Singer and actor Cha Eun-woo is breaking new ground for Korean dramas with the YouTube Original show “Top Management.”
Cha, who appeared in the hit TV series “Gangnam Beauty,” will play the role of Yeon Woo, a young man who wants to be an idol star alongside his friends, in the upcoming 16-episode series.
“Top Management” is the fourth original series from YouTube Premium in South Korea. It follows variety show “Run, Bigbang Scout!” and documentaries “BTS: Burn the Stage” and “Kwon Ji Yong Act III: Motte.”
The new show is a first for the streaming service, which has never offered a “YouTube K-drama series” until now.
During a showcase event, director Yoon Seong-ho said, “We tried our best to make the story interesting enough so teens want to watch the rest of the show after enjoying the first three episodes that are free of charge.”
Yoon said he was a fan of the boy band Astro, which lead actor Cha Eun-woo is part of, even before the show.
Viewers will get to see the idol group S.O.U.L -- consisting of Yeon Woo, Tae Oh and Lee Rip and YouTube star and singer-songwriter Soo Young, played by actor Ahn Hyo Seop -- striving to make it in the competitive K-pop scene. Trainee-turned-manager Eun Sung, who has the ability to foresee the near future, will play a crucial role in their quest for stardom.
The director mentioned that the show would feature eight languages, including English, Thai and Japanese, given K-pop’s global appeal.
Cha, who plays the lead, said, “Filming the show reminded me of the time I was a trainee for Astro.”
When asked how he was different from his character in real life, he said Yeon was more straightforward and Cha was more reserved.
Nadine Zylstra, head of YouTube Originals for the Asia-Pacific region, said she was excited to be keeping the momentum going for YouTube Premium in Korea, while praising the country’s creative community for having great talent.
YouTube Premium, formerly known as YouTube Red, is a paid streaming service that allows subscribers to download and enjoy content without ads.
The monthly subscription fee for Android users is 7,900 won ($6.9).
The first eight episodes will be released Wednesday on 1theK’s channel, with the second half of the series, including the final episode, scheduled for release Nov. 16.
By Yim Hyun-su (firstname.lastname@example.org)