Upcoming tvN series adds laugh-inducing twist to old Korean fairytale

October 30, 2018

SEOUL, Oct. 30 (Yonhap) — In the popular Korean folktale “The Fairy and the Woodcutter,” the fairy successfully retrieves her winged clothes and goes back to heaven with her two children, leaving her grieving woodcutter husband behind.

In the upcoming television series “Mama Fairy and the Woodcutter,” a fairy’s husband passes away in a tragic accident and she waits for 699 years for him to be reincarnated. She lives to the present day and now works as a barista in a cafe tucked away on Mount Gyeryong. One day, she bumps into two men, one of whom she believes is very likely the reincarnation of her former husband.

A poster for the upcoming television series "Tale of Gyeryong Fairy" is shown in this image provided by tvN. (Yonhap)

A poster for the upcoming television series “Tale of Gyeryong Fairy” is shown in this image provided by tvN. (Yonhap)

The romantic comedy is based on the popular webtoon, or web-based comic, of the same name written by Dol Bae and published on Korea’s biggest portal site, Naver, in 2017. The comic was, in turn, inspired by an ancient tale that most Koreans probably know by heart.

“I was attracted to the webtoon because of its interesting and heart-warming plot in which the characters find their way to each other bound by destiny through dreams and memories,” said director Kim Yun-cheol during a press conference in Seoul on Tuesday.

“The original story sends out quite a serious message, so I added some light-hearted and fun twists to it,” he added.

Outwardly Sun is an old woman, but a few people with special ties to her can see her as a young woman. Moon Chae-won plays the younger version of Sun Ok-nam, the fairy, while senior actor Go Doo-shim plays the older version.

The series will replace the highly successful series “Dear Husband of 100 Days,” starring D.O. from boy band EXO, which will air its finale on Tuesday. The latest episode, aired Monday, recorded a high viewership rating of 12.2 percent.

Four cast members pose for photos during a press conference in Seoul on Oct. 30, 2018. (Yonhap)

Four cast members pose for photos during a press conference in Seoul on Oct. 30, 2018. (Yonhap)

In recent years, the Korean entertainment industry has seen many successful television series based on webtoons, including “Misaeng,” “What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim” and “Cheese in the Trap.” The network has been particularly strong in the production of such dramas.

Yoon Hyun-min, who plays biology professor Jung Yi-hyun, one of the potential husbands, said the success of previous webtoon-based dramas is expected to have a positive influence on his latest work. “There is certainly a dilemma as an actor because many viewers already know the ending,” he said.

Moon said she takes the trend very positively.

“I think borrowing stories from webtoons indicates that the drama market is expanding and the kinds of stories used in dramas are becoming more varied,” she said.

Of the reasons people should watch the show she said, “There are really good shows that make me feel stressed while watching. You know, you feel upset or you cry. … But I can assure you that this show is completely stress-free.

“It is like a light-hearted sitcom that you won’t have difficulty in following the story whenever you tune into it.”

The series is set to go on air at 9:30 p.m. Monday.

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