Chapter 21: Which Drama will be a hit? (1)

TL: Myoni

Edited: Myoni, Yoni


 

I read each synopsis one after the other. My foresight ability won’t happen at this great timing, would it?

I flipped through a few pages and sure enough, there was nothing. Damn it. It was so sad that I couldn’t use my ability whenever I wanted to.

But I still held onto hope and asked Chief Jo.

“Can I tell you after I fully read both of them?”

“Haha, this guy’s full of confidence. Even if I tell others to choose without worry, they would try to avoid it in case the one they chose failed… Sure, sit here and read. We have a meeting with the chairman in an hour anyways.”

I immediately sat down and opened the synopses.

First, ‘Time Slip’.

It was an action thriller where a profiler returns to the past after getting murdered by the serial killer he was after.

The female lead was a strong officer. Her role would be similar to that of a sidekick of the male lead. Romance was faint, but the character was a proactive genius, so when I looked at the synopsis, it was a really appealing.

And ‘Mermaid out of Water’ was a popular romantic comedy webtoon[1].

A mermaid who came out to search for a fabulous prince falls in love with a sassy 2nd generation jaebeol[2]. It was an obvious story, but would work well.

On top of that, the female lead that Son Chaeyeong would play was a lovely 3-dimensional character.

Unlike the mermaid story, written by Hans Anderson, where the mermaid chose to dissolve into foam because she couldn’t bring herself to hurt the prince, the female lead was a reckless and ingenious character who would even resort to stalking to get the male lead.

When I just looked at the synopses, both were good. They put a lot of effort in the synopses.

Since they had to bring investments and hire the cast, they probably exaggerated a few places, but the writer and director had several box office hits so I didn’t really worry about it being anticlimactic.

If we looked at just the synopses, even if they didn’t do well, they would probably rank in the middle.

The problem was both were good.

Time Slip was a concept drama targeted at a younger audience, it seemed like it would receive comments about being a well-made drama. Honestly, even if this did worse, if the story was good then it wasn’t something that would be a flaw in one’s filmography.

Mermaid out of Water was something that could appeal to a broader range of ages, even to people in their thirties and forties. And since it was a romantic comedy drama, the female lead would be the focus. Also, the original webtoon was popular, so it would have quite the following.

I could understand why Son Chaeyeong and Chief Jo were troubled. They couldn’t do both so they had to choose one, but that decision was really tough.

Which one would do better?

“How is it? Is there one that catches your eye?”

Son Chaeyeong asked, taking off her sunglasses.

The moment I met her brown eyes, the world shook.

 

It was the future!

No, it was another future to be exact. It was not the clear future with Director Park and Reporter Song, but a faulty future like the hazy one I saw with Sung Dowon.

The dizzier my vision was, the more I had to concentrate.

Where was this? Just where was I now?

My future self was using chopsticks. My mouth and throat were warm. Okay, I am in the middle of eating. It was a bit hazy, I could make out napkins, the kalguksu[3] bowl with a business name on it, side dishes and a glass of water on the table.

It was a restaurant.

I was eating kalguksu with the male-female pair sitting in front of me.

Huh?

Their faces were familiar… The young PR team employees. Since they were sociable people, we would catch up with each other during meetings, but we haven’t ever eaten together.

The female employee’s hair was similar to how I remembered it. Was it not the distant future?

They were both wearing long sleeved shirts and behind them, a not-so-thick coat was hung on the chair. It looked like it was spring or fall.

Since it was too thin to wear these days, was it spring next year? Or next fall?

Ah, my eyes felt like they were going to pop out. It felt like I was looking at a Magic Eye image.

If he was to look at his phone, I would be able to see the date, but my future self was looking at the kalguksu bowl and using his chopsticks. Meanwhile, the kalguksu was delicious.

“I’m so tired I could die; I can’t even sleep.”

The female PR team employee said with an irritated voice. I looked up and asked.

“Why? What happened?”

“Son Chaeyeong keeps giving me a hard time. She whines, telling us to take down the power blogger who criticized that they screwed up the drama, whines, telling us to take down the article saying that her drama was picked as the worst drama for the first quarter of 2016. Erase this, sue him… Is the PR team god? Were those things we could do just because we wanted to? If I could do all that, why would I be working here? I’d go to the Blue House[4].

So Son Chaeyeong’s drama flunked!

If it was the first quarter of 2016, it was the right time. If they signed the contract now and started filming, the drama should finish by the end of the first quarter.

Just what did she pick that failed? Even if both weren’t successful, it wasn’t to the point of losing everything.

“How are we supposed to stop people from saying the drama failed when it did.”

The male employee dropped his chopsticks and added in.

“That’s my point. We could have at least put it nicely if it failed moderately. How can we do anything with a drama that has the lowest viewership ratings of 3%?”

What? 3%?

The viewership ratings of public network dramas did drop significantly now that cable and general cable networks were creating more diverse dramas. These days, 20% was considered a big success while 10% was average.

However, no matter how much the world has changed, for a public network drama to get 3% was a bit…

No, so which one was it!

