The Producers: Episode 6
Aw, our clueless maknae is starting to wise up and learn the ropes, and this makes for some moments of hilarity as he figures out how to play the game everyone else knows how to play, as well as moments of bonding and sweetness. A lot of relationships take strides forward, though an important one hits the skids, and our characters have to learn how to clean up the aftermath of their emotional accidents.
SONG OF THE DAY
The Solutions – “Stage” [ Download ]
EPISODE 6: “Understanding broadcast accidents”
Seung-chan asks Joon-mo whether he remembers Ye-jin’s drunken words the other night. Joon-mo thinks, “Of course I do, why wouldn’t I remember—that accident.” He explains that accidents arise after three factors provoke it, and that night Ye-jin got upset (at being embarrassed over the Cindy incident), she drank on an empty stomach, and Joon-mo felt the urge to drink.
We jump back to the events of that night, after Ye-jin passes out at the pojangmacha. Joon-mo carries her home on piggyback, and Seung-chan zigzags tipsily behind him while admonishing Joon-mo not to zigzag so much. God I love drunk Seung-chan. He insists on seeing them home, while staggering off at intervals to fall down and puke into bushes.
Joon-mo looks after Ye-jin that night, then tells us that after spending the night in confusion, he decided to forget the accident, which would allow them all to return as things were. “But of all things, this kid had to remember everything.”
Back to their confrontation, where Seung-chan says that he finds Joon-mo’s actions cowardly, because even if you edit things out, the original content exists somewhere. Joon-mo continues the metaphor, saying that it’s up to the tape’s owner to decide what to do with that original, whether it be saving it or getting rid of it.
Seung-chan replies that Joon-mo must have never experienced a one-sided love, because if he knew how it felt to like someone and be unable to give up, he’d never be able to pretend not to know Ye-jin’s feelings. Joon-mo tells him he ought to be a prosecutor instead of a PD, but Seung-chan counters that his role in this case is as witness, with a duty to tell the whole truth to Ye-jin.
Joon-mo picks up on Seung-chan’s answer, in siding with Ye-jin, but breaks the moment by reminding them they have to go edit. Not a metaphor this time, since they have an episode to get out.
Back in the editing bay, Seung-chan delivers iced coffee to Joon-mo, then waits with anticipation for him to take a sip. Joon-mo’s face screws up in disgust, and Seung-chan hides a smile before pretending with a totally innocent face that he thought Joon-mo requested tons of syrup, rather than none at all. HAHA. He’s finally using his clueless reputation to his advantage, the wily little nerd.
Then when Joon-mo chuckles over a funny clip, Seung-chan hides his own laugh to say blandly that it’s kind of old-fashioned and obvious.
Joon-mo doesn’t buy Seung-chan’s innocent act and calls him a terrible liar, and Seung-chan just silently gets up and leaves the room. He calls Ye-jin to meet outside her building, and tells her that Joon-mo was assuredly drunk and doesn’t recall her confession.
Ye-jin brightens in relief, and when she admits to feeling embarrassed to have him know all this, Seung-chan tells her that liking somebody isn’t anything to be embarrassed about. She explains how her apartment came to be Joon-mo’s apartment, and they realize they’d both grown up here, playing on this playground.
In a flashback to 1997, we see Ye-jin crying on the same swing set, with Joon-mo sitting next to her. She’s upset about having to leave Seoul and giving up her apartment to Joon-mo’s family, though she’s touched when Joon-mo cradles her head and pats her shoulder, telling her not to cry.
In the present, Ye-jin ruefully notes that she’s confiding a lot in Seung-chan, and he looks pleased at that, reminding her that she can talk to him whenever she wants. She ruffles his hair affectionately, which makes him even more bashful.
Ye-jin’s the one who points out that his phone’s been ringing all this while, and it’s only now that Seung-chan notices and hurriedly assures Joon-mo he’s on his way back. He dashes off, then returns to give Ye-jin a bow before running off again. And that’s when she finally changes his saved ID in her phone log, from “Door Dent” to his actual name.
Brownnosing PD Hong-soon spies Office Nazi driving in a fancy convertible and fixates on how she can afford the car. He wonders whether she’s siphoning office supply money to fund her lifestyle (which would take her a hundred years to amass that amount, Joon-mo points out) or blackmailing higher-ups. Ye-jin asks if he likes her, tired of hearing about this for days on end.
Hong-soon asks Ye-jin for her help on a special broadcast he’s putting together of KBS Big Show, a music concert program. The special features families of politicians and bigshots as guests, and he’s got his eye on sucking up to the VIPs and asks Ye-jin to manage the stage performances (which she points out is his job).
