Disney+ newest kdrama is here, “Grid” episode 1 aired earlier today and I am here to talk about it.
Disney+ has had a rocky start in South Korea, despite a good amount of initial subscribers when the service launched, the streaming platform has been struggling to keep people coming back.
According to previous reports in December of 2021, the daily active users of the platform had already saw a 45% decline from 590K on the day of the launch of Disney+, to 310K daily active users as of December 12. The controversy of “Snowdrop” has not had a positive effect on the platform as it was marked their first ever kdrama. Since then, they’ve released “Rookie Cops,” which has received mixed responses depending on who you ask.
Here comes “Grid” which is what you can label their first ever ‘experimental’ or ‘daring’ project.
Note: this will be a spoiler review of the said episodes in the title. This is a subjective review.
I was excited about this one, this is my first Disney+ Kdrama as well. I was excited for the drama not only because of the lineup but also because of the screenwriter who has many notable credits to her name, Lee Soo-Yeon has written “Stranger.”
I think the introduction for “Grid” was done okay, but the jumping between timelines was done sloppily, they either needed to commit to the story in the 2000s or the 90s and then introduce our leads in the next episode, or begin with the leads in the present day before going back to the past in later episodes.
I think they made this decision because the drama only airs once weekly, I have issues with this approach that I will get to later, but I understand the editing decisions, do I think it looks good? No, but I get it!
Luckily for them, “Grid” has an interesting story. I like sci-fi, there is a lot of room where you can take your plot and it sounds interesting. Its a bit all over the place as of now because we’re only one episode in but the crumbs of ‘clues’ and ‘conflicts’ we were given in this episode are enough to keep me guessing. Its also slightly ‘odd,’ which I like.
Now moving onto the very weird trajectory of DisneyPlus expanding into South Korea. Everyone is playing catch up with Netflix at this point and I don’t see Disney+ coming close to being on the same stage, yet.
First, the release schedules for their dramas are all over the place. So “Rookie Cops” gets two episodes weekly but “Grid” gets one episode weekly, can they please let us know how many episodes are getting released weekly? This is very confusing.
Also, the one-episode format is very difficult to pull off for kdramas, especially since us kdrama fans are so used to either getting two episodes weekly or the entire drama is dropped all at once. I liked the premiere of “Grid” but it was too short and it doesn’t feel enough.
I know this is about personal taste but I don’t generally find most projects appropriate for a one-episode per week format. I get their decision is heavily influenced by the fact that they need subscribers to keep coming back to the platform regularly, but at this stage, its about providing as much entertainment as you can to hook people in, keep the one-episode release format for later when you have VERY BIG names lead your projects.
I know some people will likely wait for the entire drama to wrap up before watching it. This already defeats the purpose of their release schedule. This isn’t what everyone likes and I am not implying that, but I know that if you wanted to hook kdrama fans in, use the same format they’re used to, if you find success, begin experimenting. Don’t do it the other way around.
Regardless, “Grid” looks promising. With such type of plot, it can go South pretty fast, but it also has the potential to become a good drama. Only time will tell.
So these are my thoughts on “Grid” episode 1, so what about you guys? did you like the episodes? let me know what you thought in the comment section below.