Ever since January of 2016, there seems to be a growing trend that Korean dramas, better known simply as K-dramas, airing on Korean cable channels are more popular. Though the Orion Cinema Network (OCN) and Joongang Tongyang Broadcasting Company (JTBC) had their times to shine with 38 Task Force and My Wife's Having an Affair this Week respectively, it was the Total Variety Network (tvN) who dominated the year.
Throughout 2016, tvN aired a number of hit K-dramas including Cheese in the Trap, Another Oh Hae Young, Signal, Drinking Solo, Let's Fight Ghost, Cinderella and Four Knights, and The K2. However, the most popular K-dramas they aired were Reply 1988 and Goblin.
Compared to 2016, it seems 2017 is starting off in a rut. tvN's currently airing K-dramas, Introverted Boss and Tomorrow With You, have not even touched high single-digits in viewership. Instead, OCN is leading the way with Voice. However, it now has been dethroned as JTBC's first K-drama of 2017, Strong Woman Do Bong Soon, has taken everyone by surprise. As a matter of fact, it might be well on its way to becoming the most popular K-drama to air on the network.
Earlier this week, it was reported that the fourth episode of Strong Woman Do Bong Soon earned over eight percent in viewership. When compared to past K-dramas airing on JTBC even back to 2015, this is more than a steady rise in viewership; it is a monumental jump. Usually, JTBC K-dramas earn around less than two percent in viewership. Even with phenomenal romances like My Love Eun Dong and intense thrillers like Last being talked about, they just couldn't compare to their free-to-watch counterparts.
However, an initial AGB Nielsen Korea and TNmS Media Korea ratings of 3.85 percent average for the nation and 4.0 percent for the Seoul National Capital Area jumping up to an 8.3 percent average for the nation and 8.7 percent for the Seoul National Capital Area by the fourth episode is by all accounts an amazing feat.
It is possible that by the end of its 16-episode long run, Strong Woman Do Bong Soon might possibly become the most successful K-drama to ever air on JTBC. At this moment, the honor of the highest-rated K-drama to air on the network is Childless Comfort back in 2013. Their highest rating was 10.7 percent.
For those who don't know what Strong Woman Do Bong Soon is about, it is a K-drama about Do Bong Soon (Park Bo Young of Werewolf Boy and Oh My Ghostess), a girl who has uncanny "Wonder Woman" powers of strength. [WARNING: Spoilers Ahead! Skip To Final Paragraph To Avoid!] This strength has been passed down from generation to generation among the women of her lineage. The only catch is they must use their strength for good or honor. If they abuse it, they will break out in hives and eventually lose their strength too. For Bong Soon, this becomes a hindrance as she has trouble holding down a job though her dream is to be a video game designer and design a video game that showcases a character similar to her. By happenstance, she is scouted out for security by Ahn Min Hyuk (Park Hyung Sik of Hwarang and High Society), a CEO of a video gaming company who sees Bong Soon use her powers to "protect" a bus driver and a bus full of children. Since then, their relationship has been a roller-coaster ride especially with Guk Doo (Ji Soo of Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo and Fantastic), a cop and Bong Soon's crush, in the mix.
Strong Woman Do Bong Soon airs on Fridays and Saturdays at 8:30 p.m. KST on JTBC. For those who do not have access to Korean cable channels, it can be viewed on DramaFever, Viki, and OnDemandKorea, depending on region availability.
[Featured Image by the Joongang Tongyang Broadcasting Company (JTBC)]