The 2010 FIFA World Cup had Paul the Octopus. (May he rest in peace). Well, there’s no need to be jealous because Korean drama fans have Blue… umm, the Human… ready to predict the winners of the upcoming 2011 MBC Drama Awards and 2011 SBS Drama Awards. (For the predicted winners of the KBS Drama Awards, go here.)
And I will one up the octopus by selecting the winners even before the official nominees are made public! Of course, this is personally not my preference, but after checking the news daily to see whether the nominees have been announced, I finally gave up on the wait, especially with the MBC Awards to be held tomorrow and the SBS Awards the day after.
But first, some changes.
Although all three networks’ awards are often translated as Drama Awards both on this blog and many others, in fact, the actual Korean titles for them have always been Acting Awards (연기대상). Which makes sense since the awards are given out to the actors and actresses. Well, that is, until now. MBC has announced a name change and its awards ceremony will no longer be called MBC Acting Awards. Starting this year, it will be officially called MBC Drama Awards.
What does this mean? In the past, the Daesang (also known as the Grand Prize) was awarded to an individual actor. That will no longer be the case. Instead, the Daesang will be awarded to any one of the MBC dramas that aired during the calendar year. (Sorry, Mr. Cha Seung Won!) All other awards, including the Excellence Awards and the Newcomer Awards, will be given to the individual actors and actresses. (Source: Star News)
Okay, now with that out of the way, here are my predictions. (Remember, these are only my guesses… although I must say, I think they’re pretty good!)
MBC Drama Awards
MBC has a history of having multiple winners. I’m going to assume that won’t change this year.
Daesang/Grand Prize: Hmm, not too different from last year, MBC did not have a very successful 2011. I think the serious contenders for the Daesang will be Best Love, Can You Hear My Heart, Indomitable Daughters-in-Law, Royal Family, and Twinkle Twinkle. And, I predict that Best Love will take the Grand Prize.
Top Excellence Award, Actor: Cha Seung Won (Best Love) – Until MBC changed its system this year, Cha Seung Won was the indisputable favorite to win the Daesang. Mr. Cha must probably feel some bitterness (and rightfully so, because he’s been robbed), and for that, I think he should be the sole winner of the Top Excellence Award. If MBC decides to have a second winner, though, it will be Kim Suk Hoon (Twinkle Twinkle).
Top Excellence Award, Actress: I’m so positive about this it’s not even funny. Yeom Jung Ah (Royal Family) and Kim Hyun Joo (Twinkle Twinkle) will both win. Mark my words!
Newcomer Award, Actor: Park Yoon Jae (Indomitable Daughters-in-Law) – Thanks to the pretty high TV ratings of his drama, I’m pretty sure he’s locked to get this award. If there’s a second winner, it will be Micky Yoochun (Miss Ripley).
Newcomer Award, Actress: Hmm, who are the relatively newish actresses this year? Maybe Yoo In Na (Best Love) and Hwang Jung Eum (Can You Hear My Heart).
Child Actor Award: Yang Han Yeol (Best Love) and Kim Yoo Bin (Hooray for Love)
Popularity Award: Cha Seung Won (Best Love) and Gong Hyo Jin (Best Love)
Best Couple Award: Cha Seung Won and Gong Hyo Jin (Best Love)
Okay, here are the remaining categories:
Golden Acting Award (Veteran Actor)
Golden Acting Award (Supporting Role)
Golden Acting Award (Serial Drama)
I’m not sure how MBC will decide to distribute the awards, but here are my other predicted winners:
Lee Yuri (Twinkle Twinkle)
Go Doo Shim (Twinkle Twinkle)
Shin Ae Ra (Indomitable Daughters-in-Law)
Kim Young Ae (Royal Family)
Hwang Jung Eum (Can You Hear My Heart)
Kim Jae Won (Can You Hear My Heart)
Yoon Kye Sang (Best Love)
SBS Drama Awards
Unlike MBC, SBS had a very successful year. SBS has a tendency to come up with many categories in order to max out its awards to as many people as possible. But even for the “ever-so-generous” SBS, this year will be particularly tough.
