W (TV series)
|Also known as|
|Written by||Song Jae-jung|
|Directed by||Jung Dae-yoon|
|Creative director(s)||Kim Seul-ah|
|Country of origin||South Korea|
|No. of episodes||16|
|Executive producer(s)||Son Hyung-suk|
|Running time||70 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Chorokbaem Media|
|Original network||MBC TV|
|Picture format||1080i (HDTV)|
|Original release||July 20 –|
September 14, 2016
|W at Chorokbaem Media|
W (Hangul: 더블유; RR: Deobeulyu) 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 (KST) on MBC from July 20 to September 14, 2016. W centers on the clash between “two worlds”: the real world and a fantasy world 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 Setting and plot
- 2 Cast
- 3 Production
- 4 Original soundtrack
- 5 Ratings
- 6 Awards and nominations
- 7 International broadcast
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Setting and plot
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The title of the television series is taken from W, a fictional webtoon which became a bestseller in South Korea. Authored by Oh Seong-moo (Kim Eui-sung), the webtoon became a living universe, engendering “two worlds”: the real world and the webtoon or W world. The gap between the two worlds is closed as Seong-moo's daughter and resident cardiothoracic surgeon Oh Yeon-joo (Han Hyo-joo) gets dragged into the webtoon world, inciting a series of twisted events.
The webtoon world of W is an approximate replica of the real world South Korea and its capital Seoul. Entry to the webtoon world can be through Seong-moo's magical tablet, or upon a summoning from the webtoon world or from W's main character Kang Chul (Lee Jong-suk). On the other hand, reentry (through teleportation) to the real world happens also upon Kang Chul's or the webtoon's bidding, or through a rectangular, crystal-like portal, which appears once Kang Chul discovers and affirms to himself the truth behind his world and his identity as the main cartoon character. Once the story of the webtoon ends, the webtoon world continues to exist but the “characters” will instantaneously lose their titles as “characters” and may live their own lives.
Prologue: The Beginning of W
The storyline of the webtoon W starts with Kang Chul's younger years, when he gains popularity in Korea through his victory in a target-shooting competition during the 2004 Athens Olympics. His fame gets ruined when his entire family is killed by an unknown murderer and he is falsely accused of the crime. The corrupt prosecutor Han Cheol-ho (Park Won-sang), another of Kang Chul's archenemies, handles the case and sentences him to death. Nevertheless, he was pronounced innocent of the crime due to lack of evidence. Depressed over losing his family and being treated as an outcast by the society who still thinks of him as the culprit, attempts to commit suicide over the Han River, but doesn't, instead choosing to move on with his life and swears to find the culprit.
Eight years later, Kang Chul becomes a multimillionaire by founding the successful e-commerce company, JN Globals. In his continuous efforts to apprehend and take vengeance against the real culprit in his family's death, he spearheads the anti-crime "Project W" and manages a television-broadcasting company dubbed W, after the initials of the interrogatives “who” and “why” (hence, the title of the webtoon and the television series). The broadcasting company deals exclusively with crimes engaging the best prosecutors and lawyers who solve unsolved crimes when the police fail to do so, save the innocents and find the real culprit. Kang Chul and his bodyguard Seo Do - Yoon apprehend gangsters. His actions win him immense respect in Korea and he is treated as a hero by people who finally believe his innocence. He gains more power than even the police. One night, he receives a suspicious phone call, someone who tells him that he knows the real culprit behind his family's murder and is injured by the same mysterious murderer on the rooftop of his penthouse when he goes to investigate.
Yeon-joo learns from her friend and Seong-moo's assistant cartoonist Park Soo-bong (Lee Si-eon) that her father went missing while drawing the last chapter of W in which Kang Chul is bound to die. Yeon-joo goes to his office and is shocked to see on her father's tablet a scene of the dying Kang Chul. While reading a note left behind by her father, an arm suddenly extends out of the screen and she finds herself on the rooftop of a building next to a bleeding man. She manages to save him, and realizes that the person she saved was Kang Chul and that she was standing on the rooftop of his penthouse. As Kang Chul is carried away by the medics, Yeon-joo sees the word 계속 (gyesok, Eng: “[To be] continued”) glowing and floating in midair and finds herself back in her father's studio. After reading a new chapter of W which portrayed her and Kang Chul in scenes that are identical to her experience on the penthouse rooftop, Yeon-joo assumes that the webtoon is alive and that she had been dragged into it. In the webtoon world, Kang Chul becomes curious about Yeon-joo and considers her to be the key to his life.
Seong-moo mysteriously turns up and strongly insists to the doubting Yeon-joo that he created a new female character based on her and that he drew the new episode and sent it to the publisher all by himself. Later, Soo-bong tells Yeon-joo that Seong-moo again plans to kill Kang Chul, who is confined in the hospital. While arguing with Seong-moo over the phone and asking him to just give W a happy ending, Yeon-joo realizes that Seong-moo did not actually draw the episode and he also knew that the webtoon was alive, she angrily tell him that though this seems bewildering, he cannot kill a living person. She finds herself again inside the webtoon world and rushes to the hospital, stopping a suspicious nurse from injecting a lethal amount of potassium into Kang Chul's heart, again saving his life. Kang Chul recognizes her as the woman who saved his life on the rooftop and asks her identity, but she tells him that she cannot yet reveal and begs him to release her. She promises to tell him the truth later and he agrees. Yeon-joo wants to go back to the real world, but the time inside W skips two months and once again she meets Kang Chul, who is already discharged from the hospital. In order to send herself back to the real world, Yeon-joo surprises Kang Chul by kissing him. She deduces that she can only leave the webtoon world based also on Kang Chul's change in feelings. Kang Chul is astounded that Yeon-joo disappeared and is sure that his assumption was right and that she is the key to his life.
