Manhole’s Episode 4 Drops to 2.0% and Enters Top Three Lowest Rated Prime Time Ratings of Last Two Decades

If something doesn’t succeed then sucking so badly as to enter infamy may be a viable alternative to paddling in the middling center of mediocrity. Recently premiered Wed-Thurs KBS drama Manhole (Wonderland’s Feel or Feels So Good) is sliding into so bad it’s memorable for being that bad territory whether it was intentional or note, and frankly judging from the universal disdain and disappointment over this drama is hard to argue that a group of people got together and accidentally made something no one likes to this degree. The drama premiered at 3.1% ratings, dropped to 2.8% for the second episode, the third continued the trajectory landing at 2.2%, and now the fourth episode has the distinction of being the third lowest episode rating of a prime time drama since 2000 by taking in 2.0% AGB nationwide viewership.

In the worst single episode ratings list, in backwards order:

3. Manhole episode 4 – 2.0% and My Heart Twinkle Twinkle 2.0%

2. Six Martyred Ministers (Sa Yuk Shin) 1.9%

  1. Foolish Love 1.8%


Manhole’s Episode 4 Drops to 2.0% and Enters Top Three Lowest Rated Prime Time Ratings of Last Two Decades — 46 Comments

  1. ouch! I feel bad for the casts and crews. There are too many crappy drama nowadays, I dropped many of them after 2nd or 3rd episode. How does it feel acting in a drama that nobody is watching….>.<

    • The storyline is just bad. This is basically Operation Love (or Operation Proposal foe Korean version) but with a much much more annoying and useless lead male and way way too over the top. The girl is not much better.

      I actually like Uee and Jaejoong but I had to drop this to save myself for their future works.

  2. is the drama that bad? or is it because of uee and kangnam controversy that turns off koreans from watching?. anyway i feel bad for the

    • As Wienya wrote, Koreans don’t really care about UEE’s dating life at all, nor what Jaejoong said on stage ad how some people misinterpreted it. The drama is just plain bad and acting is really awkward.

    • I think rather than the scandals, the leading pair and secondary leads are lacking in star power and hence the low premiere ratings. Then the plot and acting comes into play, which made the ratings drop even more.

  3. Before watching it and just reading the plot I thought “hey this would be a nice light hearted drama”, something a little like Jdorama Operation Love. Unfortunately it wasn’t… its too cheesy with over the top acting and annoying characters. The main problem I have is the story it just doesn’t connect with you or with itself.

  4. Not related, but uee’s arms in that larger pic where she’s holding a camera freak me out. She’s too thin. There’s no way that can be healthy

  5. Really? I didn’t realise it was being universally panned. UEE is a bit stiff but I like the other characters and it’s a fun zany watch. It’s over the top but total campy craziness that makes me laugh. And IMHO Jae Joong is doing a good job.

    • True. It is not that bad. Jaejoong was a bit OTT in the first episode but he came off quite nicely by the 4th episode. I kinda enjoy his acting. I admit that UEE is pretty dissapointing. Th storyline isn’t that bad and I find myself laughing over the comedy each episode.

  6. I expected low ratings, but this is just painful to witness. I wonder if they’ll shorten it or cancel it altogether. I mean, if it keeps dropping it will end up with 0% rating by mid-drama.

  7. The drama isn’t so bad ( a lot of dramas through the years were worse). I don’t think that’s related to the “scandals” of the leads either. But,
    1- uee is absent minded , she’s barely present(so thin that she can vanishes at every moment!)
    2- jaeejong a contrario is overacting as he wants to compensate what is lacking in the drama.
    3- I’m sad for all the cast and crew, they should cut the no of épisodes like they did with “My heart twinkle, twinkle”

    • Really sad to read that about UEE. I of course don’t know if it’s an eating disorder or some other type of illness but there’s something definitely going on with her.

      • She really needs to gain some weight. Hopefully there’s some one out there who can help her, or perhaps she can help herself by getting psychological consultations and stuff. I too feel sad; she just looks more and more haggard by the day.

  8. i feel so bad for the cast and crew.

    i so wanted jaejoong’s comeback to be a success, but i guess it wasn’t meant to be. he might have been better off with the initial offer of the mini drama. i forgot the title but i remembered reading about it somewhere.

    this is baro’s first flop isn’t it? all his previous dramas were a ratings success if i remember correctly. well, you can’t always win it all i guess.

  9. the characters are always shouting, running everywhere, showing the impatient and stupid act… made this drama very unattractive and audience will have a fretful feeling when watching it.

  10. i don’t know why i think this drama will be better if they made as anime version rather drama live action.
    uee acting may not good,and jeajoong acting little bit too much,but i can’t only blame the actor or the actress,if the script and the plot and the cinematography is so weak and plain.

  11. I doubt the drama is that bad but it just seems it doesn’t resound with Koreans at all and is even a major turnoff to keep losing viewers. All this bad press isn’t helping either. Even genuinely bad dramas (and there have been quite a lot in the past 20 years) can hold on to a small loyal audience. Another theory is that there’s more people watching it online since this is the rule of drama younger Koreans might enjoy more but that doesn’t matter to advertisers and the media who need interesting headlines.

    Anyway I feel bad for the cast and especially the crew because if episodes get cut, most likely there goes their pay checks. It’s also embarrassing and can be demoralizing for anyone involved. Keep your head up guys.

  12. My guess is they will wait another week or so and cut. The worry is ad revenue will not be enough to pay everyone. I feel for Jaejoong because it’s his first job post military.

