While Lee Min-jung is most often remembered as being the wife of major star Lee Byung-hun, the actress is a fairly strong talent in her own right - just on a smaller scale, with a very different kind of programming. So it is that she's making a comeback with the early evening weekend drama "Once Again", where she has been cast in the leading role.
Lee Min-jung, for all her charms, has often suffered from a disjointed career in terms of projects. Her big break came in "Boys over Flowers", where Lee Min-jung played the fiance of the lead actor played by megastar Lee Min-ho. But where other breakout stars in "Boys over Flowers" moved on to major high-profile roles, Lee Min-jung hovered in an odd niche. Her successes were mediocre by comparison.
Regardless, Lee Min-jung has still had enough name recognition as a star for productions to be willing to take chances on her again. None of her films or dramas did particularly poorly, they just never left much of an impact. But "Once Again" has many factors working in its favor. The timeslot is an obvious one - early weekend dramas often get much stronger ratings than their later airing peers, even if they seldom get comparable hype.
But with "Once Again" Lee Min-jung will have a chance to work with director Lee Jae-sang, who was responsible for such hits as "Gunman in Joseon" and "Father is Strange". Moreover, the subject matter of "Once Again" may be a better fit for the actress. She plays a pediatrician pushing for divorce from her husband who's in the same field as she is. Lee Min-jung may have real-life experience to draw from in that regard, given past tension with Lee Byung-hun.
"Once Again" also has the benefit of a very strong lead-in. "Beautiful Love, Wonderful Life" ended with ratings over thirty percent. However, it didn't quite beat the record set by "Mother of Mine" last year. "Once Again" will get its chance to challenge that benchmark when it premieres on March 28th.
Written by William Schwartz
"Once Again" is directed by Lee Jae-sang, written by Ahn Ah-reum, Yang Hee-seung, and features Lee Min-jung, Chun Ho-jin, Cha Hwa-yeon, Oh Yoon-ah, Oh Dae-hwan, Lee Cho-hee. Broadcasting information in Korea: 2020/03/28~Upcoming, Sat, Sun 19:55 on KBS.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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] Lee Min-jung Returns to Weekend Dramas With "Once Again""
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