Ji Chang Wook’s new K-drama scored 1% viewership, sluggishness due to poor project selection and shabby name value?

After his military service, none of Ji Chang Wook’s projects achieved much success, raising questions of his choice of projects and a possible decline in popularity. 

According to reporter Tae Yuna from media site Ten Asia, “Hallyu Star” actor Ji Chang Wook has been facing a crisis with consecutive commercial failure works. Following the tvN drama “Melting Me Softly”, KBS2’s “If You Wish Upon Me” also saw disappointing reception, with ratings dropping to around 1%. Meanwhile, SBS’ “Backstreet Rookie” was criticized for its various controversies, poor writing and story development, and ended on a poor note. In addition, Netflix original series “The Sound of Magic”, which was released world-wide, also failed to live up to expectations, and was largely forgotten. All of the aforementioned shows the current status of Ji Chang Wook, who has not been able to achieve any remarkable results for three years after being discharged from the military.

“If You Wish Upon Me” is a healing K-drama, where a young man driven to the end of his life, tries to grant the last wishes of people at a hospice hospital and heal their pain. The work is inspired by an actual Dutch foundation, which grands the last wishes of terminal cancer patients. 

Talking about this series, director Kim Yong Wan emphasized “sincerity” and expressed that he wants to make “If You Wish Upon Me” a drama that the whole family can happily watch without provocative content. “As an actor who is so sincere, he can digest any genre. Our male lead character was possible because of Ji Chang Wook”, he added. 

That is why Ji Chang Wook plays a big role in this work. Ji Chang Wook, who returned to KBS 7 years after megahit K-drama “Healer”, also expressed his aspirations, saying: “I was greedy to express the character Yoon Gyeo Rye well at least once. It’s a story I want to portray at least once.”

However, it seems that the story of wish-granting at a hospice hospital is not popular with the public. Contrary to the warm sensibility of the work, public reaction remains cold. “If You Wish Upon Me” started at a 3% viewership in its pilot episode, before dropping to around 1.9% after 2 weeks – the lowest just yet. It seems that the topic of hospice hospitals in general isn’t inviting, as another K-drama with this setting last year, “The One And Only”, also received favorable reviews, but recorded ratings as low as 0%. It is speculated that as these K-dramas contain the stories of patients who are about to die, the public, who wants a healing and bright atmosphere, grows tired. 

Overall, it is painful to note that after “Melting Me Softly”, another Ji Chang Wook project has recorded viewership ratings around the 1% mark. At this, many people blamed Ji Chang Wook’s poor selection of works after military service. They also added that Ji Chang Wook’s excessive modern styling played a part in the reason why “Melting Me Softly” was ignored even though the series boasts an interesting concept of frozen human being put in an interesting device called a time slip. Even though it was set in 1999, the sophisticated appearance of characters, which broke away from the rusticness of the premise, lowered the immersion of audiences. 

Due to poor production, slow development, and a boring story, the ratings of “Melting Me Softly” dropped to an all-time low of 1.2%. This is the worst ratings among tvN’s Saturday-Sunday dramas since June 2017, and a “record” that has not been broken to this day.

“Backstreet Rookie” saw better ratings of around 6%, but failed to overcome the controversy over its allegedly inappropriate content. “Backstreet Rookie” is adapted from an adult webtoon of the same name, and concerns were raised even before the drama’s broadcast as the original webtoon contained revealing and provocative scenes. PD Lee Myung Woo reassured viewers at the press conference that it was going to be a family drama.

However, unlike PD Lee Myung Woo’s remark, “Backstreet Rookie” ended up having a number of inappropriate scenes right from the first episode. A high school girl in a school uniform asked a grown man she met on the street to buy her a cigarette, and then kissed him. The passionate performances of Ji Chang Wook and Kim Yoo Jung also could not shine properly due to these controversies.

From romance to historical, action, webtoon-based, and musical dramas, Ji Chang Wook has made an impression on the public with his good acting regardless of genre. However, after being discharged from the military, he has not starred in any drama that successfully became a hit. He is praised for constantly challenging himself in new genres instead of going for a safe route. Sadly, his dramas recording low ratings back to back has increased the public’s disappointment over the name of Ji Chang Wook.  

Source: daum

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