I Am Legend shows signs of being a hit
SBS’s I Am Legend is in its second week, and signs look good for a healthy run. This Monday-Tuesday 9pm timeslot has yielded mixed results since it launched four series ago, starting strong but gradually slipping in the ratings. I Am Legend looks poised to breathe some life back into it.
The drama began with a modest 12%, and this week recorded a 14.9% for its fourth episode. But more noteworthy is the drama’s real-time viewership ratings; the last scene of the hour even surpassed 20%. I won’t spoil the scene for you since recaps are forthcoming (thanks, kaedejun!), but suffice to say that it’s when Kim Jung-eun‘s character Seol-hee gets going in earnest with the band, and the scene features an impassioned performance.
I was pleased with the first two episodes, which I found to be well-acted and briskly paced. The drama does feature some cliched relationship setups, but that aside, it has potential to be a feel-good, fun ride.
A refresher on this timeslot business: The 9pm drama slot was created back when Queen Seon-deok (MBC) was crushing its competition and SBS saw one drama after another die a painful death opposite it. With the highly anticipated Angel’s Temptation coming up, they made the decision to swap the 9pm news hour with the drama instead, to give it a fighting chance. It paid off, and Temptation went on to break the 20% ratings threshold.
When that drama finished, SBS decided that instead of keeping the news and drama hour switched, they’d just add another drama hour. Wish Upon a Star followed and was a hit, with ratings in the upper teens. Oh My Lady had a harder time keeping viewers (it was cute, but there wasn’t much drama to the drama) with ratings hovering around 10% to 12%. Most recently, Coffee House ended with a disappointing 8.4%.