I was in Korea earlier this month to attend the VIP press screening of the new TV series "Athena: Goddess of War" in Seoul on Dec. 9 at the COEX Megabox multiplex. All the lead actors appeared for the private screening, including Jung Woo Sung, Soo Ae and Cha Seung Won.
The promotional announcement repeatedly said the show was partially filmed in Hawaii. Sure enough, Soo Ae plays an agent on a beach in Waikiki ready to execute a mission.
The role will definitely change her image, from the soft, sweet characters of the past to more of a Laura Croft ("Tomb Raider") persona. There were action scenes comparable to "Mission Impossible 3," with Ferraris speeding and palaces blowing up in Italy, to James Bond-type fight sequences between mixed martial artist Chu Sung Hoon (making his TV debut) and Cha Seung Won.
"Athena" premiered in Korea on the SBS network Dec. 13 to a successful 22-plus percent rating. The U.S. release date is still unknown.
THIS WEEK’S SYNOPSES
Tonight, 6:45 p.m.: Sang-bong regains consciousness but refuses to see anyone. Ji-heon returns to the village but is hostile. Do-wook tries unsuccessfully to talk to Sang-bong. Ji-heon’s post-accident trauma prevents him from functioning normally.
Tonight, 7:45 p.m.: Yeon-woo plays the guitar and sings for Ji-hoen in an attempt to comfort him. Hui-yeong learns she was responsible for Do-wook’s accident and decides to leave him. Do-wook decides to go back to Johns Hopkins to teach Yeon-woo.
Tomorrow, 7:45 p.m.: Mee-jin almost miscarries. Ji-yong tells Mee-jin that Sung-jae has the right to know about the baby. Ji-yong is in shock when he finds out about the pregnancy but tells Mee-jin that he would like them to get back together.
Tuesday, 7:45 p.m.: Sung-jae tries very hard to earn Mee-jin’s forgiveness. Mee-jin and Sung-jae feel guilty about letting Gun-hee leave without knowing the truth. Jong-soon makes spicy pickled halibut and takes it to Ji-yong, thinking that she’s pregnant. But she finds out that Mee-jin is the one expecting her grandchild.
Wednesday, 7:45 p.m.: Taesan tries to stop Hyerim from resigning, but she does not change her mind. Doya is released from the station and tells Hyerim not to worry because he will get his prosecutor position back. Sejin tells Jo Baeho that her father passed away 30 years ago and asks him to let her continue to work at Heritage Club.
Thursday, 7:45 p.m.: Hyerim asks Jo Baeho to explain how his relatives own most of the land around Namsong’s reclaimed parcel. Hyerim meets Namhae’s minister of construction and asks for information, but he will not cooperate. Sejin gives the artwork to Doya’s father, and he tries to use that to get his son’s job back.
Friday, 7:45 p.m.: Kim Ju-won is president of a high-end department store. He’s young, successful and handsome but suffers from claustrophobia. Gil Ra-im is a poor stuntwoman whose dream is to do a car stunt. The two, whose paths were unlikely to cross, meet when Oska, Ju-won’s cousin and a Hallyu star, tells Ju-won to bring the actress for whom Ra-im is doubling.
Saturday, 7:45 p.m.: After their eventful meeting, Ju-won can’t get Ra-im out of his head. He asks Chae-rin for Ra-im’s number and calls her, but Ra-im refuses to meet him. He tracks her down to her action school and ends up entering a stuntman audition.
Jeff Chung is the general manager of KBFD TV, which televises Korean dramas with English subtitles in Hawaii. He can be reached at 521-8066 or firstname.lastname@example.org.