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L’amant de Paris

Posted July. 05, 2004 22:33,   


SBS’s drama series “L’amant de Paris” (airing Saturdays and Sundays at 9:45 p.m.) has managed to draw a dominant 40.5 percent of audiences nationwide in just seven episodes (survey by TNS Media Korea). This is a record among all TV dramas that have aired over the past five years: it took 10 episodes for SBS’s “Stairway to Heaven” to break the 40 percent mark (42.4 percent), while MBC’s “Heo Jun” (40.7 percent) and “Daejanggeum” (40.7 percent) took 13 and 17 episodes, respectively.

Moreover, “L’amant de Paris” has shown a steady rise in audience numbers since it first aired, from 23.6 percent for the pilot to 43.6 percent for the eighth installment. From the third and fourth episodes, it has kept the no. 1 spot among all weekday network programs.

The plot of “L’amant de Paris” is a Cinderella tale, brought to life by the exquisite ensemble acting of Park Shin-yang (Han Gi-ju), Kim Jung-eun (Gang Tae-yeong), and Lee Dong-gun (Yun Su-hyeok). Despite the high-profile cast, the story itself is nothing new. So why is the show such a success?

The production staff attributes its popularity to the cast’s superb acting and a well-written script that perfectly complements their powerful performances. Some say that the sparkling wit of Kim Jung-eun’s character, as she whips out repartees to Park Shin-yang’s unexpected and often untoward remarks, “perks up” the flow of each episode.

Producer-in-charge Mun Jeong-su explains that “Kim’s witty and exaggerated acting, on the one hand, and Park’s seriousness, on the other, strikes a happy balance.” He observes, “Cinderella tales may be clichéd, but they can still be new and different depending on the way they’re told.”

So… who will Tae-yeong end up with?

There was a rumor circulating that Gi-ju would end his own life by jumping into the Seine, but the production staff revealed that even the scripts for episodes 9 and 10 were still “in the works.”

Producer Shin Wu-cheol comments that “the story is constantly being adjusted to reflect audience reactions.” “The basic melodramatic framework will be maintained,” he adds, “But there’ll also be many plot points that deal with Su-hyeok’s conflict with Gi-ju in the business realm, following Su-hyeok’s employment at Gi-ju’s firm.” He stated that a board member named Choi Weon-jae (Park Yeong-ji) will play a significant role, although he will not be appearing as either Gi-ju’s or Su-hyeok’s father.

Sun-Woo Kim sublime@donga.com