The Drama Behind Dramas: Part 3

The Drama Behind Dramas: Part 3
Since I received such positive feedback from Part 1 and Part 2 of my articles, I decided to clench your thirst for MORE drama. You greedy people! :D

King’s Dream – The Nightmare?

This sageuk drama aired between September 2012 and June 2013 and it was supposed to be 80 episodes long. But shortly after it started airing it was plagued by a series of accidents. It got to a point where it seemed this drama really was cursed.

The lead actor, Choi Soo Jong, suffered one car accident and two horseback riding accidents in the first 3 months. He always insisted on coming back to work instead of resting. First he only took painkillers and kept working, instead of having surgery and resting. Then after the last accident he actually broke a collarbone and one hand, so he really had to have surgery. Even though he kept insisting on coming back to work he was obviously in no condition to do so. In the end he only recorded voice-overs for several scenes.

The lead actress, Park Joo Mi, also suffered a serious car accident that crushed her esophagus. She was hoping to take a couple of weeks off, recover and come back to work. She came back for a few days but was still in bad shape and ended up damaging her vocal cords and needing to quit the drama. She was replaced with actress Hong Eun Hee.

By the time all this happened, the drama had only aired 26 episodes out of the 80 in total. The production team waited a few more months before finally deciding to end the drama earlier with 70 episodes.

I haven’t watched this drama but I really wonder how this epic mess ended up looking like.

After Lee Da Hae quit East of Eden in 2009 she received some heavy criticism from viewers. Even though she was still a popular actress, her public image had seen better days. But she soon picked up a new drama a few months later, which was 2010’s Chuno.

The drama was a ratings hit, mostly thanks to the male actors (and their glistening abs, I’d say), and received some positive reviews.

Unfortunately, viewers were endlessly annoyed with Lee Da Hae and her character. First, they complained that Lee Da Hae really didn’t look like a runaway slave – she was always clean, tidy and looking pretty. Then later viewers criticized the drama for showing too many scenes of her cleavage, which is hilarious because most of the time the drama shows half-naked men and no one complained about THAT.

Later, she was criticized because her makeup and nails were always perfectly done. I guess the viewers did have a point there, even though they were targeting all their criticism at Lee Da Hae.

There’s nothing note-worthy to say about the drama itself (it was mediocre and its stylist was probably blind), but after it ended tragedy happened.

Lee Un, mostly known for his supporting role in Coffee Prince, was coming back from the drama’s wrap party and suffered a motorcycle accident that killed him instantly. He was 27 years old and just beginning to succeed in his career.


The Legend – Best Drama Ever

This amazing 2007 drama starring the mega-popular actor Bae Yong Jun took 2 years to pre-produce. Gigantic sets were built in Jeju Island and it involved hundreds of extras. It’s still the #1 most expensive Korean drama ever made.

Everything was going smoothly: the drama started airing and scored good ratings.

But the drama involved several action scenes and injuries occurred. First the lead actor fell off a horse, then he cut his finger badly in a swordfight. And then, while they were shooting episode 17, Bae Yong Joon was injured when a stuntman hanging from a wire fell on top of him, badly injuring his neck and shoulder. To keep the show going the actor decided to delay his surgery until after the drama finished shooting. Until then he took painkillers and kept working. Later he injured his knee during an action scene and had to use crutches between scenes until they finished the drama. As soon as they were done the actor was hospitalized.

If you've watched this drama, then you probably didn't notice the actor’s injuries in the final episodes. I know I didn't! We can only speculate about how much the actor’s situation influenced the ending or not.

The drama has two Specials where you can see all the behind-the-scenes action, including how the cast and crew worked around their problems and the emotional last scene they shot.

This is a drama I really recommend. It’s really amazing and well-written!


As a final note, I’d like to say that I really tried to look for news about non-Korean dramas, but I couldn't find any. And I try to write not just about car accidents, but about all sorts of behind-the-scenes stuff.

Have you watched any of the dramas listed above? Do you know any other behind-the-scenes news? Did you like the article? Drop a comment

Comments (44)

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  • Reply
    rainruma Jul 1, 2014

    No reason to pick on Lee Da-Hae for "Chuno" .... All residual from her walking out on "East of Eden" ..... ...... ..... ..... For which she should be severely criticized!!!
    She was unprofessional ..... ..... .... if she didn't want to be second lead, why take the role? .... ..... .... she caused a lot of damage and luckily "East of Eden" is still one of the best story-lines of any drama...

  • Reply
    maboksan Nov 26, 2013

    The it good?It's been a loooooong time since I watch Bae Yong Jun drama.I guess The Hotelier was (the only?) the last drama I watch him played .

