Reasons why Lee Honey’s new drama is surpassing Jeon Ji-hyun, Ko Hyun-jung, and Lee Young-ae’s in viewew ratings

Lee Honey is gaining success with her new drama, unlike Jeon Ji-hyun, Ko Hyun-jung, and Lee Young-ae with their new projects.

Reasons why Lee Honey’s new drama is surpassing Jeon Ji-hyun, Ko Hyun-jung, and Lee Young-ae’s in viewew ratings

The ratings of the dramas “Jirisan, “Reflection of You,” and ”Inspector Koo,” which were highly expected due to being the spectacular comebacks of the three top actresses, are not attracting as many viewers as expected.

On the other hand, SBS’ “One The Woman” starring Lee Honey, who received somewhat unstable attention before the broadcast, hit the jackpot contrary to industry expectations.

The industry also interprets this as a sign of the collapse of the Troika actresses, who are the top stars of the 1990s, and the replacement with a new generation. Let’s look at what were the reasons for the difference between the three actors and Lee Honey‘s drama ratings.

Jun Ji-hyun
Jun Ji-hyun

▶ Life is depressing enough for viewers to look for depressing dramas

In the final episode of SBS Friday-Saturday drama “One The Woman,” which aired on the afternoon of November 6th, viewers can witness the ending of Lee Honey’s refreshing character. The scene where the villain Jin Seo-yeon committed suicide came out, giving joy to viewers with a “conventional ending.” Jin Seo-yeon was secretly trying to leave the country disguised as an accident but had to get an ending for the villain, giving viewers a good laugh.

Thanks to this, the final episode was a success, breaking its own highest ratings with 18.5% ratings in the Seoul metropolitan area, 17.8% nationwide, and 22.7% episode highest ratings. The 2049 viewer rating data, a major indicator of advertising officials, also recorded 6.4%, ranking first among all programs aired over the week.

On the other hand, “Jirisan” starring Jeon Ji-hyun recorded an 8% viewer rating on November 6th, not matching its A-list cast. 

Ko Hyun-jung. Sports Chosun DB.
Ko Hyun-jung. Sports Chosun DB.

Also, the ratings of “Reflection of You” on November 4th were 2.3%. Ko Hyun-jung, who returned to the small screen for the first time in two years, is also not showing her strength in this drama. Lee Young-ae‘s first comeback in four years, “Inspector Koo,” is even worse. 

Its audience rating on November 6th was 2.0%, which seems to fall short of expectations compared to its popularity before the premiere.

In this regard, the industry interprets that depressing stories are rarely chosen by viewers these days when they are tired of COVID-19.

In the case of “Jirisan,” considered the strength of writer Kim Eun-hee, the drama’s development of overly complex stories however becomes a burden to viewers. Critics point out that the bleak atmosphere of the drama is not convincing as the main character’s personality is not energetic and Jeon Ji-hyun‘s inaccurate pronunciation added to its failure.

Reflection of You” is also a example of how the intense charm of the original short film was added to the weight of the atmosphere as it was stretched out through the drama. Ko Hyun-jung‘s acting skills are undoubtable, but this is also not the kind of passionate performance everyone wants to see on Wednesday and Thursday, the most tiring day of the week.

Inspector Koo” also put forward an unconventional style of pursuit drama, but it still seems to be approaching viewers as a drama that is “too unfamiliar and uncomfortable.” The appearance of the murderer is also not comfortable.

An industry official said, “The original series of OTT companies such as Netflix are much more free in terms of expression level and production cost,” adding, “These days, OTT contents are realistically trying out even the violent scenes that would not be unable to do at home theaters. To viewers who are used to this, it is now harder for genres to be seen as passable,” he pointed out.

It is also pointed out that PPL scenes in terrestrial dramas, which inevitably appear frequently due to production costs, also make the audience change the channel.

Reasons why Lee Honey’s new drama is surpassing Jeon Ji-hyun, Ko Hyun-jung, and Lee Young-ae’s in viewew ratings

▶ Don’t force viewers to focus on the part of “good acting”. Smart variations of familiar characters do work.

After acting for a long time, actors become thirsty for new characters. However, these choices may sometimes be the decisions for their self-satisfaction, not for viewers.

The interpretation of the poor performance of “Jirisan” (starring Jeon Ji-hyun) is also possible in this context.

Whether it was a coincidence, Jeon Ji-hyun’s luxury parade, not only in “My Love from the Star” in 2014 but also in “Legend of the Blue Sea” in 2016, was a huge topic throughout the drama broadcast. On the other hand, it is analyzed that her hiking clothes style in “Jirisan” is not attractive in the audience’s eyes.

It is also difficult to easily empathize with the appearance of the game addicted homebody Lee Young-ae which was shown in the first episode of “Inspector Koo“. This is because it is a very unfamiliar setting for Lee Young-ae, who is well known as the epitome of elegant charm.

Reasons why Lee Honey’s new drama is surpassing Jeon Ji-hyun, Ko Hyun-jung, and Lee Young-ae’s in viewew ratings

On the other hand, in the case of Lee Honey, she was criticized for “reproducing her character” compared to her previous work, “The Fiery Priest,” but the viewers still prefer Lee Honey‘s pleasant and familiar acting.

Top stars who have gained popularity are strongly attracted to the so-called “difficult characters” to show their acting skills”, a mid-sized management official with 10 years of experience said. “We should keep in mind that if the gap between the actor’s charm and what fans want to see is too large, they might be shunned away.”


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