There are plenty of K-dramas that garner low ratings, nowadays more than ever since the audience seems to be dwindling and there are so many other options beyond the Big Three networks including the rise of cable programming. Despite all that, I’m still stunned to see the current KBS Wed-Thurs drama Pretty Boy (Bel Ami) with Jang Geun Seok and IU hit a new drama low of 2.9% ratings for today’s episode 7. I don’t think I’ve seem a prime time drama with ratings that low since Playful Kiss, and funnily enough that drama starred Kim Hyun Joong who is on deck for his Age of Feeling to take over the time slot of PB. Even more coincidence between these two guys goes back years and years ago when they were both up for the role of Ji Hoo sunbae in Boys Before Flowers. Jang Geun Seok was actually offered the lead of Gu Jun Pyo but he wanted to play Ji Hoo but that role was already inked to Kim Hyun Joong so the rest is all Lee Min Ho career making history. I thought episode 1 of PM was much better and less stupid than I expected, but I was rather bored by episode 2 despite it still staying really watchable. Over the weekend I caught up on episodes 3-4 and the drama really isn’t bad at all. IU is wonderful here and reminds me of Jung So Min in PK but with her own flair and character tweaks that freshen up the obsessed girl trope. Jang Geun Seok is also decent and plays his character straight yet with a sense of irony and self-mockery of the whole “prettiest man alive” conceit. The story isn’t anything to write home about but there are stakes and acceptable reasons for why the characters go down certain paths, and the growing closeness of the OTP is slow and funny. I’m sad for this production to garner such low low ratings and I hope this drama stays good and ends up with a second life on video or overseas. I plan to keep watching but it doesn’t hook me to the point of having anything insightful to write about. Check out a well-made MV and see if maybe you want to give this one a try.
Fun Pretty Boy MV:
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