Heads up, High Kick 3 fans: The entire week will be episode-less, and instead specials have been airing daily. If you’ve been watching the show live, you’ll already know this; if you’re a regular recap reader, note that this means there won’t be one this weekend.
The string of specials came without any warning, which caught viewers off-guard and caused some disgruntlement among the fanbase. The show has had a number of pre-empted episodes already (mostly due to soccer), so it’s not like we’re not used to it, but the surprise factor tends to add a bitter note.
But it’s not without reason; MBC has been mired in a labor union strike, which has mostly been affecting its news and variety programming. Dramas have mostly remained unaffected (some because they are produced by outside companies, not the broadcaster directly), but the strike is starting to creep into the scripted realm.
In High Kick 3′s case, the media had initially reported that the show was merely “celebrating” the show’s 100 episodes. (This week would have broadcast Episodes 100 through 104.) A flimsy reason, followed then by the explanation that the production team was simply too exhausted to meet the broadcast deadline. It later came out that the union strike was the culprit.
The strike started January 30, citing unfair administration and demanding the resignation of MBC president Kim Jae-chul. There were 570 participants in the strike, including technical staff members of High Kick, which has been filming for the past three weeks without key crew members. A producer with the sitcom stated that they’re very short-staffed, and feel unfairly blamed by the initial media reports that they were too tired to make broadcast time. While that’s certainly true, the connotation is that the staff is to blame for not managing their time when the situation is largely out of their control.
The show has already been operating on a super-tight schedule, which I can believe — the quality of the episodes (from the directing to the music to the post-production work) has been impressively high for a daily show. Frankly I’d rather have our remaining episodes maintain their narrative strength, rather than wildly churned out because of the strike.
As for other MBC dramas: Don’t panic yet, because as yet the dramas are still chugging along. However, it looks like the strike is taking its toll, and the latest news cycle brings mention of The Moon That Embraces the Sun struggling with completing all its post-production work without some of its staff. The PDs have been working overtime to get through it on their own, according to the news. The episodes this week are ready to go so there’ll be no problem on that front, and I seriously doubt MBC will let its uber-popular cash cow die. But that cow’s showing signs of fatigue, is all. Moooo.
- Moon/Sun: Behind the scenes and on Strong Heart
- Interviews with Moon/Sun’s child actors
- Jung Il-woo and the adults of Moon/Sun to appear this week
- The Moon That Embraces the Sun: Episode 1
- Hanboks galore at press conference for Moon That Embraces the Sun
- High Kick 3: Episodes 1-4
- High Kick 3′s family tree, relationship chart, and lovelines