Drama Casting & News
King of Dramas not a king of ratings
by | November 6, 2012 | 90 Comments

Another drama premiered this week — SBS’s King of Dramas — which changes up the ratings landscape for Monday-Tuesday dramas. Or at least you’d expect that it would, but instead it has just inherited third place from its predecessor, Faith, which wrapped last week. Its premiere episode netted a 6.5% rating.

That’s too bad since I was hoping the drama-about-dramas starring Kim Myung-min, Jung Ryeo-won, and Choi Siwon would put up a decent fight. I’m itching for a good comedy these days — 2012 has been strangely lacking in those, hasn’t it? — and thought this might fill that void. (True, rival drama Oohlala Spouses is touted as a comedy, but it’s heading into decidedly melo waters these days.)

Speaking of which, Oohlala has been hanging on to second place, and Monday’s episode brought in an 11.5%, while sageuk Horse Healer stayed out in front with a 14.7%. Tuesday’s numbers were slightly more optimistic, but the order remains unchanged: Horse Healer rose to 15.4%, Oohlala stayed level at 11.6%, and King of Dramas improved to bring home a 7.3% rating.

No need to despair just yet, since this is only the beginning. I don’t expect a drastic shift in the numbers — sageuk is king — but King of Dramas has room to bring itself into double digits, and perhaps challenge Oohlala. Watching its first episode, I’m still uncertain how I feel about the show but it has a humorously dramatic vibe that suggests we might be in for some campy fun, and there’s an assured pace and a polish to the look of the thing. Who knows if that sheen will survive the live-shoot, but I’m liking the little details, like freeze-framed moments or ticking clocks or an overdramatic score that’s totally tongue-in-cheek. And, of course, Kim Myung-min taking on another forceful character with all his usual aplomb is another bonus.

Via Joy News


90 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. mysticmalady

    How coincidental, I just finished episode 1 a few minutes ago! =) Any drama that can indirectly critique the crazy live-shoot system in Korea and Hallyu wave in the way it did can’t be too terrible…I hope ^^

    • 1.1 CM

      So they indirectly critique the live-shoot system while live-shooting a drama… it’s so funny it’s sad

      • 1.1.1 Mystisith

        It’s a VERY direct attack of the live shooting system, well wrapped in irony and sarcasm. At least in the first episode.

  2. Eye Candy

    I haven’t seen the first episode myself but I definitely thought the premise sounded interesting so I agree it’s suprising it had such a weak premiere. I know I’ll be checking it out so maybe it will build up more of a viewership especially after Ooh La La Spouses wraps because it seems like both shows would have a similaie audience.

    • 2.1 Dominique

      Jerry Maguire had Tom Cruise, and it worked. King of Dramas has Kim Myung Min, and it does not work. Kim Myung Min – his face, his style of acting, etc. – is of the bygone school of 20th century Korean dramas. If you are a viewer demanding mannerisms and melos in every new Korean drama, there still is some meat left on this bone and so go for it.

      The dark horse is Choi Si Won, who is due to enter the drama in Episode 3. We will soon find out if he can stir the pot sufficiently to make King of Dramas worthy of our viewing.

      In Episode 1, King of Dramas openly boasted of success in certain overseas markets by Hallyu in general and Korean dramas in particular. I wonder how the viewers in the markets thus named in Episode 1 feel about that. In any event, those markets are low hanging fruits. The biggest prize – the North American market – continues to remain oblivious to Korean dramas and boy idols.

      • 2.1.1 eb

        I was also reminded of Jerry Maguire while watching the 1st epi, especially the scene where KMM’s character contacts his star writers. And I agree that KMM’s face, wardrobe, and acting is too over the top, even for satire (his extreme weight loss for previous movies has taken its toll, making him look chronically fatigued). Plus, I seriously cannot see JRW’s character falling in love with him. But I remain slightly more optimistic, and find the underdog theme reason enough to watch a few more epi’s. Maybe KMM’s character will transform into the man we want him to be. I’m curious to see if it’s possible to grow to like him.

