Prior to its debut, the K-drama Ddanddara, better known outside South Korea by its English title Entertainer, was highly anticipated among fans. The reason was that it marked the return of both Ji Sung and Hyeri since their last K-drama roles. For the former, Ji Sung was last seen in the extremely popular Kill Me, Heal Me in which he played Cha Do Hyun, a third-generation business heir who suffers from dissociative identity disorder. And for the latter, Hyeri recently finished up with Reply 1988 in which she played Sung Deok Sun. Needless to say, all that Hallyu star power is enough for K-drama fans, both locally in South Korea and internationally, to want to watch Ddanddara.
Unfortunately for Ddanddara, it is under fire after airing only four episodes. Among the reasons why include poor production and a rape scene Koreans believe was unnecessary to show.
For those who are unfamiliar with the new K-drama Ddanddara, it is about the Korean music industry. Shin Suk Ho (Ji Sung) is a successful director who works for KTOP Entertainment. After putting in his years which includes being the entity responsible for making Jackson the most popular K-pop group in the industry, Suk Ho decides to go independent. Unfortunately, he hits hard times and has to start from scratch, working from the bottom back to the top. He starts by assembling a new group headlined by a high school student named Jo Ha Neul (Minhyuk of CNBlue). However, Ha Neul is currently accused of being a sexual abuser by a friend despite his face showing innocence. This fact causes issues in the beginning, but thanks to Ha Neul's "big sister" Jung Geu Rin (Hyeri of Girl's Day), they are able to move forward on their new journey.
Putting aside the fact the main cast itself is pretty solid, the plot has a foundation for the K-drama to be very popular. Unfortunately, Koreans have found multiple faults within the first four episodes of Ddanddara airing, according to AllKpop. The first issues came with the airing of the first and second episode. Apparently, viewers thought the episodes were poorly produced. As a result, the producers made the decision to re-air the first two episodes, reproduced with original scenes cut from the initial airing. Advertisements were also deleted to make the story easier to approach.
"We sincerely appreciate all the viewers who gave us attention and advice following the airing of Ddanddara. To provide better service for our viewers, the re-airings have been made into a special directors cut. We are going to work harder to make Ddanddara more favorable to viewers, so please give us your support."
The airing of the scene referring to rape was negatively received by Korean viewers, saying the filming of such was unnecessary, and the narration alone would have been fine. Some even accused the Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS), the production company airing Ddanddara, of airing provocative scenes to increase viewership ratings. Some even brought up the female victim, though she may be of age, is portraying a minor.
At this moment, SBS has not responded to the criticisms towards the rape scene in Episode 4. And just so it is made known, Korean television has aired such subjective scenes, but they are mostly on pay or premium channels, not on free channels like SBS.
Ddanddara is currently airing on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 9:55 p.m. KST on SBS. For those who do not have access to Korean channels, the series is available for viewing by its English title Entertainer, for free with ads on both Viki and DramaFever.
[Image via Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS) Promotions for Ddanddara]