#Kdrama Producer: All-Star Cast
Producer Question: When you get some big names together in an all-star cast lineup, does it always make for a good Korean Drama?
Perhaps not always, but in this case, it’s a cast ensemble that works. First, the acting abilities of all four leads are quite exemplary. We love Kong Hyo Jin in virtually anything because she’s so natural and she adopts her character in such a convincing way. But this is the drama series where veteran actor Cha Tae Hyun returns to television for the first time in 3 years, from focusing primarily on movies.
Cha Tae Hyun in Producer
Cha Tae Hyun is always adorable. He has a rough-around-the-edges type of acting where his characters are almost always blunt, but consistently a little bit of the underdog in his movies and television shows. While I haven’t watched all of his creations, I’ve always associated him with the underdog character who, of course, always comes out winning in the end. Classic example of this would be his well-known role in My Sassy Girl from back in 2001, as well as great performances in other movies like Sad Movie.
In Producer, Cha Tae-Hyun plays Ra Moon Jo, a veteran producers whose glory days appear to be behind him. He’s the quintessential nice guy despite his rough demeanor, and despite his efforts, the shows he produce always lag and always become prey to other up-and-coming producers who strive to outshine him (and succeed).
Kim Soo Hyun in Producer
And of course, the real news here was Kim Soo Hyun’s role, following his last breakout, superstar role in My Love From Another Star. I was really curious what kind of amazingly gallant and masculine character he would be playing in his next role–and imagine my surprise when he took a role where he was a bumbling new producer who is about as awkward, dorky but instantly lovable character named Baek Seung Chan, whose only reason for even wanting to become a producer is so that he could the girl he’s had a crush on since college who also works at the television network.
IU in Producer
Previous to Producer, I wouldn’t say that I liked IU. I admired her character in the “You’re the Best, Lee Soon Shin!” drama series but really didn’t take to the actress herself. I did, however, notice what an angelic singing voice she has; not surprising since she debuted as a singer and is still best known as a singer.
But in the Korean drama series Producer, IU is quite fantastic. Her acting has improved, but this role was played beautifully by her. She plays Korea’s #1 star/singer at the moment named CINDY, and is about as snooty as they come. For reasons you will find out as you watch Producers, she’s built this exterior and her iciness and snobbiness is palpable in virtually every scene she is in.
And you’d think that looking at this cast thus far, IU and Kim Soo Hyun would be the romance story.
Kong Hyo Jin in Producer
And last, but far from the least, is the always amazing Kong Hyo Jin.
We LOVE her. She’s such a superb actress in multiple genres and can always get us laughing or crying in a heartbeat. I loved, loved her in Greatest Love, one of my favorite Korean dramas of all time and she broke my heart in Thank You — a Korean movie that will pull at your heartstrings. And more recently, she made us all root for her in the popular Master’s Sun (review coming soon).
In Producer, she plays the role of yet another producer–an established, but difficult music show producer named Tak Ye-Jin and is currently producing the #1 show in the network. But her personality is eccentric and a bit weird, and she’s not feminine, though not masculine either. She’s picky, she’s stubborn–and she’s about as smooth as concrete.
She is best friends with Cha Tae Hyun’s character, and to him, she is “just another buddy” and far from being a female.
Korean Drama Producer Storyline
The cast of Producer is clearly topnotch. But it’s also the storyline that adds to the greatness of this series.
One day, the worlds of all four characters collide. The only two who were friends prior to that day would be Tak Ye Jin and Ra Joon Mo, currently producers at the network. This day would be Baek Seung Chan’s first day of work, and Cindy, while a usual star at the network and on Tak Ye-Jin’s music show “Music Bank,” also happens to make her mark that day with a confrontation between her and Tak Ye Jin.
And there unfolds some incredible dynamics between four characters–two who are headstrong (the females) and two who are weaker but intelligent (the boys). Who likes whom? Who will end up with whom? In Producer, anything is possible, and everything seems impossible–which is what keeps the audience engaged and wanting more.
For me personally, another great supporting role (cameo, no less!) was Yoon Yeo Jung. My GOD, she was amazing playing herself. The relationship between her, Ro Moo Hyun, and Baek Seung Chan is quite incredible. While it’s only featured in a handful of scenes across a few episodes, she is the big star who plays her real self, and they’re the producers in charge of letting her know that her star power, on its own, is insufficient to help their show. The classic “young vs. old” dynamics, as well as “star vs. producer” dynamics is beautifully showcased, highlighting exactly how complex this relationship can be.
And nobody needs an introduction to Youn Yuh Jung (윤여정), perhaps one of Korea’s finest actors today in both films and drama series on television.
Producer would yield many awards for the actors. Kim Soo Hyun won the Grand Prize for the 2015 Korean Drama Awards as well as the Hallyu Star Awards, and the director of this series won Best Director. He also secured the KBS Drama Awards as the Grand Prize winner and Netizen Award (not surprising since he’s absolutely adorable!), while Cha Tae-Hyun received the “Excellent Actor in a Mini-Series” award from the same show.
The only real ding to the Korean drama Producer is that it’s only 12 episodes. When the series ends, you find yourself wanting more–much more.
We would highly recommend watching Producer over a weekend. Once you start it, you won’t want to stop, and now, lucky for you, you can watch all 12 episodes back-to-back whereas I had to wait for two new episodes each week.
There’s talk of a second season, and I highly doubt it. But if they did come back — good Lord, I’d be on that like white on rice!
The entire series is available on Viki. The first episode is below, take a look!