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Master of Trade—Inn 2015 to end with 41 episodes

First and foremost, I find it confusing and oddly funny that I can’t tell from this news whether Master of Trade—Inn 2015 is being cut or extended. Most reports call it an extension but the various articles have conflicting counts, which differ again with the news articles previously published in earlier publicity rounds.

The KBS historical drama about merchants in the Joseon era was initially announced as a 50-episode drama, and there are a whole bunch of news sources that state as much. Now, in the latest wave of news, drama producers are quoted as saying that Inn 2015 was always meant to be a 40-episode series and that this is a 1-episode extension. (I’m not saying anybody’s a liar, but anybody with a moderate sense of google-fu can easily go back and see that it was not always announced to be a 40-episode series.)

In the same wave of articles, others report that the initial episode count was actually 36, and hence this change is a 5-episode extension. MAKE UP YOUR MINDS, PEOPLE. At least get your story straight before taking it to the press. But whether Inn 2015 is getting episodes added or taken away, we do know definitively that the final episode count is now 41. At least everyone agrees on that.

In any case, Master of Trade—Inn 2015 has been performing solidly for KBS in recent weeks. It faced stiff competition early on with Yong-pal and She Was Pretty in rival timeslots, but once those shows wrapped, the drama’s numbers lifted out of the single digits; they’ve been holding steady in the 11% to 13% range ever since. The drama does have a strong cast (Jang Hyuk, Yoo Oh-sung, Han Chae-ah, Kim Min-jung) and is the kind of familiar underdog success story that audiences find comfortably satisfying, so I can see how it has picked up its modest audience. And now fans will have either 1 more, 5 more, or 9 fewer episodes to enjoy.

Master of Trade—Inn 2015 aired its 24th episode today. Its new episode count puts its finale on February 18.

Via Sports Chosun, Joy News

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I thought the total initial eps was 36. I am waiting for it to be over so I can marathon it.

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I am thinking of giving it a go as well, since it's been a while, since I have found a Korean Sageuk that was worth watching. It seems, at least going by, the popular viewing sites, Chinese Historical dramas have overtaken the South Korean ones in popularity.

I blame this on the terrible dramas that were released over the years, sageuks that lacked gravitas, an epic nature, or even an interesting plot. Just the same, in fighting between opposing team of ministers, BORING!!! This problem can be seen even among Korean viewers as well, as when was the last time a sageuk was a national drama - Moon Embracing the Sun, Dong Yi, since then pfft.

SK needs to step up and start putting in the right crew and budget for these dramas - seriously battle scenes with no horses, and meager number of extras, *not good* especially, since, their Chinese counterparts are staging multiple battle scenes, per episode and investing the effort to awe viewers. Seriously if anyone is looking for an historical drama to watch - I recommend "Nirvana in the Fire" - an extremely, well done drama, that at almost 50 episodes, not even one episode felt like it was dragging.

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Hey, I like infighting between old toadies! ...I do realize I'm strange though. I think the problem is that most shows have no historical perspective, and give superficial treatment to hallmarks of what used to be a great, respectable genre. Correct if I'm wrong, but wasn't Jung Do-jeon quite successful in today's ratings environment? And by all accounts that was a real sageuk.

That being said, yeah, stepping up the spectacle wouldn't be a bad idea, though allowing better PDs to do sageuk would also help. I think as far as a lot of the sageuk able to create an epic sense of scale, it's hard to tell if a bigger budget or the director's vision was more useful--Shin Don, for instance, had a huge budget (the sets were beauitful and all the objects/costumes were dated to the proper period) but it also had Kim Jin-min, who made this reconstructed Goryeo into a living, breathing place where everything seemed real and immediate. Ditto shows like Sangdo and Chuno.

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I'm the other strange sageuk fan so you are not alone:).

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<3

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You hit the nail on the head - re the superficial treatment. I am not, diametrically, opposed to sageuks that are more cerebral, or about power plays, rather than action driven. It just seems like these power plays are typically nothing to write home about, at the end. When watching a sageuk, there has to be a sense of building up to something, but most dramas these days, just never seem to reach that climax, and just fall apart as the episode continues e.g. Empress Ki.

