This year’s May K-drama line-up has been causing some confusion with folks, either not sure which dramas are up against each other or when a particular drama is scheduled to premiere. For me, the January dramas were all good but not great (though I enjoyed Dream High immensely), and the March dramas mostly didn’t interest me and the one which did interest me thus far hasn’t click with me yet. This leaves the incredible (on paper) May line-up to potentially yield my first crack drama of the year. It’s been too long since I’ve been addicted to a K-drama, and I’m longing for that adrenaline rush like a swimmer longs for the first warm day of Spring to arrive.
Here’s the competition roster, and may the best quality drama win the time slot in ratings. You know me, ratings doesn’t matter as long as I like it, and if I like it I’m as quick to point out all the flaws as I am of the reasons why I like a drama. I’ve found my mentality gives me a happy peace of mind – I like what I like, but I can still qualitatively differentiate whether something is good or not. A good drama doesn’t mean one has to like it, and bad drama doesn’t preclude one from enjoying it. Ultimately “like” is a personal and subjective point of reference, and requires no outside validation.
MBC: Goodbye Miss Ripley – Kim Seung Woo, Lee Da Hae, Mickey Yoochun, Kang Hye Jung – premieres end of May
KBS: Baby-Faced Beauty – Daniel Choi, Jang Nara – premieres early May
SBS: Lie to Me – Kang Ji Hwan, Yoon Eun Hye – premieres early May
MBC: Best Love – Gong Hyo Jin, Cha Seung Won, Yoon Kye Sang, Yoo In Na – premieres early May
KBS: Romance Town – Jung Kyeo Woon, Sung Yuri, Kim Min Joon, Min Hyo Rin – premieres early May
SBS: City Hunter – Lee Min Ho, Park Min Young, Lee Joon Hyuk – premieres end of May
Looking at the above line-up, I have no clue how the ratings will shake out. Since I started watching K-dramas live, I’ve noticed that ratings tend to reflect quality and/or the public appetite for the subject matter (I say tend to, because there are always outliers on either end – good dramas that tank or bad dramas that score ratings success).
I also notice that most recently the audience (and I am talking about the Korean audience in Korea who determine ratings, not us online afficionados) appears to prefer more mature stories (young trendies tends to do single to mid double-digit ratings), and the ratings battle for 2011 has thus far not yielded any clear winner other than Sign in the Wed-Thurs line-up.
The May line-up is heavily skewed towards rom-coms, with Goodbye Miss Ripley being the one drama that will likely be more melodramatic or at least more mature in theme and subject matter. I’ll likely check out every one of these dramas, at least for an episode or two. If I end up loving more than 2 of these, I’m going to have kiss the months of May and June goodbye in terms of sleep and any hope for a non-drama related social life.