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[Current Drama 2018-2019] Empress Dignity / The Last Empress, 황후의 품격 - Wed & Thu @ 22:00 KST

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January 9, 2019


Notorious drama writers tapped in to rescue falling viewership 
 

Spoiler

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Yoo Jun-sang, center, and other cast members of KBS new family drama "Live or Die" pose during a press conference at Amoris Hall in Seoul, Wednesday. Courtesy of Hankook Sports Economy

 

By Park Jin-hai The Korea Times

 

In a bid to draw in fans and recover from prolonged viewership slumps, major broadcasters are calling in drama writers who are infamous for their controversial plotlines. Unlike cable channels such as tvN and JTBC that are becoming increasingly influential due to their high-quality dramas, major TV channels rely on the shock elements provided by soap operas.

 

With Kim Soon-ok's offering, "The Last Empress," on SBS currently topping ratings in the Wed-Thus drama time slot with 16-18 percent viewership, KBS called in notorious writer Moon Young-nam to rescue falling viewership. 

 

KBS' new Wed-Thus drama "Live or Die," penned by Moon Young-nam, premiered Wednesday, is a story about Lee Poong-sang, played by Yoo Jun-sang, and his four troublemaking siblings. 

 

Middle-aged Poong-sang, running a small car repair shop, has lived his whole life as a father figure, dedicated to his brothers and sisters, but his siblings always cause troubles. 

 

"Traditional family values have crumbled and we face horrible news articles where families kill their own kin nearly on a daily basis. Families can be so much meaner to each other than to strangers," director Jin Hyung-wook said during a press conference at Amoris Hall in Seoul, Wednesday. "The writer wondered whether family is a source of power or burden to a person and that question led to this drama. Confronting dead-end situations, the drama will feature how each of the characters as a family go forward without losing hope."

 

As writer Moon was famed for taking cliched and predictable tearjerker plots and making them into powerful melodramas, as seen in her previous dramas "Famous Princesses" (2006) and "Wang's Family" (2013), drama fans can expect another tearful family story. "Wang's Family" had almost all characters arose uproars from drama fans in the provocative settings of adultery, marriage to kin and unfounded hatred, but its peak viewership reached nearly 50 percent. 

 

"The dramas will not be without teary-eyed scenes. I think the writer's strength is in bringing characters to life, so that drama fans can feel empathy towards those characters," the director added. 

 

In the meantime, SBS is faring well in ratings with "The Last Empress." The drama, written by Kim Soon-ok, shocked from the first episode, with explicit scenes of murder, violence and extramarital affairs to grab instant attention from viewers. A corpse was found in the palace garden; a female character hits the head of a mother-like figure and kills her; and there was a bubble bath scene between the king and his secret lover, to name a few popular points. 

 

Industry insiders say that major TV networks have hired controversial writers as a safe choice for somewhat guaranteed ratings, rather than challenging themselves to make quality dramas. "After repeated failure in the viewership race against cable channels, those major TV stations chose instant and visible viewership over quality improvement. I hear often that our target is lifting viewership, not making influential quality dramas. That is to secure ratings and profits from TV commercials," said an official of a local TV station.


jinhai@koreatimes.co.kr

 

The 10 most-talked-about TV series this week

 

By Yim Hyun-su The Korea Herald

 

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These were the 10 hottest South Korean drama series during the first week of this month, according to big-data analyst Good Data Corporation’s weekly monitoring report. 

 

Sky Castle, drama

“Sky Castle” held onto the top position as the most-talked-about TV series in South Korea for the fourth consecutive week, accounting for nearly a third of the online conversations. This figure is determined by the volume of articles and blog posts written about it, as well as reactions on social media and in online communities.

The latest episode, which aired Saturday, was the most watched to date, drawing in nearly 16 percent of the viewership. The show’s growing popularity has spilled over onto the internet and inspired a plethora of memes and videos.

The show garnered praise from both critics and viewers over its dark but humorous depiction of the country’s education craze. There are six more episodes to come.

 

Memories of the Alhambra, sci-fi

The 16-episode sci-fi suspense drama featuring Hyun Bin and Park Shin-hye was the second most discussed last week. Billing itself as the first show to center on augmented reality games in Korea, “Memories of the Alhambra” is packed with sword fights and exotic Spanish scenery.

