In MBC's current 9:00 weekday evening drama block, two very different strategies are at play. On one end, "Investigation Partners Season 2" is anchored by rough chemistry, as its leads seeks to unravel grisly cases and work together as a team. At the other end, "One Spring Night" shows off sweet chemistry, working more traditionally as a romance.
Both dramas are working off of established ideas. "Investigation Partners Season 2" is, most obviously, working off of the first season of "Investigation Partners". But even more than the shared characters, conceptually the drama is the exact same kind of standardized procedural mystery, so its results are guaranteed.
"One Spring Night", meanwhile, is an obvious spiritual successor to "Pretty Sister Who Buys Me Food", inheriting as it does much of the same cast and crew. While fine distinctions between the two are observable, MBC is clearly aiming for the same kind of audience that was drawn to that drama.
Both "Investigation Partners Season 2" and "One Spring Night" have been doing decently in ratings, with the former comfortably in the 4-6% range and the latter in the 5-7% range. But both dramas are only doing decently. They have no real aspiration to be megahits, as was more often expected of dramas in the past. To dedicated fans of the shows, this is a minor and generally irrelevant problem. However, the question is still begged as to how far MBC can go by just playing it safe.
Written by William Schwartz
"Investigation Partners Season 2" is directed by Noh Do-cheol, written by Jo Won-gi, Min Ji-eun, and features Jung Jae-young, Jung Yoo-mi, Oh Man-seok, No Min-woo, Kang Seung-hyun, Joo Jin-mo-I. Broadcasting information in Korea: 2019/06/03~Now airing, Mon, Tue 20:55 on MBC.
"One Spring Night" is directed by Ahn Pan-seok, written by Kim Eun, and features Han Ji-min, Jung Hae-in, Kim Joon-han, Im Sung-eon, Joo Min-kyung, Song Seung-hwan. Broadcasting information in Korea: 2019/05/22~Now airing, Wed, Thu 20:55 on MBC.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's News] MBC's Evening Dramas Playing It Safe in Terms of Content and Getting Safe Results"
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