Jung Seung-hwan (top), Weki Meki (bottom) / Photograph = Antenna, Fantagio Music

K-Pop: A Relay of Comebacks from Jung Seung-Hwan, Yang Yoseob, Weki Meki, and CLC

The world of K-pop, which had slowed down a bit due to the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics and the Lunar New Year holiday, is starting to show signs of activity again with Jung Seung-hwan and Yang Yoseob both holding showcases on the 19th for their upcoming comebacks. 

Jung Seung-hwan’s upcoming full-length album And Spring is his first album to be released in nearly two years after his debut record dropped in November 2016. After his pre-released track “The Snowman” topped music charts recently following its release on the 6th, fans have been eagerly awaiting the release of And Spring. The album’s title track “It’s Raining” (lyrics by You Hee-yeol and Jung Seung-hwan) is said to be a song that captures the honest emotions and regret that one feels on a rainy day after a breakup.

Highlight’s Yang Yoseob has completed the preparations for the release of his first solo album in six years. The title track of his second mini album (Back) is called “A Place Without You.” According to his label Around Us Entertainment, the song’s genre “combines a sad melody with dance, which highlights Yang Yoseob’s mature vocal tone.” 

A couple of girl groups are also getting ready to begin promotions with showcases being held by Weki Meki and CLC on the 21st and 22nd, respectively. 

The eight-person group Weki Meki will be making their comeback, which comes approximately six months after their debut in August of last year. Their second mini album Lucky has a total of six tracks, including their title song “La La La.” “La La La” is a song that shows Weki Meki confidently confessing their feelings to the person they like. For this album, they worked with songwriter/music producer Shin Hyuk, who has also worked with the likes of Justin Bieber and EXO.

CLC is also making a comeback after a hiatus of about six months with their seventh mini album titled BLACK DRESS. The upcoming album will feature a variety of genres including hip hop, EDM, and dance.

Kam Woo-sung (left) and Kim Sun-A (right) in SBS’s new Monday-Tuesday drama ‘Should We Kiss First’ / Photograph = SM C&C

TV: Kim Sun-A and Kam Woo-sung in ‘Should We Kiss First?’

The new Monday-Tuesday SBS TV drama titled Should We Kiss First (written by Bae Yoo-mi, directed by Son Jeong-hyun) will be airing its first episode on the 20th at 10:00 p.m. Anticipation has been building for Should We Kiss First as it is the follow-up project for Kim Sun-A after last year’s JTBC drama The Lady in Dignity – a drama in which Kim Sun-A was praised for her acting. Should We Kiss First is also gathering interest for being the first television drama in four years to star Kam Woo-sung after his role in My Spring Days in 2014. Should We Kiss First  tells the story of people who are clumsy and awkward in the face of love. Kim Sun-A released a statement through the production company SM C&C in which she said, “Should We Kiss First simultaneously encompasses joy and sadness. I hope many people who watch the drama can empathize with it.” 

OCN‘s new weekend drama Children of a Lesser God (written by Han Woo-ri, directed by Kang Sin-hyo) will be holding a press conference on the 21st before it airs its first episode on the 24th. The drama tells the story of an elite detective named Cheon Jae-in (Kang Ji-hwan), who only believes in facts and logic, as he works alongside a female detective with a supernatural ability named Kim Dan (Kim Ok-bin) to uncover a conspiracy involving a string of deaths. 

Mnet’s survival hip hop TV program High School Rapper 2 will be kicking off on the 23rd. A press conference for the show has been scheduled to be held on the same day, and will be attended by  Nucksal, San E, Cheetah, GroovyRoom, HaengJu, Boi B, and Deepflow.

SBS’s Wednesday-Thursday drama Return (written by Choi Kyung-mi, directed by Joo Dong-min) was swept up in a controversy recently when it was announced that Go Hyun-jung – the drama’s protagonist – would be leaving the show in the middle of the series. Return lifted the curtains on its second act on the 14th as Park Jin-hee made an appearance as Choi Ja-hae towards the end of the episode. Episodes 17 and 18 of Return will be airing on the 21st.

‘The Princess and the Matchmaker’ movie poster / Photograph = CJ Entertainment

Movies: Lee Seung-gi and Shim Eun-kyung in ‘The Princess and the Matchmaker’ and So Ji-sub and Son Ye-jin in ‘Be With You’

In the world of cinema, movies from a variety of genres are gearing up to be released to the public.

After holding a press preview on the 19th, Gate (directed by Shin Jae-ho) is getting ready for its official release to the public. Starring Jung Ryeo-won, Im Chang-jung, Jung Sang-hoon, Lee Kyoung-young, and Lee Moon-sik, among others, Gate is about a suspicious crew that finds itself up breaking into a secret safe. Opens in theaters on the 28th. 

Director Yim Soon-rye’s Little Forest – opening on the same day as Gate – will be holding a press preview on the 20th. Based on the popular manga series of the same name by Daisuke Igarashi, this film follows Hye-won as she moves back to her hometown in the countryside when life doesn’t quite work out in her favor in the city. The cast for Little Forest includes Kim Tae-ri (as Hye-won), Ryu Jun-yeol, Moon So-ri, and Jin Ki-joo

Highly anticipated films Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum (directed by Jung Bum-sik) and The Princess and the Matchmaker (directed by Hong Chang-pyo) are both expected to hold press conferences and press previews on the 21st.

The setting for Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum is the Gonjiam Psychiatric Hospital where 42 patients killed themselves and the hospital director went missing in 1979. The film follows a group of people that go to the abandoned asylum to get a first-hand experience of terror. The cast list includes Wi Ha-joon, Park Ji-hyun, Oh Ah-yeon, and Park Sung-hoon, and will be opening in theaters next month.

Set during the Joseon period when there were continuous famines, The Princess and the Matchmaker tells of the affairs that surround the matrimony of Princess Songhwa. Starring Shim Eun-kyung, Lee Seung-gi, Kim Sang-kyung, Yeon Woo-jin, and Kang Min-hyuk, The Princess and the Matchmaker opens in theaters on the 28th.

So Ji-sub and Son Ye-jin – two actors returning to the big screen after a long period of absence – have come together for Be With You (directed by Lee Jang-hoon). An adaptation of a Japanese novel by the same title, Be With You tells the story of what happens when Soo Ah – who had passed away a year earlier – returns to her husband Woo Jin, but without any memories of the past. Opens in theaters on March 14.

Translated by Jennifer Earwood