Lee Dong Wook and Choi Jin Hyuk Return to the Small Screen with Dramatic Transformations

“Handsome actors” Choi Jin Hyuk and Lee Dong Wook are targeting the home turf with their rare “non-human” characters.

In Zombie Detective, which first aired on Sept. 21, and Tale of the Nine-Tailed, set to premiere on Oct. 7, the two actors each take on the role of a zombie and a gumiho.

Credit: KBS

Zombie Detective, which got a head start, is a human comedy drama that tells the story of a zombie in his second year of resurrection becoming a detective in pursuit of his past and lost memories. It revolves around the theme of zombie, which is rarely found in terrestrial networks, and pleasantly depicts the process of Kim Moo Young adapting to the human world. As the drama is produced by the entertainment show bureau, Zombie Detective is equipped with B-class comedy. It is receiving favorable reviews as it broke the stereotypes of zombies and opened a new door for the genre.

What’s most surprising is Choi’s dramatic transformation. To complete the unique and comical zombie role we’ve never seen before, he made a mess of himself for the first time since his debut. Kim Moo Young, a zombie played by Choi, is a mutant zombie different from the traditional zombies we are familiar with. He pronounces or walks just like humans, puts on BB cream, and sprays perfume. He often shows off his fashion sense with leather jackets and uses smartphones. And from time to time, when he is getting “trained” by a human, he is just one adorable creature. In other words, he is a new “humane” zombie.

Credit: tvN

Lee’s comeback project, Tale of the Nine-Tailed, also features an enormous presence comparable to a zombie: it’s gumiho (a nine-tailed fox). Tale of the Nine-Tailed, which presents the unique background of a mythical being settling in the center of the city, tells the story of a gumiho and a TV producer who chases him. Lee will take on the role of gumiho Lee Yeon, who once ruled as a living god of the Baekdudaegan Mountain, but now lives in the city in a human form while working as a judge who punishes monsters that disturb the world of the living. Lee Yeon, who never gets old, is just too good to be true. Lee will present a cruel yet fascinating love story with TV producer Nam Ji Ah (Jo Bo Ah), who lost her parents in a mysterious accident 21 years ago.

For this project, Lee has completely transformed himself. He focused on learning action sequences, dyed his hair red-brown, and put efforts in styling by giving a point with accessories to monochromatic outfits. He is determined to lure viewers away as a new type of gumiho who enjoys ice cream and values taste over a liver.

Zombie Detective and Tale of the Nine-Tailed meet viewers by equipping rare materials, unique character stories, and a complex genre that goes beyond a simple fantasy. As Goblin, which featured goblin and grim reaper, gained huge popularity, attention is being paid to whether sexy zombie Choi Jin Hyuk and enchanting gumiho Lee Dong Wook will be able to continue the success story of “non-human dramas.”

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