[K-DRAMA] The Producers (2015)

warning: may contain spoilers

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The Producers is a drama set within the walls of the variety department of KBS..

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Plot:

Baek Seung Chan is a rookie PD (producer-director) at KBS. It’s his first day of work, so he met his co-workers and was able to learn some basic stuff through their mentors. One of them is Tak Ye Jin; a producer of the show Music Bank. On that day, Cindy, a popular K-pop singer, was one of the show’s line-up, and she had problems with her outfit. Apparently, it was deemed unsuitable for broadcast, so the staff requested that she should change her outfit or cover it with a jacket. Since Cindy did not oblige, Tak PD came to her dressing room and talked about it. She finally agreed to it, but during the broadcast she removed her jacket while performing. A few days later, all rookies were assigned to a variety show in which they will join their team. Baek Seung Chan was assigned to 2 Days, 1 Night wherein he met the Main PD of the show, Ra Joon Mo, who’s struggling with the ratings of his show. Will Baek Seung Chan survive being a rookie PD? And can Ra Joon Mo redeem the show with the constant low ratings?

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Opinions:

The Producers is different from your ordinary drama. It’s like a semi-documentary style of how variety shows works behind; that’s how I felt while watching the first few episodes. It’s interesting if you watch or are familiar with Korean variety shows/comedians. However, if you’re just a K-drama lover, it would be hard to understand what they’re talking about. For me, I knew a lot of things that they were saying and also understood most of the inside jokes, because I also watch a few variety shows, so I really liked the concept and the direction they’re going for. I realized that the people working behind the scenes also exert a lot of effort, even more than the actors that we see onscreen. It’s just that we don’t see what they exactly do. Now, I appreciate the staff even more. Although it was only for 12 episodes, I kind of got bored during the middle part until the end. I wished they could’ve focused more on the variety part. I mean, there should be more problems to tackle and Ra PD’s storyline could be more elaborated. Instead, they were focusing and literally dragging the love triangle/square that I thought was really childish. I heard they changed directors during the middle part since viewers criticised on the shaky filming and documentary style, so they switched back to how a normal drama should be. It was such a waste because I incredibly enjoyed the first half than the latter half. I wished they pre-filmed this drama before airing it and don’t mind how the viewers think.

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Cindy’s storyline, except the romance part, was really fun to watch. Since I’m more of a K-pop fan, I wanted to know how idols behave behind the scenes and Cindy was the perfect example. She may be called a nation’s princess or a sweetheart, but in reality it’s just an image. And how could she lie about having rich and capable parents when in fact she’s an orphan?! I really do believe in agencies building up a good or certain image for their artists. I wonder how my favourite artists behave in real life. Being in an idol group is also difficult especially when the popularity of the members has a huge gap. In the case of Cindy, other members were complaining about not getting enough support from the company, but how will they get support if they don’t bring in enough money too? Cindy is helpless because she’s the only one who’s making money among them. In the end, she doesn’t have a close relationship with her members. Cindy’s story is an eyeopener for all K-pop fans. Although we probably know about these things already, but the bottom line is, these actors, idols and artists are humans too. They couldn’t always be happy, but they experience hardships and sadness too. And just like Cindy, they ‘can’ fall in love too.

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The supporting characters were all good and funny! I didn’t expect some of the actors to appear. Kim Jong Kook’s appearance is such a huge shocker and I thought he will only cameo for an episode, but it turned out that he’s getting a bigger role. He actually appeared in almost every episode and that image of him in Running Man is so different from his character as Kim Hong Soon. I was so happy to see him as an actor this time. Although his character doesn’t require much actings skills, but I really find him funny especially his love line with the woman. Other surprising cameos were Lee Seung Gi, Go Ah Ra, Sandara, etc. As expected of a variety show-based drama.. they really benefitted and made use of all these good artists!

Characters:

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Cha Tae Hyun as Ra Joon Mo — This is my first Cha Tae Hyun drama, but I’ve heard of him several times due to his popularity. My first impression of him was funny and humorous. His acting was really natural and I think he’s just being himself. He is also a fixed cast of 2 Days & 1 Night in real life, so acting as a producer for the same show is probably easier since he’s knowledgeable on what’s going on behind the scenes. I felt sad especially on the latter half when his character wasn’t given as much importance as Seung Chan. I think that there’s so much more that Tae Hyun can show with his character rather than just being a “third-wheeler”.

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Gong Hyo Jin as Tak Ye Jin — Gong Hyo Jin has continued to impress me with her consistent acting skills. From The Greatest Love to Master’s Sun, to It’s Okay, That’s Love, and to this drama, she has remained consistent. And it’s weird that in almost all her roles, she’s the one getting pursued by the guy. She’s always getting similar roles. I hope she expands her boundaries and try for a different role next time. I love the way she dresses in this drama by the way.

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Kim Soo Hyun as Baek Seung Chan — Kim Soo Hyun is really popular from the success of his dramas, The Moon that Embraces the Sun and You Who Came From the Stars. His role this time sort of reminded me of his Dream High role. I am not a fan of his bangs/hairstyle nor his personality in this drama. Yes, he is a little funny and stupid, and sometimes cute, but his actions were not likeable at all. I just didn’t like the character at all. And what more that he got 3 Daesang (Grand Prize) Awards with this drama? I mean, I have nothing against him, and his acting was decent, but winning Daesang against other more capable actors was too much?! *cough* Jisung *cough* I feel like these days (and probably years ago) awards are based on popularity rather than skill. I can’t wait for Kim Soo Hyun to get casted in a melodrama for once and prove to us that worthy Daesang win.

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IU as Cindy — I liked IU as a singer, but as an actress I have yet to see her acting skills since I’ve only seen Dream High. I think casting IU as Cindy was the perfect choice. She’s an idol herself so it’s easier for her to act the role. And Cindy is always in a bad mood, so she should often show a poker face. Although at first, I didn’t liked her low hoarse voice when she talks. It sounds so different from how she talks and how she sings, but she really brought out the best in Cindy.

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Ending:

The ending was a given. I knew a noona-dongsaeng relationship wasn’t going to happen! From the start, I had the feeling that Joon Mo and Ye Jin would end up as lovers. I just think they’re both scared that their friendship would end if they go from friends to lovers. I wished that they at least got a kiss scene or something, but instead we got an unexpected kiss scene from another couple (?) lol. On the other hand, Cindy terminated her contract with her company and decided to go on her own. She and Baek Seung Chan continued working together. It was an open ended scene. Sure, we know Cindy still likes Seung Chan, but I think it’ll remain that way since Seung Chan is not really interested in her. I think it was a good ending, because it was open-ended. It gives a chance for viewers to have their own way of interpreting their own ending. Usually I hate open endings, but I find it suitable for a 12 episode drama.

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Final Thoughts:

The Producers started off good with the star studded cast and the documentary style of filming. The plot and concept were new and unique from your usual K-drama. However, they went back to the usual way of filming and focused more on the romance which makes it an ordinary drama again. Definitely a must watch if you’re a Korean variety show geek or a Kim Soo Hyun, Gong Hyo Jin or IU fan, but if not, I think this drama will sound very boring to you.

Rating: 6/10

 

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