Netizens discuss why dramas about idols didn’t succeed despite KPOP’s immense popularity

All 3 recent dramas about idols recorded very disappointing ratings.

Kpop is undeniably becoming more and more popular all over the world as many idol groups such as BTS, BLACKPINK, TWICE, aespa, etc have received tremendous attention from international audiences, raising the status of the Korean wave. With the increasing interest in K-pop in general and the idol world in particular, the film industry seems to have begun to focus on this topic more than before.

Netizens discuss why dramas about idols didn’t succeed despite KPOP’s immense popularity

However, contrary to the enthusiastic response to Kpop, idol dramas are facing extremely poor rating results. JTBC’s drama “Idol: The Coup” starring popular idols such as Hani (EXID), EXY (WJSN), Solbin (LABOUM) has not been able to escape the 0.x % rating curse since episode 1 so far (highest rating 0.7%, lowest 0.5% ). Similarly, the drama “Let Me Be Your Knight” with the participation of many famous male idols such as Jun (U-KISS), JR (NU’EST), Yoon Jisung (Wanna One), Kim Donghyun (AB6IX) ) also recorded only 1-2% rating (highest rating 2.1%, lowest 1.4%) even though it was broadcast on SBS, one of the “Big3” channels. Previously, the drama “Imitation” broadcast on the national station KBS from May to July this year also achieved an average rating of less than 1% (1.3% at the highest, 0.4% lowest) despite a cast of famous idols such as Jun (U-KISS), Jiyeon (T-Ara), Im Nayoung (IOI/PRISTIN), ATEEZ and SF9 members.

In fact, Korea has had very successful dramas about idols in the past, including “Dream High” (KBS, 2011). But since then, a series of dramas with the same topic of Kpop idols’ life and career have not been attracting the audience, to the point it can be called a “curse”. I think any movie that deals with idols will fail miserably. In addition to the low ratings, the plot and the actors’ acting skills also don’t get good feedback.

In an article analyzing the audience’s cold reaction to recent K-pop idol dramas, the Korean media said that despite the differences in these dramas’ ways of looking into the idol world, they usually tackle the same issues in the end, such as idols’ behind-the-scenes stories, dorm life, romantic relationships, etc. The limitation of this genre and the script content is also unintentionally making these dramas too predictable, which explains why they no longer make audiences eagerly wait for each episode. Moreover, the acting ability of the cast in this type of dramas is not enough to satisfy the viewers because most of them are idols/singers, not professional actors.

During the first generation of idols, when KPOP was not really popular, the image of an idol was still something “mysterious”, and the public was more curious about their daily lives. However, things have changed in recent days. Thanks to the developments of entertainment content, people get to know about KPOP culture and idols’ life easier on different channels, not only through dramas/movies like before.

Besides, unlike the music market in other countries, the idol industry has lost its appeal for a long time. Except for fans, idols no longer arouse the curiosity of non-KPOP fans. In addition, this year’s “idol” dramas were all aired at midnight. Therefore, it was not easy to reach the audiences aged from 10 to 20, who were supposed to be the main targets. However, looking from another perspective, it seems like even the broadcasting stations didn’t have enough confidence in these “idol” dramas to give them the “golden” broadcasting time.

Considering the similar situation that happened to all recent “idol” dramas, Korean netizens pointed out that the main problem was their boring storyline. Moreover, they also gave negative reviews for the acting of “idol” actors and claimed that there are more interesting genres to watch instead.

Korean netizens commented:

– “If a drama had an interesting plot and skillful actors, the audience would watch it. But these dramas are not so good…”

– “The script and cast are the main reasons”

– “The problem is these dramas are so boring…”

– “There are several recent dramas with low-rating because they target a specific audience, not all viewers at all ages. I think the age target of their audiences is the problem.”

– “Not everyone is interested in idols”

– “There is nothing interesting in watching a drama about idols’ datingㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ”

– “To the majority of the public, the number of people who care about idols’ life stories is just at that level”

– “Even fandom of idols think watching performances is more exciting than TV series”

– “Bad acting… Even if it has a good storyline, this kind of acting couldn’t guarantee the success of the drama”

– “That’s because the content is not appealing enough… Why do we have to watch the life of an unsuccessful idol group and their love stories.”

What do you think are the reasons that make idol dramas receive low ratings?


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