“The Penthouse” Writer Picks Favorite Scenes, Shares Gratitude For Eugene, Responds To Fan Theories, And More

The writer of hit SBS drama “The Penthouse” recently sat down for an interview to look back on Seasons 1 and 2 and give a peek into the final season!

The June 4 premiere of “The Penthouse 3recorded higher ratings than the first two season premieres, peaking at 21.9 percent.

When asked to pick the most memorable scenes from Seasons 1 and 2, writer Kim Soon Ok shared, “In episode 20, the scene where the people of Hera Club escape from the van and are wading in the dirty water was most memorable. In Ma Ri’s [Shin Eun Kyung‘s] narration, she addresses the fantastic party of Hera Palace, but in reality, they’re bickering over who’s going to go first through the dirty water because they all want to live, so the contrast was shown well. I think viewers also would have felt euphoric at that first punishment.”

She continued, “If those people genuinely begged for forgiveness then, the tragedy of Season 2 probably wouldn’t have happened. In Season 2, the second punishment for these unchanging people occurs. I remember the scenes I had most fun writing were when Shim Soo Ryeon [Lee Ji Ah] transformed into Na Ae Gyo and pretended to get hit by Joo Dan Tae’s [Uhm Ki Joon‘s] car, and when she asks ‘What day is it today?’ to the police after being stuck in the basement.”

In addition to its thrilling character relationships, “The Penthouse” also garnered lots of attention for focusing on societal issues such as school violence and problems regarding real-estate speculation. The writer shared that these are problems she’s not a stranger to in real life and added, “I think we’ve all met a ‘Min Seol Ah’ [Jo Soo Min] at least once in our lives. Just because they’re not as well-off as us, they are hurt, tormented, verbally abused, and substantially inconvenienced. It’s the same for me. I don’t think any person can feel relaxed about this problem. Just like Je Ni [Jin Ji Hee], I think we can sometimes be perpetrators, and sometimes be victims.”

Kim Soon Ok also praised her cast and gave a special shoutout to Eugene saying, “I want to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to Eugene, who plays Oh Yoon Hee. After becoming the murderer of Min Seol Ah in Season 1, she got a lot of hate. She could have been freaking out but she did not complain once and only focused on the script, pondering what she could do to be most like Oh Yoon Hee. I’m just thankful that she adapted so well with her pretty face to being the most realistically good yet evil character.”

Given the immense popularity of the series, many viewers have incredibly detailed theories. Some assume that Joo Dan Tae’s name came from Dante Alighieri’s “Divine Comedy,” with reference to Zeus and Jupiter, and Bae Ro Na (Kim Hyun Soo) from Verona, Italy, the setting of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.”

Kim Soon Ok responded, “Bae Ro Na is from an Italian city that reminds you of opera festivals. Joo Dan Tae’s name does not specifically come from Zeus, but we named him with the most intense nuance. The first name we picked was Oh Yoon Hee. We wanted a pretty common name that almost everyone has seen at least once.”

When asked to describe “The Penthouse 3” in one word, the writer answered “ruins.” She explained, “A human sins and the entire world comes crumbling down. However, even in that tragic situation, new heavens and earth open, and in between the fallen rocks, plants will begin sprouting too.”

For how she wishes “The Penthouse” to be remembered, Kim Soon Ok brought up a past comment from a viewer. It read, “I want to continue watching how Cheon Seo Jin [Kim So Yeon] lives the rest of her life.” Kim Soon Ok commented, “As a writer, that’s a comment I’m thankful for. Even after a drama is done, if people are curious about how each character lives, I think that would be the most happy and rewarding thing. When I was younger, I wouldn’t be able to get over concluded dramas and I would think about the characters, hoping that they were happy. I even remember dreaming about them.”

She added, “Also! I hope people think that the house they’re living in right now is the most happy. I really don’t think I’d be able to live a day in the penthouse because I’d have a headache.”

Finally, the writer commented to viewers, “Thank you for waiting these long two months. The actors, writer, production team, and staff will all do our best until the very end. Please watch to see how each character ends up. I don’t know if what everyone predicts will be all right or all wrong, but I hope that the ending gives you a thrill, even just for a moment.”

SBS’s “The Penthouse 3” airs every Friday at 10 p.m. KST.

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