From left, actors Cha In-pyo, Kwon Sang-woo, Ko Hyun-jung and Lee Soo-kyung pose during a photocall of a press conference for SBS TV series "The President" held at the Lotte Hotel in Jamsil of Seoul, South Korea on September 29, 2010. [SBS]
Anchorwoman Seo Hae-rim (played by Ko Hyun-jung), who gets fired while protesting about her husband's undeserved death, enters politics by proposal of Kang Tae-san (played by Cha In-pyo) who is a member of the ruling party and a strong candidate for the next presidential elections. With the help of Ha Doya (played by Kwon Sang-woo) he had known since her childhood days, Seo Hae-rim eyes the position of president as well and Kang Tae-san, who has no thoughts of yielding to Seo, become rivals and clash against each other.
SBS TV series "The President," whose press conference was held September 29, was full of traces from certain incidents and characters from real life. SBS' drama department director Koo Bon-geun said, "Please look at this as just a drama that is completely unrelated to modern day politics," but it does not seem like it will be easy to separate it completely from reality in how from the first episode, incidents such as the sinking of a submarine and impeachment of a president appear. The sunken submarine, the controversy over humiliating diplomacy, an impeached president, a camera reporter who loses his life after being kidnapped in a disputed area, and a beautiful curator who uses artwork to lobby. "The President," which contains incidents which can be recognized by anyone who has watched even a little bit of news, is a fantasy and as well as satire of Korea's political scene.
"The President" is based on the second of the series of artist Park In-kwon's comic of the same name. The main story of the drama is no different from the original story in that it can be summarized as 'The project to create Korea's first female president,' but it differentiates itself in the characteristics of the main characters and its structure. Seo Hae-rim's job has changed from being a female human rights lawyer to an anchorwoman-turned- environmental activist. The role of a back-stabbing womanizer-turned prosecutor that Kwon Sang-woo has taken on has changed as well -- he is a combination of the Ha Doya and Ha Ryu brothers from the comic. How the absence of Ha Ryu who was a key character in the comic, will be substituted will be crucial to the series.
In the end, "The President" is about 'the good president that all citizens want.' Seo Hae-rim is close to the fantasy for viewers who dream of the ideal president but the incidents derived from reality suggest that "The President" will not end as a mere fantasy. The show's director Oh Jong-rok said, "It makes me think our society has become open enough for us to tell this sort of story through a drama but on the other hand, nothing is as polarized as when it comes to politics so I am still wondering how I can balance the story." It sounds similar to the difficulties Seo Hae-rim will have to face in her task to capture the hearts of people who are divided up with dramatic opinions. The first episode of "The President" will air at 9:55 p.m. on October 6.
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