Cindy is slated to perform and hears that this program often uses PDs from other shows, which makes her wonder whether any 1N2D PDs might be working there. Her manager oppa guesses she means Umbrella PD, and for one hot second she looks alarmed that he knows about her interest—until he declares that she must be worried Seung-chan will muck things up.
He’s about to make the demand to keep Seung-chan far away from the show when Cindy snaps at oppa to stop reading extra meaning into her words, to which he points out that she’d ordered him to read more the last time.
In anticipation of their new season’s premiere, the 1N2D team makes a pool betting on their first episode’s ratings. They range from 7 percent (pessimistic, but certainly not likely to happen, says CP Kim) to 15 percent (overly optimistic, though it makes them all feel good), until Seung-chan offers up a precise 6.8 percent prediction with all the research to back it up. It kills the mood, though not as much as Joon-mo assuring his team that he has a really good feeling about this season—strangely, his optimism puts his team in panic mode.
The FD explains to Seung-chan that Joon-mo has a reputation for jinxed predictions—if he thinks something will be great, it’ll tank, and vice versa. Flashback to Joon-mo insisting everything we know to be false: that Lee Seung-gi should only sing and not do variety, that Suzy is the least appealing of her group, and that Norazo will be the face of Hallyu. He’s so reliably wrong that managers go to him for his opinions—and then do the opposite. (Ha, it’s running joke on the real 1N2D that Cha Tae-hyun has terrible luck, always guessing the exact opposite of what’s true, to comical results.)
Showtime. Seung-chan’s family welcomes him home as they all sit around waiting for the show to come on. CP Kim, on the other hand, has to actually beg his daughter to turn the station from competitor show Running Man to 1N2D instead.
Seung-chan’s parents are excitable and enthusiastic, though as the show goes on, the mood grows quieter and quieter—they don’t quite see the appeal of the show and Dad wonders, “Why do they sound the laughing noises when things aren’t funny?” Seung-chan: “It’s supposed to be funny…”
Then the show airs the bit of Seung-chan and Cindy hiking through the woods, him catching her when she trips, and him bending down to tie her shoelace. It’s a lovely romantic moment and Cindy smiles to watch it—although it puts Seung-chan’s family in an uproar that some hussy who dances in her underwear would dare make their precious son stoop to tie her shoe.
Joon-mo and Ye-jin watch together, and she comments that Seung-chan looks good onscreen, and manly—a remark that Joon-mo doesn’t appreciate. But a bigger problem strikes when a mistaken caption comes onscreen, labeling their location with the wrong province name. Eek!
Ye-jin steps aside to take a call from Joon-mo’s mother, who asks her to make sure Joon-mo makes his blind date with the prosecutor’s daughter. He’d missed the first one and is refusing to go to the rescheduled date (to Ye-jin’s pleasure), and when Mom threatens to barge into his home herself to see about his hidden woman, she hastily promises to do what she can.
The caption error is going to be a headache to deal with, and Joon-mo’s already dreading the fallout. Ye-jin tries cheering Joon-mo up, then broaches the topic of his date—but before she can say much, he tells her he already went on it. Huh.
She looks him face to face while he studiously avoids meeting her eye, and she calls him out on the lie. It makes her conclude that he heard her confession after all, and he’s drawing the line between them. He insists she has it wrong, calling her confession an accident—and if he acknowledged it, things could get awkward between them. “We’re good right now,” he says. “It’s comfortable.”
Disappointed, she just agrees and says she caused the accident and apologizes for the inconvenience. “You’re right, it was an accident. I didn’t mean it,” she says. “But strangely, right now I’m a lot more embarrassed and hurt than when I’ve been dumped by someone. You did this.”
She retreats to her room and buries herself under the covers, and Joon-mo can’t do anything but feel terrible.
Ratings are posted at the office, and turns out, Seung-chan was right on the money. He wins the pool and everyone hands him cash, which doesn’t make him feel any better—especially when Joon-mo pettily pays him in singles. He compliments Seung-chan’s foresight sarcastically, and word spreads quickly about his supposed clairvoyance.
Seung-chan’s broadcast appearance makes the Office Nazi look at him differently, too, and when he goes to her desk on an errand, she hands him a ream of paper he didn’t even ask for. “Keep it, and use as needed,” she says breathily. Omg, that’s hilarious. Then she asks him about her future, hoping he can read her fortune.
Joon-mo is taken to task for the caption accident, and stays late writing a report of how the accident came to pass, and how the critical issue with accidents is how you handle the aftermath. He looks over at Ye-jin, wondering what to do with both accidents.
