The Total Variety Network (tvN) had one of the most successful years in its history last year in 2016. Despite being a Korean cable television network, which means viewers had to pay to watch their programming, many of tvN’s K-dramas earned uncanny high viewership compared to K-dramas airing on Korean public television. This fact is especially true for Reply 1988 and Goblin, two K-dramas that almost peaked at 20 percent viewership.
As a result of their success, many K-drama fans, both domestically in South Korea and internationally, looked forward to what tvN had in store for 2017. Though they had a rough start with Introverted Boss, tvN hopes things will turn around with Tomorrow With You, especially with all the hype surrounding its female lead actress, Shin Min Ah.
Tomorrow With You just made its debut last Friday, and after airing its first two episodes, the Korean viewership is good. The K-drama also marks tvN’s attempt to utilize the “time travel” concept that is currently popular among K-dramas presently.
For those who are unfamiliar with Tomorrow With You, the K-drama stars Lee Je Hoon and Shin Min Ah in a fantasy romance. Yoo So Joon (Je Hoon) is the CEO of a real estate company who has the ability to travel through time via subway. Song Ma Rin (Shin Min Ah) works as a photographer and has a unique connection with So Joon, but he needs to find out what it is. Apparently, Je Hoon travels to a certain point in the future in which he sees his future self and a future version of Ma Rin end up in a car accident and die at the same time. He goes back in time to find out his connection with Ma Rin to prevent his miserable fate which eventually leads to him marrying her. As time goes by, though, Yoo So Joon ends up loving Song Ma Rin selflessly.
Apparently, K-drama fans are really enjoying the new fantasy romance as proven by the viewership ratings provided by AGB Nielsen Korea and TNmS Media Korea. By the second episode, the former recorded 3.023 percent for the nation and 3.834 percent for the Seoul National Capital Area while the latter recorded 3.1 percent for the nation.
It should be noted that Tomorrow With You is tvN’s attempt to capitalize on the “time travel” concept that is currently trending in K-dramas. The trend probably started with the Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS) with Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo starring IU and Lee Joon Gi was airing. In it, IU’s character time traveled from present day Seoul to the Goryeo Dynasty. SBS followed up with The Legend of the Blue Sea starring Jun Ji Hyun and Lee Min Ho in which characters in the Joseon Dynasty are either reborn or live up to modern Seoul.
Presently, SBS has continued the “time travel” trend with Saimdang, Light’s Diary starring Lee Young Ae and Song Seung Heon. However, the viewership ratings for that K-drama are gradually declining as its competition, Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) K-drama Chief Kim starring Namgoong Min and Nam Sang Mi, has surpassed it as the number one K-drama in the fourth episode. This might be a sign that K-drama fans are tiring of the “time travel” concept. From experience and watching numerous K-dramas, the trend seems to be shifting towards political melodramas in direct association to President Park’s scandal last year.
Tomorrow With You airs on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. KST on tvN. For those who do not have access to Korean public television, the K-drama can be viewed on both DramaFever (with DramaFever Premium) and OnDemandKorea (with ODK Plus), depending on the region.
[Featured Image by the Total Variety Network (tvN)]