Friend will not be ending early
…in case you were wondering, which you probably weren’t.
MBC’s weekend miniseries Friend, Our Legend [친구, 우리들의 전설] has not had the buzzed-about broadcast run it was hoping for when it adapted one of the biggest box-office hits in Korean film history and cast name stars like Hyun Bin and Kim Min-joon in the leads. I wouldn’t call it an abject failure… but nobody could say it hasn’t been disappointing.
In fact, the drama has most recently had to fight rumors that it is cutting its broadcast run and ending early. The production has come out and issued strong denials, stating that the drama has always been planned for 20 installments and has already completed those episodes.
The rumors don’t actually make a lot of sense, which is why it’s a little surprising that they were strong enough to make the drama issue a statement. Friend has been clear from the start about its production schedule, which wrapped 100% of filming in advance of the drama’s premiere. With all the episodes finished, it’s insane to think that they would alter them now to accommodate an early ending.
But perhaps it’s a knee-jerk fear reaction from fans who saw what MBC did to the ill-fated Strike Love, which found itself in a similar situation but had its episode order slashed at the last minute anyway. (Strike Love had also nearly completed shooting its 20 episodes when MBC announced the early wrap-up of the drama, which was underperforming in the ratings, forcing the production to go back and re-edit a hastily cobbled-together ending that satisfied nobody.)
It probably doesn’t help that Friend, Our Legend was the drama that followed Strike Love, leaving viewers with a fresh impression of that unpleasantness. Apparently rumors that began as speculation got out of hand and spread quickly, necessitating the official clarification.
Friend, Our Legend is generally well-regarded as having high production quality. Its storytelling, cinematography, and development all benefit from the drama’s advance production, which allowed it more time to achieve a higher quality product. Still, viewers aren’t tuning in — the numbers currently stand around 7% with two weeks left to go. That plants it firmly in mania drama territory — not bad, but not where it wanted to be.
Via My Daily