I think budget and vision are key - it seems most production teams are comfortable, just churning out a sageuk to fill a quota or something, and just putting a thin veil on what's been done before. Even if the budget can't match some of the new Chinese productions, that still does not excuse shooting an entire drama, in what seems like the same sound stage e.g Gwanggaeto the great (a drama about an epic, warrior, that consisted of the cast sitting around the same table, for what seemed like 70% of the drama). Some of it is also ridiculous practices that no one seems to want to improve on i.e. why can't male actors, grow their beards, instead of the obvious, fake hair that is glued in and like in Gwanggaeto, you could see the glue marks, and hair strands when watching in HD.

And let's not talk about the acting, or maybe a little - acting in an historical drama, is not an excuse to ham it up to the extreme, yelling like a banshee, or being maniacal in your portrayal. Oops, I could go on, but seems I have already written too much. But sageuks were my favorite genre and can't stand, how far they have fallen in recent times.

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Yeah, that is annoying. I can usually catch a couple of lace fronts an episode, even in sageuk that have much higher production value/greater attention to detail. I wonder if the live shoot system could be at fault (it would take some time to grow such magnificent beards lol, and some actors probably don't have thick enough facial hair anyway), but don't sageuk always have a lot of time in preproduction? Ack, idk.

And yeah, a lot of "sageuk" today have all the trappings of the genre with none of its soul--like you say, they're on autopilot. I mean, who cares about a bunch of old men/"historical figures" arguing over power in a historical vacuum, ie, when there's no perspective on what they're fighting over in a historical sense (or a transhistorical one), or on the times they're living in. The very best sageuk make it impossible NOT to care when Old Bearded Guy A is going up against Old Bearded Guy B, because you'll appreciate what's at stake, or it'll feel personal, because characters' lives hang in the balance, or you'll be caught up in how human beings lived through such times. Or...you'll just be really invested in the struggle (which would be me and Kiara lol).

I don't "get" sageuk acting the way a lot of people with greater understanding of Korean history and language probably do, but from my limited perspective, it's kind of sink or swim. With a really good actor and the right role, you can get unforgettable, Shakespearean performances out of them, but lesser talents often drown in the excesses sageuk demands. Then of course there are people who aren't capable of doing sageuk on a basic level...and people who can surprise you with the performance of their lives (such as the young actors in Conspiracy in the Court).

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Nirvana In Fire's standard is too high I can't even begin to compare it with other productions.
Anyway, to be fair, China has more resources in terms of manpower (number of extras), location (the wide plains) and probably budget too. Then again, not all Chinese historical dramas are good.

Back to Merchant, I'm just waiting for it to end so that I can marathon it too.
Ever since TWDR, the only sageuk I like is the currently running Six Flying Dragons.

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Don't get me started with Nirvana in Fire, I don't even know how to stop my obsession with Hu Ge.

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You're not alone. I've been spending my days watching Hu Ge's dramas too. He's my revelation for this year.

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I'm watching sound of the desert, darn it.. this drama broke my heart, shouldn't have watched it if you're on Hu Ge's side. Any other of his dramas that you recommend?

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Agree, that drama broke my heart bcos I was totally on Hu Ge's side. SIGH.
I am currently watching 'Xuan yuan Sword- Rift of Sky'. It's so ridiculously strange but I'm hanging on just to see how it ends. And yeah, bcos it's Hu Ge.

Still haven't watched Disguiser. That's on my next to watch list.

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I second the recommendation for Nirvana in Fire. I will also suggest watching, The Legend of Zhen Huan. Both Nirvana and Legend are extraordinarily well done.

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That is CORRECT!!! The saguek was contracted for 36 episodes .It probably got extended because one of the actresses won an award for her acting and fans want to see more of her. She plays the second lead.

For those of us watching it, subbing or segmenting it on other sites, it has been a bit meandering with the plotline which is why the ratings are so mediocre. They have great actors casts but the writers and PD are making it really laborious to watch. I'm not surprised that ratings were stagnant.

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Ugh. If they are lying, I am perplexed. There is no shame in being cut down *evil side eye* *starts wailing all over again for ex gf club's cut*

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*wailing about Surplus Princess*

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*joins your wail for ex gf club's cut and adds some fist shaking for good measure*
I was so heartbroken when that cut happened. Glad to find a friend to share my grief with, even months later.

