Friends-style cable sitcom in the works
MBN is the brand-new cable channel bringing us the vampire-alien-prince-idol-star sitcom Vampire Idol (so awesome, that descriptor), and now it’s got another sitcom in the works: a Friends-esque sitcom titled You Drive Me Crazy, which has just lined up Lee Soo-kyung as one of its leads.
MBN is described as a general-service cable channel (as opposed to one that caters to a specific category, like OCN and movies, for instance), and is not yet in service; it premieres in December and is busily preparing its inaugural programming selections.
You Drive Me Crazy touts itself as “Korea’s first sitcom made in the American-style drama format.” That could mean a lot of things, but I’m hoping it yields a positive result. Perhaps it means it’ll adopt the studio-audience format, although Korean sitcoms like High Kick already make use of canned laughter. Or maybe it means it’s dipping its toes into the single-camera comedy format — although that doesn’t work with the Friends reference, which was multi-camera. Urg, guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
The sitcom will employ a team of three writers (yay — I think more Korean dramas should get onboard with the writers’ room concept, rather than giving script duties to one person) and will be directed by Kim Hee-won; while I can’t find much info on the PD or writers, one of the producers, Lee Jang-soo, is a drama veteran with series like Stairway to Heaven and Road No. 1 under his belt. True, one of those is a tearjerker melodrama and the other is a tragic war epic, but he’s not the writer so I’m not worried yet.
Lee Soo-kyung plays a beautiful office worker with a “unique charm,” who’s one of a mixed group of three who end up living together, and the show tracks the various comic happenings that arise out of their arrangement. Sounds a lot more like Three’s Company than Friends to me. The show, which will run for 120 episodes, will play with the central motif: Can men and women really be just friends? Good question.
I think Lee is the perfect choice for something like this; she’s taken on more dramatic roles lately (Daemul, Loving You a Thousand Times) but she’s got good comic timing and a bubbly personality that works well with comedy. She was cute in Golden Age of the Daughter-in-Law, and I loved her in Soulmate — which, if we’re nitpicking, probably already stole the title of “first American-style sitcom” away from this one, with its single-camera format and editing style. Heck, Soulmate’s plot seems a lot more Friends-like than You Drive Me Crazy, with its cast of four couples and exploration of modern dating.
Not that I’m complaining, mind you. The more cable offerings I hear about, the more excited I get for the evolving K-drama landscape. Change is good, and it’s refreshing to shake up the tried-n-true with new experiments.
You Drive Me Crazy is aiming to match its premiere to the station’s, in early December.