Seung-chan catches up to Ye-jin as she’s heading home, bounding up to her wearing a huge smile. He makes up the excuse of wanting meat for dinner to invite her along, and buys expensive beef that he grills for her. She tells him that Joon-mo heard her confession after all, and when he asks what she likes about Joon-mo, she sighs that she doesn’t know. She asks him what he liked about his sunbae, and he thinks it over: “She’s pretty… and… she’s pretty.”
Ye-jin figures that men just need women to be pretty, and says wistfully that to Joon-mo, she must be a comfortable longtime buddy: “I must not be pretty to him.” Seung-chan blurts, “You’re pretty.” She looks up in surprise, and he repeats, “You’re pretty too.” Aw, so sweet. It makes her smile, though she just takes the kind words as evidence of his improved social skills.
Joon-mo sits around waiting for Ye-jin to come home, visibly disappointed when it’s kid bro Ye-joon instead. Ye-joon guesses that they fought and offers up the information that Ye-jin’s looking into month-to-month housing, and does his Cupid thing by trying to make it seem like part of a dating game power play so Joon-mo can step in and dissuade her. But when he does ask Ye-jin about it, he finds that she’s serious, and that moving out is her method of cleaning up her “accident.”
Hurt, he tells her to do whatever she wants, which he seems to regret right away. But she leaves the apartment and spends the night at her office rather than coming back home.
In the morning, the bratty writer is first in and sees Ye-jin sleeping in a chair, and offers her something to cover up with. It’s a grudgingly nice gesture from the rude upstart… until she drops a towel over Ye-jin’s face, saying she’ll want to cover that up. God. Why are you still employed anywhere? I don’t get her, but I hate her. Learn manners and get off my lawn!
It’s the day of the Big Show taping, and Ye-jin gets her crew in place, which includes Seung-chan on standby duty, making sure all the performers have everything they need.
Cindy arrives in the parking lot, and runs into Lee Seung-gi, playing a hilarious version of himself that may very well be true, where he’s super nice and helpful, but mostly because that’s his established image and he’s in too deep to risk damaging it. He adds that he’s envious of Cindy for being able to get angry and act out whenever she wants, since that fits her bratty image.
Cindy rolls her eyes and wonders why he went for the perfect boy-next-door image in the first place. Seung-gi says you don’t know what’ll stick when you debut, so you just go with what works. He admits that it’s stressful keeping it up all the time, but whispers a secret: There’s a special group of celebrities with good images, which includes Yoo Jae-suk (national MC known for being awesome) and Sean of Jinusean (famously philanthropic with his wife, Jung Hye-young).
Cindy asks how that gathering helps relieve stress, and Seung-gi says they compete with things like community service and donations. LOL. That’s awesome and hysterical. You guys would relieve stress by doing more good deeds. Then Seung-gi rushes off to help a boy who tripped and makes a photo op of it.
Cindy watches Seung-gi’s display shaking her head, but when it’s time to ready for her performance, she wants to change her image up this time, ditching the strong, sexy look for a softer, cuter one. She asks her manager if the PDs will be by to check on her before the show, and oppa is proud to inform her that he told them to leave her alone today. She glares, and he asks, “Was that… not right?”
He fixes things by bungling them again, naturally, and sends Ye-jin in to check on her, having demanded the PD in charge to come in person. Cindy says very casually that she only meant for minor checks, which could fall to a lower PD, and Ye-jin’s happy to call in Seung-chan instead.
Cindy sits up straighter when he enters, and perks up visibly as Ye-jin informs her that Seung-chan will be going through all the pre-show checks with her.
As Ye-jin and Seung-chan leave the dressing room, Seung-gi grabs her from behind in a bear hug, and they have an enthusiastic reunion that sours the expression on Seung-chan’s face. Ah, I love when he’s jealous.
It says something about Seung-chan’s improvement in feigning innocence that I’m not entirely sure he’s being serious when he says that he didn’t know Seung-gi was a singer, and brings up one of the dramas he did AGES ago (rather than, say, any of the huge hits in the meantime) which his mother loved, and then gets his character’s name wrong to boot.
Ye-jin jumps in to sing Seung-gi’s praises, but in the process inadvertently ruffles Seung-gi’s feathers by getting his song titles wrong. Ha, Seung-gi is unexpectedly sensitive about this, correcting her minor errors (“Marry Me” instead of “Will You Marry Me,” for instance). They head off for coffee together and leave him behind, sulking.
