13 February 2021

K Drama Review: The Producers (2015) 3.9 || 4

After watching (and super loving) My Mister, Oppa and I are suffering from a bad case of IU hangover. Pretty much like what I felt after watching Hyun Bin on Crash Landing on You. To soothe our broken hearts, we picked another IU drama to watch. And while it was not on the same level as My Mister, I would have to say that it served its purpose of satisfying our longing for IU. :D

Plot


The Producers tells the story of two childhood best friends who are both KBS producers, Ra Joon Mo (Cha Tae Hyun of My Sassy Girl and Hometown Flex), main production director (PD) of 2 Days 1 Night, and Tak Ye Jin (Gong Hyo Jin), main PD of Music Bank. Joon Mo has a new staff, Baek Seung Chan (Kim Soo Hyun who had a cameo in CLOY and I didn't even realize it until Oppa pointed it out to me), who develops a serious noona crush on Ye Jin. Completing our main cast is Cindy (IU), a popular singer known for her rude attitude but unexpectedly falls for Seung Chan. While the show is called The Producers, it actually focuses more on the lives of our four main leads - how they bicker with, fall for, help, and save each other. 

Things I Loved

Kim Soo Hyun as Baek Seung Chan

This was our first ever full Kim Soo Hyun drama. And while we started out without any expectations, we ended up liking (maybe even loving) him. Even Oppa was impressed with his extensive filmography, which we only learned about maybe halfway into the show. 

Kim Soo Hyun was funny and credible as a gullible guy. Although Oppa found his comedy quite slapstick, I'm much easier to please, hence, Seung Chan made me laugh. Some of my favorites were when he never gave way to Cindy whenever they played rock, paper, scissors even though Cindy would already tell him her choice. As a result, Cindy had to carry heavy luggage. That sports day scene where everyone was telling him not to make a goal during the football match so that the boss' team will win was also hilarious. I had a fun time wondering if Seung Chan was just really competitive or he was naturally slow in picking things up.

Being a newbie, Seung Chan projected this kind and submissive image. On the contrary, however, he had a very naughty/petty side too. He deleted the Nim (Korean honorific term like Mr. or Madam) on Lee Seung Gi's (Vagabond and Hometown Flex) door sign because he didn't like how he was being too close to Ye Jin. In another scene, after eating spicy lunch, Seung Chan got mints for everyone except the senior PD who wanted to set up Ye Jin on a blind date. It was also funny when Seung Chan got a can of soda for their boss but he shook it so it would explode upon opening all because the boss was intimating that their show was going to be cancelled. Yes, these might actually be problematic in a real workplace but I found them funny in the context of dramaland.  

I was pretty neutral to Kim Soo Hyun during the first few episodes. But he won me over with his noona crush on Ye Jin. I loved how he was so gentle, sensitive, and overprotective when it came to her. That scene in episode 6 where he hugged her while she was crying so that people won't see her face really made my heart melt. And how he acted like her bodyguard when Cindy's fans were attacking Ye Jin. I also loved how he looked like a giddy child whenever he was around Ye Jin, especially when he saw their accidental playground photo from the past. He absolutely loved following her around and doing stuff for her. And I felt so bad for him everytime he saw Joon Mo and Ye Jin together. I saw the feeling of defeat in his eyes, knowing that he could never be on Joon Mo's level. 

I also loved how grounded Seung Chan was even if a huge celebrity like Cindy liked him. And while he did not really like her back, he never pushed her away. He was always respectful of her. He was there for her and he even gave her advice when needed like when they were in the theme park. He was a kind guy, over-all. 

I loved how Kim Soo Hyun gave Seung Chan the prettiest smiles and the most heartbreaking tears (especially when Ye Jin rejected him). 

It was very fitting that the voice over spiel in the ending was mostly given to Seung Chan. He deserved it because he grew so much as a person after he started working. And the ghost side story was quite interesting too. 

IU as Cindy

When we super love the first drama we watch for an actor/actress, we often have a hard time dissociating him/her from that character. Or we have a hard time liking him/her as much in the succeeding dramas because it's too difficult to top that high standard he/she set in the first drama. I was concerned that we would have the same problem with IU after loving everything about her in My Mister. But she proved me wrong. IU must be a really great actress because the transition from her very subdued/melancholic Ji An in My Mister to her two-faced nice on-cam but bitch off-cam Cindy in this show was seamless. 

I loved fierce Cindy. I super loved how she pushed back when CEO Byun (Na Young Hee of What Happens to My Family, Worlds Within, and CLOY) wanted to bring in a newbie to replace her. She fought back but you can also see fear in her. And she didn't have to say it aloud - IU's very expressive eyes and face did all the work. I also loved her restraint. She probably hated her CEO so much (I wanted nothing less than imprisonment for her because of what she did), yet she still showed respect until the end. She did not mince words and you felt the pain (and anger?) in what she said but she still delivered everything politely. 

Although Cindy projected a rude image, I felt her pain and sadness about not having family and friends. Her character probably resonates with other idols - working non-stop since their debut, having no friends outside the industry, management treating them like commodities, etc. As they say, that might be the price you have to pay for fame. 

Another thing I loved about Cindy was her one-sided love for Seung Chan. It was painful to watch because Seung Chan did not reciprocate her feelings. I badly wanted him to be by her side so that at least one aspect of her life would be happy. But I loved how Cindy was such a fighter. She persisted in pursuing Seung Chan, without being too clingy or pushy. 

And while Seung Chan doubted Cindy's sincerity, I felt it. Especially in her final performance for the Music Bank where she thanked Joon Mo, Ye Jin, and Seung Chan. I also loved how she took that selfie with Ye Jin (even if she was not really fond of her) to make her fans back off. 

