In 2023, viewers will be introduced to a variety of sequels of famous K-dramas.
2023 is regarded a special year when many K-dramas release the second season of their original dramas. While this satisfies viewers’ wishes for their favorite dramas’ return, a concurrent problem is the quality of the sequel. In reality, only a small number of famous Korean dramas can live up to prior expectations, while the majority often fall short due to a change in script or final actor lineup.
In early 2023, the audience reunited with the cast of “Alchemy of Souls” in the second season of the drama. Picking up what was left in the first season, the series continues receiving love from viewers despite a change in the female lead. With an entertaining and compelling plot interweaved with melodramatic elements, “Alchemy of Souls Season 2” gives the first one a run for its money.
“Taxi Driver” continues with the second season that is no less suspenseful and exhilerating and ends with a jaw-dropping rating of 21%. Thrilling stories that lead viewers from one suspense after another through convincing acting performance are what makes “Taxi Driver” a hit when it arrived at the small screen the second time around.
“Tale of the Nine Tailed” is a rare case when the second season is better than the first one. Kim So Yeon’s appearance successfully surpassed Jo Bo Ah in terms of acting and visuals, bringing the series to a new height. Furthermore, the chemistry of the trio Lee Dong Wook, Kim So Yeon, and Kim Bum accelerates the series’ rating with each episode. Viewers hope that the series can continue with a new season after overwhelmingly positive responses.
While “The Glory” does not have a second season, the series manages to push viewers on edge by dividing it into two distinct but interrelated components. It sets the scene in the first part and sets Moon Dong Eun’s revenge plan in motion in the second. What Dong Eun reserves for her high-school tormentors and gain justice for herself. This role has brought Song Hye Kyo her first “Best Actress” win at the 2023 “Baeksang Arts Awards.”
Sadly, “Dr. Romantic Season 3” and “Island Season 2” did not live up to expectations. In the second season of the medical series, it was the strenuous struggle of the doctors over the patients’ lives that kept the viewers wanting more. However, season 3 failed to continue that momentum. A netizen revealed the third season was much more “lukewarm” than the previous two, which explains why it could only pass the expected 15% rating in the last episode. The audience believed the drama would have retained its audience better if the cast from the first two seasons return to the third season.
“Island” starring Kim Nam Gil, Lee Da Hee, and Cha Eun Woo was also unsuccessful because the script was packed with criss-crossing plots and could not resolve them all in a short air time. The audience was also hung up by an open ending, leaving a high-profile lineup to waste.
In the second half of 2023, more series will drop their second seasons, including “The Uncanny Counter,” “Arthdal Chronicles,” and “D.P.” Though the first run has been promising, it will also take acting and scriptwriting quality to see if the second installments will bring about the same result.
Currently, fans are worried about “Arthdal Chronicles”, even though it has not aired, mostly because the lead couples from the previous season will not join the cast; instead, Lee Jung Ki and Shin Se Kyung will replace them. Drama viewers wonder whether they can be at the viewers’ mercy such as the case of “Alchemy of Souls,” more so when Shin Se Kyung has often been criticized for stiff performance.
Most importantly, viewers are placing higher standards on the quality of the script – the thing actors cannot simply control. This has become a new challenge for producers and put more pressure on screenwriters to do better.