5 2021 Korean dramas are popular in the international market, but the ratings are low in Korea


The increasing popularity of Korean dramas in the global realm shows a condition that is quite unique, namely the difference in tastes between Korean audiences and international audiences. This difference in taste, for example, can be seen from the genre or the list of players. Korean audiences are generally happy with family dramas, while international audiences are very happy with romantic comedies or thrillers . While there are also players who are popular in Korea, they are still not widely known by the general audience in the global realm. Even so, all these differences are also not a clear dividing line, so it is not a theory that is definitely true and applies to all existing Korean dramas.

Well, throughout 2021, there are several Korean dramas that are very popular among global audiences because they are constantly being talked about, at least they are often trending on Twitter every time a new episode is aired. However, it turns out that if you check the rating data from Nielsen Korea, the numbers are small or even drop in the local market. Here are five of the most striking.

1. True Beauty

This drama airs from December 2020 to February 2021 on tvN and Viu. In Indonesia, this series is very popular and is often discussed on social media and mass media.
True Beauty also boosted the popularity of idol Cha Eun-woo even higher, including in South Korea. But what’s unique is that in their home country, True Beauty’s rating has never penetrated 5%.

The highest rating was only at 4.57%, which was achieved when broadcasting the 15th episode of a total of 16 episodes. Meanwhile, the national average rating is only 3.7%.

2. nevertheless

Nevertheless which is broadcast on JTBC and Netflix is
also very viral on social media, especially on TikTok Indonesia. Many are interested in watching the drama starring Song Kang and Han So-hee because they saw the edited videos that went viral on social media.

So viral, the audience in Indonesia even coined the phrases “Tersongkang-songkang” and “Mas Kentang” for the main male character and male supporting characters in this drama. Meanwhile, Song Kang and Han So-hee’s relationship is the latest example of a toxic relationship in dating.

But in Korea, the drama that aired in June-August had a very sad rating. The highest was only 2.2%, that was also recorded by the first episode. While the lowest rating plunged to 0.9%.

3. Now We Are Breaking Up

Before airing, this series was widely discussed by Korean drama lovers and the mass media because there was the name Song Hye-kyo as the female lead. She is one of the highest-paid actresses in Korea, and this drama is her comeback after a two-year hiatus after her divorce from the highest-paid actor, Song Joong-ki.

Now We Are Breaking Up was even included in the list of the most talked about dramas in Korea before its broadcast. In Indonesia, there is even the term “terkiyong-kiyong” to describe the charm of the male lead, Jang Ki-yong.

But when it finally aired, the audience response in Korea turned negative. The initial rating was quite promising, namely 6.4%, then it rose to 8.0%. But this became the drama’s highest rating because after that, the numbers fell freely.
The rating for the 13th episode which aired on December 25 was the lowest, only 4.9%. Now We Are Breaking Up, which airs on SBS and Viu, only has three more episodes left, and this rating may be dropping even more.

4. Our Beloved Summer

This drama is arguably the most popular mainstream romantic comedy genre drama internationally at the end of 2021. When the latest episode aired, it was often trending on Twitter. The soundtrack of the series entitled Christmas Tree , sung by V BTS, also boosted the popularity of Our Beloved Summer .

But in Korea, the drama rating that airs on SBS national TV is relatively small. Until half way, the rating has not been able to penetrate the 5% mark. Even so, the rating trend continues to rise, with the highest number so far being 4.3%.

If the drama, which is also airing on Netflix, can maintain its story well, it is possible that the rating will continue to increase. Moreover, there is a love triangle story that is usually a favorite theme that easily makes the audience excited.

5. Snowdrop

Snowdrop is the year-end drama that has captured the attention of the international community as well as Koreans. What’s more, if not the controversy over allegations of historical distortion.

Two petitions were filed against the Blue House to stop the showing of Snowdrop . There is even a petition to stop JTBC broadcasting. However, the latest news reports that the civil community who sued this drama to court must accept defeat because the legal decision stipulates that Snowdrop can still be continued. Meanwhile, the Blue House has not yet responded.

Even though it is full of controversy, the drama that airs on JTBC and Disney+ still gets viewers in the international market, at least by looking at the trendingin twitter. One of the things that helped boost it was the presence of BLACKPINK’s Jisoo who made her debut as the main actor in a television drama.

However, in Korea, the rating from Nielsen Korea shows that until the fifth episode, this drama has not been able to break the 5% mark. The highest rating was only 3.8% in the second episode. While the fifth episode rose slightly from the previous episode, to 2.7%.