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Get ready for a glut of fashion dramas


Cinderella Man

There’s only one fashion-themed show on the air right now — MBC’s Wednesday-Thursday Cinderella Man — but soon, we’ll have three. KBS and SBS are also following the trend with fashion-themed dramas of their own.

First will be KBS, who will follow the current romantic comedy Accidental Couple with their series Magazine Allo (working title). The plot revolves around an outsider to the glossy fashion-mag biz, who comes in to work at Allo magazine and does her best to survive in the new competitive work culture (so… Devil Wears Prada meets Ugly Betty?) This drama will be a Wednesday-Thursday series and premieres on June 24.

This one might be a bad rehash of stuff we’ve seen before — I thought Devil Wears Prada and Ugly Betty both had their charms, although I’m not sure if I want to see it done yet again. But Magazine Allo might have a shot if it casts well and creates its own voice — which may work out if they succeed in their current attempts to lure Kim Haneul.

Meanwhile, SBS’s Style recently announced its lead actors and will cast Lee Jia as an assistant at a fashion magazine. The series is adapted from a popular novel describing itself as the Korean Devil Wears Prada, but it sounds like it also needs to distinguish itself from Magazine Allo.


Fashionistas Kim Haneul, Lee Jia, Kwon Sang-woo

On the other hand, Cinderella Man is battling plagiarism claims, with another production group claiming copyright infringement for yet another fashion-drama project that was developed under the name Fashion King. Producers of Cinderella Man have come out strong in its rebuttal that no plagiarism was involved.

Based on the news reports, it seems that this may be a case of parallel development more than stolen content; Cinderella Man‘s producers, Core Content Media, defends itself by explaining that their accuser LK Production group’s Fashion King was one of several fashion-related series that MBC had considered. Ultimately MBC chose Cinderella Man, and the plot similarities to Fashion King were merely coincidental.

In fact, when LK brought up the plagiarism issue in March, a copyright board’s first stage arbitration meeting ruled, “It’s difficult to call it plagiarism.” Even so, LK is proceeding with legal action even as Cinderella Man is heading into its latter half.

A Core Contents rep said, “Saying that we are infringing copyright because the story is about the Dongdaemun fashion market is like saying it’s plagiarism to use the same instrument to play a different melody.”

So… if 2008 was the year of the occupational drama (medical, legal), I suppose we’re seeing 2009 shaping up with fashion and sports trends. I think I’ll take the sports.

Via Mk.co.kr, Joy News

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seriously... why doesn't korea do any sci-fi themed drama? I mean it can be a soap opera in space, for all I care.

Imagine if they can take the same basic story from My Girl or Goong, and have it take place in the future, or outer space?? why not?

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@boraaah

sci-fi themed soap opera??? lol.

anyway, it would be interesting to see a love story with outer space as background. but korea itself is not into that kind of space-related technology and whatnot, is it? I mean, they need to do something the citizens can relate to I suppose. But since it's a first, maybe it can work out. But, if it's pure melodrama, then what a waste of space (pun intended)

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@boraah

Ohhh a Korean version of "Firefly"........ I would watch that.

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@1 boraaah
That's called Space opera and it's a honest-to-God lit genre, which I particularly like (yeah, you can laugh!). en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_opera My fave has to be the Vorkosigan saga.

BTW, I would totally watch such kind of scifi drama. Totally.

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It seems like it would make sense to do counter-programming rather than duplicative programming.

If two networks are doing Prada / Betty fashion dramas, why not create a drama that doesn't just duplicate? Lessee if we can't throw out some ideas that don't involve spaceships but also not fashion either...

1. A simple love story between two individuals of no particular station in life (a bus driver and a waitress), both of whom want more out of life than each thinks that the other can provide... and yet they find that they share a deep love that cannot be denied. Then one day comes and fortune comes to the waitress as she is "discovered" and is given a modeling contract. What will happen when her world no longer requires that she take the bus? Call it, "Waiting for the Bus."

2. A drama of love, betrayal and redemption. A successful but arrogant pop singer on the verge of fame, wealth and acclaim finds his life destroyed when he is invited to a party and it turns out to be a setup where there are drugs present and in order to protect his love, he admits involvement and ends up being on the front page of newspapers and is sent to jail. All of his money gone, his family having disavowed him to keep from losing their livelihood too, the singer is released from prison with nothing, and even his love has moved on. This is the story of how he regains his life, his family and finds true love and redemption. Call it, "내 이름은 주지훈 않이에요" (My Name Isn't Joo Jihoon) hehe. I'm just kidding. Call it, "Coming in 2nd Place."

