tvN, Making It’s Move

Posted by Stephanie on March 8, 2016



tvn kim eun sukWe all know who the hottest of the hot is right now. Actually, let me qualify that. We all know the hottest of the hot writers right now. The reigning queen of Kdrama, Kim Eun Suk. Can’t match the name to the piece? Hmmm…. Does Descendants of the Sun sound familiar? No? Been under a rock for a while there, have you? How about Heirs? Or Secret Garden? A Gentleman’s Dignity ring a bell?

Now that her latest baby bird has flown the nest, her eyes have moved onwards to her next project. 

The question is, who is going to host this probable giant hit? I’m fairly certain all of the networks are clamoring for it. Kim, in the past, was a loyal SBS writer, but she’s lately jumped ship, and tvN is crossing their fingers that she’ll jump again to a smaller, newer, yet surprisingly powerful boat.

It’s funny how in the past few years, just from when I’ve been watching Kdrama, the cable networks were small, fledgling companies, where, their biggest goal was reaching a 1% viewership. Now though, tvN, with it’s risk taking and back list of quirky buzzed about hits, has pretty much blown up and is a solid contender to the major networks.

But to set their sights on Kim Eun Suk? The Kdrama darling? It seems a bit of a stretch. You almost want to pat them on their heads and go, not yet little guy, not yet. Why don’t you set yourself on a nice Hong Sister project? Work your way up? (The Hong Sisters being the writers of past mega hits whose recent projects haven’t burned quite so brightly.) However, when you look at the actual proposal of Kim Eun Suk’s new show, maybe it’s not that much of a stretch…

The new show (with no current title) seems to be dipping further into the fantasy genre, further than the body swapping tale of Secret Garden. It’s supposed to be a historical with fairy tales and goblins and hobnobs. (Okay, the hobnob just might be me as I’m hungry…) So, perhaps tvN is the perfect fit for the show, as it’s on cable where you’re going to see the more out of the box programming.

The things I worry about is that #1 do they realize how hugely expensive that will be? I can just imagine (as this is such a kdrama trope) the new and eager biting off more than they can chew and being sent back down to the ranks having to build themselves up again.

And possibly more important is #2, honestly, the body swapping part of Secret Garden was my least favorite part of the drama. I just think it wasn’t done well. It was added into the plot way too late and then was solved with basically a wave of the wand. I mean, yes, it’s fiction and fantasy, but it just seemed a bit of a cop out.

Anyway, I am very eager to see where this might be going and am excited to see what this does for tvN and other cable networks as, really, these are usually the homes of my favorite programs.

1 Comment

  • Reply hariaharia March 9, 2016 at 1:50 am

    tvN had tried before going with pure sajeuk but gave up pretty fast (The Three Musketeers) because of poor ratings and expensive production (though the whole drama was mostly experimental in terms of format and schedule).
    This time, with this writer, they may decide to go all the way. I’ve read a comment about the merge of her production company and CJ which makes perfect sense. The woman is (obviously!) very smart. She got scared with Heirs, sold her company and worked with another, strong writer in Descendants, her last(?) project with mainstream broadcast stations – she had already bid her friendly farewell to SBS and moved on.
    No matter the big hits and all the mega stars combined, only a true professional is able to read between the lines (pre-produced dramas, ratings, rom-com’s comatose state for the last couple of years) and that’s what she probably did.

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