Drama Casting & News
Doctors, horses, body swaps: New ratings battle
by | October 2, 2012 | 94 Comments

Out with the old, in with the new: There’s a brand-new ratings three-way in dramaland, with two new dramas premiering this week in the Monday-Tuesday slot. And wouldn’t you know it, the results didn’t quite shake out as expected.

Oohlala Spouses was KBS’s new entry, with its rom-com hijinks replacing Haeundae Lovers. Over on MBC, The Horse Healer took over the top slot from medical drama Golden Time. And on SBS, we’ve still got sageuk drama Faith hanging in there as it enters the second half of its run.

All eyes were on The Horse Healer to run away with the prize, for multiple reasons: It’s a grand-scale sageuk, and audiences like those; it’s got a large production budget (20 billion won); it’s taking over a winning timeslot; and the cast is chock full of name stars such as film actor Jo Seung-woo, Lee Yo-won (who starred in Queen Seon-deok to uber-hit ratings), Sohn Chang-min, Lee Sang-woo, Kim So-eun, and more. And yet, The Horse Healer could only muster a last-place premiere. Its number was 8.7%.

Oohlala Spouses was definitely the one I was looking forward to given its uproarious premise and promotional teasers/posters/previews (also: I miss good comedies—where did they go?), but I didn’t expect it to be the first-place finisher off the bat. For one, rom-coms as a genre tend to play second fiddle to sageuks; it’s not my personal preference, but that’s just the dramaland way. Also, while Oohlala’s stars are well-respected and talented (Kim Jung-eun, Shin Hyun-joon), they don’t quite have the buzz factor or fresh youth of a Jo Seung-woo or an Lee Min-ho.

Yet whaddaya know, it pulled out a double-digit premiere (10.9%) and claimed first place. Aww, yeah. Faith, meanwhile, stayed more or less level with a 9.3%.

That was Monday. Tuesday’s episode was even better for Oohlala (go, shenanigans, go!), which made a nice jump to 14.5%. Faith stayed level again with a 9.5%. But despite the slight uptick, this time that only rated third place, because The Horse Healer also ticked upward to 9.7%.

It’s worth noting that these numbers are all pretty close anyway, so there’s no overwhelming winner or loser. Contrast that with the Wednesday-Thursday shows, where there’s a much clearer hierarchy. (Nice Guy looks like it’s going to keep growing from its mid-teens ratings, perhaps on its way to filling the void left by its predecessor Gaksital, which broke 20%. Arang and the Magistrate holds steady in the lower-teens ratings, while To the Beautiful You has spent the entirety of its run in the 4%-5% range.)

Another caveat: I suspect that The Horse Healer will find its audience, despite its slow start. Yesterday the headlines were all doom and gloom about the big blockbuster coming in last place. (Though really, it was last place by less than a percentage point.) Today, the mood is more optimistic, and this is a show with 48 episodes more to go. There is plenty of time. (SO MUCH TIME. Oy, 50 episoders.) Though I can’t help rooting for Oohlala to at least keep its lead for its 16 episodes; then it can hand it off to the horse doc. As for Faith… yeah, I see why it’s at 9%, and that seems about right to me. It’s a fun show to think about… but sometimes more so than to actually watch. Yes, even with the beauty that is Lee Min-ho. Oh right, and Kim Hee-sun ain’t exactly shabby either.

Via TV Daily, Sports Chosun


94 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Anabanana

    That’s weird. No comments? Anybody home??

    • 1.1 Amberscube

      Im here..

    • 1.2 Ivoire

      This is so interesting, thank you for sharing this…

    • 1.3 M.D.

      I’ve just had the shock of my drama-land-life! JB’s comment “Kim Hee-sun ain’t exactly shabby either” rang a bell and I did a classic googling and froze in front of my computer. I adored Kim Hee-sun in “Sad Love Song” (don’t judge me to harsh, I was a new born when watched it, but I still think it was a decent drama compared to some of today’s stuff) and I watched “The Myth” especially for her. And I have spent 16 hours watching her (well, not exactly 16 – our Great Doctor is less ubiquitous than we’d love to) and haven’t recognised her?! Shame on me, slap on my wrist but… It either a very, very bad memory (good reason to eat more chocolate – heard it helps) or she changed. I mean A LOT..
      So why do I even mention it here – probably to make a public shame of my own self, as there is no one else to point some fingers at me and laugh as I so do deserve. But it’s a fact: time IS a badass!

