A recent Friday-Saturday K-drama has rung the alarm for MBC, having received the most disastrous viewership since 2021.
On February 15th, a Ten Asia reporter wrote a scathing analysis about the downward trend of “Kokdu: Season of Deity” and MBC’s alarming status. Below is the article.
“Kokdu: Season of Deity” is a romance fantasy about the underworld god Kokdu (played by Kim Jung Hyun), who comes down to the mortal world every 99 years to punish humans. Here, he meets Han Gye Jeol (played by Im Soo Hyang), a royal doctor with mysterious powers.
However, “Kokdu: Season of Deity”, which aired up to episode 6, only shows the clumsy Kkokdu who tries to get a confession from Gye Jeol, and Gye Jeol who constantly gets angry, annoyed, and cries. While there is some romantic chemistry, the couple never ceased their quarrels and fights, leaving many audiences exhausted over the endless bickering.
Despite being a god of the underworld, Kokdu’s inability to move in front of Gye Yeol probably ruined viewers’ expectations for a transcendent existence. Meanwhile, Gye Yeol, who’s unaware of the existence of Kokdu as she hopes to regain her memory, only causes frustration.
Even though it is a romance-fantasy, it can be said that neither romance nor fantasy has been happening in “Kokdu: Season of Deity”. At the same time, the reason for the existence of Oksin (Kim In Kwon) and Gaksin (Cha Chung Hwa), who so far only serves as comic relief, remains unclear.
In the end, “Kokdu: Season of Deity”, which started with a viewership of 4.8% in the first episode, declined to 1.9% as of episode 6. The downward trend can be partly credited to strong competition posed by dramas such as “Agency“, “Crash Course in Romance“, and “Payback”, but the most glaring problem lies in “Kokdu: Season of Deity” having no charm in itself.
MBC introduced its first Friday-Saturday drama in 2021, and excluding the 4-episode series “Check out the Event”, Nam Goong Min’s “The Veil” was the first mini-series entry. At the time, “The Veil”, which competed with SBS Friday and Saturday dramas, still managed to rank first in its time slot, and successfully reaping viewership ratings of nearly 10%.
Since then, MBC’s Friday-Saturday works, such as “The Red Sleeve”, “Tracer”, and “Big Mouth” have been popular.
“The Red Sleeve“, which starred Lee Jun Ho and Lee Se Young, recorded the highest viewership rating of 17.4%, making it a sensational hit. Meanwhile, “Big Mouth“, which featured Lee Jong Suk and Yoona, also recorded 13.7% in ratings. Nam Goong Min and Lee Jong Suk won grand prizes at the “MBC Drama Awards” with “The Veil” and “Big Mouth”, respectively.
“Tomorrow” and “The Forbidden Marriage” achieved somewhat sluggish results, their lowest ratings only fell around 2 to 3%. The only case where viewership dropped to the 1% range was “Kokdu: Season of Deity”.
“Kokdu: Season of Deity” was supposed to be Kim Jung Hyun’s grand return after his private life controversy, only to perform badly. Now, with the tag of the worst Friday-Saturday viewership ever in MBC, there is little chance for the drama to rebound.
On top of this, SBS is going to air season 2 of its highly-popular series “Taxi Driver”, while “Agency” and “Crash Course in Romance” are experiencing upward trends as they enter the 2nd half, making competition more intense than ever.
As a result, MBC’s concerns about “Kokdu: Season of Deity” can only deepen.