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Will ‘Basketball’ Make A New Success Story?

By Staff Writer | Oct 27, 2013 03:08 PM EDT

Will ‘Basketball’ Make A New Success Story?
(Photo : tvN)

Five Line Summary

1940s Kyeong Sung.  Kang San (played by Do Ji Han) is a basketball player from a village who fails the entrance test to a working class basketball team and with a conflict with his teacher, he is thrown out of school.  Afterwards, he meets basketball gambler Kong Yoon Bae (played by Gong Hyung Jin) who tells him he'll change his life and decides to be with him.  At a party that he attends with Yoon Bae, he meets magazine reporter and pro-Japanese group daughter Choi Shin Young (played by Lee Eliyah) as he rescues her and has a dramatic first encounter.

Review
The success story of a protagonist who overcomes struggles and succeeds is always fun to watch.  As most legends are so, dramas are often centered around a success story. However, because it's so predictable, it carries the risk that there's a lack of novelty.  "Basketball" has this double-edged sword to carry.

Kang San has two concerns of poverty and being the citizen of a country that's a colony.  He carries this unfortunate reality in despair and runs into the gambling basketball scene instead of the working class basketball team.  On the other hand, Shin Young is the daughter of a pro-Japanese business man and has a conservative father.  She rebels against him as she tries to establish her own life as a magazine journalist.  The two are in such different positions and they meet by accident.

The first episode introduced the historical period and the characters and was flawless.  Kang San represents the people of a colonized era and Choi Shin Young a new-generation girl was active and showed a sharp contrast to Kang San as viewers were curious about the direction of the drama.

Kang San had a strong yet natural glare that it was unbelievable that this was his first role as a main character.  He gained positive feedback as he carried on with his acting.

Gong Hyung Jin, Park Soon Chun, Jing Kyung, Cho Hee Bong and other mid-aged actors also filled their role.  They also added elements of play acting and Byun Hee Bong had various roles such as teacher, editor, hotel doorman and more.

The key element will be how creative the drama will carry itself on.  Producer Kwak Jung Hwan said, "There's not many dramas that dealt with this period in the right way and there were many similarities to the present time that I wanted a challenge." For Producer Kwak Jung Hwan's challenge to be meaningful, this must be more than an obvious success story and include various struggles to have a fun storyline.  Furthermore, as much as it's a basketball drama, it'll also depend on how active the producing skills are to appeal to viewers.

Talking Points

-       Kang San's stare that doesn't pale in comparison to Won Bin and Jang Dong Gun when young.

-       Ye Eun's southern drawl makes the term "Idol Bad Acting" an unnecessary phrase.

-       Byun Hee Bong challenges himself with 17 roles including teacher, hotel doorman, anchorman and more! He'll be even more than the main roles!

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