Back in the real world, the angered Seong-moo sees another spontaneously published episode, depicting the hospital scene and culminating with Yeon-joo kissing Kang Chul. He dismisses Soo-bong and the rest of his team so that he can end W in secret, this time using a truck that will crash into Kang Chul. Nevertheless, to Seong-moo's great horror, the webtoon resists his ending and Kang Chul narrowly evades the oncoming truck.
Meanwhile, Yeon-joo scans her father's reference files on W and learns from them that the webtoon started drawing on its own during Seong-moo's miserable times. His wife considered divorce due to Seong-moo's alcoholism. Already depressed, Seong-moo draws an ending to W, where Kang Chul commits suicide and dies on the Han River. He was amazed to find his drawing changed by the next day, seeing Kang Chul clinging from the bridge as if he was against the ending Seong-moo wants. This urged Seong-moo to continue the story until it became a success in the entire country. Nonetheless, the webtoon continued resisting the flow of the story that Seong-moo wants, this time urging him to kill Kang Chul, thinking that he is a monster.
Later, Yeon-joo is dragged again into the webtoon world. Kang Chul brings her to his penthouse. While barely conscious, she reveals to Kang Chul that she knows all of his personal details even though he has never shared them with anyone, alarming him. He is assured that she has good intentions toward him when she cries in her sleep for him and his ordeal. The next morning he interrogates her at gunpoint regarding her identity and on why she knows everything about him. He asks her to tell him the truth but she avoids his questions and tells him only some of the truth, so that Kang Chul only understands that for her to return, she must change his feelings, and she tells him that this was why she kissed him in the store. To prove her theory, he kisses Yeon-joo. But when she doesn't disappear, she explains that he must be surprised. He asks for the context behind this rule, but she refuses to say anything, so he shoots Yeon-joo (even though Yeon-joo was unaware, it is later revealed that Kang Chul already knew that nothing would happen to her and thus never intended to hurt her), but no gunshot wound results, again proving a theory which he had already formed. He promises to protect her from the media and police to show his gratitude for her saving his life, but tells her that he would not let her go until she answers his questions and sincerely apologizes for scaring her with the gun. Yeon-joo warns Kang Chul that the answers he seeks will hurt him and, therefore, she mustn't answer him because she wants him to be happy and sweetly admits that she is already his fan and is therefore worried about him getting hurt. Kang Chul finds himself romantically attracted to Yeon-joo. However, Yoon So-hee (Jung Yoo-jin), Kang Chul's personal assistant and close long-time friend, suspects Yeon-joo is affiliated with the murderer of Kang Chul's family and becomes jealous and behaves antagonistically towards her because of Kang Chul's constant preoccupation with Yeon-joo. So she creates a trap to let the police capture her, but just before her arrest, Yeon-joo discards all evidence of her knowing Kang Chul to protect him. Deeply moved by Yeon-joo's actions to protect him and angry with his staff and especially So-hee for her actions, Kang Chul fires So-hee though he doesn't like being harsh with her. His strong reaction surprises both So-hee and Seo Do Yoon, who realize that he actually cares for Yeon-joo. Kang Chul rushes to meet Yeon-joo. Despite her strong restraints and pleadings to Kang Chul to not ask her those questions again, reminding him that her answers will hurt him and that she must not answer, he compels Yeon-joo to tell the truth, telling her that this is the only way she can escape from prison. After revealing to Kang Chul that his world is only a webtoon and that he is the main cartoon character, Yeon-joo returns to the real world. When Kang Chul realizes that the truth gives context to what has happened to him for the past ten years, time stops in his world and he regretfully realizes it is the consequence of learning the truth. Suddenly, a rectangular portal opens, through which Kang Chul passes, for the first time, into the real world. Unknowingly, the murderer followed him through the portal into the real world.
In the real world, Kang Chul sees for himself that the webtoon he lives in is a great hit in Korea and reads all of its chapters. Devastated to learn the truth, he goes to meet Yeon-joo in her hospital, who was already worrying about him and tells her how much he regretted learning the truth about his identity and his world, finally understanding how much she was thinking about him when trying to avoid telling the truth and thanks her for trying to protect him from such a harsh truth. When she pleads to him to let her help him and asks him to wait for her till she comes back, he is moved by her constant help and concern for him and kisses her. Despite promising to wait for her, he leaves as soon as she returns to surgery.
Later, he goes to Seong-moo's house and studio, and discovers Seong-moo's bitter past which leads to him creating Kang Chul and the entire webtoon. He also learns that Seong-moo is Yeon-joo's father. Kang Chul confronts Seong-moo, who categorizes him as "just a cartoon character". Kang Chul then asks Seong-moo to create the murderer's face and identity so that he can catch the murderer and give W an ending, but Seong-moo reveals to him that there is no real criminal and Kang Chul's miseries were created to make Kang Chul stronger. Unable to control his anger and disappointment, which he was initially withholding for Yeon-joo's sake, Kang Chul shoots Seong-moo. Yeon-joo listens to the entire conversation via the phone. Regretful, he writes a letter to Yeon-joo, condemning himself as a murderer and drowns himself in the Han River.
While Seong-moo is treated, Yeon-joo reads the "last" chapter of W finds out the Kang Chul committed suicide, written on the last plate of the chapter is 끝 (kkeut, Eng: “end”). Devastated, she runs to the Han River to stop him but it is already too late, then she cries on the bridge. To avoid confusing readers, Yeon-joo and Soo-bong hide the truth and tell the media that Seong-moo based the "last" chapter on his contemplation to commit suicide.
