Earlier this year, many K-drama fans were excited when news broke that popular Korean actor Jung Ji Hoon, better known by his stage name Rain, would make his return to dramas. It was revealed the K-drama he would star in was titled Please Come Back, Mister.
Based on the 2002 Japanese novel Mr. Tsubakiyama's Seven Days by Jirõ Asada, Please Come Back, Mister is about two men, Kim Young Soo (Kim In Kwon) and Han Gi Tak (Kim Soo Ro), coming back to the world of the living after they refuse to go to Heaven. Now alive again, they want to square their affairs away before their allocated amount of time of two months expires. However, there is a catch. When Young Soo and Gi Tak return, they do not return in their own bodies. Young Soo is now handsome, tall, and muscularly-chiseled, taking the name of Lee Hae Joon (Rain). Gi Tak, on the other hand, is a very beautiful woman taking on the name Han Hong Nan (Oh Yeon Seo).
Just by the synopsis of the plot, Please Come Back, Mister had plenty of potential to be a breakout hit that could have made Rain's comeback a success too. Unfortunately, that would not be the case as Please Come Back, Mister was disappointing in viewership ratings. The question that needs to be answered is what caused the ambitious K-drama to fail?
Please Come Back, Mister started out strong because it was Rain's comeback, and the plot itself was interesting. According to the ratings provided by TNS Media Korea and AGB Nielsen, the premier episode had about a 7.75 percent viewership rating nationwide (South Korea) while the Seoul National Capital Area had about 8.75 percent viewership. Technically, such numbers are good for a new series. It only got better for the K-drama with the second episode when viewership ratings exponentially increased by either one or two percent.
Sadly, the second episode's ratings were the highest Please Come Back, Mister would earn. Since then, the ratings plummeted, and the finale only recorded a meager 2.7 percent viewership rating nationwide. It didn't even get a viewership rating for the Seoul National Capital Area.
To be fair, it is not Please Come Back, Mister's for its disappointing viewership ratings. There were some issues in the drama like Rain's character Lee Hae Joon becoming somewhat annoying just before reaching the halfway point of the series or parts of plot unrealistically stretched by convoluted direction or fillers. However, the said issues wouldn't be enough for such low ratings given the fact that overall, the acting was on par, the direction was more than decent, and the plot was interesting. Please Come Back, Mister had the unlucky misfortune of airing the same days, at the same time, alongside Descendants of the Sun. That alone was its number one viewership ratings killer.
[Image via Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS) Promotions for Please Come Back, Mister]