Can we still consider audience ratings as a significant indicator? In this multimedia era, audience alone cannot fully measure the success of content. We are therefore witnessing the emergence of new indicators, such as the timeliness index and viewing time, which reflect the evolution of the landscape. The audience, however, continues to be reported because it is important for certain platforms as well as for terrestrial, cable and satellite channels. Viewership ratings for dramas broadcast over the past few weekends, however, present a different picture.

What is most notable is the decline of KBS’s weekend dramas. “Beauty and Mr. Romantic,” which debuted last March, recorded a peak audience of 17,6% (Nielsen Korea), which, given the overall decline in terrestrial viewership, may not seem like much. high, but when compared to previous KBS weekend dramas like “My Only One” (2018) with a peak audience of 49,4% and “Young Lady and Gentleman” (2021) with a peak of audience of 38,2%, we see that KBS weekend dramas continue to experience a decline in audience.

The previous work, “Live Your Own Life”, had in fact only reached a rate of 22,1%. This decline has continued since “It’s Beautiful Now” (best score: 29,4%), “Three Bold Siblings” (28%) and “The Real Has Come!” » (23,9%) until today. (23,9%) until today. It is essentially to reverse this trend that screenwriter Kim Sa-kyung and actor Ji Hyun-woo were chosen for “Beauty and Mr. Romantic”.

Why is the audience rating for KBS makjang Kdramas declining? K-Selection

These efforts, however, have not been very effective. “Beauty and Mr. Romantic” may be billed as a romantic drama about an A-list actress who falls to rock bottom overnight and a novice drama producer who falls in love with her and gets her back on her feet, but its success was not there in terms of audience rates or topical topics.

As a result, the audience rate of 17,2% in the second episode dropped to 14,9% in the third episode. The reason is none other than the continued manipulation of code that has lost its appeal due to overuse.

Meanwhile, the decline of famous screenwriter Kim Soon-ok’s works is another recent development in the weekend drama landscape. Known for the series “Penthouse”, which recorded a record audience rating of 29,2%, screenwriter Kim Soon-ok achieved an audience rating of 7,7% for her latest work, “The Escape of the Seven”, broadcast on SBS, despite a production cost of 46 billion won. As for its sequel, “The Resurrection of the Seven”, it is currently struggling with an audience rating of around 2%.

Why is the audience rating for KBS makjang Kdramas declining? K-Selection

What is this about? As early as “The Escape of the Seven”, viewers pointed out the glaring lack of coherence in the plot. Instead of creating dramatic tension, the absurd set-ups only provoked forced laughter. “The Escape of the Seven” was supposed to pave the way for its sequel, but its failure led to a loss of interest from viewers.

The decline of KBS weekend dramas, once seen as a ratings guarantor, and the fall of makjang (“situation so bad it couldn’t be worse”) dramas have significance and the recent success of tvN’s weekend series, “Queen of Tears,” is the answer. Being a dominant work in terms of current affairs, with an audience rate of more than 20%, it has also attracted interest both domestically and internationally, attracting both traditional and modern indicators.

Queen of Tears drama netflix

Looking closer, “Queen of Tears” shares a narrative structure similar to family dramas often seen in KBS weekend dramas. Its production, however, is fundamentally different from KBS’s weekend dramas and screenwriter Kim Soon-ok’s makjang dramas. Although this drama brings clichés, it subverts them to evoke contemporary empathy, which is not the case with the outdated and regressive worlds depicted in KBS weekend dramas.

While introducing dramatic situations that put families in crisis, the denouement process offers a stark contrast to screenwriter Kim Soon-ok’s absurd and provocative makjang dramas. What’s more, the black comedy depicted through various situations enriches the drama like a well-prepared dish.

Queen of Tears

It should be noted that the tastes of traditional viewers change over time and even older viewers of KBS weekend series do not want to watch outdated series. Along the same lines, while stimulation is not necessarily a bad thing, demands for consistency and comprehensiveness have increased. Our demands increase as we consume content.

‘The days when makjang dramas and weekend dramas were considered ratings guarantees are over. Viewers should not be force-fed clichés or hastily prepared meals.