Aw, this is too bad. MBC’s baseball drama Strike Love has been underperforming in its weekend time slot, and is now reducing its episode order. Rather than the planned 20, the drama will now end with Episode 16.
MBC says that their agreement with the production company allows for anywhere from 16 to 20 episodes (although the initial number was 20). Given the single-digit ratings, they have decided to cut things short and end on June 21. (Its last two episodes, 9 and 10, drew in 9.1% and 8.9% — not great, but not abysmal, either.) Because this comes late in the game (there are reports that the drama has already shot its 18th episode), the ending episodes will be edited down to finish by 16.
I hope this doesn’t become a trend with kdramas; one of the biggest reasons I prefer the kdrama one-season model to the U.S.’s indefinite run is because a finite length helps pace out the storytelling. While popular kdramas regularly get extended, until recently even low-rated ones were allowed to finish their planned broadcasts. This lack of a cancellation threat made for a less uneasy atmosphere when deciding to watch shows that don’t get all the popular attention.
I’m behind with this drama, but I had found the actors’ chemistry really compelling — Yoon Tae-young and Kim Min-jung do a great job conveying a sweet first love that is pure but not boring. The drama may be flawed — it’s more like familiar comfort fare rather than fresh new content — but I thought it was much more enjoyable than its numbers suggested.
In any case, the drama to follow in its Saturday-Sunday timeslot is the Friend adaptation (starring Hyun Bin and Kim Min-joon), Friend, Our Legend. It premieres June 27.