Following the popular success of the film "On Your Wedding Day" last year Park Bo-young and Kim Young-kwang seemed like obvious choices to headline romantic themed television dramas. Instead, both "Abyss" and "The Secret Life of My Secretary" underperformed, begging questions as to just what went wrong.
Part of the problem may just have been that too much faith was put in the star power of Park Bo-young and Kim Young-kwang alone to sell the projects. "Abyss" wasn't just a romance, but also a fantasy drama as well as a thriller. While Park Bo-young has had experience with all of these genres in the past, ultimately such ambitious fusion concepts are highly reliant on the script, over which Park Bo-young had little control.
"The Secret Life of My Secretary" had the exact opposite problem - a story so derivative that Kim Young-kwang lacked much in the way of opportunity to bring personal flair to the role. The wackier tone was also a deviation from the more serious romantic works Kim Young-kwang had done in the past. Which is ironic, given that Kim Young-kwang's past romantic roles have usually had strong comic relief elements.
Park Bo-young and Kim Young-kwang themselves have faced little direct criticism for the relatively poor performance of their dramas. Indeed, their chemistry with their leading co-stars has frequently been cited as a high point. Park Bo-young's "Abyss" co-star Ahn Hyo-seop is currently mulling over taking a role in "Dr. Romantic 2", though that drama currently faces dubious prospects.
But as for Park Bo-young and Kim Young-kwang, it seems likely they will try to break out of their current romantic themed niche and explore different kinds of roles. At present neither has any plans for a new drama.
Written by William Schwartz
"Abyss" is directed by Yoo Je-won, written by Moon Soo-yeon, and features Park Bo-young, Ahn Hyo-seop, Kwon Soo-hyun, Lee Si-eon, Song Sang-eun, Han So-hee. Broadcasting information in Korea: 2019/05/06~Now airing, Mon, Tue 21:30 on tvN.
"The Secret Life of My Secretary" is directed by Lee Gwang-yeong, written by Kim Ah-jeong, and features Kim Young-kwang, Jin Ki-joo, Kim Jae-kyung, Koo Ja-sung, Jang So-yeon, Han Ji-sun. Broadcasting information in Korea: 2019/05/06~Now airing, Mon, Tue 22:00 on SBS.
Staff writer. Has been writing articles for HanCinema since 2012, having lived in South Korea since 2011. Started out in Gyeongju, then to Daegu, then to Ansan, then to Yeongju, then to Seoul, lived on the road for HanCinema's travel diaries series in the summer of 2016, and is currently settled in Anyang. Has good tips for utilizing South Korea's public bus system. William Schwartz can be contacted via email@example.com. He also has a substack at williamschwartz.substack.com where he discusses the South Korean film industry in broader terms and takes suggestions for future movies to review.
"[HanCinema's News] "On Your Wedding Day" Co-stars Park Bo-young and Kim Young-kwang Disappoint With "Abyss" and "The Secret Life of My Secretary""
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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