ⓘ W (TV series)

W (TV series)

ⓘ W (TV series)

W is a 2016 South Korean television series, starring Lee Jong-suk and Han Hyo-joo. Consisting of 16 episodes, it aired on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 22:00 on MBC from July 20 to September 14, 2016. W centers on the clash between "two worlds": the real world and an alternate universe inside a webtoon, from which the title of the television series was taken.

The series received praise for its unique premise and ranked first in Content Power Index in its premiere week. It achieved modest ratings of 11.63%, topping viewership ratings in its time slot for its entire run.


1. Plot

The series focuses on the eponymous fictional webtoon entitled W, written and illustrated by its legendary author and illustrator Oh Seong-moo Kim Eui-sung. W became so famous in South Korea that even its printed versions became a best-seller there.

The storyline of the webtoon W starts with the younger years of its main character Kang Chul Lee Jong-suk, a handsome and intelligent boy who is also skilled in shooting. He becomes famous in South Korea as he won a shooting competition during the 2004 Athens Olympics. But this fame is interrupted when the unknown Murderer massacres his family, and he is erroneously accused of the crime. Another villain, Han Cheol-ho Park Won-sang, handles the case to gain political popularity, urging the court to impose death penalty upon Kang Chul. Despite his efforts, Kang Chul is deemed innocent of the crime. Depressed over losing his family, he attempts to commit suicide over the Han River but stops himself and chooses to search for the real killer instead and devote his life to crime-fighting.

Ten years later, Kang Chul becomes a multimillionaire. He starts "Project W" in an efforts to catch the real culprit behind his familys death; part of the project his television broadcasting company dubbed "W," after the initials of the interrogatives "who" and "why" hence, the title of the webtoon. One night, he receives a suspicious phone call and gets severely injured by the same mysterious Murderer at the rooftop of his penthouse.


2.1. Cast Main

  • Lee Jong-suk as Kang Chul
The lead character of the popular comic series W. Calm, cool-minded and hardworking, Kang Chul is a multimillionaire, owner of broadcasting channel W and an Olympic gold medalist in shooting in his youth. His family was murdered by an elusive Murderer, yet Kang Chul was immediately suspected to be the killer due to his shooting background. After being proven innocent, Kang Chul seeks vengeance on the Murderer through his broadcasting channel. When he is stabbed on the rooftop of his penthouse by the Murderer, he meets Oh Yeon-joo who saves his life and with whom he falls in love with.
  • Park Min-ha as child Yeon-joo
  • Han Hyo-joo as Oh Yeon-joo
  • Hyun Seung-min as teenage Yeon-joo
A second-year resident cardiothoracic surgeon in Myung-se Hospital. She is the daughter of the Oh Seong-moo, author and illustrator of the famous webtoon W. A fan of her own fathers work, she goes to her fathers studio to investigate his sudden disappearance. There, she is pulled into W s alternate universe and meets its protagonist Kang Chul with whom she eventually falls in love with.

2.2. Cast Characters from the webtoon W

  • Kim Eui-sung as Han Sang-hoon
The main antagonist of the webtoon and the formal identity of the Murderer of Kang Chuls family. On the first chapters of W, Seong-moo had depicted the Murderer as ghost-like, physically insubstantial and appearing only when needed in the story, which made Kang Chul virtually incapable of ever apprehending him. To fix this flaw, Seong-moo creates the murderers formal identity, bearing his own face and naming him Han Sang-hoon.
  • Jung Yoo-jin as Yoon So-hee
Kang Chuls long-time personal assistant and his friend since they were in high school. Her romantic feelings for Kang Chul are subtly alluded to throughout the series through her obvious actions and behavior around him which led to readers general expectations of their marriage. Originally intended to be the main female character, who would later become Kang Chuls love interest, she is replaced by Yeon-joo when Kang Chul falls in love with her.
  • Lee Tae-hwan as Seo Do-yoon
Kang Chuls loyal bodyguard and close friend. Using his knowledge of the martial arts, he trained Kang Chul to fight and is always alongside him in beating bad guys.
  • Park Won-sang as Han Cheol-ho
A secondary antagonist of the webtoon. He is a power-greedy prosecutor and a member of Congress who is also the presidential prospect of a new democratic party. To gain political popularity, he becomes the prosecutor in charge of Kang Chuls case when the latter was framed for his familys murder.
  • Cha Kwang-soo as Son Hyun-seok
The director of Project W, a program specializing in criminal investigation, and the general manager of the broadcasting channel W.


2.3. Cast People around Oh Yeon-joo

  • Kim Eui-sung as Oh Seong-moo
Yeon-joos father and a famous artist who created the webtoon W. Once a failed webtoon artist, alcoholic and divorce, he gains popularity from W. However, he notices that his webtoon and its characters have become a reality of their own. As a result, he perceived Kang Chul as a monster and sought to eliminate him.
  • Lee Si-eon as Park Soo-bong
A disciple of Seong-moo and confidant of Yeon-joo
  • Nam Gi-ae as Gil Soo-sun
Yeon-joos mother and Seong-moos ex-wife.
  • Heo Jung-do as Park Min-soo
Cardiothoracic surgeon and teacher at Myung-se Hospital. He is a passionate fan of W
  • Kang Ki-young as Kang Suk-beom
Second-year resident cardiothoracic surgeon at Myung-se Hospital and Yeon-joos friend
  • Lee Se-rang as Gil Soo-young
Yeon-joos aunt
  • Ryu Hye-rin as Sun-mi
Sung-moos disciple
  • Yang Hye-ji as Yoon-hee
Sung-moos disciple

2.4. Cast Special appearances

  • Seo Shin-ae as Kang Soo-yeon – Chuls sister episode 1
  • Park Choong-seon as Kang Yoon – Chuls father
  • Ahn Se-ha as Kim Poong-ho – Yeon-joos blind date episode 6
  • Heo Il-hoo
  • Hwang Seok-jeong as Webtoon Writer episode 6
  • Kim Na-woon as Yoon Mi-ho – Chuls mother episode 1
  • Kim Jung-geun as Anchorman episodes 1, 4
  • Choi Min-young as Kang Joon-seok – Chuls brother episode 1

3. Production

The series is helmed by director Jung Dae-yoon, who directed She Was Pretty and writer Song Jae-jung whose previous works include Nine: Nine Time Travels and Queen In-hyuns Man.

The first script reading of the drama was held in May 2016.

The drama is Han Hyo-joos small screen comeback after six years.


4. Ratings

In the table below, the blue numbers represent the lowest ratings and the red numbers represent the highest ratings.

*Episode 8 was not aired on Thursday August 11 due to broadcast of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This episode was aired on Wednesday August 17, 2016.

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