Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Faith Min Ho Korean Drama Supplemental 2: Background

While searching for Faith production date, coincidentally came upon this.

While reading, I said, "I see... I see..." , because it provides the answers to my earlier Faith Supplemental post.

1)  Why are 2 scenes in the "First Generation" Youtube video in the Faith preview but not in the Faith drama?

2) Why is the male lead not Lee Min Ho in the "First Generation" video? But Kim Hee-Sun (Eun Soo) is in it.

3) Why is it called "3D" in the "First Generation" video?

As I already guessed, Faith would not have flown without Lee Min Ho. I wouldn't have watched it. And the drama would have become just another Korean production that few people outside of Korea (or even the Koreans) would watch.

As it happened, even before the drama aired on August 13th, I was already waiting for it for 3~4 months since the announcement that it was Min Ho's next new drama after City Hunter.

I waited so long that I wondered if I could wait till August because at the beginning of this year, I was quite badly ill.

In fact, I've been thinking that Korean TV should thank Lee Min Ho for making people around the world take interest in Korea and Korean dramas.According to a newspaper article I read, Korean dramas and their idols are actually not popular outside of Korea, not even in Japan. 

So, Min Ho is really amazing to have generated such interest around the world. Mongolia, Kuwait, Iraq, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and other countries (like Azerbaijan ) that you wouldn't think would know or be interested in  a Korean drama and its actor (or even have internet access).

I think it's because he looks Caucasian. So, he has international appeal.

When I first saw him in the starting episode of City Hunter where he appears as a street youth in Thailand, wearing a green tattered T-shirt,  I thought they got an Asian-Caucasian to play in the drama.  Didn't think he was Korean at all.   Fair face, longish hair, tall. His Caucasian-looking nose and that face.

Turns out, he is Korean. And only recently started learning English. How did eating Kimchi make him look so handsome? I have no idea. As far as I know, he has perfectly Asian-looking parents with none of that Caucasian look of his. So... where did it come from? Ancestor somewhere?

Lee Min Ho's star is currently very bright. So indeed, he "has the power to save any drama from floundering".

Poor Faith was actually something that nobody wanted to produce until Min Ho agreed to do it.  And then suddenly, SBS agreed to give it a chance.  After 3 years of it floating around (it says 3 years, but it also says since 2010, the director had been sending out offers to actors to play the main lead. That's 2 years, not 3.). news that Lee Min Ho had finally taken up the offer, SBS confirmed it would give Faith a time slot.
Wahh... like so proud and grand. Give Faith a time-slot.

And that's also because the original script was changed, which drew Min Ho in. Everything falling into place thus: Script changed, Min Ho in, SBS gives time-slot.

A rep from Lee Min Ho’s agency Starhaus said, “The new synopsis with scriptwriter Song Ji Na was better than the original Faith synopsis. It also gained trust in that it was a collaborative piece between Song Ji Na and director Kim Jong Hak...
Curious why the words "gained trust" were used. Was there something about the writer that added trust?  Famous writer (in Korea)? Did it mean then that the director alone was somehow untrustworthy? 

From the "First Generation" video, I think the director probably worked on it alone and only later collaborated with the female writer who made it into a more interesting love story. The director's version is a man's idea and as I mentioned, it was pretty messy and confusing. Which is probably why nobody wanted to produce it.

Meanwhile, while nobody believed in the drama, Kim Hee-Sun (Eun Soo) stuck by it since the beginning. (How about Philip Lee who appears at the end of "First Generation" video?).

Ever since 2010, director Kim Jong Hak’s Faith had sent out offers to Lee Joon Gi, Song Seung Hun and Kang Ji Hwan for the lead role, but because the 3D medical drama seemed too extravagant, production continued to be delayed.
Kim Hee Sun had waited for Faith since its beginnings, but the drama was unable to settle down due to the lack of a proper male lead, making it wander between MBC and SBS.

The above 2 quotes partly answer the points at the top of this post:

The "First Generation" video was the original idea that the director wanted to make.  But it was rejected by the TV people.  Eun Soo was in it because she had stuck by it since the start.  The male lead was Kang Ji Hwan in that video because he was one of the guys the director sought out to play the role.  The video says "in 3D" because that was what the director wanted to do at the start. And there were 2 magical doctors in the video because, it was supposed to be a "3D medical drama" (meaning... there wouldn't be any/much romance in it. Basically, a man's storyline).

It still doesn't explain why the 2 scenes from the "First Generation" were in the actual Faith preview. Was the director thinking of somehow working those scenes into the actual Faith drama?

And it doesn't explain what happened to casting Kang Ji Hwan as the male lead.

The piece (Faith) will feature Song Ji Na’s brand of realistic settings with fast-paced thrill, detective work and humor, as Choi Young’s cold charms and Eun Soo’s (Kim Hee Sun) unpredictable ways are expected to come together in a comical combination.
While I don't agree that the settings are realistic or that there was any detective work (except maybe a little at the start regarding Ki Cheol), I think "cold charms" is the perfect description for Choi Young. Cold charms, indeed.

Update 8 Nov:

Why Min Ho chose Faith after turning it down.

Based on the quote below, I would say the first "draft" didn't fit him because it was not romantic and couldn't display his characteristic cool image. The new piece fits around him, revolves around him and makes him look cool and a ladies' man. Does it imply then, he would only be doing roles that make him look good?

Three years ago when he first received the offer to appear in Faith, however, Lee Min Ho turned it down, saying the character didn’t fit him. Why, then, did he decide to take up the offer in the end?

A rep from Lee Min Ho’s agency Starhaus Enertainment told enews on August 28, “The synopsis and content had changed from when we first met with Faith three years ago. More than anything, Lee Min Ho fell for the piece after reading its script. We turned it down at first, but in the end we decided to take it up.”

Yeah, I agree that now, he is very much a man, even compared to City Hunter, as I mentioned in an earlier post at the start of Faith.

He was just a boy in Boys over Flowers, but he returned to his viewers as a man. 

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