Season 2 talk for Misaeng the manhwa and the drama
If any drama could go on for multiple seasons, it’d be Misaeng, the slice-of-life workplace series that’s become cable network tvN’s newest sensation. Expectations were high from the start for the adaptation based on a cult hit manhwa, and it translated into both critical acclaim and ratings success (Episode 12 that aired last Saturday recorded 6.1% ratings). Talk obviously turned to the possibility of a second season, an extension, and the future of the source material, and drama producers and manhwa creator Yoon Tae-ho gave statements on the next move for Misaeng.
First, about the possibility of the current drama being extended beyond its planned 20 episodes, producers said, “There will be no extension for Misaeng. It’s a project based on Yoon Tae-ho’s original manhwa, and the plan is to continue fitting the content into 20 episodes and end it there.” Thank goodness, since I think an extension at this point would be purely for extra ad revenue, at the expense of the story.
The practical reason given was that an extension wasn’t plausible given the production pace. Other dramas often shoot with A and B teams and multiple editors all working at a furious pace simultaneously to get the drama done, but on Misaeng, PD Kim Won-seok reportedly shoots every single frame, from inserts to establishing shots, and edits every second of the show himself. It totally shows too, because the series hasn’t dropped in quality since the start, and the show’s star is hands-down the director.
When asked about whether Misaeng would consider a second season, producers stated, “Creator Yoon Tae-ho is planning a second season of Misaeng [the webtoon] to launch in March. The big picture is to do [the webtoon] in three seasons. And talk has begun concerning the possibility of Misaeng Season 2 [the drama].”
Manhwa creator Yoon Tae-ho gave a statement confirming that March 2015 is the goal for getting a second season of the webtoon out, and when asked about the future of the characters, all he said was, “The only thing I can say with certainty is that Jang Geu-rae will not become a manager or president.” Ha, does that even count as a breadcrumb?
Both PD Kim Won-seok and creator Yoon Tae-ho are reportedly leaving the door open for collaborating on a second season of the drama, but considering that Season 2 of the webtoon doesn’t exist yet, it’s early to be committing. This is a hugely successful case where the manhwa’s popularity built buzz for the drama, and the drama’s acclaim has in turn boosted sales for printed copies of the manhwa. The printed version just surpassed two million copies sold this week (which is more than double the number just weeks ago before the drama aired).
Because of the nature of the loose storytelling in the drama, I can see the series easily continuing on for three whole seasons if they wanted to. I’m always wary of adding seasons to a show that I love (What if they ruin it? What if they save the best nuggets for later? What if they run out of ideas and just bring in a baby?), but I think it’s safe to say that if they have two ingredients, I’m sold: PD Kim Won-seok and Lee Sung-min. If we get more of them, I have a hunch that the rest of the pieces will just fall into place. What can I say, I’m as smitten as our Yes-man is: Where Chief Oh goes, I go.
Misaeng airs on Fridays and Saturdays on tvN.
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