo” only managed 11.5% and 9.1% respectively. It not only lost the ratings to “Gourmet” overall but also saw a decrease from it’s episode 1 to 2 ratings. This was in contrast to “Gourmet” which saw an increase of 2.8 percentage points from its first to second episode.

More viewers tuned into “Gourmet” which was capitalising on the momentum of the same titled movie success last year. Furthermore, it was based on a best-selling comic and revolved around food. “Strongest Chilwoo” meanwhile was labelled as a copycat of “Iljimae” with near identical storylines such as their background, etc. There were also doubts about Eric’s acting particularly about his inability to fit into his role and unsuitability for a saeguk drama.

MBC “Yi San” aired a recap special last night as competition which achieved a 10.1% rating. Next week, MBC new drama “When It’s At Night” will start airing and it would be interesting to see how it matches up to it’s competitors which has a headstart over it. The romance of three tv stations starts next week.

Just watched episode 1 of Gourmet and dozed off midway. Nam Sang Mi didn’t even appear I think! Goodbye. Usually the ratings determine what I will watch, not this time! Guess it’s down to “Strongest Chilwoo” and “When It’s At Night”.

Eric takes on Lee Dong Gun and Kim Rae Won in drama competition

KBS drama “Strongest Chilwoo” starring Eric, Goo Hye Sun and Lee Un will start its broadcast in two weeks time on 9th June. This also means that it will be in direct competition with Kim Sun Ah and Lee Dong Gun’s MBC “When It’s At Night” and Kim Rae Won and Nam Sang Mi SBS “Gourmet” dramas in the Mon/Tues timeslot which starts one week later than them on 16th June.

All three dramas has been receiving lots of attention with their casts comparable to each other. Despite all three stories being totally different genres, “Strongest Chilwoo” revolves around an assassin, “When It’s At Night” is about relic hunters while “Gourmet” is about food, they will inevitably be compared by the media and viewers on all areas. Already, “Strongest Chilwoo” is already being compared with SBS “Iljimae” which is currently showing.

According to the production team of “Strongest Chilwoo”, the first two episodes will be focusing on the childhood of the main protagonists and will seek to lead in to the story of the adult characters thereafter. Some viewers however felt that it was a waste to use two episodes to tell the story of their childhood.

Posters like the one above for “Strongest Chilwoo” has received the support of fans and anticipating the eventual broadcast of the drama.

SBS, MBC, KBS Dramas dukes for supremacy in June

It has been pointless now for any new drama to come up against MBC “Yi San” if you didn’t know as existing competition are just left in it’s shadows (posting abysmal 1-digit rating). But with “Yi San” finally ending it’s run on 9th June, it’s back to square one for all three major tv stations in Korea as they all seek to become the No.1 rated drama in the Mon/Tues timeslot with their new offerings.

Leading the pack is SBS “Gourmet” which will be led by Kim Rae Won and Nam Sang Mi (looking weird in short hair?). Adapted from Heo Young Man’s same titled comic, the movie adaptation performed well at the box office last year as it showcased a battle of culinary skills between chefs in the kitchen. The fans are excited to know if the drama adaptation can live up to the movie and if there’s chemistry between the two main leads. Rae Won’s last drama before army.

Nam Sang Mi and Kim Rae Won in Gourmet

KBS has come up with “Strongest Chil Woo” to provide stiff competition to the other two tv stations. Airing on 9th June, it will replace “Rivals” (Chae Rim) and features a martial arts period drama about the life of a top assassin in the Chosun era. The biggest selling point here is that Eric’s character sees him playing a lowly officer at the investigation court in the day but becomes an ultimate assassin at night. Goo Hye Sun plays his romantic interest in the drama and this incidentally will be Eric’s last drama before enlistment as well.

Eric and Goo Hye Sun

Finally, we have MBC “Every Day Every Night” starring Kim Sun Ah who last graced our screens in “My Name is Kim Sam Soon”. She will seek to discard the comical image from that drama and plays a beautiful, sexy cultural relics protection worker. The long awaited return of Kim Sun Ah and Lee Dong Gun’s first drama since the tragic loss of his brother will be a talking point.

Lee Dong Gun and Kim Sun Ah

The end of “Yi San” will herald a new beginning for SBS, KBS and MBC who will start with a clean slate. Who will come out victorious? Judging from history, “Gourmet” might just edge it with it’s food them. It will be close though.