57

Cable drama Yacha makes a splash, sells overseas

I’ve mentioned cable drama Yacha before as a new OCN show boasting a high budget, special effects, and lots of action. The 12-episode series premiered last weekend to a very impressive — one might call it shockingly high — ratings number of 3.5%. To put it into some perspective, this is a cable drama that airs on midnight on Fridays, where anything above 1% would be hailed a success.

Yacha is set in the Joseon era against the backdrop of a secret organization running under the king’s authorization. The story unfolds around two brothers and one woman, and incorporates themes of fate, ambition, and revenge.

The buzz has been building and Yacha has sold broadcast rights in Japan, which is doubly noteworthy since the drama has barely aired in Korea and boasts no big-name stars. (The leads include Jo Dong-hyuk of Winter Bird, Jeon Hye-bin of Scale of Providence and Seo Do-young of Friend, Our Legend, so they’re not complete unknowns, but they don’t command the international fanbase that usually comes with foreign success stories.) Yacha will be airing in Japan sometime next year.

According to a source with the production house, Yacha made a strong impression with its short teaser video, and also has the added draw of Damo and Jumong’s writer, Jung Hyung-soo, and Joseon Mystery Detective Jung Yak-yong PD Kim Hong-sun.

Okay, now with that out of the way… I have to say I kind of hated it.

Caveat: I didn’t finish watching the first episode, so take what I say with a grain of salt. But as I tried to sit through it, my sense of distaste kept growing and I felt like I needed to get away from it, so I stopped.

I was looking forward to Yacha with some curiosity and optimism, since the last cable show I watched turned out to be so fantastic (Joseon X-Files). And right away, I could tell that this drama had a lot of skill and attention to detail poured into it. It’s super stylized so that it’s not so much a sageuk as something out of a graphic novel. The colors are washed out, the contrasts are intensified, and there’s an almost glossy sheen to the imagery — dark, gothic, beautiful in a haunting way.

The drama is also edgy in a way that you just don’t get on broadcast television, and I don’t just mean the nudity or sex or violence, although those all push it into the realm of 19+ cable show. It’s the way it stylizes those elements — it turns killing into a thing of beauty, shooting out blood in artistic arcs, letting it spatter in beautiful sprays. In an early scene, a woman is tied up against a wall, where arrows are shot into her for sport while she screams in agony. The sex is cold and lifeless, even when you’ve got a four-way going on that ought to be titillating or exciting but is sorta just there for shock value. It reminded me of how I felt watching 300 — beautiful in a polished, antiseptic way.

I actually felt like I was watching hentai — and I pass no judgment on hentai; it’s just not what I was expecting when I tuned in for a high-budget, buzzed-about, fusion sageuk drama. I like to think I’m not a prude, but who knows, maybe I am. If not liking this kind of stuff makes me one, I’m okay with that.

On the other hand, if this kind of thing floats your boat… go for it! And tell me what you think! I checked out before I got a good grasp of the story, so let me know if I’m missing something great.

Via OSEN, BNT News

RELATED POSTS

Tags: , ,

57

Required fields are marked *

I didn't like 300 too. It's all gore and blood for no good reason...so most likely this is not for me too.

I'm ok with a little ecchi but hentai is a lttle hard to swallow. It just felt ..sick.

Guess that makes me a prude too?

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

The Korean 'Spartacus blood and sand' if you like that sort of thing

0
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Your description nails the vibe I got from this drama from the previews!

Now, I'm morbidly curious.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

That is exactly what this sounds like! From the cold over the top sex scenes to the graphic novel cinematography to the stylized "pretty scenes" of blood splattering. Spartacus Blood and Sand" held my attention for about 3 episodes and I couldn't do it anymore. 300 was kind of fun but in retrospect, very cheesy. Having said all that...That is one pretty poster!

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

HAHAHA! I swear that's the first thing I thought when I saw the trailer.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I'm not familiar with how Kdrama get their funding.

For American TV show, it's about 42 minutes of actual show + 18 minutes of ad.

I noticed that most K-Dramas are about 60+ minutes. How many minutes of ads for a typical Kdrama?

And what are the normal start time?

I see some 9:55pm, some 9:45pm etc....

So for example, Secret Garden starts at 9:45pm, when does it end? (11:15pm?) how many minutes of ad?

0
8
reply

Required fields are marked *

I'm not totally sure either, but it seems that there are commercials in between shows, not during shows. I like that system a LOT better than America's.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

A lot of advertising happens in product placement items within the drama itself. There are no add breaks during dramas, but if I remember correctly, there's usually about five or ten minutes of adds before/after the drama.

0
5
reply

Required fields are marked *

I too have asked that question. I seen that the average air time for a drama is 60 but sometimes for some it passes 5 to 10 min.

So there are no commercial breaks in a drama or show?

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I too have asked that question. I seen that the average air time for a drama is 60 but sometimes for some it passes 5 to 10 min.

So there are no commercial breaks in a drama or show?

0
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

The adds are always aired before and after the drama... As far as I remember the run time for advertisements is like 10 mins each time !