    • If they don’t cut this drama, then it would certainly be really odd. KBS cut Beautiful Mind and even it had better ratings (4 %! lol) and its international following was pretty intense, judging by the commenters in asian drama sites, like this one or dramabeans. Even kpop sites lol.

      • But in KBS’s defense, Beautiful Mind’s airing was delayed by two weeks (No thanks to the production company itself. KBS had to scramble to make BaekHee’s Back to cover the delay.) which eats into the schedule of the Olympics, which they’d obviously like to air over a low-rated drama.

        If Beautiful Mind didn’t start late, if there weren’t the Olympics, I think KBS would have just let it run its course.

      • I don’t think kbs will stop airing this if kbs aim for internationalviewers, kbs world japan even report jaejoong activity as ceo fashion brand there (jaejoong is 7 years blocked to any variety show)

  13. I’ve just tried to watch this drama and all I can say is the script is awful. Why write such a loser male lead character and if you do at least find a good actor to bring out some lovable characteristics. Jae Jong can not carry this lead role. He hasn’t acted for the past two years. He should have done a daily drama first to practice his acting. Uee looks as though she has hyperthyroidism with big eyes and a goitre. It is all rounded bad and I am not surprised the ratings are going down the drain. Did the writer try to copy ‘Back to the future’?

  14. I think this drama has beautiful scenery, its neighborhood in flat area and every house has garden. The beach also beautiful but really remind me tom n jerry running scene, n bongpil got punched by the beast

  15. I’m not watching this drama but I’m genuinely curious – what’s wrong with UEE? She already looked painfully anorexic when she shot Marriage Contract, but it could be overlooked because she was playing a terminally ill patient. But if she’s even thinner than that now, it’s a turn off and she may need to seek some kind of medical attention. I miss the UEE of Golden Rainbow, in that drama she was vibrant and healthy.

  16. They should’ve just let the slot not be occupied be another time travel drama after The Best Hit. Its hard taking in this poorly written drama after one by Yoon Shi Yoon.

  17. Ms. Koala, I think the comparison to Sayukshin is inconsistent, because that figure came from TNS and the one for Manhole is from AGB Nielsen. Since Sayukshin got a low of 2.3% according to AGB Nielsen measurements, this means Manhole is the lowest-rated Wednesday-Thursday drama since 2000.

  18. This is just sad. I found the promo materials and overall premise quite interesting, but judging from viewer’s comments, the execution is just blah. I actually waited for positive review, as I hoped this could be a lighthearted, warm romance drama with a dash of coming of age/slice of life. But now, I don’t think I’m going to watch at all.

    • My advice is don’t let other viewers stop you from watching and enjoying a drama. Watch it and you you might have a different take. It just wasn’t for me but I wasn’t going to watch it anyway. I was intrigued by the negative comments.

    • @Cecilia give it a try . Like i said before the actors are not at their best but i find it quite refreshing ! But IMO it’s not a warm / slice of life drama genre. I tend to like dramas with bad ratings ( Save me, School2017) . I only read comments by curiosity. EX: Strong deliveryman and Woman of dignity are doing well but they don’t click to me! it doesn’t mean that they aren’t good!

    • Thank you @Abc and @cahill for the kind advice! I admit that I do rely heavily on recaps and reviews to help deciding what drama to watch (and unfortunately, what I’ve read about Manhole so far is very off-putting). I actually don’t care about ratings, as quality and fun sometimes aren’t equal with ratings. I might have missed some goodies by this way and should probably try a different take in choosing a drama… but, for now I’m not sure if Manhole is the one to start from. Save Me, on the other hand, seems very interesting…

  19. It’s just plain sad when you find yourself wandering off in mid-episode when you watch this drama. I like both actors, but the frenetic acting and script quality makes it difficult to stay. UEE is, I guess, to be charming and a bit vague at times, but as a couple they just don’t mesh. I seldom comment on looks, but you can’t help but being struck anew at random times by UEE looking too frail. Whatever the reason is, I hope she gets healthier soon. I will continue to watch because I am a glutton for punishment and I genuinely like both actors, but this will be relegated to the lower part of my list-you know, where you get a drink and let out a big sigh before you begin.

  20. oh! i love Manhole..the only kdrama im watching right now.. i dont care about acting n plot ..n just need to be entertaining for me..this is not final year exam ..huhu

  21. It did get better with episode 3 and 4. The first 2 episodes was awful, but I’m glad I gave it a chance because I really enjoyed the latter episodes.

  22. I love jaejoong so much! But i kinda agree with another comments here, the story just awful and lack of originality. So sad considering this is jaejoong’s comeback in drama.

  23. I think jaejoong should stick with singing. Maybe he can’t go it alone there either. He sure made a wrong career move when he ditched U-Know and Max. Wonder if Junsu and Jaejoong will want to start their group up again?

  24. Uee very upseting in this drama not only her character is cold and cheap, easy hook with random male,not reliabile at all, and Uee slouching alot,can’t properly stand up. N she seems so distant with other cast on bts also. I want to spazz her character n jj’s but they dont have any cute or memorable moment

  25. I’m so glad episodes 5 & 6 were so good! The chemistry of the two main leads was perfect and their acting was definitely on point. I cried my eyes out till BP disappeared into the manhole. Wish there will be more of that in the coming episodes. BTW I’m rooting for the Pilsu couple coz they have strong feelings for each other and I believe that true love conquers all.

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