Hyun plays Yoo Jin-Woo, the CEO of an investment company, who travels to Granada after being contacted by an AR game developer about a groundbreaking project. Yoo’s business trip does not go as planned, however, and he gets entangled in a mysterious incident involving a fight with a friend-turned-rival.

 

The Last Empress, thriller

SBS’ flagship Wednesday-Thursday series has consistently proved to be a ratings success for the TV network.

Actress and songstress Jang Na-ra plays Oh Ssu-ni, who plays a musical actress on the show. Set in a modern-day Korea that is still a monarchy in the show’s alternative reality, Oh marries her way into the royal family and becomes the wife of Emperor Lee Hyuk. 

She enters the palace against the backdrop of rampant corruption in the country and falls in love with a bodyguard from the imperial family. Having found true love, she rebels against the royal family.

 

Spoiler

 

Encounter, romance

The tvN romance series began with a bang as the first episode broke the record for the most watched first episode of any show on the drama-focused cable channel.

Starring Song Hye-kyo, who returned to the small screen nearly three years after “Descendants of the Sun,” the show centers on a relationship between a hotel CEO and her newly employed assistant played by Park Bo-gum. 

The two cross paths in a chance meeting far away from home in Cuba. In a separate ranking from last week, Park and Song were named the most-talked-about cast members of a TV series, leaving behind the likes of Hyun Bin from “Memories of the Alhambra” and Kim Bo-ra from “Sky Castle.”

 

Children of Nobody, thriller

Actress Kim Sun-a plays counselor Cha Woo-kyung, who works with children, in MBC thriller series “Children of Nobody.” The 32-episode show, which began in late November, has just six more episodes to go. Over the course of the last two months, viewers saw Cha unravel mysteries surrounding a child by finding clues in poems. 

 

My Only One, drama

This long-running weekend series began airing on KBS2 in September. Seasoned actor Choi Soo-jong stars opposite singer and actress Uee as a father who meets his daughter after 28 years. The two untangle the secrecy surrounding their relationship, providing a new twist on the classic theme in Korean drama that is family affairs.

 

The Crowned Clown, drama

This is a TV adaptation of the megahit film “Masquerade” from 2012. Just like the original film, the show is set in the Joseon Dynasty. In the face of mounting opposition, a clown named Ha Sun, who looks indistinguishable from King Yi Heon, is brought in to impersonate the king and prevent an assassination. 

 

Quiz of God: Reboot, crime

The last episode of OCN’s nighttime thriller airs this week after two months during which viewers saw forensic doctor Han Jin-woo return to his job after four years and wrestle with mysterious investigations. The show is the latest installment of the cable channel’s “Quiz of God” series, with the first season dating back to 2010, which makes for good binge watching. 

 

My Strange Hero, romance

Boasting a star-studded cast including Yoo Seung-ho, who rose to fame as a child actor, the romantic comedy sees Kang Bok-soo, whose name translates to “revenge,” return to school as an adult to avenge himself after being wrongfully expelled following false accusations of violence.

 

Top Star U-back, comedy

A top actor who goes into hiding and a young rough-around-the-edges islander girl make for relaxed TV viewing. Yoo Baek is a self-centered former idol who has taken shelter in a small island town to avoid the spotlight after a major scandal. Oh Kang-soon has a few lessons up her sleeve for the star.

 

 

By Yim Hyun-su (hyunsu@heraldcorp.com)

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Just wondering..random caculation in TLE how many times have  CWB/NWS carried Oh Sunny :D:

1. After being pushed by Hyuk..He carried her to her room

2. Slipped from stairs

3. When bomb exploded

 

He didnt need to do exercise :)

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1 hour ago, rubie said:

The Last Empress, thriller

 

SBS’ flagship Wednesday-Thursday series has consistently proved to be a ratings success for the TV network.

Actress and songstress Jang Na-ra plays Oh Ssu-ni, who plays a musical actress on the show. Set in a modern-day Korea that is still a monarchy in the show’s alternative reality, Oh marries her way into the royal family and becomes the wife of Emperor Lee Hyuk. 

She enters the palace against the backdrop of rampant corruption in the country and falls in love with a bodyguard from the imperial family. Having found true love, she rebels against the royal family.

 

 

Lol. I didnt expect TLE will be categorized as a thriller :lol: haha

 

New stills

 

 

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CWB and Sunny’s bandaid scene reminded me of their bandaid scene in Fated to Love You. Only this time it’s the other way around. 

