“Hmm…It’s not a drama is it?”
When Do Wook and Oh Baek Ho arrived at the Fan Marketing Team Conference room, it wasn’t just Team Leader Jo Anna in there but Instructor Lee Kang Yeon was with her too.
After exchanging greetings, Manager Oh Baek Ho immediately cut to the chase.
Team Leader Jo replied to Oh Baek Ho, who had asked if the proposal that came in for Do Wook was a drama, that it wasn’t that exactly.
“It’s a sitcom. Here, this is the project proposal.”
Team Leader Jo Anna placed the project proposal documents on the table.
< TBN sitcom - Get ready 1999 (Working title) - project proposal >
It really was ‘that’ drama that Do Wook had been waiting for.
It was a new drama that would rewrite TBN Broadcast station’s, no, cable broadcast drama’s history.
Team Leader Jo Anna explained further,
“You know PD Shin Yoon Ho who did the KK broadcast with you guys, right? I’m told it’s a sitcom PD Shin is preparing.”
When he heard that it was a sitcom, Manager Oh Baek Ho’s expression, which had been frighteningly serious, became more relaxed. Drama and sitcom, between the two of them there definitely was a difference in prestige.
At one point, viewers used to pick the sitcom genre regardless of weekday or weekend evening.
However at a certain point sitcoms disappeared from the broadcasting industry. As anticipated sitcoms consecutively flopped, reality programs took their spot instead.
“It turns out PD Shin and several of the broadcast station writers are working on it together.”
Furthermore, broadcast station writers and drama writers are completely different career fields. A sitcom wasn’t a good genre to properly showcase one’s acting.
Manager Oh Baek Ho, who had been looking through the proposal, asked as he stroked his chin,
“What’s the role they want for Do Wook?”
“It’s the role of the male lead Kim Min Ki.”
“Hmm…It’s the lead, but doing a sitcom in this day and age…I’m not too sure.”
At Oh Baek Ho’s skeptical response, Team Leader Jo Anna quickly glanced at Do Wook then nodded her head. Do Wook was thoroughly looking through the proposal page by page.
[Program type: Weekly sitcom
Run time: 60 minutes (30 minutes × 2 episodes)
The days of reminiscing over the 80s have ended. Now we will return to the 90s!
Seoul in 1999: after rebuilding from overcoming the IMF crisis*, the young people were excited to face the upcoming millennium.
(PR note: the IMF crisis is another name for the Asian financial crisis of 1997)
And it was glorious.
We, currently 30-somethings, who have become ordinary workers.
Right now we’re disillusioned because the world wore us down, but it was different in 1999.
Get ready! To relive our lives of the turbulent 1999s!]
The format was different, but looking at the proposal, it was definitely PD Shin Yoon Ho’s ‘Get ready 1999’ that even Do Wook had enjoyed watching.
‘I guess the first plan was a sitcom…’
As he continued to think, Do Wook glossed over the content more. Maybe it was because it was a proposal, but there were many aspects that were different from the content he knew.
When Do Wook raised his head, Team Leader Jo and Manager Oh continued the discussion. Manager Oh Baek Ho gave another reason why he couldn’t help but be skeptical.
“Sure, Yoon Ki is also going on Show Me the Honey, but if Do Wook also starts doing individual activities…”
HIT Entertainment understandably tended to restrict individual events during the first half of group events. Individual events had aspects that were out of one’s control once they started in full swing. Group events would inevitably become neglected.
‘Show Me the Honey’ that Jung Yoon Ki would be appearing in was at least a rapping contest, so it was highly likely that it would be a single-run competition. Even if he became popular, Jung Yoon Ki’s activities would only expand as a singer. Even if he went on additional shows, they would only be entertainment shows.
However, acting was different.
When idol group members get even a very small acting role, they get something called ‘acting disease’. There’s a reason why fans of the other members will start to fret over that member who’s acting.
The vibe, which is completely different from the vibe of the music or entertainment industry, would cause the fans worry.
That said, it wasn’t that Oh Baek Ho didn’t believe in Do Wook. He didn’t think that Do Wook would change to the point that it’d negatively affect the group activities just because he did one sitcom.
“Once you start, you’ll probably get casting offers flooding in. It’ll get harder to turn down if a good project or broadcast studio sends a strong offer…I have the feeling it’s too soon. Even as an actor, you can’t really say he’s had enough preparations. And he’s just about to start school.”
Oh Baek Ho believed in Do Wook’s abilities. He had no doubt that when Do Wook started acting, Do Wook himself would be acknowledged regardless of the project’s success or that the viewers wouldn’t want to miss seeing Do Wook as an actor.
It didn’t matter if others thought he was getting ahead of himself and started worrying.
“Rather, dipping your toes in acting at sitcom level might be good since he’s not ready.”
When Team Leader Jo Anna said that, Oh Baek Ho immediately refuted,
“It’s too much of a major role for that. They’re going to badmouth him from the start for being an idol going into acting anyways.”
“Sounds like you’re completely against it then, Manager Oh.”
“For now, yes.”
“Honestly I was thinking along the same lines. We have to be especially careful since it’s his first official attempt at acting. The first image you get will last a long time.”
It wasn’t that HIT Entertainment had no plans to get Do Wook into acting. That was what they had in mind after they saw him play the lead in the music video and he expressed that he wanted to apply to the KNUA’s acting department.
They wanted to properly raise him into an actor later. Their goal was to debut him in a traditional drama and raise him to eventually get a lead role in a mini drama.
The company fully understood that talented people like Do Wook were rare.
At that moment, Instructor Lee Kang Yeon started to speak,
“As you both have said, it is possible that the acting might be light since it’s a sitcom.”