Two months pass and Seong-moo is discharged and it soon becomes apparent to him that like the public frenzy, Yeon-joo also wants him to save Kang Chul. He then reveals to her that he already tried to save him as gratitude since Kang Chul did not shoot him at the right mark thus allowing him to live, but was unable to. He also expresses his hesitancy, telling her that she became the main female lead of the comic and that he does not want Yeon-joo to be involved in such danger. Unconsoled, Yeon-joo grievously wonders how alone Kang Chul must be in the cold waters of Han River. Soon after, Seong-moo travels to New Zealand for rest but the Murderer appears, stopping W from ending and the 끝 written in the "last" chapter is spontaneously replaced with 계속, signifying that the webtoon did not yet end. Constantly grievous over losing Kang Chul and blaming herself for what has happened, Yeon-joo finally finds an opportunity to save him and draws on Seong-moo's tablet dismissing Soo bong's warnings about how dangerous it might be for her, stating that nothing is more important than saving Kang Chul. She finds herself back in the prison in the webtoon world and is jubilant as she understands that this means Kang Chul is alive.
The revived Kang Chul meets Yeon-joo who becomes euphoric upon seeing him okay and learns that it was all her doing. Distraught over just being a cartoon character, he rebukes Yeon-joo for saving his life when he chose to die and demands to know why she constantly suffers to protect him instead of moving on with her own life. Angry and disheartened for mocking her concerns for him, Yeon-joo confesses that she has fallen in love with him. Moved to his core with her revelation, he realizes his love for her and passionately kisses her and later on, sets her free from imprisonment by legally marrying her. Though still sad over the truth of his existence, he finds a new and happy reason to live and they happily enjoy a day with each other.
Meanwhile, the murderer learns about the webtoon, its author, and that he is but one of the imaginary characters. He calls Kang Chul and threatens him that Yeon-joo will be his next target. Kang Chul hypothesizes that the Murderer exists, though he is physically insubstantial, as he was never given an identity by the author. His sole motive to life is to traumatize Kang Chul by taking away his loved ones. Kang Chul is terrorized as he understands that the Murderer won't rest until he kills Yeon-joo. While cooking in the kitchen, Yeon-joo injures herself and her wound bleeds, implying that she too now is a cartoon character because she married the protagonist of the story and that she is vulnerable to death in the webtoon world. Kang Chul is astounded by the revelation and Yeon-joo returns to the real world. Yeon-joo and Soo-bong try to escape from Seong-moo's studio, but the murderer transfers to their location and fires his gun at Yeon-joo. Just before the bullet hits her, Yeon-joo is transported back to the webtoon world. The murderer also threatens Seong-moo, while in flight en route to New Zealand, to make him draw him a face and an identity.
Meanwhile, Soo hee is unable to deal with the fact that Kang Chul fell in love with Yeon-joo and married her instead of herself. She tenders her resignation. Over the phone, she drunkenly tells Kang Chul how she always thought that she was going to marry him, like everyone else and questions her status in his life. She begins to fade as she questions him. Kang Chul realizes that as people lose their purpose in the story, they vanish forever. He, along with Yeon-joo, goes to Seo-hee's house and comforts her to save her from completely vanishing. In order to make things right in the real and webtoon worlds, and to protect his friends and especially, Yeon-joo, Kang Chul asks Yeon-joo to remake the storyline so that they will never meet each other starting from the scene in the penthouse rooftop, telling her that no matter how much he tries to, he cannot think of any other plan to protect everyone. Had he never met her, he would not have learned the truth and let the murderer follow him into real world, risking lives of people both in his world and hers. Quietly crying all the while, Yeon-joo grievously assents to his plan so that he can have a happy ending. Kang Chul bids her farewell, while expressing his desire to hug her but not allowing himself to, knowing doing so would make him hesitant to execute his plan and lets himself fall from the rooftop of his penthouse to send Yeon-joo back and Yeon-joo is transported back to the real world. Heartbroken and crying, Yeon-joo draws a scene where Kang Chul wakes up in the hospital from a very long dream and does not remember anything about her anymore.
After his confrontation with the murderer, Seong-moo quickly returns to Korea and sets out to kill the murderer and give W a happy ending on Kang Chul's request so that Yeon-joo does not get pulled in again in his world and uses Kang Chul's files on Project W as guides. Seong-moo uses his own face to be the murderer's and names him Han Sang-hoon. He plans to leave evidence so that Kang Chul can find him using the broadcasting station. He also plans for another villain, Han Cheol-ho, to kill Sang-hoon for which Han Cheolho would be arrested and prosecuted for the killings and corrupt activities. He also plans to show a closure to Kang Chul's love story and to end W with a cliffhanger showing Kang Chul seeming to have motives to date Seo-hee. Yeon-joo listens to the plan through Soo bong, though happy that Kang Chul will catch the criminal, admits to feeling that she has lost her own purpose in both Kang Chul's world and her own.
Kang Chul returns to his normal lifestyle, as a hero who is never discouraged and is always strong. Before the planned ending occurs, Sang-hoon retaliates against the ending Seong-moo plans and removes his face, making Seong-moo his robotic alter ego, following all of Sang-hoon's orders against his will. Sang-hoon commands Seong-moo to draw him a gun and bullets, and he attacks the W Broadcasting Station, revealing himself to Kang Chul through the cameras. With many people killed and even more injured, Yeon-joo is sent back to the webtoon world where she meets Kang Chul who no longer recognizes her.
