Last week, it was reported that out of the first batch of K-dramas for 2017, two of them are standing out and earning double-digit viewership ratings. In it, it was made known that out of the two, Saimdang, Light’s Diary is the more popular of the two. Starring Lee Young Ae, in which the K-drama marks her comeback 14 years after her pan-Asia hit series Dae Jang Geum, and Song Seung Heon, Saimdang, Light’s Diary is a modern/period K-drama that utilizes two time periods and dual roles, concepts used in Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo and The Legend of the Blue Sea.
The other K-drama that is coming up just under the aforementioned is a thrilling melodrama titled Defendant. Starring Ji Sung and Yuri, it too has earned double-digit ratings. And by happenstance, it is a K-drama published by the same Korean television station responsible for Saimdang, Light’s Diary, the Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS).
For those who are unfamiliar with Defendant, as mentioned earlier it is the latest thriller melodrama starring Ji Sung (Kill Me, Heal Me and Ddandara) and Yuri of Girls’ Generation (Neighborhood Hero and Gogh, The Starry Night). Park Jung Woo (Ji Sung) is one of the top prosecutors at Seoul Central District Prosecutor’s Office. Outside of work, he has a beautiful life with his wife and daughter. However, things change when he suddenly wakes up a prisoner with temporary amnesia three months later. Jung Woo learns from his prison cellmates that he’s on death row for the murder of his wife and daughter. Now Park Jung Woo must do all he can to remember what happened to him, proving his innocence. The only person who will help him is Seo Eun Hye (Yuri), a defense lawyer who is honest and charismatic but loses every case she is on.
Apparently, K-drama fans are loving Defendant as shown in the Korean viewership ratings for the debut and second episode. TNmS Media Korea recorded for the first episode 11.9 percent for the nation and 13.9 percent for the Seoul National Capital Area and for the second episode, it increased across the board with 12.9 percent for the nation and 15.1 percent for Seoul National Capital Area. As for AGB Nielsen Korea, it recorded for the first episode 14.5 percent for the nation and 16.3 percent for Seoul National Capital Area. The second episode also saw an increase for the nation with 14.9 percent but a decrease for the Seoul National Capital Area at 16.1 percent.
It seems to be happenstance that Defendant, along with Saimdang, Light’s Diary, are the two K-dramas earning double-digit viewership ratings because they are SBS K-dramas. In the last season of K-dramas, the 2016 to 2017 swing season, SBS also dominated with two K-dramas in which one was a suspense K-drama like Defendant and the other was a modern/period K-drama like Saimdang, Light’s Diary with Romantic Doctor, Teacher Kim and The Legend of the Blue Sea respectively.
Also, the current line of SBS K-dramas might be primarily following their predecessors in concept, but they are borrowing from each other too. In the case of Defendant, the dual role concept in The Legend of the Blue Sea and its predecessor Saimdang, Light’s Diary is also used as Uhm Ki Joon plays twins Cha Min Ho and Cha Sun Ho.
[Featured Image by the Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS)]