Credit: tvN

As tvN’s weekend drama Queen of Tears races toward its finale, it continues to shatter its own viewership records, achieving a series high of 21.6% (according to Nielsen Korea), just shy of becoming the top-rated tvN drama ever. The drama recently surpassed Guardian: The Lonely and Great God with a previous week’s rating of 20.7%, and now only Crash Landing on You stands ahead with a slight margin at 21.7%.

Despite its success, Queen of Tears has garnered mixed reactions, particularly concerning its latest episodes, which some viewers have criticized as overly dramatic and too-cliché. The episode aired on the 21st featured a plot featuring flat villainous characters and a typical amnesia story—a development that sparked considerable debate for its potential predictability and soap opera-like execution.

Hong Hae In (Kim Ji Won) decides to undergo brain surgery despite knowing it could lead to memory loss after Baek Hyun Woo’s (Kim Soo Hyun) persistent convincing. However, following the surgery, the first person Hae In sees after waking up is Yoon Eun Seong (Park Sung Hoon), who deceives her into believing that Baek was merely a stalker, complicating the narrative further.

Critics point out that although the brain surgery storyline could neatly wrap up the series, it comes across as too melodramatic. They also find Eun Seong’s plot overly simplistic and Hae In’s a somewhat emotional reaction to hearing Baek Hyun Woo’s name somewhat hackneyed.

From the Queens family’s surprisingly casual demeanor to Baek Hyun Woo’s abrupt emotional pivot after learning of his wife’s terminal illness, the series has consistently been criticized for its lack of realism. However, the compelling performances by veteran actors like Kim Soo Hyun and Kim Ji Won have lent the drama a layer of authenticity, enabling audiences to forgive some of the more far-fetched aspects of the storyline.

With just two episodes left and ratings continuing to climb, all eyes are on Queen of Tears to see if it can conclude satisfactorily and possibly set a new record for tvN. The drama has certainly proven polarizing, with the latest episode stirring up strong reactions both in favor and against its narrative choices.

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