[OP-ED] The Most Revolutionary Show in Korea

Danny Cho, July 19, 2016, 6 p.m.

Recently, I ran out of variety shows to watch so I stumbled on a show called ‘After the Play Ends’. I didn’t know anything about it but the concept of the show is pretty revolutionary - this is a reality show within a drama.

‘After the Play Ends’ follows a cast featuring Ha Seok Jin, Yoon So Hee, Lee Min Hyuk, Yura, and Ahn Bo Hyun. They are filming a drama called ‘Iron Lady', and the drama is scheduled for eight episodes but the production is only scripted for seven. The eighth episode will be determined by what happens within ‘After the Play Ends’. Each episode shows behind-the-scenes footage on the set of the drama, but also a look inside the real romantic chemistry between the actors and actresses. Also there are spots in each episode where the actor has to make up a scene or line to show their true feelings for each other. It's like a weird dating reality show that will determine the ending of a drama.

Within the drama, Go Ali (Yoon So Hee) is an office worker by day and an MMA fighter by night. At work, she is at the bottom of the totem pole. All the other female workers give her a hard time except the manager, Park Ryuk (Ha Seok Jin). The only other male worker in the office is Ma Rocky (Lee Min Hyuk), who has a big crush on Go Ali and looks at her with a watchful eye.

Jennie Kim (Yura) is a cut-throat event planner that runs the 'Midnight Fighting' show. 'Midnight Fighting' is the MMA show that Go Ali aka “Iron Lady” is a big star in, and she's kicking everyone’s asses. Also, apparently, Go Ali hates Jennie Kim for some reason. To make matters worse, Jennie and Park Ryuk are kind of dating. Jennie clearly is trying to make the moves on Park Ryuk, but he isn’t giving her much love. Jennie has a body guard that follows her around silently, and he has a crush on Jennie. After the 3rd episode, you find out that he is Park Ryuk’s younger brother.  

Look, it’s a typical Korean drama with various love lines. The show itself isn’t that great. As a matter of fact, at times, I get thrown off because Yura doesn't play Jennie as mean as she should, but the drama itself isn’t what makes this special. The combination of a reality show with the filming of an actual drama really puts this in a class of its own. Although, I’m not much a fan of romantic variety shows, this one’s innovation keeps me interested. Whether this show does well or not, it's definitely the most refreshing concept in Korean TV right now!

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