Descendants Of The Sun: Why it is Korea’s No. 1 drama

LIVEFEED - Bibsy M. Carballo - The Philippine Star

GMA 7 is the first network to air Koreanovelas in the Philippines, starting in 2003 with Bright Girl, followed by Endless Love: Autumn in my Heart, Stairway to Heaven, Jewel in the Palace, Full House, My Name is Kim Sam Soon, Jumong and many more.

Full House recorded an average rating of 42.3 percent and became the highest-rated Koreanovela in the Philippines. And because of the success of Koreanovelas, GMA produced remakes of My Name is Kim Sam Soon, All About Eve, Stairway to Heaven, Full House, Coffee Prince, Temptation of Wife and soon My Love from the Star.

And now the Kapuso Network brought Descendants Of The Sun, this year’s biggest Korean drama, that premiered last July 25.

It tells the story of a handsome young captain of a South Korean Special Forces Unit named Lucas Yoo (played by Song Joong-ki) and a beautiful doctor Maxine Kang (Song Hye-kyo) who try to cope with the pressures of their jobs but still manage to find love.

Descendants Of The Sun was not only a major hit in Korea, it also received immense popularity worldwide. The show earned high ratings in South Korea aired over KBS 2TV and in China on iQiyi, from February through middle of April 2016 and broke viewership records. Many Asian broadcasters bought the rights to air the 16-episode drama which led its producers to have the show translated into 32 languages that include Pilipino. It has been sold to more than 27 countries, including the UK. It was also able to surpass the ratings of My Love from the Star, posting an average rating of 30.09 percent and thus, making Descendants Of The Sun as Korea’s No. 1 drama to date.

According to Sunshine Navarro of The Christian Times, it cannot be denied that Descendants Of The Sun was a huge success, which could be greatly attributed to the unique chemistry of its lead stars. The series took the world by storm, and now, there are speculations that the actors of the series are in a relationship in real life.

In fact, Jung Sung Ho, the head of KBS Drama Department, has announced that the network is planning to do the second season next year. “KBS will strive to produce a second Descendants Of The Sun to meet expectations and repay viewers,” Jung said. “We plan to launch Descendants Of The Sun project for broadcast in 2017 through negotiations with the cast and production team,” he added.

On Philippine TV, Descendants Of The Sun also marks the return of Joong-ki and Hye-kyo to GMA. Joong-ki’s previous drama Innocent Man where he played Maru, and Hye Kyo’s series Full House where she is known as Jessie, were both aired in the Kapuso Network.

Most Filipinos love to watch a fast-paced drama, with different styles of stories that we can relate to, and they found it in Koreanovelas. Here are some netizens’ opinions:

Rhoncris de Paz, “I’m a Korean drama addict. Story transition is very fast, it takes 16 to 20 episodes and that’s it...tapos.”

Connie Manjares, “Magaganda storya ng Koreanovela, nakakakilig, nakaka-in-love. Hindi nakakasawang ulitin panoorin at maigsi lang. Maganda rin naman ang teleserye ng Pinoy, maiiyak ka kasi karamihan ng kwento ay nangyayari din sa tunay na buhay, pero minsan sa sobrang haba nawawala na yung momentum sa pagfeel ng kwento.”

(For comments, call 571-1569, e-mail at [email protected] or text 0917-8991835.)

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