For the 2016 K-drama autumn season, which also includes the summer to autumn swing season, the Seoul Broadcasting System is not doing so well with their currently airing lineup. You Are A Gift, Second to Last Love, and Our Gab Soon mainly linger under the double-digit ceiling. The same goes with Scarlet Heart: Ryeo, but at least that period K-drama is doing well internationally, earning over 1 billion views on Youku in China and being the second most-watched K-drama on DramaFever.
Actually, there is only one SBS K-drama that is doing decently, both domestically in South Korea, and internationally: Jealousy Incarnate. The K-drama, starring Gong Hyo Jin, Jo Jung Suk, and Go Kyung Pyo, started out very well. However, its comedic approach to its unique plot point of Jung Suk’s character having breast cancer really helped boost viewership. Now, another plot point is bringing in the viewership numbers and it has to do with the relationship of Jung Suk and Kyung Pyo’s characters, Lee Hwa Shin and Go Jung Won, and their relation with Hyo Jin’s character, Pyo Na Ri. The love lines are not obvious, and K-drama fans are constantly guessing who Na Ri will end up with.
Typically in K-dramas, especially those that are romantic comedies, the actors who play the main lead characters will eventually have to act the series’ love line because it is often expected they end up together. As said K-drama progresses, the love line obviously develops through particular scenarios. That is not the case for Jealousy Incarnate (also known as Incarnation of Jealousy, Incarnation of Envy, and Don’t Dare To Dream). Though Gong Hyo Jin and Jo Jung Suk are the main lead characters and many K-drama fans expect them to end up together, the direction of the series’ plot says otherwise.
[WARNING: Minor Spoilers!] After 12 episodes have aired, we have come to a point in the plot when television anchor Lee Hwa Shin (Jo Jung Suk) pairs up his best friend and chaebol heir to a large corporation managing several luxury clothing brands, Go Jung Won (Go Kyung Pyo) with his fellow co-worker, weather reporter Pyo Na Ri (Gong Hyo Jin). Unbeknownst to Jung Won, Na Ri used to have a one-sided relationship with Hwa Shin for three years. Eventually, Hwa Shin develops feelings for Na Ri and becomes jealous of his best friend, though he does his best to act like he is not jealous. This jealousy comes to the forefront when Lee Hwa Shin and Go Jung Won fight each other on a mud flat at the end of Episode 11.
The aforementioned scenario sounds like it would fit in any good K-drama romcom, but it is just one of many scenarios over the course of Jealousy Incarnate that paints a love triangle in which viewers are unsure if Lee Hwa Shin and Pyo Na Ri will end up together at the end of the series. Both Hwa Shin and Go Jung Won are heavily vested in each other as friends, which adds a level of complication that makes it tough for Na Ri to choose who she’ll end up with, especially when both men blunder over each other to whole-heartedly win her affections.
Jealousy Incarnate can either go the traditional way of Lee Hwa Shin and Pyo Na Ri ending up together, or the rare direction in which the second lead gets the girl, like in many K-dramas, Park Shi Hoo plays the second male lead, in which Go Jung Won ends up with Na Ri. To be fair though, the progression of the love triangle may be going in such a way, given the fact the K-drama is 24-episodes long.
Keeping fans guessing on who Pyo Na Ri will end up with is helping with the viewership numbers, according to the ratings provided by both TNS Media Korea and AGB Nielsen Korea, the average for Episode 12 is 11.85 percent for the nation and 13.55 percent for the Seoul National Capital Area. It should also be reported that Episode 12 ratings were the highest for TNS Media Korea too.
To find out what will happen next in the love triangle between Pyo Na Ri, Lee Hwa Shin, and Go Jung Won, Jealousy Incarnate airs episodes on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 10 p.m. KST on SBS. For those who do not have access to Korean channels, the series can be viewed for free, with ads, on DramaFever with the latest episodes, starting with Episode 3, exclusive to premium members for one week. It is also available for free, with ads, on Viki as Don’t Dare to Dream.
[Featured Image by Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS)]