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`Project Runway` back, new MBC drama on the way


On Style`s "Project Runway Korea 2" and a brand new MBC weekend series, "Dandelion Family," are hitting the small screen this Saturday.
Last February, cable channel On Style brought audiences a local version of the hit fashion reality show "Project Runway."
According to a press release, the first season nabbed top viewer ratings for its timeslot. The show, whose format was purchased from Project Runway`s international distributor FremantleMedia, featured 14 contestants. The top three finalists sent their designs down a spring fashion show catwalk in the hopes of winning an Elle Korea spread, a top class sedan, and 50 million won ($36,191).
Season 2 promises to stay true to the show`s format.
Every week, contestants will complete to determine who will get to stay another week. The top three finalists will work on their collections for approximately three months before showcasing their work during Seoul Fashion Week this spring.

Season one model-cum-emcee Lee Sora and fellow judges ANDY & DEBB head designer Kim Seok-won and Elle Korea editor-in-chief Shin Yoo-jin will be returning, along with season one mentor, Hongik University Department of Textile Art and Fashion Design professor Kan Ho-sup.
Though the basic format will remain the same, some changes have been instituted. According to a press release, 15, not 14, contestants will be competing for the top prize. The award money has been bumped up to 70 million won ($60, 743), a significant increase from last year`s 50 million won. Furthermore, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will be acting as co-organizer and the Seoul Business Agency (Seoul Fashion Center) as co-supervisor.
The primary factor, however, that will determine the success or failure of the second season lies in the contestants and their designs. Judging from the previews that have been airing on On Style, the new group of designers promises to be even more entertaining than the last bunch.
But will their designs be better?
"Project Runway Korea 2" airs Saturday at midnight on On Style.
For the three major broadcast networks, weekend programming tends to involve family dramas. MBC`s latest addition is no exception to the rule.
Titled "Dandelion Family," the new series charts the lives of three very different sisters; from the eldest (played by "A Man and A Woman" actress Song Seon-mi), who boasts a picture perfect marriage, on the outside at least, to the second eldest (played by singer and actress Maya), the one who never could quite live up to her older sister, and ends up pregnant and married to her college sweetheart, against her mother`s wishes.
The youngest, played by "No Limit" and reality show "Just Married" actress Lee Yoon-ji, unlike her wedded siblings, does not want to enter into the institute of marriage.
When asked to compare her role as Hye-won to herself at a press conference last week, actress Lee said: "I think that her desire to avoid marriage, I think that is different from my own personality. I want to get married."
"In this project my character is also a perfectionist," Lee referenced her past roles in "No Limit" and "Just Married." "But I think you will get to see how I end up stabbing my own father in the back with Jae-ha (her character`s love interest)."
"Coffee Prince" actor Kim Dong-wook will be taking on the role of Jae-ha, a character who does not buy into the practice of marriage but must get hitched if he wants to receive his inheritance in advance.
Actor Kim and the cast and crew of "Dandelion Family" face some stiff competition with the hit KBS series, "Three Brothers." According to news reports, viewer ratings for "Three Brothers" are now well into the 30th percentile.
When asked about the rival KBS drama, director Lim Tae-woo answered: "We have met a very powerful enemy."
At a round table interview during the press conference, Kim Dong-wook, Lee Yoon-ji, Maya and co-star Jung Woo fielded one last question. A reporter asked them what ratings they expect or hope to bring in.
Kim Dong-wook quipped: "Oh, we shouldn`t have fielded that last question."
Co-star Maya stepped up and said: "This drama`s greatest weapon lies in its ability to get people to relate to it. Like the director said, if we follow the script and act accordingly then we can tug at (our audience`s) heartstrings."
"Dandelion Family" first airs on MBC at 7:55 p.m. on Saturday.


By Jean Oh