I remember the days when my teacher asks me to write a paper, with the minimum number of words or pages that needs to be filled. I remember sometimes I’d make the paper with wider margins, padded the sentences with unnecessary words to fulfill the requirement.
The problem with drama extensions is just like that. The screenwriters are originally allotted a certain amount of time to tell a story, e.g. 16 episodes, then suddenly there’s a two episode extension. Usually the question comes down to, “Are there sufficient writing material for 18 or 20 episodes?”
The solution, supposedly, is the pad the story so the drama will make it to the number of extended episodes. However, the solution usually leads to more problems. What kind of padding material? If it’s just fluff or telling other stories for the sake of just telling other stories, it waters down the quality of the drama.
The other solution is to slow down the pace of the story and stretch it, like adding more words to a sentence. But that’s also a problem. Viewers are attracted to the momentum the drama originally built, and may not be patient enough to wait for the story to develop in a slower pace.
Extension usually means more money is someone’s pocket, it is easier for the production team to say yes than to say no. The trick is to find enough material that can still make the story have good momentum without watering down the quality of the show. This is something that only very few 16- or 20-episodes shows can do.
IMHO, I think The Master’s Sun is one of those shows that has some flexibility withthe storyline, so on the writing side, extension would not be as problematic, as to say, Protect the Boss. I’m still on board with the concept of ghost of the episode, so a few more formidable spirits should not hurt the pace of the story.
What I’d really, really like to see, is to have Lee Jong-hyuk as Giant’s CEO come back to compete with JuGun for TaeYang’s love and as business rivals. For fun, I like them to devolve into 9-year-old boys in a recess fight for lunch money and the girl. Lee Jong-hyuk told us he can do that back in A Gentleman’s Dignity, and we have evidence So Ji-sub as JuGun is already doing that while shaking KangWoo’s beers and throw them back in the fridge.
I’m least interested in having Auntie Joo to step in and make this drama all makjang, like trying to make TaeYang go away, or have Uncle VP in this long conspiracy fit to take over Kingdom while JuGun is in a coma. There are already plenty of angst in this drama. We have yet to establish Hanna’s (HeeJoo’s twin) true intentions, her motive to steal the diamond necklace in the first place, and whether she and HeeJoo are related to the JuGun’s family in other ways besides JuGun’s initial involvement with HeeJoo. I think there’s plenty of material on that front, so detours into cliche land is something I’d not like to see.
Crossing my fingers on the extension thing. I really hate shaken beer or soda. 😛