Can Korean Actors And Japanese Actresses Find Love While Sharing A House?

Eight Korean actors and Japanese actresses share a house, and maybe find love, in Netflix’s “Love Like a K-Drama” (above). Photo: Netflix
Actors, actresses, boy and girl band members live together as they audition for a mini K-drama on Netflix.

Would you choose true love – or stardom, cash, social media adulation and years of guaranteed work from central casting?

Meanwhile, BBC First has three murder mysteries for crime fans: Sister Boniface Mysteries, Death in Paradise and its spin-off Beyond Paradise

The ostensible premise of Love Like a K-drama (Netflix) is: can off-screen romance be ignited between professional actors and actresses who work together on soppy TV series?

Netflix doesn’t phrase it precisely that way, but the question is easily answered, because Hollywood co-stars have been shacking up together since way before Brangelina.

Still, if you fancy 12 episodes of potential mush, scripted or not, you can have them all, because the series wrapped a few days ago.

Four Korean actors and four Japanese actresses share a house and try to find love in “Love Like a K-drama”. Photo: Netflix

For whom has true love’s door opened wide and for whom has it slammed shut on their fingers? Does Rio Yamashita plump for Lee Tae-gyun and give early (on-screen only?) suitor Song Ji-hyuk, of boy band Supernova, the cosmic boot? Does Nozomi Bando (of the E-Girls group) make merry with Kim Dong-kyu? Does the series ever dare show any unscripted physical contact, or is it all too prissy?

The hopefuls – four Japanese girls, four Korean guys – are supposedly auditioning for parts in a six-episode “mini-K-drama”, competing for the leading roles and, with luck, generating genuine personal chemistry by living in the same house in Seoul while doing it (as it were).

The result is more akin to a sociology experiment than a television show, with apparent friction and contrived disputes, damning assessments by acting experts, a giggling commentators’ chorus in the off-set studio bleachers, plus lots of mouth locking in close-up, revealing either deep feelings or shallow scriptwriting.

Whether Love Like a K-drama is a self-conscious parody is perhaps the real poser. But that original question is easily resolved: take the money.

Lorna Watson in the title role in a still from “Sister Boniface Mysteries Christmas Special”. Photo: BBC Studios

Festive murders, thefts and nuns

Nobody does a cosy Christmas murder or mystery like the BBC. So if you’re still catching up on your seasonal shenanigans, the Sister Boniface Mysteries Christmas Special is the first of your three ports of call on BBC First for keeping you in festive mood.

Lorna Watson is the wimple-wielding nun in this Agatha Christie-infused tale of deadly deeds aboard a snowbound train, from which, also, a priceless, but cursed, jewel is stolen.

The good sister is a scientific adviser to the police – well, obviously – and retains her trademark dry humour in the face of an “impossible theft [and an] impossible murder”, as well as the earlier discovery of a literal stiff: a previous victim found frozen to death in a garden shed.

The holy cavalry, meanwhile, is heading for the inert train: three wise nuns, bearing gifts and following a star on a snowy pilgrimage to what turns into a divine mise en scène.

’Tis the season for Caribbean crime in the Death in Paradise Christmas Special. Ralf Little is dweeby Detective Inspector Neville Parker of the Saint Marie island police, investigating a wealthy resident’s lethal fall.

Patsy Kensit supplies the glamour in a case that also extends to a potential kidnapping, overpriced modern art, the traditional Christmas pantomime and a wet Wednesday in Woking – which is unlikely to be anyone’s idea of paradise.

When DI Humphrey Goodman (Kris Marshall) left the paradise of Saint Marie to star in spin-off Beyond Paradise, he at least had the good sense to fetch up in another slice of it, in coastal southwest England.

Kris Marshall as DI Humphrey Goodman in a still from “Beyond Paradise Christmas Special”. Photo: BBC Studios

Having shacked up there with fellow Death in Paradise refugee Martha (Sally Bretton), he’s now top cop in his scenic seaside town – and still a klutz. There’s no Christmas killing for Goodman to fret about in the Beyond Paradise Christmas Special, but a baffling sequence of altruistic break-ins during which nothing is taken.

Could some alternative Santa Claus be stealing the jolly bearded gent’s thunder instead?

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