In the webtoon world, Yeon-joo, constantly sad and miserable from being away from him, stares ardently at Kang Chul, while always wearing her wedding ring, making the latter curious about her. On asking her why she does that, she tells him that he looks like her husband. Soon after, Kang Chul notices that she is trying to avoid him. Homeless and hungry for more than a week and unable to go home, Yeon-joo breaks into Seo-hee's house but is caught by Kang Chul. On interrogating her, she tells Kang Chul that she is not a doctor in the hospital as he previously assumed. Kang Chul decides to turn her over to the police but is astounded at her flippant attitude about going to prison. When Kang Chul tries to be kind to her, Yeon-joo becomes agitated and refuses his kindness, grievously berating Kang Chul about her "lost husband", and garners his pity. Aware that she is sad and helpless, he takes her with him, ignoring her protests to not get involved with her.
Meanwhile, Sang-hoon conspires with Cheol-ho to put an end to Kang Chul. Son Hyun-seok (Cha Kwang-soo), the producer of Project W, asks Kang Chul to visit him in the hospital and reveals a voice file sent to him by an unknown source depicting Kang Chul shooting his father in a heated argument, shocking Kang Chul. Son Hyun-seok, suspects Kang Chul for the first time; Kang Chul is surprised that he would ever doubt him. Sang-hoon further frames Kang Chul by commanding Seong-moo to kill Hyeon-suk and to draw a gun in Kang Chul's hand. Kang Chul escapes and is shot by the police in a struggle inside the hospital. Forgetting that Yeon-joo is with him, he escapes in his car. Panicked, seeing Kang Chul hurt, she demands that he let her drive the car and refuses to leave him when he asks her to and warns her that being with him would be dangerous. In her efforts to save Kang Chul, Yeon-joo brings him to a hotel to hide him from the authorities. While trying to stop his bleeding, she promises to Kang Chul to bring help so that he can clear his name and asks him to hold on. Seeing her distressed by his wounds and amazed that she so readily believes in him asks her real identity. Yeon-joo repeats her earlier words to him and tells him that she just wants him to be happy and kisses him in order for the webtoon to send her back to the real world so that she can save him. Meanwhile, Kang Chul is stunned that she risked her life for him and tries to find her identity.
Yeon-joo is horrified to see her faceless father and locks him in a room. She redraws the cartoon to hide Kang Chul in the hotel, erasing the door to his room and changing his car. She also draws the tools and medicine with instructions on how to use them so that Kang Chul can treat his gunshot wound, begging him to get up as she cannot come to him at the moment. Sang-hoon senses that Yeon-joo is in the real world and tries to strangle her via the tablet. In the nick of time, Yeon-joo shuts the tablet down, disabling her from using the tablet further. She is suddenly summoned to Cheol-ho's office and narrowly escapes. She realizes that the villains, not the protagonists, have dragged her into the webtoon. She finds out that a month has passed in that world. Unaware of Kang Chul's status and unable to find any information about him, she panics and rushes to Kang Chul's penthouse, where So hee assumes along with everybody that Kang Chul must be dead as they clear the penthouse and W, the broadcasting channel is shut down, except for Kang Chul's friend and bodyguard Seo Do-yoon (Lee Tae-hwan), who tells Yeon-joo that he is alive and gives her Kang Chul's location and tells her that Kang Chul has been looking for her all this while. Relieved, she runs to meet him.
Kang Chul meets Yeon-joo again and tells her how he treated himself with her instructions and escaped in the car she got for him, though curiously does not ask her how she did it making it clear that he already knows that something is going on which he does not understand. Kang Chul and Yeon-joo eat and shop together. With Yeon-joo confused and curious as to why, instead of demanding her identity, he is acting this way, Kang Chul reveals a printed copy of W which Yeon-joo had accidentally brought to the webtoon world, shocking her. Upon asking if he was actually her "lost husband", time stops in the webtoon and, as before, the portal opens, through which Kang Chul and Yeon-joo together enter the real world. They arrive at Seong-moo's studio, where Kang Chul sees a faceless Seong-moo, finds out what has happened and hatches a plan to clear his name, save Seong-moo, and to be able to live with Yeon-joo in her world, thus escaping the confines of the webtoon and live happily with his wife, thus giving W, a formal happy ending. He repairs the tablet so that Sang-hoon cannot easily interfere with the real world and finally has Sang-hoon captured and arrested. He also fakes his death leaving behind a will claiming his innocence and blaming Sang hoon and Cheol-Ho for the murder of Son Hyun-suk and for framing him. Consequently, Cheol-ho is on the verge of being investigated for his covert dealings with Sang-hoon. People in his world starting to respect and miss Kang Chul again, he regains his honour. When the comic would end, he would no longer be the protagonist but just a person who can travel between two worlds. As he makes everybody in his world believe that he is dead, he enables Seo-hee to lead an independent life without him, setting her free from her role, thus preventing her from disappearing. Kang Chul invests all his assets from his company to form a foundation for crime investigation as W, the broad casting channel is shut and leaves it under Do Yoon who would run it. And Kang Chul and Yeon-joo's relationship resumes and they lead a normal, happy married life with each other in the real world, Kang Chul visiting the comic world only when he wants to see how things are going.
Before the story concludes as Kang Chul plans, he learns that while he is in the real world, just by thinking of them, he can summon characters from the webtoon to the real world. Sang-hoon is inadvertently summoned to the real world and kidnaps Yeon-joo, bringing her to the webtoon world as a trap for Kang Chul. He also commands Seong-moo to break his own tablet. Before Kang Chul is able to reach Sang hoo's hideout, Sang-hoon shoots Yeon-joo as she tries to escape, ending the webtoon's chapter and sending both Kang Chul and Yeon-joo's bodies to the real world. Enraged, Kang Chul summons himself back into the webtoon and confronts Sang-hoon for shooting Yeon-joo and ultimately kills him. He transports himself back to the real world and rushes to the hospital where Yeon-joo is. In anguish, he watches as the doctor tries to revive her.
