Back in February, I mentioned the HIP KOREA documentary on Discovery Channel, a program about the singer Rain and modern Korean culture in which I was involved.
Well, now it is time for episode 2 of HIP KOREA -- SEOUL SAVVY, featuring the actor Lee Byung-hun. In many ways, HIP KOREA 2 is the prequel to the Rain episode, as this episode goes back and examines the changes Korea went through during the 1990s and into the 21st century. Rain is about where Korea is now, but Lee Byung-hun looks at how Korea got here.
It turns out that Lee Byung-hun is a pretty good conduit for that story -- he first made it big in 1992/3, around the time Korea got its first civilian president. He made JSA in 2000, at the same time as the North-South Summit between the Koreas. He starred in a couple of huge TV dramas that helped spark the boom of Korean TV dramas around Asia (aka Hallyu). And he starred in a couple of really big movies (A BITTERSWEET LIFE and THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE WEIRD) that showcased how far Korean movies and society have come along.
HIP KOREA -- SEOUL SAVVY makes its debut on NHK in Japan on June 13 at 12:55am (technically June 14), in a two-hour, back-to-back showing with HIP KOREA -- SEOUL VIBES (the Rain episode). It then encores on NHK BS (satellite) on June 19 at 8pm and June 20 at 4:30pm.
It airs in Discovery at the following times in the following locations:
Korea - Thursday, June 18 at 8pm. Encores on June 20 at 2pm, June 21 at 1am in the morning and June 23 at 12am midnight.
Singapore/HK/Malaysia - Thursday, June 18 at 7pm. Encores on June 20 at 1pm and 12am midnight and June 23 at 11pm.
Taiwan - Sunday, August 16 at 10pm. (Rain's episode will be bundled and aired at 11pm.) Encores on August 23 at 3am and 3pm.
I am quite excited to finally have this going on the air -- it was a lot of work and took nearly a year to make. Actually, considering how Lee Byung-hun is a fairly substantial chapter in my book, POP GOES KOREA, you could say I have been working on this episode for years. So I hope you have the time to check it out.