I was anxious. If it suddenly stopped here, I would really…

“When we looked at the synopsis, it was quite good. Mr. Sunwoo saw it too, correct?”

“I also saw the synopsis and thought it would at least be average.”

Right. I did think that both would at least get average ratings.

The female employee sighed and said.

“The script was good in the beginning as well. Up until the 3rd episode, the ratings were going up, but those hardcore fans of the original screwed it up.”

Original!

I relaxed. If it was the one with an original, it would be Mermaid out of Water.

“It’s because those hardcore fans were overusing their power by saying things like ‘you didn’t do the original justice,’ ‘it’s meh,’ everywhere. It was when the production, director and writer decided to apply all those views by rewriting the script three times, things hit the fan. They should have just ignored them and continued, but they were influenced by them.”

“The writer’s mind turned to powder. She even got threats in the mail.”

“Sigh… If we knew this was going to happen, we would have chosen the other one.”

Yeah, I guess I’ll tell them to do Time Slip.

“Hey. Son Chaeyeong picked between Mermaid out of Water and Time Slip.”

“Yeah. That’s right.”

“Why did she bother? When they were both going to fail.”

What?

“Time Slip started out good, really… If only the director didn’t cheat on his wife with the writer.”

What’d you say?

“Because of that, his wife came to the studio and made a mess, the director and writer were replaced and then they plastered it as a thriller and reduced the episodes to half. That is a failed drama that will last forever.”

What kind of situation was this?

They were deciding between the two, but they both failed?

Could they really be that unlucky? No, was it better for both of them to fail than regretting the decision after Time Slip became a success?

My future self thirstily drank the Kalguksu soup and said.

“I guess this is why we can’t choose from just looking at the synopses.”

“That’s what I’m saying. You have to open up the lid to know. Just look at the success on the cable network that Writer Hong Jumi wrote. Everyone who read her synopsis said it was childish and boring.”

A successful project?

My ears tingled. I nailed the words the female employee said into my head.

Writer Hong Jumi, cable network, everyone said it was childish and boring after reading the synopsis.

“You really had to read the script for that one. This was why dramas depend on the writer’s performance.”

“Thanks to her, the cast got lucky. Because it was even a success in China, the lead and supporting actors became stars overnight.”

“There were even articles stating that they had difficulty finding the cast for the new writer. Even we got contacted about it. We had to give it up because of scheduling issues. Sigh, we had to bite that one…”

“Did we know that would be such a success? Don’t think about. If you do, you’re only going to regret it even more.”

“The one we thought would be a hit flunked and the one we thought was bad became a success. I wish someone would tell me that a certain one would be a success. Do I have to get a fortune-teller to pick one…”

 

“Excuse me?”

The hazy surrounding became clear.

In front of me was Son Chaeyeong looking at me.

“Was there one that caught your attention? Out of the two.”

I looked at the synopses in my hands.

Time Slip and Mermaid out of Water.

Both failed… 3%…

How could I say this in a way I would be considered less crazy?

If I told them both weren’t good, then they’d assume my judgment was bad. Honestly, the synopses were really good. And these people who were more experienced at this knew that.

If I told them as if I was a prophet that the director of Time Slip cheated on his wife for the writer so it will fail and the writer for Mermaid out of Water was so influenced by the hardcore fans of the original that she rewrote the script three times and failed, it felt like I was digging my own grave so I felt uncomfortable.

And to let them pick a drama even though I knew both would fail was a waste of my information and as a fan of Son Chaeyeong, it was a bit sad.

I readied my heart and opened my mouth.

 


[1] sort of like manga, but on the internet and no pages, just scroll down.

[2] a lot of big conglomerates in Korea are family run. So you can just think of it was a man with filthy rich parents.

[3] Kalguksu – literal meaning is knife noodle, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalguksu

[4] Korean equivalent of the White House.

 

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11 thoughts on “Chapter 21: Which Drama will be a hit? (1)”

  1. This seems like it will go over very well.

    -We shouldn’t pick any of them, they both suck
    -Well what should we pick then huh *chuckle*
    -How about that boring one, at least people will pause for a bit while channel hopping
    -I see… I’m never taking your advice on dramas again.

  2. I don’t know if Chief Jo was being cheeky/ironic/sarcastic when he called MC over to ask his opinions about those two dramas but whatever his motive was, hot damn, MC’s foresight actually happened again! And despite it being a “faulty hazy future”, it was actually quite insightful. There was even a short mention of the drama behind the drama (Time Slip) of the director and the writer lol.

    This incident (his foresight not the affair) really reinforces my belief that certain things does trigger his ability. One other thing, I wonder how long his foresight actually last in real time? Probably in seconds to milliseconds in length. Especially this latest foresight, it can be considered to be a few minutes long if you looked at the conversation itself. Ugh, I so want to know! I’m racking my head and pulling my hair right now, can you tell?

      1. Yoni noona whenever I read a novel from a translation site I usually also read the other novels that they translate many thanks again

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