Dr. Frost hopes for another adaptation success story
OCN is getting ready to launch Dr. Frost, its webtoon-adapted psychological procedural drama that just held its press conference on November 18, where the cast talked about its expectations and character descriptions.
The drama stars Song Chang-eui as the frosty-haired (and frosty-hearted?) lead character who teaches psychology, tends bar, and can read the minutest details of a person’s expressions, which helps in his additional job as police consultant. I don’t know when he finds the time to eat or sleep, but maybe he’s part robot; it wouldn’t be much of a stretch, considering that the character is as emotionless as one. After suffering an accident, he lost his ability to feel emotions but gained that convenient skill in reading faces. (I saw the microexpression concept used as a brief plot point in another cable drama this past week, Liar Game, and immediately thought of this show.)
Below are two teasers that were released a couple weeks ago, but I’d missed them then, so here they are now. The first one is pretty brief, and teases the idea of the 0.2 second rule, where that’s all the time our Dr. Frost (not his actual name) needs to size up a criminal.
The second teaser gives us a tiny bit more plot, with news of a new professor’s arrival spreading at school, and teaching assistant Jung Eun-chae wondering at the gossip that he has no feelings. Lee Yoon-ji, another professor, says in no uncertain terms that he (our hero?) must not be allowed to be a counselor. That sounds dire.
Jung Eun-chae described her character, who works in the counseling office, as upbeat and rash with a tendency toward interfering. The word is usually used for someone whose interference means well (i.e., trying to help, standing up for someone) but who therefore also tends to cause trouble, given their willingness to challenge authority. It’s a type who often walks that line between being someone you root for and someone (when handled poorly) whom viewers end up heaping scorn upon for always messing things up for everyone.
Jung said, however, that she hasn’t really spent too much time worrying about being disliked: “I’m more concerned with how to be genuine, and how, with each episode, I can help the leads with my most sincere efforts.”
Lee Yoon-ji shared an interesting tidbit about the origins of her character, which she didn’t learn until after she was cast, about how the webtoon’s writer had modeled the character after her. Apparently he’d seen her in dramas and had her in mind when creating the character, and Lee was both shocked and honored to realize the truth: “And a little burdened too.” I’ll say; that’s a lot to live up to.
I’m a little disappointed to hear that Song Chang-eui’s white hair is a wig, although given that I totally couldn’t tell from the pictures, maybe it’s a moot concern? He explains that although he and the director both agreed that they wanted to dye his hair, after five bleachings, his hair actually started to melt and break off, necessitating use of the wig. He shared that they’re fighting with the wind on set, lest a platinum wig go flying around, which is now a mental image I cannot unsee.
Given the success of Misaeng, which is pulling in very high numbers for tvN, other cable shows are hoping to pull off a similar success story, and Dr. Frost is one of them. Song Chang-eui said that seeing Misaeng doing well spurs him on to work even harder, and that they’re working hard to have their drama speak to audiences. That’s probably a wise choice, given that Misaeng is a hit for its ability to resonate with the average citizen, although Dr. Frost is a different enough show that it’s never going to have the same kind of effect. Do what you’re good at, OCN! (That would be: crime, procedural, dark, and flashy.)
Dr. Frost premieres on November 23, airing as a Sunday drama on OCN.