The Wed-Thurs scene has welcomed its two new contestants vying for the throne: IRIS 2 (KBS) and That Winter the Wind Blows (SBS). Both were highly anticipated for very different reasons, and judging by the pretty even split in ratings among the aforementioned two and the already-airing Level 7 Civil Servant (MBC), it looks like everyone watched what they wanted to watch.
That Winter went gunning for control with a special back-to-back airing of two complete episodes last night, while IRIS 2 went all out with some real guns. It seems like people like their guns real, because IRIS 2 won the round Wednesday night with a 14.4% (AGB Nielsen), even besting Level 7, which pulled in a 12.7%. That Winter brought in an 11.3% for its first episode and a 12.8% for its second.
To be honest, I wasn’t all that interested in either of the two new shows. Jo In-sung and Song Hye-kyo don’t do very much for me, and Noh Hee-kyung, though a wonderful writer, taxes my brain and tear ducts a tad too much for comfortable viewing. Athena was a big disappointment, so Taewon Entertainment (the production company behind the ‘Iris’ franchise) didn’t hold too much cred in the Pinkblossom Bank.
That being said, I was pleasantly surprised by both of the new dramas today – not to mention absolutely tickled by the ever-improving Level 7. Iris 2 was a bit short on the story, and I reaaaally have a hard time believing such an ‘elite’ agency would handle their hot commodity (Baek San) so poorly. But this is Dramaland, where reality is gleefully suspended in the name of feeding our addiction, so I say bring it on. That Winter was as beautiful as expected and surprisingly quite watchable. Yeees, I cried. Yeees, I cringed at some of Jo In-sung’s wild-eyed, overdone scenes. (To be fair, he was amazing for the most part – he just seems to vacillate between one extreme and the other on the acting prowess scale… I really don’t know why.) But I enjoyed the episodes and am looking forward to tomorrow – all while bracing myself for some major heartbreak. What is it about dramas that make us so happily masochistic?
I have to put in a little yee! for Level 7, just because it was really quite adorable. The trailers did absolutely nothing for me, so I didn’t watch the first 2 episodes, but I ended up catching the third and have been hooked since. It makes me laugh (out loud!), Joo Won (Gil-ro/Pil-hoon) is just adorkable, and Parents Kim just kill me every time with their Choong-cheong-do accent. Holla Choong-cheong-do! This show ain’t gonna be winning any Best Ever contests, but it’s cute and refreshingly funny – something Dramaland seems to have dropped along the way.
I’m hesitant to declare my undying devotion to – or dismissal of – either of the two new contestants, because it’s just too early in the game. Level 7 is a perfect example of a show I initially stuffed in the trash then dug back out. And let’s not even get started on the number of shows that started off so well… then crashed and burned. So. Iris 2 is the reigning King for the day. But all of the numbers are just so close, we may very well have quite a bloody struggle over the throne the next several weeks, if not months. May the best drama win!