1974 (age 45–46)
1977 (age 42–43)
|Agent||Studio Dragon (since 2017)|
|Revised Romanization||Hong Jeong-eun|
|Revised Romanization||Hong Mi-ran|
Hong Jung-eun (born 1974) and Hong Mi-ran (born 1977), collectively known as the Hong sisters (Korean: 홍자매; Hanja: 洪姊妹; RR: Hong 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. 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. The two dramas effectively made its young actors -- Han Chae-young and Jae Hee, and Lee Da-hae, Lee Joon-gi, 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.
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. The series was popular online, but received average ratings. It also won Best Miniseries at the 2008 Roma Fiction Fest.
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.
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). 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), Gong also won Best Actress at the 2012 Baeksang Arts Awards.
Big (2012), in which an 18-year-old and a 30-year-old swap bodies, starred Gong Yoo and Lee Min-jung. The drama is arguably the Hongs' least successful work thus far, lacking both in ratings and buzz.
Reinventing acting careers
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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, 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.
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.
|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||빅||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%|
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- Shin, Hae-in (12 December 2005). "An 'irresistible trickster' to meet viewers in My Girl". The Korea Herald via Hancinema. Retrieved 2013-05-22.
- "Jae Hee Makes Inroads into Taiwan". KBS Global. 5 July 2005. Retrieved 2013-05-22.
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- "Han Ye-seul Wins Over Detractors as Amnesiac Heiress". The Chosun Ilbo. 28 October 2006. Retrieved 2013-05-22.
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- Oh, Jean (9 August 2010). "Will two big stars create fireworks?". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2013-05-22.
- Choi, Ji-eun (5 August 2010). "PREVIEW: SBS TV series My Girlfriend Is Gumiho". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-05-22.
- Kwon, Mee-yoo (3 May 2011). "TV soap to peek into celebrity life". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2013-05-22.
- Hwang, Hyo-jin (29 April 2011). "PREVIEW: MBC TV series The Greatest Love". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-05-22.
- Choi, Ji-eun (24 June 2011). "Interview with the Hong Sisters". 10Asia via Electric Ground. Retrieved 2013-05-22.
- Hong, Lucia (2 January 2012). "The Greatest Love snags 7 honors at 2011 MBC Drama Awards". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-05-22.
- Kwon, Mee-yoo (27 April 2012). "Kim Soo-hyun wins Paeksang awards". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2013-05-22.
- Oh, Jean (29 May 2012). "Lee Min-jung says Gong Yoo is a riot in new drama". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2013-05-22.
- 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.
- 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.
- Kim, Gwang-kuk (7 August 2013). "PREVIEW: SBS Wed/Thu Drama Master's Sun". 10Asia. Archived from the original on 2014-03-28.
- 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.
- "Hong Sisters Collection". DramaFever.