Mid-Year Report: TV, Movies, Music, Scandals, and Rising Stars
- SBS’s ‘K-Pop Star’ beats ‘Running Man’ in TV ratings
- ‘K-Pop Star’ Rating Beats Even ‘Running Man’ Claiming Second Place
- Weekend Variety Show Ratings War: MBC “Infinity Challenge” Soars, MBC “I’m A Singer” Digs Itself A Deeper Hole
- [Ratings: Sat&Sun 06.01~02.13] ‘Dad! Where Are We Going’ Outrank ‘Running Man’
- [Ratings: Sat, 12.8.12 & Sun, 12.9.12] ‘Running Man’s Kimchi Race Brings in the Ratings
Time flies when you’re into K-Pop – six months have already passed since the beginning of the year 2012, and what a year it has been. New stars have shone, others have faded, and the never-still world of Korean entertainment is still going on strong.
Korean Internet portal Nate recently released a series of articles looking back on the year so far. We’ve compiled them here; catch up on the biggest happenings of the year so far and predict what will happen next!
VARIETY: SBS flies, KBS walks, MBC trending down; audition programs rise
It was ‘Running Man‘s year, with notable guests such as Park Ji Sung proving their ‘Running’ skills and establishing its place as the new ‘nation’s program’. The entire playing field went through a paradigm shift; the once-unbreakable wall of KBS’ ‘1 Night 2 Days‘ and ‘Qualifications of Men‘ broke down and SBS flooded the gaps with one quality program after another, with the aforementioned ‘Running Man’ as well as ‘K-Pop Star‘ and ‘Law of the Jungle‘. MBC, on the other hand, suffered through one failed program after next – the result of an extended labor strike as well as poor quality.
Audition programs continued spawning new ways to deliver singing contests to the television. Programs such as ‘K-Pop Star’ and Mnet‘s ‘Voice Korea‘ searched for new talents, leading to the unearthing of raw talent such as Park Ji Min and Lee Ha Yi. The ubiquity of auditions is expected to continue throughout the year, with a fourth season of the wildly popular ‘Superstar K‘ planned as well as season 2 of ‘K-Pop Star’.
MOVIES: the rise of 19+; wider audiences
It was a fantastic year for lovers of Korean film. Domestic productions held their own, new stars rose, and old stars shined again.
Movies for mature audiences did especially well, with successful films such as ‘Eunkyo‘ and ‘The Taste of Money‘ being rated 19+ and barred to young theatergoers.
Films also drew a wider audience, with some of this year’s biggest hits attracting viewers of a wide age range. ‘Introduction to Architecture‘ gained a domestic box office of over 4 million people, with the 30-40 male age group especially turning out in full force. (Possibly because of Suzy?)
DRAMA: The battle for Wednesday/Thursday; Ratings for MBC, Quality for SBS, Family for KBS
The battle for domination of the prized Wednesday-Thursday evening slot was particularly fierce this year, with all three stations launching new dramas at the same time. With SBS, KBS, and MBC releasing ‘Take Care of Us, Captain‘, ‘Wild Romance‘, and ‘The Moon That Embraces the Sun‘ on the exact same day (January 4th), the stage was set for an epic encounter – but the battle ended mildly, with MBC’s ‘Moon’ trumping both.
The battle reared forth again on March 21st, when all three dramas ended at the same time and were replaced with ‘Rooftop Prince‘ (SBS), ‘Equator Man‘ (KBS), and ‘The King 2 Hearts‘ (MBC). With completely opposing genres and interests, the three dramas waged a fierce battle with ratings going back-and-forth between each other. The final winner was ‘Rooftop Prince’, which managed a late-quarter rush to be crowned the ratings king.
The third round is currently ongoing, with ‘Ghost‘, ‘Bridal Mask‘, and ‘I Do I Do‘ currently airing at the same time.
The uncontested winner so far, encompassing the entire year, is without a doubt MBC’s ‘The Moon That Embraces the Sun’. Ending with a record rating of 42.2%, the ‘nation’s drama’ re-affirmed the popularity of its main leads and the historical tale.
