Man to Man PD reveals pressure to achieve success like Strong Woman Do Bong Soon

Says viewers will be able to experience something new through the drama.

Man to Man JTBC
The cast of JTBC's 'Man to Man' at a press conference for the drama.

Coming hot on the heels of the enormous success of 'Strong Woman Do Bong Soon,' JTBC's upcoming drama in the same time slot, 'Man to Man' has a big challenge ahead. Its performance will be measured by the standards set by the Park Bo-young starrer. The cast and crew of 'Man to Man' recently opened up on the issue.

Website Soompi notes that at a press conference on April 18, for the upcoming JTBC drama 'Man to Man,' the cast and crew of the drama talked about their hopes regarding achieving success following the end of 'Strong Woman Do Bong Soon.' The final episode of that drama achieved 8.9 percent ratings in South Korea, as per AGB Nielsen ratings survey.

Speaking about the pressures faced by the 'Man to Man' team to follow in the footsteps of 'Strong Woman Do Bong Soon,' the PD of the new drama, Lee Won-suk said, "'Strong Woman Do Bong Soon' achieved greater results than anyone had anticipated. I would be lying if I said that we don't feel burdened by it; however, that drama was very helpful in establishing JTBC's presence in that time slot."

The PD added, "Although we are envious of the viewer ratings that 'Strong Woman Do Bong Soon' received, 'Man to Man' is a drama that has a very different tone and so viewers will be able to experience something new through this drama."

The drama is being touted as a story with strong spy elements, but the PD claims it's not a serious drama. "Although the drama has been presented as a spy drama, it's actually a comical melodrama. The drama itself isn't complicated or difficult but is rather, in contemporary terms, better described as 'byung-mat' (insane, crazy). It's a drama that viewers will be able to watch comfortably and without any burdens," Lee Won-suk said.

It must be kept in mind however, that the opening episode ratings for the Park Bo-young led drama was 3.8 percent. It remains to be seen whether 'Man to Man' can pull off a similar feat, especially when it will occupy the same Friday-Saturday slot previously held by 'Strong Woman Do Bong Soon.'

It was noted that before 'Strong Woman Do Bong Soon' aired, JTBC ranked second as tvN's 'Goblin' had pushed it to second place with tremendous success achieved by the Gong Yoo fronted supernatural romance drama, on the same time slot. A lot thus depends on 'Man to Man.'

Also, actor Park Hae-jin, who plays the enigmatic bodyguard to Park Sung-woong's highly popular actor, revealed that he loved working on the drama: "There was absolutely no reason for me to not do the drama. I received the script from writer Kim Won Suk and thought that it was a very fun project. It reads like a spy drama but is not as heavy as a normal spy drama."

As for Park Sung-woong, he said, "I play a confident yet prickly character this time. This is my first time playing this kind of role, but I think the character has been created well and the viewers will like it," as noted in another Soompi article. The actor also joked that this is the first time he has given many lines of dialogue to speak, adding, "It was difficult to deliver them. It made me resent the writer."

'Man to Man' will air its first episode on April 21 at 11 pm KST on JTBC networks. As a matter of pride, it will be the first-ever Korean drama to be broadcast internationally by Netflix on 190 countries.

This article was first published on April 19, 2017