Go to contents

Live show's broadcast accident

Posted December. 27, 2017 07:27,   

Updated December. 27, 2017 07:43


The first broadcasting station of Korea HLKZ-TV was founded jointly by Korea and the United States in May 1956. For the first TV show of Korea “Heaven’s Door,” which was broadcasted in July, actor Choi Sang-hyeon and Lee Nak-hoon’s play in a studio was filmed and broadcasted in real-time. The TV Show “Condemned Criminal” filmed in September settled into shape (60-minute long episodes and two cameras with close-up shooting features), but was also a live broadcast. TV shows, dramas and even commercials were broadcasted live due to lack of recording devices.

There have been quite a few live broadcast shows even after the technical limitations had been overcome. An episode (The Debate) of NBC’s political TV drama “West Wing” broadcasted in November 2005 garnered a lot of attention because it live broadcasted a debate of Republican and Democratic presidential candidates. The actors intensively studied political issues to prepare for the show, and pulled the theatrics twice for two rounds of broadcast in the Eastern and Western states, taking into account the time difference. This demonstrates that the dramatic effect of a live show is created by thorough preparation and practice.

Korea’s live shows are starkly different from this. Each episode is produced right before broadcast just like live shows due to various reasons such as star actors’ schedule, scripts given out on the very day of recording and the broadcast station hungry for higher ratings. Even though some TV drama series such as “Descendants of the Sun” were prerecorded and successful, production companies often avoid prerecording as it is difficult to get sponsorships and reflect viewer feedbacks on the show. The very thought of preproduction is unthinkable in a situation where scripts are forced to be changed if ratings are low and the broadcast is extended if ratings are high.

This “live” show of Korea has gotten itself into a trouble recently, as tvN’s “Hwayuki” suffered broadcast errors on Sunday. Even after two delays, viewers witnessed the green board background and stunt scene wires exposed due to computer graphic errors. It was an accident even worse than the live broadcast of the 1960s. tvN explained that the production crew’s desire to make the show better led to a mishap, but it would be irresponsible to blame the hard work of the production crew. The embarrassing reality of Korean dramas has been laid bare to the world.

Sung-Won Joo swon@donga.com