Cheol-ho, already suspecting Sang-hoon, Yeon-joo, and Kang Chul's existences, goes to the site of Sang-hoon's death to investigate. There, he discovers a tablet in Sang-hoon's car, but he does not know that it is a replica of Seong-moo's original tablet drawn by Seong-moo under Sang-hoon's command just before he was told to destroy the original.
Yeon-joo is brought to the hospital and is already dying. At the studio, Seong-moo returns to his original state and is grieved to realize that his tablet is destroyed and that Yeon-joo is shot and has vanished from the hospital. Kang Chul arrives from the webtoon world and, crying, tells Seong-moo that he had brought Yeon-joo to his world, attempting to revive her, while hiding themselves in his penthouse, but Yeon-joo dies. Seong-moo faints after hearing the news and is confined to the hospital. While at the hospital, the depressed Seong-moo attempts suicide but Kang Chul prevents him. He tells him that there was only one reason why he came to Seong-moo and that was to ask him to save his wife. He explains to him that as she can get hurt and die in the webtoon, in a similar way she can be saved via drawings just as Yeon-joo saved him. This is possible since she too became a cartoon character like him when she married him and convinces him that he can still revive Yeon-joo using the replica of the tablet. He promises to Seong-moo to save her and live with her happily no matter what happens next, winning over Seong-moo, who starts to accept him as a son. Kang Chul plans to retrieve the tablet which was already in Cheol-ho's possession. Before going back to the webtoon world, he tells Soo-bong to stand by for his "SOS".
Kang Chul is caught by Cheol-ho, who traps and tortures him and interrogates him about the tablet. He lures Cheol-ho into bringing the tablet to the hospital. Just in time, Kang Chul gives his "SOS" to Soo-bong, asking him to guard the tablet well, returns to the real world and summons Cheol-ho. Soo-bong grabs the tablet from Cheol-ho who is then sent back to webtoon world and Seong-moo draws Yeon-joo, restoring her life and bringing her back to the real world. While drawing, Seong-moo discovers that he is slowly disappearing due to him being the alter ego of the already dead Sang-hoon, whose purpose was to kill Kang Chul's family and not save her. Yeon-joo waits for Kang Chul in front of the hotel, worried after learning he had been hurt but is transported back to the webtoon. The words, 'the last episode' hangs in mid-air. She learns that a year has passed.
Yeon-joo is transported to the hotel in which Kang Chul used to live and there meets Yoon So Hee and learns from her that it was revealed that Kang Chul had faked his death and was arrested a year ago, charged with murder and fabrication of evidence. She tells Yeon-joo that she can go to his trial to meet him. So hee now leads a completely independent life, has voluntarily resigned from his company, suspects Kang Chul, cutting off all ties with him and leaves Korea to attend a business in the US, while wishing that all goes well for Yeon-joo. Yeon-joo goes to meet Kang Chul at his trial. Kang Chul and Yeon-joo have their tearful brief reunion before the guards imprison Kang Chul. Do Yoon is present at the trial, indicating the authenticity of his relationship with Kang Chul. Do Yoon takes Yeon-joo with her to take care of her for Kang Chul for the time being. While waiting for the guards, a key appears on Kang Chul handcuffs and he escapes. He deduces it was Seong-moo who freed him from prison using the replica of the tablet and finds him in his hideout tied up by himself. He learns that, upon entry to the webtoon world, Seong-moo was afflicted with multiple personalities. He is an escapee from a mental hospital in which he was confined for a year, shifting erratically between his normal self to Sang-hoon's murderous, tantrum-like personality. Kang Chul then goes to Yeon-joo who had been waiting for him at a coffee shop after learning about his breakout from prison, instructing Do Yoon to tell Kang Chul where to find her. Kang Chul tells Yeon-joo about Seong-moo and brings the grieved Yeon-joo to him.
As they plan on how to create an ending, Seong moo reveals to Kang Chul that his essence will slowly disappear unless he does anything evil like Sang-hoon. He secretly pleads to Kang Chul to leave him behind to die in the webtoon so that they can have their happy ending, to which Kang Chul strongly disagrees. As the police arrive to arrest Seong-moo and the furiously curious Cheol-ho kidnaps Do-yoon, Kang Chul and Yeon-joo realize that to end the webtoon, Yeon-joo will lose either Seong-moo or Kang Chul. Kang Chul argues with Yeon-joo to leave him so that she can be safe, but she refuses and promises to him that if they can't go back together, she will forever live with him in his world and that will be the ending of W.
In their efforts to end the webtoon's story together, Yeon-joo draws and makes copies of a CCTV footage showing Cheol-ho torturing Kang Chul and escapes with Seong-moo to a motel. Kang Chul confronts Cheol-ho to save Do-yoon, but Cheol-ho shoots Kang Chul, interrogating him this time about the real and webtoon worlds about which he heard from Do Yoon after he drugged him. Kang Chul struggles with Cheol-ho and escapes by car, calling Yeon-joo for help at a bus station. Yeon-joo drives away to find Kang Chul just as one of Kang Chul's bodyguards arrives to guard Seong-moo.
Meanwhile, Seong-moo, who overhears that Kang Chul was shot, asks to be untied and, using the tablet, kills Cheol-ho and spreads the CCTV footage to the authorities. He makes a farewell letter addressed to Kang Chul, and searches for Yeon-joo, to see her for the last time, as his essence starts to fade.
