Maids adds Min Hyo-rin, Kim Min-joon

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Two new cast members have been added to Maids: singer-turned-actress (and fashion-mag favorite) Min Hyo-rin and tough guy Kim Min-joon. My reaction to this news is twofold: Yay! and Ehhh…

The rom-com vehicle from Pasta’s scriptwriter stars Sung Yuri (Swallow the Sun) as a maid working for rich chaebol families, which brings her into contact with leading man Jung Kyeo-woon (Sign). Kim Min-joon enters the mix as the third wheel in that love triangle, which, yeah, is a mixed metaphor. Y’know what I mean.

Kim Min-joon’s character is a close neighbor hyung to Jung Kyeo-woon, whose friendship goes back ten years. He plays it close to the vest, though, making him an enigmatic character whose true thoughts and intentions remain a mystery. His character wasn’t born to his enormous wealth, but came into it after his artist grandfather gained posthumous fame. That brought him tremendous amounts of money but also a reputation as a bad boy and greedy bastard, the subject of simultaneous scorn and envy.

Min Hyo-rin, like Sung Yuri, plays a maid to the rich and works for Kim. Despite the hierarchy of power built in to the maid-employer dynamic, she’s a spunky woman who speaks her mind, rather than merely bowing her head meekly. She’s younger than Sung’s lead character, but since she began working as a maid right out of high school, she’s got years more experience, making her the sunbae at work.

Kim Min-joon is one of those actors who has been all over the board with me, sometimes charismatic and strong, and at other times weak and awkward. Damo is one of his early highlights, but I didn’t love how his character developed in Insoon Is Pretty, and I thought he was plain uncomfortable to watch in Tazza. But then he followed it with a reportedly strong turn in the dark, violent Friend, Our Legend. We’ll have to see which Kim Min-joon shows up for this drama.

Min Hyo-rin, on the other hand, is someone I’m looking forward to. I was very skeptical that she, the not-quite-successful rookie singer, could make a convincing leap to acting, but then was pleasantly surprised when she became the very heart of Triple — she wasn’t just adequate, but brimmed with youthful energy and made up for a lot of that drama’s shortcomings (though, unfortunately, not all of them). So I can totally see her being spunky and loudmouthed here, and she should be a good parter/foil to Sung Yuri’s character.

And while I wasn’t too excited about Jung Kyeo-woon’s character description — another cold chaebol! — here are a few added details that add a dash of interest: He used to be fat, timid, and a bad conversationalist before he transformed into the proud hottie of today. Thus his innocent personality lies just below the surface of his cold exterior image. Yep, I dig it.

Maids premieres on May 11, following 'Thorn Birds'.

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