The current trend of lighthearted romantic comedies in K-dramas continues with the latest K-drama airing on the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS), Sweet Stranger and Me. Also known as The Man Living In Our House, the series stars Soo Ae, Kim Young Kwang, and Lee Soo Hyuk.
According to the K-drama’s synopsis of its plot, a middle-aged flight attendant named Hong Na Ri (Soo Ae) comes home to find that her deceased mother’s home is now owned by a man named Go Nan Gil (Kim Young Kwang). Eventually, Na Ri learns that Nan Gil married her mother right before she died making Nan Gil her step-father. However, there is another dilemma that makes their relationship very unique: Hong Na Ri’s step-father Go Nan Gil is three years younger than her.
Sweet Stranger and Me is an excellent addition to the currently airing lineup of lighthearted romantic comedies. It joins Shopping King Louis, Jealousy Incarnate, and the recently debuting My Wife Is Having An Affair This Week. As a matter of fact, it made its debut with a very high viewership rating. However, they have dropped dramatically four episodes in. Could it be that Hong Na Ri and Go Nan Gil’s unique and taboo relationship is just too much for Koreans?
It should be noted that Sweet Stranger and Me had a lot going for it when it made its debut on October 24. As mentioned earlier, Koreans are currently really into lighthearted romantic comedies. Ergo, Sweet Stranger and Me should have started out well which it did. According to the viewership ratings provided by TNmS Media Korea and AGB Nielsen Korea, the former recorded 8.2 percent for the nation and 9.5 percent for the Seoul National Capital Area while the latter recorded 9.0 percent for the nation and 9.1 percent for the Seoul National Capital Area. The numbers drastically increased with the second episode resulting in the highest viewership ratings for the K-drama to date.
Unfortunately for Sweet Stranger and Me, the viewership ratings suddenly dropped back down in the third and fourth episode. The lowest ratings, for both the nation and the Seoul National Capital Area, were recorded for AGB Nielsen Korea for the third episode and TNmS Media Korea for the fourth episode. The question that needs to be answered is, what caused the viewership to nosedive suddenly?
For starters, it cannot be competition. The Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) K-drama Woman with a Suitcase remained steadfast in their viewership between 6.0 and 8.0 percent. This means the K-drama’s viewership is already dedicated and established, something that would make sense for a series 11 episodes in. As for the Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS) K-drama Romantic Doctor, Teacher Kim, it hasn’t aired just yet.
It is most likely the reason why Koreans are not watching Sweet Stranger and Me is not because they are losing interest, but because the K-drama is just too much for them. The characters of Hong Na Ri and Go Nan Gil are that of a step-father and step-daughter despite the former being younger than the latter by three years. However, there are foreshadows that Na Ri and Nan Gil might have a possible romantic relationship. Technically, the characters are not related by blood but it is considered an incest angle, something very taboo in South Korea. If Koreans struggled a bit with Jealousy Incarnate, in which two guys and one girl lived in the same house, how will they handle this?
Only time will tell on what happens between Hong Na Ri and Go Nan Gil in Sweet Stranger and Me. The K-drama airs on Mondays and Tuesdays at 10 p.m. KST on KBS. For those who do not have access to KBS, Sweet Stranger and Me is available to view with a Viki Pass subscription exclusively on Viki by its other title, The Man Living In Our House.
[Featured Image by the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS)]