0
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Is it like that only for primetime drama?

What about daytime drama? Variety shows? news programs etc...

p.s. It's great for the audience that there are no ad breaks during the show.

0

@ Ad/commercial in Kdrama

As far as I know, variety shows are the same. They aired ads before and after the show. There are no commercial in between like American Tvs here, which is why I love it more! XD

0

I watched a live episode of Secret Garden when I was in Seoul last month and noticed that there was a short break somewhere during the middle of the show. I didn't time it so I'm not sure the minutes exactly, but I would say around 5 minutes. I tuned in at 10pm exactly and it has already started, it ended around 10:50pm. There were tons of commercials afterwards, before the next show came on.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Spring Waltz guy is in it?

Kinda wanna watch now.

But not enough to actually watch it.

0
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

I had the same reaction, especially since I'm also watching him in Invincible Lee Pyung Kang where he is DARLING.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

omg what happened to spring waltz guy?! He bears no resemblance to spring waltz guy at all..

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Can't stop laughing...are you guys talking about Jo Dong-Hyuk, the sexy ravishing hero of the story?

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I think you're confusing Yacha's Jo Dong Hyuk with Spring Waltz's Oh Ji Ho. They're both manly men with raspy voices that are surprisingly higher than befits their manly image.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I love 300.
I love Spartacus
Rome was amazing.

This is up my alley. Now if Korea could make something like Boardwalk Empire, I'd be set.

Where can you get this drama btw? I haven't seen it anywhere tbh.

0
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

Viki.com is showing....

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

If you want to stream it, try viki.com
If you want to download it, try am-addiction.com (you have to register, but it's free)

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Oh my gosh....soooooooooooo with you!!!

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Agree. Keep minds open everybody. I love spilled blood for a good cause.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I anticipated this one based on earlier press about it, and did expect something different.

After watching most of epi 1, the shock value was there, but I did not understand what was happening so I need to see it fully subbed. It appears that characters are cold, colder, and cold/ruthless still....I have to understand the storyline and so will hang in there until subbed to see if there is anything compelling about it.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Okay so I was just fast-forwarding though the first segment on Viki (since it wasn't fully subbed yet) and I have to say that I regretted doing so....it feels kinda gross to me....well no offense to anyone out there who thinks it is good. Guess it's just not my cup of tea.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Urgh, I never watched 300 either, so I'm definitely not going to watch this!! XD It'd just make me cry and feel disturbed. The scene with the woman who got shot you described...how can anyone even think of that stuff?! @[email protected]~ I don't get it.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

It wasn't a terrible first episode, though being use to the overly trendy dramas I was taken aback by some of the stuff they showed (the obvious cable-only stuff). That said they need to tone down the blood splatter/gore factor since it is just overdone/cheesy to say the least.

I'm actually kind of curious about the female lead's reason for revenge, the synopsis for her character doesn't really sell me on the idea of her doing whatever she's going to do out of spite/or from being rejected by one of the male leads (since he wanted her to be with his brother instead of him).

Given the closing scene in episode 1 I have to wonder how they're going to pick up in episode 2.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I couldnt even finish the trailer it made me sick

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

guess i'm a prude too.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

pictures remind me of...sin city hahahaha

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

A few questions as I'm new in kdrama land. What is a cable drama? How is it different to a normal drama? (Apart from it being aired at midnight)

What is hentai? Name of a show or a word?

0
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

hentai is japanese (へんたい) that means material that is sexually explicit (pornography is also called hentai)

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I think that in this context, JB was specifically referring to animated Japanese porn.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

a cable drama could be different from the normal drama cause its on a cable channel and so it would be uncensored and shows some daring stuff that is unusual in kdrama land still not every cable drama is like that and they are not many anyway

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

thank u both :)

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Ir mostly reminds me of Rome (the series made by HBO).

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I actually liked Rome, and followed it...The ending was noneventful, but it was a wild ride while it lasted. I will give this one a chance once the subs come out.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

"I like to think I’m not a prude, but who knows, maybe I am. If not liking this kind of stuff makes me one, I’m okay with that."

Yeaaaah, me too.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I'm not bothered by extreme debauchery and really like graphic novel type stuff- so I took at look at this drama. Although I have no idea what is going on so I think I'll wait a few weeks for subs to come out- but so far it seems exciting and interesting.

I may not be the best judge though because even if it sucked I'd still watch it for Seo Do-young ;)

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

300 is exactly what crossed my mind too when i watched this...that and Sin City

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Darn. Seo Do-young is here? I didn't even recognize him! OMGosh. Is he the antagonist here?!

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

first 6-8 minutes has around a total of probably 1 minute's worth of gross foursome with the king but other than that and the overblown cg blood effects, it looks like it has a cast with pretty solid acting chops (from the first ep anyway).

i don't think i'll continue to watch it but it's interesting to see what will happen to the three leads. their back story seems to be pretty good i'm kinda excited for it.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Given your description, i am not surprised it got sold to Japan. They have a penchant for such gory stuff... Some of their Samurai flicks are somewhat like that.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Javabeans, was wondering whether you have heard of a currently airing cable drama on eChannel called 'Angsimjeong' starring Kim Ha Eun of CitC fame?

