Right now on Korean television, the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) is airing Uncontrollably Fond, a romantic drama starring Kim Woo Bin and Bae Suzy, who is better known simply by her first name, Suzy.
After the success of Descendants of the Sun, KBS hoped they could make Uncontrollably Fond just as popular, if not more popular. After the first episode, it looked like Uncontrollably Fond was well on its way to becoming the noteworthy successor of Descendants of the Sun.
Prior to the release of Uncontrollably Fond, Master: God of Noodles tried and failed as a follow up to Descendants of the Sun. Proving that duplicating success can be difficult, the second episode of Uncontrollably Fond showed a decrease in viewership. The downward trend continued after the third and fourth episodes of Uncontrollably Fond aired, but KBS still had high hopes simply because it captured Chinese audiences.
After six episodes, Uncontrollably Fond is on the brink of single-digit viewership in South Korea, and many Korean netizens are blaming Suzy’s poor acting for the K-drama’s current decline.
Before detailing why Suzy’s poor acting is considered the reason Uncontrollably Fond (also known as Lightly, Ardently) is failing, it should be noted that criticizing her acting has nothing to do with criticizing her as a person. Apparently, Suzy is recognized as having a very good reputation. In one example of her charity, she donated $8,770 to Dream On Social Welfare Society to help poor and needy children. However, Suzy’s easy demeanor and humanitarian heart do not make her a great actress.
The negative criticism of Suzy’s acting comes primarily from the group of people who matter the most when it comes to K-dramas, and they are the K-drama fans. It is the fans who contribute to the viewership ratings, and it is the fans who often make or break K-dramas.
Star power, at times, means nothing if they show disdain. The Time We Were Not In Love is a prime example of a K-drama, which had strong star power in Ha Ji Won and Lee Jin Wook, but the K-drama viewers criticized it, and this resulted in poor viewership. Once again, the K-drama fans have spoken, and many of their negative reviews for Uncontrollably Fond point squarely at Suzy and her poor acting; an issue she has had since her very first acting gig in Dream High.
Reviewer One: “Suzy’s acting… it’s hopeless.”
Reviewer Two: “Suzy, stop ‘uncontrollably’ acting… just stick to pictorials.”
Reviewer Three: “Are part time staff at work today? The plot was moving at a boring pace today and the leads were still bad at acting. I think the only reason the articles aren’t getting hate anymore is because people stopped watching after yesterday.”
The constant flow of criticism about Suzy’s acting will surely be a problem for Uncontrollably Fond, especially against rival K-dramas Doctors (also known as Doctor Crush) and W(also known as W – Two Worlds). For starters, both feature a very-popular cast in which the actors are well-known for excellent acting. Doctors has Park Shin Hye and W has Lee Jong Suk.
W just started, so it cannot be compared against Uncontrollably Fond just yet, but Doctors already aired ten episodes, and its ratings are high, as reported by The Bit Bag. Since the fifth episode, viewership ratings have been around 21 percent average for the Seoul National Capital Area and 18 percent for the nation. If W proves to be another K-drama that dominates in viewership, Uncontrollably Fond might become irrelevant unless Suzy steps up in her acting.
Uncontrollably Fond airs on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 9:55 p.m. KST on KBS. It will air simultaneously in China, North America, and South America, too. For those in China, it will stream on Youku Tudou. For North and South America, it will air one hour after the Korean airtime, free with ads on DramaFever, but it is also available on Viki, depending on the region.
[Photo by Han Myung-Gu/Getty Images for Burberry]