Tamra the Island’s Im Joo-hwan has a drama series coming up (campus series What’s Up), but first he’ll be seen in an MBC special drama called Hyunhaetan Marriage War [현해탄 결혼전쟁]. He’ll star with Rie (full name Akiba Rie), a Misuda (Global Talk Show) panelist from Japan.
The story is about a typical Korean man and a Japanese woman who
fall in love while working together on a Korea-Japan joint project, but
face family opposition to their marriage. Hyunhaetan is the name of the
strait between Japan and Korea; hence the title, which is a metaphor
for the couple’s struggles.
Im plays the son to Baek Il-sub (cuddly Papa Song of Sol Pharmacy).
Rie takes the role of a graduate student in biology, and is Im’s
laboratory sunbae. They fall in love as they work on their
collaborative project, but both fathers put up strong opposition.
(Rie’s father will be played by Hakuryu, a veteran Japanese actor who has appeared in several Korean projects, such as IRIS, Insadong Scandal, and The Good, The Bad, The Weird.) Despite the couple’s obstacles, they press on and marry anyway.
This sounds similar to another drama, 2004’s Friends (not to be confused with the movie Friend or its spinoff drama Friend, Our Legend). The four-episode Friends had a similar Korean man/Japanese woman romance between Won Bin and Fukada Kyoko
(who made a gorgeous couple). I liked it, although it was a
lightweight; it had the opportunity to be meaningful but just played
around on the surface and was therefore a rather shallow affair, though
pleasant to look at. (In it, the two meet over a brief weekend in Hong
Kong, then keep in touch as penpals when they return to their
respective countries. They continue with their own lives but the
connection remains strong, but he comes from a particularly traditional
Korean family that wants him to marry a nice Korean girl. Over the
years, she learns Korean and gets a job that brings her to Korea, where
they meet again. Hm. I should really write Friends up one of these days.)
In any case: Hyunhaetan Marriage War held its script
reading on January 22, and began shooting on January 24. The production
will film in Seoul, Busan, and Fukuoka. It airs on MBC on March 1 and