Despite being controversial due to the changing of the female lead, “Alchemy of Souls 2” is gaining back viewers’ trust.
With the persuasive narrative after changing the female lead and the actor’s amazing performance, “Alchemy of Souls 2” is on the rise in viewership and about to surpass 10% rating.
tvN’s Saturday-Sunday drama “Alchemy of Souls Season 2: Light and Shadow” (hereinafter referred to as “Alchemy of Souls 2”, which aired the first episode on December 10th, is set in a fictional country called Daeho, which does not exist in history or on map, and tells a fantasy romance of the protagonists whose fates are twisted due to a forbidden magic spell known as the “alchemy of souls”.
Initially, the production team decided to make “Alchemy of Souls” into 20-episode Part 1 and 10-episode Part 2 because they could not wrap the whole story in a drama with 20 episodes. Part 1 aired from June to August this year.
Even before the broadcast of Part 1, “Alchemy of Souls” already sparked controversies due to the replacement of the female lead. At that time, rookie actress Park Hye Eun confirmed her appearance as the female lead of “Alchemy of Souls” and proceeded with the filming. However, she confessed that she felt burdened with the lead role and dropped out after consulting with the production team.
“Alchemy of Souls” team then cast Jung So Min, who has already received recognition from the public, to lead the drama instead of a rookie actress. Jung So Min portrayed elite warrior Naksu, whose soul is accidentally trapped inside the weak body of Mudeok due to the “alchemy of souls”, and performed a romance with Lee Jae Wook, who appears in the drama as Jang Uk.
At the end of Part 1, Jang Uk was about to marry Mudeok (Jung So Min), the reincarnation of Naksu, but Mudeok was manipulated and killed under the sword of her beloved lover. However, Jang Uk was revived by waking up the power of the ice stone inside him. While searching for Gyeongcheon Daeho, Mudeok fell into the water, raising viewers’ curiosity about the story of Part 2.
However, “Alchemy of Souls 2” once again caused a stir among netizens. It was reported that the female lead actress would be changed from Jung So Min to Go Yoon Jung when Part 2 began filming. In Part 1, Go Yoon Jung appeared as the past of Naksu before she lost her body. The public expressed their concern over the sudden change of the female lead.
After the first episode of Season 2 aired on December 10th, concerns immediately turned into hopes for opportunities. Go Yoon Jung showed off her extraordinary presence with her melodramatic and comic acting. Playing Jin Bu Yeon, a mysterious girl with the face of Naksu, Go Yoon Jung impressed viewers with her charms. In addition, her romance with “Jang Uk” Lee Jae Wook also drew enthusiastic responses.
In addition, the narrative after changing the female lead from Jung So Min to Go Yoon Jung was also perfect. For example, the detail of Master Lee (Im Chul Soo) and Jin Ho Kyung (Park Eun Hye) saving Jin Bu Yeon. At that time, Mudeok with Jin Bu Yeon’s body was hardened into stone. In order to save Jin Bu Yeon, they used the energy of Naksu and revived Naksu. Naksu inside Jin Bu Yeon lost all her memories but kept her face as Naksu because she revived thanks to Naksu’s energy.
The good performance of “Alchemy of Souls 2” was also reflected in the ratings. According to Nielsen Korea, the drama started by recording 6.7% in episode 1 then achieved its highest rating peak of 8.5% (episode 4), and is continuing its upward trend through every broadcast. “Alchemy of Souls 2” also proved its global popularity by ranking 6th in the Worldwide Top 10 TV Shows (non-English speaking) category from the 12th to the 18th of December.
“Alchemy of Souls 2” has released 6 out of 10 episodes. Viewers are looking forward to what kind of story Jang Uk and Jin Bu Yeon will show in the remaining four broadcasts. “Alchemy of Souls 2” airs every Saturday and Sunday at 9:10 p.m.