MBC`s latest Wednesday and Thursday night series "Triple" promises to live up to the expectations of fans of the director`s previous hit series "Coffee Prince."
"It is a drama about love," said director Lee Yoon-jung at a press conference last week. "This is not a sports drama."
With romance - a genre that appeals to a broad audience - as the axis around which "Triple" will spin its magic, the new series appears set to bring in higher ratings than its lackluster predecessor "Cinderella Man."
Slated to air two back-to-back episodes tomorrow night, the highly anticipated collaboration between MBC`s "Coffee Prince" director Lee Yoon-jung and scriptwriter Lee Jung-ah delves into the lives of a figure skating princess, her coach, her stepbrother and his friends.
While the plot borders on mind-achingly complex, it looks like directing-and-writing duo Lee Yoon-jung and Lee Jung-ah will chart the tangled relationships of their heroes and heroines with the same grounded, candid approach that made "Coffee Prince" a hit.
In the upcoming series, figure skater Ha-ru, played by actress Min Hyo-rin, moves into her stepbrother`s pad only to discover that she not only has to share a living space with her stepbrother Shin Hwal but also with his two friends-cum-coworkers.
Ha-ru`s figure skating coach, Choi Soo-in - played by "Le Grand Chef" actress Lee Ha-na - turns out to be Shin Hwal`s estranged wife. Her plans to make amends with her husband are derailed when Shin`s friend, Hyun-tae - played by former boy band "g.o.d." member Yoon Kye-sang - starts making his way into her heart.
In the meantime, Shin`s other friend and colleague, Hae-yoon, played by "Coffee Prince" heartthrob Lee Seon-gyun, ends up dating their fellow colleague and high school bud Sang-hee, played by newcomer Kim Hee. To top it off, Ha-ru becomes infatuated with her stepbrother.
The director wasn`t kidding when she said the drama would be about love. But the hard work and attention to detail that Lee and her cast have put into the series gives this particular romance a solid base to woo its audiences from.
"(Lee) wants detailed acting and focuses on the nuance of the lines," said veteran actor Lee Jung-jae, who will be playing Shin Hwal.
"The director tends to conduct a lot of rehearsals," said Kim Hee.
"I prepared (for the role) for approximately a year, everyday, three times a day, save Sunday," said Min.
Co-star Lee Ha-na, who also trained for her role, regretfully announced that she would not be able to showcase her figure skating skills, since a real coach doesn`t really do a lot of demonstrations.
"After constantly playing the quirky tomboy, I am now taking on the role of a skating coach who longs for the love of one man," said Lee.
While a complicated husband-wife-stepsibling love triangle forms, it is another trio, formed by Kim Hee, singer-turned-actor Yoon and "Coffee Prince" star Lee Seon-gyun that threatens to steal the show.
Kim, in particular, charms with her comic antics, serving as the perfect partner to co-star Lee Seon-gyun`s genteel character.
Yoon draws laughs as the goofy and happy-go-lucky Hyun-tae, and his role as a knight-in-waiting to Lee Ha-na`s Choi promises to win female fans over.
"Triple" airs on MBC tomorrow night at 9:55 p.m.
By Jean Oh