Another interesting point to note that the episodes thus far seems to be poking fun or divulging the naked truth about the dark side of the industry.
It has clearly defined the confrontation between producers, writers, top stars and their management companies who each have their own agendas. It has also revealed the dark side like television production companies bribing television producers, PPL (product placement), etc. With regards to this, viewers have trouble differentiating whether it’s really true or false.
◆ How a top star behaves is too ridiculous!
In “On Air”, Oh Seung Ah (Kim Ha Neul) is a prima donna star who thinks of herself as a superstar. When she meets a newbie actress at the hair salon, she told her off haughtily, “Even pigs and dogs can be famous in this era…”, and when the newbie actress replied back, “Finished talking?”, Seung Ah has the cheek to throw a cup of water at her face and say, “How dare you talk back to me?” Another scene was when she met writer Seo Young Eun who was a newbie then and with a above the world look, “Is the script interesting? I haven’t read it yet, what’s the story about? Summarize for me.” This infuriates writers because their work is not being appreciated and actually devalued.
Script writer, Kim Eun Suk said, “In reality, there are often many instances of top stars throwing “tantrums”. Although this is a fantasy character from imagination, we wrote this character based on actual fact that it does exist.
One manager of a certain actress said, “This drama accurately portrays how artistes would go all out in order to be famous. But once they get famous, they will start getting arrogant and throw tantrums. It’s really very shocking.”
◆ “Unrealistic storylines and high ratings go hand in hand?”
Writer Seo Young Eun in order to spike the ratings of her dramas, would always add cliche plots to her script like, “Cinderella story”, “Romance with a rich guy”, “Birth mystery”, “Main leads getting cancer”, etc.
And when viewers complained that her script is not realistic and without layers, she will bite back, “You complain but you still watch them in the end, don’t you?”
Kim Young Suk replied, “Seo Young Eun is a character that was conceptualized with me in mind. I also brainstorm often in particular because of ratings, but I am also puzzled when viewers say that my script is superficial and unrealistic.”
When writers writes those trademark quotes, they find it quite “greasy” themselves. In the drama, television producer Lee Kyung Min said to Seo Young Eun, “Lines like this ‘My heart cannot be takeaway’ ‘Your love is downloading very slowly’, whoever says this in reality? Don’t you find them repulsive?”
Kim Young Suk said, “I often regret what I did in my previous works and think to myself that I was maybe too over back then.” She was the one who wrote “Lovers in Paris” and “Lovers in Praque” and the creation of “Inside my heart…is you” line was by her. So her credibility is pretty high regarding this.
◆ Vicious power struggle
The battle between the management companies was depicted very vividly in the opening few episodes. Cherry (Yook Hye Seung) which Jang Ki Joon has groomed carefully was prised away by Jin Sang Woo because of the promise of a shorter way to fame rather than the long stable route proposed by the earlier. Oh Seung Ah tells Jang Ki Joon, “I will help you get everything back.”
With regards to this, a television producer said, “Conflicts between companies do exist and when artistes are forced to switch, the whole drama planning is affected because they have to change the artistes and the script.”
◆ Top star even if you just shot CFs and have no acting skills to talk about
This was mouthed by Seo Young Eun to Oh Seung Ah, an apparent dig at her for being a CF star but yet have little acting ability to talk about. There is a lack of credibility over using CF stars over others who have slogged for months training and honing their craft. But the industry is now geared towards just using pretty faces in movies and dramas nowadays.
And if you think long and hard, you can actually feel that this scene was poking fun at top elite CF stars like Kim Tae Hee and Jeon Ji Hyun.
Hope you are convinced about watching this because this is a good brutal take on how the entertainment industry works in Korea. By the way, the theme song “One Word” by F.T. Island is a great song for this drama.