Later, Yeon-joo arrives at Kang Chul's location to retrieve him. Unbeknownst to her, Seong-moo arrives, sees her attempting to cross the road towards Kang Chul, and whispers his farewell for her just before he completely vanishes. Yeon-joo was still in the middle of the road when Kang Chul faints due to his injury: the story of W formally ends, sending Yeon-joo back to the real world. Moments after the story's ending, Do-yoon arrives to rescue Kang Chul. On learning that Yeon-joo disappeared, Kang Chul relaxes and smiles, understanding that W had finally ended. After his recovery, Kang Chul is imprisoned for two years for fabrication of evidence, though his murder charge had been cleared. He receives Seong moo's letter from Do Yoon and reads it. In it, Seong-moo wishes him happiness and asks him to keep his daughter happy, too. Kang Chul finds a picture of Seong moo enclosed with the letter. While at prison, So Hee comes to visit Kang Chul, apologizing for not trusting him and cutting off contact with him. Kang Chul smiles and replies that he was glad she did so, proving to him that she can have her own life without anybody's help and they part, good friends once again. After two years, Kang Chul is released from prison.
Meanwhile, in the real world, the readers and fans of W wonder about the story's sudden sad ending. (As W ended while Yeon-joo was crossing the street towards Kang Chul, the readers never got to see the reality that Kang Chul was saved and the villains were defeated). Yeon-joo and Soo-bong try to find Seong-moo to no avail. Unaware that Kang Chul is alive and well, Yeon-joo spends her entire day crying and waiting for Kang Chul at the bus station where she last saw him, in the real world, only a week passes when a depressed Yeon-joo again walks in the rain towards the bus station, denying the possibility that he might be dead. She collapses while at the same spot, just as she sees a figure approach her. Yeon-joo awakens in a hospital with Kang Chul lying with her. He tells how relieved he was to find that only a week had passed here, worrying all the while that she would die after being alone for two years thinking that he had died. Yeon-joo silently cries, relieved that he is okay. He tells her that he met her mother and introduced himself as her boyfriend, unable to tell her that he was actually her husband. Her mother did not ask much. On asking about her father, Kang Chul does not reply and simply hands her the photo of Seong moo which he had left with Kang Chul. Yeon-joo understands and cries in Kang Chul's arm. Some time later, both of them sit peacefully, watching the sunset, holding each other. Yeon-joo finally accepts Seong-moo's demise and Kang Chul and Yeon-joo hope to love each other for as long as they both live.
- Lee Jong-suk as Kang Chul
- The lead character of the popular comic series W. Calm, cool-minded and hardworking, Kang Chul is JN Global's co-president, owner of broadcasting channel W and an Olympic gold medalist in shooting, in the comic series. His family was murdered by an unknown assailant, yet Kang Chul was immediately suspected to be the killer due to his shooting background. After being proven innocent, Kang Chul seeks the murderer for revenge. He is later stabbed on the rooftop of his penthouse by the killer. There, he meets Oh Yeon-joo who becomes the love of his life. He is handsome, self-confident, talented, righteous, strong, passionate, determined and kindhearted.
- A second-year resident doctor in the Thoracic Surgery Department of Myung Se Hospital. She is the daughter of the comic artist who writes the famous webtoon series W. A fan of the webtoon and Kang Chul, when she receives the news of her father's disappearance, she goes to his house to investigate. There, she is pulled into the webtoon and meets Kang Chul and eventually falls in love with him. She is kind, loving and caring, strong at heart, honest and emotional though eccentric at times. She is a little insecure and does not believe that she has any particular talent.
Characters from the webtoon W
- Kang Chul's long-time personal assistant and friend. Her romantic feelings for Kang Chul are subtly alluded to throughout the series through her actions and behavior around him. She genuinely cares for him and has good intentions, but became jealous of Yeon-joo. Kang Chul never had any feelings for her and cared for her only as a friend. Described as beautiful, elegant, efficient and stylish but a little immature and hot tempered. Originally intended to be the main female character, who would later become Kang Chul's love interest, she is replaced by Yeon-joo when Kang Chul falls in love with her, something which was unplanned.
- Kang Chul's loyal bodyguard and friend. He is a martial-arts instructor. He cares for Kang Chul as his own younger brother and Kang Chul looks up to him as his elder brother. Their relationship endures despite the drama's complexities, ironically proving Kang Chul wrong that all his relationships in the webtoon are fake.
- Park Won-sang as Han Cheol-ho
- Prosecutor and a member of Congress who is also the presidential prospect of a new democratic party. He was the prosecutor of Kang Chul when he was framed for his family's murder. The ambitious, greedy Cheol-ho framed Kang Chul to get famous and swore a permanent enmity against him when Kang Chul became powerful and looks for opportunities to imprison and destroy Kang Chul.
- 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. He was a respected father-figure to Kang Chul.
- Kim Eui-sung as Han Sang-hoon
- The murderer of Kang Chul's family. On the first chapters of W, Seong-moo depicted him 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 murderer's formal identity, bearing his own face and naming him Han Sang-hoon.
People around Oh Yeon-joo
- Kim Eui-sung as Oh Seong-moo
- Yeon-joo's father and a famous artist who created the webtoon W. A failed webtoon artist and divorcé, he gains popularity from "W". However, he starts to realize slowly that his webtoon and its characters have become a reality of their own. Realizing this, he notices that his drawings are resisted by the characters who sometimes change on their own. As a result, he decides to end Kang Chul's life by drowning him in water, which is resisted by Kang Chul in the webtoon. Initially depicted as weak-willed and alcoholic, his love for his daughter redeems him at the end of the series and when he realises that Yeon-joo's true happiness lies in her marriage with Kang Chul, accepts him as a son and sacrifices his own life to keep both of them happy.
