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Hwang Jung-eum returns through fantasy rom-com ‘Men are Men’

Lead cast members of “Men are Men” -- from left: Yoon Hyun-min, Hwang Jung-eum and Seo Ji-hoon -- pose for photos during a promotional event for “Men are Men” on Monday. (KBS)
Lead cast members of “Men are Men” -- from left: Yoon Hyun-min, Hwang Jung-eum and Seo Ji-hoon -- pose for photos during a promotional event for “Men are Men” on Monday. (KBS)

Hwang Jung-eum who has enjoyed success with romantic-comedy dramas is returning to the small screen through another lovey-dovey drama show.

In the new drama “Men are Men” on KBS2, Hwang will play Seo Hyun-joo, a workaholic web comic platform coordinator who vows marriage to herself, only to find herself challenged to rethink the value of love by two suitors.

Hwang, along with the series’ producer Choi Yoon-suk and lead cast members Yoon Hyun-min, Seo Ji-hoon, Choi Myung-gil and Jo Woo-ri, held a promotional press conference Monday, before the first episode aired.

According to the producer, the drama seeks to deal with the issue of forgoing marriage by portraying the lives of women who have different ideas about love and commitment.

“The drama shows the predicaments, lifestyles and romantic relationships of four women who are each against marriage, married, single and divorced,” Choi said, adding he hopes viewers can easily relate to the story. Choi previously helmed KBS dramas “Queen of Mystery” second season (2018) and “Good Manager” (2017).


“Men are Men” (KBS)
“Men are Men” (KBS)

Often nicknamed as the “queen of rom-com,” Hwang is making a swift return to the small screen less than a month since her most recent series “Mystic Pop-Up Bar” closed the curtains on cable network JTBC in June.

“I’m grateful to be able to do rom-com at the age of 37 (Korean age),” Hwang said at the Monday’s event. “(The new drama) takes on a different storyline compared to other romantic-comedy dramas. I will be showing a more evolved and mature character.”

Debuting in the entertainment scene as a member of the first generation K-pop girl group “Sugar” in 2002, Hwang started her acting career with SBS’s “Princess Lulu” in 2005 and made herself known through the smash-hit sitcom “High Kick Through the Roof” in 2009. Successfully portraying a lovely character and showing great on-screen chemistry with her counterpart actors, Hwang has brought success to several rom-coms in which she took the lead, including “Kill Me, Heal Me” (2015), “She Was Pretty” (2015) and “Lucky Romance” (2016).

The drama weaves in elements of period-fantasy, as Hyun-joo gets involved with the same man over three lapses of life. In the drama, actors Yoon Hyun-min and Seo Ji-hoon play Hwang’s counterparts, Yoon as pharmaceutical company CEO Hwang Ji-woo, and Seo as star webtoon illustrator Park Do-gyum.

Veteran actress Choi Myung-gil, 57, will star as the chairman of Sejong Medical Foundation Kim Sun-hee and rookie Jo Woo-ri as Sun-hee’s daughter.

The 16-episode series airs every Monday and Tuesday at 9:30 p.m. on KBS2 channel starting this week.

By Choi Ji-won (jwc@heraldcorp.com)
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