‘A Korean Odyssey’ may face further delay

By Yoon Min-sik
  • Published : Jan 2, 2018 - 17:29
  • Updated : Jan 2, 2018 - 17:29
Trouble-ridden drama “A Korean Odyssey” may face another bump in the road, as the already-postponed episodes three and four are facing possibly yet another delay.

On Tuesday local media reported that the tvN show -- for Saturdays and Sundays -- may not be aired this week. The show was put on delay for at least a week last week, after a staff member was injured while working on set.

The Ministry of Employment and Labor has commenced an investigation into the incident, as will the police. 

Poster for "A Korean Odyssey" (tvN)

MBC Art, which employs the staff in question, has recently filed charges against the show’s production company for professional negligence and threats against an employee.

The production team is reported to be on stand-by, ahead of the police investigation that will start on Wednesday.

In an official statement, officials said nothing has been set yet. “We will notify (the media) after things are confirmed. We already said the show will be delayed for at least a week.”

The accident had further fueled criticism against the show that had already been bashed for its poor quality.

During the episode that aired on Dec. 24, the production staff failed to digitally remove wires attached to the actors, leaving them exposed to viewers. The fiasco was capped off with an extensive commercial break and the show abruptly ended mid-episode.

The incident had highlighted the production environment of TV dramas in Korea, which many had argued are inadequate to produce a quality show.

One of the first problems was the hectic schedule. The show denied such claims that the production was rushed, saying that the shooting started early October. It did, however, admit that that computer graphics for the second episode – which aired Dec. 24 -- was completed later than expected.

Another problem was that the show’s lead Lee Seung-gi joined the crew after he was discharged from his mandatory military duties on Oct. 31, nearly a month after the show started shooting. This would have been a problem, as the show featured him heavily.

In an interview with the local media, culture critic Ha Jae-geun said that the production team’s optimism about the schedule would have led to the production fiasco.

“They (the producers) should’ve A) made sure Lee joined the crew on time, or B) postponed the show, but they did nothing,” he said.

Lee pointed out that such a rushed process is rampant in Korean TV.

Director Park Hong-kyun, who is at the helm of “A Korean Odyssey,” is infamous for forcing his actors and staff through a rushed schedule. Actor Ji Sung, who starred in Park’s 2011 drama “New Heart,” revealed in a past interview that he was sleep-deprived for 30 straight days.

Actors have also voiced concerns over the so-called “page-script,” referring to the script distributed to the actors in pages, containing only a fraction of the show. The rest of the show is written as the show is being shot, with changes being made on the fly. This often causes problems in both the acting -- as they have little time to prepare their scenes -- and continuity errors. 

By Yoon Min-sik