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SBS' thriller series 'Connection' deals with society's rising pain: drugs

By Lee Yoon-seo

Published : May 24, 2024 - 17:39

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A scene from A scene from "Connection," starring Ji Sung (SBS)

SBS's new thriller drama series "Connection" will aim to raise awareness about drug use in Korean society by dealing with destructive effects of drugs -- a sensitive subject for terrestrial television.

"Connection" is a 16-part series that narrates the story of Jang Jae-kyung (played by Ji Sung), a detective specialized in catching drug criminals, who becomes forcibly addicted to drugs by an unidentified person.

The series' director, Kim Mun-kyo, said he aimed to shed light on the destructive effects of drug use via the series.

"Drug use is a timely topic to discuss in the contemporary era, but a difficult topic to deal with on broadcasting channels," said Kim during a press conference held in Mok-dong, Seoul, Friday.

"Instead of mimicking and showcasing the momentary pleasure that drugs can provide, we aimed to portray drug use as a type of sickness. We decided to take a bold approach in expressing this aspect, and depicted drug addiction like a serious condition," he said.

Kwak Tae-keun, more popularly known by his stage name Ji Sung, said he put in diverse efforts to realistically portray a drug addict.

"Raising kids, I gained a lot of weight, to the point when I weighed about 85 kilograms. However, I lost 15 kilograms over two months in order to effectively portray a person addicted to drugs," said Ji Sung.

"Also, when I perform as Jae-kyung on-screen, instead of spitting out breaths when speaking, I tried to take in breaths, in efforts to depict a person who is suffering from the pain of being addicted to drugs. I experienced fits of hyperventilation, trying to perform this during shooting," he said.

Ji Sung added the drama series reflects the hypothetical scenario of "What if I were forcibly addicted to drugs by someone?"

"I think it was a scenario that all viewers might consider at least once. The drama series doesn't offer a solution to the societal problems raised by drugs, but through telling (stories and choices made by) Jang Jae-kyung, it can provide some courage within our (drug-ridden) society," he said.

The first episode of "Connection" will air on SBS on Friday, 10 p.m.