Hong sisters

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Hong sisters
Hong Jung-eun
1974 (age 45–46)
Hong Mi-ran

1977 (age 42–43)
Years active2005-present
AgentStudio Dragon (since 2017)
Hong Jung-eun
Revised RomanizationHong Jeong-eun
McCune–ReischauerHong Chŏngŭn
Hong Mi-ran
Revised RomanizationHong Mi-ran
McCune–ReischauerHong Miran

Hong Jung-eun (born 1974) and Hong Mi-ran (born 1977), collectively known as the Hong sisters (Korean홍자매; Hanja洪姊妹; RRHong Jamae), are South Korean television screenwriters currently managed by Studio Dragon. Together, they have written popular romantic-comedies, notably My Girl (2005), You're Beautiful (2009), My Girlfriend Is a Nine-Tailed Fox (2010), The Greatest Love (2011), Master's Sun (2013), Hwayugi (2018) and Hotel del Luna (2019).



Sisters Hong Jung-eun and Hong Mi-ran were originally writers on a variety show. They made their TV drama writing debut in 2005 with Sassy Girl Chun-hyang, a modern retelling of the famous Korean folktale Chunhyangjeon in which Chun-hyang is no passive heroine, but a headstrong sassy girl.[1] It became a huge hit not only in Korea, but throughout Asia. Their follow-up My Girl (2005), about a cheeky con artist who pretends to be the long-lost granddaughter of a rich man, was equally successful.[2] The two dramas effectively made its young actors -- Han Chae-young and Jae Hee,[3][4] and Lee Da-hae,[5] Lee Joon-gi,[6] and Lee Dong-wook -- into household names and Korean Wave stars.

The Hongs' winning streak continued with Couple or Trouble (also known as Fantasy Couple, 2006), a remake of the 1987 Hollywood film Overboard. It starred Han Ye-seul as a snooty heiress with amnesia who falls for a handyman played by Oh Ji-ho.[7][8][9]

For Hong Gil-dong (2008), the Hongs based their protagonist on the fictional folk hero Hong Gil-dong, a Joseon-era Robin Hood who stole from the rich and gave to the poor. But the fusion period comedy-drama starring Kang Ji-hwan and Sung Yu-ri combined royal plotting and romance with over-the-top stunts, gaudy costumes, toilet humor and anachronistic modern music.[10][11] The series was popular online, but received average ratings. It also won Best Miniseries at the 2008 Roma Fiction Fest.[12]

You're Beautiful (2009) starred Jang Keun-suk and Park Shin-hye, in which a naive nun cross-dresses as a male idol singer in a boy band. Unlike the Hongs' early work, the drama did not get high ratings, but it did create a cult following (or "mania" fan base) online and among international viewers. Such was its pan-Asian popularity that remakes were produced in Japan (Ikemen desu ne, 2011) and Taiwan (Fabulous Boys, 2013).

The Hongs played with Korean mythology for their next hit drama in 2010. In My Girlfriend Is a Nine-Tailed Fox, the gumiho (or nine-tailed fox) isn't the terrifying femme fatale of legend who feeds on human livers. Instead, she's a cute and clueless girl (played by Shin Min-ah) who loves to eat beef, while an aspiring stuntman (Lee Seung-gi) accompanies her in her quest to become human.[13][14][15]

Their next drama, 2011's The Greatest Love was again set amidst the gossipy and image-conscious world of entertainment, starring Cha Seung-won as the most beloved star in the nation who falls for a has-been pop singer (Gong Hyo-jin).[16][17][18] The drama topped its timeslot during its run, and not only did it sweep the 2011 MBC Drama Awards (including the Writer of the Year award for the Hong sisters),[19] Gong also won Best Actress at the 2012 Baeksang Arts Awards.[20]

Big (2012), in which an 18-year-old and a 30-year-old swap bodies, starred Gong Yoo and Lee Min-jung.[21][22] The drama is arguably the Hongs' least successful work thus far, lacking both in ratings and buzz.[23]

The Hongs reunited with Gong Hyo-jin in Master's Sun (2013), a horror romantic comedy with So Ji-sub about a woman who sees ghosts.[24]

In 2015, they cast Yoo Yeon-seok and Kang So-ra in Warm and Cozy, set in a restaurant on Jeju Island. The title is the English translation of the Jeju dialect phrase "Mendorong Ttottot."[25]

