Korean media pointed out the changes in the recent performance of Korean weekday dramas.
Although there hasn’t been any significant improvement in terms of ratings, it is notable that weekday dramas are allowing viewers to enjoy more diverse genres, from thriller to crime, comedy, and emotional stories.
The most popular weekday series in the first half of this year is “The Good Bad Mother”. Starring Ra Mi Ran and Lee Do Hyun, this drama depicts the journey of Young Soon, who has no choice but to become a bad mother for the sake of her child, and her son Kang Ho, a cold-hearted prosecutor who suddenly returns as a 7-year-old child after an accident, finding their lost happiness. Starting with a 3.6% rating in episode 1 similar to other Wed-Thu dramas, “The Good Bad Mother” continued to rise steadily and ended peaking at 12% in the last episode (episode 14).
“Battle for Happiness” deeply reflects the current reality of people showing off their happiness through SNS and competing with each other and the underlying psychological meaning behind it. Each episode presented a thrilling twist that kept viewers following the whole story. Praised as a well-made genre work, “Lies Hidden in My Garden” is a suspense thriller about the story that takes place when two women with completely different lives meet each other due to a suspicious smell in the backyard.
In particular, Kim Tae Hee and Lim Ji Yeon’s acting skills in “Lies Hidden in My Garden” received favorable reviews. Lim Ji Yeon’s eating scenes created hot topics and the menu she ate in the scene at the Chinese restaurant became viral as “husband’s death meal”.
Among the Mon-Tue series, KBS2’s “Heartbeat” introduced a romance between humans and vampires, while tvN’s “Delightfully Deceitful” told the story centering on a genius con artist.
However, terrestrial channels and cable channels are showing moves of replacing weekday drama blocks with variety shows. For instance, after “Stealer: The Treasure Keeper” ended, tvN scheduled the broadcast of “Dancing Queens on the Road” instead of a follow-up drama.
SBS also did not release new drama after “The Secret Romantic Guesthouse” ended but rescheduled its broadcasts by airing “Same Bed, Different Dreams 2 – You Are My Destiny” an hour earlier, at 10:10 p.m. Originally scheduled to air the follow-up drama to “The Secret Romantic Guesthouse”, the new August series “The Killing Vote” has been changed to the Thursday broadcasting and will release one episode a week.
Meanwhile, upcoming dramas, such as ENA’s “Longing for You”, tvN’s “My Lovely Liar” and JTBC’s “Destined With You” are ready to meet the small screen viewers. K-drama fans can look forward to various genres of weekday dramas, ranging from mystery thrillers to fantasy romance and romantic comedies.
Broadcasting stations that air weekday dramas are still in a battle for ratings, but they are striving for genre diversity with their own strategies. Therefore, viewers are also raising expectations for more successful weekday dramas in the future.