The three of them focused on Instructor Lee Kang Yeon. When it came to acting, Instructor Lee Kang Yeon, who had raised well-known stars, was undeniably the expert.
“Even if it’s a sitcom, the character is very good.”
Team Leader Jo Anna nodded her head as if in agreement.
Do Wook turned to the page of the character descriptions that had an explanation of the role of Kim Min Ki that was offered to him.
“We won’t know until we see the manuscript, but it’s a role that Do Wook would be able to perform very well. They say a charismatic male lead is common, but if you really look for it, it’s not that common.”
Instructor Lee Kang Yeon focused on internal factors of the project rather than the external factors.
[ A studious type who hasn’t missed getting top of his class even once. He’s not a typical model student who only knows how to study. A perfect being: genius type, attractive, good at anything and everything.
A seemingly perfect life, but he lost his parents at a young age. It was just him and his older brother. He became a well-rounded person who’s good at everything so he wouldn’t disappoint his older brother.
Because he’s busy being good at everything, he’s not interested in girls even though the top of his desk is filled with love letters and drinks every day. His body is fully grown, but he’s still a child and not yet a man.
There is one girl who is close to Min Ki though. A childhood friend that he has grown up with since he was very little, tomboy Lee Yeon Joo. Yeon Joo is only interested in idols.
Unbeknownst to himself, unbeknownst to anyone, Min Ki has started to love Yeon Joo, whom he never knows where she might run off to. ‘Let’s stop being friends now!’ ]
It was definitely a perfect character. If it felt like he’d be losing his charm by being too perfect, there was the pain of losing his parents at a young age.
On top of that, the setup of falling in love with his longtime best friend was a character situation female viewers would like.
‘He wasn’t popular for no reason. Still…’
Do Wook frowned as he looked through the relationship between the characters.
It was the first draft, and maybe it was because it was a sitcom for now, but the character relationships were different from what Do Wook knew.
To Do Wook’s knowledge, a suspenseful, romantically tense relationship formed between Yeon Joo, the female lead, Min Ki, the male lead, and Min Ki’s older brother, making people wonder who her current husband was.
However, in the currently written character relationship, Min Ki didn’t only have eyes for Yeon Joo, but also built a subtle relationship with Yeon Joo’s friend.
‘This part needs to be taken out. The male lead’s charisma becomes halved.’
However, that was a problem for after it was confirmed he’d do the role.
Team Leader Jo Anna, who had the final say, and Manager Oh Baek Ho’s concerns had to be cleared first. Still, it was a relief that Instructor Lee Kang Yeon responded positively.
“Do Wook, what are your thoughts?”
Team Leader Jo Anna asked Do Wook.
“Mmmmm, just as Instructor Lee said, I think the character is really good so I want to give it a try. I got along well with PD Shin in the past too.”
Manager Oh Baek Ho seemed like he was about to say something, but Do Wook continued first.
“Of course it was a reality show at that time. I think it’d be good to make a decision after meeting with them and getting maybe the first and second draft of the manuscript. Would that be difficult to arrange?”
“That’s true. Even if it’s a sitcom, it’s hard to make a decision before receiving the script.”
Team Leader Jo Anna agreed and wrapped things up.
“I considered today to be just for sharing opinions rather than to make a decision anyways. For now we confirmed my concerns and Manager Oh’s concerns are aligned. But we also understand that it’s a good role.”
Oh Baek Ho nodded. It wasn’t that Oh Baek Ho was completely against it either. If the pros outweighed the cons, of course Do Wook appearing on it would be the right decision.
“Let’s give it some more thought. We’ll try to set up a meeting with PD Shin’s team next week or so.”
Team Leader Jo got ready to leave.
Do Wook privately expressed his gratitude to Instructor Lee Kang Yeon as he left the conference room. He contacted her after he got accepted to the KNUA, but he hadn’t been able to pay her a visit because of the Japan activities.
Lee Kang Yeon smiled brightly at Do Wook who was thankful to her and fully respected her as a teacher.
“Good luck picking the project for your first acting debut.”
“Yes, Thank you.”
After they left the conference room and were headed to the dormitory where the rest of the members were gathered, Do Wook struck up a conversation with Oh Baek Ho.
“Yes, Do Wook?”
“Have you by any chance heard that one of the M2M members will be on < Sun and Moon Lovers > ?”
“Huh? Yes, I’ve heard. That Ara Entertainment sure got him into an incredible role. It’s a sub role, but one for a historic drama on public television even though it’s his first time acting.”
Oh Baek Ho received most news regarding the entertainment industry, but he paid even more attention to news involving M2M so he checked regularly. Oh Baek Ho wondered if Do Wook had been spurred on by Seo Jun going into acting.
“But there’s nothing for you to be too hasty about. I looked into it and if it doesn’t do well, he’s only ruining his image. It might only make people criticize idols going into acting even more.”
Do Wook nodded.
“The first episode will air soon, so I think it’d be ok for us to make a decision after seeing how that’s received.”
“Ahh…that’d be good!”
As expected, Do Wook wasn’t just impatiently saying he wanted to act. Oh Baek Ho gave a satisfied smile when Do Wook said, on the contrary, he’d wait to see how it turned out for Seo Jun, and patted Do Wook’s shoulder.
Do Wook smiled as he looked at Oh Baek Ho.
‘Sun and Moon Lovers will also be a hit, and Seo Jun’s image will increase. He’ll break the negative stereotype held against idols going into acting for me. And I’ll make use of that.’
At that moment. HIT Entertainment’s main Director, Production Director Kwon Heung Jo, was at an upscale Japanese restaurant in ChungDamDong waiting for his guest.
The thought that today’s meeting might change HIT Entertainment’s future made Director Kwon’s throat burn.
Then the straw door opened and his guest entered.