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Love is no bed of roses in SBS drama

2008/03/04 | 1356 views | Permalink | Source

SBS tackles the thorny matter of marriage in its latest drama, "I Love You - 2008", slated to hit the small screen on March 31.

A spin-off of Huh Young-man's hit comic book series "I Love You - 2008", SBS's new miniseries keeps it light and fuzzy in what promises to be a bold and cheeky take on the lives of three married couples.

At the press screening held on Feb. 14 at Sangam CGV, reporters and fans were treated to a two-hour sneak peek at this upcoming series.

Judging from the preview, "I Love You - 2008" ventures into risky territory from the get-go -- adultery, divorce, premarital sex and pregnancy, all within two hours, and, with a comic slant.

When asked about the implications of dealing with such serious matters so lightly, Hallyu star Ahn Jae-wook, who will be playing the lead, shrugged it off with a joke or two:

"Contraception ... yes. There is a lot to be careful about", Ahn, 36, said, jokingly referring to the preview, in which his character, Suk Chul-soo, manages to get a girl knocked up.

Sound familiar? Yes, there are some similarities between Judd Apatow's hit flick "Knocked Up" (2007) and SBS's "I Love You - 2008". The hero gets the heroine with-child in both stories. But the similarities end there.

If Judd's hero, Ben Stone, was eager to wed his pregnant one-night stand, Ahn's character, Suk Chul-soo just wants to find a way out.

"Well, my character is immature", Ahn explained, in a knowing tone.

But, to be honest, Suk's reaction to the situation might just be a bit more realistic. After all, what man is eager to take full responsibility for a woman he hardly knows?

And Suk isn't the only guy in this miniseries to be forced into an unwanted marriage. Pop star-turned-actor Hwanhee, 25, plays Park Byeong-ho, a Jimi Hendrix-worshipping room salon band leader who manages to get his girlfriend pregnant, and now faces his own marital death sentence.

The two guys team up with a sleazy, third-rate divorce lawyer -- artfully played by veteran actor Kong Hyung-jin -- to try to find a way out for Hwanhee's Park. But audiences will have to wait until the end of March to see how it all plays out.

After viewing the preview, Hwanhee said, "Wow, these guys seem like real scoundrels".

Starring for the second time in a drama -- he played a pop star in the MBC drama "Over The Rainbow - Drama" (2006) -- Hwanhee joked about his role as Park.

"Many people tend to think I am cold and unapproachable, and that if they try to talk to me, I will be rude", he explained. "But now, through this drama, I'll really hit it home'.Yup, this guy is a real cad'".

"But I think this drama will be a real turning point for me", he added. "And I am worried that if you don't watch the rest of this drama, you will continue to think of me as a bad guy. So, please, watch this drama to the very end".

Actor Gong Hyung-jin, who plays a lame divorce lawyer in "I Love You - 2008", was quick to explain why it is important to watch this series.

"What is unusual about our drama is that all the men end up becoming good guys in the end", said Kong, 38.

And Kong's character, Doh Min-ho, is the one who needs the biggest makeover. Kong's Doh is not only a measly divorce lawyer; he also cheats on his wife.

But Doh's wife, played by actress Jo Mi-ryung, is not one to stand on the sidelines. A tough broad who ekes out a living as a couples' manager at a matchmaking-wedding firm, she stealthily tracks her husband down to a motel in the preview, determined to catch him in the act.

And, at the end of the two-hour preview, things seem a bit rocky between the two. But actress Jo, 34, assures viewers that her character and Kong's won't be fighting the entire time.

"In the beginning, we really fight a lot", said Cho, who starred in the hit sequel "My Wife Is a Gangster 2" (2003). "But towards the end of this miniseries, the reasons why this couple had to fight become apparent".

Jo's and Kong's characters promise to give audiences a look at the difficulties of keeping a seasoned marriage going. And Ahn and actress Seo Ji-hye promise to delve into the hardships of being newlyweds.

Actress Seo, 23, starred in the MBC drama "Over The Rainbow - Drama" (2006) alongside Hwanhee. She will now be playing Na Young-hee, a young, naive bank employee who falls head over heels for Ahn's character, only to find herself pregnant with his child.

"I Love You - 2008" premiers on Monday, March 31 on SBS at 9:55 p.m.

By Jean Oh

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