Well, fellow k-drama fanatics, the time has finally come.
As promised, I’ve included my recap of the first two episodes of Producer. Producer is the story of a group of well, producers, in the variety entertainment sector of television. It’s a mixture of newbies and seasoned veterans struggling to do the best possible job in a world where ratings mean virtually everything.
About the characters:
Gong Hyo Jin’s character, Tak Je Yin, may be one of my favorite characters (not my top favorite but she’s up there) in the drama. She’s not in a great monetary situation as she’s sharing an apartment with Ra Joon Mo, but she puts up a tough front and doesn’t take crap from anyone. She doesn’t like to mess up, and she especially doesn’t like to be put in a situation that questions her abilities, so she tries to play off Cindy’s disrespectful act by acting like a tough producer. No matter what, Je Yin works hard, which I find really commendable. Honestly, she’s not very likable at times, but I really enjoy her interactions with Joon Mo the most as the two seem to have a great back-and-forth repertoire with each other.
Oh, copious amounts of alcohol, a drunken kiss, and drawing up a contract… I had so much fun watching this scene as, you know, drama characters always seem to speak and act blatantly when they’re intoxicated.
Chae Tae Hyun’s character, Ra Joon Mo, is quite interesting. He’s a PD on a show’s that majorly tanking in the ratings department, his team doesn’t seem to be very inspired, and he has to deal with the frosty, sassy attitude of Tak Je Yin, who most certainly doesn’t make work any easier. He’s also dating a girl that is quite a bit younger than him, but as I stated below, that dissolves in episode two when he doesn’t want to play around and be in the secret relationship that she wants. Joon Mo is a genuine, sincere person, but I really hated how he was the one that threw Seung Chan under the bus. I really dislike characters that push their problems off to someone else and then get furious when the problem snowballs from a molehill to a mountain. Really? You should have taken care of it yourself, then, Joon Mo! Aigoo.
Anger aside, Joon Mo is a pretty upstanding guy. Despite Je Yin’s attitude to him, he lets her stay at his place. I’m really curious to see if they grow closer by living in such a small space, or if the closeness will cause them to self-destruct. So far, I’m loving the potential of these two, and I really hope that this is a direction the show plans to explore.
Kim Soo Hyun’s character, Baek Seung Chan, is awkardness revisited. If you remember Dream High, you’ll know that KSH played a rather dorky, timid character, so it’s easy to draw parallels between them. That said, this isn’t Dream High, so I’ll carry on. I’m not sure what Baek Seung Chan wants to do with the rest of his life, but he seems keen on getting a girl’s attention that he’s had a major crush on since high school. Knowing nothing about variety or being a producer, he joins KBS with one goal in mind: get closer to the girl of his dreams. Unfortunately, she has a thing going on with an older PD, Ra Joon Mo, but even that doesn’t pan out as he breaks up with her because he cannot give her the kind of secretive relationship that she wants. Maybe this will be Seung Chan’s chance.
How freaking adorable is this guy? He pretends to be okay; he pretends that he can easily getting over the girl he became a variety producer for. In a stint of anger and an act of revenge for stealing his girl, Seung Chan hangs bags of garbage on Ra Joon Mo’s side mirror. Guys, I almost lost it. I feel like Seung Chan is my male twin… pretend that you’re okay when you’re really not, shy, and harmless, passive “pranks” if you will call them.
In episode two, things only spiral further out of control for Seung Chan. The other producers throw him to the wolves without any decent advise or direction, and things only go from bad to worse as he tries to tell the aging actress (of 2 Days, 1 Night) that her show, unfortunately, has been revamped due to subpar ratings. This all means that the actress and her fellow cast mates are all being canned for a new, younger, more engaging cast. In the end, all things right itself, but I hope the rest of the team take care of Seung Chan better. He may be a rookie, but if they don’t give him a chance, he won’t get far. I also don’t care for the way Je Yin approaches Seung Chan most of the time. The guy doesn’t seem to catch a break. One minute she’s as nice as pie because she really doesn’t have the money to pay for his dad’s car repair. And the next minute, she’s acting like he’s nothing more than a piece of gum stuck to the bottom of her heels. My questions about Seung Chan:
- What are his true interests? I’m assuming that he will grow to enjoy working as a variety producer, but I would love to see what else Seung Chan cares about — as in hobbies and interests.
- Why is he so shy and unwilling to push the envelope? Now, as I’m naturally very shy and don’t like to rock the boat myself, I’m curious to know if there are any reasons why Seung Chan isn’t exactly a people person.
IU’s character, Cindy, is a major prima donna (aka diva) that gives off the impression that she doesn’t seem to care much about anything. Not about others. Not about herself. The only thing we can really deduce in the first episode is that Cindy loves her music, her style, and her album concept so much so that she’s unwilling to bend to Gong Hyo Jin’s request to “cover up” and “dress appropriately” for the network’s live music event. In the second episode, we see more bits and pieces of a Cindy that isn’t a total ice queen. She is grateful to Seung Chan for giving her an umbrella; she even seems to soften up when she thinks he’s the producer that gave her manager [to give to Cindy] real food to eat instead of that salad. And, in another nice moment, she tells the trainee’s where they can secretly order and eat food without their boss finding out. So, while she is prickly, snobby, and way too much of a diva, we are seeing small human moments from her that shows there is a lot more to Cindy than we see on the surface. My questions about Cindy:
- What led her to developing such a frosty attitude around everyone? She’s rude to her manager, fans, and even to the people at KBS. I have a feeling there’s a lot more to her story that we’re not seeing. Could this be a result of harshness from her boss pushing Cindy to be better?
- Does she have genuine friends?
- Why is she so bad at communicating with people? It’s almost like she’s scared of connecting with people.
- She was part of a four-person girl group. Unfortunately, Cindy doesn’t think very highly of them. How did she end up going solo? It sounds like she was doing all the work and the other members were riding on her coattails.
- Will she actually return the umbrella?
In my opinion, IU ‘s character is underused in the first two episodes, so I’m looking forward to seeing more balance with Cindy’s story. Will she end up doing some kind of variety work on 2 Days, 1 Night? I imagine something has to happen to make her a main cast member in this series. ~*~ At times, Producer feels a little lackluster and awkwardly paced, but the true heartbeat of the drama remains firm and steady. With a little time and tighter editing and directing, Producer has the framework and potential to be a spectacular series. As a fan of variety shows, I had some trouble keeping interest and following the story, but it’s important to note that the style is different than the usual k-drama formula. That is not meant to turn anyone off of the show, but the first episode has a very documentary/reality-scripted feel to it.
The humor will not appeal to everyone, but even with all of that pointed out, it’s still not a bad start. It’s just different, and upon a second re-watch, it feels that it’s at least got enough potential to really blossom into something great. It’s also been stated that the original director changed after episode two, so the current director re-shot some scenes from these two episodes, which also makes me understand why the pacing and scenes are occasionally disjointed.
Seung Chan has had a rough go of it these past two episodes, but when Ra Joon Go and Tak Ye Jin shared their mutual dislike for Seung Chan, I couldn’t help but lose it. Some of the humor is really on point in this series.
Note: I do not have the time to recap this series with the depth I did with Surplus Princess, so I apologize for a lack of screenshots and scene-by-scene breakdowns. I am not 100% in love with this show at the moment, so I will do my best to provide quality recaps, even if the length is short. Hopefully things will start to pick up and I’ll have more material to work with this week.