There are really many scenes in “On Air” that mirrors reality and this is an update to the article I blogged about earlier following the drama conclusion.
Good and critically acclaimed drama but low ratings
This was evident in the case of “Ticket to the Moon” which was an excellent drama storywise and a particularly challenging role for lead actress Oh Seung Ah. But it achieved poor ratings as another big budget drama starring Ha Ji Won (they just made this up) was in the same timeslot. This has been played out many time in reality as the drama scheduling plays a big part in the drama success, ratings wise. Just look at “Spotlight” which debuted in the final week of “On Air” and suffered single digit ratings. They have to face “Iljimae” next week and is almost facing the same fate as “Ticket to the Moon”.
Sex Tape Scandal
High school student, Oh Seung Ah comes to SW Entertainment and in her 1-on-1 audition, Jin Sang Woo asks her to strip for the camera. She however couldn’t overcome this and decides to abort her attempt. Another management agency boss chances upon this but didn’t finish viewing the whole tape and thus thought otherwise. He threatens Jang Ki Joon and later leaks the news to the media, causing a great deal of distress to Seung Ah.
There are many instances of this in the entertainment industry where management agencies uses these “tapes” to control their artistes, for money or revenge. Regardless of whether it’s real or fake, most often, these scandals will result in artistes suffering a great deal of distress, having to step out of the limelight temporarily and hope that it dies off eventually.
Many felt that Oh Seung Ah’s case was hinting at artistes like IVY (2008), Kwon Sang Woo (2006), Lee Tae Ran (2005) and Baek Ji Young (2001).
Female Stars Commiting Suicide
Yang So Eun (Min Seo Hyun) was once a top star who only wanted to lead a normal life which her manager Jin Sang Woo agrees. But he doesn’t realise that So Eun actually wanted to be together with Sang Woo himself. On So Eun’s birthday, she comes looking for him but he treats her coldly. He was only keeping his love for her under wraps and because he doesn’t explain it clearly, So Eun finds herself feeling miserable and eventually ends her life.
There has been many cases in recent years where female artistes end their young lives in the prime of their careers. Was it because of depression (Lee Eun Joo)? Anti-fans (U:Nee)? Too much pressure (Jung Da Bin)? Well, no one knows and it would probably remain a mystery to us forever.
Unglamourous Side of the Entertainment Industry
There are many materialistic people and greedy management companies. To get ahead fast or bag that leading role, female stars will throw themselves at rich businessmen, high ranking officials. And if that fails, management agencies would resort to bribery which explains the large amount of money that management and production companies always have at the tip of their fingers.
Jin Sang Woo pours money into the production so that Cherry bags the leading role and resorts to underhand methods to ensure it stays that way. Yang So Eun (who eventually dies) and Oh Seung Ah had been forced to dine with businessmen and go to bed with them even. Things like this do happen.
Conflict between TV stations and management companies
SW Entertainment Chairman Jin Sang Woo threatens to pull Cherry out of the drama if the script isn’t changed to give her more exposure. SBC doesn’t compromise and decides to cut off all ties with SW Entertainment, rejecting their artistes on their shows and not allowing them into the tv station.
TV stations and management agencies have a love-hate relationship in that they rely on each other to serve their promotion aims. Just last November, Super Junior was caught in a fix with Kangin having to choose from MBC or SBS programs to appear on. He had only recently appeared on SBS and had been on MBC programs for a longer period. SM Entertanment decided on SBS which angered MBC (they felt betrayed) and wanted an apology which didn’t arrive.
This resulted in MBC issuing a “restriction” on SM artistes like Super Junior and So Nyeo Shi Dae and they were absent for most of MBC’s year-end programs. The issue was only solved after SM Entertainment arranged a meeting with MBC with things back to normal now.
There might be others that I overlooked so if you know any, leave a comment.
Can’t believe this is over!!! Wed/Thurs will never be the same again!