      • 1.3.1 pajvaj

        lol you are not the only one who didn’t recognize her. She’s very different from the last I’ve seen her too. And I wasn’t exactly as young as you. LOL

  2. Amberscube

    Yay for Oohlala Spouses… I just started watching episode 1 and im loving it already..

    I really miss romcoms. Way to go Oohlala and keeping the faith in Faith.

  3. Emy

    I kept hoping FAITH will have higher ratings, being an already-running show. But I can keep up the hopes.

  4. Anabanana

    I have high hopes for oooh lala spouses as well!!! I still have gaksital withdrawal

  5. Mystisith

    As Mr Spock would say: “Fascinating!”
    I’m happy for Ohlala Couple (just a bit more and it will be perfect) and I think than Faith has what it deserves.
    I was a bit disappointed by the ratings for the Horse Doctor but then I agree: It will increase.
    About Nice Guy/Arang and TTBY: For once I agree with the Korean viewers.
    And about the good comedies and rom/coms missing on the horizon, I SO agree. Funny how dramaland has its cycles.

  6. Carole McDonnell

    Really liking ooh la la!

  7. Eileen

    Now that we get all these awesome recaps, I never watch an episode unless I’m really looking forward to it!

    • 7.1 X5

      ditto! i’m enjoying Faith recaps here but i dunno why i can’t get myself to watch it. i wish dramabeans would recap oohlala though *puhlease*

  8. KANGly

    I am a Kim Jung Eun fan and I am so happy for her and her drama. Really ooohlalalalaa. So happy for her!!! I hope they stay ahead of the pack for the rest of their run!

  9. glo

    I enjoy Oohlala Spouses, the first few minutes of the first episode reminded me of Gaksital.

    A dose of comedy in Oohlala Spouses and faith in Faith which is now getting so much better; I’ve found 2 balanced Monday-Tuesday drama ^^

    No comment for Horse Healer as I haven’t watched it with sub; and I’m very disappointed that Viki didn’t get the licence to sub HH 🙁

    • 9.1 pigtookie

      haha they had the costumes and set and weapons from that other kbs drama still laying around, why not make use of it? 😛 but i agree, with the weapons throwing, rebellion, shin hyun joon’s same crying scene over a woman, and a woman pretending to be japanese manipulating the officer (like Han Chae Ah’s Ueno Rie)…

      • 9.1.1 Stardust

        LOL the first part was supposed to be deeply moving ? but i just kept lol-ing at the parts which reminded me so much of gaksital kakaka

  10. 10 Kiara

    Yep, we want to root for the little guys but eventually the big guys with the 50 eps will take over. I havent watch Horse Healer yet. I’m guessing I wont get to see Jo Seung-woo until eps 10-ish so not rushing to watch it.

    Gone are the days of back to back national dramas with crazy 60%+ ratings. A drama with 20% ratings these days is considered a hit.

  11. 11 Jlee

    I wonder if anyone’s recapping Ohlala. 😮

    • 11.1 subject

      Me too.
      Damn, it’s FUNNY! Unbelievably hilarious! I have the same syndrom as I has in HOTS. I stoped too many times segging the video in VIKI cause I couldn’t control my laughter, although I’m not speaking Hangul. lol once again!
      I agree, it’s about time for really good Comedy, and if it keeps the same rhythm and won’t fall apart, I think La La Couple can take the crown from Protect The Boss.

      • 11.1.1 subject

        I wish I could edit my comment…

    • 11.2 X5

      will it not be recapped here? 🙁

      • 11.2.1 h311ybean

        I’m wondering the same thing. I know the Dramabeans crew is really busy, though, so I’ll understand if the recaps are delayed or not done at all.

