From September 16 to November 11, the Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) aired a K-drama which would capture the awe and wonder of millions of people -- not just in Korea, but around the world -- titled, She Was Pretty. The series, starring Hwang Jung Eum and Park Seo Joon, was so popular that it accumulated an average of a 15 percent viewership rating for the whole country. Given the fact that the population of Korea is over 50 million, that is a lot of people watching.
However, She Was Pretty isn't the only K-drama this year to really appeal to viewers. The first K-drama to earn such a status was Producer. Starring Cha Tae Hyun, Kong Hyo Jin, Kim Soo Hyun, and IU, the series was a huge risk by the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS), one that yielded a high return with the final episode earning 20 percent viewership in Seoul alone. After that, there was Yong Pal, which is arguably the best K-drama of 2015 so far. The series starring Joo Won and Kim Tae Hee has 12 of its 16 episodes earning over 20 percent in Seoul, maxing out at 23 percent.
One fact can be derived from the aforementioned K-dramas: there will always be another K-drama that just really appeals to viewers and the ratings will be tantamount compared to others. With the conclusion of She Was Pretty, viewers are wondering which K-drama will take its place. It might actually be the new K-drama, Oh My Venus, and there are a number of reasons why.
For starters, it stars So Ji Sub (Master's Sun) and Shin Min Ah (Arang and the Magistrate), two very popular K-drama actors known for their roles in film as well as their presence in the news. According to KdramaStars, having those two on the same K-drama is a ratings advantage. Apparently, that is exactly what happened. Looking at both the TNS Media Korea (TNmS) and AGB Nielson (AGB) ratings provided by AsianWiki, the series earned an average of 8.3 percent for Seoul and 7.4 percent nationwide. By its second episode, the ratings for Seoul have climbed up 0.1 percent for TNmS and 1.2 percent increase for AGB. For debut episodes, ratings between seven and ten percent are really good. As a matter of fact, Oh My Venus did better than She Was Pretty pertaining to debut ratings because the latter didn't even get rated for its first episode (though Yong Pal was still on air at the time).
However, could it be possible that Oh My Venus is actually popular because it seems to have a lot of parallels to She Was Pretty in the first place. In She Was Pretty, Hwang Jung Eum's character Kim Hye Jin was pretty when she was young but ends up being "ugly" when she is grown up. In Oh My Venus, Shin Min Ah's character, Kang Joo Eun, is kind of in the same predicament; Joo Eun didn't lose her looks but rather her "hot body" as she is presently overweight. Even the male leads from both series are somewhat similar as both Park Seo Joon's Ji Sung Joon (from She Was Pretty) and So Ji Sub's Kim Young Ho (from Oh My Venus) are handsome, successful, and (to an extent) wealthy.
To be fair, the similarities between She Was Pretty and Oh My Venus may come down to happenstance. However, such a relatable plot detail really helped She Was Pretty stand out from other K-dramas. It would then be used as an anchor to continue its success. Though the situation and circumstances differ in Oh My Venus, a similar plot detail is being used and it is proven to be successful.
[Image via Korean Broadcasting System (KBS)/KBS2/Oh My Venus Promotions]