:)

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I'm a sucker for dramas that flaunt fashion (e.g. Gossip Girl, SATC, though not Ugly Betty because Betty is simply, well, ugly)—which is probably one reason why I got so hooked on Goong and Boys Before Flowers (and liked Around 40, a j-dorama). So yeah, bring on the fashion!

Although really, casting and plot are definitely important reel-me-in factors (more than the styling). If Magazine Allo and Style cast not-so-good-looking actors (e.g. Bad Couple—how can the lead actress claim to be a fashion editor when her hair was uber horrible?), then that's going to be a bummer.

Thanks for the update, Javabeans!

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@ Sere, OMG. Thank you so much for that. I went and read the whole of the wikipedia entry for that. So many interesting genres and sub-genres of literature...as for the fashion dramas, none of them seem to be very interesting to me. Can't wait for Triple, and those three dishy guys......

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"I’m a sucker for dramas that flaunt fashion (e.g. Gossip Girl, SATC, though not Ugly Betty because Betty is simply, well, ugly)"

No she's not.

I don't mind Fashion dramas but please leave the "bitchy fashion models" and "overly gay designers" cliches at home. Something more off the wall would be a welcome.

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I WOULD complain about the obvious lack of originality, but of course I am dead in love with both Ugly Betty, The Devil Wears Prada, the like, so I'm actually more pleased than anything with this one.

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I hope fashion dramas after Cinderella Man will be better. I'm currently watching Cinderella Man and I find KSW's acting a little forced. And Han Eun-jung doesn't look the part. I liked her in Full House, she was every inch the glamorous fashion designer then.

Oh well.

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I'm not into fashion dramas. It simply knock a rock in poor heart that dude even though they are pretty I don't have the luxury to be spending too much on clothes.

That aside, the only fashion movie I watched was The Devil wears Prada but didn't like it.

Hmm....will see.

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yeah..i love British comedy like 'Absolutely Fabulous'..it's so funny..it's a riot.

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@ boraaah

I saw some good sci-fi k-movies.

There was 2009 Lost Memories, Yesterday, and this other one that I don't remember the name to but I remember it had androids and really hi-tech stuff.

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@ Samsooki

As you are our resident PD, and have thrown in a few plots for the chewing of -

Might I throw an idea in.

As almost all dramas hinge on the internal poltics/wrangles and manipulation of family, marriage, business etc. by a powerful or bitchy few. How about a group of friends, all from an unusual university club or group, from several backgrounds that work undercover as 'Anti-Manipulators'. Has scope for the rich flashy, poor but hard working, male and female 'eye candy'. Funded by a rich mysterious benefactor / Master Manipulator.
Might be able to sneak in a bit of your sci-fi (super technology), shoot em ups, hyper action that is dear to you. Still soothing the watchers need for the love, family, marriage etc.

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Ok, it has low ratings but I'm actually really enjoying Cinderella Man and I like Kwon Sang-woo in his double role. He's not one of those "pretty" Korean actors.

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Didn't realize fashion was that big in Korea

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@ KOK

I stand corrected. America Ferrera is beautiful but I don't like Ugly Betty also because of the bitchy models and equally bitchy gay designers (that kind of nastiness, I can live without). Agree that an off-the-wall fashion drama just might work.

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I think the reason why I watch Ugly Betty (the show) and why it has been so successful is because it's different from the norm. In the real fashion world, I doubt Ugly Betty exists. I seem to think the fashion world is quite superficial and one-dimensional. They set a standard for beauty that is not applicable to those of us living in the real world. And I'm not quite sure if I understand some of the standards either e.g. how can a thin almost anorexic woman with sunken cheeks be beautiful?

@Samsooki
You have some great plots. I actually really like the first one even though it may sound simple.

