My Country Calls ends quietly on KBS
KBS’s romantic comedy My Country Calls went out quietly on Tuesday with its finale episode, its 16th. The drama has performed under the radar in its Monday-Tuesday timeslot, having gone up against two heavy-hitters: MBC’s historical Dong Yi and SBS’s saga Giant.
Its ratings have been consistently in the 6% range, while its rivals have performed in the 20% and even 30% range (Dong Yi) or solid teens (Giant). The finale brought in a 7%.
As we know, ratings don’t mean everything, and despite the low numbers, My Country Calls generally drew favorable response for its laughs, its refreshing new tone, and the commitment of its actors (Lee Soo-kyung, Kim Sang-kyung, Ryu Jin, and Horan in her drama debut).
So why didn’t it catch on?
One review calls it the error of the “misaligned first button.” In the beginning the drama “lacked a theme or a genre,” developing its story around its characters, but leaving its vision ambiguous. At least to viewers. The moment the drama reportedly changed course (for the better) came when Ryu Jin entered the picture and set the plot going. However, because the show hadn’t been able to convey that off the bat, it missed a key opportunity.
Lee Soo-kyung also received good marks for a successful acting departure from her last role. She’s has been no stranger to bright characters in the past (Golden Age of Daughters-in-law, Soulmate), but her most well-known role was probably the one directly previous, Loving You a Thousand Times, in which she basically wept her eyes out.
As a name film actor, Kim Sang-kyung played an elite agent, as did co-star Horan, whose character was for the most part a cold elite agent. However, she had a memorable drunken scene in which she broke down and showed her weakness, which earned her some praise.
Furthermore, the competition was pretty strong and it wasn’t able to sneak in there to steal viewers away from two grand-scale projects. Even when the World Cup kept one of its competitors off the air, My Country Calls wasn’t able to crack the double-digit ceiling, indicating that it had missed its chance to alert viewers to its presence.
Taking its timeslot beginning next week is the fusion sageuk-thriller series Gumiho: Tale of the Fox Child.