 

I am also creeped out by Ari’s brattiness. Hopefully being with Sunny changes her for the better.

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3 hours ago, dramaninja said:

Only way for LH redeem himself is to admit all his and his mother crimes and go to prison that is all other then that  nope.

 

Also really he said it makes him want to conquered sunny thats all he cares about it was beyond creepy.

 

My sentiments exactly!

 

No doubt he had a bad upbringing and bad childhood but the only redemption I see in him is for him to admit all his wrongdoings and rot in prison.

 

Seeing MYR's ex in the mental hospital, almost get me to sympathise MYR and think that she is working in the imperial palace is to uncover the disappearance of her boyfriend.

But then, I recalled her scheming to get into the bed of the king and lying and pretending and killing.... ok.

lucille-portable.gif

She should rot in prison too.

 

 

 

 

 

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Empress & her Bodyguard

 

tle_15_1a.gif

 

tle_15_2.gif

 

tle_15_3.gif

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1 hour ago, 451lag said:

Just wondering..random caculation in TLE how many times have  CWB/NWS carried Oh Sunny :D:

1. After being pushed by Hyuk..He carried her to her room

2. Slipped from stairs

3. When bomb exploded

 

He didnt need to do exercise :)

You missed out 1 more incident:D

4. When he carried her out of the palance when she disguised herself as the court lady 

 

what at an emotional episode last night!

From crying moments to laughter to Herat fluttering moments and disbelief

 

I cried when WB found his mom’ body and said “ let’s go home, mom”. I cried when he buried his mom. I am so glad that Sunni was there to comfort him. He has too much bottled up in him and had no room to love anyone.

i was right when I commented last week that he needed to bury his mom to find closure before any romance can begin. 

well it certainly did!. My poor heart skipped and fluttered during the band aid-scarf scene.:wub:

i looked in disbelief when writer-nim shocked us of YR relationship with the ex bodyguard. Wonder what else she is going to shock us with next!

i laughed like crazy when I saw LH kicked out of sunni’s room. It was hilarious. And I really felt so satisfied when WB told LH to MOVE during the rescue scene.

 

looking at the preview tonite, it will be more emotional

 

i can only pray and hope that WB and Sunni can provide that solid support to one another. Writer-nim.. no more hurt for both of them please!

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, rubie said:

The Last Empress, thriller

SBS’ flagship Wednesday-Thursday series has consistently proved to be a ratings success for the TV network.

Actress and songstress Jang Na-ra plays Oh Ssu-ni, who plays a musical actress on the show. Set in a modern-day Korea that is still a monarchy in the show’s alternative reality, Oh marries her way into the royal family and becomes the wife of Emperor Lee Hyuk. 

She enters the palace against the backdrop of rampant corruption in the country and falls in love with a bodyguard from the imperial family. Having found true love, she rebels against the royal family.

I want to complain to the writer of this article. The last line was totally a misrepresentation of the drama! Reading that, I will not be interested to watch it at all. A married woman found true love so she will rebel against her family?! 

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1 hour ago, ktcjdrama said:

I want to complain to the writer of this article. The last line was totally a misrepresentation of the drama! Reading that, I will not be interested to watch it at all. A married woman found true love so she will rebel against her family?! 

@ktcjdrama ~ the writer seems super biased and annoyed that empress dignity is doing well. the tone is "how dare this drama do well when brainy dramas are not being appreciated." ... :sweatingbullets:... as long as no broadcasting rules are being broken, does it matter if viewers are having fun with a makjang drama. sometimes folks just want a few laughs after a long week.

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Live recap... sorry a bit late...

Spoiler

Sunny's father came to palace and cried and slapped LH for what happened to Sunny. LH accepted the blame and let him hit.

 

WB asleep by Sunny's side. She looked at him and flashback to all the times he protected and saved her. She said Really thank you, if it isn't for you (didn't hear clearly)... She took a blanket and covered him. Witnessed by peeking ED. Then she was told Hello is here. She was real mad and caused a scene, calling ED trash... Then ED ordered Choi to capture her. She was put into a cell, along with the dad. Hello and Father saying stuff that made ED angry though, pretending to be enjoying the cell. Hello also handed her resignation. At first Dad was stunned almost wanted to scold her, but then he said Good job!

 

LH and ED talking. LH tried to explain Dad and Hello, asked for their release. He seemed to succumb under ED, I don't know whether for show or strategy.