  12. 12 subject

    Aside question since you mentioned Salaryman. How come no one ranked it in Dramas Ratings thread despite the obvious fact that at least three of you watched it and one of you made ​​a stunning recaps?
    Just wondered…

    • 12.1 Danna

      The ratings section is only for dramas that JB and GF recapped not the guest recappers

      • 12.1.1 subject

        Not really. HeadsNo2 recaped Dr. Jin and it ranked…

        • nomu nomu nomu

          subject, I think what Danna meant was drama that either JB or GF watched (not necessarily recapped) are ranked.

          also, here’s a quote from the page :

          “These are only series I’ve seen in their entirety. (I’ve seen a lot more series that I haven’t come around to finishing, whether it’s because I got bored, forgot, or couldn’t find the time. I haven’t “graded” those here.”

  13. 13 zsa

    I will start OHlala soon…but will still be watching faith…it’s like moderate dosage of kdrama drug for me…addicting still…

  14. 14 ajj

    Faith just do not appeal to me after the first few episodes.Even with Lee Min Ho there,I was bored.Maybe because I cant stand his hair and what he’s wearing.I miss City Hunter’s fashion sense.
    Nice Guy is my latest drama crack, very unpredictable.

  15. 15 MJP

    Ah, just the article I’ve been waiting for! Javabeans, you must have read my mind! Thank you!!!

    (Goes off to read.)

  16. 16 Betty

    Oohlala Spouses was really a nice surprise. I loved the first episode so much that I can’t wait for the second one. I found it really refreshing and kind of light (for now) which I do appreciate a lot. I hope they’ll stay on top but I also wish for the other shows to do fine as well, maybe I am asking to much lol

  17. 17 new fan

    NOT a fan of long episode drama so i think i won’t watch it!! as for oh lala it seem fun so i will watch it..
    now i just rooting for faith right now~~~ it start out really good n interesting in episode 1, n how they claim they hv big production cost!! lately i feel they are cutting down all the budget.
    there’s really something wrong with the directing although the cast is superb it’s really a waste~~~

  18. 18 dee

    I love Faith, and am also hoping it rebounds in ratings as it nears the home stretch. Lee minho is perfection and I keep wanting his work in it recognized. Sigh.

    Tried to get on the oohlala bandwagon since I adore shin hyunjoon but I just can’t deal with Kim jungeun. Sigh. Oh well.

    • 18.1 vicky

      Yeh, why the rating of faith is not great. I do not understand. LMH ‘s acting is good to me same as KHS.
      But somehow, his close in sometime is too fashionable. haha . My opinion , It may cause from designer which too much love in LMH. But anyway his acting is fine, it is a lot improving every series. Do you think so?

  19. 19 eny

    already interested with ohlalala by watching the teaser, i only see ep 1 of faith and stop to watch it, i’m not really interested with horse healer but i will try it first

  20. 20 kaka

    Hey, I always wonder, they only have 3 national broadcast, right? When all the 3 ratings summed together, it will only be like 30 %. And usually cable channels only got 0-2 % rating. So, where does the rest rating go? Do they also count people who don’t watch anything at those time slots?

  21. 21 Yanny

    Are we getting recaps for Oohlala Spouses? I hope so. OMG this show is just great!

  22. 22 simon

    I was wondering, if it was the Gaksital factor? Like, two actors are from that drama and maybe some viewers were curious. At least, that’s the reason why _I_ watched epi 1, in the first place. *_*

    It was hilarious, though, alright, and deserves to be No. 1 (atm). As I was expecting it to be. That first sequence in the 30s, though, came totally out of the left field. I was like: “Is this supposed to be a Gaksital parody now. What?” But good job on the background story. If those two didn’t have that tragic love story thing going on, I wouldn’t care one bit for them to get back together again (even now, I’m not really sure about that)… More than laughing I was cheering for wifey to finish him off (or off him, har) good. I just wanted to strangle that piece of %/&()%&/ …

  23. 23 Gaeina Lee

    I haven’t lose faith in Faith, but if I read the recap first before watching… then that’s it, no interest to watch. So, no surprise with their rating.

    Horse Healer~~ Duh, want to watch it so very much, but no sub yet… T_T

    Oh La La Couple, OMG… Ohlala indeed… *ROTFLOLing*

  24. 24 helma rivers

    why don’t you guys watch ohlala couple on dramafever
    and its subs already (epi1)…

    • 24.1 zodd

      Vikki has also subbed the first ep. Ep 2 should be done by tomorrow (Wed).

