Starting Today: School 2017 and The King Loves

Hi there, we are introducing our new regular feature called Starting Today, which basically reminds you (and me) that a certain drama or two or more will be going to premiere on the same day head on. It’s the latter in today’s case, with KBS’s School 2017 competing against MBC’s The King Loves at 10 pm KST.

Today is the second time this year in which dramas will premiere on the same day—Monday. The last one it happened was on May 22 when Fight For My Way, Lookout, and Circle got to air their first episodes. The first two shows already ended last week, so their respective successors will be taking over the time slot tonight. I was wondering why the networks have let this kind of situation to happen, thinking that it would be better to broadcast the first episode of drama X without rivaling another drama’s. But I then realized it makes sense to let it be, as delaying the premiere of drama X by a week just to avoid the start of another could actually result in lower ratings. Such a delay tactic would cause drama X to lose the opportunity to attract more viewers, who are now skeptical to watch its first episode because drama Y, which started a week earlier, has already caught their attention. So I’m assuming that is why School 2017 versus The King Loves is gonna kick off at the same time today.

School 2017

School 2017 Poster 1

KBS’s youth drama School 2017 is the seventh installment of the network’s long-running School series that started way back in 1999. I haven’t watched any of the past 6 installments, so I am not really sure what to expect in this new show. The synopsis is pretty simple: the drama will highlight a variety of important issues facing South Korea’s teenagers today with a girl named Ra Eun-ho (Kim Se-jeong) being the heroine. She is a cheerful student who ranks last in her class but possesses a talent in drawing. Although aware of her weakness, she decides to enter a prestigious university all because of her college crush named Jong Geun (Kang Min-hyuk).

Ra Eun-ho’s life will become more interesting when she meets trouble maker  Hyun Tae-woon (Kim Jung-hyun) and student body president Song Dae-whee (Jang Dong-yoon). The former is a son of a powerful figure in the school’s foundation and thus acts in any way he wants, being rude and prideful as a rich guy who transferred from the United States. The latter is his complete opposite; Jang Dong-yoon is a beloved student leader who is handsome, smart, and kind.

I have decided to give this drama a try, just so I could finally get a taste of this School franchise. Over the past weeks, I was skeptical because I don’t know the director and writer, who has only Naked Fireman and Cheer Up, respectively, attached to their names.

The King Loves

The King Loves Poster 1

In contrast, I’ve been waiting for The King Loves ever since I first heard of it in December last year. I haven’t seen the two lead actors in any drama before but I am a fan of Im Si-wan, aka Jang Geu-rae in my favorite Misaeng, who is now playing as Crown Prince of Goryeo. Quite a great leap from his previous character, isn’t it? From a lowly office worker, Im Si-wan is now playing a royal blooded Wang Won who is destined to become the next King of his country.

The King Loves is a historical melodrama that will center on Wang Won’s life as he falls in love with a woman and becomes an enemy to his best friend. Im Yoon-ah is taking on the role of a woman named Han Eun-san, the daughter of the wealthiest nobleman in Goryeo. She’s being a boon and a bane for the crown prince as she causes the betrayal of the relationship between him and his best friend Wang Rin (Hong Jong-hyun), who has also fallen in love with her. It sounds like a simple conflict stemming from a love triangle but I am truly expecting a lot from this drama considering that Song Ji-na wrote the script. I adored her Healer and Faith, and she’s considered a legend because of Eyes of Dawn and Sandglass, so it’s really hard for me to pass on this one.

The King Loves is the first completely pre-produced drama of MBC to air this year, so I’m really keeping my fingers crossed for this one to be really good, or at least be satisfying enough. I am not expecting too much because the pre-produced dramas that have to date in 2017 didn’t make a badass impression.

I’m gonna end this feature with this question: If you were in Korea and you have to watch one of the two dramas during its actual airing period, which one are you going to choose?

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