August is here and with it are a slew of new dramas waiting in the wings to air, amongst which is My Girlfriend is a Kumiho, slated to take over Bad Boy on SBS’s Wednesday-Thursday slot on August 11. This 16 episodes drama stars singer/actor Lee Seung Gi as a hapless lad who accidently frees a nine-tailed fox aka kumiho and model/actress Shin Mina as the aforementioned kumiho. Hilarity and romance follow.
This new drama is a modern fancy of the Hong sisters, who penned past hits like My Girl and You’re Beautiful. This time around they take the mythical creature of Korean lore called the kumiho and set it in 21st century Korea. In kumiho tales, whether the kumiho transforms into a stunningly handsome human man or beautiful woman, it is always up to no good. However, given this is a Hong sisters’ interpretation, one can surely expect witty hijinks, comical minefields, and an ultimately benevolent, or at least very benign, kumiho from Shin Mina’s character.
Ms. Shin wasn’t the first choice for the role. Other names that floated through blogs and tabloids included Sandara Park of 2NE1 and Shin Se-kyung. Although each of the rumored leading ladies has her own charm, Shin Mina seems like the best choice. First off, Shin Mina definitely fits the physical description of this role. Second is the confidence that she can pull off the strong, sassy and ethereal characteristics of this role. Ms. Shin started as a model then debuted as an actress back in the very Gen-X (remember that term?) movie Volcano High as a beautiful (what else) kendo wielding high school student opposite Jang Hyuk and Kwon Sang Woo. Since then, she has graced innumerable covers and editorial pages from Vogue to W, built a notable filmography including Naked Kitchen and The Beast and the Beauty, filmed enviable CFs endorsing wide-ranging products like Calvin Klein and Maxim T.O.P coffee, and published a travel diary about her trip to France. Not too shabby for a 26 years old.
This drama was announced relatively early in its production before principal photography rolled which allowed much speculations, leaks, and casting changes. Another time related issue this production had was the lag between filming and airing time. Usually, Korean dramas are filmed while they’re airing by only a couple of episodes ahead for budgeting purposes and to account for audience reaction and input. But of late, more shows have allotted longer time between production and air time in hope of producing tighter scripts, avoiding unforeseen mishaps, and burning out cast and crew. My Girlfriend is a Kumiho prescribed to this latter formula and hopefully it pays off for everyone who worked on it and will be watching it!