Actor Kim Jung-hyun is making headlines for his first comeback since the so-called “Gaslighting Controversy.”
On Sep 26th, MBC’s new Friday-Saturday drama “The Season of Kkok-du” (written by Kang Yi-heon, directed by Baek Soo-chan) officially announced the casting of its main line-up Kim Jung-hyun and Lim Soo-hyang.
“The Season of Kkok-du” is a fantasy romance drama about a story that takes place when Kkok-du, who comes down to the earth every 99 years to punish humans, meets a doctor with mysterious abilities (Im Soo-hyang) Kim Jung-hyun plays the main character Kkok-du. The filming of “The Season of Kkok-du” has reportedly started already.
This will be Kim Jung-hyun’s first drama return in a year and seven months since tvN’s “Mr. Queen,” which ended in February last year. “Mr. Queen,” in which Kim Jung-hyun played the main character Cheol-jong, was widely loved by viewers with the highest ratings of 17.4% despite controversy over history distortion at the time. In response, Kim Jung-hyun, who was trying to promote more actively after the end of the show, had to stop his activities two months later in April last year due to a sudden controversy over his private life.
Kim Jung-hyun has been embroiled in allegations that his former lover Seo Ye-ji’s gaslighting damaged the MBC drama “Time”, which he was starring in at the time. It was belatedly known that he showed bizarre behavior such as rejecting romance scenes with other actors and even asking for revisions of the script during the filming of “Time,” which he later dropped out for health reasons. The scandal erupted after many claimed that his actions were caused by Seo Ye-ji’s so-called “manipulation.”
Seo Ye-ji, who stood at the center of the controversy at the time, managed to make a comeback to the small screen through tvN’s drama “Eve” in April. Kim Jung-hyun has also confirmed to join the cast of “Season of Kkokdu”. In “Season of Kkokdu”, Kim Jung-hyun will lead the entire story alongside Im Soo-hyang, and have to showcase good acting to portray the unique character of a reaper possessed by a human body.
Before the controversy over his private life, Kim Jung-hyun has been recognized by viewers for his acting skills by taking on lead roles in “School 2017”, “Welcome to Waikiki” and “Crash Landing on You”. Even in “Time”, which he sparked controversy due to his early departure from the cast, he still successfully proved his impeccable acting by pulling off the role of a terminally ill patient.
Therefore, it is not an exaggeration to say that the success of “Season of Kkokdu” depends on the public’s attitude towards Kim Jung-hyun. When the news of his casting was reported, public opinion was divided. One side looks forward to Kim Jung-hyun’s return because they enjoy his acting. The other side does not want to see someone who failed to fulfill his duty as an actor in a drama again. Attention is focused on how the results of Kim Jung-hyun’s comeback will unfold.