Ones to Watch: Upcoming April 2015 K-Dramas
The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and flowers are in bloom! Spring has officially sprung, and what better way to celebrate the changing of the seasons than with a good o’ K-drama? When you’re a little tired of all that warmth and sunshine, or if you have pollen allergies like I do, and just want to be indoors, don’t fret over being bored. The upcoming April K-drama selection has got you covered!
“The Girl Who Sees Smells”
April 1 – Wednesdays and Thursdays on SBS
Formerly known as “Sensory Couple,” albeit, rather briefly, starts off the month and no, the title isn’t an April Fool’s trick! Based on a web comic of the same name, “The Girl Who Sees Smells” stars Park Yoochun as Choi Moo Gak as a detective who has lost some of his senses (like taste, smell, but also lives with general numbness) due to being a victim in a murder crime three years prior, called the “Barcode Murder Case.” But Moo Gak lost more than his senses in that incident, as his younger sister Eun Seol (Kim So Hyun) is believed to have died in the incident. Enter Oh Cho Rim (Shin Se Kyung), the sole witness to the murder case. As Moo Gak investigates the case further, he will need Cho Rim’s help, but she’s lost her memory of the incident and has become a girl who can see smells.
The premise reminds me of 2013’s “I Miss You” (early trauma with Yoochun searching for someone he lost, and the connection to Kim So Hyun is unmistakable) but that is probably where the similarities end because the teasers for “The Girl Who Sees Smells” give the impression that we’re in for a feel-good time (however that is possible). I’m looking forward to this drama for its heart, the comedic tone, and because I think Kim So Hyun is great in everything she does. Nam Goong Min and Yoon Jin Seo also star.
“Let’s Eat 2”
April 6 – Mondays and Tuesdays on tvN
In late 2013, tvN premiered a 16-episode drama titled “Let’s Eat” that had audiences falling in love with the food (my goodness, the food!) as much as the romance, as much as the story of a group of neighbors created wonderful relationships with each other. In 2015, tvN is ready to unleash “Let’s Eat 2” with all its slow motion food close-ups that are excessive enough to make you blush. And incredibly hungry.
There have been a lot of complaints being filed against “Let’s Eat 2” because only one of the original cast members returns for the sequel: Gu Dae Young, played by Yoon Doo Joon, eccentric food blogger and half of the *spoiler for “Let’s Eat”* romantic couple of the original. It is a hard day when the couple you’ve rooted for breaks up, but it is another thing entirely for a sequel to completely undo what the original so painstakingly (and wonderfully) set into motion.
That being said, there is a lot that “Let’s Eat 2” has going for it. For one, the drama comes to us from the same PD and writer team, so we can expect the same whimsy and charm that captured audiences. Dae Young also gets new neighbors, Baek Soo Ji (Seo Hyun Jin) and Lee Sang Woo (Kwon Yul) to bicker and bond with, which is always fun. And if you like food, you’ll definitely find “Let’s Eat 2” worth watching. Just be warned, you can’t watch this drama on an empty stomach!
Watch Dae Young tremble at the sight of sweet and sour pork in the teaser below!
“My Unfortunate Boyfriend”
April 10 – Fridays and Saturdays on MBC
In “My Unfortunate Boyfriend” Yoon Tae Woon (No Min Woo) is a prince-like character who believes in honesty and always telling the truth. This is a contrast to the woman he strikes a relationship with, Yoo Ji Na (Yang Jin Sung), who has no problem weaving webs of lies to suit her purposes. And you know what K-dramas say about opposites–they not only attract, but they make the perfect couple!
I’ve not seen any of Yang Jin Sung’s dramas except “City Hunter,” where she played the butt-kicking sidekick to Park Min Young‘s Kim Na Na, and I remember liking her in that role. I am more curious about No Min Woo, whose acting and choice of projects always intrigue me and have impressed me in the past, and I’m curious as to how he’ll play the “unfortunate” angle. Although certainly not the most original of premises, sometimes you just need a rom-com where opposites attract, bicker, and fall in love.
Check out the whimsical teaser for “My Unfortunate Boyfriend” below:
April 13 – Mondays and Tuesdays on MBC
If you are a fan of historical drama intrigue, then this next drama is right up your alley. MBC’s “Hwajung” or “Splendid Politics” is the latest offering of the story of Prince Gwanghae and his rise to power in 16th century Joseon. The ever brilliant Cha Seung Won will star as the notorious illegitimate prince, who, as historical accounts go, outs his half-brother and rightful heir to the throne, and sends his half-sister, Princess Jungmyung (Lee Yun Hee) into exile.
While I’m not always in the mood for palace politics, the cast seems so solid that I can’t help but sit up and pay attention, especially since Lee Sung Min (the much beloved Manager Oh from last year’s “Misaeng“) finally graces us with his K-drama presence! Shin Eun Jung, also from “Misaeng” and most recently “Hyde Jekyll, Me,” is also on the roster (manager reunion!), and Kim Jae Won, Seo Kang Joon, and Han Joon Wan round out the principal cast.
Check out the teaser for “Hwajung” below:
“Who Are You: School 2015”
April 27 – Mondays and Tuesday on KBS2
Ah, yes, the “School” series. Originally a 3-season series from the early ’00s, the series resurfaced again in the wildly beloved “School 2013.” And we are now primed for its latest installment, “Who Are You: School 2015, with all around tour de force Kim So Hyun taking up the leading role (that’s right, she has two dramas coming out this month!). She will play a Gangnam student, Eun Byeol, who mysteriously goes missing. When she returns, she has lost all memories associated with her disappearance, and strives to find out the truth. Meanwhile, Eun Byeol’s twin, Eun Bi, has turned from bullying-victim to popular girl as she steps into Eun Byeol’s prestigious life.
The story seems solid, Kim So Hyun being slated as the lead is exciting, and who wouldn’t like another installment in the “School” series? Not everything is perfect and smooth sailing for this drama, however, as a leading male actor still remains to be cast–and we’re about a month out from the premiere date. When KBS first announced that they were going ahead with “School 2015,” it was slated for the second half of this year. Perhaps KBS was too hasty in moving up the premiere, but who knows, maybe we’re all just nervous for no reason at all.
Kim So Hyun is excited about filming though, if her twitter account is any indication.
“Make a Woman Cry”
April – Saturdays and Sundays on MBC
In “Make a Woman Cry,” also known as, “Let a Girl Cry,” or “Well, it’s not my favorite title for a drama,” Kim Jung Eun stars as a woman whose son dies due to a bullying incident at school. Formerly a detective, she quits her job and opens up a snack restaurant in front of her son’s former school to prevent other victims of school violence. Song Chang Eui plays a high school teacher whose son is involved in the bullying incident. It is also Cheon Doong‘s (formerly Thunder of MBLAQ) first role with his new agency, and he will play Ha Hee Ra‘s high-school-aged son.
“Make a Woman Cry” deals with the heaviest themes yet: of a family’s being torn apart, of grief, of the pain of a parent outliving their own children, and the terrible underworld of high school violence. This is such a different role for Kim Jun Eun, who is loved and adored for her romantic roles, but she seems utterly dedicated to the role, as seen from the images above, and I have no doubt that she’ll bring the same heart to this role and she would with any romance drama.
That’s is for this month’s peak at the upcoming April 2015 K-dramas. What is on your shortlist of dramas for April? Share your thoughts and picks in the comments below!