F&B Korean Drama Review: Fashion King 2012

Film Poster for Korean Drama Fashion King from Films and Books Magazine

Fashion King, a 2012 drama that ran with a top cast and much hype disapointed on story. The opening few episodes were romantic comedy. The second act morphed into high stakes business melodrama and the ending felt lame.

By Benny Kamaz

My Rating 1 out of 5

Fashion King, a 2012 Korean drama from SBC follows the improbable careers of several young designers who aspire to be great, but end up self-destructing. The drama, as with most Korean drama, is rich with characterization and involves the inevitable love triangle. Fashion King also focuses on the challenges that are faced by the designers along the way in the road to success, not always realistically.

The show debuted to much hype due to cast strength on SBS channel on the 19th of March 2012. The drama was one among many that were released that year but stood apart initially because of the uniqueness of the story — at least that was why I watched. Although the broadcast was not highly rated in the entire country nor regionally in Seoul, it still managed to sty on the screens. On the day the drama premiered the TNmS ratings were 12.4% in the entire country and 14.8% in the National area of the Seoul capital. On that same day the AGB ratings were 10.0% in the entire country and 11.0% in the national area of the Seoul capital.
The drama had 20 episodes and I managed to watch one episode after the other until I wrapped up the whole thing. At the beginning the drama was quite promising, with a complex problem to be solved, good cast, and a romantic comedy flair. The actors did have solid screen presence, initially.

By episode 5, however, the entire character of the drama began to change, a trend which continued. It began life as a romantic comedy, and ended as a not very credible tragic melodrama. In the middle, bridging between comedy and tragedy was a third style, business suspense drama. It was as if there were three writers, vying for who would dominate the story.

I continued watching the drama hopping that it would get better. With each episode I liked it less. By the end, I actively disliked it. This was a drama that didn’t know what it wanted to be when it grew up. The ending was not credible, and in fact maddening. Although it was a shock (good to have surprises), there was no foundation laid for the silly and abrupt finish. It was as if the producer’s gave up at episode 19 and said, okay, let’s just wrap this as quickly as we can, it’s going nowhere.

The main cast included Yoo Ah-In who played the lead Kang Young-gul. As an actor, he is well known his charisma and strong character and was one of the main reasons for the initial draw of this series. He is also well known for his more prominent role in “Sungkyunkwan Scandal”.

The other lead, Shin Se Kyung, was hampered by a bad script. Her main appearances were marred by the same “deer-in-the-headlights” look in her wide eyes. She rarely spoke, and seemed infantile. Yet, she played superbly in Tree With Deep Roots, her previous drama, so I put this down to writing issues.

Supporting cast included Jang who played the role of Jo ; Han who was Shin; Cha played as Miss Go and Ra who played as bok among others.
The drama also had a number of extended casts. According to me the cast was ok but the thing that made the cast not to perform very well and not able to show all their acting capabilities is because of the plotline and also the storyline itself. There was enough talent from the actors to make the drama a great success as the actors had been on screen before and they had great experience with the different dramas they had been in.

Other Title Translation: Fashion Wang
Genre: Romance, Melodrama
Episodes: 20
Broadcast network: SBS
Broadcast period: 2012-Mar-19 to 2012-May-22

Full Cast
Yoo Ah In as Kang Young Gul
Seo Young Joo as young Young Gul
Shin Se Kyung as Lee Ga Young
Kim Sae Ron as young Ga Young
Lee Je Hoon as Jung Jae Hyuk
Kwon Yu Ri as Choi Anna
Jang Mi Hee as Madam Jo
Han Yoo Yi as Shin Jung Ah
Cha Seo Won as Miss Go
Go Soo Hee as class leader
Ra Mi Ran (라미란) as sewing machine 1
Jang Eun Bi (장은비) as sewing machine 2
Ra Jae Woong (라재웅) as Chil Bok
Kim Il Woo as Jung Man Ho
Lee Hye Sook as Yoon Hyang Sook
Yoon Gi Won as Secretary Kim
Kim Byung Ok (김병옥) as Director Kim
Lee Han Wie as Hwang Tae San
Shin Seung Hwan as Jang Il Gook
Ki Eun Se (기은세) as Soo Ji
Yoo Chae Young as Bong Sook
Lee Yoo Joon (이유준)

Producer: Choi Moon Suk
Director: Lee Myung Woo (이명우)
Screenwriter: Lee Sun Mi, Kim Ki Ho

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  1. Totally right on. This drama started funny and even captivating, then it seemed like everyone decided, hey, this aint right, let’s change this into a melodrama, and then when that didn’t work they just imploded at the end with the dumbest ending I’ve ever seen in a drama. For me to not like K-Drama is rare. They excel at character and storyline beyond most countries for TV drama. All over Asia, Korean drama is the primo best of the best. But, man, I hope this isn’t the start of a trend. The cast was good, but who let those writers be in charge? . Or maybe they weren’t Maybe the producers chagned the script halfway, I don’t know. Thumbs down on Fashion King. I was surprised, also, cause I’m a fan of Shin Se Kyung, but after two episodes of her acting kind of mentally challenged, I gave up on her role here

  2. Fashion king is one of the best k-series that I’ve watched so far. Thank you for your great review about this series.

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