Although MBC grabbed the ratings, popular support was higher for SBS dramas, which viewers praised as “like watching a movie” and “a well-made drama”. With current dramas such as ‘The Chaser‘, ‘Ghost’, and ‘A Gentleman’s Class‘ always the topic of conversation, popular opinion sides with SBS on the quality side.
KBS, meanwhile, emerged as the king of the weekend. The hit weekend drama ‘Ojakgyo Brothers‘ was a distinguished success, bringing out ratings as high as 36%.
MUSIC: The Busker Busker Syndrome
If one had to pick two words that were on everyone’s mouths this year, it would be ‘Busker Busker’. The rookie band that rocked ‘Superstar K3‘ swept the charts this year, with March and April seeing nothing but Busker Busker everywhere. Their new album, released in June, has also met an explosive response. Although going against heavy competition such as f(x), IU (earlier in the year), Wonder Girls, and After School, the indie trio managed to hold their own and establish themselves as a force to be reckoned with, despite having yet to appear on a single music program.
“It was like someone was whispering to me, sitting next to me,” enthused a new fan. “It has a special power to make you fall deeper in love the more you listen to it,” said another. Their producers, CJ E&M, said Busker Busker has been a resounding success. “In just three months since their debut, they built a successful brand for themselves and inspires confidence just by hearing their name.”
ISSUE: Shady CEO
One of the biggest stories this year dealt is the Open World Entertainment scandal, where the CEO, Jang Suk Woo, who had abused trainees using his power since 2008, in some cases mixing aphrodisiacs into their drinks before sexually assaulting them.
Following that scandalous case, a few more wrongdoings came to light as well.
The biggest reason lies in the unchecked growth of entertainment companies, which require very little effort to set up. Anyone can potentially set up a company, and currently there are over 2,000 agencies registered in South Korea, of which approximately 600 have joined a voluntary organization.
“Especially since K-Pop is now spreading all over the world, there is no question that this is an embarrassing incident,” said an entertainment agency insider. “It is not something that will happen in the vast majority of agencies. People that don’t care about producing are setting up companies and trampling on the dreams of the young people. It feels wrong labeling them as entertainment agencies, and we are worried that these cases will affect the public perception.”
Source: Sports Seoul via Nate (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
Using webtoons as source for movies can be double-edged sword
In recent years, the story lines of popular webtoons, or web cartoon series published online, have been the to-go choice for filmmakers when they find themselves short of fresh material to put on the big screen. However, using webtoons as a major source of films is considered a double-edged sword. The films are easy to publicize, but they have a high risk of becoming box-office failures if they can't provide viewers with something more than the original webtoon. A webtoon titled "A.P.T", written by first-generation webtoonist Kang Pool, was the first to be made into a horror movie of the same name, starring Ko So-young as the lead actress in 2006...
2NE1’s CL Reveals She Was Offered Roles in Hollywood Movies
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Block B’s Jae Hyo Files Report on Netizen for Sexual HarassmentTags : After School, braces, debut, Drama, Equator Man, F(x), GaIn, I Do I Do, Ji Sung, K-Pop Star, KBS, King 2 Hearts, Korean, Oman, Rooftop Prince, Running Man, South Korea, Suzy, The King 2 Hearts, Wild Romance, Wonder Girls x-rated korean movies x rated korean movies upcoming korean movies 2013 upcoming korean movies top rated r korean movies top korean movies romantic movies 2012 romantic korean movies 2012 romantic korean movies romantic comedy korean movies 2012
Jae Hyo, a member of boy group Block B, filed a police report after being sexually harassed by a netizen. According to a representative of Block B’s agency, Seven Seasons, “Jae Hyo was recently sexually harassed by a netizen through his/her mention of his name on his/her Twitter. The content is at a severe level that it is unrepeatable. Thus, we decided to report the incident to the team exclusively in charge of handling sexual violence at the Seoul Yongsan Police Department.” The representative added, “The content was so severe, and we had no choice but to report it...