2016 was a phenomenal year for the Total Variety Network (tvN) in which they dominated Korean television with two K-dramas that broke records for the Korean cable network, Reply 1988 and Goblin. Needless to say, the reason why tvN dominated is not because of the two aforementioned K-dramas alone, but that multiple K-dramas they aired did phenomenally well.
One of those K-dramas was Drinking Solo. Also known as Let’s Drink, it was a spin-off of the popular Let’s Eat and Let’s Eat 2 starring Doojoon formerly of B2ST and now a part of Highlight. Starring Ha Seok Jin and Park Ha Sun, the K-drama followed the “slice-of-life” format that Let’s Eat and Let’s Eat 2 followed but centered on the activities of teachers, students, and staff members of a private institution that prepares for civil service exams around Seoul’s Noryangjin. It goes off track a bit as it doesn’t seem to utilize indulgence within a story, something Let’s Eat and Let’s Eat 2 did with their “food porn” segments, but shows the deep personal reasons why Koreans may drink solo despite it being a sociological taboo.
Though the viewership for Drinking Solo wasn’t as high as the viewership for Reply 1988 or Goblin, it was high enough with enough social engagement to fancy the possibility of a second season, something that would also be out of the norm for K-dramas. Well it seems a second season of Drinking Solo is more likely to happen as tvN has secured a producing-director (PD) as well as revealed plans for the upcoming season.
News on the new PD broke on Korean news outlet Naver. It reports that Han Sung Jae will replace the PD from the first season. It wasn’t revealed if Choi Kyu Shik or Jung Hyung Gun were replaced. Anyway, Sung Jae will make a fine PD as he knows what it is like to produce and direct a K-drama with multiple seasons, having been the PD for Seasons 8 to 15 for Rude Miss Young Ae. It should also be noted that even though the PD was replaced, the writers were not, meaning Myung Soo Hyun, Baek Seon Woo, and Choi Bo Rim will be returning to pen the script.
At this moment, none of the first season cast members are on board but it was revealed that tvN is currently in discussion with all of them. Ha Seok Jin and Park Ha Na might be hard to get back if they are busy and the same might go for Key of SHINee and Chaeyeon of DIA if they have any K-pop duties they need to fulfill. The Noryangjin Institute Teachers need to return though as they have the finale stories most K-drama fans want to see, especially Hwang Jin Yi (Hwang Woo Seul Hye) and Min Jin Woong (Min Jin Woong). [Minor Spoiler Alert!] Those two get married and Jin Yi is pregnant with their first child.
Drinking Solo originally aired on tvN on Mondays and Tuesdays from September 5 to October 25. For those who want to check out Drinking Solo for themselves, the entire series is free-to-watch, with ads, in its entirety on OnDemandKorea and DramaFever by its other title, Let’s Drink, depending on the region.
[Featured Image by the Total Variety Network (tvN)]