Actresses Oh Yun-soo, left, and Hwang Ci-ne attest to middle-age power in the new drama ``The Queen Returns.'' / Courtesy of KBS
By Han Sang-hee
Experience is speaking volubly on the small screen these days, as former teen stars and now middle-aged veteran actors have made comebacks.
Local dramas have been favored ― and criticized ― for pretty but inexperienced new faces depicting love triangles and romantic stories. However, many female viewers in their late 20s, 30s and 40s have noticed the charms of the realistic world of politics, both office and real life, portrayed by older actors who may not be young and fresh, but have the charisma and experience to lead.
The current most popular Monday-Tuesday period drama ``The Great Queen Seondeok'' (MBC) stars Ko Hyun-jeong as the femme fatale Mi-shil of the Shilla Kingdom. The series may be the first period drama of her acting career, but the 38-year-old actor is making headlines.
``I watch the drama because of Ko. The other characters are interesting, but Ko does a great job portraying the mean, yet charismatic Mi-shil,'' Youn Myung-sook, 51, told The Korea Times.
SBS show ``Style'' features Kim Hye-soo as a fashionable and edgy fashion magazine deputy editor, while hallyu star Ryu Si-won appears as a chef. Popular actress Lee Ji-ah and dancer-turned-actor Lee Yong-woo have joined the drama to attract the younger crowd, but it was actually the two older stars who have managed to keep the drama going.
``I don't really like the storyline, but Kim makes me watch the program. Maybe it's her clothes, or the overall look she shows in every episode, but it's fun to watch her act the stubborn character,'' Kim Sang-eun, 27, said.
While the two actresses get to show off their power in pretty clothes and jewelry, Chae Si-ra runs around on horseback in battlefields in the drama ``The Iron Empress'' (KBS). Depicting the life and love of the granddaughter of King Taejo of the Goryeo Kingdom (918-1392), the actress has been receiving praise for her dedication in bringing the courageous empress-warrior to life.
The new television series ``The Queen Returns'' (KBS) caught the attention of both viewers and the press as it stars two of the nation's favorite actresses, Hwang Ci-ne and Oh Yun-soo. It's the first time in five years for the 46-year-old Hwang to appear in a television series, and she said she felt ``like oil on top of water at first'' at a press conference. The drama features Hwang as a top ballerina who meets her friend, played by Oh, who took away her love when they were young. Hwang awaits her revenge, while Oh struggles to ignore the fact that her classmate has become a top star.
``The Queen'' started this Monday, featuring both actresses in a flashback scene where they dance as ballerinas. Viewers posted their thoughts on the drama's Web site, some commenting on the actress' acting and their dancing efforts.
The new sitcom ``High Kick 2'' (MBC) also started last week amid high anticipation, and although most of the original cast decided not to join the sequel, veteran actor Lee Sun-jae relieved fans who were expecting the same witty program. The sequel not only stars Lee, but talented and experienced actors Kim Ja-ok and Jeong Bo-seog.
Featuring young actors and actresses may catch initial attention, but without persuasive acting and a connection with the viewers, the program could simply disappear.
Veteran actor Lee from ``High Kick 2'' has continuously worried about the trend of having inexperienced actors dominate television screens.
``It's important to know the basics, like the language. How can you act, when you don't even know how to pronounce?'' he said during an interview with a local economic daily.
``Acting is not a simple thing, and this I can say from experience,'' Lee said.