This year has been phenomenal for Korean television, but specifically K-dramas. Starting out with Reply 1988 starring Hyeri (K-pop idol of Girl’s Day), Ryoo Joon Yeol (Producer, Lucky Romance), Ko Gyung Pyo (Warm and Cozy, Flower Boy Next Door), and Park Bo Gum (Bridal Mask, Producer), other K-dramas followed up hitting high double-digit ratings if it aired on free television or hitting double-digits in general if it aired on cable or pay television.
An example of the latter includes Another Oh Hae Young, starring Eric Mun (K-pop idol of Shinhwa), Seo Hyun Jin (K-pop idol of M.I.L.K.), and Jeon Hye Bin (K-pop idol of LUV), and Ms Temper and Nam Jung Gi, starring Lee Yo Won (Empire of Gold, The Great Ambition) and Yoon Sang Hyun (My Fair Lady, Secret Garden). As for the former, the best example would be Descendants of the Sun starring Song Joong Ki (Tree With Deep Roots, The Innocent Man) and Song Hye Kyo (Full House, Autumn in My Heart).
Right now, there are K-dramas that may have the potential of dethroning Descendants of the Sun. Doctors, starring Park Shin Hye (Heirs, Pinocchio) and Kim Rae Won (Gourmet, Thousand Days’ Promise), and 38 Revenue Collection Unit, starring Ma Dong Seok (Shut Up Flower Boy Band, Bad Guys), Seo In Guk (Love Rain, Reply 1997), and Sooyoung (K-pop idol of Girls’ Generation), have potential. However, there is one K-drama that many anticipated would have potential too, and it is Uncontrollably Fond. The K-drama started out with strong viewership but by the second episode, it dropped.
Before moving forward to the viewership ratings, it is best to provide a synopsis of what Uncontrollably Fond is all about. The new K-drama stars Kim Woo Bin (Heirs, School 2013) who plays Shin Joon Young and Suzy (K-pop idol of miss A) who plays No Eul. Both were a couple until they were separated during their childhood due to an ill-fated relationship. Eventually, they meet again in the future, where Joon Young is a top actor-singer and No Eul is a documentary producer. It is from this moment the K-drama moves forward in a rom-com direction.
Nevertheless, Uncontrollably Fond has the chance to be a true successor to another K-drama which previously occupied its time slot, Descendants of the Sun, because Master: God of Noodles failed to do such despite its intense storytelling, excellent direction, and superb acting. This does not mean Uncontrollably Fond has its fair share of obstacles. For starters, the female lead is Suzy and many among the K-drama fandom claim Suzy is not that good of an actress. It is possible Suzy may have improved since Gu Family Book and Big, but we will have to wait and see.
Despite the stigma surrounding Suzy’s past acting, viewership for the first episode of Uncontrollably Fond was high, as shown by ratings provided by TNS Media Korea and Nielsen Korea. For the former, the Seoul National Capital Area received 12.7 percent in viewership while the nation received 11.5 percent in viewership. It was about one percent higher for Nielsen Korea. Unfortunately, the second episode saw a major drop for TNmS ratings as the Seoul National Capital Area received 9.4 percent while the nation received 9.3 percent. Nielsen Korea only recorded a one percent drop for the Seoul National Capital Area.
The fact there was such a dramatic drop in viewership from the first to second episodes means it did not hook viewers in. To be fair though, Uncontrollably Fond is still fairly new and has 18 more episodes to air within the series. Within that time, it could do well and live up to the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) standards, or it could potentially flop like The Time We Were Not In Love.
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, for free with ads, on DramaFever, but is also available on Viki, pending region.
[Image via Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) Promotions of Uncontrollably Fond]