The star writer of Secret Garden, A Gentleman’s Dignity, and Heirs will be back with a new “human melodrama” for SBS, which means SBS is probably already counting their chickens (or moneys) since writer Kim Eun-sook is pretty much a sure thing for them in terms of ratings. Love or hate her dramas, they still have a way of tapping into the zeitgeist and becoming pop-culture phenomena, kicking off trends, catchphrases, and jokes that linger after the shows are long off the air.
The new drama is titled Descended From the Sun, and the producers aren’t even trying to be modest: “It’ll be a human melodrama on a blockbuster scale, the likes of which have not been seen in Korean dramas before.” Yes, keep those expectations realistic. To be fair, it does have some hefty support behind it; the drama will be the first television series planned by film production company Barunson, which has produced a number of notable films, including The Good, The Bad, The Weird and Mother. It’ll be co-producing with drama production house Hwa & Dam Pictures (Heirs, Secret Garden). Kim Eun-sook will not be the sole writer, either, as she joins forces with Kim Won-seok, who penned the well-received drama Queen’s Classroom last year.
Descended From the Sun will feature a love story between two leads who throw themselves into disaster areas to save lives; the drama will depict their sacrifices in desperate situations and show as they bond and grow to care for each other. In a very notable change from Kim’s prior works, this drama will be entirely pre-produced—something I could have sworn Kim Eun-sook said she’d never do, because she’s known for thriving in the live-shoot system. Well, if anything I’ll be hoping for Descended From the Sun to be a big success in order to prove that pre-productions CAN make it in this industry (a statement that’s been hard to stand by given the bevy of pre-produced failures littering dramaland)—and if Kim Eun-sook can change her mind and embrace a production environment that allows for more editing, shooting, and sleeping time, then maybe there’s hope for the system overall.
Descended From the Sun will begin production later this year, which includes overseas location shoots, and will broadcast on SBS in early 2015.