I think poster making is a true art form with very few people talented and creative enough to stand out from the crowd. With movies and television having been around for nearly a hundred years, the proliferation of posters has long ago reached a saturation point where it’s nearly impossible to do anything truly creative and the most one can hope for is to not suck. K-drama posters have been across-the-board dull for the last few years, and probably way longer if I bothered to check. Sometimes a sageuk will do something different or really exquisite, or a thriller can manage to pull off a stylized slick presentation that is memorable. In general I’ve long since given up on seriously critiquing drama posters since 99.9% of the time I’ll just be indifferent to it. A rom-com can do something cute enough to rouse the cute addict in me to liking it, but it still wouldn’t make it any good.
With that said, Missing You really took its dang time in releasing its official posters, and it dropped not one but four on the day it’s slated to premiere. Talk about cutting it close! When I saw the posters, it was like seeing every other melodrama poster in existence placed before me, except with different actors and different backdrops. These are so boring I almost nodded off just trying to take a closer look at it, though it’s way prettier than the most recent melodrama Nice Guy‘s batch of dull and not very pretty posters. In fact, the last time I saw a good set of posters for a melodrama was Bad Love and that was more than 5 years ago. It’s almost like the genre is wedded to the concept of placing its leads in positions where they project pain with their facial expressions while standing or sitting in awkward ways. I’m hoping poster makers can start using more props to help convey the mood and as a symbol of whatever the great melodrama conceit of this particular story is.
The poster I used to top this post is my favorite of the bunch. I think the kids one is the most “alive” one of the lot, but the pose is just so cheesy romantic that I just want to giggle at it. I really think the adult posters could be so much better with just a smidge more thinking outside the box, especially the one with all four adult leads. For example, since the leads played by Yoon Eun Hye and Yoochun are separated and looking for each other, the posters could use a door to convey a physical separation more. And Yoon Seung Ho playing the second male lead with the unrequited love, there ought to be more of the sense that he’s longing for Eun Hye, perhaps using his cane to tentatively make contact with her. I dunno, I feel like the entire K-drama production team for most every single drama is just coasting on the idea that if they slap the leads on a poster and allow them to be the pretty people they are, us audiences will be so blinded by the pretty that we’ll love the posters unconditionally. I think Eun Hye stands out the most in all the adult posters, she’s got the most visceral emotional expression on her face, whereas Yoochun looks rather stoned, Yoo Seung Ho is just a well-placed prop, and Jang Mi In Ae appears to have wandered onto the set from a Korean cop show and is looking for a perp. On the upside, I’m loving how well Eun Hye is really projecting in her first melodrama and I can’t wait to see her first appearance in MY!
By the way, posters have zero correlation with how good a drama will be, and in fact some of my fave dramas of all time have the worst posters ever created, while some truly shiteous dramas end up with the coolest posters.