    • Reply
      algelic Nov 26, 2013

      I have made my opinion very clear! :D

    • Reply
      maboksan Nov 26, 2013

      really?'s settle then..
      tq for your article...will check it out later...after my drama hiatus that is..

    • Reply
      maboksan Nov 29, 2013

      daebak!!!!thanks algelic...due to your article I've discovered a great period drama I've ever seen!!!really great!!!I even came out from my hiatus after watching the 1st episode. do you have another recommendation for me?

  • Reply
    Illusion Nov 25, 2013

    I really love that I haven't watched any of these dramas, yet I really enjoy reading this article (read: I am another greedy person begging for more of these articles from you ^^). Also, since you praised it so highly, I think I'll go check out that last drama you mentioned.

  • Reply
    Orion Nov 24, 2013 - edited

    "Later, she was criticized because her makeup and nails were always perfectly done."<br /><br />The angry bird-brains (a term offending to birds, frankly) who said such things forget that actresses in Korea do many things besides acting. They have CF deals, photoshoots and their image is their power. Kdrama is ALWAYS unrealistic in that regard, since it never pushes actors to ruin the image they will promote the series with and also need for other types of work they have beyond it. <br /><br />It's a legitimate complaint and I also hate it that it happens, but a) Lee is not the first or last to do it and b) It is not her choice anyway.<br /><br />Frankly, if channels can mess with, cut or extend series as they wish because of ratings, why can't actors quit because of them too? Sounds fair to me.

    • Reply
      DiaNine Nov 24, 2013

      They probably sign a contract that allows the network to extend the drama if they want to.

    • Reply
      Orion Nov 24, 2013

      If the system makes no other contracts or negotiations available, it is still not the fault of the actors. The drama system in Korea is a huge mess.

    • Reply
      rainruma Jun 13, 2014

      I agree about the bird-brains nitpicking over Lee Da-Hae.... .... Not fair!
      But... I must disagree about defending these actors who prioritize their physical image over the acting... .... ....
      Just one example: Park Min-Young in "Sungkyunkwan Scandal"....
      Wearing mascara, eyeliner, and even lip gloss...when she was supposed to be "disguised-as-a-boy"..... .... ....Horrible....stupid...
      Yoon Eun-Hye cut her hair and pranced around w/out make-up in "Coffee Prince"... much more believable as a "boy"...
      Too many actresses don't allow themselves to look ugly even when their roles require it....Superficial...Vain...Unprofessional.

  • Reply
    purplenette Nov 24, 2013

    These are great articles. I really do hope you keep writing them.

    I had no idea that Lee Un had passed. That is so sad to me. RIL Lee Un.

  • Reply
    mimi_lovesdrama Nov 23, 2013

    R.I.P Lee Un

  • Reply
    algelic Nov 22, 2013

    As always, thank you all for your feedback! Each and every comment is very appreciated! :D

    I hope I've encouraged at least one person to watch "The Legend"... and perhaps share the love and review it? :P

  • Reply
    singing_jayne Nov 22, 2013

    This is really interesting! Even if all you can find is on Korean dramas I still love it. Keep up the good work!

  • Reply
    Carolon Nov 22, 2013

    i just saw ''part 3'' and i thought: hell yeaaahh!! another part
    please keep it up i love the behind the scenes story :D
    waiting for part 4.... ;)

  • Reply
    ELFishes Nov 22, 2013

    Really great!! Keep it up(Y)

  • Reply
    Clemi-chan Nov 22, 2013

    I haven't seen any of these dramas, but this article was really interesting!
    Good job :)
    And on top of it you made me want to watch the Legend ;)

  • Reply
    jollibee Nov 22, 2013

    yet again a great article!!!
    love it...
    this just shows us that there is a reason why we love these shows...

  • Reply
    DiaNine Nov 22, 2013

    I was too busy being blinded by Lee Da Hae's beauty to care about the fact that she should be all dirty :(

    • Reply
      Yozora_Hikari Nov 28, 2013

      Most of the times is the male abs was distract me from caring of Lee Da Hae's clean looks.. xD

  • Reply
    Ellie Nov 22, 2013

    i have watched chuno and the legend and about lee dae hee i agree .i mean the main leads(trying not to think about their abs) were most of the time covered in dust mud or blood but she was perfectly clean mostly but the drama was so good*again abs* that i didn't care about that

    • Reply
      algelic Nov 22, 2013

      The shiny shiny abs were really distracting! Hah!

    • Reply
      Ellie Nov 23, 2013

      kkk yep so true there were moment that all i was concentrating on was their abs and i was like can sb plz cover him so i can get the story?lol

  • Reply
    medzyify Nov 22, 2013

    I watch the legend.Its really good drama but i'm descontent coz the last part its rushing to end. u know what i mean if u watch this drama.

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