Although “Reborn Rich” helped JTBC dramas gain huge success, the drama continues to face unpleasant aftermath due to its ending.
According to Nielsen Korea, JTBC’s Fri-Sat-Sun drama “Reborn Rich”, which aired the last episode on December 25th, ended with a viewer rating peak of 26.9%. This is the second-highest record in JTBC history, following the final episode of “The World of the Married (2020) with 28.4%.
“Reborn Rich” is a fantasy drama that depicts the story of a secretary of a chaebol family living his second life after being reborn as the youngest son of the chaebol family. The work drew keen attention from its production stage and continued to become much more popular after its official broadcast. The drama aired three consecutive episodes a week and its rating also soared endlessly.
Since the original novel was already a hit work, “Reborn Rich” drama also captivated viewers by presenting thrilling developments by taking advantage of the drama trend of “return in time”, “possession”, and “reincarnation”. The way Yoon Hyun Woo, who returned to the past in the body of Jin Do Joon and already knows things happen in the future, showed his omniscient appearance, punished his opponents and accumulated wealth brought vicarious satisfaction to the audience. Although the love line received criticism, the chemistry between Jin Do Joon (Song Joong Ki) and Chairman Jin Yang Chul (Lee Sung Min) made hot topics after every broadcast.
However, the writer suddenly killed Jin Do Joon, who was the attention attractor for the drama, and decided to start and end with Yoon Hyun Woo’s revenge instead of “Jin Do Joon’s success”. This ending is different from that of the original work, which went with Jin Do Joon becoming the Chairman. Knowing the writer started the story with Yoon Hyun Woo so she wanted to end with his revenge, viewers still felt frustrated. It is because the revenge and efforts of Jin Do Joon, whom they cheered for from episode 2 to episode 15, went in vain.
Dramatically, it is reasonable that Yoon Hyun Woo returns to his body to finish his narrative. However, the viewers, who were too immersed in the developments, seemed to encourage Jin Do Joon’s success rather than his return to the original body of Yoon Hyun Woo. This drama ending eventually took away the excitement of the viewers.
Daegu Mayor Hong Joon Pyo said, “Many viewers were angry. Some feel that they have been deceived by the twist, so how can they not feel frustrated? It’s like falling from the top while taking an exciting Viking ride”.
Joo Ho Min, the original author of the famous movie “Along with the Gods”, mentioned the development that led to the sudden death of the main character Jin Do Joon. He criticized, “Writers don’t often use that way. The dump truck accident was impactful when it appeared once, but it doesn’t make sense when coming out for the second time. Truck drivers are not killers. Not all drivers would hurt people just because they are given money”
In particular, many Korean drama fans are still having the trauma from the ending of “Lovers in Paris”, they tend to hate the ending in which everything the characters have accumulated throughout the whole drama turns into nothing.
tvN’s “Twenty-five Twenty-one” and MBC’s “Big Mouth” are also considered dramas with the worst endings of 2022, and the majority of viewers pointed out the same reason. “Twenty-five Twenty-one” drew resentment as it portrayed a beautiful and fresh love between the male and female leads but ended with the two being separated. In “Big Mouth”, the female, who tried her best to solve all the problems, eventually died of cancer, and the male lead, who tried to punish evil using the law, ended up taking private revenge. As both dramas were so well-loved and aroused hot topics, viewers were greatly disappointed by their bad endings.
As viewers are now preferring happy endings, they are looking forward to seeing which works will make big hits in 2023.