Due to several similarities, “Bloody Heart” has been put next to the previous historical hit drama “The Red Sleeve” to compare.
“Bloody Heart” is unavoidably being compared to another drama as it was made in the same romantic-historical genre with its title overlapping the previous work’s in some words and had its male protagonist played by an idol-turned-actor. Despite telling a completely different story, KBS2’s new Monday-Tuesday series “Bloody Heart” is receiving negative responses as it is said to copy MBC’s hit drama “The Red Sleeve”.
“Bloody Heart”, which aired its first episode on May 2nd, depicts a bloody political court romance between King Lee Tae (Lee Joon), who has to throw out the woman he loves to survive, and Yoo Jung (Kang Han-na), who has to get to the queen position to survive, when the two have to become political opponents and point knives at each other’s neck. This is the first time Lee Joon challenged the historical drama genre and Kang Han-na’s first KBS work.
Above all, “Bloody Heart” raised high expectations as it was decided to be released on KBS, which is called “master of historical dramas”. Earlier, its youth historical series “The King’s Affection” and “Moonshine” also recorded good results. On KBS, historical dramas are known as their “cheat keys” to make box office hits with good performances.
Its ratings did reflect the viewers’ expectations. The first episode of “Bloody Heart” recorded a viewership of 6.3%, which is higher than the highest rating of 4.6% recorded in the final episode of the previous drama “Crazy Love”.
The cast’s acting, storyline, and directing all received positive reviews. Lee Joon showed his presence as a king who longs to become a true monarch with pain and anger in his heart. He successfully portrayed the character’s coolness when he was alone, and the affection of a man in love when he was with Yoo Jung. Kang Han-na also added to the charm with her character, boasting elegant visuals, a strong voice, and expressive eyes. Other actors with solid skills such as Jang Hyuk, Heo Sung-tae, and Park Ji-yeon also strengthen the attractiveness of “Bloody Heart.”
However, after the premiere of “Bloody Heart”, some viewers started comparing “Bloody Heart” to “The Red Sleeve.” They pointed out that as “The Red Sleeve” recently became a hit of MBC, KBS may have copied it and created “Bloody Heart”, adding that both dramas’ titles have the word “red” (the Korean title of “Bloody Heart” is “Red Heart”). Some netizens also found Lee Joon’s acting tone similar to Lee Jun-ho.
Therefore, drama fans said that it makes no sense to compare these two works. The cast, the plot, and the charms are all different, so bringing up a drama that has already ended to belittle a drama that has just started can only be seen as forced and uncalled-for criticism. On top of that, it is also absurd to claim “Bloody Heart” copied “The Red Sleeve” because the production and casting of “Bloody Heart” had already been confirmed before “The Red Sleeve” aired.
Just as Lee Joon is totally different from Lee Jun-ho, “Bloody Heart” is nothing like “The Red Sleeve”. Therefore, “Bloody Heart” should be evaluated on its own, as a separate drama. Its value should not be undermined by the excessive and unnecessary comparison of some netizens.