Oof – I take a weekend off to chillax and shop – which meant no reading of K-pop news – and so many things happen!!!!!!!!
Jung Il Woo held his birthday fan meeting over the weekend, and his surprise guests were Kim Bum and Lee Min Ho! The two of them are best friends with Jung, and Kim Bum even starred alongside Jung in Unstoppable High Kick. They celebrated Jung’s 23rd birthday with him and his fans, and Jung performed for his fans on the piano and also singing the song “Candy in My Ear” by Baek Ji Young.
This Lee Min Ho plays Jung Kyu in the drama Gumiho: Tale of the Fox Child. I have not been watching this drama, but I found it interesting that he has a love connection to Kim Yoo Jung, who is approximately six years younger than he is.
I also incorporated some behind the scenes photos for the drama. It’s not getting a lot of attention, but it has a small fervent base of fans. I’m kind of curious about it and might start watching (if I have time), but it’s more because the people seem to have a great time on set. And when they all get along, then it can really show onscreen.
(I seriously don’t get how they jump so high! I’m betting they have a trampoline…)
Lee Min Ho recently went on vacation with his family to the Maldives, and uploaded a few of those pictures on his Twitter. I’m not too sure how long he went, but he said he came back after this rare jaunt fully rested.
Se7en is making his comeback with an album on July 21, but to hype it up he released a teaser today. There’s nothing special to the teaser – you don’t even hear his voice. However there is a definite techno/auto-tune thing going on for at least this single.
Park Yong Ha was laid to rest with So Ji Sub carrying his photo. His parents did not attend the funeral procession, but his numerous celebrity friends, including Park Shi Yeon and Ryu Si Won, were in attendance. I’ve seen nothing but news on this matter, and it’s quite depressing seeing all the photos of the celebrities crying. I am just as guilty for looking at all these photos though; I do feel that I intrude their private space when I do.
Jang Geun Suk finished up his Asia tour in Japan the past weekend. He sang and spoke about You’re Beautiful to the fans, and also introduced his new film “You’re My Pet.” During the interviews he spoke about how he had to go on a diet and practice dancing every day in order to pull of the role that Jun Matsumotooriginated. He also noted that hopefully one day he’d be able to act in a role that would express deeper emotions. I’m getting the vibe that he would prefer if he were cast for his acting skills than his looks…
On another note – he also mentioned that he doesn’t care about the age of his girlfriend – but just wants to be the boyfriend “who can prepare breakfast for her.” Sweet!
There’s a sudden influx of Korean stars entering the Chinese market, when they used to go towards Japan. Han Ji Hye, Song Hye Gyo, Jeon Ji Hyun, and Jang Hyuk are all filming in Chinese productions.
The reason for this is likely because of a saturation in the Japanese market for Korean stars. Many of the earlier Hallyu stars like Bae Yong Joon, Park Yong Ha, Choi Ji Woo, and later ones like Jang Dong Gun, Lee Min Ho have taken up Japan’s attentions that it is harder for the newer and later stars to make a strong impact on Japanese entertainment. Fan meeting statistics are also not always reliable – though media reports say “thousands” came, only hundreds would show up. It doesn’t help if the Korean celebrity has an attitude either (actually, it doesn’t help any celebrity).
China is a huge market in population and therefore more money can be made in doing fan meetings there (more cities to go to) and in making commercials (more viewership – more money). While Korean celebrities’ popularity is also rapidly rising in China, it helps too that Taiwan is slowly acquiring more Korean dramas. Through Taiwan, China has more readily accepted popular Japanese and Korean programs thanks to similar cultural backgrounds. Taiwan is also known for greater transparency in making deals, so it is easier for the stars to solve their payment and copyright issues through them.
Either way, it’s a huge market to tap into, and many more celebrities are learning Chinese for it.
I don’t know how to feel about it – while it’s good for the Korean stars to branch out and expand their popularity (either by going to Japan or trying to break into Hollywood), it sometimes does feel like Korean celebrities are “taking over the world” in the sense that they’re everywhere – whereas I wonder why more Japanese and Chinese stars don’ttry to break into the Korean entertainment industry.
First off, his Facebook page has over 544,000 fans. Now that may not seem much, but consider the fact that the make up of his fans are mostly from other Asian countries aside from Korea, and 25% of them are Americans. Also to put into consideration is the fact that Leonardo DiCaprio only has a little over 296,000 fans, and the Wonder Girls have a little over 241,000 fans. Lee Min Ho Fever!!
To top it all off, there are rumors that Personal Taste will be extended to 20 episodes. It might or might not pan out, especially since Kim Ji Suk is scheduled to leave for the army four days after the end of the series, and it’s a little difficult to schedule all the actors for an additional two weeks (no surprise there – if the actors, especially Lee Min Ho, are getting more attention than usual then they’re probably getting a lot of offers for more promotional stuff and CFs). I don’t know if that’s a good thing – watching the series behind my mother every time I pass by, the series looks like it’s going at a good pace and with the cliffhanger in episode 10, it feels like it’s getting ready for the end and many things can get cleared up by episode 16. An additional four episodes probably implies more mix-ups with In Hee, Chang Ryul (or Chang Ryul’s father if Kim Ji Suk is not available and is written out), or Do Bin (who’s more like a harmless threat to the duo). Or Kae In’s father…