SBS Monday-Tuesday drama ‘Paradise Meadow’ ended on the 15th drenched in the smell of spring.
‘Paradise Meadow’ garnered great interest even before its airing as it was the debut drama of TVXQ’s Choikang Changmin that was edited and completed before it was aired. When its lid finally opened, it received a constant stream of love from netizens throughout the entire series that seemed to match the anticipation that came before the airing date. Though it was not classified as a ‘hit’ because its viewer ratings jumped around 10%, it received a steady support from viewers of all ages.
◇Excess drama isn’t necessary to succeed.. A good-natured drama’s success story
The biggest accomplishment by ‘Paradise Meadow’ was its ability to draw viewers in and maintain high popularity regardless of the fact that it did not contain any unnecessary drama. Though drama series with too much drama are criticized heavily, such drama acts like ‘insurance’ and ensures broadcasting companies high viewer ratings. On the other hand, ‘good-natured’ dramas have always been greeted with a warm reception but never have they really succeeded in terms of viewer ratings.
Though ‘Paradise Meadow’ didn’t rake in large viewer ratings, it received a surprisingly high interest from viewers, taking into consideration the difficulties that came with the time slot it was in (8:50pm).
‘Paradise Meadow’ is the story of two people who marry at a young age, divorce and meet again six years later on Jeju Island, only to fight, make up and learn to love again. It didn’t contain any birth secrets, acts of adultery or over-dramatic twists that seem to flood most dramas these days. It wasn’t bubbly and surprising like a soft drink; instead, it was warm, light and fresh like healthy food you would never get sick of.
◇The ‘majesty’ of a drama 100% edited and completed in advance
‘Paradise Meadow’, which was SBS’ last 9 o’clock Monday-Tuesday drama, became a hot topic before it aired due to the fact that it was edited and completed before its first airing date.
The shooting took place over a period of six months from December 17th, 2009 till May 26th of last year, and was completed over another six month period. Thanks to this hard work, Jeju Island’s beautiful landscape was properly appreciated and the plot, editing, background music and transitions between scenes flowed as smooth as running water.
It is a stark contrast with recent dramas such as ‘Secret Garden’ and ‘Sign’, that seemed to chase a hastily written script every episode and that ended up making a gross error. Even the full stop that ended the drama was perfect.
Female lead Lee Yeon Hee stated in an interview with AsiaE Sports Today that, “Honestly, I worried that people would say bad things about the drama. Other dramas are able to communicate and take into account the opinions of the viewers, but we couldn’t change anything because we had already filmed and completed everything,” and “But the way the drama was completed taught me once more of the importance of creating a drama that is of a high quality, even if it takes a while to complete.”
The director of ‘Paradise Meadow’, a well-made romantic drama, was none other than PD Kim Cheol Gyu of ‘Daemul’. He was able to showcase his unique style and was applauded for his talents of drawing the viewers deeper into the plot every episode.
◇From major to minor character.. ‘A rediscovery of the actors’
If we were to choose the beneficiaries of ‘Paradise Meadow’, it would have to be Shim Changmin (Choikang Changmin) and Lee Yeon Hee. Shim Changmin was able to earn the title of ‘actor’ through this drama and Lee Yeon Hee was able to silence all controversies surrounding her acting. They were showered in praise by viewers for their diverse emotions, from the bright and free moments to the sad and earnest approaches.
Joo Sang Wook, who rose to fame in the drama ‘Giant’, was able to change his image into a ‘Daddy Long-Legs’ man and Lim Soo Hyang, who appeared as Lee Yeon Hee’s sister, captured the attention of many in the industry for her change in character, that was completely different from her previous one in ‘New Tales of Gisaeng’.
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