Cindy smiles at Seung-chan as they head off to the stage together, and her manager and stylist are absolutely floored: “Did she just… smile? Not sneer, or snort, but just smile?”
Seung-chan gets Cindy miked up for her performance, and she stands frozen with heart pounding as he leans close to affix her mic pack. Then he apologizes for the discourtesy before leaning in even closer, brushing her hair aside, and fixing the earpiece that’s slipped. It’s a wonder she doesn’t melt right into the floor.
Next he ushers her to the lift to rehearse her entrance, offering her a hand, which she clasps, and then grabbing her arms to steady himself when the lift lurches. All the while Cindy clenches her fists tightly, trying to act cool on the surface while he remains oblivious.
CP Kim and Hong-soon stuff themselves on their lunch break, only to run into the station director on their way back, who suggests lunch. Both of them are ever keen to seize opportunities to get in with their superiors, so they uneasily agree to another lunch, though CP Kim is the smarter of the two brownnosers and excuses himself to check on the show, earning extra points for his dedication.
Ye-jin is onstage preparing for the show when a mechanized platform begins moving onto the stage. She calls over to Cindy, who’s standing in the middle of the stage with eyes closed, listening to something, and when she sees that Cindy isn’t aware that she’s in the platform’s path, she rushes forward to shove her out of the way. In the process, Ye-jin gets hit with the platform and falls with a thud.
Seung-chan hears of the accident and races for the hospital, where he asks about the KBS accident. He’s directed to an area, but to his surprise, it’s Cindy lying in the hospital bed. He asks for Ye-jin, but Cindy doesn’t know where she went.
Turns out Ye-jin got up from being hit, only to see that she’d shoved Cindy into the lift pit, hurting her ankle. He finds Ye-jin in the waiting area nursing a bruised arm, and she’s defensive about being hurt too. Seung-chan is so relieved she’s okay that he just smiles doofily while she complains about Cindy getting all the medical attention while she has to wait.
Joon-mo is out with his team scouting locations when a message pings in Hong-soon’s chat room. He ignores it, thinking it more nonsense, so it takes a while for him to actually read it. (In typical Hong-soon fashion, he makes the accident announcement all about his hardship in directing the show alone.)
Ye-jin and Seung-chan head to check on Cindy, having heard that the doctors recommended a minimum four-day stay in the hospital. They encounter a wall of Cindy’s oppa fans outside her wing, who hear that they’re PDs and ask for information—is it true somebody pushed Cindy onstage? Ye-jin gulps and says she knows nothing, and when the oppas recognize Seung-chan from 1N2D, she hurriedly pushes him along before they get caught up by the fanboys.
Ye-jin approaches cautiously, but Cindy’s surprisingly reasonable about the accident, saying that she knows it wasn’t intentional and that she doesn’t blame them. She even says it afforded her a rare chance to sleep more than three hours, and will consider it a nice break.
CEO Byun is of a different mind entirely, though, and arrives in high dudgeon, slapping the manager oppa for letting this happen. Then she turns to Cindy oozing premeditated concern, saying how of course her injury is most important, and she worked so hard to cancel all Cindy’s engagements for the day, but she absolutely must make her Japan event in two days because the breach fee is so high.
Ye-jin balks at this disregard of doctor’s orders, and Seung-chan chimes in with his own protests. Together, the two defend Cindy’s right to rest, citing potential legal ramifications if she insists despite the medical diagnosis.
Then as they leave Cindy’s wing, they see the wall of fanboys outside and Ye-jin grabs Seung-chan’s hand tightly. He smiles bashfully the whole time, as Ye-jin pulls him past the fans’ clutches.
Meanwhile, Joon-mo hurries back to Seoul, receiving no answer on Ye-jin’s phone and getting stuck in bad traffic. Cindy listens dully as CEO Byun presses her to make all her engagements, Hong-soon bemoans his bad luck at actually having to direct his show (instead of hobnobbing with the VIP guests), and Ye-joon looks for new apartments while wishing they could stay here.
A look at Chapter 6 gives us the lesson for today, regarding broadcast accidents: “No matter how much you reflect on it, it’ll happen again.”
Cindy’s manager oppa trembles in the aftermath of being slapped, while Cindy cries to herself in her hospital bed.
Joon-mo pulls up to the hospital just as Ye-jin walks out with Seung-chan, and in his great relief to see her in safe health, he does his usual (wrong) thing and covers it up by picking on her. He asks after Cindy instead, blaming her for the accident and clucking that he knew she’d get into trouble. Aw, don’t you rub salt in the wound!
So when he tries to check on her arm injury, a stung Ye-jin recoils and says she’s sorry for hurting his cast member and making his life difficult.
