Extensions ahoy! Guess we’re just going to be neck-deep in overlapping dramas for a while. Eek! We’ll have to reserve some extra time in the fourth dimension and eat all our wheaties to make it out of this alive. KBS has confirmed a 4-episode extension for its Wednesday-Thursday epic action-adventure drama Gaksital (Bridal Mask), bringing the new total episode count to 28. It’ll now conclude its run on August 30 and push Nice Guy’s premiere to September 5.
Gaksital was the Wednesday-Thursday ratings leader right out of the gate, and has maintained its lead, now at the 14-15% range. Because it’s doing well and was originally conceived as a 30-episode drama, it makes sense that KBS would push for an extension. I do think that it’s a drama with a rich enough world to sustain an extension — there are certainly plenty of characters (one might even say too many), and I still want to spend a lot more downtime with each of the main characters to fill out their stories and their motivations.
And perhaps they’ll take the four extra episodes and give us an even more satisfying build-up to Kang-to’s growth and transformation into a hero for the people. It will! It can! It might? *whimper* I think the tapestry of the Occupation era and the portrayal of a 1930s Korea is endlessly fascinating, and if the hero’s journey steps it up a notch, I could be persuaded that an extension is worth it. Make a believer outta me, GAKSITAAAAAAAAAL!
Meanwhile, SBS is also considering an extension for its Monday-Tuesday revenge drama The Chaser, but this extension won’t be as long — it’s just 2 episodes, one of which would be a special. So basically just one extra regular episode, and they’re still undecided on the matter. Hey, if a drama needs one extra episode to give me a satisfying conclusion, I’m all aboard that ship.
There are rumors that the extension has more to do with the Olympics broadcasting schedule (though I don’t know why that wouldn’t be the opposite then — being preempted for the games). But in any case, Chaser is performing well in its timeslot. Though the 64-episode Light and Shadow has led the ratings for a good portion of its run, The Chaser is pulling in 13% ratings in second place. More importantly, Light and Shadow ends today, which means a new leader might emerge in its absence starting next week.
I’m still really behind on this one, but the daddy revenge plot is really gripping. It’s dark and tautly written from the get-go, and leads Kim Sang-joong and Sohn Hyun-joo are amazing. (Kim Sang-joong is a rising politician who commits murder to secure his political future, and the victim is Sohn Hyun-joo’s teenage daughter. The hero goes from loving, doting father and cop to harrowed man hellbent on revenge, as Kim Sang-joong continues to rise in power.) Great stuff, if you’re into dark revenge thrillers. This is no fluffy bunny pretending to be a bear.
The Chaser airs Monday-Tuesday on SBS and Gaksital airs Wednesday-Thursday on KBS.