Get ready for a glut of fashion dramas
There’s only one fashion-themed show on the air right now — MBC’s Wednesday-Thursday Cinderella Man — but soon, we’ll have three. KBS and SBS are also following the trend with fashion-themed dramas of their own.
First will be KBS, who will follow the current romantic comedy Accidental Couple with their series Magazine Allo (working title). The plot revolves around an outsider to the glossy fashion-mag biz, who comes in to work at Allo magazine and does her best to survive in the new competitive work culture (so… Devil Wears Prada meets Ugly Betty?) This drama will be a Wednesday-Thursday series and premieres on June 24.
This one might be a bad rehash of stuff we’ve seen before — I thought Devil Wears Prada and Ugly Betty both had their charms, although I’m not sure if I want to see it done yet again. But Magazine Allo might have a shot if it casts well and creates its own voice — which may work out if they succeed in their current attempts to lure Kim Haneul.
Meanwhile, SBS’s Style recently announced its lead actors and will cast Lee Jia as an assistant at a fashion magazine. The series is adapted from a popular novel describing itself as the Korean Devil Wears Prada, but it sounds like it also needs to distinguish itself from Magazine Allo.
Fashionistas Kim Haneul, Lee Jia, Kwon Sang-woo
On the other hand, Cinderella Man is battling plagiarism claims, with another production group claiming copyright infringement for yet another fashion-drama project that was developed under the name Fashion King. Producers of Cinderella Man have come out strong in its rebuttal that no plagiarism was involved.
Based on the news reports, it seems that this may be a case of parallel development more than stolen content; Cinderella Man‘s producers, Core Content Media, defends itself by explaining that their accuser LK Production group’s Fashion King was one of several fashion-related series that MBC had considered. Ultimately MBC chose Cinderella Man, and the plot similarities to Fashion King were merely coincidental.
In fact, when LK brought up the plagiarism issue in March, a copyright board’s first stage arbitration meeting ruled, “It’s difficult to call it plagiarism.” Even so, LK is proceeding with legal action even as Cinderella Man is heading into its latter half.
A Core Contents rep said, “Saying that we are infringing copyright because the story is about the Dongdaemun fashion market is like saying it’s plagiarism to use the same instrument to play a different melody.”
So… if 2008 was the year of the occupational drama (medical, legal), I suppose we’re seeing 2009 shaping up with fashion and sports trends. I think I’ll take the sports.