So far, 2015 has been a successful year for Korean dramas (often abbreviated to K-dramas) from a business standpoint. Unlike last year in which only one K-drama broke the 20 percent viewership ceiling (My Love From The Star), three K-dramas have been able to surpass that barrier. The first was Producer, the ambitious series by the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS). The second was Yong Pal by the Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS). Finally, the third is the currently-airing She Was Pretty by the Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation.
Because of the popularity of K-dramas in general, it is usually a trend among Korean television stations that they are given series extensions. My Love From The Star was originally 20 episodes long but was given an extra 21st episode. Producer was originally 12 episodes long but was given a 13th episode (though it failed miserably). Finally, Yong Pal was originally supposed to be 16 episodes long but was extended to 18. However, it seems She Was Pretty will buck the trend and not receive an extension.
Is Choi Siwon’s upcoming military service to blame for this?
News on She Was Pretty not getting extension was released on Korean news outlet Sports Chosun. According to a translation by KdramaStars, MBC did discuss the possibility of extending the K-drama but decided not to. They released an official statement on the reason.
“Since the popularity of [She Was Pretty] was high, we naturally discussed extending the drama. She Was Pretty’ ends ahead of Choi Siwon’s military service.”
So to make things clear, Choi Siwon (simply known just by his first name most of the time) and his upcoming military service is the reason why She Was Pretty will remain at 16 episodes. For those who do not know, Siwon — who is one of the most popular members of K-pop mega group Super Junior — is scheduled to enlist as a conscripted policeman on Thursday, November 19, 2015.
Now to be fair, if we were to simply take the original schedule for She Was Pretty into account, it may have been possible for at least a two-episode extension if filming was done optimally like a well-oiled machine. If not two episodes, one good episode (not a synopsis or bloopers episode) would suffice as a thank you to fans who showed their support for the K-drama when episode nine was cancelled on Wednesday, October 14, 2015 and pushed to the next day, which in turn pushed all the episodes ahead by one day. However, we are in the dark if the actors and production team “took a break” because of the cancellation or if they just kept going on.
Either MBC finds a way for an extension or not, any issues that will cause them to overturn their current decision is up in the air for now. Presently, they are thanking their lucky stars for all the circumstances that happened to them to make She Was Pretty such a success. First off, Yong Pal was ending when it began. If Yong Pal (in which SBS was initially surprised was so popular) were to air alongside She Was Pretty, the former may have stayed on top if the only time both series had episodes airing at the same time is taken into account. Second, as mentioned by KpopStarz, the cancellation of episode nine last week caused a huge spike in viewership when it aired the next day. An average of two percent ratings were recorded across all ratings boards.
As of now, 11 of the 16 episodes of She Was Pretty have aired. For the remaining episodes, they air on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 9:55 p.m. KST on MBC. For those who don’t have access to Korean broadcasting channels, it is possible to view She Was Pretty for free (with ads) on both DramaFever and Viki.
[Image via Screen Capture of She Was Pretty]