'Voice' main characters Moo Jin Hyuk and Kang Kwon Joo

OCN K-Drama ‘Voice’ Continues To Dominate Korean Cable Despite Censorship Review

The Orion Cinema Network (OCN) is enjoying the most success among all of its K-dramas with Voice. Making its debut back on January 14, the melodramatic suspense thriller kept K-drama fans on the edge of their seats as it started out strong in viewership. As the drama progressed, it became more popular up to the point it became the most successful K-drama OCN has ever aired by surpassing 38 Task Force.

Unfortunately, Voice hit a bit of a snafu among its viewers. Reportedly, Voice was submitted for censorship due to violent scenes and shock aversion. Despite this snag midway through the drama, it continues to dominate in viewership.

The news of Voice being submitted for censorship review was initially made known on February 14. According to Soompi, a source from the Korean Communications Standards Commission (KCSC) states that the K-drama’s age rating was reported due to complaints of violent scenes. The next day, Voice was officially reviewed in which two censorship standards were used. Article 36 is about “Depictions of Violence” while Article 37 is about “Shock Aversion.”

After the review, OCN opened up about adjusting Voice for censorship. Kim Hong Sun, the producer of the K-drama, made an official statement on the matter during a press conference.

“We are showing certain visuals and sounds according to its situation correctly. Due to some discomfort the viewers have felt, we will adjust a few things and make sure it doesn’t disrupt the flow of the drama.”

Heo Ji Hye's murder in 'Voice' first episode.
In the first episode, Heo Ji Hye — the wife of Detective Moo Jin Hyuk — is brutally murdered with a kettlebell. [Image by the Orion Cinema Network (OCN)/Screen Capture from Episode 1 – ‘A Voice in the Dark’]

Some K-drama fans feared the censorship would hinder Voice because the depictions of violence and shock aversion is really adding to the suspense thriller part of it. Just up to the sixth episode, there were two depictions of brutal murders with a kettlebell, multiple kidnappings, Kang Kwon Joo being buried alive in a burlap sack, multiple dead bodies, and even violence towards children. These acts of violence, in general, are atrocious but they really push what kind of antagonistic situations both of the main leads, Moo Jin Hyuk (Jang Hyuk) and Kwon Joo (Lee Ha Na), have to deal with.

During a disturbance call, a body wrapped in plastic is found in the closet of a hoarder granny’s apartment. [Image by the Orion Cinema Network (OCN)/Screen Capture from Episode 6 – ‘Secret of the Trash House: The Pupil in the Wall’]

Thankfully, there hasn’t been any effect on viewership ratings with censorship incorporated. The only visible dip in viewership was in the sixth episode which is the first episode of the fourth chapter titled “Secret of the Trash House: The Pupil in the Wall.” It aired way ahead of the censorship review. As for now, the latest episode, which is the first in the fifth chapter “Devil Whisperer,” earned the highest viewership rating for the Seoul National Capital Area. According to AGB Nielsen Korea, it was 5.956 percent. As for viewership for the nation, most of the episode starting with the fifth episode onward have been between four to five percent. Once again, AGB Nielsen Korea is the only ones to record viewership ratings higher than five percent specifically the third, fifth, and tenth episodes. The third episode still has the highest viewership rating for the nation at 5.406 percent.

Voice airs on Saturdays and Sundays at 10 p.m. KST on OCN. For those who do not have access to Korean cable channels, it can be viewed on DramaFever, Viki, and OnDemandKorea.

[Featured Image by the Orion Cinema Network (OCN)]

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