Back in 2016, the Total Variety Network (tvN) dominated Korean cable networks with almost back-to-back K-dramas that earned record-breaking viewership. With few exceptions, almost all of their K-dramas earned very high viewership, especially Reply 1988 and Goblin. Unfortunately, tvN cannot say they have the same success in 2017.
To be frank, every tvN K-drama so far has flopped when compared to 2016’s lineup. First, there was Introverted Boss, starring Yeon Woo Jin and Park Hye Soo. The synopsis gave it ample opportunity to be a breakout hit, but the delivery was underwhelming. As a result, it never broke over four percent viewership for either the nation or the Seoul National Capital Area, even after major script revisions. Then there is Tomorrow With You starring Lee Je Hoon and Shin Min Ah. The “time slip” romance initially started with more than decent viewership thanks to Min Ah’s part, but viewership has dropped down so low, some episodes have less than 1 percent. It is expected the last two episodes will get a minor boost but will probably not surpass 2 percent.
At this point, it is safe to say that tvN has two back-to-back failures if we compare them to their 2016 lineup. Ergo, they are probably hoping their newest K-drama, The Liar and His Lover, will do better. Unfortunately, it looks like it will continue the unpopular trend of tvN airing K-dramas that fail to deliver.
The Liar and His Lover — also known as She Loves Lie So Much and Lovely Love Lie — is the third K-drama to air under tvN for 2017. It stars Lee Hyun Woo and Joy of Red Velvet. According to the synopsis, it is a love story surrounded by music. Kang Han Gyeol (Hyun Woo) is a brilliant but depressed music composer who meets a high school student named Yoon So Rim (Joy) while living under a hidden identity. With her courageous honesty and beautiful singing, So Rim draws back Hang Gyeol back to her again and again.
For K-drama fans who love romances and/or the K-pop or Korean music industry, The Liar and His Lover sounds like a perfect match. However, the viewership shows that not many are interested. According to both AGB Nielsen Korea and TNmS Media Korea‘s ratings for the second episode, the former earned 1.345 percent for the Seoul National Capital Area and 1.427 percent for the nation, and the latter earned 1.7 percent for the nation. It should also be noted that the second episode ratings were a substantial drop from the first episode ratings.
Unlike the other tvN K-dramas that aired in 2017 so far, The Liar and His Lover is the worst. Maybe tvN hoped that utilizing Joy of Red Velvet, one of the most popular K-pop girl groups in the industry today, would help bring in viewership. Alas, it really didn’t do much. As a matter of fact, most K-pop stars who act in K-dramas and K-movies aren’t really that good. Korean networks are often criticized for casting them too much as in Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo and Hwarang.
To be fair, The Liar and His Lover just started and still has a way to go, meaning it has time to establish itself. It airs on Mondays and Tuesdays at 11 p.m. KST for 16 episodes. For those who do not have access to Korean cable channels, it can be viewed on OnDemandKorea and on DramaFever by its other title Lovely Love Lie, depending on region availability.
[Featured Image by the Total Variety Network (tvN)]