Song Yoon-a, left, and Park Yong-ha star in ``On Air,'' a television drama about the world of broadcast that will air starting March 5 on SBS.
By Kwon Mee-yoo
Some 20 dramas are aired every week. There are daily dramas, morning dramas, weekend dramas… and Wednesday-Thursday dramas. In this ``kingdom'' of drama, ``On Air,'' portrays how Korean soaps are made.
``On Air'' is directed by Shin Woo-chul and written by Kim Eun-suk, the creators of hit dramas ``Lovers in Paris'' (2004), ``Lovers in Prague'' (2005) and ``Lovers'' (2006). They teamed up again to give an exclusive behind-the-scenes view of Korean dramas.
``This is a drama about the people who create these dramas. Nowadays, Korean dramas are not only aired in Korea but in other countries as well. I wanted to write a drama about the processes and behind-the-scenes stories with a dramatic and exaggerative touch,'' said Kim at a press conference last week at SBS.
Kim Ha-neul plays an arrogant topnotch actress named O Seung-a. Recently starring in the movie ``Lovers of 6 Years,'' Kim said ``it was not easy to play an `actress' character, but I found Seung-a very attractive. For example, I myself cannot appeal to the broadcasting station by refusing a Drama Award, but Seung-a can. I can empathize.''
In addition to the haughty actress, Kim plays a 25-year-old woman whose mental age is only seven in the drama-within-a-drama ``Ticket to the Moon.''
Lee Beom-soo plays Jang Gi-jun, O's agent. Famous for starring in movies like ``The Forbidden Quest'' (2006) and ``Short Time'' (2005), Lee's first appearance in the TV drama ``Doctor Bong'' as a bawling doctor last year was a big hit.
``By playing this agent character, I now have an objective and better view of my managers,'' said Lee.
Song Yoon-a portrays a mean TV scriptwriter with a Midas touch, Seo Yeong-eun. She appeared in the movie ``Lost in Love'' (2006) with Sul Kyoung-gu.
Song said ``Seo is the other side of writer Kim. I haven't thought about the difficulties of writers before, but now, I feel it like my own.''
Meanwhile, Park Yong-ha plays drama producer/director Lee Gyeong-min, who works with all of the characters above. Park is a hallyu star who starred in the hit drama ``Winter Sonata'' (2002). He has been active as a singer in Japan and this is his first appearance in a Korean drama in five years.
``I try to override my fragile image from previous characters,'' said Park. He also said that he might release an album as a singer in Korea as well.
The drama is also known for many cameo appearances. The list of cameos includes queen of Cannes Jeon Do-yeon, K-pop diva Lee Hyo-ri, Kang Hae-jung of the movie ``Herb'' (2007), Um Ji-won of ``Scout'' (2007), Kim Min-jun, who starred in Shin and Kim's 2005 drama ``Lovers in Prague,'' and K-pop group F.T. Island.
These actresses mostly appear as top stars like themselves. Song, who managed to bring most of these actresses to the TV screen, said ``It was not easy to ask them to guest star because it might misrepresent them despite the satirical nature of the drama.''
The drama will start airing to high expectations at 9:55 p.m., Wednesday, March 5 ― on SBS.