Sunny is trying to get out to help Dad and Hello, WB tried to prevent her, suddenly Dad and Hello came in. They thought Sunny was the one to release them, but Sunny said it's not her. WB wondered too who... LOL, Hello bought all kinds stuff and self-defense thing to make sure Sunny is comfortable and safe.

 

WB went to look for LH. He asked, are you okay?... but stream cut, so I totally miss it.

 

ED drinking tea, Sunny came rushing in, she saw her and was actually a bit afraid for their encounter. Sunny is fierce towards ED, they kept talking about the family. ED pleaded to Sunny to just leave. Sunny said, no, I'm not leaving, and I'm not going to die like Empress SH.... open challenge again. Sunny then leave angrily. Just then, WB came from behind. ED told him "you see that? you see that?" thinking he is on her side... pffft..... She asked WB to watch over Sunny, and also to take care of LH. WB told her that LH is very occupied with NWS. Then they get talking about MYR.

ED asked what happened to MYR.

 

Cut to scene of MYR in cell. She asked for Sunny. The nurse called WB and told him so.

 

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Spoiler

Ari is at dining table. playing with bubble wrap... Nanny isn't happy that she is wasting time doing that. She snatched the wrap from her. Ari is angry, saying she only wants to eat Sunny's toppoki.

 

Nanny called up the maid that got Ari spanked by Sunny. Showing her the picture of Ari's legs. She gave her some money to do something for her family.

 

Sunny saw the book of Vincent Lee... Next scene, Sunny went to secret headquarter with WB. Yoon is already there. Byun told them Yoon will help them. Yoon said he knew what happened but he has no proof. Flashback to what he witnessed. Byun is very sad, everyone assured him they will help him seek justice for SH.

 

Yoon is at the hospital, ordering a doctor about something related to SH, and that he will call for the press to come. He was frustrated and made a call to ED after he left. ED is upset at whatever Yoon is doing.

 

Chicken shop. Yoon talking to Hello, suddenly Sojin arrived. Good thing Yoon's back is facing her. He quickly put on a helmet to hide his face. Sojin came back to palace with chicken take out. She saw WB with Sunny though. Sunny gave some hand warmer to WB. Sojin is sad....

 

WB went to LH's room. He is doing some random repairing thing... Ow... he is giving some war and tear mark to new appliances so that Sunny will take it to her room to use.... LH is happy to see Sunny taking them. WB noticed that LH is treating Sunny very well.

 

News about Sunny hitting Ari is shown on TV. Watched by ED, LH, Sojin and Sunny. Sojin is disappointed in Sunny. Sunny asked where Ari is. She isn't allowed to meet with Sunny. Nanny stand watch of her. Ari is crying why... and demand to meet her omamama.... She is putting an act with the crying though.

 

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The doctor that Yoon talked to was found dead in his office with a suicide note. Yoon was at the door being prevented to enter by police. He thought "it's mother's doing again!"

 

Sunny and WB went to secret room together. Just as they were exploring the place, ED and her team rushed in. They hid. She even called out to Sunny "come out come out where ever you are"... Just as she almost got near to them, electricity was cut off. Byun to the rescue. ED was so mad... but during the struggle in the dark, ED saw a button dropped on the floor. It belongs to guards.

 

WB thanked Byun. Sunny showed Byun the thing she got from the secret room. It's cookies??

 

ED called for WB, and searched him. The missing button is from his sleeve. Just as ED is pointing the gun to get WB to confess, Sojin came to the rescue. She saw what was happening earlier, then quickly get a button from a guard and pretended that's WB's. Later she told WB that she believed him, please don't have other woman. WB is conflicted.

 

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4 minutes ago, ktcjdrama said:
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The doctor that Yoon talked to was found dead in his office with a suicide note. Yoon was at the door being prevented to enter by police. He thought "it's mother's doing again!"

 

Sunny and WB went to secret room together. Just as they were exploring the place, ED and her team rushed in. They hid. She even called out to Sunny "come out come out where ever you are"... Just as she almost got near to them, electricity was cut off. Byun to the rescue. ED was so mad... but during the struggle in the dark, ED saw a button dropped on the floor. It belongs to guards.

 

WB thanked Byun. Sunny showed Byun the thing she got from the secret room. It's cookies??

