Last month, the Total Variety Network (tvN) debuted their first K-drama officially for the year of 2017, Introverted Boss. Also known as My Shy Boss and Sensitive Boss, the romantic comedy starring Yeon Woo Jin (When a Man Falls in Love, Divorce Lawyer in Love) and Park Hye Soo (Yong Pal, Age of Youth), it is about Yeon Hwan Ki (Woo Jin), the genius CEO of a public relations firm who seems cold and insensitive but is extremely sensitive and shy. Things change when Chae Ro Woon (Hye Soo), an extrovert with excellent communication skills, works under Hwan Ki aiming to take revenge against him for an incident that happened three years ago with her sister.
Initially, Introverted Boss started out strong with about three percent in viewership ratings across the board. However, they began to dwindle as the series went in a more "conflict-per-episode" approach often seen in western dramas. This apparently gave very little development for each character despite the drama going at a slower pace. In a state of emergency for the series, tvN gathered the cast and crew on script revisions in which they would take into account viewers' feedback into consideration.
It has now been four episodes and apparently, the script revision worked. Introverted Boss saw improvement. As a result, it was praised among viewers, both domestic and international, on the new direction.
As previously reported, Introverted Boss took a week off for the Chinese or Lunar New Year holiday. Though no episodes aired, tvN and the cast and crew were hard at work revising the script looking for a new direction to improve viewership ratings after its massive 1.5 percent drop from episode two to three for the Seoul National Capital Area. It makes sense that the viewership ratings wouldn't suddenly spike up to double-digits the week after the script revisions. It takes some time to rebuild viewership.
By the seventh and eighth episodes, we began to see the results of the script changes as viewership ratings were steadily increasing. According to both AGB Nielsen Korea and TNmS Media Korea, the former averaged around two percent for both the nation and Seoul National Capital Area. As for the latter, it averaged 1.5 percent for the nation.
The improved viewership might statistically show improvement, but it is the viewers' praise that speaks volumes. After watching the last four episodes myself, it is easy to see why they are all so happy. There are three major changes to take notice of.
1. Chae Ji Hye's Relationship With Eun Hwan Ki And Details Of Her Suicide -- Throughout episodes one through four, there are references to a situation that happened three years ago when Chae Ji Hye committed suicide. Very little is known about the incident except that Ji Hye was Eun Hwan Ki's secretary at the time and that she is Chae Ro Woon's older sister. Every situation stems from this incident but given the fact very little is known, it is hard for viewers to follow what is going on to an extent.
tvN fixed the situation by making episode five a flashback episode from three years ago. We get insight on what kind of relationship Chae Ji Hye and Eun Hwan Ki had. Just like Chae Ro Woon is learning that Hwan Ki is really a warm and sensitive person, Ji Hye knew as well. [WARNING! Minor Spoiler Ahead! Skip To Second Note To Avoid!] As a matter of fact, we now know that Hwan Ki is actually Ji Hye's first love.
2. Eun Hwan Ki And Chae Ro Woon's Characters Were Slightly Different -- In the first four episodes of Introverted Boss, tvN did their best to enforce that Eun Hwan Ki was introverted and Chae Ro Woon was extroverted. Ergo, Hwan Ki was terrible in all social situations of any kind to the point it was a disorder, and Ro Woon's character was so overwhelming at times, she was rude and unlikable. tvN changed their characters slightly by making Hwan Ki able to handle basic social situations and Ro Woon not so overbearing. This, in turn, makes it easier for viewers to see a possible romance between the two form.
3. The Pace Of The K-Drama Is Faster -- Before the scrip changes, the pace of Introverted Boss was slower. Apparently, many K-drama fans were bored by this. By speeding up the pace of the K-drama, a lot more can be done in each episode making it possible to fit everything tvN and viewers expect into 16 episodes.
Right now, we are halfway through Introverted Boss with only eight episodes remaining. We will have to see if the script changes continue to improve on viewership ratings to the point it earns double-digits. If not, tvN can at least be satisfied that the K-drama is continuously growing in popularity. Better to have a higher single-digit viewership than one that is around one or two percent right?
Introverted Boss airs on Mondays and Tuesdays at 11 p.m. KST on tvN. For those who do not have access to Korean cable channels, it can be viewed on DramaFever (as My Shy Boss) and OnDemandKorea.
[Featured Image by the Total Variety Network (tvN)]