Lee Min Ho, Kim Soo Hyun, and Ji Chang Wook Comeback Dramas Are Flopping

Three of our most popular Hallyu actors—Lee Min Ho, Kim Soo Hyun, and Ji Chang Wook—have all come back this year after fulfilling their mandatory military service. While all three used to dominate network ratings with their star power, maintaining that prestige is proving to be a hard task. Suffering from critical failures and low viewership ratings, their three comeback dramas are no short of flopping in the domestic market.

Lee Min Ho’s The King: Eternal Monarch, which premiered in April 2020, did decently well as an original Netflix series, but domestically in Korea, the ratings did not meet expectations, and was largely deemed as a disappointment. From starring in hit series such as Boys Over Flowers (2009), City Hunter (2011), The Heirs (2013), and Legend of the Blue Sea (2016), it is disappointing to see Lee Min Ho’s comeback being less than explosive. Truthfully, The King had all the ingredients to be a hit—a fantasy romance that crosses realities, has a $25 million US dollar budget, and co-stars the award-winning Kim Go Eun, best known for her leading performances in Cheese in the Trap (2016) and Guardian: The Lonely and Great God (2016).

According to ratings reports, the percentage of viewers for The King dropped with each episode, meaning that most viewers who had started the show ended up not continuing it. According to reports, viewers found the setting of the series too convoluted due to poor world-building, and that the excessive product placement was distracting.

Kim Soo Hyun’s It’s Okay to Not Be Okay is faring a little better, but no where near as well as expected. Despite a successful premiere, viewership ratings dropped dramatically on the second episode, but picked back up after a week.

Ji Chang Wook’s Backstreet Rookie, which only premiered a day before It’s Okay to Not Be Okay, is being criticized for racial insensitivity. While ratings are increasing for the show, it is definitely an underwhelming comeback for Ji Chang Wook.

Source: stheadline

This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.

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  1. Fast forwarded though the first episode of the king, it’s more if a romance with fantasy as a subplot as supposed to main driver of the story. Didn’t watch after that, story seems predictable.

  2. It’s okay to not be okay has actually been really good so far. It’s a drama about trauma and healing, both leads are doing well. Even if it doesn’t do well in Korea, it’s getting good reviews and hype from international fans

  3. So looking forward to see Ji Chang Wook and Lee Min Ho back on drama…but those two dramas was painful to watch….what a shame that they have chosen the wrong roles!! Quite surprised as thought they would be careful to select and able to pick the good ones

  4. It’s Okay to not be Okay is actually a really good drama. I love how it explores mental health especially considering that some Koreans still find it as a problem meant to be kept within oneself. Kim Soo Hyun and Seo Ye Ji both deliver outstanding performances making me empathize with their characters. Honestly, my one regret with this drama is watching it when it has not finished airing because a week of waiting is driving me crazy hahaha. That’s how good this drama is!

    1. @sharleen22 Same thoughts! I was going to start watching when it was almost done airing, but the trailers I saw were too attractive! But I regret starting cause waiting the 5 days for the weekend is such torture 🙁

  5. KSH’s drama is a really good one and average ratings of 5-6 isn’t a flop for cable tv. TKEM is different case since it started with 2 digits rating in free tv and left with single digit for the finale. Also JCW’s come back drama was Melting Me Softly NOT Backstreet Rookies.

  6. Ji chang wook has been taking on really unimpressive roles with his comeback… I guess action roles really took a toll on him. Would love to see him take on another thriller drama

  7. They can’t really act and poor script. I guess better than tvb dramas

    1. @jack4cool

      Poor script? Sure.
      But these leads can act better than anyone at TVB of their generation. Comparing kdrama to TVB is like comparing a Hollywood production to a high school play.

  8. These days kdramas aren’t as good as they used to. Kdramas were great pre-2013. In the past 5 years or so, the scripts and the quality of actors have been lacking. I watch like one series a year now as oppose to a handful from years past.

    Although I watched kings eternal from beginning to end, the drama was average at best.

    1. @anon
      Surprisingly, many k-drama fans have switched to period c-dramas. The wildly popular Untamed has helped accelerate the shift.

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