 

ED called for WB, and searched him. The missing button is from his sleeve. Just as ED is pointing the gun to get WB to confess, Sojin came to the rescue. She saw what was happening earlier, then quickly get a button from a guard and pretended that's WB's. Later she told WB that she believed him, please don't have other woman. WB is conflicted.

 

What the heck is going on with all those button falling down...whoever is making the clothes for the royal family should be fired :lol: 

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Royal family minus Sunny is having meal. Ari is asking when she can meet Sunny again, suddenly a flying dagger with bloody notes on it saying why do you kill my mother? WB and team quickly came and WB gave orders to the team. LH is having a panic attack again and paranoia....

 

Someone is entering MYR's cell. It's the former Sec.Guard Head.... Whoa... see, no body, no death.... LOL....

 

Yoon is telling Sunny the truth about Sunny's mother. It's related to the doctor (hospital director) that committed suicide.... Sunny cried knowing what happened. She walked out her room in tears.... flashback to happy times with mother. Her mom even knew and supported her crush for the Emperor

 

(I'm not liking the way Yoon is written... He is supposed to be smart, but I think he is too emotional too in the way he handle stuff)

 

Sunny reached LH's room, and WB is there. She just walked up to LH and slapped him. Talking about her mother. LH at first was quiet, but in his depressed state, he curtly asked WB to escort Sunny out. Sunny talked about Empress SH. LH is worked up as well and started to defend himself. Sunny grabbed him by the collar, then pushed him down to the bed. LH head down, just yelling at WB to take Sunny out. Flashback to LH being discharged from hospital and passing Sunny and family crying over mom's dead body. He is devastated thinking about it now.

 

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5 minutes ago, ktcjdrama said:
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Royal family minus Sunny is having meal. Ari is asking when she can meet Sunny again, suddenly a flying dagger with bloody notes on it saying why do you kill my mother? WB and team quickly came and WB gave orders to the team. LH is having a panic attack again and paranoia....

 

Someone is entering MYR's cell. It's the former Sec.Guard Head.... Whoa... see, no body, no death.... LOL....

 

Yoon is telling Sunny the truth about Sunny's mother. It's related to the doctor (hospital director) that committed suicide.... Sunny cried knowing what happened. She walked out her room in tears.... flashback to happy times with mother. Her mom even knew and supported her crush for the Emperor

 

(I'm not liking the way Yoon is written... He is supposed to be smart, but I think he is too emotional too in the way he handle stuff)

 

Sunny reached LH's room, and WB is there. She just walked up to LH and slapped him. Talking about her mother. LH at first was quiet, but in his state, he curtly asked WB to escort Sunny out. Sunny talked about Empress SH. LH is worked up as well and started to defend himself. Sunny grabbed him by the collar, then pushed him down to the bed. LH head down, just yelling at WB to take Sunny out. Flashback to LH being discharged from hospital and passing Sunny and family crying over mom's dead body. He is devastated thinking about it now.

 

Spoiler

The one  LH told to kill himself?

 

 

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Spoiler

ED is having a massage, by male masseurs of course, lol.... A servant came in with new sets of medicine/poison, asking her whether it should be tested. Choi came in to inform her about Vincent Lee new book. ED is fuming seeing the cover that has a dead body in the pond.

 

Sunny and WB somewhere near a bridge. Sunny is crying her heart out. WB comforted her by holding her. Made a promise in his mind that he will protect her even with his life.

 

LH is drinking in the dark in his room. He thought about what Sunny said. He said, he didn't know about it. So he decided, that's right. I should just apologize and say I didn't know. He went to her room, but she wasn't there. He walked out to find her. He saw WB and Sunny walking back together. He went to them and said he has something to tell her. Sunny of course was still mad and asked him to get lost and just kept walking away. LH looked very down, but because Sunny walked away, he grabbed her and started with the we're husband and wife thing again. And starting to drag her away with her complaining asking him to let go of her. Then WB intercepted and told LH, enough, stop it. LH was stunned and WB told him to grant him the request that he promised, which is to let him have Sunny? or to leave her alone? I didn't catch that part... but then he added, because I like her.... whooooooaaaaaa!!!:o

End of episode.

 

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Hmm.. something is very wrong with all the "good" people in this drama.

 

We know their next move and what they will do next to bring down the baddies OPENLY and then we watch in despair how all things went down the hill from there like as if it will works at the first place.

I mean.. if your enemy know your next move, then it's no longer a secret isn't it?

So how on earth do they want to bring down ED?

*face palm* 

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