Tuesday, September 25, 2018


Kim Yun-jin is set to make her first appearance in a Korean TV series in nearly 20 years, according to the Korean paper Chosen Ilbo.

The star of the U.S. hit series "Lost" appears as a detective in the crime thriller "Ms. Ma, Goddess of Revenge," which is slated to start airing early next month.

"I have appeared both in U.S. TV series and Korean films and dramas, but few people recognize any Korean TV series that I was in. So I hope this will be it," she said.
In the Korean adaption of the popular "Miss Marple" series by British author Agatha Christie, Kim plays a woman who is falsely accused of killing her daughter and embarks on a journey to prove her innocence.

Kim said the shooting for the Korean drama was more intense. In her US TV series, she would shoot 10 scenes a day. For the k-drama, it was double. In South Korea, dramas are filmed in a "live" production schedule. It means that actual series shooting begins before all the scripts are completed. In fact, with instant SNS commentary, some shows will actually change direction or character choices as the series is being shot. It creates a more stressful and overworked situation.

Kim moved to the U.S. when she was young, and debuted in Korea with a TV series in 1996. She shot to fame with "Swiri," a Korean hit film about North Korean spies, in 1999. After that, she was cast in the hit ABC series "Lost" and starred in another ABC series, "Mistresses," from 2013 to 2016 in the U.S. Most Korean actors would like to be in a Hollywood blockbuster. But as diverse Hollywood claims to be, it is still a closed company town. The rare example of risky full diversification is "Crazy Rich Asians" movie.

It is rare for Korean movies to have large releases in America or Europe besides the film festival circuit. In Asia, Korean movies are fighting for recognition against larger budgets and mainstream production studios in China, Hong Kong and Japan.

But k-dramas have an international audience. Besides being popular in Asia, Korean dramas are popular in South America and the United States as the internet and translation portals have spread programming throughout the world. Netflix has started some original programming with native Korean actors, such as the original variety/mystery series "Busted."

Wednesday, September 12, 2018


Another season, another network, another LOST-like television series.

This fall, according to the preview and Deadline Hollywood article, the NBC show MANIFEST begins "when Montego Air Flight 828 lands after a turbulent but otherwise routine flight, the 191 passengers and its crew learn that while only a few hours passed for them, the rest of the world has considered them missing—and presumed dead—for over five years. As the passengers try to reintegrate themselves into the world, some of them experience strange phenomena, leading them to believe "they may be meant for something greater than they ever thought possible."

It seems like the LOST pitch without the crash landing on the island.

The showrunners have set themselves up for a high standard of mystery and mythology to pull off a reasonable sci-fi explanation of how a jet plane goes missing for 5 years without crashing or passengers aging. 

It is assumed that the show has to whittle down the main cast from 191 passengers in crew to a hand full of focus characters with the "strange" events surrounding their new lives post-flight. What is strange, what is supernatural, and what is there "new greater purpose" in life seems to take bits of the island guardian and castaways fight to "save the world" from something bad to the main land and the ordinary lives of regular people. 

MANIFEST may or may not be worth watching. The TBS satire, Wrecked, was a train wreck from the start. It was a bad parody and extremely unfunny. It failed on all cylinders.

MANIFEST's producers include Hollywood movie veterans so the quality of the filming could be great, but even the best production values cannot save a poor script or plot.

MANIFEST premieres in late September.