JTBC was fortunate to start off 2019 with a major success. "SKY Castle", a drama about mothers trying to get their children into top universities, started with a meager 1.7% rating only to exceed 20% in later episodes. The drama quickly became a cultural touchpoint, and firmly established cable networks as equal competitors to their broadcast counterparts.
Less dramatic, but still impressive success was managed with "The Light in Your Eyes", which ran the gamut from 3.2% to 9.7%. The drama's unique fantasy romance concept of using dementia to blend old with new struck a chord with viewers, and earned strong praise from the usually broadcast centered drama awards season.
But since then jTBC's output has had mixed results. "Legal High" did not redefine the legal drama at its relatively weak 3.3% point. The sequel series "Laughter in Waikiki 2" only did marginally better than its predecessor at 2.1%, and stuck out sorely in light of jTBC's increased expectations. While the socially conscious school violence themed drama "Beautiful World" did well at 5.8%, even these were not the superstar numbers of earlier this year.
The politically themed "Chief of Staff" has started off modestly in the 4% range. Whether the ambitious project will live up to expectations remains to be seen. Meanwhile, Kim Ha-neul's melodrama "The Wind Blows" has quickly moved from a 3% start to a 5% current range, another likely modest success with potential yet for more.
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] JTBC's Strong Start to 2019 Turning Ambiguous"
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