2016 has proven to be a phenomenal year for K-dramas. Suffering a major blow in popularity back in 2014 during Hallyu history’s first “Kpopcalypse,” K-dramas suddenly found itself returning to their former glory this year with numerous series that dominated in domestic and international viewership. The Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) probably has the most popular and most recognizable K-dramas on the list, first starting with Descendants of the Sun. The military romance starring Song Joong Ki and Song Hye Kyo became a domestic and international phenomenon that is still discussed among fans to this day. Second, Moonlight Drawn by Clouds, a period drama starring Park Bo Gum and Kim Yoo Jung, made a major impact for its quirkiness and unique plot angle.
Right now, the Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS) seems to be dominating K-dramas with two series airing on different times and days. The Legend of the Blue Sea marks the K-drama returns of both Jun Ji Hyun and Lee Min Ho since 2013. The fantasy romance has proven to be quite popular, with almost over 20 percent in viewership recorded from both viewership rating companies in South Korea. Believe it or not, it is not the best K-drama airing on SBS, as fellow network series Romantic Doctor, Teacher Kim has earned even higher viewership rating numbers, an outcome that is expected because SBS has owned the medical genre in K-dramas for the last three years.
Apparently, the surprises in K-dramas were not finished for the year. Fans are now enjoying the latest K-drama to air on the Total Variety Network (tvN), Goblin. Also known as Guardian: The Lonely and Great God or Goblin: The Lonely and Great God, the new series starring Gong Yoo (Coffee Prince, Dating Agency: Cyrano), Lee Dong Wook (My Girl, Hotel King), and Kim Go Eun (Cheese in the Trap) was so popular that its first episode’s viewership surpassed that of Reply 1988. This may lead to the possibility of becoming tvN’s best K-drama of the year.
If such an accomplishment weren’t good enough for Goblin, there are reports that it is now dominating the best of the best of 2016. Goblin is now beating The Legend of the Blue Sea, Descendants of the Sun, and Moonlight Drawn by Clouds in specific categories.
Prior to Goblin, SBS K-drama The Legend of the Blue Sea was ranked number one for the TV Hot Issue section for dramas. According to Korean news outlet OSEN through a translation by HanCinema, that is no longer the case as Goblin received twice as much points. What is amazing about this accomplishment is that the K-drama is just debuting. It is very rare for any debuting K-drama to suddenly push down the ranking of another K-drama, especially if the one being pushed down is extremely popular such as The Legend of the Blue Sea.
Not only that, Goblin managed to overtake other popular K-dramas with its score of 7,449 points and first ranking too. It beat Descendants of the Sun, which had 5,518 points; Reply 1988, which had 5,260 points; and Moonlight Drawn by Clouds, which has 4,720 points. And just so it is known, it is also beating The Legend of the Blue Sea, which has 4,316 points.
If the aforementioned rankings for the TV Hot Issues aren’t enough to convince K-drama fans that Goblin is turning out to be the best of the best, the viewership ratings will. According to the ratings for the first episode, provided by both AGB Nielsen Korea and TNmS Media Korea, the former recorded 6.322 percent for the nation and 7.540 percent for the Seoul National Capital Area while the latter recorded 6.7 percent for the nation. The second episode saw a dramatic increase in viewership in which AGB Nielsen Korea recorded 7.904 percent for the nation and 10.024 percent for the Seoul National Capital Area and TNmS Media Korea recorded 8.1 percent for the nation.
Take note that tvN is a pay channel in South Korea, so the fact that Goblin earned double-digit ratings by its second episode is astounding. Descendants of the Sun, The Legend of the Blue Sea, Moonlight Drawn by Clouds, and other K-dramas by SBS and KBS were able to achieve double-digit ratings easily because it is free to watch them.
Goblin airs episodes on Fridays and Saturdays at 8:30 p.m. KST. For those who do not have access to tvN, the series can be viewed on Viki (depending on location) and DramaFever by its other title Goblin: The Lonely and Great God.
[Featured Image by Total Variety Network (tvN)]