Korean dramas about politics and historical stories had featured the president mainly as a background character so far, but these days the president has been the protagonist of a few mini-series dramas in a row, and the president has suddenly stood out as a “popular job” in dramas.SBS TV’s new drama “Dae Mul,” which will begin airing from October, and KBS 2TV’s new drama “President,” which will begin airing from December, are stories of politicians who run for the presidency. Both dramas will focus on the process to run for the presidency, and the stories happening after being elected as the president will be unfolded as well. To be specific, the presidential candidate will be the main character, and in the process of running for the presidency, the dramas will portray the job of the president itself and the lifestyle of the president from various angles. The drama “Dae Mul” has cast the actress Ko Hyun Jung as the female protagonist and tells the story of the first female president, and the drama “President” has cast the actor Choi Soo Jong as the protagonist.
◇Showdown of Korean and Japanese original cartoons - Is a former human rights lawyer the ideal president? Both dramas will be produced based on the original cartoons.
The original cartoon of the drama “Dae Mul,” which has the same title and was written by Park In Kwon, tells the story of the first female president of Korea. The former prosecutor Seo Hye Rim runs for the presidency and becomes the elected president after a circuitous path. The drama “President” is based on the Japanese cartoon writer Kaiji kawaguchi’s cartoon entitled “Eagle.” Even though the original is a Japanese cartoon, it deals with the election of the US president because Japan has a prime minister system instead of a presidential system. This drama will be about the protagonist named Jang Il Joon who will run for the presidential election in 2012 for the election of the 18th president of Korea.
As both dramas deal with the presidential election, they will naturally discuss the type of ideal president, and it is very interesting to find that both dramas have chosen human rights lawyers as the protagonists. The character Seo Hye Rim in “Dae Mul” was initially a prosecutor who fought against social evils, and she decided to resign from the prosecutor position after taking the responsibility for arresting a "heavy hitter" who had been the de facto power behind political gangs. After that, she starts to work as a lawyer and gains popularity as a human rights lawyer, and she decides to run for the presidency based on her popularity as a human rights lawyer.
The character Jang Il Joon in “President” is the brightest man who had come from an ordinary family and had been accepted by a prestigious university, majoring the law. In the university, he participated in the student movement during the Yushin regime and came to have a new dream. He gained a good reputation as a human rights lawyer and ran for the National Assembly, and finally succeeded in becoming elected as a member of the National Assembly after his third attempt. After that, he runs for the presidency to create a whole new country where there will be no conflict among people with different ideologies, regional sentiments, and social class.
◇"Telling a story about the President is no longer taboo.” - Before these two dramas, the movie “Good Morning President,” in which the actor Jang Dong Gun appeared, had been a hot topic by setting the president as the protagonist last year. In “Good Morning President,” three presidents, played by Jang Dong Gun, Lee Soon Jae, and Ko Doo Shim, presented humane characters with wit. The movie had shown comical stories about the president, but these new dramas will have more of a political tinge by describing the process of running for the presidency, which is actually a "battlefield without gunfire." That is, those dramas will deal with the president more actively. Production staff members all say that there is no other job as attractive and dramatic job as the presidency.
The production director of “President,” Kim Hyung Il said, “There has been a desire to look at the story of the president closely, and the desire has finally been realized. The fact that we can freely talk about the president in a drama means that our society has become mature.” He continued, “Up until now, any work had been prohibited that dealt with a story about the president, so the president had only been dealt with in documentary programs within dramas set in the Republic era or in stories of unofficial history, but now that has been changed and the atmosphere of society allows any work describing the president, whoever the person is, what kind of worries the president has in mind, and how the president has been living.”
The section chief of the SBS drama, Park Jong, also said, “Our society has become candid enough to allow dramas pick up the subject of the president. Among various incidents, a murder case is the best material to deal with, and among people, the president is the best character to express dramatic settings. For this reason, many foreign movies and dramas have also chosen the president as the protagonist.”
The bellwethers of the change have appeared gradually. In the drama “Lovers In Prague,” the female protagonist, played by the actress Jeon Do Yeon, was a daughter of the president, and the drama presented the humane relationship between father and daughter. In the drama “City Hall,” the male protagonist, played by Cha Seung Won, was a politician dreaming of running for the presidency, and at the end of the drama, the protagonist actually ran for the presidential election. In addition, in the drama “Boys Over Flowers,” actor Lee Jung Kil played a doctor who was once the president of Korea, and enabled viewers to look at the ordinary life of the president after his presidential term. In the drama “IRIS,” the president agonized over the fight against a terrorist organization.
The section chief Park Jong added, “The drama ‘Dae Mul’ will tell a story about the presidential election, but the elements of the melodrama will also be highlighted, so as a whole, the genre of the drama will be the fusion of melodrama and political drama.” In “Dae Mul,” an attractive politician named Kang Hyun Suk and a former Casanova named Ha Ryu will star and be involved in a love triangle with the female presidential candidate, and the love story between them will be covered with much importance.
◇"We are waiting for the great president.” - The consecutive appearances of dramas with the topic of the presidency reflect the desire to have a great president. The production director Kim Hyung Il said, “Apart from the party, the leadership of the president is very important as it will decide the fate of the country. Everyone has a desire to have a great president in Korea, and the drama will channel those wishes into presenting an ideal presidential character in the drama.”source: KBS Global