Why don’t tvN and JTBC aim for KBS’s domination of weekend dramas?
Many viewers believe “Green Mothers’ Club”, “Twenty-five, Twenty-one” and “Our Blues” can be made as dramas aired at 8 p.m on the weekend.
Although the viewers were stunned in the second half of the story, KBS’s weekend drama “Young Lady and Gentleman” was still able to attract viewers of different generations to gather together in front of the TV screen after such a long time. Its follow-up drama “It’s Beautiful Now” is seeing a not-so-good trend but its intention can be fully understood. “It’s Beautiful Now” aims to show the importance of family that has been forgotten in this modern life, centering on Lee Kyung-chul (Park In-hwan), the head of the Lee family who adopted Lee Min-ho (Park Sang-won), vice-principal of Eunwon Middle School, and raised him well. This work reminds the viewers of KBS’s hit weekend drama “Precious Family”, which was written by screenwriter Kim Soo-hyun.
However, many still wondered whether “It’s Beautiful Now” has the same attraction and weight as Kim Soo-hyun’s hit in the past. The stories of Lee Min-ho’s son Lee Hyun-jae (Yoon Si-yoon), Lee Yoon-jae (Oh Min-seok), and Lee Soo-jae (Seo Beom-jun) are said to have the sitcom style and are not particularly focused. Although the restrictions on provocative and ridiculous weekend dramas have been removed, boring and childish situations and developments have turned this weekend drama into a sitcom that lasts for more than one hour. However, it still secures the rating performances in the range of at least 25% since there are no other dramas aired at 8 p.m on weekends.
In fact, KBS’s weekend dramas have been losing their original form for such a long time. It has been a while since we last heard about a work that achieved both productivity and ratings. It is now all about drawing viewers’ attention with melodramatic and provocative fun. In the meantime, the trend and style of dramas have also changed a lot. The story of family narratives suitable for weekend broadcasts has also changed considerably. There are also dramas that deal with family problems or have the same weekend-drama style but give different feelings.
If you watch JTBC’s “Green Mothers’ Club”, tvN’s “Twenty-five, Twenty-one” and “Our Blues”, some parts that might make you think they have the potential to compete with KBS’s weekend dramas.
JTBC’s “Green Mothers’ Club” depicts behind-the-scene stories of parents who met in the elementary community and the past mysteries surrounding two female protagonists. Although it’s not a bright drama, “Green Mothers’ Club” points out realistic things that parents who are raising children in 2022 can sympathize with. The mystery between Lee Eun-pyo (Lee Yo-won), Byun Chun-hee (Choo Jae-hyun) and Seo Jin-ha (Kim Gyu-ri) is slightly similar to the boring settings of existing soap operas. It would have been more interesting if the drama solve the situations more tactfully, but anyway, if “Green Mothers’ Club” had been made as a weekend drama aired at 8 p.m instead of the current weekday form with a late-night broadcasting time, it would have secured twice as many viewers as it is having now.
tvN’s “Twenty-five, Twenty-one” and “Our Blues” represent the style that weekend dramas in 2022 will follow. “Twenty-five, Twenty-one” vividly woven the code of youth and family dramas, while continuing to draw curiosity about the future of the relationship between Na Hee-do (Kim Tae-ri) and Baek Yi-jin (Nam Joo-hyuk). In addition, the story was set in the late 1990s, showing that retro weekend dramas can also be set in the 90s and 2000s.
Noh Hee-kyung’s omnibus drama “Our Blues” shows the scale and style of a new way to narrate the story. If weekend dramas are fantasy that stimulates the tear glands with neo-faith and humanism, “Our Blues” also entertains the eyes with Jeju’s wonderful scenery. It also suggests that there are still other scenes of life in the world, and not just the big family drama shown in the weekend play.
Perhaps KBS weekend dramas will continue to attract viewers with similar settings based on family stories. But wouldn’t a drama that’s more realistic, more mysterious, fresher, bigger, or heartbreaking enough be better for a prime weekend?