Decided to check this series out because of Kim Soo Hyun, who I found compelling in Dream High. IU (Lee Ji Eun), also a positive in the Dream High series.
The setup: There are 4 key players in this cast – Senior Producer Ra Joon Mo (Cha Tae Hyun), senior Producer Tak Ye Jin (Kong Hyo Jin), rookie producer Baek Seung Chan (Kim Soo Hyun), and singing star Cindy (IU).
Rookie producer, Baek Seung Chan (Kim Soo Hyun) starts his first day off on the wrong foot when he unknowingly parks his father’s car too close to senior producer, Tak Ye Jin (Kong Hyo Jin). She dings the car and spends the first day trying to each the car’s owner. She turns out to be mentor for the rookie group Seung Chan is in and berates him every time he receives a text message (which she is sending). At the end of the day, Seung Chan exits the building and Ye Jin calls him and he can finally answer his phone. She is shocked and he is shocked. She hopes he’ll let her off the hook, but Seung Chan is an upright and honorable guy and cannot ignore damage to his father’s car. In the end, Ye Jin owes him $830K which she slowly pays to him installments. This situation puts Joon Mo and Seung Chan in an awkward situation with each other as she is his senior but owes him cash.
After the first and only day of training, all the rookies are assigned to join established show’s teams. Seung Chan is assigned to Ra Joon Mo (Cha Tae Hyun) and his variety show “1 Night, 2 Days”. Unfortunately their current season has just been cancelled and Joon Mo must tells his current 4 stars the bad news. Poor Seung Chan is assigned to tell the most formidable star, Yoon Yeo Jung (as herself, I recognized her as the mother from King 2 Hearts), which he does poorly. When the show’s team dinner switches to a goodbye to the cast dinner, only Seung Chan’s star Yeo Jung is in the dark. She learns soon enough that the show is cancelled. Yeo Jung ends up hurt but recovers and graciously handles the awkward situation. Joon Mo apologizes via text. This situation puts Joon Mo and Seung Chan at odds with each other.
Cindy is woven into the first episode when she appears on the show, “Music Bank”, that Ye Jin producers. Cindy wants to wear see through clothing. KBS policy does not allow this. Cindy and Ye Jin “discuss” the situation with the rookies (including Seung Chan) in the room. When no agreement is forthcoming Ye Jin dismisses everyone from the room but Cindy. They discuss the situation again, reasonably if not pleading from Ye Jin, and Cindy agrees to wear a jacket over her see through top. On stage, Cindy appears with the jacket which she proceeds to remove quickly and performs her number in the costume as she intended. Ye Jin is fit to be tied and is summoned to appear in front of the board of sanctions. This situation puts Ye Jin and Cindy at odds with each other.
Cindy and Seung Chan first interact when he gets her an umbrella from the KBS lobby when she is outside waiting for her manager to arrive with her van. LOL when Seung Chan wants her number so he can remind her to return the umbrella (his pay will be docked otherwise) and Cindy assumes he is hitting on her. Much to her surprise, Seung Chan earnestly explains he only wants her number for the umbrella return. This intrigues Cindy that Seung Chan is unfazed by her.
Over the next several episodes we find out that Ye Jin and Joon Mo have known each other from childhood. They share an 3 bedroom apartment (Ye Jin’s brother lives there too). Ye Jin likes Joon Mo. He does not know this until one drunken evening with Seung Chan and Joon Mo she confesses. Joon Mo sees Ye Jin as a friend and their relationship becomes awkward with the one-sided love. Seung Chan is drawn to Ye Jin. She does not know that he is beginning to like her.
Cindy agrees to go on the show “1 Night, 2 Days” to up her likability factor with the public. She suffers through the 2 other female contests and the male contestants not “liking” her on the show leaving her to find the camp with Seung Chan solo with a camera man in tow. LOL when Cindy (aware of the camera) suggests to Seung Chan that they rock, papers, scissors for carrying the bags. She even tells him she will be scissors. To her surprise, he plays rocks and she must carry the bags to the camp site. There is a sweet moment where it begins to rain and he retrieves the KBS umbrella and shields them. That quickly ends when he dashes to the camera man leaving Cindy alone in the rain. She ends up losing a game so she is denied supper. She also loses a game the next morning, denying her breakfast. Cindy’s Producer, Byeon Mi Sook (who I recognize as the step mother in Fated to Love You), is rightly outraged that Joon Mo has allowed her star to be overworked and undernourished all for the sake of ratings. There is some background relationship between Joon Mo and Mi Sook, that is not fully understood at this point.
We end the 6th episode with Cindy being injured when Ye Jin pushes her out of the way a pallet of music equipment. Unfortunately Ye Jin is hurt (smacks her head on the equipment and hurts her arm) and Cindy is hurt (ankle injury it looks like) though she is gracious to Ye Jin (though she does not feel that graciousness in her heart). Cindy is drawn to Seung Chan. He does not know that Cindy is beginning to like him. When Joon Mo hears that there are injuries, he rushes to the hospital concerned for Ye Jin. When he sees Ye Jin he does not approach her with concern instead he yells at her for hurting Cindy. Upset, Ye Jin flees with Seung Chan following. Seung Chan finds Ye Jin crying. He offers her a handkerchief. He then decides take a step towards a personal relationship with Ye Jin when Seung Chan hugs her comforting her.
1. The senior characters, Ye Jin and Joon Mo, are animated and full of life. The junior characters, Seung Chan and Cindy, seem like they are on tranquilizers and are quite muted. I look forward to these characters evolving to more robust characters that show emotion.
2. This show uses an “aside” by having the camera follow and interview the characters throughout allowing the characters to speak to the audience which I like.
3. This show’s first six episodes had many cameos of known stars (e.g. episode 3 with Park Jin-Young, also from Dream High, and episode 6 with Lee Seung Gi) in the episodes which I like.
4. This show uses an epilogue for each episode weaving in additional background or a more known star cameos (e.g. episode 3 with Jang Hyuk) which I like.
5. The multitude of secondary characters are interesting and add to the story which I like.
6. Overall I like the show, I like the characters, I look forward to our junior characters getting more personality as the show progresses. There is clever writing, casting, and you get an “insider” vibe with this show. I’ll be watching.