There’s an experimental format in town, and it’s what producers are calling a “drama-toon,” as we’ll see in a new project starring Kim So-eun (Horse Healer, Happy Endings, Boys Before Flowers) titled After School Bokbulbok. (Bokbulbok is a familiar term for those who’ve seen 1 Night 2 Days, which popularized the game. The term means literally Luck, No Luck and thus refers to games of chance.)
“Drama-toon” is a new term that isn’t associated yet with a particular project, so we can’t just point to one as an example; let’s unpack this bit by bit. The project is a drama, but not in the traditional television broadcast sense; it’ll be distributed via online and mobile portals. Tonally, the drama’s emphasis is on a “fun and entertaining topic” with a “fresh new format that calls to mind reading a webtoon or manhwa.” So it’s both playing with content delivery and actual content; the descriptor of manhwa-like visuals makes me think of the stylized interstitial sequences in Monstar that did a similar thing.
After Shool Bokbulbok will be a high school story centering around Kim So-eun (which is also her character’s name), a timid girl with an ordinary life who gets invited to a school club, after which point she begins to encounter “fantastical and extraordinary events.” Each episode contains particular “missions” that have to be carried out, and in the process So-eun comes out of her shell and draws out her bright, lively personality.
Kim explained her first impression to the project: “When I first read the script, it was so new and different that I thought to myself, ‘What kind of drama IS this?’ Every episode has missions that exceeded my imagination, and the process of completing those missions is fresh and fun. This is the first time I’m acting in a drama and character in this kind of genre, and it’s a lot of fun. I think it’ll be an extremely unconventional drama.”
After Shool Bokbulbok is a joint production between entertainment agency Fantagio (which represents Kim So-eun), production company Group Eight (which likes its manhwa adaptations, such as Boys Before Flowers and Tamra the Island), and director Jung Jung-hwa (who did tvN’s Flower Boy Next Door and Flower Boy Ramyun Shop). It will begin its run in early September, and will be available on all of SK’s channels like Nate, Hoppin, TV STore, and BTV. I don’t know if or how it’ll be available to people who live outside of Korea, but I have to think they’ll be made available somehow. I hope it will, at least, because I’m all for genre and format experimentation, and this sounds like a refreshing, whimsical idea.
Via Joy News
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- Lee Sang-woo and Kim So-eun join Horse Healer
- Kim So-eun cast in cable miniseries Happy Ending
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- Kim So-eun wraps drama: “It’s like taking off a winter coat”
- Fine Windy Day off to a successful start
- The Man Who Can’t Get Married: Episode 1
- Boys Before Flowers: Episode 1