It is a beautiful Saturday morning and glorious sunshine is beaming through my bay window but here I am, watching episode 5 of Orange Marmalade (OM) and blogging about it.
What a turn of events five weeks into the premiere of this highly anticipated vampire fantasy teen drama. This one is currently getting butchered on social media.
At this rate, will there be any viewers left after episode 5? Will KBS consider shortening it like tvN’s Ex-Girlfriend Club? Experiment gone awry?
Ratings for OM were below expectations from the start and no one would be surprised if they keep sliding. Even Korean Netizens are finding these climactic turn of events befuddling.
I cannot remember in recent memory where a drama has made me ride through such a dramatic love hate relationship.
- Episode 1 & 2 – loved it! It delivered as promised in the teasers
- Episode 3 – the head scratching starts…..why so fast paced?
- Episode 4 – the jaw dropped in disbelief…..what the heck just happened?
- Episode 5 – is this a brand new story….curiosity creeps in
Prior to watching episode 4, I had read on social media that the story is going to be split into three parts consisting of the present, past and future with the past being a sageuk presentation. I couldn’t quite believe my eyes, and was in denial for a whole week, hoping these were groundless rumours but, as the saying goes, where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
Bam! My hope came crashing down in episode 4. Shi Hoo dead? Jae Min amnesia? Previews of the characters in hanboks? Arghh! My stomach started churning in despair. Why? Why? Why? Why mess with a good formula?
The usual me would have dropped this drama after this train wreck. However, curiosity got the better of me and I finished episode 5 this morning and unexpectedly with no fast forwarding. Sageuk’s not my bread and butter but I did enjoy Sungkyunkwan Scandal but that doesn’t say much.
So many questions are swirling in my head. This makes for a compelling kdrama case study. Just like any competitive for profit business entity, everyone is looking for that single differentiator and wow factor that sets it apart from the competition, to rise above mediocrity, to get it noticed and ultimately to bring in the $$$.
Case study questions
- why borrow a popular webtoon but change 90% of it and risk pissing off the diehard fans?
- is it a time travel or is it not? So far it feels like 2 separate stories or to be 3?
- why jam so much into each episode? why not stretch it out over 16 episodes rather than the advertised 12?
- why the once a week format when most fans are expecting two episodes a week?
- why the shock value? is it going according to script?
- what convinced the execs to sign off on this project? would love to be a fly in the wall at these board meetings
- what made rising star Yeo Jin Gu sign up for this? is this stretching his creative talent? did he get a huge signing bonus?
- is this creative genius or an experiment gone awry?
Nevertheless, I have decided to stick this one out. It is thankfully only 12 episodes. Why? Just to satisfy my inquiring mind. The above questions are nagging at me. I may not get all the answers but it is one homework that I will strive to complete.
What about you? Care to join me?
Related posts from other equally baffled bloggers:
- Episode 4 review by Snow at The Drama Corner
- Episode 4 review by The Crazy Ahjummas
- Episode 4 review by Dramabeans