  25. 25 Danna

    Its hilarious when ppl refer to the drama just as oohlala…as a comedy its serving its purpose in the title itself

  26. 26 Awe

    Thanks for the recap? (is this really considered a recap?) imma newb. 🙂

    Anyways, i have to agree with javabeans about the take on all 3 of these shows.

    I was under the impression that Kdramas were not allowed to [intentionally] make viewers laugh. So to have oohlala focus on the com of romcom is, seriously, a mind bender for me. Bring it ON!!!

    And 50 episodes of a vet checking out horses seems, well, a little perverted…especially when the vet is wearing silk robes, NO? Here in Texas, we’d have our hides tanned for wearing them kind of duds out to the barn. At 50 episodes, i agree with java beans…OY.

    and it’s so true about Faith. i think about that show a lot. partly because Korean history is unchartered territory for me but mostly because this drama really gets real with the relationships. i’m very impressed and moved by that.

    anyways, thanks for keeping us up to date on the ratings.

  27. 27 Jude

    I’m currently watching Faith and despite the low rating, I find the drama enjoyable. I especially like the character development and the subtle, quiet romantic plot (I ship Eun-Soo and Choi Young so hard that it worries everyone around me. Oh the joy of being addicted).

    Despite my personal preferences, I also thought that Faith would have much better chance if the drama had better PD who excels at directing and editing. So I kinda understand why it gets lower rating than other dramas.

    On the other hand, I think I might check OhLaLa Couples. I have special spot for both Shin Hyung Joon and Kim Jung Eun. So yay for more drama!! 🙂

  28. 28 maria

    I’m not asking to pressure, , just.. Curious. but IS oohlala spouses getting recapped here at DB? Home is here. 🙂

  29. 29 Anastasia

    Im want to watch The Horse Healer. Lee yoo won all the way. Love her acting

  30. 30 jess

    Jo Seung Woo and his wife should’ve totally starred in this drama. its perfect for them ^_^

    • 30.1 Kiara

      I’m watching a couple musicals that he was in till he make his grand enterance in HL. Jo Seung Woo singing “This is the moment” in Korean /dies.

  31. 31 MeeisLee

    I can’t wait to start Oolala Spouses! I’m still hanging on to Faith and it’s been the only drama I’ve been keeping up with each week (out of the two I’m currently watching, the other being Arang). School is seriously getting in the way of drama watching fun time. I should just get my education from shows instead.

    • 31.1 Kiara

      Arang is the one I’m addicted to at the moment and the only show I’m watching thanks to Lee Jun-ki. I’m in a Korean movie/musical mode for the rest of the week.

      • 31.1.1 MeeisLee

        I feel like I should like Arang more but I just haven’t found myself addicted yet despite the interesting storyline and characters. I’m still on ep 7. Maybe it’s just because Faith comes on earlier in the week and I spend the remainder of the week watching those two episodes and having the same cycle continue for the past several weeks.

        • Kiara

          Fusion fantasy sageuk is not everyone’s cup of coffee.
          My addiction didnt kick in untill mid-way. Totally fan-girling over Lee Jun-ki’s acting and his character.

          • Kiara

            I watched 2 eps of Nice Guy for Song Joong-Ki and Moon Chae Won. I would take it to the end but I it wont be good for my heart. Even just reading the recaps I can still feel it.

  32. 32 Dara

    I’m rooting strongly with The Horse Healer, 2 eps and I’m hooked and not even with the adult cast yet. The story was intriguing so far. And I also loved KJE in Oohlala, she was just awesome as an ajumma, she dared shouting at husband and helped friend with hubby’s affair. I can see why ratings shot up, it’s all what women want to see in a fun way haha. But I’m not sure if there’s enough material for 16eps, I hope so. Love both dramas, Faith is okay but it couldn’t capture me a full one hour, not sure why.
    Thanks for sharing ^^

  33. 33 ilikemangos

    This proves that korean netizens are unpredictable. incalculable.

  34. 34 saranga

    i’m not sure how i feel about oohlala, even after two episodes. i’m inclined to pass it on, and was rather shocked to learn that the ratings were so high. i’m guessing it’s the “obvious” choice right now, given the current competition. it’s fluffy, light, comedy. faith COULD have been epic (c’mon, lee min-ho and kim hee-sun!!) but it’s proved surprisingly dull. haven’t checked out horse healer though.

    i’m not sure i’m feeling the chemistry in oohlala. kim jung-eun is doing some annoying things with her voice there. maybe i need another week or two to warm up to it. arang is pretty much the only drama that has my attention right now, and even that is waning a bit. want something new!!

