Mystery solved: writer pairings behind Mute & Timing web dramas

You guys might remember that I recently wondered in my review of web drama Mute, how the writer pairing came about. I was intrigued and rather puzzled at the seemingly random and unusual partnership between Jung Jae Won / One and Kang Han Na, in penning the show, and had invited anyone who might know more, to share more information in the comments.

Huzzah! We now need wonder no longer!

Many thanks to Table122000, who’s enlightened me with the answer. ❤️

THE ANSWER

As it turns out, this was all part of an 8-episode variety show titled The Romance, that aired on JTBC from Feb 13, 2020 to April 26, 2020. Two sets of celebrity writers participate in the challenge: longtime friends Kim Ji Suk and Yoo In Young, and Jung Jae Won / One and Kang Han Na, who meet for the first time on the show.

Their challenge is to work together to write a romance web drama, and we get to watch them work out their concepts, characters, and plot, over the course of 8 one-hour episodes.

The bonus is that these web dramas are already available for viewing, which I think adds a layer of interest, because it allows us to see what went into making the dramas, after having watched them.

In the end, Kim Ji Suk and Yoo In Young’s project turns into web drama Timing (review here), while Jung Jae Won / One and Kang Han Na’s project takes shape in fellow web drama Mute (review here). I found both web dramas nicely enjoyable in their own ways, so both writer teams did a solid job, in my opinion.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

I have to confess that variety isn’t quite my thing, and so I haven’t fully watched The Romance yet. From the snippets that I’ve sampled, though, I do think it gives a reasonably interesting peek into the thought process that writers have to go through, as they create our beloved dramas.

I do think that there’s a noticeable “staged” quality about the variety show itself, which isn’t a criticism of the show; as I understand it, a degree of scriptedness is part and parcel of k-variety, as a general rule. I’m also guessing that the show producers wanted to give The Romance a bit of an added hook, because there are lashings of “blind date” and “dating show” vibes in the snippets that I checked out, as if the producers hope to create, or at least hint at, some sparks between our writer pairs.

If that’s your cup of tea, &/or if you’re curious about what goes into the writing of a drama script, I think you might find this show interesting.

TRAILER:

You can check out the trailer on Viki here.

WHERE TO WATCH:

You can check out The Romance on Viki here.

22 thoughts on “Mystery solved: writer pairings behind Mute & Timing web dramas

  1. Georgia Peach

    Y’all have mentioned 4 of my favorite variety shows. Running Man, Master In The House****, Return Of Superman…still missing three Song triplets, and the always amazing Lee Dong Wook talk show I Want To Talk. Superior in every way to American variety shows where it’s sex talk and getting laid. Oh, did I just type that? Yeah, I did.
    Thanks fangirl, think I’ll check Romance out and then watch Mute.

    Reply
    1. kfangurl Post author

      Ahaha, I can’t vouch for American variety shows since I am not familiar with them, but I’ll take your word for it that it’s heavy on sex talk! 😜😆

      Hope you’ll enjoy your watch of The Romance, I love the concept of it. And I hope it’ll give you an extra layer of enjoyment for the little web dramas that came out of it! 😊

      Reply
        1. phl1rxd

          Yang Se Hyung cracks me up. Who could not love a man that is a talented cook, great dancer and makes you laugh? The icing on the cake is when they all have to dance. OMG! Favorite episodes are 12-13 (poor dear Sang-yoon) and 68-69 (I have a deep respect for firefighters). Besides the multi-gifted hosts there are lots of diverse guests as well. It has helped me learn new things about the Korean culture.

          Se Hyung and his brother have a YT channel and the bummer is – no English subs. 😒

          Reply
          1. Georgia Peach

            @phl1rxd….this show sometimes brings me to tears and in the next moment I’m still crying from laughter! SangYoon is my doe eyed man and I have loved him since On The Way To The Airport. The first and second episodes of the show with Jeon InKwon is a favorite when everyone cried when JIK sang. Especially our dongsang Yuk SungJae crying! And the tender time Shin AeRa did the personality test for the guys and SangYoon was feeling so inadequate and she bolstered him so much. SangYoon has no rhythm, but he sure can act! I haven’t gotten to the newer hosts episodes yet. I’m sure I’ll miss LSY and YSJ very much.

            Reply
            1. phl1rxd

              Hi Georgia – I was hesitant myself on watching the newbies as I had bonded with the original four. I also miss LSY and YSJ. 💖That being said, so far so good. I am fond of Kim Dong-hyun and Cha Eun-woo is holding his own. I have a few episodes to catch up on as well.

              I did forget to mention the best episodes – E112 and 113 with Kim Deok-soo which was a shining gem and a real homage to Korean culture. I had no idea that he played the taepyeongso on the original Seo Taiji & Boys’ Hayeoga recording until I watched these. Ha – this is the kind of fascinating things we learn from this show.

