tvN Dips Into the American Pool Again

Posted by Stephanie on March 18, 2016

Fun Friday


You know how we’re always so excited whenever a Korean show is in talks to be made over by American television? (Shows which generally come to nothing, sadly.) Lately there has been the opposite going down in Kdramaland. Which means it’s time to ask the question. Are we pleased? 

Context. tvN has officially nailed down it’s cast for their remake of Entourage. Then this week, news comes down that they’ve mined again and are taking another hit show, CBS’s Good Wife and giving it the ol’ Kdrama try. Actually, the story of a wife who has to go back to her career after her politician husband lands in jail actually sounds like would at home on any Korean network. Let’s also not forget the recent agreement with the creator of Waking Dead, Viki and some yet to be determined network (let’s just not go out on a limb and say tvN) to do some sort of prequel for that show.

Original, not going to lie, I was really excited about the Korean Entourage, but more for the casting choices they were hoping to make than for the show itself. Now that the dust has settled and everyone signed on the dotted line, my interest has fled. Sorry Kwang Soo (and yet so not sorry).

I understand that these shows are going to be rewritten for the Korean audiences, so it won’t be a direct remake, nothing to worry about there. The thing that does give me pause? I’m concerned these decisions may continue the push for shows which are more than one season. On these outlying stations, it’s not as big of a surprise for a show to have multiple seasons. I also know that after a good drama, there is always clamoring for a second season.

Gah. Doesn’t everyone know that part of the charm of Kdrama is it’s single season format? We’re in, we meet, we cry, we fall in love, we leave. Rinse and repeat. Yes, by the end, if the drama is good, you don’t want to leave those characters or the world the production has created. But sometimes, for the good of all, you just have to let go. Plus the added upside of a ever revolving door of new dramas to try. The danger with multiple seasons is the fact that by the end, you lose a lot of your emotional impact and narrative push. By the end of the show the characters you love are only a shadow of their formerly awesome selves.

So, that being complained about, all in all, cross contamination of dramas (US and Kdrama) is a good thing. Maybe there could be some sort of trade agreement. Kdrama will produce these dramas, but won’t do another one until someone over here finally picks up some of the shows they optioned like Nine, or Good Doctor, or heck even You From Another Star.

Fair is Fair!

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