Just Bananas About: Week of 5/22/15

It’s no secret that I’ve been eagerly looking forward to the new drama, Producer. I haven’t been able to stop tweeing about it. The writer behind You From Another Star. Cha Tae Hyun, Gong Hyo Jin, Kim Soo Hyun and IU. Need I say more?

Oh yeah, the drama is being directed by the production team behind KBS’ variety programming. Specifically, the Producer Pyo Min Soo from Gag Concert. The drama is supposed to be a hybrid of K-Drama and K-Variety styles. From the very beginning, our characters break the 4th wall by speaking directly to the audience about the inner workings at a Korean television company. I also like that isn’t afraid to go meta by bringing real television shows such as 1 Night 2 Days and Music Bank to the drama’s plot.

Kim Yeon Woo – To Be With You

김연우 – To Be With You

Cha Tae Hyun plays Ra Joon Mo, the Season 4 producer of 1 Night 2 Days. Unlike his predecessors, he often incites the annoyance of the standard and practices board.

He also doesn’t rake in the ratings with his version of the beloved Sunday show. His version features four female celebrities. Namely, Actresses Yoon Yeo Jung, Hwang Shin Hye, Geum Bo Ra and Hyun Young. Which doesn’t sound all that different from Noonas Over Flowers except without the Luggage Boy.

Gong Hyo Jin plays Tak Ye Jin, the producer of KBS’ Music Bank. She’s stubborn and tough and from Day 1, she crosses paths with Baek Seung Chan (Kim Soo Hyun) who rubs her the wrong way.

Baek Seung Chan is the hapless and clueless maknae PD that joins that 1N2D team. He only applied for the job because he wanted to be near his first love. However, he just can’t seem to get anything right.

From little things such as getting toner to big things such as giving Veteran Actress Yoon Yeo Jung the bad news that the female edition of 1N2D has been canceled.

He does happen to catch the eye of the jaded and ornery Idol Singer Cindy (IU). She mistakes him for the 1N2D PD who bought her dinner one night. In fact, it was Ra Joon Mo who buys her dinner because he feels bad that she has to work all day without eating in order to keep her figure.

We learn that Joon Mo and Ye Jin are good friends.  In fact, the first episode reveals that they’re sharing the same apartment.

We learn though that there might have been sumthin’ brewing beneath their long friendship.  I’m surprised but thrilled that the drama was not afraid to jump right into that aspect of their relationship.  We’ll see how friends becomes lovers relationship will unfold and hoping that it won’t be trite.

I think already with the characters you have an interesting setup for the drama as their lives are entangled in the world of Korean entertainment. There’s a lot of opportunity to provide interesting anecdotes.

There’s also a lot of exaggerated characters that add to the comedy of the show. Seung Chan’s family members are entertaining in their own right. The parents pray for the success and well-being for all their kids but forget to pray for their youngest daughter because… well they just forgot. I was a little confused as to why the drama was spelled 프로듀사 (produ-sah) as it is usually spelled 프로듀서 (producer/produ-suh). However after seeing the family conversation about finally having a kid who has a sah job title, it makes sense. A lot of the prestigious job such as doctors (의사) and lawyers (변호사) end with the same character. So that’s why the drama’s title is slightly different from the usual Korean spelling.

The President of Cindy’s management company, Director Byun (Na Young Hee) is already a pill to deal with. In the end, it’s obvious that she will cause trouble for our foursome but it’s a bit amusing to see the embarrassing lengths she goes to get her way.

Cindy’s seemed to learn a lot of Director Byun but I’m more interested in how her relationship with Director Byun will change after she gets to know Seung Chan a bit better.

IU – 마음 (Heart)

아이유(IU) – 마음

However, who could top the hilarity of PD Kim Tae Ho (Park Hyun Kwon)? Not to be confused with the MBC producer of Infinity Challenge but the amusingly pathetic Chief Producer the drama created who just happens to have the same name as the famous one. Oh, and he’s written a book about variety show programming which Seung Chan bought thinking it was the other one. Oh the meta.

And who knew that Kim Jong Kook is actually a pretty decent actor? He plays Kim Hong Soon, the producer of Open Concert. I hope we get to see more of him. I’m not sure what role he’ll serve to the flow of the story but even if he continues to play the suck up and lackey, he’d still be quite entertaining. Perhaps a little Sparta meta-reference couldn’t hurt? Although, Running Man is SBS moneymaker.

I can’t wait to get my next dose of Produ-sah. And see more cameos.  Even if the drama lacked substance and filled it hilarious meta-references, I would still probably enjoy it immensely. And yet, I’m hopeful that we’ll get the best of both worlds. Anyone enthusiastically optimistic about this drama?

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