- A disciple of Seong-moo and confidant of Yeon-joo. He initially did not believe Yeon-joo's theories, but later accepts everything. He is the only one, apart from the father-daughter duo, in the real world who is aware of the two worlds. He mostly voiced over at the beginning of each episode to inform the audience about the untold part of the webtoon that the readers in the real world are also unaware of. An easily-scared-to-his-bones coward, his care for Yeon-joo as a sister and his admiration of Kang Chul finally teaches him bravery. He creates humour throughout the series by his behaviour and reaction to every situation.
- Nam Gi-ae as Gil Soo-sun
- Yeon-joo's mother, Seong-moo ex-wife, and owner of a massage salon. She was very money-minded and later regretted divorcing her husband when he became very rich.
- Heo Jung-do as Park Min-soo
- Thoracic surgeon and teacher of Myung Se Hospital. Pompous and arrogant but a passionate fan of "W". He constantly criticizes Yeon-joo for all her actions and is very disappointed when Kang Chul, who he admires very much, falls in love with Yeon-joo instead of Seo hee, something which he shows no attempt to hide
- Thoracic Surgery's second-year resident of Myung Se Hospital and Yeon-joo's friend.
- Lee Se-rang as Gil Soo-young
- Yeon-joo's aunt. She is vain and unthinking.
- Ryu Hye-rin as Sun-mi
- Sung-moo's disciple.
- Yang Hye-ji as Yoon-hee
- Sung-moo's disciple.
- Thoracic Surgery's nurse of Myung Se Hospital.
- Park Choong-seon as Kang Chul's father (episode 1)
- Kim Na-woon as Kang Chul's mother (episode 1)
- Seo Shin-ae as Kang Chul's younger sister (episode 1)
- Choi Min-young as Kang Chul's younger brother (episode 1)
- Hwang Seok-jeong as Webtoon Writer (episode 6)
- Ahn Se-ha as Kim Poong-ho – Yeon-joo's blind date (episode 6)
- Kim Jung-geun as Anchorman (episodes 1, 4)
- Heo Il-hoo
The first script reading of the drama was held in May 2016.
The drama is Han Hyo-joo's small screen comeback after 6 years.
|W : Original Soundtrack|
|Soundtrack album by |
|Released||September 14, 2016 (digital)|
September 30, 2016 (2CD)
|Genre||Pop, K-pop, soundtrack|
|Producer||Son Nak-hee, Kim Young-ho (both executive)|
OST Part 1
|1.||"Where Are U" (내가 너에게 가던 네가 나에게 오던)||Seo Dong-sung||Park Sung-il (Copykumo)||Jung Joon-young||4:19|
|2.||"Where Are U" (Inst.)||Park Sung-il (Copykumo)||4:19|
OST Part 2
|1.||"Please Say Something, Even Though It Is a Lie" (거짓말이라도 해줘요)||Red Socks, Choi Jae-woo||Red Socks||Park Bo-ram||3:33|
|2.||"Please Say Something, Even Though It Is a Lie" (Inst.)||Red Socks||3:33|
OST Part 3
|1.||"In the Illusion" (환상 속의 그대)||Leah Min-young Park (Hwayobi), Lee Cheol-joo (Basick)||Park Sung-il (Copykumo)||Basick & Inkii||4:09|
|2.||"In the Illusion" (Inst.)||Park Sung-il (Copykumo)||4:09|
OST Part 4
|1.||"Remember" (기억)||5ily, Choi Kang||5ily||KCM||4:13|
OST Part 5
|1.||"Falling"||Han Joon, Benjamin K||Lee Yoo-jin||Jo Hyun-ah (Urban Zakapa)||3:21|
|2.||"Falling" (Inst.)||Lee Yoo-jin||3:21|
OST Part 6
|1.||"My Heart" (내 맘)||Cadence, Seo Jae-ha, Kim Young-sung||Cadence, Seo Jae-ha, Kim Young-sung||Jeon Woo-sung (Noel)||3:52|
|2.||"My Heart" (Inst.)||Cadence, Seo Jae-ha, Kim Young-sung||3:52|
OST Part 7
|1.||"You And I" (그대와 나)||Shoulder Bully (어깨깡패)||Shoulder Bully (어깨깡패)||Ahn Hyun-jeong||3:45|
|2.||"You And I" (Inst.)||Shoulder Bully (어깨깡패)||3:45|
OST Part 8
|1.||"Draw a Love" (사랑을 그려요)||Han Joon, Benjamin K||Tom & Jerry||Navi||3:59|
|2.||"Draw a Love" (Inst.)||Tom & Jerry||3:59|
OST Part 9
|1.||"Without You" (니가 없는 난)||Red Socks||Red Socks||N (VIXX) & Yeoeun (Melody Day)||4:34|
|2.||"Without You" (Inst.)||Red Socks||4:34|
|South Korea (Gaon Album Chart)||16|
|Taiwan (FIVE-MUSIC Album Chart)||17|
In the table below, the blue numbers represent the lowest ratings and the red numbers represent the highest ratings.
