We are fast approaching episode 9 of the meta-drama satirical romp King of Dramas- time for a check in at the half way point. King of Dramas airs on Mondays and Tuesdays on SBS and stars Kim Myung Min as the title character, Jung Ryeo Won as the spunky emotion filled writer, and Choi Siwon as a narcissistic actor. The plot revolves around Myung Min’s character, Anthony Kim, and his drive to climb back to the top- to the gilded throne he once called home as the “King of Dramas”. In order to reach such heights he must rely on those he wronged in the drama production industry, and rookie writer Lee Go Eun, played wonderfully by Jung Ryeo Won. A cast of characters, both amateurs, drunks, and misfits make up the production staff that Anthony must work with to produce his comeback drama.
So where does half way there get us? Well..the show itself has not had great ratings. Competing against the Horse Healer and Oohlala Spouses has found King of Dramas coming in third. With Oohlala Spouses finished (and not soon enough in this viewers mind) here’s hoping the King can climb a little in ratings.
Even if the King of Dramas remains a low performer ratings-wise, I am still having oodles of fun watching it. There is something about this meta-drama that fulfills my desire to see behind the scenes in a way other MD could not (here is looking at you Worlds Within). While the characters of KOD can be extreme at times, in a kind of caricature type way, they still resonate. The writer has given us laugh-out-loud scenes with a measure of seriousness- the director has pulled this funny / straight face interchange wonderfully. Overall this show is a comedy however the moments where we see real character weakness and drive make for some of the best moments of KOD.
Our main character, Anthony Kim, fascinates me. At first appearance he is a cold hearted SOB, driven by profits, ratings, and little else. Upon further study he starts to show heart (in small doses) and a back story that left me feeling like I had just read the report from his therapist, then watched the Notebook on repeat 6 times. A character that will no doubt continue to feel human emotions (really, it would be a huge achievement if this occurs), I am excited to see where this drama takes Anthony in the next 8 episodes.
Lee Go Eun, the amateur script writer that Anthony ropes in for his comeback drama (and her first drama, a Gakistal clone) is all emotions and spunk. I am loving this character because of the things she is not: she is not helpless, weak, a noble idiot, a mindless plot tool, or a second rate wit to our leading actor. She can give Anthony back what he gives her, which is usually a lot of emotional turmoil and poor treatment. Lee Go Eun, with all of her drive and fire is exactly what Anthony needs to face; her raw emotional drive is what he needs to learn from.
The third character that has really stolen the show after Anthony and Go Eun is the self absorbed actor Kang Hyun Min, played by Choi Siwon. An egotistical air head Hyun Min is focused on little else than money, video games, and his girlfriend (who has a cartoon like high pitched voice). This character works so well because Choi Siwon plays him to a tee, embarrassingly egotistical scene after embarrassingly egotistical scene. As of episode 8 this character only gets better, with a debt to pay to society we find another riotous situation to imagine a Hallyu star in.
Rounding out the cast we have Jung Man-shik as Oh Jin-wan, the man who toppled Anthony’s career many years ago, Oh Ji-eun as an actress and Anthony’s ex, and Jung In Ki as the director of Anthony’s comeback drama.
Halfway there I am enjoying this show, but I would be lying if I said I was not apprehensive of where the story is going to take us. So far we have spent half of the series trying to get this drama within a drama on its feet, much less see the product come to fruition. It is not that I think the story cannot do it (after all we did have our first day of production as of episode 8) – I am more afraid of the other things that the story is going to throw at us. The end of episode 8 reeked of plot changes, changes that were not well thought out. I hate to have a bad feeling, but I have a bad feeling.
If I put my bad feelings to the side and hope for the best I am tuning in on the major love I have for KOD. This show is not a masterpiece but it is a blast to watch. The characters compliment each other and the humor and meta-drama are not overdone at all. Anthony’s character especially is a person I am rooting for, he makes me want to slap him and buy him a counseling session at the same time. I have high hopes for where he will go, and where our drama within in a drama will go. Here is hoping that in another 8 episodes the plot has worked, the laughs have been delivered, and Anthony now knows what it is like to feel like a human.