              Reply
              1. Georgia Peach

                @phl1rxd….thanks for reassuring me that I’ll like the new comers to MITH. I’ll be looking out for those episodes…thanks for the heads up. Can’t think of that cutie Seung Jae in a military uniform. He looks like a teenager…all giggles and ooowaaas. I follow Korea Heritage Society on Facebook and enjoy it quite a lot. I feel sometimes I could go to Korea and be as home there as I do here in America!

                Reply
    2. merij1

      GP, I checked KFG’s K-drama glossary but couldn’t find a listing for “getting laid.” Could you explain that term for this poor dramaland newbie? Feel free to risk overexplaining with excessive detail.

      lol

      Reply
  2. Kay

    What an interesting concept for a variety show. It’s really neat to seem these actors come together to and make their own stories 🙂

    Reply
    1. kfangurl Post author

      Yes, I find the concept very interesting too!! And I think it’s really cool that the scripts they wrote were really made into web dramas, ie, it wasn’t just an academic exercise. 😃

      Reply
  3. Reaper

    From my experience with korean/asian variety shows… you have to be in the right mindset to watch them. They are usually very different from non korean variety shows. So be prepared ^^
    For me personally I can’t watch any of them.

    Reply
    1. kfangurl Post author

      That’s a good point, Reaper – you’re right, I find that I do need to be in a particular sort of mood, in order to enjoy k-variety. I did go through a We Got Married phase for a while, so I know I don’t hate it. I just need to be in the mood for it. The bits that I sampled did give me WGM flashbacks, especially the beginning where Kang Han Na and Jung Jae Won meet for the first time. That felt quite odd in this context, but it was definitely familiar! 😅

      Reply
      1. beez

        I love, love, love K-variety. I find it so much better than the old formulaic variety shows we used to have which hasn’t changed much since the Ed Sullivan Show. The only evolution is that we never saw Ed participate in skits. But if you look at Carol Burnett (the Master) to Sony & Cher and every one in between and since, it’s the same – you have a host (either a comedian or singer) who has guests and then the guests perform and then participate in skits.

        The spontaneity of K-variety where the hosts sometimes put the stars on the spot is hilarious to me. I think it makes a bit of the celebrity’s true self come through as they struggle to answer. I think about the time that Oh Ji ho compared Kwon Sang-Woo to the average looking Korean and Joo Jae suk was quick to set him straight. (I get that Oh Ji ho had inhuman good looks but he needs to be aware that there are others that don’t fall into his category that are still uber attractive). Or the time that Jang Hyuk said that fans have told him that he resembles Jung Woo-Sung and Kang Ho-dong said “You know Jung Woo-sung is considered very good looking” and the way Jang Hyuk gulped and blinked a thousand times because he knew he was on the spot for calling himself good looking and he had no words to get out of it. 😆 So many instances like that. And of course there’s Running Man where they come up with games like we used to play as kids before the tech age robbed kids of physical play.

        I just ❤ it in every way.

        Reply
        1. phl1rxd

          Beez – I have my special shows that I watch faithfully. It helps break up the dramas and it fills in the gaps. I love ‘Master in the House’ and ‘Superman’. ‘Because I want to Talk’ hosted by Lee Dong Wook was excellent. I was sad to only see 12 episodes. His guest list was very diverse and while they had funny skits thrown in they were done tastefully. Jang Hyuk was memorable in Real Men and Urban Cops. I felt that I got to see a little of his real personality.

          That being said some of them can be a little tough (physically and mentally) and you have to give credit to the actors who brave an appearance. You are correct when you state that the celebrities can really be put on the spot. If there is an actor or actress that I find interesting I will sometimes watch the variety show they are in to see them in a non-drama setting.

          Reply
          1. Reaper

            Yes both of you are right there are some variety shows out there that are actually quite watchable from time to time like knowing bros or these days the sixth sense.

            But the majority of these shows are just weird to me. For example I really liked running man in the beginning but as the seasons progress the games get dumber and dumber and most of it is just about hurting each other these days.
            Like I don’t get the appeal of them at all. No matter what I watch from Happy together to Law of the jungle or I am a survivor or real men.
            I also don’t like our own variety shows in Germany so maybe the whole genre is just not for me.
            I just can’t like it. Personal preference.

            Reply
          2. beez

            @phl1rxd – did you see the show that purposely tries to get celebrities drunk? I’ve only seen one episode and that was because their poor victim was Jang Hyuk. I hear it’s a known fact that he has a low tolerance for alcohol and, sure enough, he was the only one completely wasted after a few drinks. ☺

            Reply
          3. Georgia Peach

            phl1rxd…Yes, it was a shame Lee DongWook’s show was for only 12 episodes. So agree with you on the guests and the skits. They were top notch. Swooned BIG TIME over Gong Yoo. Also agree that I learned a lot about Korean culture from the shows. Had to laugh at how all the guests gushed over how handsome LDW is. The tiny Buddhist Monk lady…I seriously saw hearts and stars in her eyes when she looked at him!!! Seeing a glance of a celebrities’ real personality is a plus.

            Reply

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