Park Yong Ha rides wave of popularity
By Jeff Chung
By Jeff Chung
Seoul Broadcasting System's 2008 hit drama "On Air" is airing in Japan this month, mainly due to the popularity of hallyu star Park Yong Ha, its star-studded cast and cameo appearances by well-known celebrities.
Park is one of the rare multi-talented successful hallyu stars who has a career in both acting and singing. When he and "On Air" co-star Song Yoon Ah held a press meeting in Japan, hundreds of other guests and thousands of fans outside waited to catch a glimpse of Park.
Park has visited Hawai'i several times while between projects, but now he spends a great deal of time in Japan and South Korea.
In Japan, much of his time is spent working on his singing career. He has held several concerts in several major cities there, each time playing to sold-out crowds.
Park has won Japan's 2008 Golden Disc Award for Best Asian Artist, but he's most well-known for his role in the biggest Korean drama hit "Winter Sonata," also known as "Winter Ballad." Park played Sang-hyuk, who was to marry Choi Ji Woo but loses her to Bae Yong Joon.
Park also was the vocalist for the theme song to another hit Korean drama series, "All In," starring Lee Byung Hu, as well as for the theme to "On Air."
Park's "On Air" co-star Song Yoon Ah is also famous for co-starring with Bae in the hit series "Hotelier" and has a large fan base in Japan as well.
Song's big debut was in a KBS series "Paper Crane" co-starring Ryu Shi Won in the early years of hallyu, the Korean cultural wave.
"On Air" had a unique storyline that gave insight into the entertainment industry in Korea, allowing fans a glimpse behind the scenes.
I think the show gave people a better perception of production and emotions involved between writers, directors and celebrity managers, but didn't touch on the tight budget constraints the directors are usually faced with.
THIS WEEK'S K-DRAMA SYNOPSES
Tonight at 6:30: Eda gets on a train with Kang-suk and heads to the ocean. Sae-young gets hysterical because nobody knows where Eda is, and she doesn't answer her phone. Seo-yun comes back to the Lee residence and gets a lecture from Grandma. Cheol-gon asks Ms. Ahn out for coffee.
Tonight at 7:45: On his way to a hotel, Kyung-pyo sees Young-rim walking in the dark. Young-rim cries on Kyung-pyo's shoulder, telling him about the fire at the kindergarten. Young-rim and Kyung-pyo spend the night together in a hotel.
Friday at 7:45 p.m.: Young-rim's doctor tells her that she has a brain tumor and that it's inoperable. He suggests chemotherapy, but she refuses. Kyung-pyo sees Young-rim taking pills and suspects she's sick. But she tells him to ignore what he saw.
Saturday at 7:45 p.m.: The doctor recommends chemotherapy, but Young-rim refuses to seek treatment for her tumor. Young-rim tells herself she has no regrets or remorse left. Young-rim finds Joon-chul in front of her apartment. Joon-chul tells her he plans to forget all about her.
Episodes 13 and 14
Tomorrow at 7:45 p.m.: Byung-ho kicks out Young-hee after he finds out that she's been keeping her miscarriage a secret. Chul-soo's comic strip gets canceled. When a mysterious little girl shows up at his law office, Min-ho quickly bonds with her.
Tuesday at 7:45 p.m.: Chul-soo's comic strip gets canceled, and he starts working odd jobs. Min-ho continues to develop a bond with the little girl whose insurance inheritance case he decides to take. Byung-ho's estranged son Sang-jin moves in with him.
'ILJIMAE, THE PHANTOM THIEF'
Episodes 5 and 6
Wednesday at 7:45 p.m.: Yong's effort to find his mother and sister continues, but before he can retrieve the records on his family's whereabouts, the library containing the document is set on fire. Kwon Du-hyung leaves a note telling Yong truth behind his father's death. Si-hu gets suspicious of his father when he tries to cover up Kwon Du-hyung's death.
Thursday at 7:45 p.m.: Hee-bong rescues Yeon from a difficult situation, and tells her Gyum, her brother, is looking for her. Yeon, in her attempt to escape, injures an officer and becomes a refugee. Yeon fails to meet Yong and Hee-bong at the harbor, and heads to Hanyang to find Gyum. Si-hu enters the military exam unaware of Si-wan's surprise for him.