Can ‘Chicago Typewriter’ break time-slip drama mold?

By Rumy Doo

Will new series featuring Yoo Ah-in as author, Lim Soo-jung as hardcore fan, and magical writing apparatus differentiate itself?

  • Published : Apr 6, 2017 - 16:14
  • Updated : Apr 6, 2017 - 16:28

Cable network tvN has recently been churning out drama series with the time travel motif -- from last year’s mega-hit “Guardian: The Lonely and Great God” to the recent fantasy romance “Tomorrow With You.” Coming up next is “Chicago Typewriter,” featuring Yoo Ah-in and Lim Soo-jung.

The show, airing Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., centers on a mysterious antique typewriter which transports the characters 70 years back in time to the 1930s, when Japan occupied Korea.

“It’s true that shows with similar premises have flooded the screen at once,” said director Kim Chul-kyu (“On the Way to the Airport,” 2016) at a press conference in southeastern Seoul Wednesday. “But shows take a long time to write. This wasn’t planned. We’ve tried to differentiate our show as best as we can.”

According to Kim, “Chicago Typewriter” is a mixed package of relationships and emotions, comedy and melodrama. It would be hard to fit in into a single genre, he said.

“It has the anger and frustration of youths who love their country (during the Japanese occupation), heart-aching love, independence fighters’ fierce camaraderie, their tragic end and pure friendship.”

Yoo Ah-in stars in "Chicago Typewriter." (tvN)

Yoo Ah-in speaks to reporters at a press conference at the Imperial Hotel Seoul in southeastern Seoul on Wednesday. (tvN)

Lim Soo-jung speaks to reporters at a press conference at the Imperial Hotel Seoul in southeastern Seoul on Wednesday. (tvN)

Actor Yoo starred in the SBS period piece “Six Flying Dragons” last year and the box office hit crime flick “Veteran” in 2015, playing a psychopathic chaebol heir with aplomb.

He returns in the role of the bestselling author Han Se-joo, who is inwardly neurotic, outwardly sophisticated, and suddenly struck with writer’s block.

Yoo said he was excited to portray a writer, a character he had always wanted to play. “I think it is my mission and task to express inner complexity. (Han) is not an obvious person. We’re not immediately aware of the thoughts and pain inside him.”

Actress Lim stars as Jeon Seol, a veterinarian and Han’s hardcore fan who ends up hating him after a series of events.

“Chicago Typewriter” marks Lim’s return to the small screen 13 years after the hit 2004 series “I’m Sorry, I Love You.”

“I wanted to do the show as soon as I read the script. The story is alluring. I was curious about what kind of connection the characters had over 70 years ago.”

Actor Go Kyung-pyo plays Han’s ghostwriter Yoo Jin-oh, and the three characters become wrapped up in a romance that spans decades.

Yoo added that he was awaiting the results of his physical exam for military enlistment. After a shoulder injury in 2014 and a bone tumor diagnosis in 2015, the star has undergone several check-ups but has not yet received confirmation on whether or not he is to be exempted from the mandatory military service.

“We’re watching the bone tumor,” he said. “Small movements are okay but I’m trying to refrain from heavy exercise.”

“Chicago Typewriter” begins airing on Friday on tvN.

By Rumy Doo (doo@heraldcorp.com)