My most favorite Cindy moment would probably the one where the 2 Days 1 Night crew surprised her after she was accused of lying about her parents' identity. I felt all of her emotions there - the fear, sadness, worry, and anger of losing everything she worked hard for and the relief that despite everything, there were still people who believed in her. 

I loved how we see in the finale that Cindy was starting anew minus her toxic CEO. And how it hinted that things might be looking up for Seung Chan and Cindy. :)

While Cindy won't top Ji An of My Mister, this was definitely another entertaining IU character. 

The Main Leads


Although they had very few scenes together, I loved it when our four main leads were together. That Of Course game in Joon Mo's house was hilarious. I also loved their theme park outing. They had good chemistry and they were funny together. :) 

Things That Were Just Okay

Gong Hyo Jin as Ye Jin


I believe Gong Hyo Jin is a popular actress but this is the first time we watched her. I started out feeling neutral towards Ye Jin but she did grown on me eventually - especially after Joon Mo mishandled her confession. I felt so bad for her but I admired how she carried on despite that humiliating experience. 

I found Ye Jin funny - especially when she claimed that she can read people's feelings well but she was actually gullible about how Seung Chan felt towards her. She just thought he loved movies and interior decorating that's why he wanted to watch a movie with her and help her re-arrange her home. 

Just like Cindy, Ye Jin always appeared tough. Deep inside, however, she was very kind-hearted. I loved how she didn't sleep just to find that footage that would help Cindy refute that issue about her parents. 

I loved that Ye Jin finally got her happy ending with Joon Mo. She deserved it after all her heartbreaks. 

Cha Tae Hyun as Joon Mo


We already know that Tae Hyun's funny after seeing him on Sassy Girl and Hometown Flex. And he did not disappoint us here. I guess he's just naturally funny. I especially loved how Joon Mo always made very inaccurate predictions (or more like how he always predicted the exact opposite of what will happen). 

Although Joon Mo seems indifferent, he's actually very kind-hearted. I loved how he genuinely cared for his talents like Yoo Na (Na Hae Ryung) and Cindy. He was willing to risk losing his program just to show his talents that he was on their side. 

I also loved the bits of drama that Tae Hyun showed us here - like his confusion as he slowly realized that Ye Jin might be taken away from him. And that confession to Ye Jin was just so heartfelt. 

Other Characters

Here are some of the characters we also liked and/or we've watched in other shows. 

Oppa loved the cute writer Wang Min Jung (Go Bo Gyeol) of the 2 Days 1 Night team. 

We also loved watching our adopted Filipina Sandara Park (2NE1) with Blackpink Ji Soo, Kang Seung Yoon (Prison Playbook), Kim Min Jae, and Boyfriend Minwoo as IU's co-stars in 2 Days 1 Night. 

We saw Park Hyuk Kwon (A Taxi Driver and Something in the Rain) as Kim Tae Ho, one of Joon Mo's bosses. An Se Ha of She Was Pretty would also pop up here and there as a manager. 

My Oppa List member Park Bo Gum (Wonderful Days, Reply 1988, Encounter, and Record of Youth) also had a cameo as Music Bank's host. 

Our favorite grandma, Youn Yuh Jung (Ireland, Worlds Within, and Wonderful Days), whom we are watching now on Youn's Stay, also had a cameo as one of the previous hosts of 2 Days 1 Night. 

It was nice to see another Oppa List member, Ryu Jun Yeol (Reply 1988 and A Taxi Driver), as one of Seung Chan's fellow KBS newbie. 

Go Ara also (Reply 1994, Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol, Ms. Hammurabi, and Hospital Playlist) had a cameo as IU's supposed best friend. 

It was also funny to watch Kim Da Jung (Kim Sun A of Reply 1997) as the poker faced assistant of Ye Jin who always wore revealing clothes and claimed that she was close with a lot of idols. She didn't seem to care but she actually got Ye Jin's back like when Cindy's fans were bashing her. 

Execution

Over all, the show was just okay. It would probably be more fun to watch if you follow KBS shows because there were a number of references made to them. 

There was an attempt to make this like a mockumentary and I was fine with it in general. It didn't really interfere with the story's flow. 

I liked the analogies. Like when Joon Mo's show took a break to make way for a new show and it was juxtaposed to how Joon Mo might need to take a break from Ye Jin to give way to the new guy, Seung Chan, and how Joon Mo said that the old one must step up in order to defeat the new one. 

I loved how the chief director finally showed some spine during the finale when he pushed back against CEO Byun. 

The show had its funny moments too like when the main leads were together and when Joon Mo and Ye Jin had dinner with Seung Chan's family (Kim Jong Soo of Extreme Job and Vagabond as Seung Chan's dad). 

Things That Were Not So Okay

One of the things that I really didn't enjoy was the love story between Yang Mi (Ye Ji Won of Do Do Sol Sol) and Stefano. I just felt that it didn't really add anything substantial to the story. 

The show also had the tendency to be quite wordy, which was very noticeable since I came from the very quiet My Mister. 

And although the show can be quite entertaining, don't expect it to be logical all the time. They had some arguments that didn't really flow fluidly. 

Probably the biggest downside to the show was that it focused more on the personal lives of the producers and not their jobs as producers. Yes, we got glimpses of their shoots and work during the beginning and the last episodes. But most of the time, the show focused on the characters' personal lives. The story was okay but if you're expecting this to give you a peek on things that happen behind-the-scenes, then you might be disappointed. 

Music

Music was okay. We especially loved Cindy's heartfelt version of Heart during her final performance for Music Bank. 

Oppa says...3.6 promoted to 3.9 because of IU. 

Noona says....4. 


No comments:

Post a Comment