Jirisan, iQiyi Original Korean drama series starring Gianna Jun and Ju Ji-hoon, and created by director Lee Eung-bok (Descendants of The Sun, Guardian: The Lonely and Great God) and writer Kim Eun-hee (Signal, Kingdom), premiered over last weekend globally on iQiyi. In Korea, Jirisan opened on Saturday (Oct 23) at the nationwide average rating of 9.1 percent and peaked at 10.7 percent to become tvN’s top rated weekend drama premiere in history. On Sunday (Oct 24), episode 2 average nationwide rating rose into double-digit figures, to 10.7 percent and peaked at 12.5 percent. As star park ranger Seo Yi-gang, Gianna Jun made a stunning debut swinging off a cliff to save a teammate from falling rocks in a moment of life and death. She had rookie ranger Kang Hyun-joo, played by Ju Ji-hoon, captivated. The first episode also opened with a cameo performance by Blue Dragon Film Awards winner Ryu Seung-ryong introducing Jirisan national park to viewers. New episodes of Jirisan air on Saturdays and Sundays, 8,00pm (SGT), simulcast with Korea.
Among the unfolding mysteries, Ju Ji-hoon was revealed to possess the amazing ability to see people in need at precise locations within Jirisan. Just as viewers followed Jun and Ju’s first mission together and saw sparks of a budding romance, the first episode jumps abruptly forward in time by two years. Jun is now wheelchair-bound and returned to Jirisan Haedong ranger station after having left her duties for some time. On the other hand, Ju is seen hospitalized and in a coma. In memories, Ju is revealed to have been hit heavily on his head in the snow on Jirisan, as both suffer injuries with lasting and severe consequences. Branch leader Sung Dong-il sighed, “Hyun-jo can’t come here (Jirisan) anymore.”
Even as Ju Ji-hoon lies in hospital, Gianna Jun discovers in recent photos of Jirisan search and rescue operations that there have been signs – ones that only she and Ju agreed on and knew about – pointing to the precise locations of people in need of search and rescue. Wanting to know who or what is sending her these signals, Jun asked to be reinstated as a park ranger. In addition, a mysterious figure is also seen in a blood-stained cloak and he turns out to be Ju Ji-hoon to leave viewers wanting more in upcoming episodes.
The production of Jirisan took approximately 1 year and 7 months to complete and involved more than 250 cast and crew members. In the behind-the-scenes special released today, viewers could see spectacular production sets and action including storms and floods being shot. Gianna Jun and Ju Ji-hoon also took on the dangerous scenes themselves, putting in their heart and soul into their work for the production. Sung Dong-il, Oh Jung-se and Cho Han-cheul demonstrated their acting chops and great chemistry working together. They often made Jun laugh despite her trying to hold back her, and made for a harmonious ambience on set.
In a crossover of timelines of 2018 and 2020, the mysteries of Jirisan and what happened to Jun and Ju are set to unravel. Jirisan follows the team of national park rangers who are responsible for search and rescue on Jirisan. Experienced ranger (played by Gianna Jun) and rookie ranger (played by Ju Ji-hoon) are set to uncover the secrets of the peak. The iQiyi Original K-series exclusively airs on Saturdays and Sundays at 8.00pm (SGT) on iQiyi International app or iQ.com worldwide, simulcast with Korea.