Sitcoms/Variety Shows
Friends-style cable sitcom in the works
by | October 12, 2011 | 25 Comments

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.

Via Osen


25 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. bui

    I loved her in My Country Calls, and Ryu Jin!!

    • 1.1 faridramafanatic

      me too I really loved her with Ryu Jin in MCC they made such a cute and funny pair!!!
      I really love all of her dramas, Can’t wait to watch this!

  2. come2noona

    Sounds great!

  3. ahjummabunny

    It has to be lee soo kyung. I’m glad she’s going back to comedy and I hope her costars are just as great.

  4. koreanmichoso

    big fan of hers ever since Lwayers of korea.

  5. MsScorpion

    Again seems like cable is taking up all the good stuff….

    If it really is Friends-esque i’m soo in.

  6. ck1Oz

    Argh I just watched Soulmate a couple of weeks ago.She was great but I loved her in My Country Calls.

    Sigh however we’not going to get subs for this are we?

  7. conan

    Cable’s on a roll! I don’t know if this is good or bad. I guess many pros and cons. But I’m so glad that they’re having a team of writers instead of one poor soul. Should be time already.

  8. ionizable

    ooh, i’d definitely love to see an ensemble comedy, korean-style.

  9. Lauren

    I just rewatched Soulmate yeterday, and I’m so glad we get to see more of her!

  10. 10 mel

    I’m in, love her–a great comic as well as drama actress… not just in My Country Calls, but Lawyers of Korea, Soulmate as well the other dramas she’s been in ….can’t wait, thanks!!!

  11. 11 belleza

    Korean version of Friends . . . so they’re restarting the Three Guys and Three Girls franchise?

  12. 12 Z

    Maybe they mean it’s more of a sit-com, with each episode being a self-contained plot instead of one long sweeping plot broken up into 16 cliffhanger episodes. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that in a kdrama.

  13. 13 anais

    I loved Soulmate and her in Soulmate, which remains the most non-Korean kdrama in my book.

    120 episodes? Not sure if I can make the commitment!

  14. 14 peanut butter

    120 episodes is long, but if it’s like High Kick where i don’t necessarily have to watch every episode, then I might watch some of it.

    Hopefully cable will continue bringing more and more wonderful presents!!

  15. 15 jlinTeng

    ditto. i loved her with ryu jin in MCC but 120 eps way too long. but maybe i’ll try this one cz i can’t manage watched friend which had 10 seasons long. i hope it’s good.

  16. 16 jlinTeng

    ditto. i loved her with ryu jin in MCC but 120 eps way too long. but maybe i’ll try this one cz i can manage watched friend which had 10 seasons long. i hope it’s good.

  17. 17 asianromance

    She was hilarious in My Country Calls!

    I wonder who the other cast members will be. With a Friends style drama, everyone’s gotta click!

  18. 18 YM

    I hope someone subs this! Hopefully Viki or drama fever gets it!

  19. 19 allen

    Remember her most in Soulmate…and would it be to much to ask for Shin Dong wook?…oo..ohpppulease bring him in.

  20. 20 mnstpdu08

    i think there’s a new show on american television with the same plot-line. whether it is like three’s company or friends, doesn’t matter to me because i love both shows.

  21. 21 Chubs

    I loved her and JGW in Loving You a Thousand Times. Great chemistry. I miss seeing her in a drama. Glad to hear she has a new project. Something to look forward to!

  22. 22 Carinne

    Bring it on!.. and a great OST too!!

  23. 23 maica

    ohhhh.. i remember her most from soulmate… this is gonna be awesome, i hope.

    “Again seems like cable is taking up all the good stuff….”

    True. so many awesome new shows.
    can’t wait ^^

  24. 24 chabechik

    For me, she’s one of the beautiful & fresh faces in Kdrama Industry. I am excited to see Lee Soo Kyung again. I hope they will consider Jung Kyeo Woon as her leading man (제발! – please!). I love their “Loving You A Thousand Times” drama.

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