Posted : 2013-03-12 19:49
Updated : 2013-03-12 19:49

Midweek roundup: In case you missed it

By Kim Tong-hyung

Here's your midweek update on the stories in entertainment and media you might have missed while reading about North Korea's war-mongering, the Vatican's Pope-pondering, or because your life is probably a lot more fulfilling than ours.

Participants in a ‘Slut Walk' protest had better carry full wallets from now. / Yonhap
Dress sexily at your own peril

Ladies and gentlemen, you've been warned: Stroll around the streets dressed like a K-pop singer and you could be tagged with a fine of 50,000 won (about $46).

The Cabinet on Monday approved a number of changes on penalties for minor offenses, which will become effective from March 22. These start with fines for anyone wearing overly-revealing clothes in public. Meanwhile the fine for stalking was set at 80,000 won. At least in the eyes of policymakers, neither of these actions is considered to be worse than ticket scalping, which is penalized with a 160,000 won fine.

While Park Geun-hye's presidential victory will undoubtedly trigger dramatic changes in politics and the economy, could her administration be taking aim at changing the culture on the street first?

Well, where do we begin? Is it too cheap to point out that it was Park's father, late military strongman Park Chung-hee, who had policemen chase long-haired men with scissors and carry around rulers to measure the length of women's skirts?

What exactly were policymakers trying to accomplish in rewriting the rules in the first place, when the law on minor offenses already allowed for punishment for excessive exposure in public? And is it possible to draw a clear-cut line between dressing fashionably and indecently?

And really, is stalking, considered in some countries as a criminal offense, really just 30,000 won worse than cruising around Gwanghwamun in a skimpy outfit?

A group of Samsung employees last year were fined 100,000 won each for secretly tailing CJ Chairman Lee Jae-hyun amid a property battle between the founding families of the two groups. Why the sudden discount on stalking now?

What about Korean entertainment companies, which many say are the corporate drivers of an over-sexualized culture, whose business model relies on exhibiting 18-year-old singers wearing outfits for 8-year-olds? Will these singers pass the administration's eye test?

The sarcastic users on Twitter can take it from here.

"Did the government just announce we can dress anyway we want with 50,000 won and stalk anyone we want with 80,000 won?" asked @etudes6.

"It would be smart for scalpers to dress slutty and tell the police officer 'cut me the cheaper ticket,''' advised @nichtmehrmb.

Yu Hae-jin to join '1 Night 2 Days'

Actor Yu Hae-jin will join KBS television's weekend entertainment show "1 Night 2 Days,'' replacing Kim Seung-woo who until now, was the oldest cast member.

The broadcaster is deciding to reshuffle the members in order to halt a skid in viewer ratings, which have been faltering since the departure of comedian Kang Ho-dong and singer Lee Seung-ki last year.

It remains to be seen whether the inclusion of Yu, a veteran movie actor who thrives in humorous roles, will prove to be enough. Some critics say that Kim, 44, a veteran actor himself, wasn't a problem as much as the show's predictability. Every week is pretty much the same: the members go camping to a tourist destination and engage in childish games for the right to binge eat or avoid sleeping in the freezing cold.

The other six members of the show ― Sung Si-kyung, Joon Won, Uhm Tae-woong, Lee Su-geun, Cha Tae-hyun and Kim Jong-min ― get to stay, for now.

Kim Tae-hee is back
Kim Tae-hee
Actress Kim Tae-hee, who has been confining her acting to television commercials lately, is starring in her first television drama in more than two years.

The 33-year-old will take on the role of Jang Hee-bin, a famous concubine during the Joseon Kingdom (1392-1910) who becomes involved in the deposition of Queen In Hyun, wife of King Sukjong, in SBS television's "Jang Ok-jung, Live for Love.''

While in previous dramas Jang Hee-bin has been portrayed as a villainous, 17th century femme fatale, the new drama will shed a more sympathetic light on the character. It will also focus on Jang's life before she became a concubine, when she was a clothing designer named Jang Ok-jung.

The series will premiere on SBS on April 8.''''

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  • 2. Japan upset over Ban's visit to China
  • 3. South Korea posts OECD's highest suicide rate
  • 4. Worker dies while repairing screen door at subway station
  • 5. Spiffy NK attendants grace magazine cover
  • 6. 'Twenty Again' adds up for Choi Ji-woo
  • 7. Man bashed ex-girlfriend's boyfriend with baseball bat
  • 8. Calls grow for death penalty abolishment
  • 9. Police to work undercover at water parks
  • 10. Can't afford love