Daesang/Grand Prize: Han Suk Kyu (Tree With Deep Roots)
Top Excellence Awards:
- Drama Special, Actor: Park Shin Yang (Sign) & Jang Hyuk (Tree With Deep Roots)
- Drama Special, Actress: Lee Yo Won (49 Days)
- Special Production, Actor: Kim Rae Won (Thousand Day Promise)
- Special Production, Actress: Soo Ae (Thousand Day Promise)
- Weekend/Daily Drama, Actor: Lee Dong Wook (Scent of a Woman)
- Weekend/Daily Drama, Actress: Kim Sun Ah (Scent of a Woman)
- Drama Special, Actor: Lee Min Ho (City Hunter)… and maybe Ji Sung (Protect the Boss). But SBS may opt to give either one of them the Producers Award instead.
- Drama Special, Actress: Choi Kang Hee (Protect the Boss)
- Special Production, Actor: Choi Min Soo and/or Jeon Gwang Ryul (Warrior Baek Dong-soo)
- Special Production, Actress: Kim Hee Ae and/or Lee Min Jung (Midas)
- Weekend/Daily Drama, Actor: Some cast member from Live in Style… either Son Hyun Joo or Oh Dae Gyu
- Weekend/Daily Drama, Actress: Lee So Yeon (My Love By My Side)
- Drama Special, Supporting Actor: Yoon Je Moon (Tree With Deep Roots)
- Drama Special, Supporting Actress: Hmm, not many serious contenders here. Maybe Eom Ji Won (Sign)?
- Special Production, Supporting Actor: Choi Min Soo and/or Jeon Gwang Ryul (Warrior Baek Dong-soo). But if they win the Excellence Award instead (above), then my vote goes to Kim Min Jong for his role in Athena: Goddess of War.
- Special Production, Supporting Actress: Lee Mi Sook (Thousand Day Promise)
- Weekend/Daily Drama, Supporting Actor: ?
- Weekend/Daily Drama, Supporting Actress: Lee Hwi Hyang (My Love By My Side)
Netizen Popularity Award: Lee Min Ho (City Hunter) & Soo Ae (Thousand Day Promise)
Best Couple: Lee Min Ho & Park Min Young (City Hunter), Lee Dong Wook & Kim Sun Ah (Scent of a Woman)
Producers Award: Between Lee Min Ho and Ji Sung, whoever didn’t win the Excellence Award (above). Less likely, but possibly Jo Hyun Jae (49 Days). Kim Ah Joong (Sign) will likely bag it in the actress category.
Top 10 Stars: Lee Yo Won (49 Days), Lee Min Ho (City Hunter), Kim Sun Ah (Scent of a Woman), Lee Dong Wook (Scent of a Woman), Park Shin Yang (Sign), Kim Rae Won (Thousand Day Promise), Soo Ae (Thousand Day Promise), Han Suk Kyu (Tree With Deep Roots), Jang Hyuk (Midas/Tree With Deep Roots) + one more (possibly Choi Kang Hee)
New Star Awards: Han Hye Rin (New Gisaeng Story), Im Soo Hyang (New Gisaeng Story), Jaejoong (Protect the Boss), Ji Chang Wook (Warrior Baek Dong-soo), Lee Jae Yoon (My Love By My Side), Shin Se Kyung (Tree With Deep Roots), Sung Hoon (New Gisaeng Story), Yoo Seung Ho (Warrior Baek Dong-soo)
Do you agree? Disagree?
These awards shows are often criticized for merely being a popularity contest. One thing is for sure. They’re definitely not based on acting talents alone. But honestly, if they were, the same people would win the awards year after year. Is there any doubt that the older veteran actors like Go Doo Shim, Kim Hae Sook, and Kim Young Ae would crush their younger peers, even those who are often lauded for being pretty decent actors?
There are definitely those who may “deserve” the awards more, but are constantly snubbed because of lack of star power or lower drama ratings. An actor needs some combination of all three (at least some degree of acting displayed… enough not to be too criticized, certain degree of star power, and decently successful drama) to bag the Daesang. Ideally, the winner would have all three qualities, whether or not the drama itself was critically acclaimed. It’s easier said than done.
But if the winners get played out as I predict, I must say this wouldn’t be a bad awards year at all.
The MBC Drama Awards will be held on Friday, December 30 at 9:55 P.M., hosted by Jung Joon Ho (Queen of Reversals) and Lee Honey (Indomitable Daughters-in-Law). The SBS Drama Awards will be held the day after on New Year’s Eve, hosted by Protect the Boss’s two leads, Ji Sung and Choi Kang Hee.