K-dramas airing during the 2016 to 2017 swing season are starting to come to an end. Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo and Romantic Doctor, Teacher Kim have already concluded, Goblin concludes today, and Oh My Geum Bi and The Legend of the Blue Sea conclude this coming week. This means the first batch of 2017 K-dramas are starting to roll out.
Many of this month’s debuting K-dramas are mostly melodramatic, suspenseful, or thrilling that keep viewers on the edge of their seat. Missing 9 just made its debut on the Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) and the K-drama with parallels with American drama Lost is already earning more viewers than its predecessor. Defendant starts this coming week and is about a prosecutor with amnesia finding himself on death row for the crime of killing his family yet he does not know how he got there. Now he has to depend on a defense lawyer who always loses to save him. Needless to say, K-drama fans will not have many choices for light-hearted romantic comedies with Introvert Boss being the only option available right now.
However, there is one melodramatic K-drama that is far more suspenseful and thrilling than the others and that one is called Voice. Apparently, viewers are getting sucked into the intense K-drama as it has earned good viewership ratings for its debut week. Such an accomplishment gets extra attention simply because its television network, the Orion Cinema Network (OCN), was on hiatus for four months.
The first and second episodes of Voice aired on Saturday and Sunday, January 14 and 15 KST on OCN. The viewership ratings provided by AGB Nielsen Korea and TNmS Media Korea show it did good. The former recorded for the second episode 2.986 percent for the nation, 2.267 percent for the Seoul National Capital Area, and peaked at 4.6 percent. The latter only recorded one percentage, 2.1 percent for the nation. Take note that OCN is a Korean cable channel, so viewership ratings are relatively small compared to public channels.
What is surprising about the viewership ratings is the fact that OCN has been on hiatus or inactive for four months. The last K-drama they aired, Squad 38, ended back in August of 2016. For OCN to get back into the viewership ratings game after four months and attain more than half the max viewership Squad 38 had on its best day is phenomenal.
For those who don’t know what Voice is about, it stars Jang Hyuk and Lee Ha Na. Moo Jin Hyuk (Jang Hyuk), a detective on the police force, had his life spiral out of control after his wife is killed by a serial killer. He starts to put his life together after meeting Kang Kwon Joo, a voice profiler who lost her police officer father to the same serial killer. Together, they work on Korea’s emergency telephone line, the 112 Call Center.
Where it gets extremely suspenseful is when both are trying to save a life calling for help on the 112 in which “golden time” is utilized. According to Soompi, “golden time” is where the police have to move within three minutes, arrive within five minutes, and capture the criminal within ten minutes.
To understand how “golden time” is used in the K-drama, Kang Kwon Joo will answer a call and get initial details of where the victim is. Moo Jin Hyuk will then head out to the area where the victim is initially located. Kwon Joo will then communicate with the victim, learning more about the victim’s surroundings and using her “enhanced ears” to decipher the victim’s description of their surroundings while listening to the background noise through the phone to pinpoint a location. She will then relay the information to Jin Hyuk who will traverse the area and try to capture the criminal, usually someone about to murder, all within the span of 18 minutes. Needless to say, that is a very intense situation.
Voice airs on Saturdays and Sundays at 10 p.m. KST on OCN. For those who do not have access to Korean cable channels, Voice can be viewed, depending on your location, on DramaFever, Viki, or OnDemandKorea.
[Featured Image by the Orion Cinema Network (OCN)]