Reinventing acting careers[edit]

The Hong sisters are credited with reinventing the careers of several of their leading ladies. Han Chae-young was a sexy "Barbie doll" known for her figure more than her acting when her role in Sassy Girl Chun-hyang turned her sultry image on its head and transformed her into a plucky, optimistic, hard-working model student. Lee Da-hae had a somewhat melancholy image from Heaven's Fate, and surprised viewers with her versatility by going cute in My Girl. Han Ye-seul and Sung Yu-ri were dogged early in their careers by criticisms for their poor acting, until Han's privileged, rude character won viewers over with her notable catchphrases in Couple or Trouble,[7][8] and the Hongs were so impressed with Sung in Hong Gil-dong that they posted up strong praise and defense of her acting on the drama's website. Shin Min-ah had become better known in recent years for being a stylish advertisement model rather than an actress, but My Girlfriend Is a Nine-Tailed Fox gave her her most memorable character yet. Similarly, with his role of Dokko Jin, Cha Seung-won returned to his comedic roots after years of serious roles, resulting in massive media attention.

Critical assessment[edit]

The Hong sisters have become known for mixing broad, somewhat juvenile comedy with elements of romance, then transitioning to heartbreak in the drama's second half. They've created a trademark style with their fast, fun narratives, hilarious situations, love of puns and meta references, and memorable and quirky characters, and their name has become a recognizable brand in the Korean drama industry.[26]


Title Korean title Cast Director(s) Network Broadcast period Episodes Highest rating Lowest rating Average rating
Sassy Girl Chun-hyang 쾌걸 춘향 Han Chae-young, Jae Hee, Uhm Tae-woong, Park Si-eun Jeon Ki-sang, Ji Byung-hyun KBS2 January 3 – March 1, 2005 17 31.3% 15.4% 23.8%
My Girl 마이걸 Lee Da-hae, Lee Dong-wook, Lee Joon-gi, Park Si-yeon Jeon Ki-sang SBS December 14, 2005 – February 2, 2006 16 24.0% 14.0% 19.4%
Couple or Trouble 환상의 커플 Han Ye-seul, Oh Ji-ho, Kim Sung-min, Park Han-byul Kim Sang-ho MBC October 14 – December 3, 2006 16 21.4% 9.9% 13.6%
Hong Gil-dong 쾌도 홍길동 Kang Ji-hwan, Sung Yu-ri, Jang Keun-suk Lee Jung-sub KBS2 January 2 – March 26, 2008 24 16.9% 8.8% 14.5%
You're Beautiful 미남이시네요 Park Shin-hye, Jang Keun-suk, Jung Yong-hwa, Lee Hong-gi Hong Sung-chang SBS October 7 – November 26, 2009 16 10.9% 7.5% 9.2%
My Girlfriend Is a Nine-Tailed Fox 내 여자친구는 구미호 Lee Seung-gi, Shin Min-a, No Min-woo Boo Sung-chul August 11 – September 30, 2010 16 19.9% 8.7% 12.6%
The Greatest Love 최고의 사랑 Cha Seung-won, Gong Hyo-jin, Yoon Kye-sang, Yoo In-na Park Hong-kyun, Lee Dong-yoon MBC May 4 – June 23, 2011 16 21.0% 8.4% 16.0%
Big Gong Yoo, Lee Min-jung, Shin Won-ho, Bae Suzy Ji Byung-hyun, Kim Sung-yoon KBS2 June 4 – July 24, 2012 16 11.1% 7.4% 8.5%
Master's Sun 주군의 태양 Gong Hyo-jin, So Ji-sub, Seo In-guk, Kim Yoo-ri Jin Hyuk SBS August 7 – October 3, 2013 17 21.8% 13.6% 17.2%
Warm and Cozy 맨도롱 또똣 Kang So-ra, Yoo Yeon-seok, Jinyoung Park Hong-kyun, Kim Hee-won MBC May 13 – July 2, 2015 16 8.8% 5.6% 7.4%
A Korean Odyssey 화유기 Lee Seung-gi, Cha Seung-won, Oh Yeon-seo, Lee Hong-gi Park Hong-kyun tvN December 23, 2017 - March 4, 2018 20 6.942% 3.586% 5.415%
Hotel del Luna 호텔 델루나 Lee Ji-eun, Yeo Jin-goo Oh Choong-hwan July 13 – September 1, 2019 16 12.001% 7.023% 8.867%



