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Drama Breaks From the Traditional

2006/02/24 | 935 views | Permalink | Source

By Park Chung-a
Staff Reporter

From left are Lee Han(a), Yoon So-yi, Kim Min-hee and Chun Jung-myung, who will star in the upcoming KBS drama "Goodbye Solo", which airs from March 1.
While many Korean dramas attract viewers through their use of exotic backgrounds and fancy characters, renowned drama writer Noh Hee-kyeong has consistently been working on an in-depth portrayal of ordinary characters, taking a more human natural approach.

Through realistic and yet emotional lines in her works such as "Lie", "Love Like Stupid", "Confession" and "More Beautiful Than Flower", she has created a mania for "Noh Hee-kyeong brand" drama, even though her dramas have not attracted a large number of viewers.

With her upcoming play "Goodbye Solo", the drama is attempted to break a new form of story-telling, breaking away from the traditional drama form, which evolves around a sensational or fatal incident concentrating on two or three main characters.

Seven characters of different generations and backgrounds including a bartender, an artist, a gangster, a restaurant owner and a secretary, act out their own stories in an omnibus form.

"This has no specific hero or heroine", Noh told The Korea Times. "All seven characters are heroes. No one is more important than the other. If only one character is left out, the whole structure collapses. The drama is not about some astonishing or shocking story but about reflections on human relationships and nature, focusing on various personalities".

The stories of the seven characters which seem to be unrelated at first gradually, become linked and start to interact with each other and the story unfolds to one common theme _ that everyone is beautiful just the way they are.

Although the form of the drama is reminiscent of the American TV series "Lost" and the film "Love Actually" which evolve around various personalities, Noh's work focuses on contradictions of the inner-self. To effectively describe conflict between one's inner-self in the past and the present, the drama makes use of flashbacks.

"Everyone has their own story to tell, and no one is evil if you truly know them. By portraying various people at the same time at depth, I wanted to break down stereotypes and prejudices about certain types of people from certain social classes _ such as millionaires are cold-minded and prostitutes are far from devoted love", Noh said.

In the play, each character goes through painful trauma. Min-ho is from a rich chaebol family but turns his back on his family due to a tragedy regarding his birth. Su-hi, who suffers because her mother endlessly changes partners, falls in love with the best friend of her boyfriend.

Ho-chol is a gangster who seems to be courageous and carefree but has strong fear of falling in love since the break-up with his first love. Mi-ri who loves Ho-chol, is easy-going and always bright but actually suffers from uncertainty about herself and her relationship with Ho-chol.

"Mi-yong, the mute owner of a small restaurant, plays the role of linking each of the characters. As she can't speak, everyone confides in her and trusts her. She is the type of true friend that you might dream of", Noh said.

Kim Min-hee, model-turned-actress, stages a comeback in this drama after a year and a half absence. She is to act Mi-ri. As a great fan of Noh, Kim contacted Noh to be cast in the drama. However, owing to her lack of talent for acting, she was rejected five times by the writer. "I just could not give up. I kept calling her and went to her home to persuade her. So at the sixth request, I was finally accepted", Kim told The Korea Times. "But I am not ashamed at all since I got the role I have waited so long for. I know that I am not good enough but I will show that I can do better".

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