  3. befuddled

    After seeing the first episode, I think I’m looking forward to the rest of the series. The retaliation with the orange juice amused me greatly.

    • 3.1 mav

      Wasn’t it?! the entire orange juice ppl thing was awesome but the orange juice revenge was soo good!

      • 3.1.1 CM

        This phrase made me go and watch the first episode! I have no regrets! It looks like a great drama, but I’m still waiting for at least two more episodes to be sure of that.

  4. umalily

    And I loved the big deal it made over product placement…but where is Choi Siwon? shirtless or otherwise

    • 4.1 Anne

      Looks like he’s making an appearance on the third ep. Maybe we’ll see a rise on the ratings then.

  5. Mystisith

    I loved the first episode and I’m impatiently waiting for the second one.
    I was seriously disappointed by those ratings: Less than Faith = Does. not. compute. Well, it does: No LMH to bring the fangirls and a topic less attractive for the masses. + So many dramas airing on Mon/Tues.
    I hope it will get better and I will cheer for this drama to be a success.

  6. mav

    I have to say I honestly loved the first episode, the critic to the world of tv/ kdramas began from the second the episode started, and it just got better and better. And I seriously Kim Myung min is pure awesome, yeah i does intense like nobodies business, but been intense in that self assured slightly over the top way of Anthony Kim is something else, cause played by someone else his character would be completely ridiculous. I was laughing with the dramas and Kim Myung min not at Anthony Kim… unlike some other dramas….

    Ohh btw has someone checked Can We Get Married? its hilarious, and not your usual kdrama, well at least not in terms of pace… loving Soo Min and Sung Joon

    • 6.1 mav

      And seriously Kim Myung MIn is pure awesome, yeah he does intense like nobodies business, but being intense*

      • 6.1.1 Anne

        I love the kim myung min’s over the top self confidence. And the three piece pinstripe suit just screamed “i’m awesome and boy do i know it”

        And i like jung ryeowon’s pailfull of orange juice revenge. Not your average “throwing a glassful of water in your face in front of everyone at a cafe/restaurant”. This drama does it right! If your gonna pull a revenge stint, go all the way!

        And omg can we get married is love. I hope we get to explore hangroo’s pair, and the jerk cousin gets hit by truck. And that lee mi sook’s character, as awesome as she is, becmes less overbearing.

        My fave part about that drama is that they fight like real couples. They love each other no doubt, but they fight because they have differences and their personalities clash. Couples dont need to be complete opposities to drive each other nuts irl.

        • mav

          I want the jerk cousin to cry Hye Jin a river of bloody tears and then some. I love that this show is clicking with so many people!

    • 6.2 kit

      Think we need to become bffs tbh. Can We Get Married is terrific, I was worried it’d take the melodramatic route in Ep 3 because of the teasers but nope, it’s so good. The cast is excellent, and everything hits so true I’m wincing and laughing behind my screen. And King of Dramas is shaping up really really well too.

      • 6.2.1 mav

        It really is, i love how even the super emotional parts don’t feel over the top melo like, they feel so real. On all the couples its stuff that you can see happening -not on a suspended believe drama universe way- but to on this happens to people you know way. We all know someone with a mother like that and couples like Jung Hoon and Hey Yoon. Loving it!

    • 6.3 coby

      I am! and I like it 🙂

    • 6.4 Carole McDonnell

      I haven’t checked out Can We Get Married? But after reading everyone’s comments, I think I’m going to check it out. Thanks.

      • 6.4.1 lizzie

        Dramafever has it subbed! 🙂

    • 6.5 sogazelle

      Oh yes!… I watched “can we get married?” yesterday and I’m definitely in…It’s real with characters that we can easily identify with…I’m enjoying the lack of gloss and polish in the dialogues as well…

      The leads are just adorable…but my crush is on the second male lead…tall and charismatic, with the most beautiful and kissable lips.

      I believe He was also the second male lead in “bachelors in a vegetable store” or something of that sort……. I hope they build up his story because I find him totally hot….and a good actor to boot.

