Back To Top

Is SBS` new melodrama classic or stale?


Is the classic melodrama passe? Viewers will make their judgment call when "Will it snow for Christmas?" airs on SBS tonight.
In terms of genre, SBS` new Wednesday and Thursday night series could not have picked a more appropriate scriptwriter or director.
Remember the 2004 sob-fest "I`m Sorry, I Love You," featuring a memorably coiffed So Ji-sub, or "Memories of Bali," which helped catapult Zo In-sung to stardom and ended with a dramatic triple death?
Their creators have teamed up to take another stab at the classic genre.
"Memories of Bali" director Choi Moon-suk is orchestrating the tale of rekindled childhood love with "I`m Sorry, I Love You" scriptwriter Lee Gyung-hee.
Lee mastered the art of tugging an audience`s heartstrings with "Sangdu, Let`s go to School" in 2003, a poignant romance starring K-pop sensation Rain, before scripting "I`m Sorry, I Love You" a year later.
Lee`s second Rain drama, "A Love to Kill," was equally melodramatic but failed to muster high ratings. She bounced back with "Thank You," arguably her finest work to date, in 2007.
Putting pen to paper to flesh out the tale of two childhood sweethearts, Lee faces the challenge of living up to her own impressive body of work.
Her cast seems to think she will.
"I saw the synopsis for the first two episodes and fell in love with it," said "Will it snow for Christmas?" actress Sun Woo-sun at a press conference last week.
"I cried when I read the script," said co-star Song Jong-ho.
Both Sun and Song will be starring in the new series as lovers. Sun, who played a wealthy estranged housewife in the hit series "My Wife is a Superwoman," is well-suited for the role of the affluent daughter who pines after a man engaged to another woman.
Tackling the role of the other woman, "Couple or Trouble" actress Han Ye-seul plays the heroine of the series, a woman revisited by her childhood sweetheart - a reunion that forces her to choose between the two men in her life.
Returning to the small screen after a four-year hiatus, "Piano" heartthrob Ko Soo plays the childhood sweetheart; a character who, Ko Soo says, is more than just an earnest hero.
"This character is hurt by love and tries to overcome that pain," he explained.
It will be interesting to see how the actor, who is currently appearing on the big screen in "White Night," has changed over the years.
"I am nervous and excited," he said. "How will I appear, after so long?"
When asked about the challenges he faces, he answered: "My biggest concern is how I will interpret the remaining scenes."
Co-star Han also discussed her challenges: "When reading the script, when I cannot understand it emotionally, only intellectually, then acting becomes my biggest assignment."
"Before I received the script, when I heard who the director and scriptwriter were, I thought they made a fantastic team," she said.
Despite a strong cast and director-scriptwriter duo, the series will have a hard time beating KBS` blockbuster "IRIS."
According to news reports, the hit drama scored nationwide viewer ratings of 32.5 percent last Thursday, while SBS predecessor "He`s Beautiful!" managed to scrape by with a lackluster 11.9 percent.
"Will it snow for Christmas?" airs tonight on SBS at 9:55 p.m.

By Jean Oh