  35. 35 pigtookie

    My was that a good first episode for Oohlala. I don’t mind Kim Jung Eun’s acting, it does feel too exaggerated at times though. It’s very much like The Fierce Wife, except the wife is very strong willed already, despite some shakeups.

  36. 36 bd

    Couldn’t get pass ep 2 for “Faith.”

    Yeah, I know I lasted longer w/ the mess that was “Dr. Jin”, but I actually liked Lee Beom-soo’s character and his performance (plus “Dr. Jin” was good for the unintentional humor for a while).

    Meanwhile, didn’t care for either LMH’s or KHS’s characters, much less their acting.

    Definitely going to start watching “Oohlala” – romcoms are my favorite genre and good romcoms are hard to come by (“Secret Garden”, “Lie to Me”, “Rooftop Prince”, “Big” – don’t constitute good ones) and I love SHJ.

    Been watching “Arang” (mostly for SMA) and while I have been enjoying it, I have been getting behind in watching the eps.

    While I am enjoying SMA and LJK play their characters, as well as those who play the deities, I don’t find the “big baddies” – the evil mom, the old dude and the romantic rival/evil mom’s lackey (both their characters or the actors) to be compelling and kinds lose interest when they get screentime (plus evil mom’s face just weirds me out).

    When the “big baddies” aren’t compelling in a drama like “Arang”, it’s a pretty major flaw, but the scenes btwn SMA and LJK (and the shaman girl) make it worthwhile.

    “The Horse Healer” seems interesting, but not sure if I can stomach starting such a long sageuk when Ji Jin-hee’s “The Great Seer” is right around the corner.

  37. 37 GJ

    Is it just me that cried buckets while watching OHLALA?! Hahaha!

    • 37.1 Lilly

      Maybe not buckets but I did shed some tears. She did very well in showing someone going into emotional shock, that seeing betrayal by someone you love is like seeing their death and she got it right.
      I hope it can be funny to me with me despising his character so much to start off with.

      • 37.1.1 botbot

        Betrayal in a marriage always has a greater impact on viewers, especially when it’s being portrayed sympathetically. I find oolala interesting but it is not funny, at least so far. I just hurt for the character of the wife.

  38. 38 grin

    I’ve been looking forward to Horse Healer, since the actress from 49 Days is there. But then I heard that viki didn’t get the license to sub Horse Healer. Is dramafever planning on subbing it? I’m crossing my fingers and hoping that any of those two will.

    Oh and I’ve noticed that there are two empty slots in the “In Progress” Recapped Series category. Maybe this means dramabeans is planning to recap both Ooh la la Spouses and Horse Healer! I can hope right?

    • 38.1 Boingboingracquet

      I’m also hoping for recaps from Horse Healer! *fingers crossed*

  39. 39 athena

    I am a Korean drama addict..I am so worried, I will have to get some medical advise or drastic action soon..but thanks to mbc for not giving Viki the green light to screen..so I am on withdrawal syndrome ..I refuse to watch Ohlala..I am here to see any recap for Horse Healer..but this write out is enough to keep me entertained .Thanks for this wonderful blog…

    • 39.1 odet

      Must-watch-Oohlala Spouses… me really really likey likey… I tried restraining myself.. But it’s just so good…

    • 39.2 Kiara

      I think viki needs to pay for the license first then MBC will give them permission.

      • 39.2.1 girlatsea

        Wasn’t Viki subbing Golden Time (it’s predecessor)? I assumed that meant they were getting it soon. Does getting license for it depend on the drama?

        • Kiara

          I think it depends on the drama. MBC is investing a lot on Horse Healer. I dont know if viki is trying to get the license or not but if they are it’ll take a while like Dong Yi.

  40. 40 Oohlala

    Oohlala Spouses !!! 😉
    The first drama I’ve watched in months and I’m rooting for it 😀

  41. 41 charmed

    congratulation to the cast of oh la la spouses…. Great drama.. kje fighting!!!

