Earlier this year there was serious concern among regular network stations that cable dramas would seriously eat into their market share. In recent months such concerns have been less prominent, as conversations are, for the moment, once again dominated by broadcast dramas such as "Extraordinary You" and "The Tale of Nokdu".
"Extraordinary You" has had fairly lackluster ratings. But it has made major inroads among fans on the Internet. Webtoon fans and younger viewers in particular have been enthralled with how "Extraordinary You" acts as a metacommentary on high school romance, as well as the general prettiness of its lead characters.
"The Tale of Nokdu" has somewhat better ratings than "Extraordinary You", as well as a similar albeit not quite as intense a fan following. Like "Extraordinary You", "The Tale of Nokdu" takes a familiar setting and mixes it up with unusual tropes and commentary. Also like "Extraordinary You", "The Tale of Nokdu" has been popular for the attractiveness of its cast, with many musing that lead actor Jang Dong-yoon looks even prettier than a regular girl while cross-dressing.
This isn't even getting into the main traditional success of the season, "When the Camellias Bloom", which has achieved commanding ratings off of the strength of its two well known popular stars, Gong Hyo-jin and Kang Ha-neul. "When the Camellias Bloom" has allowed KBS to achieve major plaudits even as weekend dramas like "Beautiful Love, Wonderful Life" have underperformed.
Some of the changes may be a result of network dramas starting to seriously enforce fifty two hour workweek rules. Persons involved in the industry have said that the new rules have made it easier for them to concentrate on their work and and appropriately plan ahead. In any event, the industry appears to be on an upswing.
Written by William Schwartz
Staff writer. Has been writing articles for HanCinema since 2012, having lived in South Korea since 2011. Started out in Gyeongju, then to Daegu, then to Ansan, then to Yeongju, then to Seoul, lived on the road for HanCinema's travel diaries series in the summer of 2016, and is currently settled in Anyang. Has good tips for utilizing South Korea's public bus system. William Schwartz can be contacted via email@example.com. He also has a substack at williamschwartz.substack.com where he discusses the South Korean film industry in broader terms and takes suggestions for future movies to review.
"[HanCinema's News] Broadcast Drama Strikes Back at Cable"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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