K-Drama Time Machine: Cha Tae Hyun, Gong Hyo Jin, Kim Soo Hyun & IU Conceive Unique Drama Experience For Fans Through “The Producers”
Five years ago, The Producers endowed Korean drama and variety show fans with a refreshing tale perfect for a weekend binge!
Moulding the characters’ stories to the roles sketched in the variety world setting, created an interesting spin for The Producers. Having a powerhouse main cast makes it all the more inviting.
Title: The Producers
Network: KBS2 TV
Theme: Drama, Comedy
Length: 12 Episodes
Broadcast Date: 15 May 2015 – 20 June 2015
Main Leads: Kim Soo Hyun | Cha Tae Hyun | Gong Hyo Jin | IU
Highlights: Refreshing watch that gets better after reruns, Evident Cast Synergy
Related Dramas: Hit The Top, Fight For My Way
While seasoned actors Cha Tae Hyun and Gong Hyo Jin provide the stability; Kim Soo Hyun and IU take charge of the addicting hook.
Quick Plot Roundup
One-sided noona love
Dorky Baek Seung Chan (Kim Soo Hyun) knew he has brains but opted to use it to follow the first woman he ever loved – Tak Ye Jin (Gong Hyo Jin). He settles to work as rookie PD of a variety show.
Unfortunately for him, the noona his heart beats for likes another senior PD (producing director). His name is Ra Joon Mo (Cha Tae Hyun), who is besties with Ye Jin.
When Ye Jin accidentally caused a minor bump on Seung Chan’s father’s car, the event leads them to get closer as partial payments of the damage require them to meet up regularly. Ye Jin also uses her seniority to make Seung Chan run errands for him to which he obliges happily.
Top star Cindy
Unlucky Seung Chan lands on a new work to the dying 2 Days 1 Night entertainment show, which is badly needing revamp to improve the ratings.
Known for being hot tempered, Ye Jin spearheads the Music Bank team, where she has an unpleasant encounter with famous primadona singer named Cindy (IU). But for the show to go on, they acquiesce to the artist’ whim – or so Ye Jin thought. However, Cindy defies Ye Jin’s instruction.
Baek Seung Chan chances upon Cindy on a rainy day, and lets her borrow the company’s umbrella, but reminds her to return it to the lobby under his employee name.
Pressured from her busy schedule, Cindy’s Sauron’s eyes mostly direct at her oppa manager, who has to take the top star tantrums thrown to him by Cindy almost everytime.
Project Revive 2 Days 1 Night
Meanwhile, time is ticking for 2 Days 1 Night staff to come up with a let’s-do-this-or-we-will-be-axed plan. With Seung Chan’s analytical research, he scored “lovers themed” format, which Joon Mo initially booed, but was agreed upon by the higher directors.
They proceed with the show’s survival plan and notify the current members that the season will end. The bad news delivery is almost successful, but Seung Chan who was tasked to notify the most senior actress isn’t able to extend the news smoothly. Thus, earning a huge disappointment, to the veteran actress who feels disrespected.
After an ugly closing party, the production team moves on to hurdling the completion of the new cast. When the regular team members run out of ideas, they ask Seung Chan, and he cluelessly suggests Cindy to the team, earning a whats-wrong-with-this-kid faces responses. Still, they let him go with his plan.
Seung Chan visits Cindy and raises the proposal on how joining a variety show is beneficial for her because her connection with the viewers can be solidified as she will be seen in images closer to typical people. While in the middle of luring Cindy, the witch CEO of the talent agency bursts in and refuses strongly.
An unlikely friendship blooms
Seung Chan’s unfazed attitude towards witch CEO has had her see him on a different light. When Joon Mo marches to haul his newbie after learning he went to Cindy’s company exchanging icy replies to the witch CEO, Cindy has made up her mind that she will join the TV show.
And yes she does. Seung Chan piques Cindy’s interest without him realizing it. While the pop idol grows fond of him, Seung Chan also falls in a deeper level of love with Ye Jin, who is in a complicated emotion with Joon Mo.
Feeling her top talent is already raising a rebellion, Cindy’s agency proceeds to retaliate. The agency slowly reduces her top idol perks, eventually ruining her reputation. But with the help of Joon Mo and Ye Jin who retrieved an old off-site interview, they are able to defend the fabricated attempt to ruin Cindy’s career.
Ye Jin and Joon Mo also confront their feelings towards each other and seal the binding love they had mistaken as friendship. Seung Chan fails another chance at love but he gains valuable friendship that will last for a lifetime with Cindy.
A refreshing workplace drama treat for variety show fans
Although using the 2 Days 1 Night setting, any variety show fan would rejoice on the familiar tropes of variety show elements inserted in the series.
The mixture of the inside production world of variety shows and the characters’ stories were nicely blended. Additionally, the apparent diversity and chemistry of the characters pierce heartily to the viewers.
Combining top-caliber artists who were committed to their roles, the balance presentation of the humor and drama was noticeably felt. Albeit its simple conflict, the series yielded a lasting impression because of its soothing effect.
Kim Soo Hyun’s adorable side
When The Producer was aired, Kim Soo Hyun was then becoming a household name after streaking successful dramas, particularly in Moon Embracing The Sun.
For people expecting Kim being captured in romantic moments, you won’t expect it in this drama so be prepared. Nevertheless, legit fans would find it a treasure trove because the untapped comical side of the actor is in full swing.
Career Lessons from the Cast perspective
Seung Chan is a reminder of any person, who is trying to find his niche in the corporate scene regardless if the motivation is absurd, like in his case to follow his first love. He epitomizes the extent on how much we can persevere, and how trying a shot on everything is better than being a coward to take a chance on it.
Ye Jin is a reminder of how even a person with the coldest exterior has a warm spot hidden in her. Of a person who would be patiently waiting for the love she yearned for, than waste her time to nonsense.
Joon Mo is a reflection of those times when we build our respective characters by standing firm with our principles and defying the norms for change to happen.
Cindy represents each one of us at our highest peak when we hit a slump, and when we bounce back from it.
Series Afterthoughts & Recommendation
The Producers displayed an interesting format incorporating the variety show world in a drama attack. To achieve that you have to even out the laughter you get from the variety show and the valuable content you should give to the audience.
I immensely enjoyed the lessons focused in every episode which were derived from the variety program production world. Notably, it gave meaningful life lessons and pointed out the challenges and limitations of human nature.
When joined together, the four main leads were a delightful watch, even in their personal struggles. That had been the key ingredient for its successful run.
As I religiously watch 1N2D, I easily grasped the intentions and love the executions of the entertainment show elements all throughout. True, I might have wished for more love screen-times, but it superbly fed me stories that I had been on at some point of my life. Hence, I got a satisfying deal-sealer from it.
The engrossing 12-episode drama will leave you lessons that the basic self-help books have already vaguely discussed. But its elaborated picture in the series is one that deeply gratifies.
A breather from rom-com and melodramas, The Producers easily strips any work-related stress you are having if you give it a chance.
The Producers is available on Netflix.
Images Credit: KBS2 TV
YouTube Videos: Lee Seungchul | KBS World