One of the hottest TV series these days is "Beethoven Virus", a story about a talented yet extremely harsh conductor and his attempt to lead an orchestra made up of amateurs. Nicknamed Kang Mae, the leading character Maestro Kang Gun-woo is played by acclaimed Kim Myeong-min of the "White Tower" and "Immortal Admiral Yi Sun-shin" fame. His sharp quips, voice, attitude and his outfits are creating a sensation in Korea's advertising, fashion, and even album industries.
The so-called "Kang Mae Syndrome" is most evident in fashion. LG Fashion's Maestro line has introduced the Kang Mae line, which consists of 16 different outfits worn by Kim Myeong-min in the series. An LG Fashion official said that all 16 different outfits were sold out in just three weeks since its launching on September 24th. It's very rare for men's wear to see every outfit in a certain line sell out.
Also Kang Mae's cynical voice has been in demand in the advertising industry. His intonation with a sarcastic twist has led to several commercial contracts for Kim. The Kang Mae Syndrome has spread even to the music industry. According to an online music chart site, two original soundtracks of "Beethoven Virus" have climbed to second and third places, following the "Mamma Mia" OST. "Beethoven Virus" has released two versions of soundtracks – one a typical drama OST and a classic version. The 2-CD classic version has sold 6,000 copies in just two weeks since its release.
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