      • 6.5.1 mav

        It funny, cause while i find him hot, I also find him a jerk… but i can’t hate him like I want him to grovel and loose his cool over hye jin, but i like him as a character. I also wish they develop his story… so far we’ve been given a parts from all the couples so I think they will.

  7. Village Mrembo

    horse healer all the way! though with 50 eps i should have done the smart thing and waited it out then marathon it, waiting a week for next ep is killing me!

    and i cant help but be very childish (and immature lols) and try to piss off some Oh la la lovers by bashing their beloved drama! by 2nd week i was bored to tears!!! disappointing! (sorry it was too annoying hearing people complaining abt ‘faith’ every week, repeating the same thing nonetheless,ugh!)

    • 7.1 CM

      You’re not alone! I haven’t watched horse healer, but did watch the first four episodes of Oh la la… and it had just too much over-reaction and gender stereotypes that I gave up even reading the recaps.

    • 7.2 shiku

      I also like Horse Healer and am also regretting not waiting till the end.

  8. dustdevil

    I’m hooked! Love the camp, tinged with some darkness. The beauty of the show, is that when the live shoot catches up, they can just film the filming.

    Between Kim Myung-min and Lee Joon on Full House 2, I think I may have found my type: fur-wearing, manipulative, entertainment-running ajusshis.

  9. canxi

    It’s only just the beginning. I suspect the ratings may increase as Siwon makes his appearance, but I’m hoping the show pulls along the viewership on it’s own because it looks so good!

  10. 10 pipit

    Haven’t watch the first ep yet. But, this is something I’m looking forward to. Kim Myung Min I’m coming!

  11. 11 bauhinia

    I’d like to find out if there is a negative association between Siwon’s presence and drama ratings (although we can never set up a randomized experiment). Perhaps I’m generalizing but I have noticed that almost all the shows that he has a substantial role in have pretty abysmal ratings (perhaps decent at best).

  12. 12 Catherine

    Anyone been watching Sung Joon’s and Jung So Min’s Can We Get Married? Soooooooo cute

    • 12.1 Iviih :)

      YES! They are so cute and omg, the kisses! Thank cable for it!!!!!!!!

    • 12.2 Village Mrembo

      Me me me!!! I love that there’s not like ott aegyo, its just the right dose, plus i was tickled to find out that the guy is cast as a much older oppa whilst he’s actually younger than her!
      Madame Butterfly and Third Ward are also actually good esp the former!

    • 12.3 Saima

      Sung Joonie’s such a puppy…SO adorable!! A complete contrast to his SUFBB’s Ji Hyuk.

    • 12.4 mav

      Yeai for the Can we get married? love!!!

  13. 13 ck1Oz

    Loved ep 1 absolutely love the pace.It’s fun,it’s tense and it is so well acted.I am just waiting for the big fall.That guy is so arrogant it’s beyond belief.

  14. 14 Kiara

    I’m liking the “Horse Healer” thanks to Cho Seung-Woo and Kim So-Eun.

    • 14.1 Village Mrembo

      Oh yes CSW! Don’t know how he managed to not catch my attention for so long, he’s way too fine!

  15. 15 saranga

    i loved both episodes, so this is disappointing. i do hope the ratings go up, because this show is wonderfully comedic and kim myung-min is magnificence itself. i love his character to death already. and i’m so glad i like jung ryeo-won in this. i usually like her in everything, so i wonder why i tend to have low expectations of her before any project of hers actually airs? hmmm. this and madame butterfly are definitely my top watches currently (and full house!).

    • 15.1 ladyana2j

      we are same! king of drama and full house take 2 are my drama now!

  16. 16 ladyana2j

    I love first ep and really cant wait to see next ep, it’s really interesting drama and kmm just always look great…

    the rating totally make me shock! how could be it so low?!

    Well, I hope it wont be like “Story of a man”, great drama low rating!

    javabeans, have you seen fullhouse take 2?, its really entertain and for me, good comedy too, made me laugh to my ass, give it a try or if you have watched it, what do you think?