  42. 42 Suzi Q

    I liked Oohlala Spouses except for the part where Kim Jung eun is talking to herself into staying in her marriage even after seeing with her own eyes her cheating husband and his lover in their “love nest”. She should have showed up with the same knife her girlfriend used to scared off her husband’s lover. LOL.

  43. 43 Jillia

    I took a look at the first episode of the Horse Healer and it didn’t look bad. Despite my childhood nightmares of horse tv series.*ugh*

    I’m already looking forward to see the adult actors because so far the child actors does nothing for me. Unfortunately…

  44. 44 noonaLuv

    Oohlala Spouses has in one episode provided me different emotions. It made me laugh, cry, get angry, overwhelmed, happy, sad, and a whole lot more which can be translated by all the smiley symbols. A-W-E-S-O-M-E-!

  45. 45 myra

    so many new dramas! but i really wish you could update the list of dramas currently airing, because there are more dramas which recently premiered or will air this week… and i’m referring to ‘Can we get married?’ on jtbc (wed-thu), ‘The great king’s dream’ on KBS and ‘My love, butterfly lady’ on SBS, both at the weekend…. and … i know i ‘ve already mentioned about updating the list….i just want this site to be perfect…

  46. 46 wowow

    ARANG AND THE MAGISTRATE!! <3 the only current drama im thoroughly interested in :') who's with me? 😀

    • 46.1 eny

      i didn’t continue watch arang,i just watch until ep 12 , i didn’t find anything that make me wanna see it again and again
      This year i just watch 3 drama untill finish : Bridal mask, A gentlemen dignity and wild romance and now i still watch may queen and wanna try ohlala spouse

      • 46.1.1 Unnie

        Aww eny.. I feel the same with Arang.. much as I want to go on watching it, they lost me. I now depend on the recap. You should watch Reply 1997. It’s also a must-see.

        • bd

          Agree that “Arang” hasn’t been nearly as compelling as its 1st few eps.

          AM1997 is a must see and I would throw in “I Need Romance 2012” as an all-around fun romcom.

      • 46.1.2 Anastasia

        Wow. How i surprised. The chemistry, romance and chracter js just top of the world. Subtle, sizzling and intense chemistry is just right. The acting is out of the world. And im
        Pretty hard to be please for a drama. Have stopped many drama in the last 10 years.

    • 46.2 Anastasia


      Seriously addicted and obsessed. I havent been this like 12 years of watching k drama. But this post is about Mon-Tues timeslot

  47. 47 srainy

    I’m actually excited for The Horse Healer, I love sageuks! The first one I’ve ever watched was Jewel in the Palace/Dae Jang Geum and I loved it so much, it’s still one of my favourites today! I need to wait for subs though, since I dont speak Korean ):

  48. 48 Jilly

    I really liked the first episode of ooohlala spouses. I love how ajumma didn’t drag her feet with the divorce and made sure she got hers. As a female character, I love her which is very rare. I hope she makes Gaksital’s hyung work for his redemption or I’ll be very disappointed.
    I’m still watching Faith out of loyalty. It’s not unwatchable but it’s not as good as I wanted it to be. Oh well…
    A 50 episode drama? Not unless it has Lee Min-ho, Lee Min-ki AND Lee Jun-ki playing bff’s in a rock band or sth.
    Just wanted to add my vote for recapping Oohlala and while I’m being annoying, the ratings for Gaksital haven’t been added yet(?)

    • 48.1 Betty

      “A 50 episode drama? Not unless it has Lee Min-ho, Lee Min-ki AND Lee Jun-ki playing bff’s…” LOL

  49. 49 Noelle

    A new season has begun. Oohlala Spouses here I come!

  50. 50 DaDa

    Ooohlala Spouses way VERY good and i wasn’t expecting much from it at first tbh. I will be back for more,

    Horse Doctor on the other hand is not as epic as they make it out to be. I thought it was horrible. I was already turned off when I heard that Lee Yo Won was in it and her acting is about as exciting as a piece of toast.

    • 50.1 jk

      Comparing LYW’s acting to a piece of toast? Well give me toast anytime!

      How can one judge a 50 episode sageuk’s epicness fairly just after 2 episodes? Only time will tell and I hope HD proves you wrong.

      HD fighting!

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