It’s likely a sigh of relief over at Chinese internet behemoth Youku, which bought the rights to exclusively live-air K-drama Uncontrollably Fond and paid big bucks to get it. The live-airing ability is only available to paid subscribers of the site while those wanting to watch for free with commercials will have to wait an additional day, still not a bad wait since these days shows including K-dramas can’t be aired on Chinese internet portals officially anymore until it gets Chinese regulatory authority approval which is only available for dramas which have completed production. The first two episodes of UF have garnered nearly 44 million views on Youku in the last 6 days since it premiered, slightly off pace from Descendants of the Sun which got over 50 million, but still an impressive showing to say the least. On the top ten K-drama rankings the drama is residing comfortably at the number one spot.
I still don’t think a throwback style melodrama, no matter how the production or KBS wants to package it, is primed for the mass appeal of a DotS which crossed genres from action to medical to romance. With that said, Kim Woo Bin and Suzy are both popular enough in Korea and China for viewers to check out the first episodes on their involvement alone, now comes the hard part of audience retention and growth. DotS kept increasing in viewers, I don’t think UF has that path mapped out but at least it’s not an outright flop. I hope the next two episodes fully reveal everything that went down between Joon Young and Noh Eul so that I can get invested in fixing everything between them now.