  17. 17 rainbow

    Watched the first episode and i’m totally liking it 🙂

  18. 18 -K

    Just finished the 2nd episode. Love it.

  19. 19 Lizzy4e

    King of dramas, episode 1; the pace was fast and the dialog was sharp. KMM’s character is obsessively driven, and seems devoid of compassion but he is not. He is human and likable. The writer is naive but she is sharp, highly verbal , and has a backbone so she has no problem standing toe to toe with Anthony Kim. In episode 2 Anthony Kim behaved in a way that i did not think suited his character but there might be cultural differences the I am unaware of that would justify the actions. The show is fantastic and KMM is a powerful compelling actor.

  20. 20 glo

    Pretty disappointing that they got a single digit rating, watched the 1st episode and so far I like it. KMM is the perfect actor to play the arrogant Anthony Kim; his charisma explodes on the screen. Love it that the writer doesn’t make JRW’s character as a weepy weak junior writer, but she stands up and love it when she poured a bucket of OJ to AK.

    They’re criticizing PPL in this drama, but I wonder if that OJ is actually one of this drama’s sponsor?

    • 20.1 CM

      I’m pretty sure that orange juice company is a sponsor of this drama hahaha. All the meta in this drama is just SOO GOOD!

  21. 21 Koirv

    This is definitely my drama. Kim Myungmin/King of Dramas fighting! Episode 1 and 2 were totally gripping. Every scene/every second was totally important. I repeated Episodes 1 and 2 three times each.

    I just couldn’t imagine how a mortal man would think of making such a perfect drama!

  22. 22 kit

    just finished watching the first episode. i’m ridiculously pleased with it. welcome to the cutthroat entertainment industry, bitches is really what i want to say.

  23. 23 Danna

    I thought the first two episodes of this show were funny and interesting though the music was a bit too overdramatic …which adds to the funny at times and at others its just kind of annoying….overall I thought this was a strong start, I’m just hoping they can keep it up at this pace especially when the second leads show up next week..also surprised how much I’m loving Jung Ryu Won this year

  24. 24 Taiba

    i watched the 1st episode and i thought it was interesting. its something different. i also liked the intense ost/bm.

  25. 25 Conny

    I just finished the first episode and I have to say, I’m a bit disappointed. A lot of dramas have me hooked from episode 1 but this one seems a bit stale to me.

    I think I’ll check the episode recaps for 2 or 3 weeks and then decide if it’s worth my while.

  26. 26 girl

    I liked the first episode. Looking forward to this drama.

  27. 27 Suzi Q

    The first episode was filmed well and fast paced;however, KMM’s character, Anthony Kim, reminded me so much of a thinner reincarnation of his Beethoven Virus character.He is such a egomanical and manipulative person who is very unlikable and unpalatable.

    Not a fan of JRW either so I hope Choi Si won will show up soon because I really glad to see him in another drama.

    So far, I’m disappointed that this bland predictable plot wasn’t more innovative with such great acting talent.

    Thank goodness…Enjoying Horse Healer, Madame Butterfly, Oohlala Spouses, and Full House 2.

  28. 28 Suzi Q

    The orange juice revenge was incredulous.. …

    How can anyone get into a security laden office building, walk through the halls and get into Anthony Kim’s executive office with a heavy bucket of orange juice without getting stopped?

    • 28.1 befuddled

      You have a point, but in comparison to some of the ridiculousness from other recent dramas, I think that this level of implausibility just didn’t seem to bother me at all when I was watching the scene.

    • 28.2 lizzie

      The company was a mess in that time, everyone worried about the scandal… so she entered easily there…?

    • 28.3 Mystisith

      Hmm. Body-switching, people with sheep-hair, vampires, selective chronic amnesia… So many strange things happening lately in dramaland. Personally if I was seeing someone with a bucket of orange juice I wouldn’t ask questions. I would probably help carrying it and wish the girl a nice day. 🙂

  29. 29 dtp_jnr

    After watching ep. 1, i knew the ratings for ep. 2 would rise and i was right (i’m usually right in predicting the fluctuation of drama ratings)…..Can’t wait to watch ep. 2 since it’s not completely subbed yet but i’m sure it would be awesome like ep.1…..

