In its first two weeks on air "The Penthouse" improved on an impressive start of 9.2% in its first episode to a commanding margin of 13.9% in its fourth episode. The upper class themed thriller has struck a major chord with audiences. The intensity was high from the very beginning, as the drama opened up with a person falling to their death from the titular penthouse, with subsequent episodes only relatively recently catching up to the context of this shocking prologue.
"The Penthouse" has been a big surprise in part due to its understated marketing, which only hinted at serious social competition between upper class women. Much of the actual plot of "The Penthouse" actually revolves around the teenage children of the adult leads attempting to gain entry to an elite university to achieve their dreams of being classical vocalists. Eugene and Kim So-yeon have emerged as the major protagonists of this drama, with bad history regarding their own dreams.
But Lee Ji-ah has been more of the focus lately, with her own backstory featuring huge, outrageously dramatic spins as the surviving widow of a vicious murder who has since married Uhm Ki-joon, who plays a particularly nasty character that's come to the forefront as the drama's chief villain. Yet at the same time "The Penthouse" has also had surprising comic relief. Much of the fourth episode was played as farce as the villains worked to cover up a crime scene.
With the preview for the fourth episode promising more extreme lows of character suffering, the stage seems set for comeuppance of some form or another. Despite being criticized for its more mawkish elements, "The Penthouse" has shown surprising lingering appeal. The drama's fifth episode will air on Monday night on SBS at ten in the evening.
Written by William Schwartz
Staff writer. Has been writing articles for HanCinema since 2012, having lived in South Korea since 2011. Started out in Gyeongju, then to Daegu, then to Ansan, then to Yeongju, then to Seoul, lived on the road for HanCinema's travel diaries series in the summer of 2016, and is currently settled in Anyang. Has good tips for utilizing South Korea's public bus system. William Schwartz can be contacted via email@example.com. He also has a substack at williamschwartz.substack.com where he discusses the South Korean film industry in broader terms and takes suggestions for future movies to review.
"[HanCinema's News] Expectations High for "The Penthouse" Going into Its Third Week"
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