Sad news for fans of Surplus Princess: The silly tvN comedy about a mermaid who joins the human realm to find love has just gotten a cut-down in episode count. Planned for 14 episodes originally, it’ll now end with 10 instead, wrapping up its run early next month.
That’s a pretty sudden decision, especially since the drama just aired its eighth episode yesterday. That means the production is already filming its ninth episode… so they’ve only got one more episode in which to wrap up everything and reach some sort of resolution. (I suppose they could do the Vampire Idol thing and leave the show on a defiant note by ending with more questions than answers—as if giving their broadcaster the big middle finger—but otherwise, they’ll have to scramble.)
According to a source with tvN, this cut-down order is actually a move to improve the show’s quality, because they felt that it would be better for “increasing dramatic entertainment and story quality.” Excuse me while I complete my eye-roll. I’m sure it has everything to do with creative vision and not, say, the drama’s sliding viewership ratings. While Surplus Princess isn’t alone in experiencing a dip in ratings (tvN’s current crop hasn’t been able to match the buzz factor or the numbers of its previous hits), it has not broken the 1% ratings barrier, starting off with a 0.84% and slipping down to 0.54%.
Surplus Princess is a bit silly for my liking, but it’s still an easy, mindless watch for me and I’ve found enough to keep me going with it despite the flaws. (It’s messy, a little meandering, and the heroine can come off rather dim.) But considering that this is a show that’s on once a week in a slot of its own, I’d have thought tvN would let it run its full course. Well, I suppose it could be the truth that this is really motivated by story concerns, but that’s not a bet I’d be willing to take.
The drama, which stars Jo Boa as the mermaid-turned-human and Ohn Joo-wan and Song Jae-rim as two humans who get entangled in her quest for love, will wrap up on October 9.