In a drama marketplace where anything with under ten percent ratings is increasingly seen as a failure, it's easy to lose track of the lower profile releases. But some cable dramas have been focusing more on story and concept than broad appeal. These dramas have built reliable audiences, albeit not exceptional ones, in part on the power of their subversive takes on specific genre standards.
"WATCHER" is one such drama that's easy to miss, because its crime procedural concept is by far the most common under OCN's brand. Where "WATCHER" has distinguished itself is that the story constantly casts doubts on evidence and eyewitness testimony - normally the mainstays of any crime procedural. Though the main characters are all police officers, all are seen as having their own agendas and thus have varying levels of trustworthiness.
"Designated Survivor: 60 Days" is based on the American drama of the same title. The American version assumes basic trust in American governmental institutions. "Designated Survivor: 60 Days" reverses that idea. Innate societal suspicion of the people who make up the South Korean government is a key part of the plot. The political figures featured in the drama are not considered trustworthy - an image problem the title character himself must also struggle to overcome.
"Class of Lies" is another OCN original drama that, as per that drama's brand, is a crime thriller. However, in this case the setting is a high school for children of wealth. The conflict revolves around how the parents of those children pull strings to make any attempt to truthfully resolve the investigation hopeless. It explores how people become unwitting accomplices of crimes they neither condone nor support - a far cry from the deliberate conspiracies more popular in this kind of genre fiction.
Written by William Schwartz
"WATCHER" is directed by Ahn Gil-ho, written by Han Sang-woon, and features Han Suk-kyu, Seo Kang-joon, Kim Hyun-joo, Heo Sung-tae, Park Joo-hee, Joo Jin-mo-I. Broadcasting information in Korea: 2019/07/06~Now airing, Sat, Sun 22:20 on OCN.
"Designated Survivor: 60 Days" is directed by Yoo Jong-seon, written by Kim Tae-hee-I, and features Ji Jin-hee, Heo Joon-ho, Kang Han-na, Lee Joon-hyuk, Bae Jong-ok, Kim Gyu-ri. Broadcasting information in Korea: 2019/07/01~Now airing, Mon, Tue 21:30 on tvN.
"Class of Lies" is directed by Park Ji-hyun-II, Seong Yong-il, written by Jang Hong-chul, and features Yoon Kyun-sang, Geum Sae-rok, Choi Yu-hwa, Jun, Choi Gyu-jin, Han So-eun. Broadcasting information in Korea: 2019/07/17~Now airing, Wed, Thu 23:00 on OCN.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's News] Low Profile Dramas "Watcher", "Designated Survivor: 60 Days", and "Class of Lies" Gain Steady Following"
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