m a r k a n d e y a

On Commercial Models

Posted by Brian on February 16, 2006

On the sorry state of Korean TV dramas:

The three broadcasters are playing their role in this vicious circle by insisting on star actors and writers for higher viewer ratings.

With only a few popular actors, actresses and writers to go around, they naturally demand higher guarantees. To get these stars the production companies need more money and consequently more “ad-like dramas” have to be produced.

“The vicious circle cannot be broken unless all three sides cooperate to fix the situation,” said Yang. “Broadcasters should realize that not only popular actors and writers attract viewers, and celebrities should realize that they can never escape becoming commercial models in their own dramas unless they stop demanding overly high guarantees.”

If Yang really believes that the “talents” he sees on Korean TV are truely aspiring to escape the label of “commercial models,” he simply isn’t paying enough attention to the nature of the biz. It’s a money-making machine for all concerned, except for the consumer – the stars go on TV to get famous; the famous (along with their agents) are paid obscene amounts of money to hock cell phones and air conditioners; Joe Consumer rushes out to buy these products at prices that reflect the amount of money the manufacturer needs to spend on hiring said stars; and then these same people go home and watch a new round of dramas, thus catapulting another aspiring star into the stratosphere of riches and privelege in Korea.

Like Kevin at IA used to say, these people have zero pride in their work. “Acting” is something they do when they’re not filming commercials or engaging in goofy games on Korean game shows. Its all about the benjamins, baby.

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2 Responses to “On Commercial Models”

  1. scott said

    Korean dramas have popular writers? How the hell can they tell the difference between any of them? The popularity of dramas is baffling and I know a few Koreans who find it embarrassing (not unlike what I feel every time I try to watch professional wrestling).

  2. I think that sadly, the market determines what is popular–and if Koreans don’t complain, the current crop is as good as it’s gonna get…

    Of course, many actually like the goofitude and banality… My wife is often telling me that men dressing in sissy clothes and wearing sissy haircuts isn’t gay, it’s just a “concept”…

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