  1. ^ "Han Chae-young, Jae Hee Named Chun-hyang Festival Spokespersons". KBS Global. 24 March 2005. Retrieved 2013-05-22.
  2. ^ Shin, Hae-in (12 December 2005). "An 'irresistible trickster' to meet viewers in My Girl". The Korea Herald via Hancinema. Retrieved 2013-05-22.
  3. ^ "Jae Hee Makes Inroads into Taiwan". KBS Global. 5 July 2005. Retrieved 2013-05-22.
  4. ^ "Han Chae-young, Jae Hee Hold Fan Meeting in Tokyo". KBS Global. 2 May 2006. Retrieved 2013-05-22.
  5. ^ "Actress Lee Da-hae to Visit Taiwan". KBS Global. 26 June 2006. Retrieved 2013-05-22.
  6. ^ "Lee Joon-ki emerges as rising star". The Korea Herald via Hancinema. 6 January 2006. Retrieved 2013-05-22.
  7. ^ a b "Han Ye-seul Wins Over Detractors as Amnesiac Heiress". The Chosun Ilbo. 28 October 2006. Retrieved 2013-05-22.
  8. ^ a b Yang, Sung-jin (7 December 2007). "Han Ye-seul, a bilingual beauty, eyes foreign entertainment markets". The Korea Herald via Hancinema. Retrieved 2013-05-22.
  9. ^ "Oh Ji-ho's Approachable Demeanor". Broasia via Hancinema. 1 June 2007. Retrieved 2013-05-22.
  10. ^ Oh, Jean (7 January 2008). "New KBS drama takes fusion to extremes". The Korea Herald via Hancinema. Retrieved 2013-05-22.
  11. ^ Kwon, Mee-yoo (1 January 2008). "Epic Dramas Continues to Boom This Year". The Korea Times. Archived from the original on 15 July 2014. Retrieved 2013-05-22.
  12. ^ Han, Sang-hee (13 July 2008). "KBS Drama Wins Award From Roma Fiction Fest". The Korea Times. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 2013-05-22.
  13. ^ Han, Sang-hee (10 August 2010). "Star couple seeks to lure more fans with new soap". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2013-05-22.
  14. ^ Oh, Jean (9 August 2010). "Will two big stars create fireworks?". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2013-05-22.
  15. ^ Choi, Ji-eun (5 August 2010). "PREVIEW: SBS TV series My Girlfriend Is Gumiho". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-05-22.
  16. ^ Kwon, Mee-yoo (3 May 2011). "TV soap to peek into celebrity life". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2013-05-22.
  17. ^ Hwang, Hyo-jin (29 April 2011). "PREVIEW: MBC TV series The Greatest Love". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-05-22.
  18. ^ Choi, Ji-eun (24 June 2011). "Interview with the Hong Sisters". 10Asia via Electric Ground. Retrieved 2013-05-22.
  19. ^ Hong, Lucia (2 January 2012). "The Greatest Love snags 7 honors at 2011 MBC Drama Awards". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-05-22.
  20. ^ Kwon, Mee-yoo (27 April 2012). "Kim Soo-hyun wins Paeksang awards". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2013-05-22.
  21. ^ Oh, Jean (29 May 2012). "Lee Min-jung says Gong Yoo is a riot in new drama". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2013-05-22.
  22. ^ Sunwoo, Carla (16 April 2012). "Actors hope to score Big in new show". Korea JoongAng Daily. Archived from the original on 16 June 2013. Retrieved 2013-05-22.
  23. ^ Jeon, Su-mi (25 July 2012). "Big Concludes with Open Endings, Unsatisfied Fans, and Highest Rating". enewsWorld. Archived from the original on 31 October 2013. Retrieved 2013-05-22.
  24. ^ Kim, Gwang-kuk (7 August 2013). "PREVIEW: SBS Wed/Thu Drama Master's Sun". 10Asia. Archived from the original on 2014-03-28.
  25. ^ Jo, Yeon-kyung (25 March 2015). "Yoo Yeon Seok and Kang Sora Confirmed for Warm and Cozy". enewsWorld. Archived from the original on 28 March 2015. Retrieved 2015-03-26.
  26. ^ "Hong Sisters Collection". DramaFever.

External links[edit]