  30. 30 altair

    Here is what I think is wrong with this drama:
    1. It’s too clever and niche for the general audience (fast wording, clever dialogues, technical terms, etc)
    2. the main topic (life behind the cameras) is unattractive to many (including myself).
    3. Lovestory is quite typical(she is poor, but intelligent and fighting to survive, he is rich and powerful and needs her help), but the actors are not young and pretty.
    I watched ep. 1, will not watch ep. 2, and skip right to ep. 3 when Siwon shows up. If I like him in this, I will watch it further, if not I’ll quit.

    • 30.1 Mystisith

      The problem with your theory is that “On Air” who had the same characteristics: Fast dialogue, same topic, good actors but no flower boys, almost no romance, was a hit.
      Did the audience changed so much in 4 years? Maybe.
      But I would bet on “too many rivals”.

      • 30.1.1 Maricel

        Ehm…According to your description i would say on air, is a bit different. First , Park Yong Ha was absoluty gorgeous there, i still miss him. Lee Bum Soo, is so charicmastic that he becomes more than charming…the girls were very pretty, and they weren’t the common heroines cause they were strong, and far more powerful than the males. I loved On Air, becuase of that… And, for me the only similarity to this drama is the “director- writer – drama industry relation”…However, I wil try to watch this drama as soon as posible.

    • 30.2 shingo

      There’s nothing wrong with this drama except the fact that there’s strong competition. I’ve read comments from Korean viewers from a lot sources and I hardly read anything negative.

      A lot of them wish the ratings were higher and feel sorry for the cast and crew. Even the fans from the other dramas on the same timeslot said King of Dramas is good.

      Hopefully the drama will get it’s two digits ratings soon but right now I cant helped but feel disappointed. I dont think it deserves this type of ratings.

      • 30.2.1 shingo

        I mean I can understand if the ratings is 8 or 9. 6.5 is way too low. But luckily, ratings increases for the ep2.

    • 30.3 Aya

      so this means:
      1. korean audience is too dumb
      2. the show must go on at all costs for viewers’ enjoyment
      3. ageism and beauty-standards are real and encouraged

      ok then

      • 30.3.1 altair

        You got it!

        • nomu nomu nomu

          hmmm, you do know that you just made a confession about yourself being dumb, shallow and superficial, right?

    • 30.4 Bean

      Too bad you miss episode 2, where your “rich, powerful” part is thrown right out of the window….

      • 30.4.1 shingo

        I totally forgot someone is poor now. XD

  31. 31 binnie

    Anything with KMM is pure awesomeness! I’m watching this one 🙂

    • 31.1 Koirv

      So true!
      I memorized Ep 1 and 2 already…

      ahhh so worth my time
      even if it means repeating the whole darn thing…
      if it is and only if it is KING OF DRAMAS

  32. 32 Onees

    I liked the first episode. Hope it stay good.

  33. 33 Carole McDonnell

    I really loved the first episode. Not sure if it’s a comedy yet. That undercurrent of suspense, greed, etc is good though. So, whatever it is, I’m up for it. The first fifteen minutes of the first episode will have me forever thinking of orange juice and product placement.

  34. 34 Barbarella

    thanks JB,

    This drama is at warming – up phase, so it will go into

    global heatwave soon !! watch out !

    and here I come KING OF DRAMAS !!

  35. 35 owl

    Hmmm. The 1st episode makes me think this kdrama has potential. Not exactly comedy material yet, as the intensity and pressure of the industry ended with some pretty awaful results – that go-fer guy dying and a lot of major manipulation. I am liking the second writer though – I’m counting on her carrying the ball – and I the main writer too. Oh, and the lead in the kdrama kdrama – juicy cute!