I had some similar thoughts with the second one except the actor (instead of pop singer) exiles himself to the US, meets a Korean-American girl who is also an ex-model/interior designer (she worked as a model to pay through college) and they fall in love, not realizing that her loving brother, an international hotelier (with property in Korea too) was the mastermind that plotted the downfall of our guy because of jealousy - the actress he was in love with was in love with the exiled actor. When his name was cleared, he leaves for Korea without her - she couldn't bring herself to move with him due to some dark secrets in her past. When she finally found the courage to move months later, he has moved on and has started dating the actress. I have several endings, just not sure which direction to go...

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Re: the scifi soap operas, something along the lines of the Jdrama Long Love Letter would be great. They're just aren't enough good scifi shows around any more, I miss Farscape, Firefly, Buffy et al

I enjoyed s1 of Ugly Betty but right now I like every character but Betty. On the other hand a UB/The Devil Wears Prada hybrid could be fun.

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since Ugly Betty was mentioned, does Korea or any other Asian country have it's own version of offical version of Ugly Betty - original Columbian version Betty, la Fea?

personally would love to see it especially since Korea has a high plastic surgery rate. it would be an interesting social commentary if done right, but i don't know if it would be one Korea would really want to watch.

@Queen Bee - i can understand your reason why not to watch Ugly Betty because of the bitchiness of the other players. but i think in a way it's a commentary and sad reflection on how our country feels about beauty and fashion. like it's the upper elite. i will admit i haven't watched it since the second season because i got too busy to keep it up, and i was tired of it competing with my Survivor on CBS.

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@7 ktbrods
You're welcome! I must warn you, if you really try Space Opera you might get addicted. I didn't know that and when it happened, I was like, omg how do I STOP now? much like Kdramas actually. I lovelovelove the Vorkosigan saga. I don't know if that's because I can relate to the main character (Miles, a guy who has to prove his worth in a society where physical perfection is required as he struggle with his disability) or if it is objectively good (I think so), but I like it. I can also rec you scifi novels...I've read many!

@18 Jo
Farscape!!!!! John Crichton, omg! Ok, sorry, I get a little bit excited when I find scifi lovers. Hee!

@ Samsooki and B.B.
Niiice storylines! Samsooki, I particularly like your #2. Why can't the TPTB hire you guys?

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@ yogini

I know China has one called Ugly Wu Di (丑女无敌) starring Li Xin Ru.

I've heard really good things about it. They just finished Season 1 and they're starting to film Season 2.

As for k-dramas, I've always thought that Snow White with Kim Jung Hwa was sorta like it.... but then again, I heard of Snow White before Ugly Betty so I'm not sure if the writers were influenced by it.

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I tried watching an episode of Cinderella man and I just found myself extremely bored. I dont think fashion dramas are even that interesting (unless of course one of these new fashion dramas prove me wrong). I think kdrama needs to come back with all its great action packed drama and thrillers. Now thats what I call real entertainment.

Oh and now that Lee Jia is preparing for "Style" how will she have time to do that telecinema show that she was casted for with Kang Ji Hwan? Or have they already filmed it?

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why not a vampire drama? that should kick some romancing butt.

Honestly, korea has great talents when it comes to acting but orginality is lacking as years pass - stories are repeated. Fashion series seem to be too high class-boring well CM is okay but stilll.

Why not a vampire romance plot ? (th elast one in korean drama history is pretty old) am sure a lot of teenage girls would tune in on that one as long as it's NOT "korea's twilight". There's a lot of way you could manipulate romance - it's just that the studios don't want to be risky .

Heck they could even do a boyxboy or girlxgirl series, that would be interesting even if the government would probably limit/or prohibit it . LOL then...................................let's goo vampires!!

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@24 otk Re: vampire kdramas
I watched one. And I wanted to stab myself repeadedly! *shudders*

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@ yogini

Vietnam has one called the ugly girl but it's just really horrible! the "models" have orange spray tans that make them look like oompa loompas and the "hot" guys looked like they were just randomly picked off the street. It's really long too!

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i've been a big fan of korean dramas..but it's been a while since i last saw a good one.i've seen some dramas shown early this year but they weren't impressive. i miss the good ol' k-drama days (when i could stay up all night just watching a good drama!) i just wish that the following dramas, whether they be fashion-themed or not, would have a great storyline

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@queen bee

I gave up on Ugly Betty after the second season, what I liked about hte first season was the whole Betty being a fish out of water, working hard for the magazine, overcoming obstacles and still being herself. The second series just charged in to over the top, tacky drama and by the end I couldn't be bothered.