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Me too!!! I love Ex Girlfriend's Club and also enjoyed the OST

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The initial announcement for the Merchant was 36 episodes because it's successor, DoTS was slated to air in Feb after it. So it's no way this can be a 50 ep drama if you count the dates.

Anyway I am glad for the extension. The original novel has 10 volumes and so thick, there will surely be many stories to tell!

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I agree. The initial episode count was 36. I'm quite delighted that it's 41 now though. It means it really is doing as well as I'd hoped.

Took a break from it in episode 12 when I started waiting anxiously for new episodes within 10 days period. Figured I would let it get to somewhat in its 30th episode then marathon it and finish up with it when they're rounding up.

Really love this drama ?

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I like the drama tbh (Jang Hyuk in anything historical makes me happy) so this is good news. But it also means that DOTS is pushed back even further which sucks.

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song joong ki's injury delayed the filming of Dots. fortunately Merchant has enuf stories to cover the time lag.

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Honestly I'm not watching this drama (and this is my opinion) but it makes me REALLY SAD to see two of my favorite actresses (Han Chae Ah and Kim Min Jung) in a drama that doesn't seem to care about women when it comes to story (Repeating: I might be wrong, but this is the impression the description gives me).

But if they do important things I want to know!! Maybe I can even watch this someday

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@Moonlight, you should watch this drama! The 2 gals have important roles to play, especially Kim Min Jung who even won an award for her role here in the APAN awards recently.

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I'm glad this show is doing well in the ratings! I had forgotten that it was a long drama.

I've been meaning to check it out, but the subbing had been a bit slow when the first/second episodes came out and I was distracted w/ other dramas. I'll wait til it's completed. ^^

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This is a good show! Not addictive like some other ones but great acting, beautiful costumes, and an interesting story. Jang Hyuk is fantastic, as usual. Kim Min Jung is the most interesting female character for me -- I like her active plotting and scheming. Not the usual passive heroine who just cries, which is mostly what Han Chae Ah does. But at least she looks beautiful doing it. :)

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fuuuckk, idiotic KBS always delay DOTS!

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song joong ki was recently injured while filming dots, and so that cause the delay. its not that kbs delayed dots for no reason.

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When will they start to trade? *Knetz comments which always make me laugh ??

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Lol it's true ;A;

This show is too makjang for the most. The die people can live again. And what the merchant group, they didn't do trade! ;A;

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Nooooo what about DOTS I waited for so damn long!!!

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I always thought it was 36 tbh so this is an extension in my books. I'm a little behind on the drama and it's very old-school Sageuk but I doubt it has legs for a 50 episode stretch. The drama has done well for KBS so they wouldn't cut it down too.

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It doesn't have the ratings for 50 episodes and the writing is frustrated enough.

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I am a Jang Hyuk fan so I have been following this since it was announced. Have never seen it announced as a 50 ep drama, all along its 36 ep to me. Adding 5 is fantastic!

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I dropped it at ep 10 or 11,, ahhh-- should I watch again??
ahh wait-- spoil me, who's the female lead? (coz I want it to be Kim Min Jung, hahaha)

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I definitely remember the show being billed for 36...so the allround angst is uncalled for really, smiles.

So saying, it's a solid drama. What i enjoy most is the friendship, comradeship and bravery of the merchant brothers.

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I super love the show so I am all for it :D.
Jang Hyuk in a sageuk is always a win for me :D.

I kinda agree about the lack of trading business though. It is one of my favorite aspects of the show so yeah, bring it on !!

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@healer_ahjumma
I think it is a double female lead for this drama. Coz Kim Min Jung seems to have a meatier role and her name always appear first after Jang Hyuk, yet the OTP is Jang Hyuk and Han Chae Ah.

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I definitely wouldn't go comparing Chinese ancient dramas to Korean ones. They each have their personal appeal. Chinese historical dramas, of course have a more detailed, possibly more refined and lavish array. But I can't do without the homely feeling of watching a Korean sageuk. I simply do this: enjoy the best of both worlds!

With Merchant Gaekju, I find that it's not Jang hyuk that exclusively has my attention. It seems like most of the cast are stealing the show this time! Which is a good thing of course - and it's marvelous that one of the female stars got an award recently. I'm definitely rooting for this drama to finish on a high note, whenever it does finish...be it at 41, 50 or 36 eps!

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