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Troubled family learns to value each other on “Live or Die”

By Yim Hyun-su

  • Published : Jan 9, 2019 - 15:04
  • Updated : Jan 9, 2019 - 15:04

New drama series sees siblings try to fix broken relationships

The relationships between a group of siblings led by their eldest brother, Lee Poong-sang, are extremely strained. But the troubled family hopes to mend broken bridges as they mature on the new KBS2 drama series.

The show poses the timely question of “whether family is a strength, not a burden,” director Jin Hyung-wook said during a press conference in Seoul on Wednesday. As the show will air against the backdrop of South Korea’s sluggish economy, Jin said, the characters’ lives reflect those of many Koreans who continue to march in an uphill battle.

“I contemplate where we get this energy to treat family better than others while directing the show,” Jin said.

Actor Yoo Jun-sang, who plays Lee, the eldest of five siblings and the one trying his best to bring the family together, hopes the show sparks discussions about family.

“As we all have family who give us drama that we need to keep a secret and make us cry and laugh. Sometimes we say that family are worse than strangers,” Yoo said of the growing trend toward distant relationships between family members.

He also said, “Every episode we filmed, I was made to think again about what family means and what humans are like. It also reminded me that I have not paid attention to these things in the past.

“There might be things that we forget about as we lead a busy life,” Yoo said.

Lee began working as a mechanic right after graduating from high school because he needed to support his younger siblings. As he is still concerned about his younger brothers and sisters, his wife feels as though their own daughter is being neglected. Much to no one’s surprise, Lee’s love for his brothers and sisters sows division between the married couple.

Lee Si-young, who plays younger sister Lee Hwa-sang, said she found the role “refreshing” despite originally planning to take a little break.

“It was not even a month after I finished filming ‘Risky Romance.’ I was physically drained and wanting to have a break when I read the script. I almost felt like I’d found an ‘exit,’” the actress said of being offered the role.

“Hwasang” in Korean is somewhat synonymous with “idiot.” As the name suggests, the character comes across as immature and irresponsible.

“Hwa-sang does act like a hwasang, very direct and immature without hiding much, and you might think there is no depth to her character. Her exterior came across as refreshing,” the actress said.

The Wednesday-Thursday show first airs at 10 p.m. this week.

By Yim Hyun-su (hyunsu@heraldcorp.com)