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Why Netflix Originals’ Korean Shows Are So Different From Regular K-Dramas

Nobelle Borines

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  • People think that ‘Kingdom’ is truly unique for bringing together several genres.
  • However, there are other reasons why the zombie-flavored period drama is so different from other K-dramas.
  • The writer behind ‘Kingdom’ revealed that it has to do with the freedom she got from Netflix.

It’s no secret that the new Netflix series Kingdom is very different from other popular South Korean shows. After all, the series combines several genres to tell a truly compelling story. However, there are more reasons why the period drama – with all its zombies – is so different from those regular K-dramas you know and love.

Kim Eun-Hee is the writer of Kingdom and the webcomic series it is based on, and she has admitted that working with Netflix is very different from producing other K-dramas. For instance, Kim revealed that she doesn’t have to worry about ratings or the pressure of giving fan service.

‘Kingdom’ isn’t like your typical K-drama because of surprising reasons

According to Kim, regular K-dramas are required to abide by certain rules put in place by Korean broadcasters. However, this was something she didn’t need to be concerned with when working with Netflix.

“First of all, when it comes to working with Korean terrestrial broadcasters, we are never free from the pressure of ratings,” Kim said. “And there’s also the factor of having instant and very immediate feedback from the viewers, which sometimes results in having to make revisions to the script and whatnot.”

Although shows like ‘Crash Landing Into You’ and ‘Itaewon Class’ are also on Netflix, they are still produced by Korean broadcasters

This is an interesting point considering that Korean broadcasters often put pressure on writers to pay attention to what viewers want to see in the series. On the other hand, Kim revealed that she was already writing Season 2 while the first season of Kingdom was in production.

Gruesome scenes like this one would have to be censored in regular K-dramas

In addition to having creative freedom, Kim shared that censorship was never an issue with Netflix. This means that the series was free to show as much blood and gore as possible.

The second season of Kingdom is currently streaming on Netflix.

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