|Ep.||Original broadcast date||Average audience share|
|1||July 20, 2016||9.9% (10th)||11.3% (7th)||8.6% (17th)||10.4% (10th)|
|2||July 21, 2016||10.1% (9th)||11.5% (5th)||9.5% (12th)||10.7% (10th)|
|3||July 27, 2016||11.6% (7th)||13.7% (4th)||12.9% (4th)||15.0% (4th)|
|4||July 28, 2016||13.4% (5th)||14.7% (4th)||12.9% (4th)||14.3% (4th)|
|5||August 3, 2016||15.1% (3rd)||17.8% (1st)||13.5% (3rd)||14.3% (3rd)|
|6||August 4, 2016||14.2% (5th)||15.9% (2nd)||12.2% (4th)||12.2% (4th)|
|7||August 10, 2016||15.2% (4th)||17.3% (2nd)||13.8% (4th)||14.7% (3rd)|
|8||August 17, 2016||13.5% (5th)||15.0% (4th)||12.2% (5th)||13.3% (4th)|
|9||August 18, 2016||12.7% (4th)||14.7% (3rd)||11.3% (7th)||12.5% (5th)|
|10||August 24, 2016||13.9% (5th)||15.3% (3rd)||12.3% (6th)||13.7% (4th)|
|11||August 25, 2016||14.6% (6th)||15.8% (5th)||12.2% (6th)||12.8% (5th)|
|12||August 31, 2016||13.3% (6th)||15.1% (5th)||11.1% (7th)||12.0% (5th)|
|13||September 1, 2016||12.9% (6th)||15.0% (3rd)||11.9% (5th)||13.2% (5th)|
|14||September 7, 2016||13.1% (5th)||15.3% (3rd)||10.9% (5th)||11.8% (4th)|
|15||September 8, 2016||11.8% (6th)||14.1% (4th)||11.4% (6th)||12.3% (4th)|
|16||September 14, 2016||10.6% (4th)||10.9% (4th)||9.3% (7th)||9.8% (6th)|
Awards and nominations
|2016||5th APAN Star Awards||Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries||Lee Jong-suk||Nominated|
|Top Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries||Han Hyo-joo||Won|||
|Best Supporting Actor||Kim Eui-sung||Won|
|Best Couple Award||Lee Jong-suk and Han Hyo-joo||Nominated|
|1st Asia Artist Awards||Best Artist Award, Actor||Lee Jong-suk||Nominated|
|Best Artist Award, Actress||Han Hyo-joo||Nominated|
|36th MBC Drama Awards||Drama of the Year||W||Won|
|Grand Prize / Daesang
(Determined through fan votes)
|Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries||Lee Jong-suk||Won|||
|Top Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries||Han Hyo-joo||Won|
|Golden Acting Award, Actor in a Miniseries||Kim Eui-sung||Won|
|Writer of the Year||Song Jae-jung||Won|
|Best New Actor||Lee Si-eon||Nominated|
|Best New Actress||Jung Yoo-jin||Nominated|
|Best Couple Award||Lee Jong-suk and Han Hyo-joo||Won|||
|Kim Eui-sung and Lee Si-eon||Nominated|
|Korea Content Awards||Prime Minister Commendation||Song Jae-jung||Won|||
|2017||Korea Communications Commission Broadcasting Awards||Korean Wave Program Excellence Prize||W||Won|||
|50th WorldFest Houston International Film Festival||Special Jury Award||Won|||
|53rd Baeksang Arts Awards||Best Drama||Nominated|||
|Best Director||Jung Dae-yoon||Nominated|
|Best Screenplay||Song Jae-jung||Nominated|||
|Seoul International Drama Awards||Outstanding Korean Drama||W||Won|||
|South Korea||MBC (original)||July 20, 2016 - September 14, 2016||두 개의 세계 무너진 차원의 틈 － W (Du gae-ui segye muneojin chawon-ui teum － W; lit: Two gaps in the world collapsed － W)|
|Oh!K||July 21, 2016 - September 15, 2016 (Thursday, Friday 20:55 - 22:00)||W － 兩個世界 (W － Liǎng gè shìjiè; lit: W － Two worlds)|
|Taiwan||LTV (龍華數位媒體科技)||July 30, 2016 - September 24, 2016 (Saturday 19:00 - 22:00 (two episodes))|
|July 31, 2016 - September 25, 2016 (Sunday 20:00 - 23:00 (two episodes))|
|Star Chinese Channel||October 19, 2016 - November 18, 2016 (Monday to Friday 22:00 - 23:00)|
|SEC (星卫娱乐台)||February 23, 2017 - March 27, 2017 (Monday to Friday 20:00 - 21:00)|
|FOX (台灣頻道), FOX HD||June 1, 2017 - July 3, 2017 (Monday to Friday 21:00 - 22:00)|
|CTS Main Channel||December 26, 2016 - January 25, 2017 (Monday to Friday 21:00 - 22:00, December 26 20:00 - 22:00)|
|緯來戲劇台||February 22, 2017 - March 27, 2017 (Monday to Friday 22:00 - 23:00)|
|Hong Kong||ViuTV||April 3, 2017 - April 28, 2017 (Monday to Friday 20:30 - 21:30)|
|Singapore||Channel U||August 16, 2017 - September 12, 2017 (Monday to Friday 22:00 - 23:00)|
|Philippines||ABS-CBN||March 12, 2018 - May 4, 2018 (Monday to Friday 22:00 - 22:45)||W|
|Asianovela Channel||October 1, 2018|
|Thailand||True4U||November 14, 2016||W － รักข้ามมิติ (W － Rạk k̄ĥām miti; lit: W － Love-cross dimension)|
|February 7, 2018 - April 4, 2018 (Every Wednesday and Thursday at 20.30 - 21.30.)|
|Finland||Yle||June 24, 2018||W - todellisuuden tuolla puolella (lit: W - On the other side of the reality)|
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To access, select the indicated week and year in the bottom-left corner
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