The Queen of Asian Drama is Back with more Irreverent Reviews and Snarky Commentary.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Producers



The Producers

Title: 프로듀사 / Peurodyusa
Genre: Drama
Episodes: 12
Broadcast network: KBS2
Broadcast period: 2015 - May to Jun


 

Main Cast

 

 

Synopsis


At the center of Yeouido, there is a building which never goes to sleep 24/7; It's Korean Broadcasting System (KBS). And inside the building, on the sixth floor, people are busy working between the partitions who to produce renowned variety shows including and more. Here, which seems to be an ordinary office, the highly-educated are being treated as a fools when their programs record low ratings even after hectic work schedules of filming, editing, and all-night meetings. This drama features various anecdotes about producers and non-producers happening in the Entertainment Department. (KBS World)

Plot

 



Okay, so that is what the head honcho's at KBS World want you to believe, but it isn't entirely true, surprise-surprise.

This was a cut-short, supposed to be reality-based and semi-live action drama ABOUT working in the KBS studios and what a day in the life of a PD is 'actually' like.

Only, it wasn't and it didn't happen the way it says it would or even the way I had anticipated.



This was about 3 PDs, one a rookie entering the world of KBS on a whim because of a pretty sunbae who isn't the least bit interested in him.

He's heartbroken and drags his feet for a few episodes before turning his amorous intentions on one of the other 2 PDs.

That female PD is interested in the other PD, though, and throughout this show, he behaves about as clueless to her vibes as a piece of debris being whipped around in a hurricane.

My Take

 



It was different, I'll definitely give it that much.

It had loads of potential with its being different, the use of a dynamic cast, and with heaps of material to lean on in the form of the REAL ins and outs of a day in the life of a PD.

Trouble is, none of that worked to make this the high-value form of entertainment it set out to be and what I anticipated would occur throughout.

Shocking, really.

The first episode was completely boring.

The second episode was utterly boring.

The third episode was yawn inducing.

The fourth episode was blah.

The fifth episode was [face palm].

The sixth episode was fail.

The seventh episode was just like the previous episodes.

And, the eighth episode was more of the same bland boring-ness.




Then about a third of the way through the ninth episode, it actually picked up and was worth watching.

Sadly, the tenth, eleventh, and last episodes reverted back to boring, bland, go-nowhere, do-nothing, slow-paced . . . meh.

Slow, I think, is the key to this drama's failure.

A failure to go anywhere, do anything, and capture my interest so that I would want to watch more.



The potential, though.

Think about it.

What actually goes into the production of a variety show, the how and why of its success or failure.

What it takes to become a PD, and even the occasional use of live interviews or commentary from actual PDs in the business.

Instead, they gave us more of the same.

Too much dwelling, reflection, and struggle to get a point across in the love sequences.

The audience gets it within the first 2 seconds, so to continuously beat any aspect of cat/mouse over our heads episode after episode is annoying as much as it is redundant.

JUST DO SOMETHING!

And, not that romance is a bad thing or didn't belong here!

The aside characters did a better job of getting that out of the way than our 3 leads, so what was the point?

The Acting

 

Sun-A rocked it

Right out of the gate, I didn't like IUs character.

Even after it was revealed just how awful it can be to become famous in la-la land, I still didn't want to root for her or hope that our young bit of male eye-candy fluff would set his sights on her instead of the elder PD.

Hardly anyone at the few message boards I browsed after watching each episode agreed with me.

#DramaFever viewers agreed with me about it being too slow and surprisingly boring while die-hards kept insisting that the two younger leads needed to get together and the two elder leads needed to either get together themselves or back off.

Soo hyun is cute, a good actor, and he did really well portraying the thoughtful, introverted, tongue-tied bumbler who is heedless to wearing his heart on his sleeve yet possesses the wherewithal to plod ahead regardless of minor/major set-backs.




We learn at the last second that he is a reprint of a younger Joon mo, who basically behaved a lot like Su hyun's character when he first started at KBS - and for a similar reason as well.

Tae hyun, being a veteran actor, pretty much carried the others along in typical sunbae fashion.

I kind of felt sorry for him as he infrequently struggled with the SOLE issue of attempting to save his flagging variety show, 1N2D, which I'll always prefer to refer to it as IL - BAK - I - IL.

In the last episode they did something unique by bringing back the original host of some 80s show for an impromptu interview.

And, for a brief 5 seconds, we got a glimpse of live 1N2D during its hey-day.

After dwelling on it for a time, I realized that this was where the show failed to win my heart.

The potential thing being lost somewhere in all of the boring dialogue, go-nowhere romance, and same scenario throughout when it could have been riveting with the continued use of real, actual footage from the variety shows we all know and love.

Yes, Lee Seung ki made an appearance and made us all laugh, too, by portraying the guy everyone wants to believe he is, but that was for all of ten minutes in one episode.

Cindy had a rough time and it showed in everyone but her.

That deadpan, fuck you attitude that got under my skin right away and made me not care.

Still, it was good to know that the industry is at least aware of the issue with agent/star and that things need to change.

I think it's been long enough now and damaging enough now to want to change the way these kids are farmed, don't you?

Hyo jin was actually the only one who behaved like a PD and an actress.

There was and continues to be nothing phony and presumptive about her, which is refreshing.

 Her PD position on Music Bank could have been thrilling if they had bothered to use a live performance or even actual footage, but that didn't happen, either.

Final Thoughts

 

To be perfectly honest, I watched all 12 episodes because I kept hoping something would happen, but aside from episode 9, nothing did.

The aside characters and their stories were actually more entertaining than the leads, and I wanted to see more of them, discover more about their stories, and even rooted for a few of them to get together.

Heck, I was even hoping that bombshell of a newbie writer at Music Bank would end up with dork Soo hyun's character.

I found the Neilson chart for the South Korean audience participation and was quite shocked by it:




Maybe it was a curiosity thing with them, just as it remained for me over here in Migu, but despite the surprisingly high ratings toward the end, the bounce rate is more consistent and makes me wonder if 12 episodes was planned or became necessary.

Instead of chalking it up to experience and moving on, I'd like for the big-wigs in the entertainment industry to keep this one on their desks as a reminder of what great viewing CAN be as opposed to what it turned into via this drama.

They were sooo close to a hit, it isn't funny, so I'd rather they go back to the drawing board and try again rather than never touch on this kind of formula again.

You can do it. I'm rooting for you.



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