“Season system” and “part system” are the new K-drama norm, great responses to huge changes – Part 1
Multiple seasons and spin-offs of K-drama, which were rare in the past, are now becoming prevalent with huge successes.
The saying “There is no sequel as good as the previous one” seems to be becoming obsolete in the K-drama world. In particular, many K-dramas with multiple seasons are gaining great successes, making “seasonal dramas” no longer exclusive to American productions.
Recently, a spin-off of the famous tvN drama “Stranger” was even confirmed, following the end of season 2 in 2020.
“Stranger” received favorable reviews as a well-made drama when it first aired in 2017, leading to a 2nd season in 2020. This sequel eventually recorded a highest viewership rating of 9.4%, showing a continuous rise and positive reception up until the end.
It is reported that unlike the 2 seasons, Jo Seung Woo and Bae Doona won’t be playing the main character in the spin-off of “Stranger”, which will be named “Good or Bad Comrade” (literal translation).
Meanwhile, “Alchemy of Souls: Light and Shadow” (hereinafter referred to as “Alchemy of Souls 2”), which ended in popularity last month, also received great love.
“Alchemy of Souls” has a total of 30 episodes, with 20 episodes airing as Part 1 from June to August 2022, and the remaining 10 episodes airing as Part 2 (or “Alchemy of Souls: Light and Shadow”) from December 2022 to January 2023.
In “Alchemy of Souls 2“, instead of Jung So Min playing the female lead like in the 1st part, Go Yoon Jung took up the mantle and starred alongside Lee Jae Wook and other cast members. Go Yoon Jung’s chemistry with Lee Jae Wook also shined as she detailed Jin Bu Yeon (Naksu), and showed a different charm from Jung So Min.
However, even though Go Yoon Jung’s appearance in “Alchemy of Souls 2” was predicted, seeing that it was the result of the drama’s setting of soul-switching, viewers still raised voices of concern when news of the replacement of the female lead came out.
Contrary to concerns, however, “Alchemy of Souls 2” ended with favorable reviews with a perfect ending and a highest rating of 9.7%. Even more, alongside this series, there were also other 2nd seasons being aired, including “Poong, the Joseon Psychiatrist 2” and “Work Later, Drink Now 2”.
Many works, including SBS’s “Taxi Driver 2,” which started airing on February 17th, “Dr. Romantic 3,” “Arthdal Chronicles 2,” and “The First Responders 2” will visit viewers with new seasons.
Based on the webtoon of the same name, “Taxi Driver” is based on the never-seen-before concept of a taxi driver hunting villains while offering a range of experiences from unexpected humor to thrilling catharsis of good and evil. The series ranked fourth in SBS’s Friday-Saturday drama ratings.
The ratings for the last episode of “The Taxi Driver” season 1 were 16.6% in the Seoul metropolitan area, 15.3% nationwide, and 17% for the episode with the highest rating in its entire run, climbing to the top of the weekly mini-series chart.
“Dr. Romantic 3” is the third season of the hit series “Dr. Romantic” and is set to be aired on April 14.
“Dr. Romantic” is a drama series about a capable doctor who moved to a shabby Doldam hospital in Gangwon Province after a traumatic incident. Season 1 in 2016 and Season 2 in 2020 both received much great love with the respective highest ratings reaching 27.6% and 27.1%.
Along with Han Suk Kyu, Ahn Hyo Seop, Lee Sung Kyung, Kim Min Jae, So Joo Yeon, Byun Woo Min and Yoon Bo Ra in season 2 confirmed their appearance in the third season.
“The First Responders” is a drama series that depicts a joint response field log between the police who catch criminals and the firefighters who catch fires. The series’ highest recorded rating reached 10.3% in the final episode. Overall, the series on the whole also received favorable reviews from viewers. Season 2 of the series is set to air in the second part of this year.
As such, various dramas are gaining success in the season system, Yet, it is difficult to find ones with long-running airtime as before.
Producers choose seasonal dramas because they can have a clear view of its performance through audience ratings and find relevant topics to the people, accounting for less risk through popular works. Therefore, as the story expands with new seasons, producers can guarantee regular viewers of their works.
However, there are disadvantages to the system that requires attention, one of which being “self-replication,” a feeling of similarity of the current works to the preexisting ones. In addition, breaking the flow of the previous seasons and trying new things on the next can have a big impact on the storyline as well as the contract conditions of the actors.