Flower Boy Ramyun Shop scores high ratings
Flower Boy Ramyun Shop just premiered two days ago, and already the headlines are touting its high ratings and the “Jung Il-woo Effect,” and noting that with its performance and positive reception, it rivals a broadcast drama.
Monday’s premiere brought in a 1.19% rating, hitting 2.27% at its highest point. Notable was its performance among the 20- and 30-something female demographic, where it was No. 1. Yeah, well duh. The boys are pretty, we have eyes. The romance is hilarious and fun. No surprise there.
Tuesday’s Episode 2 improved on those numbers, recording an average rating of 1.45% with a high of 2.36%, again No. 1 in its timeslot among all cable offerings. Granted, that first-place designation doesn’t include the Big Three’s dramas, which air one hour before Ramyun Shop’s 11pm timeslot, but those are great numbers for cable.
While I kid about the eye candy carrying the show, what makes this drama hit all my fun-loving-wacky-romance buttons is that it’s not ONLY about the pretty. Sure, there are plenty of young hot things walking around, but the drama has a story and some great characterizations. (Crazy Chicken? ADORABLE. I just want to pinch his cheeks and soothe his hurts, maybe feed him some ramyun. Or have him serve me some.)
So not only are cable dramas exploding onto the scene in terms of sheer number and breadth (tvN, OCN, CGV, E Channel, MBN, Channel A, and jTBC are among the channels offering original drama programming), they’re also performing quite strongly. Recently, Vampire Prosecutor has brought in some great ratings for OCN on Sundays, while E Channel’s Empress, starring Jang Shin-young as a top bar hostess, has also been faring well on Saturday nights. Empress’s recent Episode 5 was first in its timeslot and did particularly well with 20-something women, where it scored an average rating of 1.5%; it hit a high with 2.1%.
These ratings numbers aren’t quite up to broadcast heights and may not be for a while, but given that cable is a subscription service while broadcast stations are freely available, it’s very promising that cable can be competitive in this widening field of drama programming.
Meanwhile, Flower Boy Ramyun Shop’s buzz has also revived interest in the novel it’s based on, Sweet and Sour Bakery. I hadn’t even known this was an adaptation, but whaddaya know. The novel depicts the story of young men who are distant from their families finding loyalty and hope amongst each other. Aw, it’s Bromance Central.
Flower Boy Ramyun Shop airs on Mondays and Tuesdays on tvN and will run for 16 episodes.
Sweet and Sour Bakery