As for drama plot, I came up with a simple fashion plot (just now):

Normal girl being a pretty girl in her home town comes to the city in hopes to become a model, through a friend she gets some audtions but they all turn out to be tacky ones for either underwear or something other obscene shoots (comedy ensues), after every failed auditon she always goes to a convenience store and complains to one of the emplyees (handsome student) about everything, since he lives next door to her aswell after a while she falls for him (obviously they don't like eachother in the start, we need some funny conflicts).

She gives up on her dreams and begins to love her simple life but he ends up getting discovered. Drama ensues.

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Man. I'm all up for the sports drama! If the director can find a way to make the drama balance personal conflicts with sports, I think a lot of people can find interest in that.

I mean, just look at Pride? Although it was centered around Hockey, it really had nothing at all to do with it.
Kind of like 9 ends 3 outs. I loved that drama even though no one really watched it :(

I want to see a rich girl meets poor guy drama. Korea soo overplays the rich guy and poor girl angle XD
Or how about a drama about a Korean-American?
Or a hip-hop drama?! How fun would that be?!!!

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@18, yvhsien:

"I have several endings, just not sure which direction to go…"

Generally, the direction that makes the least amount of sense will make it seem more like a k-drama. I can name a half-dozen k-dramas that, had they did the exact opposite of the ending they chose, would have made more better ending...

:)

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@ 29 Alvina

Rich Girl Poor Guy Plot -

Rich Daughter of Fabric Design/Manufacture Empire, takes trip to US. Mayhem when mishaps happen ( add comedy or crime here ) passing knight ( Poor art student/Pavement artist to the rescue. ) Big Brother and side kick sent to retrieve by Mother. Feelings aflutter and not wanting to return to the nest, (add US/Korean chase mayhem / adventure) Big Family battle, love etc.
You know all the usual.......

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Isn't there currently a scriptwriting contest going on in Korea? MBC, I think it was?

Come on, team, get those creative juices flowing! :D

p.s. My one request for including a Korean-American character is PLEASE LEAVE OUT THE ENGRISH / KRINGLISH / "CRINGE"-LISH !!! Thank you.

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@Sere
I LOVE the Vorkosigan Saga...It's been a long time since I've read something as fun as that where I would be so impatient to read the next novel. Hmm, I wonder how that would turn out if it was a drama....

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SHES WEARING JIMMY CHOOS
me want.

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For some weird reason I always wanted to see a diverse drama, at least the leads, something like My Tutor friend 2 (helllo sexy kyung tae xD) and show something deeep and meaningful.

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Hey I'm as much into fashion as the next girl but the series has to be done right for me to enjoy it. Cinderella Man has been a no-no already. Maybe the other two will be better.

.......ah who am I kidding? Triple it is. :D

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@ KOK

Totally agree with your thoughts on Ugly Betty Seasons 1 and 2. There's only so much bullying and ostracising Betty should take (I don't mind the catfights in GG because Serena and Blair are on equal footing anyway).

Your idea for a fashion-themed plot reminds me of Skip Beat, the manga. Hmm, now if Korea were to adapt that, I definitely wouldn't mind!

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I take back my word against Cinderella Man. Yes, episode 1 & 2 were boring, but I think that episode 3 onwards was a little better (maybe it's because yoona cried less). it's a flawed drama but kwon sang woo isn't horrible. i actually find his acting here much more better than his previous works (maybe i just disliked his crying nonsense in bad love and stairway to heaven which i totally did not finish nor start much). i find it totally silly funny when he imitated him. but yet u can see the difference just in the eye expression.

or...

maybe because i'm watching streaming and not HD version to see his aging. :P

cinderella man may not be awesome like slingshot, but sometimes i watch really toned-down stuff just to get out from kdrama addiction. :P ironic, i know.

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I must be cross-eyed today! I thought it says "slut of fashion dramas" lmao O_o

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@35 Yumi-chan,

I think that's why I loved My Tutor Friend 2 soo much better than the first one. It had that innocent charm about it, an innocent sort of love that was hidden behind all of the humor and intensity.

Maybe I'm just looking into it too much but it's rare to find drama that give me a similar feeling.

@31 B.B.,

hey, that doesn't sound too bad ;)

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i like CM it was boring at frist i like KSW playing 2 parts
i like the k drama i have seen ugly bety it is funny

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