Finally, an update about Basketball, the period drama from tvN set in the 1940s that is about basketball in one sense, but really about so much more. The drama has been given the Monday-Tuesday timeslot on the October broadcast schedule, where it’ll run for 24 episodes.
There are a few reasons for the heightened interest in Basketball, like the reportedly high production values. PD Kwak Jung-hwan of Chuno and Conspiracy in the Court is aiming to raise the bar on visual quality from his previous works, which were already fairly brimming with directorial style. The drama has been in pre-production for seven years and will be half pre-produced (meaning, half the series will be filmed prior to its premiere), which ought to cut down on the live-shoot nonsense.
Then there’s the backdrop, taking place during the Japanese occupation years and up through the division of the peninsula into North and South. Unlike dramas like Gaksital and Capital Scandal, however, the Occupation and independence movement are not the show’s central premise; instead, the characters will look to basketball as their hopes and dreams and, in some cases, pathways to a better life.
Most of the main cast members are new faces, which I’m actually a bit excited about; it’s always exciting to be alerted to fresh faces, but also, I have the completely unproven belief that if a rookie is given the lead, he’s probably gotta be good. (Is not a naive hope, right?) Do Ji-han (Incarnation of Money) takes the lead as the young athlete who grows up in a poor village and makes it to the national team of the 1948 Olympics, the first and last time a unified basketball team went to the Olympic Games representing the name “Korea.”
The other central roles go to Jung Dong-hyun and Lee Elryia (sp?), both of whom are in their drama debuts and playing a star player teammate and the love interest, respectively. Among the familiar faces are drama vets Gong Hyung-jin (All About My Romance), Lee Han-wi (Level 7 Civil Servant), Ahn Seok-hwan (Scandal), Jo Hee-bong (Good Doctor), and the Wonder Girls’ Ye-eun.
This also means that tvN will be expanding its drama programming with a pretty ambitious lineup—Basketball on Mondays and Tuesdays, with Answer Me, 1994 on Fridays and Saturdays. On one hand, I’m looking forward to both shows. On the other hand, are you trying to kill me with drama overload, October?!
Basketball is already in the second half of its filming schedule, with its filmed portions in post-production. It premieres on October 21.
Via TV Report
RELATED POSTSBasketball, cable programs, Do Ji-han