Producers provides buckets of entertainment, humour and a fun time with an excellent cast and camaraderie. Don’t let the episode length of more than 1 hour concern you for picking up this show, because for me, the episodes never seemed long and more than anything, it provided me an enjoyable ride from start to finish. The story is nothing new per se. Basically, it’s a workplace drama set in variety show world. Baek Seung Chan is a new PD who enters KBS and gets assigned to work under veteran PD Ra Joon Mo, for variety program 1 Night 2 Days. Tak Ye Jin is another experienced PD of Music Bank while Cindy is a top idol star. The lives of these people meet and the drama gives us a slice-of-life glimpse of them as they learn, love and form relationships. Simultaneously we are given peek into the universe of variety shows and the people who work there, things that dominate the world and how things are done. And that’s about it, really, except it’s all done in a suitably entertaining way.
As I’ve said like thousand times at various places, the first and foremost thing about Producers is that it’s extremely funny, it made me laugh a lot. Plus, the pace is just right and the drama rolls on like a German sports car, even when the length per episode is very long. The writing is witty with dollops of emotional moments thrown in between. There is a great setting up of how a variety land works, with each episode carving one theme at a time and covers all aspects of it — like editing, broadcasting incidents, ratings, etc. The razzmatazz of showbiz is described effectively in a lighter manner. The drama is in no mood for a dramatic turn of events as it flows with day to day lives of its main players.
The drama initially tried to tread on unfamiliar grounds by introducing a mockumentary type of format where characters give side comments on the situation they are in, as if they are breaking the fourth wall and speaking to viewers directly, depicting their inner, real thoughts. And I found those scenes laugh-out-loud-funny. So when the drama caved in in front of viewers and ratings and abated the said style after 2 episodes, I was disappointed. Another thing to be noted is that if you are a variety show noob like me, it will not hinder the enjoyment of watching this drama.
In the types of shows where nothing much happens plot wise, it’s necessary that the characters are strong enough to make up for lack of drama. Producers has awesomely well-written characters and interactions. There is never a dull moment in the company of actors who are in sync with the intricacies of the written material. Let’s start with our central character Seung Chan. He is new to the showbiz but I like that even though he is nerdy and oblivious to most of the things, he is not stupid. He actually plays pranks or takes harmless revenge from time to time against those who do something he didn’t want them to. I enjoyed his deadpan expressions a lot. He has a very kind heart but can also be petty and jealous like a kid. He starts opening up as the drama progresses. Joon Mo is a man who is reticent about his feelings for his best friend but blunt for everything else. He hasn’t been much successful in his career but he never fails to care for his people all the time.
Ye Jin looks quite strong at first glance but she is a really warm person, efficient in her work. I like that the drama doesn’t portray any significant growth in its characters — just like real life people, who doesn’t undergo huge development and considering the time span in which the show is stretched out. Yes, there is development in relationships — which was so satisfying to watch. Same goes for Cindy as well. On first glance, it may look like she changed but the fact is she was always this vulnerable, lonely girl who only looked cold, bored and proud from the outside. As she came in company with people who truly care for her, she slowly started showing more shades of her nature, but her persona remained the same. I loved all relationships in the drama but my favourite was that of Seung Chan and Cindy. I just couldn’t control the butterflies in my stomach as I saw their growing bonding which was as sweet as the moonlight sleeping on the hills. I swooned and wanted them together. I was happy how it all ended with them as friends but hope for something more in future. Another of my favorite was the best friends-in-love Joon Mo and Ye Jin. How could you not root for this couple, who is so comfortable with each other? As for the rest, I did enjoy the friendship between Ye Jin and Joon Mo and his puppy crush was cute. But the interactions when all four were together takes the cake. So, so enjoyable and fun. As for the supporting characters, I want to especially mention a few. Park Hyuk Kwon as Kim Tae Ho elicited many laughs from me. He is a veteran PD who goes according to the norms of the ever-growing world of variety business. All his comments and actions were immensely funny. Then there is Kim Jong Kook as Kim Hong Soon, whose unexpected love line with Go Yang Mi (Ye Ji Won) added to the fun factor. Seung Chan’s family, particularly his mom as well as Music Bank‘s youngest writer Da Jung were also an add-on to the interesting bunch of people this show encapsulated. I also loved the music selections. Plus, the ending of some episodes, showing all the people populating the world of Producers — it was nicely done. There is a string of cameos from various artists. The only complaint I had while watching the drama was that I felt that the makers were playing who-is-gonna-end-up-with-whom game with the viewers. I feasted my eyes on the interesting musical chair the players were playing in romance department but later on it looked more manipulative than natural. I also felt that in doing so, Joon Mo and his relationship with Ye Jin got lesser screen time than was imperative. Kim Soo Hyun adds another feather in his cap by giving a very different performance from his past works. He plays Seung Chan with an amusing mix of innocence and mischief. His facial expressions and attitude fits perfectly to his role. Cha Tae Hyun and Gong Hyo Jin are effortless and warm as always. Cha Tae Hyun gives lots of comic moments. IU proves again that she is one of the best idol actors. She gets an author backed role and she assimilates it in her personality, bringing vulnerability and oomph to Cindy. The drama is laced with solid supporting cast. The camaraderie between everyone is superlative.
On a whole, Producers is lots of fun, with a strong feel-good factor and one of my favourites this year.
My Rating: 8.5 out of 10