K-Drama Imitation

KBS’ idol K-Drama ‘Imitation‘ has premiered two winsome episodes and everyone is already buzzing about what the show has to offer! ‘Imitation’ promises a shady glimpse inside the glittering idol life – the drama that revolves around it, music, comic relief, friendships, and a blooming romance through a star-studded ensemble of real K-Pop idols. So if you are a K-Pop fanatic who loves binging on Korean dramas, this show brings the best of both worlds for you!

[Keep an eye out for spoilers.]

K-Drama 'Imitation'
Imitation Drama promotional poster | Imitation Webcomic promotional poster

K-Drama ‘Imitation’, based on a webcomic of the same name has seen its viewership gradually increasing since the 1st airing. The show is available for international fans on Viki which is engaging a good number of enthusiastic, paid subscribers.

K-Drama 'Imitation'
All images used in the article are sourced from KBS.

We explore the story through Lee Ma-Ha, a member of the new K-Pop girl group Tea Party. No matter the efforts, the group lacks the recognition it needs. The only way out of the slump of unpopularity is through Ma-Ha’s resemblance to La Ri-Ma, a chart-topping solo artist. Ma-Ha crosses paths with Kwon Ryok, a member of the popular boy group SHAX who dislikes her to the fullest. He blames her for causing injury to Hyuk (another SHAX member) and pities at her attempt to imitate Ri-Ma. Ryok’s opportunity to get back at Ma-Ha arises soon when they both are cast for the same drama series. Nevertheless, Lee Yu-Jin, Ma-Ha’s childhood friend and a member of SHAX’s rival boy group Sparkling, is determined to protect her.

K-Drama 'Imitation'
Promotional posters for SHAX | Tea Party | Sparkling respectively.

We have seen a lot of idol dramas but a very little number caters to talk about the behind-the-scenes workings of the K-Pop industry. This is where the K-Drama ‘Imitation’ grabs the attention of its viewers.

Although, before the premiere, we had expected the plot to revolve around the friendships and romance in the country’s coveted entertainment industry in a clement way, the first two episodes went beyond that to portray the brutal realities that hide behind the shimmering stage. It describes the ugliness that lies beneath the competition for success. The unwavering depiction of industry’s reality is the highlight of the drama that other idol dramas lack. On the brighter side, it has the elements of strong friendships, hopes to fulfill your dreams, a heart-fluttering romance, and the essential comical tinge to cheer you up.

K-Drama 'Imitation'

Our protagonist Ma-Ha grapples her best to debut only for the opportunity to be snatched away from her just moments before her big break. Eun-Jo, a member of SHAX, disappears right before the group’s concert. We see the death of a trainee under very suspicious circumstances. Surprisingly enough, the CEOs and the managers do not care about the mishaps. Stress always lies in gaining profits from overworking their idols who are treated as mere commodities.

The trainees and idols go under tremendous hard work and pressure to achieve their dreams of being in that 0.1% who make it big. Yet most of them can not for reasons being as absurd as not being young enough. The show portrays the psychological effects of failure in trainees’ lives in a heartbreaking way. The fan culture is also depicted realistically that has earned praises from netizens.

We also see the heart-warming friendships between SHAX members. Ma-Ha and Yu-Jin, who share and support the same dream, are childhood friends. Yu-Jin has one-sided feelings for Ma-Ha too. Ma-Ha and Ryok share a humorous dislike that seems will mature into something else completely, hinting at the thin line of love and hate. As they spend more time together, things escalate to being dramatic – jealousy comes into play. On the other hand as the episodes progress, we get to see Ma-Ha finally take a step closer to her dreams as she prepares to debut with Tea Party.

It’s Jeong Ji-So‘s first lead role in a drama as Lee Ma-Ha, the diligent member of the girl group Tea Party, after having worked in the Academy-acclaimed movie ‘Parasite‘. The remaining members of the Tea Party are played by I.O.I’s Lim Na-Young and soloist Kim Min-Seo. U-KISS’ Lee Jun-Young plays Kwon Ryok, the sensational heartthrob from the most popular boy group in the industry, SHAX. Other members of SHAX are played by SF9’s Hwiyoung, actor Ahn Jung-Hun, ATEEZ’s Choi Jong-Ho, and actor Lee Yu-Ri. SF9’s Chani plays the role of Eun-Jo, the disappeared SHAX member.

T-ARA’s Park Ji-Yeon plays as La Ri-Ma, the nation’s most loved soloist. Sparkling‘s soft and charming member, Lee Yu-Jin’s role is played by ATEEZ’s Jeong Yun-Ho. Other members of Sparkling are played by ATEEZ’s Choi San and Park Seong-Hwa, and Boys Republic’s Lee Soo-Woong. Such a studded cast filled to the brim with lovely K-Pop idols is a real treat for the fans worldwide!

Another unique approach to this drama is its marketing. The production has created social media accounts where fans can follow the groups from the drama and watch the actors go about as the characters they play. SHAX and Sparkling also had an editorial photoshoot for the May issue of Singles Magazine.

Courtesy: Singles Magazine

SHAX and Tea Party even had a comeback through KBS’ Music Bank. SHAX released their song, ‘Malo’ which entered iTunes Charts across the world, even debuting on Indian iTunes at #15. Tea Party came out with ‘Show Me‘. La Ri-Ma too has a song named, ‘No Answer‘. OMEGA III, (now Tea Party), also has a song, ‘Call Me‘. The story might be fictional but actors and the production team are taking the project up a notch with the promotions, even all the songs are performed by the actors themselves!

Check out the songs below:

SHAX ‘Malo’

La Rima ‘No Answer’

With the first two episodes aired, ‘Imitation’ seems interesting enough to stick through its journey. Plus the cliffhangers always leave you wondering and wanting more for the next episode. However, with only one episode per week, we have to wait for quite a long period. Fortunately, you can check out the webtoon in the meanwhile as well!

Intrigued? Watch the trailer below:

Are you watching the K-Drama ‘Imitation’ already? What did you like about these first 2 episodes? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!