She walks off crying, and Seung-chan finds her and silently hands her a handkerchief. She asks why he’s always around to see her making mistakes and asks to be left alone.
“Sunbae,” he says seriously. “I’m sorry too. I think I’m about to cause an accident.”
Then he steps forward to cradle her head and hold her to him, in a position that echoes teenage Joon-mo.
Seung-gi surprises Ye-jin backstage, and while he’s heaping on the compliments, Seung-chan watches sourly and trudges off feeling jealous. But then he spies Seung-gi’s name on the dressing room door, takes a furtive look around, and whips out a pen.
He scribbles furiously for a while, and then the door opens and Seung-gi steps out. He greets Seung-chan with alacrity, then bounds off to do more good deeds for a passing writer. And Seung-chan looks back at his graffiti with a satisfied smile: Instead of reading “Lee Seung-gi nim,” it now just reads “Lee Seung-gi.” Oooooh, that’ll show him!
I love Seung-chan so much, in all of his iterations, and it’s no wonder that Kim Soo-hyun has another hit on his hands. How is it that every project he does is a career-making one? Some of this must be attributed to luck and good fortune and good projects, but at this rate, his amazing success rate really has to point to his talent. I know he’s acting, particularly since he’s played such a wide range of personality types at this point, but his Seung-chan feels completely real and in the moment, which is a huge part of the reason he’s so compelling. My admiration may be for Kim Soo-hyun the actor, but all of my sympathies and emotional investment is with Seung-chan the character.
I love that Seung-chan is childishly petty while at the same time conveying a wisdom that speaks of greater maturity. His juvenile pranks in earlier episodes regarding his noona crush were funny as comic beats on their own, but the show has tapped into something even better by repeating that dynamic with Ye-jin as the cause, because I care about her (and his crush on her) in a way that I didn’t care about his noona. And now that he’s cluing in (a little bit, and in pieces) to how to be sarcastic or roundabout or doubletalking, and gets to use his reputation as a clueless kid as his shield. It’s the best thing to see him learning how to say the opposite of what he means, and dishing things back to Joon-mo.
Of course, when it really matters he’s the most honest and stiffly principled of everyone, so I’m glad that this foray into sarcasm and passive-aggressiveness isn’t, say, tainting his eternal soul. He’s straightforward in an admirable way, which contrasts with Joon-mo’s passivity.
Granted, Joon-mo is the one who acts more like a normal person, with all of a normal person’s attendant insecurities, fears, and defensiveness. I’m mad at Joon-mo right now and reserve the right to hold today’s episode against him for a good long while (okay, at least another episode or two), but I totally understand his reactions. Seung-chan had it right by calling him cowardly, but it’s not more cowardly than the average person trying to protect themselves and fearing rocking the boat—better to hold onto the thing you want than to dare hope for the moon, isn’t it?
It’s the classic underachiever’s dilemma, where trying to protect yourself actually ensures yourself against the one thing that would make all that pain worth it. But in this mode, you’re more about hedging your bets and hanging on to what you have than venturing out into the unknown. It’s ironic that his comment about editing was all about giving up something good to hold onto something better, because from the perspective of us, the omniscient viewer, the “something better” would be to have Ye-jin’s love, which is what they both want. But from his limited perspective, he can’t know that, and so for him something better is the bird in the hand, not the two in the bush.
I’m not sure where things are headed for Cindy, but I really like the way the show depicts her budding feelings—it’s all in the sidelong glances and hopeful looks, and what’s not said rather than what is. When we’re in her point of view, all time slows to a crawl and every one of Seung-chan’s movements is magnified in glorious slo-mo… and then we cut over to him and he’s going about his business briskly, not noticing that this very small touch, interaction, or look is a momentous thing to her. It’s so reminiscent of a youthful crush, and makes me thrill a little for her while also feeling pre-emptive pity for the fact that it’s all unreciprocated.
I suppose the romantic feelings are unreciprocated for Seung-chan too, but that dynamic feels different to me, because you can see that he’s becoming an important person to Ye-jin. She may not love him, but he’s definitely a comforting presence, particularly since her supposed best friend is actively inflicting wounds now. (Seriously, Joon-mo. You’re on my shit list for the week.)
I don’t know yet how I want this romantic tangle to work out, because I like Ye-jin and Seung-chan so much that I want both of them to get what their hearts want, but those things are at odds with each other. But maybe the important thing isn’t their romantic roles for each other but their friendship ones, where she’s a guiding hand in his career struggles and he’s a spot of comfort in hers.