Kim Hye-soo’s Juvenile Justice couldn’t surpass Son Ye-jin’s “Thirty-Nine” on Netflix Korea not got into the Top 30 on global Netflix 

The veteran actress’s new drama is doing worse than expected.

Juvenile Justice,” which drew attention as Kim Hye-soo‘s first Netflix Korea series, recorded an opening score that fell short of expectations. On Netflix Korea, it gave up the first place to JTBC drama “Thirty-Nine,” starring Son Ye-jin, and was not even in the top 30 on global Netflix. Despite Kim Hye-soo‘s passionate acting performance, viewers’ reactions to the work are also divided.

Juvenile Justice Netflix Korea
Actress Kim Hye-soo/ Photograph = TenAsiaDB

The drama “Juvenile Justice,” released on February 25th, is a work that tells the story of juvenile crimes faced by judge Shim Eun-seok (Kim Hye-soo), who hates juvenile offenders. New writer Kim Min-seok wrote the screenplay and the drama was directed by Hong Jong-chan.

Juvenile Justice Netflix Korea
“Juvenile Justice”’s still cut./Photo provided by Netflix

Of course, it is Kim Hye-soo who is the main pillar of the drama. She acts as a judge who makes cool and straightforward judgments on juvenile crimes and exudes charisma that makes juvenile offenders realize their fear of law. She proved to be an “actress whose acting skills we can trust and watch” by playing a role that leads to many emotions.

On top of that, her character made a stark contrast with Judge Cha Tae-joo, who has a warm heart and stands on the children’s point of view, creating a sense of balance in the drama. The murder incident that appeared in its beginning is reminiscent of the actual murder of a 16-year-old minor in Dongchun-dong, Yeonsu-gu, Incheon, five years ago.

However, on the first day of its release, the drama’s achievement was worse than expected. According to Flix Patrol, a global OTT content ranking site, on February 27th (Korea Standard Time), “Juvenile Justice” ranked second in the “Netflix Korea’s Top 10 TV Programs (Show)” category as of February 26th. The first place was the drama “Thirty-Nine” starring Son Ye-jin, Jeon Mi-do, and Kim Ji-hyun.

In the worldwide rankings, it charted at No.31, which is lower than “All of Us Are Dead”, “Thirty Nine”, JTBC’s “Forecasting Love and Weather”, tvN’s “Twenty-five Twenty-one, and even tvN’s 2018 drama “Crash Landing on You” starring Son Ye-jin and Hyun Bin.

Juvenile Justice Netflix Korea
Actress Kim Hye-soo in “Juvenile Justice”/Photo provided by Netflix

Especially, “Juvenile Justice” was released while “All of Us Are Dead” is still enjoying its global popularity, so the drama’s poor performance caused deep regret.

In fact, it is difficult for this kind of drama to become viral as it deals with heavy content that may cause discomfort to the viewers. It is not easy to earn sympathy from overseas viewers since each country has different standards for juvenile laws. Even in Korea, it received mixed responses. Some people say it’s interesting, while others think it’s boring. Many audiences also raised opinions saying it should be broadcast as a TV drama instead of a Netflix series.

However, it is still early to give any judgment. Released in August last year, “D.P” ranked 2nd in Korea on the first day of its release, but only rose to No.1 3 days later. After getting recognized, it was named in the TOP 10 best drama series of 2021 by the New York Times. In addition, this is the only Korean drama as well as the only Asian drama to gain this achievement. 

As a result, attention is being focused on whether passionate performances of veteran actors, such as Kim Hye-soo, Lee Sang-min, and Lee Jung-eun, and the drama’s value will be able be recognized through word of mouth.

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