Penthouse S2 vs Love Alarm S2 - why the former worked and the latter didn't

Two flagship shows and two brand new seasons, one of them worked very well, the other left a bitter taste in the viewer's mouth! Read on to find out.
Love Alarm S2 dropped on March 12 Penthouse S2 vs Love Alarm S2 - why the former worked and the latter didn't
  • 0
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • Share on whatsapp

There is a reason why I gravitated towards Korean dramas was the fact that besides amazing storylines and stellar performances, K-dramas are finite! I cannot get myself to wait for a year to know what happens in the new season, the anxiety will kill me! However, with K-dramas, I could relish a series for 16 odd episodes, mourn it for a bit and move on. But, with time, I realised the versatile nature of K-dramas, that in fact, K-dramas weren't limited to a 16 episode format, but function in various format templates. So for new viewers, we have the standard 16 to 20 episode finite series, we have Makjang (long format exaggerated dramas), bite-sized (6 to 8 episode) dramas and web dramas. 

I don't change my viewing habits easily, but K-dramas are an exception to the rule. I began savouring makjang and weekend dramas, as much as my standard K-dramas. I watched The Penthouse S1 in January this year and was blown away! The Penthouse: War In Life is a makjang drama about the most elite people of South Korea and their sky-high ambitions and the extent they can go for wealth, power and status. The drama is amazing and keeps you on your toes, each episode offering multiple twists and turns, that will make anyone's hair stand on end. I finished the drama in four nights, the fastest I have taken to finish a drama. It is so addictive and binge-worthy, that I simply couldn't wait to watch season 2. 

Love Alarm is another drama I'm quite fond of. I'm not sure what is the reason, perhaps, because it is my introduction to the powerhouse of talent, that is Song Kang. I remember not loving the first season either, but when a season 2 was announced, I was excited to watch it. Maybe, it is the nostalgia that pulled me. I have to admit, as much as I loved The Penthouse S2, I was fairly disappointed with Love Alarm S2. I wonder why the former was successful and the latter not. 

Love Alarm S1 premiered in August 2019 with eight episodes and starred Kim So Hyun, Song Kang and Jung Ga Ram in lead roles. It is based on the eponymous, ongoing webtoon and revolves around the story of a technology that enables users to discover love through an application. The app notifies whether someone within the range of a 10-meter radius has romantic feelings for them. I quite liked the first season, mainly for Kim Jo Jo (Kim So Hyun) and Hwang Sun Oh (Song Kang)'s adorable chemistry. Their moments together were heart-fluttering and I sincerely hoped that season 2 would resurrect their romantic track once again. Unfortunately, that didn't happen and our lead girl walked away with Lee Hye Young, played by Jung Ga Ram, while our hero is with another girl. The ending left a bitter taste in the audience's mouth who wanted Jo Jo and Sun Oh to reunite! 

Also, the second season was overall, lackadaisical. Nothing stood out in particular, especially amongst the lead characters, and it is heartbreaking, considering they are immensely talented and good-looking actors. The material for season 2 of Love Alarm failed the actors and viewers and led to an underwhelming response for the show.

The Penthouse S2 on the other hand was highly anticipated as it was already the highest-rated TV show in Korea. The domestic popularity of the show propelled it to international stardom, and fans simply couldn't wait for February 19, the premiere date for season 2. Dubbed 'Skycastle On Stereiods', The Penthouse S2 opened with a bang! What The Penthouse S2 achieved over Love Alarm S2 was the fact that they cashed in on the hype and delivered what they promised the viewers. Every episode leaves you on the edge of your seat, making you want more of the drama. It is as if the makers have understood the viewers' pulse, something Love Alarm S2 couldn't achieve.

Love Alarm S2 aired almost three years post-season 1, the pandemic is to be blamed and failed to cash in on the hype they generated in the previous season. The second season was even shorter than the first one and didn't allow audiences to fully savour it. Perhaps, they could have incorporated more episodes and explained to us the characters' motives better.  Rumour has it, there is a season 3 in the pipeline for both the dramas. We hope that number 3 proves to be lucky for both the multi-season dramas. Fingers crossed. 

ALSO READ: Why Penthouse: War in Life is the unofficial King of Makjang dramas and one of the finest intense KDramas ever

What are your thoughts on this? Which one did you like The Penthouse S2 or Love Alarm S2? Share your thoughts with Pinkvilla in the comments below.

Have a COVID related Experience or Advice? Discuss & Share on PINKVILLA Rooms.