One of the most entertaining K-variety shows to grace Korean television in 2016 was Unnies’ Slam Dunk. It was unique as it brought together a number of Korean female celebrities of different professions and ages together for one unique mission: grant each others’ wish with a budget of 2,196,000 won or approximately $2,000 USD. As for the main cast, they consisted of Kim Sook (comedian born in 1975), Hong Jin Kyung (model and host born in 1977), Ra Mi Ran (actress born in 1975), Min Hyo Rin (actress born in 1986), Jessi (singer born in 1989), and Tiffany (K-pop idol of Girls’ Generation, born in 1989).
Unnies’ Slam Dunk did hit a bit of a snag during its first season. Halfway through the season, Tiffany used Japanese flag emoticons to help promote Girls’ Generation during their concert in Japan. In general, that wouldn’t be controversial, but Tiffany utilized the Japanese flag emoticons just one day before Korea’s National Liberation Day, a day they celebrate their independence from Japan during World War II. Tiffany’s Japanese flag controversy caused so much turmoil that SM Entertainment and the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) agreed that Tiffany had to leave Unnies’ Slam Dunk, as her presence on the show was affecting viewership ratings.
Despite all its ups and downs, Unnies’ Slam Dunk, which was also known as Sister’s Slam Dunk, and Unnie’s Slam Dunk (singular honorific for “sister” instead of the plural), was quite popular for a new K-variety show. As a matter of fact, its popularity may have been a factor in why Season 2 of the series had higher debut ratings than the first.
The numbers do not lie as the opening episode of the second season of Unnies’ Slam Dunk scored a higher viewership rating than the opening episode of the first season, as reported by Soompi. The rating was recorded by AGB Nielsen Korea in which the first episode earned a 5.2 percent viewership rating for the nation, that is 0.2 percent more than the first episode of the previous season. And if people are arguing the viewership numbers to K-dramas, take note that K-variety shows usually have lower numbers than K-dramas.
The second season of Unnies’ Slam Dunk is a bit different from the first season. First and foremost, only two cast members from the first season are returning: Kim Sook and Hong Jin Kyung. They are joined by five new cast members: Kang Ye Won (actress born in 1980), Han Chae Young (actress born in 1980), Hong Jin Young (singer born in 1985), Minzy (former K-pop idol of 2NE1, now a soloist born in 1994), and Somi (former K-pop idol of I.O.I.).
Second, the second season will concentrate primarily on forming a K-pop girl group with the members. Granting the wish of each individual cast member will still be a part of the show, but it will now be a secondary mission compared to last time. Ultimately, we will have to continue watching the second season of Unnies’ Slam Dunk to see if it can keep up with the viewership ratings. It is possible the reason why the first episode had a higher viewership was because it showed the heartbreaking moments after I.O.I. performed their last concert before disbanding.
[Featured Image by the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS)]