Betrayal, greed, and the pursuit of justice for political melodrama Whisper
The recently released teasers for Whisper had a dark action-thriller vibe, but PD Lee Myung-hoo (You’re All Surrounded, Fashion King) insists that the core of the drama will be the melodrama between Lee Bo-young (God’s Gift—14 Days) and Lee Sang-yoon (On the Way to the Airport). They will play a homicide detective and court judge, respectively, who meet as enemies but turn into lovers as they work together to take down the corrupt system.
New stills and character shots have been released, and everyone looks gorgeous. Emerald green is definitely Lee Bo-young’s color, and Lee Sang-yoon looks as sharp as ever. The character synopses give so many details on the setup of the story that’ll happen in the drama that they almost feel like spoilers. Lee Sang-yoon is the illegitimate child of Kim Chang-wan’s (Hwarang) character, who is a doctor. His mother was a nurse who worked with his father and they had planned to marry, but one day his father betrayed his mother by engaging himself to a hospital chief’s daughter. Now Kim Chang-wan is the head of that hospital, and Lee Sang-yoon bitterly hates those who choose to gain power and money by creating these political alliances through personal relationships.
However, when a crisis comes his way, he feels like he’s stuck between a rock and a hard place so he ends up making the same choice as his father did many years ago. In exchange for making a guilty ruling on Kang Shin-il’s (Neighborhood Lawyer Jo Deul-ho) character, who is Lee Bo-young’s father, he receives and accepts a marriage proposal from the Taebaek law firm heiress, played by Park Se-young (Beautiful Mind). Officer Lee Bo-young doesn’t take this lying down—she takes the situation into her own hands and hurls herself into Lee Sang-yoon’s path in order to find the truth that lies behind her father’s guilty sentence.
This type of story about corruption, power, and greed is characteristic of many of Writer Park Kyung-soo’s works, which include the award-winning Punch, Chaser, and Empire of Gold. I haven’t actually seen any of them, but my interest in Whisper was piqued because PD Lee said that the distinguishing aspect of this drama would be the unique play-out of the melodrama in the burgeoning relationship between Lee Sang-yoon and Lee Bo-young.
Even from the early planning stages, PD Lee had Lee Bo-young in mind as his first choice, and said he was over the moon when she showed interest in the drama. Initially, SBS wanted to do a project called Advance, which had a male-centric medical plot, but then the team decided to go a completely different direction, scrapping the script and changing the entire story, which prompted the name change to Whisper.
PD Lee explains the meaning behind the title: “Often, the loudest voices in the room have the greatest power because they’re heard. But quiet voices and the voiceless exist too. I wanted our project to be about listening for these quiet voices. Whispers are small voices that can’t be heard if you aren’t listening carefully. That’s why the drama is called Whisper.” Especially with the current political turmoil in Korea, PD Lee and Writer Park wanted to convey their message to have hope because the world is still a place worth living in through this drama.
Upcoming SBS Monday-Tuesday drama Whisper will begin broadcasting on March 27.
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