The critical success of MBC`s "My Wife is a Superwoman" -- a series that took a melo-comedic look into the lives of two disillusioned homemakers and their struggles with marriage and social status -- testified to the popularity of housewife-themed dramas.
Now, KBS is bringing in a series that also takes a look at what happens after happily ever after. Fronted by two major screen divas, the ever-youthful Hwang Shin-hye and "Jumong" actress Oh Yun-soo, the new series -- titled "Comeback Princess" -- pits two former friends-turned-enemies against each other in a competition for the crown prize: love.
Actress Oh plays the girl who had it all: popularity, wealth and a bright future in the world of ballet. Co-star Hwang plays Oh`s friend, Jang Gong-sim, a poor girl who harbors humble dreams of settling down with boyfriend Na Bong-hee.
But when Oh`s character, Cha Do-kyung, steals Jang`s boyfriend away from her, the two girls become enemies. When they meet again, 17 years later -- Cha as a discontented housewife and Jang as the prominent head of a ballet company -- the two declare war against each other.
The press got a taste of the rivalry to come at a press conference last week. The 10-minute preview screening showcased the two frenemies duking it out in a major cat fight in the mud and in an arm wrestling match.
"Hwang wins out," said co-star Oh, when asked which actress displayed greater physical strength when they filmed the mud fight scene. "She is an Amazon."
Hwang added, "Oh is somewhat fragile and I am somewhat strong."
Returning after a five-year hiatus from the small screen, Hwang needed to muster all the strength she had to tackle the role of a prima ballerina.
"It was very hard," the 46-year old actress discussed the challenges of prepping for her role, which involved mastering the tricky toe shoe. "Just pretending to be a ballerina was very challenging."
The celebrity mom drew laughs when she revealed how her daughter responded to the news that her famous mom was going to be starring in "Princess Comeback."
"`Mom, are you a princess?`" Hwang repeated what her daughter had said. "I answered, `Of course I am, I`m doing this drama because I`m a princess.`"
While both veteran actresses Hwang and Oh will be vying for the title of princess in the upcoming series, it is entertainer Tak Jae-hoon who promises to turn the new drama into a comedic gem.
The singer-turned-actor drew laughs as Jang`s ex-boyfriend and Cha`s lowly husband during the preview screening, and had the press chuckling at last week`s press conference.
"Our drama is not forced in any way whatsoever," said the 41-year old actor, before delivering a self-deprecating punch line. "Well, if there`s anything forced about it, it`s the fact that these two women fight over me."
Playing the guy who gets both girls, first Jang as a girlfriend and then Cha as his wife, Tak revealed that his character goes through some major, unexpected plot twists in the upcoming series, including the untimely return of Cha`s first love, played by "Temptation of Wife" actor Lee Jae-hwang.
"In truth, my character suffers a divorce," he elaborated. "But then, after that, there is a huge reversal of fortune."
To see what reversal of fortune awaits Tak`s character and to watch actresses Hwang and Oh in action, tune into the new Monday and Tuesday night series.
"Comeback Princess" airs tonight on KBS 2 TV at 9:55 p.m.
By Jean Oh