The first season of 2017 Korean dramas — better known by its simplified name of K-dramas — is about to come to a close this month. Though there were unique stand-outs like the Korean Broadcasting System’s (KBS) hit light-hearted romcom Chief Kim, it seems that melodramatic thrillers were popular. Considered the biggest surprise, the Orion Cinema Network’s (OCN) crime thriller Voice kept so many viewers on the edge of their seats with its depiction of violence and shock aversion. As a matter of fact, it was so aggressive it was under review for censorship, causing it to readjust its age rating.
However, Voice was the most popular K-drama airing on Korean cable networks. On Korean public networks, the melodramatic thriller that is keeping people on the edge of their seats is the Seoul Broadcasting System’s (SBS) crime/legal thriller, Defendant.
Defendant is so popular that SBS has decided to do what most Korean television networks often do when a certain K-drama is extremely popular: extend the season. We now know that the popular melodramatic crime/legal thriller will be extended by two more episodes.
News of Defendant being extended by two episodes was first reported outside of East Asia on Kdrama Kisses. According to their report, the SBS K-drama will be extended by one more week, which includes episodes airing on both Monday and Tuesday, March 20 and 21. Originally, Defendant was supposed to air its finale next week on Tuesday, March 14. Apparently, the cast and crew of Defendant have much more to share in the K-drama’s story that it couldn’t be told in 16 episodes.
For those who are unfamiliar with Defendant, it is about Park Jung Woo (Ji Sung of Kill me, Heal Me and Entertainer), the head prosecutor at the violent crimes investigation division at Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office, who suddenly finds himself in prison. He has no recollection how he ended up there but soon learns he is on death row for the murder of his wife and daughter. Believing he is innocent, he tries his best to recover his memory and clear his name. Nobody is willing to help him except for one person, Seo Eun Hye (Kwon Yuri, better known as Yuri of Girls’ Generation, of Neighborhood Hero and Gogh, The Starry Night), a defense lawyer who strives to be eloquent and rational but loses in court every single time.
As mentioned by KdramaStars, Defendant has been dominating in Korean viewership ratings in its time slot each week if not compared to other K-dramas airing this season. According to the Korean viewership ratings provided by both TNmS Media Korea and AGB Nielsen Korea, the 11th episode earned the highest viewership ratings overall with nationwide ratings of 19.8 percent for the former and 23.3 percent for the latter. The highest rating ever belongs to yesterday’s episode (episode 13 on March 6) in which AGB Nielsen recorded 25.4 percent for the Seoul National Capital Area.
Personally, I am finding Defendant to have more dramatic plots twists compared to the other dominating melodramatic thriller K-drama Voice. This is definitely true for Lee Sung Gyu (Kim Min Seok), one of Park Jung Woo’s four cellmates in prison.
Defendant airs on Mondays and Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on SBS. For those who do not have access to Korean public television channels, the K-drama can be viewed on Viki and OnDemandKorea, depending on region availability.
[Featured Image by Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS)]