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New Period Drama 'Basketball' A Slam Dunk?

BY Staff Reporter | Oct 16, 2013 09:27 PM EDT

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Will Slave Hunter producer Kwak Jung Hwan's ambitious period drama "Basketball" overcome the limits of a cable channel and rise to the top?

The production release of tvN's new Monday/Tuesday drama "Basketball" was held on October 14th at Imperial Palace in Nonhyundong, Seoul. In attendance were Producer Kwak Jung Hwan, Do Ji Han, Jung Dong Hyun, Lee Eliyah, Park Yae Eun, Kim Eung Soo, Kang Sung Min, Jung In Sun, Cho Hee Bong, Gong Hyung Jin, Lee Han Wee, Jin Gyung, and Ji Il Ju.

"Basketball" is the new series that Productor Kwak Jung Hwan waited two years before releasing. Kwak has also produced "Slave Hunters' "Runaways Plan B" and "Conspiracy in the Court." This series features the love and conflict of young people who look to basketball as their torch during the tumultuous times of the Japanese occupation and liberation into post-Korean War years, as the series also captures the spirit of cooperation and emotional victories.

The series draws on the passion of the youth who lived in Chosun in the 1940s, as it uses as a motif the National Basketball team that went to the 1948 Olympics under the name of "KOREA" before the Korean peninsula was divided into the North and South. This was the first and last time that this name was used.

Producer Kwak said, "While producing dramas, I think it's important to have both a general appeal and artistic appeal. When the writer first said this would be about basketball in the Japanese occupation, I was surprised but this era was truly a time where every citizen had concerns and conflicts, and this story would capture such overcoming, so I definitely agreed to it."

Basketball features Do Ji Han, Lee Eliyah, and Jung Dong Hyun as protagonists. These may be newcomers and not familiar to the audience but Producer Kwak says, "Star power is important but the most crucial point is whether the actor is suitable for the character. This drama features young, passionate, naïve people. These are characters that take their individual concerns to a societal, ethnic and national level and I think new actors in their 20s who are getting to know this unknown period were appropriate. They are showing steady acting skills so I think my choice was right."

Producer Kwak tends to place emphasis on supporting roles. The performance of the supporting roles leads the storyline. Gong Hyung Jin and Kim Eung Soo have worked with Producer Kwak in "Slave Hunters" and "Runaways"

Gong Hyung Jin showed his trust in Producer Kwak and said, "Producer Kwak is an actor who is trustworthy so I applaud him. Therefore, he came to me first with the casting offer and if it were a small role, I wouldn't have taken it. My heart fell when I received the script. Although cable TV has its disadvantages, I expect this drama to be one that viewers will applaud."

Kim Eung Soo also applauded him and said, "I've worked with Producer Kwak on several pieces and he has a warm eye towards people. In "Slave Hunters", he really shed light on the pitiful lives of commoners and slaves living in monarchical times."

Lastly, Producer Kwak said, "Dramas bridge generational gaps and therefore are very important creative pieces Especially in our society, there are big generational gaps. Our grandfather's generation was young at one time too. The youth may be uncomfortable and have complaints but "Basketball" will be something that all family members can watch together and be moved and understand the generations, and further reflect on the meaning of people, society, and country."

"Basketball" will air on October 21st for the first time and air every Monday and Tuesday at 10 PM.

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