‘Moonlight Drawn By Clouds’ K-Drama Finale: KBS Series Ignores Korean History To Deliver Happy Ending For High Viewership, Places Fourth For 2016 Overall

After almost three months, Moonlight Drawn by Clouds (also known as Love In The Moonlight) has aired its penultimate episode and finale bringing the popular period drama to a close. The Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) K-drama was the most popular series to air for the season about free-to-watch Korean television. It surpassed W, Jealousy Incarnate, and the heavily advertised and promoted Uncontrollably Fond. As a matter of fact, Moonlight Drawn By Clouds was so popular that it heavily boosted the Korean celebrity brand for its main lead actor, Park Bo Gum.

Before its conclusion, many K-drama fans of Moonlight Drawn by Clouds wondered if KBS would follow history or further push their creative license. Now we know as the K-drama technically ignored history to deliver a happy ending. Despite its popularity, Moonlight Drawn By Clouds only placed forth as the most popular K-drama overall for 2016 so far.

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Park Bo Gum, Kim Yoo Jung, and Jinyoung played the three major characters of the principle cast of "Moonlight Drawn by Clouds." Bo Gum received plenty of accolades and recognition for his role as Lee Yeong. [Image by Korean Broadcasting System (KBS)]

Moonlight Drawn by Clouds aired its penultimate episode and finale on Monday and Tuesday, October 17 and 18. Without spoiling intricate details of the plot, many K-drama fans wondered how KBS would conclude the series given that it takes a creative license to history. For those who do not know, Park Bo Gum’s character Lee Yeong is based on Crown Prince Hyomyeong. KBS already used their creative license by creating the love story between him and his eunuch who turns out to be a girl, but said love story does not take away or add to the basic information we know about his history. The question is how far they would push the creativity as Hyomyeong died very early at the age of 20. Not just that, Hyomyeong only became King Heonjong posthumously.

Apparently, KBS did not want to show Lee Yeong dying in the series thus he actually lives and becomes king. This move does fit the overall light-hearted feel the series has. It would suddenly be such a downer if Yeong does die before becoming king. Anyways, that decision was the right choice as they were able to wrap up all the stories the way the crew needed to wrap it up for a light-hearted happy ending. Not to mention, Moonlight Drawn by Clouds needed to end in such a way as its sudden serious turn right after the 12th episode affected the ratings as they began to drop dramatically.

With the above in mind, the viewership ratings for the penultimate episode and finale were the highest for Moonlight Drawn by Clouds. According to be TNS Media Korea and AGB Nielsen Korea, the former recorded 21.6 percent for the nation and 25.3 percent for the Seoul National Capital Area while the latter recorded 22.9 percent for the nation and 22.5 percent for the Seoul National Capital Area.

However, Moonlight Drawn by Clouds is not exactly the best of the best as current Hallyu news makes it out to be. Though the Korean viewership is great, its international viewership cannot be compared to its competition, Scarlet Heart: Ryeo. According to a spokesperson at DramaFever, it is currently their number one K-drama. In China, it has over one billion views and that was back in September. Let’s not forget the fact it is the most expensive K-drama ever sold to the country totaling up to $8 million USD.

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Moonlight Drawn by Clouds also couldn’t grab the top spot as the best K-drama of the year. So far, Descendants of the Sun, starring Song Joong Ki and Song Hye Kyo, remains at number one with viewership averages of both viewership companies at 27.43 percent for the nation and 29.32 for the Seoul National Capital Area. Behind it is Doctors, starring Kim Rae Won and Park Shin Hye. Its viewership averages of both viewership companies are 17.55 for the nation and 20.35 for the Seoul National Capital Area. Finally, Marriage Contract snags third place with its viewership averages of both viewership companies at 18.65 for the nation and 20.2 percent for the Seoul National Capital Area.

Though Moonlight Drawn by Clouds could only place fourth overall for the year, what it did get is still an accomplishment. To see why so many Korean K-drama fans loved the series, it is available to watch in its entirety for free, with ads, exclusively on Viki.

[Featured Image by Korean Broadcasting System (KBS)]