Introverted Boss, also known as Sensitive Boss and My Shy Boss, is the first Korean drama or K-drama to air for 2017 by the Total Variety Network (tvN). The popular Korean cable network hoped it would continue the immense success they earned the previous year with an array of phenomenal K-dramas that delivered on viewership ratings which included Cheese in the Trap, Another Oh Hae Young, Let's Fight Ghost, Drinking Solo, Signal, Memory, Dear My Friends, The Good Wife, The K2, and Cinderella and Four Knights. The two most popular K-dramas, however, were easily Reply 1988 and Goblin.
Unfortunately, Introverted Boss failed to deliver the same viewership ratings its 2016 counterparts were able to obtain. As a matter of fact, it started out strong then suddenly dropped in viewership much to the chagrin of tvN. They did all they could to bring new life into Introverted Boss including a revision of the script. Despite that, it still concluded with low viewership ratings compared to tvN K-dramas last year.
At this point, many fans of Yeon Woo Jin are ready to burn anyone at the stake for stating Introverted Boss was a failure compared to tvN K-dramas last year. Unfortunately for them, the Korean viewership ratings do not lie as the averages for AGB Nielsen Korea were 1.75 percent for the nation and 1.85 percent for the Seoul National Capital Area. TNmS Media Korea still doesn't have an average for Introverted Boss' series finale, so an average cannot be made at the moment. It must be stressed that the viewership is low compared to tvN K-dramas in 2016, but for a K-drama airing on a Korean cable network, it is about average.
For Introverted Boss fans, the question they are asking is, why did it fail? For starters, the K-drama was ill-received within its first four episodes for both domestic and international K-drama fans. Two issues stood out with the first being the pacing. Many complained the K-drama was too slow, and their way of saying it was boring. Second, many just could not stand Park Hye Soo's character, Chae Ro Woon. She was really rude, aggressive, and antagonized Eun Hwan Ki (Yeon Woo Jin). It was all for her revenge, but still, she had a demeanor that was so upsetting to viewers, they literally avoided watching just to avoid her. It did not help that viewers did not know what was going on exactly until the fifth episode.
Probably the biggest reason for Introverted Boss' failure is the K-drama it was competing against, Defendant. For those who haven't seen the suspenseful, melodramatic thriller starring Ji Sung and Yuri of Girls' Generation, they are in for a treat because it keeps K-drama viewers on the edge of their seats. It is so popular that it is currently the No. 1 K-drama in terms of viewership ratings for 2017's first K-drama season. It is also very antagonizing as many viewers have said they needed to "take a rest" or "take a break" after watching an episode. Summarized, many who may enjoy both Defendant and Introverted Boss only chose to watch the former during its air date and time and wait to watch the latter.
In the end, tvN will just have to go back to the drawing board. They are in a downturn season right now in which all their K-dramas airing now (or recently finished), Introverted Boss and Tomorrow With You, did not live up to their 2016 viewership expectations. They might find new life after their original airing through video-on-demand streaming sites though.
Introverted Boss originally aired on Mondays and Tuesdays at 11 p.m. KST on tvN which will now be taken over by The Liar and His Lover. For those who want to watch the series in its entirety, it can be viewed on DramaFever and OnDemandKorea depending on region availability.
[Featured Image by the Total Variety Network (tvN)]