Producers has had me on a bit of a rollercoaster. A terrible, terrible rollercoaster.
The roller coaster began when the casting was first announced and I gagged, just a little bit. Then, as the promos started to come out, and the possible cuteness made me want to sneak around my gag-reflex to give it a try. No one was more surprised than me.
When the first episode hit, I continued to be surprised, and while I didn’t love it, there was a lot that I actually liked. First off it was the whole premise, the whole documentary style filming. while we’ve had a few shows here use it this is the first time I’ve seen it in a Korean drama.
Scratch that. I think there was one show called 20th Century Family which was like a Korean Modern Family spin-off, but I only watched one episode of that.
Anyway, I liked the offbeat quirky humor, brought mainly by Kim Soo Hyun’s character and his perpetual derp face. Watching this drama, I’ve come to really appreciate him as an actor and his ability to fall seamlessly into such widely different characters as the suave timeless alien and the naive, clueless, eager to please puppy from Producers.
Looking forward, I wondered how the drama would progress. Yes, the documentary, speaking to the camera style was funny, but emotionally it sets a wall between the characters of the drama and the viewer. Which is fine if they weren’t going for romance, instead going for a funny workplace drama, but something with more heart would be hard to buy.
In those first 2 episodes I mainly had issues with the women. First off, I had originally been excited by Gong Hyo Jin’s character as she was billed as someone who was abrasive and really good at her job. It may have started off that way, but we saw, time and again, that no one really listened to her be it the stars (Cindy) or her coworkers. She actually had no power at all.
The other issue I had was IU. Not the character itself, but IU as an actress. Don’t get me wrong, I like IU. However, I do feel that her acting range is limited and that limit fell way before bitchy star. Whenever I saw her scenes, her attempts really just irritated me because it pulled me out of the drama.
But everything aside, I was, while not eager to continue, willing to give it the usual 4 episode try.
A week later, I tried episodes 3&4 and when I say tried, I mean I tried to choke them down. I believe my words to the ladies in chat were “I f*cking hate Producers“. While Soo Hyun’s character was still interesting and the looks on his faces made me laugh out loud, pretty much everything made me grit my teeth.
Their director had been changed at the beginning of the third episode to try to fix the drama (which I took as make it more commercial) by stripping down the experimental pieces. As the experimental pieces was the documentary concept that was actually my favorite part of the drama, I was worried from the first news of it and when I found the episodes *gasp* boring, I knew my fears had were real and not my usual neurotic self.
I disliked the characters, the storylines, and by the end of it, the actors. It seemed like there was no point to the plot, or if there was one, it was taking wayyyy too long to get there. When your drama is only 12 episodes long, you can’t take 4 episodes to get to the point like you can in a 16 or 20 drama. You just don’t have the luxury of that time.
If I hated the drama that much, why did I continue? I don’t know, why am I still watching The Lover?
My only guess would be that at the end of episode 4, when the plot finally pointed in a direction and started to move, the 2n1d team headed out for their first mission, I started to get more interested. IU’s character started to let down a little more of her walls showing a bit of a vulnerable side (or a side besides brat) which is more in IU’s acting wheelhouse, and my hatred meter ticked down from red to orange.
On a whim, I moved into the next set of episodes and actually found myself almost enjoying them. Cindy has sides to her personality, Soo Hyun’s character continued to be awesome, and the love vs friendship question between the two lifelong friends got interesting.
I’m enjoying the relationship between Gong Hyo Jin’s character and Kim Soo Hyun’s. While they may have started off as adversaries (or adversaries on her part, clueless bunnies on his) they have found themselves to be uneasy confidants.
Don’t let this niceness fool you though–her character still irritates me. She started out so cool and in charge and to realize, nope, she’s pretty much your stereotypical hapless Kdrama heroine, it’s a rough blow. For a drama which has taken chances with the other parts of it’s plot and characters, for them to not do this with your main female lead character is pretty cheap.
And is it me or does Gong Hyo Jin dress her characters the exact same way for each of her drama roles?
Omo. Is this show making me like Gong Hyo Jin a little less? I hope not! That would be a sad state of affairs.
For now though, I’m going to keep going with the drama. Let’s cross our fingers that I’m not making the wrong decision.