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[Hot Takes from the Noonas] Reversal of fortune for Chief Kim and Saimdang: Light's Diary

2017/02/03 | 3560 views | Permalink

"Saimdang: Light's Diary" was initially winning the ratings battle against "Chief Kim", but slipped behind on Thursday. What went wrong?

"Saimdang: Light's Diary" was highly promoted as the return of popular actor, Lee Young-ae after a 14 year absence from dramas. Hence, it was not surprising to see a 16.3% rating with the drama's first episode.

In contrast, "Chief Kim", a workplace comedy starring Namgoong Min, was seen as a scrappy underdog, in spite of the actor's optimistic prediction of 35% ratings. The drama debuted with a modest 7.8% rating.

How quickly things have changed in the past two weeks. As of Thursday's broadcast, "Saimdang: Light's Diary" has fallen to 12.3% ratings, whereas "Chief Kim" has had a meteoric rise to 13.8%.

It would appear that "Saimdang: Light's Diary" is losing viewers over a boring plot, dated production values, and the poor acting or complete absence of handsome male lead, Song Seung-heon. Sadly, since "Saimdang: Light's Diary" is entirely pre-produced, the drama will not be able to react to viewer criticism. We can only hope that the PD foresaw the issues and fixed them independently.

Meanwhile, "Chief Kim" is winning viewers with its comedy and unique take on work culture. Perhaps, the same viewers who made "Incomplete Life" a cable hit are looking for the outlet that "Chief Kim" can provide for their office frustrations.

The failure of "Saimdang: Light's Diary" would be a blow to Lee Young-ae's ego, but not a career destroyer since none of the criticisms have been directed at her. "Chief Kim" is exceeding expectations, and may provide the reward vacation that 15 year veteran of dramas, Namgoong Min has dreamed of. So, the real loser in this Wednesday Thursday time slot ratings war is "Missing 9", which started at 6.5% ratings, has sunk to a dismal 4.8%, and has never even ranked.


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