Descendants of the Sun Hits 34.8% Ratings and Becomes Kim Eun Sook’s Highest Rated Drama Since Lovers in Paris

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Thanks to the surfeit of Song-Song appeal, the 15th and second to last episode of Descendants of the Sun hit a new ratings high today. The drama brought in 34.8% ratings, on a night with national assembly election results and no competition from the other two dramas as SBS elected to preempt Please Come Back Ahjusshi and MBC did the same for Goodbye Mr. Black. This isn’t just a new high for DotS, it’s also a new high again for screenwriter Kim Eun Sook. She’s well known as the hitmaker but her dramas have actually brought in ratings mostly in the 20-30% range, with a few dramas going past 30% in the final episode(s).

It was only with her first name making runaway hit Lovers in Paris with Park Shin Yang and Kim Jung Eun in 2004 that she broke the roof – LoP started off at 23%, broke 30% in the third episode, went past 40% in the 7th episode, and was at 50% ratings by the 14th episode. Crazy, huh? I checked out the ratings for all her dramas and DotS is now officially her highest rated drama since LoP, bridging a gap of twelve years during which Kim Eun Sook still brought in viewers and generated buzz even if other dramas here and there got higher ratings. Her skill is the consistency of doing it time and again, and that’s a long time to reign supreme in the ever changing and fickle world of K-dramas.

With Ahjusshi and Mr. Black both returning on Thursday night with back-to-back episodes, it’ll be interesting to see if the drama gets any viewers or media coverage when DotS is ending it’s run with the highly anticipated final 16th episode. Or maybe people will tune into DotS just to gape at how things are explained of the interesting developments that happened in episode 15.

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Descendants of the Sun Hits 34.8% Ratings and Becomes Kim Eun Sook’s Highest Rated Drama Since Lovers in Paris — 25 Comments

  1. Wow didn’t know LoP was such a monster rating. Looking forward to the final episode tonight. After which my week is empty with nothing to watch….the quest for a new watch have to begin already I guess.

  2. ep 15..Song hye Kyo rules…her performance is spot on. i agree with what others said, SHK performance carried this episode. and the ending…you can really feel their emotions…it’s so raw and beautiful!!

      • seriously if SHK does not get a Daesang I’ll riot after episode 15. She better get that.

    • Hats off to the actors of this drama😊 In the end its still a love story with heavy emotions and funny lines I just dont get it when people are really trying so hard to scrutinize wvery bit to pieces from the story line to dialogues😯 afterall its a fiction based story. The raw emotions were explicitly delivered CLap CLap Clap to SHK SJK JG HJW😉

    • Loved her!!she brings in a different character in every role. Shes so perfect for DOTS. Cant imagine anyone else playing KMY. And shes so pretty. The Song-Song couple are so spot on and so pleasant to look at..will they have another drama after this?
      Probably they should coz as they say strike while the iron is hot.

  3. False. Secret Garden’s final episode in 2011 got a 35.2% rating, AGB nationwide (the same measurement for DoTS’ 34.8%).

    • Was wondering about that, too. I knew that Secret Garden was hitting the mid 30s in ratings. Thanks for validating it. Corrections should be made in this post then.

    • I’m talking about highest rated drama overall, not per episode. With this episode DotS has higher ratings averaged than any of Kim Eun Sook’s dramas other than LoP.

      • You didn’t specify in the post that you are talking about the average rating. Indeed, the title refers to a ratings number from a recent episode.

        More interestingly, it has always struck me as highly bizarre that Korean ratings are reported in percentages. In this way they really only give us a relative idea of how many is actually watching, not a clear cut number.

        For example, if only 1M are watching on a given night 30% is a smaller number than a 10% share on another night where 10M watch. I wish it was more transparent what these numbers actually refer to.

        Also, from an economic point of view DotS must be the most expensive show she has created. So, I wouldn’t be surprised if a lower rated show like A Gentleman’s Dignity with its cheap stages has brought in a higher return.

        Still, DotS is massive success, no doubt. KES can write her own paycheck!

    • If you’re looking for strong storyline, then don’t. It is pure story about love, nothing more nor less. But if you can hold with it, then you might find it is better than the first 4 eps.

    • ditto on the above comment. after the earthquake, it gets interesting again a bit with how everyone is handling an emergency situation, but then it kind of peters out and you have to turn your brain off. and after ep 11, it starts to really hand wave some plot points and continuity. watch what you can and FF what you can’t. at this point i just want to know how it ends. but i wouldn’t put it in my favorites list.

      • There are many scenes that you know it won’t happen in rea life. For example, Ep. 15 (spolilers), right after the military aircraft left YSJ and SDY in the warzone, they are suppoed to hide and be serious but they still stand and smile to each other. Anyway it’s just a drama that needs dramatic moments to put the story plot in motion. I agree with you it’s also not my favorite drama but I can live with it.

    • Thanks all for the info. Reading from all the hypes about this drama, I thought it’s gonna be extremely good and intense drama, but I guess I was expecting too much. There are times when I was like.. come on.. please let something happen! I’m not talking about the love story between the couples, but I’m talking about the plot itself. I guess I shouldn’t expect too much, and just enjoy the ride. I’m gonna watch this till the end though. I hope I won’t ‘accidentally’ read the ending before watching the final episode. 🙂

  4. I think people need to understand that this is a Korean drama and a love story at that. If people want to watch a more realistic story then movies or maybe even American or British dramas are the way to go. Or maybe historical. I repeat its just a drama. Different concept but still a drama.

  5. even this drama has some unrealistic scenes, but c’mon, this is what we called it DRAMA. not reality. but as long as i watched this drama, i felt the humanist point. everyone in this drama did their job well. they acted so well and natural.

    i always enjoy watching KES’s projects, including this one and except City Hall. So, perhaps, im already used to her writing style, or perhaps, she’s just my fave script writer, that’s why im following every single project of her.

    and from those 3 dramas airing in the same time, DOTS is the best one. deserves all the praises. no doubt.

    for other dramas fans, c’mon, dont compare dots to your fave. those dramas also have some unrealistic scenes. but you keep watching it cuz you like. just like us, dots fans.

  6. To watch more realistic “drama”, I recommend ppl watch US Special Forces (Green Beret or Seals or Data or x) documentaries. LOL

  7. congrats to DotS, specially SJK 😉 honestly, nothing special or new from DotS. its storyline is standar Kdrama love story but it less annoying bcause no bitchy second lead or evil parents, i like their funny banter and their lovestory is believable, no noble idiocy. but to enjoy it
    you just have to left your logic somewhere,because when you start thinking about the war or medic, you’ll scratch your head and pull your hair 🙂 everything for me sometimes is so ridiculous.
    just thinking about the preeties and I enjoy it so far 😉

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