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K-pop idol drama, hit or miss?

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Published : 2012-08-14 19:36
Updated : 2012-08-14 19:36

S.M. Entertainment-produced ‘For You in Full Blossom’ in the gray zone


When news broke that music giant S.M. Entertainment was venturing into the production side of television with the establishment of subsidiary S.M. Culture and Contents, some might have cringed.

Past S.M. Entertainment drama co-production “Paradise Ranch” failed to bring in high viewer ratings, not a good harbinger for S.M. Culture and Contents’ first endeavor, SBS’ “For You in Full Blossom.”

The upcoming series’ stars, however, feel that the youthful appeal of a primarily male cast gives them an edge that rival dramas might lack.

“We are a cheery and innocent bunch. I think we can appeal to audiences on that front,” “For You in Full Blossom” star Minho said at the drama’s press conference in Seoul on Monday.

“Since we have a crop of good-looking boys in our series, I think we could nab viewers in their teens and 20s,” co-star Kim Ji-won put in her two cents on the matter.

Director Jun Ki-sang, known for KBS’ hit Japanese comic book remake “Boys Over Flowers,” also pinpointed the crop of handsome actors as one of the draws of their drama. 
SBS’ “For You in Full Blossom” stars Sulli (right) and Minho attend the drama’s press conference in Seoul on Monday. (S.M. Culture and Contents)

Of leads Minho and Sulli, both of whom are S.M. Entertainment artists, Jun stressed that the having S.M. Culture and Contents as the production company did not factor into the casting of the two singers.

Nevertheless, the outcome has the two high-profile idols fronting the drama. Furthermore, S.M. Entertainment’s subsidiary is producing the series and S.M. Entertainment is also overseeing the drama’s soundtrack, making it difficult to ignore the shadow of the major music giant looming in the background.

From a distance, it truly looks like an SM universe giving one the impression that things should go well for the series, since it looks like the entertainment company has got the Midas touch.

Add to that a plot based on a popular Japanese comic book series that has already been dramatized in Japan and Taiwan, a scriptwriter who helped pen major hit sitcoms like “High Kick!” and “High Kick 2” and a director who already steered another Japanese comic book series TV remake to success, and it looks like “For You in Full Blossom” is a prime candidate for the top Wednesday and Thursday night primetime ratings slot.

No doubt, fans of girl group f(x) and boy band SHINee will tune in to see f(x)’s Sulli play a heroine who dresses up as a boy to get into an all-boys school to be near hero Kang Tae-joon, played by SHINee’s Minho.

The question is: Will the series attract more than just the teenage set?

The highlight reel that ran at the press event showcased a glossy, sweet teen romance in danger of being a tad bit cheesy.

In the preview, Sulli was convincing as a goofy girl-masquerading-as-boy with a crush on Minho’s hero, but the preview was too short to determine if the series would have too much fluff and too little substance or if it would be a light and fun rom-com with compelling plot twists and enough emotional believability to get audiences to root for the leads.

To keep it fresh and in season, director Jun said, “We changed the set-up so that it would take place at a school for athletes because it is summer and we wanted to make it a high teen romance.”

“For You in Full Blossom” starts airing August 15 on Wednesday and Thursday nights on SBS at 9:55 p.m.

By Jean Oh (oh_jean@heraldcorp.com)

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