April 16, 2024
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Can “The Escape of the Seven: Resurrection” Find Success?

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Can The Escape of the Seven Resurrection Find Success

SBS drama “The Escape of the Seven: War for Survival” and “The Escape of the Seven: Resurrection”: overshadowed by the personal life of actress Hwang Jung-eum

Hwang Jung eum at The Escape of the Seven War for Survival

Despite a hefty production budget exceeding 46 billion won, SBS’s drama “The Escape of the Seven: War for Survival” and its sequel “The Escape of the Seven: Resurrection” are struggling to gain traction. The unexpected pre-release buzz surrounding “The Escape of the Seven: Resurrection” stemmed not from the drama itself, but from actress Hwang Jung-eum’s personal life. Following their publicized separation, Hwang Jung-eum revealed she was embroiled in a divorce lawsuit with her husband, professional golfer and businessman Lee Young-don. This news came after a previous attempt at reconciliation, which included Hwang Jung-eum filing for divorce mediation before ultimately reuniting. “The Escape of the Seven: War for Survival” also marked Hwang Jung-eum’s return to acting after her decision to reunite and have their second child.

Unfortunately, Unfortunately, Hwang Jung-eum, who had a scary second breakup after reuniting, particularly after she publicly exposed infidelity as the reason for the divorce on social media. This shifted the public’s focus squarely onto Hwang Jung-eum’s personal life, overshadowing the drama itself. This trend continued at the production presentation. All eyes were on Hwang Jung-eum, eager to hear her address the situation at her first official appearance since the divorce lawsuit. In a brief statement, Hwang Jung-eum apologized if she caused trouble for the drama, but she loved the project and wanted to do it. She reiterated the separation of professional and personal lives, claiming she remained focused solely on the drama during filming.

Despite Hwang Jung-eum’s hopes, the drama seems destined for collateral damage. While she may generate publicity, the “divorce lawsuit” and “breakup” labels are likely to stick. Notably, season 1 director Joo Dong-min stepped down from “The Escape of the Seven: Resurrection,” with co-director PD Oh Joon-hyuk taking the helm.

“The Escape of the Seven: War for Survival” – A Disappointing First Season

Premiering on the 29th, “The Escape of the Seven: Resurrection” picks up where its predecessor, “The Escape of the Seven: War for Survival,” left off last year. It follows the intense collaboration of seven individuals reborn for another round of revenge. The original cast, including Uhm Ki-joon, Hwang Jung-eum, Lee Yoo-bi, and Yoon Jong-hoon, reunite for this season.

However, “The Escape of the Seven: War for Survival” concluded with minimal anticipation for a sequel. Right from the start, the drama faced endless criticism for its excessive makjang elements involving child abuse, surrogate motherhood, and teacher bribery. The unrealistic plot alienated viewers, turning it into a drama not even worth watching out of spite, but simply one to avoid altogether.

Despite the season format being established during the planning stages, filming for season 2 continued despite the negativity surrounding season 1. Likely fueled by the success of writer Kim Soon-ok’s prior work, “The Penthouse,” the production team for “The Escape of the Seven” did not anticipate such underwhelming results. Despite the massive investment, the viewership rating peaked at a mere 7.2% and dipped further to 5.2% in the latter half.

A Second Chance for “The Escape of the Seven”?

Kim Soon-ok, the drama’s writer, is known for incorporating makjang elements into her work. Whether “The Escape of the Seven: Resurrection” will continue the outlandish plot of its predecessor or adopt a more toned-down approach remains to be seen. Regardless, it’s crucial for the drama to avoid being overshadowed by one actress’s personal struggles. It’s time for viewers to see Hwang Jung-eum not as herself, but as her character, Geum Ra-hee.

“The Escape of the Seven: Resurrection” is a South Korean revenge drama premiering on March 29, 2024. It picks up where season one, “The Escape of the Seven: War for Survival,” left off, following a group of seven determined to exact revenge.

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