The term “Soon-ok innocence”means that it is meaningless to consider the probability of characters, stories, etc. within the worldview of writer Kim Soon-ok, who is called the godmother of extreme storyline dramas
Dramtic setting and development always guarantee viewership, so the word “Soon-ok innocence” is coined to refer to Kim Soon-ok’s works. Representatively, her works “Temptation of Wife,” “Miss Mermaid,” “Jang Bo-ri Is Here,” “My Daughter, Geum Sa-wol,” “The Last Empress,” and “Penthouse” boasted high ratings and became hits.
Although writer Kim Soon-ok has been writing stories full of secrets of birth, affairs, violence and murder, and her new drama “The Escape of the Seven” advocates “Vengeance of the Villains” and foreshadows that it will be a Picaresque revenge, viewers are complaining about the excessive setting.
“The Escape of the Seven” is a drama about a girl who disappeared with the lies and desires of countless people, the survival struggle of seven musicians involved in the disappearance of the girl, murders, and the crimes of the current musicians. The drama has been broadcast until the third episode.
Geum Ra-hee (played by Hwang Jung-eum), the head of a drama production company, struggled to get investment from her father-in-law Bang Chul-sung (played by Lee Deok-hwa) using her biological daughter. In the past, she abandoned her biological daughter but visited her again and acted out fake motherhood with tears, but if things did not go as she wanted, she often drove her daughter Dami (played by Jung La-el) to the edge of the cliff. Eventually, when her relationship with Dami deteriorated again, she stopped Dami regardless of whether her past would be revealed.
Han Mo-ne (Lee Yu-bi), a friend who approached Dami, had a relationship and gave birth in the school art room, which was seen by Dami. To help her cover it, Dami lied that she loved her adoptive father, Lee Hwi-so (Min Young-ki), and gave birth to the child.
Dami’s teacher, Ko Myung-ji (Cho Yoon-hee), testified that Dami gave birth even though she knew the truth for her desire, and Cha Joo-ran (Shin Eun-kyung), an obstetrician and gynecologist, manipulated the results and made it as if Dami gave birth. Police officer Nam Chul-woo (played by Cho Jae-yoon) also accused Lee Hwi-so, who fabricated the case and killed Dami, of being suspected of drugs.
It was filled with unpleasant settings such as high school students’ relationship, on-campus childbirth, school violence, child abuse, drugs, and murder teachers. Even if extreme development is a build-up to create greater pleasure in the future, reckless violence and sensationalism only induced unnecessary fatigue. It was seen only as things to stimulate viewers who have already become immune to writer Kim Soon-ok’s setting of the curtain. Surprisingly, many of these settings are poured out at the beginning of the play, and a more intense story is expected to unfold in the future.
In the end, eight complaints were filed with the Korea Communications Standards Commission regarding the contents of the “Escape of the Seven.” Kim Soon-ok’s previous work, “Pent House,” was also subject to court sanctions after complaints were filed by the Korea Communications Standards Commission for scenes such as apartment crash deaths, affairs, and violence.
At that time, the Korea Communications Standards Commission said, “Scenes of excessive violence by teenagers can expose young viewers to the risk of copycat crimes.” Legal sanctions are inevitable due to the high degree of violation of deliberation regulations, such as re-broadcasting these broadcasts as they are during the youth viewing protection time and disabling the broadcaster’s own deliberation system.
The reason why terrestrial broadcasters accept dramas with sensational settings is because of the their weakened position. As content consumption has changed since the pandemic, OTT (Over-the-top media service) is rapidly growing, and terrestrial broadcasting is struggling to fall behind OTT.
“The Escape of The Seven” accounted for only 6.7% of ratings. This is a disastrous result compared to the previous ‘Penthouse’, which was close to 30%. “Penthouse” hit a jackpot, but “The Escape of the Seven” has weak firepower despite its more intense storyline.