The Korean drama "On Air" aired from March through May 2008 in 21 episodes. It focused on four main characters who represented different areas in the television entertainment industry. Along the way, "On Air" gave viewers a peek into the hard work, dedication and drama involved in producing a television show.
There were four main characters in "On Air." Lee Bum Soo starred as Jang Ki Joon, who owned a talent agency and represented the actress Oh Seung Ah, played by Kim Ha Neul. Also part of the core cast were Seo Young Eun, a feisty scriptwriter who was also a single mother, played by Song Yoon Ah, and Lee Kyung Min, a drama producer, played by Park Yong Ha.
Oh Seung Ah is a popular actress with an ego who refuses to accept an award on a live broadcast after finding out she would have to share it with someone else. In the process, she makes a fool out of Seo Young Eun, who was presenting the award. There was previously bad blood between the two because the actress had turned down a role in one of Seo Young Eun's scripts. Oh Seung Ah decides to take on new management and, to the surprise of many, chooses Jang Ki Joon, who is struggling to reestablish his agency after bankruptcy. Seo Young Eun wants to return to writing scripts with more depth; Lee Kyung Min expresses interest in directing one of her earlier efforts but insists that Oh Seung Ah must be cast. Throughout the show, the four major characters work their way through fights, disagreements and personal problems to establish romantic relationships. At the end of the last episode, Oh Seung Ah agrees to go to the United States with Jang Ki Joon despite the career risks she would face in a new country. After seeing the couple off at the airport, Lee Kyung Min proposes to Seo Young Eun.
Reviews and Viewer Reactions
"On Air" received positive reviews and high ratings within Korea, although some viewers reported that the drama got a little boring mid-way through, while others felt that they could not relate to the characters. The show ignited a fashion craze; many young women copied the clothing worn by the two female stars.
There were a few elements of "On Air" that distinguished it from other Korean television shows. Although romance was present, as in almost every other Korean drama, there was also the theme of a drive towards success. Its setting in the entertainment industry, along with the show's rapid-fire dialogue and cameos by A-list stars, made "On Air" stand out from other Korean television shows.