The cast of drama "Beethoven Virus,'' pianist Lim Dong-hyek and conductor Seo Tae-hee pose after performing at the press conference held at Seongnam Arts Center Thursday. From left, Jang Keung-suk, Lim, E Ji-ah, Kim Myung-min and Seo. / Courtesy of MBC
By Han Sang-hee
Summer is coming to an end and broadcasters are getting ready for a chilly season full of colorful dramas depicting historical heroes, musicians and gamblers.
Starting today is KBS's ``The Land of Wind,'' and MBC's ``Beethoven Virus,'' while next week will see the start of SBS's ``Tazza.''
The three programs have already made headlines several times because of their star-studded casts, interesting plots and distinctive settings.
``The Land of Wind'' stars Song Il-kook, the 36-year-old actor who rose to stardom as Jumong in ``Jumong-Prince of Legend (2006).'' Interestingly enough, Song will play Jumong's grandson Mu-hyool, who later becomes King Daemushin of the Goguryeo Kingdom (37 B.C.-A.D. 668) in the upcoming drama.
At the press conference of the drama last Thursday, KBS revealed a clip showing the team shooting in China. The backdrop of the war scene resembled Petra, Jordan in ``Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.'' With sharp cliffs towering the area, the combat scene was filmed amid sandstorms, making it difficult for actors to even open their eyes.
King Yuri abandons his son Mu-hyool, as he is born with a destiny that will destroy Goguryeo. Unable to kill his son, the king sends him away, only to find him return as an ambitious soldier. The story takes a twist as Mu-hyool falls in love with Yeon, the niece of Goguryeo's adversary.
``The drama is not just about fighting and killing, but about family. It's about a father and a son and their emotional relationship. War is just a tool and family is what we tried to portray,'' Kang Il-soo, the producer, said.
``The Land of Wind'' will air tonight at 9:55 p.m. on KBS.
MBC's ``Beethoven Virus'' drew attention for being the first drama to depict the lives of classical musicians and orchestra a few weeks ago. With high expectations, the press conference Thursday surprised fans with a concert complete with a full orchestra.
Kim Myung-min, who plays the talented yet difficult maestro Kang, actually conducted Ennio Morricone's ``Gabriel's Oboe'' and Brahms' ``Hungarian Dances'' with the orchestra in front of reporters and fans who came to the venue. Famed pianist Lim Dong-hyek also offered his tunes. Lim will make a special appearance as himself in the drama.
``I had to memorize the whole piece. I wanted to show that what we are doing is real. I listened and practiced until I heard the music in my dreams,'' said Kim.
Along with Kim, who practiced conducting for more than five months, actors E Ji-ah and Jang Keun-suk will also share their musical talents by playing the violin and trumpet, respectively.
``Beethoven Virus'' will depict the lives of ordinary people who have dreamed of becoming musicians since they were young, but didn't have the chance for various reasons.
``It will be a heartwarming story about people who strive to make their musical dreams come true,'' Jang said.
The drama airs tonight at 9:55 p.m. on MBC.
SBS will bring their long-awaited ``Tazza'' and invite television fans to the world of gambling.
A short clip of the drama was unveiled at the press conference Monday, showing how the actors and directors have strived to combine reality with style.
With fast-paced sequences, energetic music and stylish clothes, it was evident that ``Tazza'' was trying hard to live up to the expectations of fans who enjoyed the 2006 movie of the same title. Although based on cartoonist Hur Young-man's popular cartoon, the television version will be quite different, with new characters and a more thrilling storyline.
``The drama will show the ups and downs of life through gambling,'' Kang Shin-hyo, the producer of the drama, said.
While the cartoon depicted the life of gambler Go-ni growing up as a man and professional gambler, the movie portrayed ruthless revenge between gamblers. The drama will offer the competitive race between two friends-turned-rivals.
The actors, Jang Hyuk, Kim Min-jun, Han Ye-seul and Kang Sung-yeon, posed for the cameras holding cards and Hwa-too, Korean playing cards, in their hands, wishing for the best.
``The characters have been adored by fans in the movie, and we are trying hard to bring some new elements to the drama. The thrilling story of young and passionate characters will be fun and interesting, so don't miss it next week,'' Kang said.
``Tazza'' airs next Tuesday at 9:55 p.m. on SBS.