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5 Unexpected Pairings We Can't Wait To Watch In Upcoming K-Dramas

Forget love teams! We're beyond excited for these all-new pairs to show off their chemistry.
IMAGE NETFLIX, TVN, JTBC

Unlike here in the Philippines where the success of a movie or soap opera tends to be anchored heavily on love teams, South Korean dramas don’t have the same notion. In the Hallyu industry, script normally comes first, followed by the casting process. The production team then looks for the perfect actors and actresses who will fit the lead roles like a glove—and rarely do they go for the same combination of stars twice! Albeit there had been some exceptions in TV history (like Lee Dong Wook and Yoo In Na who were first paired up in Goblin and were later on reunited for Touch Your Heart), K-dramas are usually all for mixing and matching!

Not that we’re complaining, because that means we get to see our fave K-drama celebs experimenting with new roles and testing out their chemistry with others. It’s always exciting to find out what their new projects will be and who they’ll be paired up with next! Below, we round up five pairs we’re most excited to see soon—some of them already confirmed and some we’re still keeping our fingers crossed for!

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1. Seo Ji Hye + Song Seung Heon

Crash Landing on You (2019); The Great Show (2019)
PHOTO BY TVN
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Crash Landing on You's North Korean heiress (Seo Ji Hye) plus Endless Love's OG leading man (Song Seung Heon)? We’re sold! The two already started production of Dinner Mate, which is expected to air sooner than you think! Here's to hoping Seo Dan, ahem, Ji Hye finally gets her well-deserved happy ending this time around!

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2. Kim Yoo Jung + Ji Chang Wook

Clean with Passion for Now (2018); Melting Me Softly (2019)
PHOTO BY jtbc; tvn

Backstreet Rookie is another K-drama we can't wait to see! Based on the popular webtoon titled Convenience Store Saet Byul, this rom-com—which tells "the unpredictable love story of convenience store owner Choi Dae Hyun and part-time employee Jung Saet Byul"—brings together Hallyu hearthrob Ji Chang Wook (Melting Me Softly, The K2, Healer) and child-actress-turned-leading-lady Kim Yoo Jung (Love in the Moonlight, Clean with Passion for Now).

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3. Bae Suzy + Nam Joo Hyuk

While You Were Sleeping (2017); The Bride of Haebak (2017)
PHOTO BY SBS/TVN

Earlier this year, it was reported that Bae Suzy (While You Were Sleeping, Uncontrollably Fond, Dream High) and Nam Joo Hyuk (Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo, The Bride of Haebak) are in talks to lead an upcoming K-drama titled Sandbox. Set in Korea’s Silicon Valley, it tells the story of a woman who dreams to become the next Steve Jobs through her start-up company and a guy—the youngest person to win the Math Olympiad—who loves coding and knitting. The two are still reportedly reviewing the offers, but should they accept, it will be their first drama together.

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4. Jun Ji Hyun + Ju Ji Hoon

My Love from the Star (2013); Hyena (2020)
PHOTO BY SBS

So far, nothing’s been set in stone yet, but Ju Ji Hoon’s agency did reveal he was offered to play the lead role for Mount Jiri, which Jun Ji Hyun was already confirmed to star in (her first starring role since Legend of the Blue Sea wrapped up in 2017). If things work out, then we’re bound to see the Kingdom actors reuniting for another K-drama—sans the zombies this time, hopefully!

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5. IU + Park Seo Joon

Hotel del Luna (2019); Itaewon Class (2020)
PHOTO BY tvn/jtbc

This pairing is technically not for a TV series but rather for an upcoming film. Park Seo Joon (Itaewon Class, What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim, Fight For My Way) is teaming up with IU (Hotel del Luna, Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo) for the movie Dream, and although we’re not sure if it will feature a romantic relationship between the two, the thought of them sharing one screen is enough to make our hearts flutter with excitement. It’s slated to premiere sometime in 2021.

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This story originally appeared on Preview.ph.

* Minor edits have been made by the Candymag.com editors.

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Marj Ramos for Preview.ph
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If you know me, and know me well, I am not the biggest fan of idyllic lifestyles. With a Type A personality, I act immediately upon whatever challenge that needs to be addressed. I actually enjoy keeping my mind preoccupied: doing university work in my favourite cafe then running errands around town, grocery shopping here, updating my accounts there, photocopying documents on the way down the street - all just in time before having a glass of champagne at the bar with my friends come evening.

And so, you could imagine my bewilderment when the next challenge to be faced was an extensive self-quarantine protocol. I didn’t know what to do when my greatest responsibility in this situation was to do nothing at all. My first few attempts to combat my consternation were very much rooted in distraction and imagination. My distractions involved conducting research, writing songs, calling family and friends, filming videos, and eating chocolate! My imaginations and fantasies were centred on travelling, shopping, even clubbing (which I rarely do) for when they find a cure to COVID-19. I did anything and everything that could be considered constructive in order to pass the time, mainly hoping I could just undertake the basic human necessities to survive - that is, eat and sleep the day through - until the next day comes, until the world is closer to becoming a better place, until quarantine ends, until my flight follows through, until I see my family and friends again.

Days in self-isolation and suspended flights turned to weeks and turned to months. By the third extension here in Spain where I study Fashion Business, I had to tell myself this shall be my new normal now, that I was blessed to be healthy, that I was tired of merely existing and missed what it was like to actually live - even if just within four walls. Little by little, I began to find significance in the simple occurrences of the day: the soft glare of the rising sun beaming golden streaks through my bedroom window upon waking up, the fragrance of freshly washed bed sheets that I had painstakingly hung to fit a relatively small clothes rack without crumpling them, the crunch and tanginess of warm toasted bread topped with raspberry marmalade, the buzzing sound of a phone call from home just waiting to be answered, to the caress of a fuzzy sweater to keep warm at night. I realised, “What pleasures to be enjoyed in the pause of slow living!” Through this continued pause, which I loathed at first, I began to appreciate each moment of the day rather than wish it would pass more swiftly, moments I had overlooked so often before the lockdown. I started to find that the challenge of self-isolation was never to pause both the regular routines of life as well as the positive emotions that came with these - as initially, I thought it meant to pause all happiness, so as to withstand a time of endurance in hopes for a better tomorrow, much like a form of delaying gratification. Life is just too fragile these days to delay gratification any further.

Life has paused, but it has not stopped. Believe that like any punctuation mark in a sentence, the pause will provide the right timing of things to take place. Till then, let us not waste our time waiting. Instead, we could be in the moment, seek substance in simplicity (that is, in what we already have), And enjoy the pleasure in pause. “Practice the Pause. When in doubt, pause. When angry, pause. When tired, pause. When stressed, pause. And when you pause, pray.”

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