MBC new Wed-Thurs drama Playful Kiss who recorded its first episode ratings with 3.5% (according to AGB Nilson Media Researches) faced a huge humiliation. So what is the reason to why Playful Kiss who stars Kim Hyun Joong faces such an utter defeat?

The first and foremost biggest problem would be that the drama lost the fun of the original manga. The first episode of Playful Kiss which was spun from a popular same name titled manga filled itself with many fantasy-like traits. Many imagination scenes in dreams decorated itself just like an animation film, while the audio effects also very much gave off the feeling like in a manga. However, with these much changes that differs from the original manga, it has instead made the manga fans sad. ‘How will the leads in manga turn out to be portrayed in the brown box (tv)?’ showing their curiosity, but after viewing, fans who were anticipating the perfect synchronization as the original manga turned out very disappointed, which was probably why they switched channels.

Acting skills could not be evaded as well. As compared to the previous work, though Kim Hyun Joong’s pronunciation and facial expressions did improve alot better, there are still many problems as usual. The role he takes on – Baek Seung Jo is supposed to be a tough and arrogant guy and he was supposed to be leading on the drama atmosphere in its initial. However, to Kim Hyun Joong, it still seems much difficulty to perfectly shed his soft image from his previous work KBS 2TV ‘Boys over Flowers’. After the Episode 1 broadcast, comments left on noticeboard could be seen, “Sad about his acting”, “I haven’t been seeing huge interest in the new works that Boys over Flowers casts members had took on after BoF one after another. Is the ‘BoF curse’ continuing itself?” etc, comments surfacing one after another.

But yet of course, to determine the failure of Playful Kiss solely based on its first episode is not possible. Personnel highlighted, “Because Seung-jo isn’t a character who is of many words in the initial of the drama so it’s not sufficient enough. Until when the drama develops more fully, only then will you be able to see a more natural acting of his”. Also, “We will take into consideration the advices from audiences and will show it in the drama”. With that said, it would be best for us to continue anticipating Playful Kiss.


Translation: Ode

To MBC drama Playful Kiss that stars hanryu star Kim Hyun Joong, it is a very sad first-step out with recorded ratings of 3.5% on its first episode.

If to compare the point that Boys over Flowers who also seemingly went through a similar path with its Episode 1 ratings recorded as 13.7% back then, it doesn’t seem to be a disastrous result that way.

So is there no way out for it? Of course there is.

First of all, this drama is targeting towards a particular age level, and that is the 10s generation teenagers who loves innocent mangas, in addition, towards female audiences who enjoy watching works starring people like Kim Hyun Joong. Anyway, it is mainly because this drama was spun from the original hit manga with the same name that sold about 27 million copies in just Japan alone. Previously there was Lee Minho who was in charge of the ‘Flower boy fever’ with Boys over Flowers, so just as so, for Playful Kiss, there is the outstanding ‘flower boy content’ Kim Hyun Joong holding the air, too. Just focus on him and it will suffice.

However for the first episode, in order to see Kim Hyun Joong, we had to stay agile for an hour. Consisting of his lines, there was only approximately 30 minutes of air time for him. Rather, newbie Jung Somin’s left-right-dashing had more focus. But to the 10s generation and to the female audiences, it isn’t Jung Somin’s left-right-dashing stories that they want to see or stay tuned onto the channel for.

That’s why if the original manga had done so in that way too, we would have nothing to say. Even if so, if there is a need to lead the drama ratings, attention should be paid most to the protagonists. So what if you already know that? If you do recognize that and that you do edit the scripts, then attention should be paid to Kim Hyun Joong the most. In simplest terms, there is a problem with the scripts.

Not just that, there is a problem with the production team’s skills.

The important person who can make pivotal decisions in cases like shifting of manga contents into drama contents is the director. The person’s wild imagination and character analyses could determine the success and failure of a drama. Playful Kiss cheerfully illustrates the story of how Oh Hani’s right-left-dashing story landed her in Baek seung Jo’s home and thus unfolds a series of interesting incidents and accidents. However, that is rather unrealistic and many unrealistic traits have been used in the drama.

In somewhere of the middle of the drama, though we can understand the usage of computer graphics here and there, for scenes like ballets and musicals that appeared itself out of nowhere, there is a large difference for illustration of reality which is the required mainstream these days. Of course, though it is not like we don’t understand the status of the producing company for ‘Boys over Flowers’ and ‘Goong’ who has been showing much interest towards audiences, if we look at the situation now, it is certainly a must to possess flexible directing techniques.

In particular, though it does illustrate a situation, it isn’t like a drama, and not even techniques in a manga-like manner, but instead somewhere in a position in the middle. We see that Jung Somin and Lee Taesung (Bong Jungu) could portray the manga character as it was, but in comparison, Baek Seung Jo seems to be like a character that is not this and not that.

With KBS 2TV ‘Baker King kim tak goo’ at ratings of 44% and SBS ‘My girlfriend is Gumiho’, MBC has to pay some responsibility to its ‘brash composition’. Even if a quick story development and actors of standard were to be lined up, in situations like that, this drama that would be able to surprisingly raise the profits raked in for it, who shall be responsible when it gets driven into the death land then.

A related personnel said, “We thought it would be possible to receive good feedback if we were to compose this drama in a manner that teenagers could enjoy in this vacation season. Movie ‘Death bell 2’ is such an example. We made good use of the markets in the right season. However, Playful kiss is the complete opposite. Despite having good contents, MBC faces embarrassment with its ‘abrash’. We have the need to compose reasonable composition for those who gave all their might in producing the drama contents”.

Despite so, there is still lots of possibility for it. There are alot of contents created that reflects both joy and grief worthy as shown in its first episode ratings. Kim Hyun Joong’s character, the 10s generation of fans who yell to you to catch it live, should the female audiences pay all their attention on this drama once more, its ratings might be able to be revived as we await that.

Let’s just anticipate the power of Group Eight AND, Kim hyun Joong.


Translation: Ode