    Was the portrayal of kdramas painfully blunt? and unflattering to the industry and the audience? Or, does that matter? I see others have commented on this as well…

  36. 36 dtp_jnr

    From nate, it is safe to say that viewers love the drama so far and have almost nothing negative to say about it so it…..Hopefully it would turn out to be like History of a Salaryman which started out low (not as bad as 6.5 but was a single digit i think around 8 but ended up with 20% in ratings as the popularity grew online…..

  37. 37 girlatsea

    Oh, whatever. I liked it!

    • 37.1 girlatsea

      It’s a little overproduced but it’s enjoyable. And KMM is always great^^

  38. 38 Lady Seoul

    Aw, well that sucks. I’ve been looking forward to a LOL drama too, but I think all the dramas are representing my life this year. Sad, depressing, with a stroke of bad luck. /sighs

    • 38.1 Koirv

      This is a good comedy anyway. 😉

      Hoping it would be a rather A GOOD GOOD ROMCOM this year! Fighting!

  39. 39 random person

    Liked episode 1, almost finishing episode 2 now. This episode is titled “The fall of the lord”. Makes me think that the whole behind-the-scenes drama premise is not exactly the whole soul of the story. It’s probably going to be an awesome “alpha male falls hard and battles to pick himself up, learning important lessons along the way” kind of thing. Although I would find it a blast if “the lord” turns out to be incorrigible at the end.

    That said, the “behind the scenes of the drama” environment does give the story a fresh setting, allowing for entertaining scenarios and lines that were not previously afforded by a typical chaebol situation.

    And I seriously doubt that the ratings would be very affected by a group of people who feel uncomfortable at the “drama” setting and critique. I believe that most people are intelligent enough to laugh at themselves. Ultimately the plot and execution will carry it through (or not) – waiting for episodes 3 and 4 to make more judgment of this.

    • 39.1 random person

      Not done with episode 2 but just have to comment…

      *potential spoiler warning*

      The mackerel shop scene was beyond awesome. Someone on viki called it “dramaception”, I couldn’t have put it better.

  40. 40 MELMAX

    liking this… watched both epis I’m hooked and of coursed looking forward to what Siwon sill bring to this… soo, is this a comedy or drama… the conclusion of epi 2 is intense, epi 3 & 4 come already!!!

    and Can We Get Married… hooked since epi 1… love the “skinships”

    JB please continue, hope you recap KOD…

  41. 41 jubilantia

    I really enjoyed the first two episodes of King of Dramas, but I thought it skated between melodrama and comedy a little weirdly. For example, it’s overly dramatic music and an over-the-top character… and then someone actually dies. And then it happens again in episode 2. I’m hoping it will lighten up a bit, or at least decide what it wants to be.

    • 41.1 duguen duguen

      That’s why it’s dark comedy.

  42. 42 asianromance

    I can’t believe I missed out on this drama’s premiere earlier this week . Will watch it when I get home tomorrow night. Horse Stealer and Oh La La Spouses aren’t as high as I expected even though they are in 1st and second page in ratings….. I wonder what else is one around the same time..

    • 42.1 duguen duguen

      Cheer Up Mr Kim which is an hour before has about 20 % ratings.

  43. 43 ttalgi

    Please tell me you guys are gonna review this! Haha, I know you guys are free to pick up whatever drama you wish to review but I just feel strongly that this drama ought to be given a chance. I’ve been waiting all year for my drama-crack and this could possibly be it, from the two eps alone!

    • 43.1 Koirv

      Give this a chance. Thank you!! 🙂

  44. 44 Juju

    Enjoyed both episodes!! Love these ‘behind the scenes’ dramas such as On Air & World Within. But I do not know why they always portray scriptwriters as untidy, makeupless with that super volumised permed hairstyle!!

  45. 45 loshasiwon3

    WTF OMG really siwon and all Forum Leaders Drama they the best i really sad for m baby siwon 🙁
    i hop high ratings
    i dont know what love Koreans in drams i dont think love drama comedy and romantic they love sad just sad 🙁
    i’m sorry the not all but Some of them, but they overpowered the minority >_>

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