SINGAPORE—In the first season of “Busted!,” Netflix’s unscripted mystery variety show, the detectives needed to retrieve a clue from a chest. But there’s a problem—there was a snake sitting on top of it.
The other detectives shouted and backed away in fear but not Park Min-Young. The actress was not fazed. She nonchalantly rolled up her sleeves and reached for the snake while her co-stars watched.
“Look at her.”
“She’s touching it.”
“I didn’t know I was not afraid of snakes, I just knew we had to solve the mystery. I surprised myself, too,” Min-Young said at Netflix’s See What’s Next: Asia 2018 event at Marina Bay Sands earlier this month. “When I saw myself onscreen grabbing the snake, I was like, ‘Why did I do that?’”
Min-Young and her costars Yoo Jae-suk, Ahn Jae-wook, Kim Jong-min, Lee Kwang-soo, Oh Se-hun and Kim Se-jeong arrive on the set of “Busted!” never knowing what to expect. “We wanted to put the talent in a situation without a script —whether they were investigating or doing something physical to figure something out,” showrunner Chang Hyukjae said.
Guest stars join the fun by creating fictional elements for the show’s storyline. “We are in close collaboration with the actors,” Hyukjae said.
K-drama fans have fallen for the different characters Min-Young has played in shows like “Sungkyunkwan Scandal,” “Healer” and “What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim” but in “Busted!,” they get to know the real her as she goes through challenges and tries to solve puzzles with her fellow detectives. Min-Young is brave, intelligent, has a great sense of humor and is a joy to watch—but tell her that and she’ll say this: “Sometimes I see it this way, am I the smart one or are the other members a little behind?”
The others do rely on her quite a bit—not just because of her courage but also for her skills in English, observation and deductive reasoning. At one point they asked her, “How did you know so many English words?”
“The oppas on the show, they’re all looking for Min-Young all the time. I think Min-Young is very down to earth, she’s very human and that’s why we all love her,” Hyukjae said.
In another episode, they had to touch things in blind boxes and once again, Min-Young did it with no hesitation, slipping her hand in, leading another detective to ask, “Aren’t you scared at all?”
We’ll admit it, she’s one of our favorite reasons to watch “Busted!” (Another is how the physical challenges make us laugh out loud.) We love Min-Young’s clothes on the show, too.
“I thought I really dressed like a detective. We may not be the best detectives in the world but we are really trying to overwhelm the counterpart with our visual nowadays. I started that. Now in Season 2, I see that everybody is looking to improve their looks and I think I started that.”
The clothes aren’t the only improvement to watch out for, Min-Young said. “A lot of them studied a lot. Jong-min studied Sudoku. Is that a spoiler? No, it didn’t really help that much. We like to compliment ourselves in saying that we are better and we are really good detectives now, we have grown. Solving the mystery game, the team work is really important and it has gotten better. I hope you look forward to our adventure as evolved detectives.”
Hyukjae agreed, “They’ve become smarter, they’ve become better investigators.”
It takes a lot of work to put together a show as unpredictable and unique as “Busted!” Hyukjae said. “We have a number of backup plans for every situation, we have three to four for each and the end is open for all the situations. They may or may not catch the culprit, they may or may not solve the crime. Everything has to be ready. That is why it takes us so long to prepare in advance.”
He added that “Busted!’s” second season “will have great mystery factors as well as great entertainment value.”
Actor Lee Seung-gi has joined the show as its newest detective. “Whenever we had to split off into teams, I don’t know why but I always end up with either Jong-min or Kwang-soo. I always ended up with those two. But I really didn’t have a mystery-solving partner. But now I have high hopes because Seung-gi joined the team,” Min-Young said.