Ever since Descendants of the Sun concluded back in April of this year, there has been countless reports of a possible second season. It seems to always be brought up whenever something happens to the K-drama’s main lead actors, Song Joong Ki and Song Hye Kyo, whether it’s based in Hallyu fact or fabricated through rumors. For example, there was a rumor that Joong Ki would propose marriage to Hye Kyo on her birthday. It did not happen, leading to the belief the second season of Descendants of the Sun was cancelled. Just recently, both Song Joong Ki and Song Hye Kyo won multiple awards at theAPAN Star Awards leading to believe KBS would reconsider a second season of Descendants of the Sun.
Nevertheless, the news about a second season of Descendants of the Sun is popular, but Hallyu history shows that such will most likely never happen. However, a spin-off is very possible.
Before continuing, it should be explained where the idea of a second season for Descendants of the Sun, or any K-drama, came from. Hallyu, or the Korean Wave, is South Korea’s strategic plan to increase and popularize Korean culture outside of the country primarily through entertainment. About Korean television, one of the unique traits of their dramas (or any Asian drama as a matter of fact) is the single-season format. When K-dramas became more popular internationally, international fans, especially Americans and Europeans, who are used to the multi-season formats to their dramas, expected such for K-dramas. They were surprised when they found out it is very rare to non-existent for second seasons of any K-dramas to be made. Summarized, thinking a K-drama will have a second season, whether they’re popular or not, is thinking associated with newbie fans.
To be fair, though, second seasons of K-dramas do exist, but they are meager in number. If one were to put it statistically, it would be around one drama with more than one season every five years. As for why they have second seasons (or even more), most of the time it is because they were originally planned to span multiple seasons. For example, the plot for TEN was purposely made to be directed over the course of two seasons. The cast, crew, and network already knew such was going to happen. Anyways, along with the aforementioned K-drama, God’s Quiz, Rude Miss Young Ae, and Let’s Eat are other K-dramas with second (or more) seasons.
Though the second season of any K-drama is rarity, a spin-off has a higher probability. In them, the same story or format from the original K-drama is used, but most of the time, a new cast and crew are incorporated. One of the best examples of a K-drama with multiple spin-offs is Reply 1997 which has two spin-offs, Reply 1994 and Reply 1988. Some others include Princess Hours (Goong) and its spin-off Prince Hours (Goong 2), Unstoppable High Kick! and its two spin-offs, High Kick Through The Roof and High Kick: Revenge of the Short Legged, and Vampire Prosecutor and its spin-off, Vampire Detective. Take note that sometimes in said spin-offs, the main leads were the second leads in the original.
It is even possible for popular K-drama series to get a prequel. A good example of this direction would be the popular period drama Six Flying Dragons which is a direct prequel to Tree With Deep Roots.
Reportedly, the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) may take the spin-off direction with the next series based off of Descendants of the Sun featuring the secondary leads, Jin Goo and Kim Ji Won. According to International Business Times, Jung Sung Ho, the head of the drama department at KBS, made it known that one of the co-writers of Descendants of the Sun would not return for anything after the original. Also, both Song Joong Ki and Song Hye Kyo have declined to return too. With those two facts in mind, a spin-off would make sense. Not to mention, both secondary lead actors would surely jump at the chance to be the main lead actors in a series spun off from the most-popular K-drama of 2016 so far.
In all fairness though, if Korean television were to decide to make second seasons of their most-popular K-dramas, they would most likely do so for the series that did far better in viewership than Descendants of the Sun which also did well internationally. These include First Love (65.8 percent), Lovers in Paris (57.6 percent), Baker King Kim Tak Gu (50.8 percent), Autumn in My Heart (46.1 percent), and Moon Embracing the Sun (47 percent).
As for the juggernaut K-drama that is Descendants of the Sun, the series has concluded, but it can be watched in its entirety for free, with ads, on both DramaFever and Viki pending region. For HD and no ads, one must subscribe to either DramaFever Premium or Viki Pass.
[Featured Image by Korean Broadcasting System (KBS)]