Its based on Joseon era too & features a secret organization as well.

Further info: http://www.viki.com/channels/2015-angsimjeong

The thing is this cable drama is so LOW profile and the English subs are only like less than 10% done for the episodes, so it's quite a struggle to follow the drama knowing zilch Korean and basically, I'm just enjoying the visuals, fighting scenes and Kim Ha Eun :D

KHE's character is more kick-a... here but her character's background is similar to that in CitC.

KHE garnered a lot of love in CitC, so would love to know your take on her latest sageuk drama.

As for Yacha, I'll be checking it out soon, thanks for your take on it.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

the screencaps here somehow reminds me of Kurosawa Akira's films (Seven Samurai, and the likes).

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

From your description of the show, I can certainly see why they managed to sell rights to Japan. Given that there are Japanese films that touts themes of stylized/artistic "violence", this may sit well with some the audience there

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I watched the first episode and I really liked it! I'm really looking forward to what happens in the next few episodes. The violence and the sex didn't make me blink because...well, I watch HBO and, like other people have said, the show does resemble some HBO shows (and even Dexter, in parts). But the violence here was much more campy...I didn't think it was squick-worthy or very convincing. But it is a really interesting show. Watch it, definitely.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I think you have to watch it first before judging. Seriously guys it's not violence for violence...There's a huge story behind...And this show it's make for adults. It's more realistic than shocking...It doesn't talk about a girl who infiltrates a band so she can do something bla bla and bla...

Personally I think you can criticize whatever you feel like it. But in my opinion you don't have to be so Judgy or try to stereotyped every thing...Give it a go with an open mind...that's all...

Why will it be no sex in this show ? Why the sex is not supposed to be cold ?? I remind you that this scene describes sex between a king and some courtesans. Girls who probably DO not want to have sex but I have to (fake it----the sound) because the guy is the king.

The guy shooting the girl in the first place why don't you tell in your critic that he did that because she was trying to run away...This drama talks about some specific time in history where some people were leaving differently...And if they have to shock people so they can through the reality of this time..so go for it..

Seriously I give it go and I was positively surprised by the outcome...I would say I better watch Yacha than YAB or Boys over Flower..

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

can please someone tell me why there are gladiators in this show? i'm pretty sure there were not gladiators in korea back then :)

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Hi

I had the exact same impression as all you "prudes." This drama is definitely not for the fangirls or grannies. But it does draw a lot of attention! :P

-Rokujo no Miyasudokoro

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

So i just finished watching this....only 12 short episodes!

I don't get the ending at all!

Someone who watched it explain to me? This isn't a much talked about drama, but the acting and effects were great!

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Sounds like showtimes spartacus. Love that show. So who knows I might like this.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I made it through the gory first episode, which let me glimpse a bit of its soul, and I found that little bit very compelling. So glad that I stuck with it because this is turning out to be a really great series. I'm in episode 3 only, but so much has transpired already that I'm surprised that I'm not already at episode 7. By contrast, Warrior Baek Dong Soo started out great, went blah for a really long time, and finally kicked into high gear with Episode 16. I was surprised that it was already Episode 16. Felt as if I had only gotten through 10 or 12 episodes worth of material.

Hopefully, after finishing up this Series, I'll be as impressed as I am now.

0
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Episode 8 or 9, and I'm totally engrossed. Did another near all-nighter. And Jo Dong Hyuk leaves me speechless. I could watch that man forever.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I can see why JB wasn't exactly enthralled after the 1st ep. - the violence was a bit overstylized, esp. the blood splatter (just too much, made the already fake looking blood look even more fake), but it gets better, esp. when the main character finds himself elsewhere.

Only a 3rd of the way thru, but thus far can say that it's one of those dramas where it gets better as it goes along (along the same line, I LOVED Joseon X-Files, and the best eps where the ones in the middle.)

What I want to know is why Jo Dong Hyuk isn't a bigger star; he has the looks, the on-screen charisma and the acting chops to be a big star.

As for Warrior Baek Dong Soo, it was better when it was about the 2 leads as younger boys (like the younger actors better as well).

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Here's my rant...How do I put this? This drama sucks.

I was put off by the first few minutes when it came out three years ago, and now that I got around to watching the entire drama, my reaction is still the same. I made myself watch it since I know that sometimes dramas turn out unexpectedly greater than I initially anticipate, but this one bombed. I especially skipped through most of the scenes of the Japanese island. No one looked or behaved Japanese, which is typical of Korean dramas, but this was way worse. The writers just threw the Japanese girl (who made me want to barf every time she showed up on screen) in as the reason for him to get off the island, kinda like how it was mentioned that the foursome in the first episode was for shock value, but I couldn't buy into it at all. There was no chemistry between the characters for the show to be enjoyable in the least.

Ok... I'll say something constructive. The drama would have probably been better if they had extended it rather than put in so many special effects. Vital parts of plot development and character study were glossed over by blood, gore, and swordplay.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *