SBS Drama The Undateables Ends with Low Ratings and Mellow Drama Wrap Party

You couldn’t pay me to watch SBS Wed-Thurs drama The Undateables (Handsome Guy and Jung Eum) after the excessive hijinks of the first episode and that opinion appears to be the majority in Korea as the drama wrapped up airing this Thursday having quite an inglorious ratings record. Wednesday’s penultimate episode recorded the lowest ratings for the series at 2.1% AGB nationwide, and overall the drama went from a series high start of 5.3% all the way down to the 2% range in the final weeks. I feel so awful for male lead Namgong Min who got the only positive audience reviews for his performance, while female lead Hwang Jung Eum really contributed to what made this drama unwatchable (pun intended) for me. The cast and crew attended the drama wrap party other than Namgong Min, and for those who did watch all the way did the drama get better or at least have a saving grace of being not that bad when all is said and done?


SBS Drama The Undateables Ends with Low Ratings and Mellow Drama Wrap Party — 42 Comments

  1. I do think you are unnecessarily bashing the actress. I have watched the drama, and while the story isn’t that bad, but overall, rather than blaming the actors for the abysmal ratings, I think you should blame the writer. Also these days a lot of even quality dramas have been achieving poor ratings, so I wonder why the criticism only on actors. It’s bad for HJE’s reputation too who had to face another poor quality drama after lucky romance. But do try to be a more neutral and nonbiased opinion when writing a review. And you haven’t even watched the drama.

    • She should learn to take different roles. I have no idea why she rejected Sketch and accepted this drama. If she wants to be typecast, its natural that she is criticized.

      • Did she reject sketch? Wrong choice indeed. But personally I loved lee sun bin so glad that she was the lead in sketch lol. You are right, I hope she experiments with her roles and stops taking these romance dramas with all fluff and no content.

    • @lsle but this one the blame is on the actors(or actress Hwang Jung Eum being the standout)though rather than the writing(of cause the writing is to blame too).Secretary Kim which is in the same slot as this one was, isnt anything special either in the writing department.But why was this one panned while Secretary Kim is doing well when both are rom coms with popular actors?

      In kdramaland, it takes at least the first three episodes to make an impression and for this one.Frankly, it wasnt a good one.HJE overacted her facial expressions and screeched so much even just the screencaps of the first episodes were enough to turnoff someone who isnt a fan.

      The thing is Hwang Jung Eum is getting offers in different genres
      and she is not a bad actress.But she keeps accepting the rom coms offers that require her to act the same way over and over again.Even her hairstyle and styling overall was a replica of her previous dramas.Please Hwang Jung Geum if you get a melodrama, take it..she was really good in Secret.I remember the few scenes in kill me heal me when she had scenes with Yo Sub, the suicidal teenager.She was really good.If her hubby or her likes her hairdo at least wear extension or a wig or something to differentiate from her previous character.

      Nam Goong Min was good but he wasnt at his best either.I dont know if was the role but he was stiff at times.Like he is not fully immersed in the role.

      • @rubyred Secretary Kim is actually adaptation of a webtoon. So it has a better and stronger script obviously. Although I didn’t enjoy secretary Kim either and it’s not really my cup of tea. But still tvn dramas do get more credit because of the channel. And I guess park seo joon has more starpower too.
        This also brings me back to my original concern. You can’t ignore the power of a good script. End of the day even a drama with solid cast can get poor reviews if the story is weakly constructed. So I blame it more on the writer. Plus I do think NGM suits more quirky characters like that from beautiful gong shim or Chief Kim. This one was not a good choice for him. I didn’t find any chemistry between them.
        I still do not get why people are only blaming HJE for screaming. Everyone kind of shouted and screeched a lot during the first few episodes, and that includes NGM’s character, the boss in the marriage counseling office, even the nerdy girlfriend, and the rich woman looking for marriage prospects. So it was really a demand of the story. I sense more biased and personal reactions here.

      • This is not the first time Hwang Jung Eum overly acted. She did it terribly excessively in kmhm. In fact JS did it in some parts too in tt drama. But any not so positive comments then as it is now are considered as anti / bashing and shld not be uttered at all. Even actors can have their bad days. Why cant fans accept that. They cant be on top forever nd ever.

      • I am not an HJE fan and I agree she tends to overact when it is not necessary. However, I don’t shy away from her dramas because she’s made some good drama choices such as “Can You Hear My Heart”. It’s usually her rom-coms that are her weak point. And of course, I think she is better than other idol actresses out there.

        I tried to watch this one, but I felt it there was nothing “Wow” about this story line. I don’t know if Kdramas are under some sort of budget crisis these days, but there hasn’t been a real good epic saeguk these days. Maybe that’s why more and more people are starting to watch historical Cdramas, including myself, which I never thought I’d do.

    • @lsle “Come and Hug Me” also had low ratings and there were complaints that the writing was slow.But all the actors got good reviews because their acting was good and had good chemistry and it aired together with “undateables”.

      I cant speak for Koala if she has prejudice for HJE.But her review here echoes the general sentiment of many.Maybe not expressed in the way she has said it.

    • Tried to watch first episode, heard her shriek-shout acting, then sigh~ not this again…and decided not to continue thus drama. I know actors are not to be blamed alone, but at least for me i decided to discontinue watching after seeing HJE acting on first episode so there’s that. Of course i dont represent majority of the opinion, but that is how it was for me.

      • I had the same issues. Watched the first 2 episodes and got turned off by there screeching, which is such a turnoff. Screeching is part of her acting repertoire i guess, especially in rom coms.

        Personally i feel koalas can say what she wants cos it’s her opinion, which is the whole purpose of the blog in the first place. It doesn’t mean u have to agree. We are not gonna bash people who feels she’s great in the role just because it differs from ours. Everyone is entitled to their opinions.

      • I have no problem with any opinion unless it’s logically stated and justified due to author’s own point of view. Anyone so entitled to their opinion but because this is a blog and public’s opinion is considered , so it does matter when we are almost changing our perception based on someone influential as the blogger herself. Here I see a complete disregard of the actress and saying she didn’t even want to see the drama because of HJE, it just seemed quite random and a quick pass to me. I was just wondering what incites such strong reaction that’s all. If you have only decided to pass a drama because you don’t like an actor that’s quite okay but as a blogger I wouldn’t write that on my blog as it could fall into idle talks. I would rather share it with my fellow KDrama watching groups.

      • @Juliesean, We know that everyone is entitled to their opinion,and Koala is definitely entitled to her own, but since she is a blogger she has a great influence over her viewers opinions just like what @Isle emphasized,so she should be at least fair and careful in her writings.I am actually sad to the actors that are in her basket of hate,coz they have the same treatment as the case of HJE.

        This is my take;police have guns but they don’t have the right to kill, if one has the power of the pen, it doesn’t mean that he can write just anything

    • to be honest, romcom is not for HJE. I’ve liked her in Secret but when I watched Kill me Heal Me i had to drop it because of her. She exaggerates her acting for romcom. the only romcom of her that i was able to finish was she was pretty (almost dropped at episode 3 because of her acting).

  2. Why do you always have prejudice towards HJE, Ms Koala? Did she hurt you? Saying that because of her the series is unwatchable is too far cruel, when in fact it was the script and the boring scene execution are the real culprits. Being a professional actress, she delivered her role perfectly as always.She even hid the advice of others to tone down which made the scenes more boring and lifeless.

    If we have to make criticism,let it be more objective siting the reasons why it is unwatchable. You didn’t even state your main argument why she is unwatchable.

    @ Mabel, I think HJE made the right choice in not accepting Sketch because the female character there is just a plot device to move the story, the main focus are the male characters; which is understandable on HJEs part since she is already a “star” on her own right.

    • Lee Sun Bin was actually a vital part of the story. Also it’s her with the supernatural ability which is at the center of the drama. So it’s not really true that her role is a mere plot device. But I do think this drama was a bad choice for HJE. Hope she does something like secret next or maybe a mystery/thriller/ slice of life drama.

      • @Isle, I’m not going to argue about Sketch, but for me the female role is the the major plot device in my view.Let’s just agree to disagree
        ^-^.Anyway, what’s done cannot be undone, and just like you,I hope HJE can be offered a drama with the same intensity as Secret Love.I guess she will, as this will serve as a lesson to her and the audience are looking for something new in her acting which I think she is capable of delivering.

      • Lee Su Bin’s role was the Sketcher, don’t you think? She was billed 3rd from the top as obviously Rain & Lee Dong Gun are bigger actors.

  3. Wow – Koala didnt bash the actress. All she said was she couldn’t watch it because of her. Are we reading the same post? I agree with Koala, I can’t seem to watch her either and I have tried many times before so now I just stop trying.

      • It’s bashing but her personal opinion too. I could understand her. That’s why I’v not watch her drama since KMHM. Well half of She’s Pretty.

      • I can’t watch HJE either and I don’t need to have a reason. Just like how beauty is in the eye of the beholder, the heart feels what it feels and no one can force their opinion on me about her. I don’t hate HJE nor dislike her, I just don’t care to watch her. I guess if she’s your bias, you might feel hurt that there are others who can’t stand to watch her and attack them out of anger if they don’t agree with you, it’s understandable. She’s not the only one though, there are other entertainers that I don’t care to watch too so don’t feel too special. Everyone has different tastes, to each their own.

    • Well isnt saying the writing and execution is bad/not good is bashing the writer and director also? Just accept it, however we sugar-coated our negative statement, it all boils down to bashing, unless you provide a solution to solve your negative arguments then that is a different case, if not we can all just say, everyone is stating their own opinion without calling it bashing why dont we. The word is too negative for my liking.

    • That’s bashing through and through, considering this is supposed to be a drama blog. What happened constructive criticisms? The only difference is that this time Koala’s opinion resonates with most viewers. I have been watching the drama and gotta to admit that the plot is unbelievably weak. Plus NGM’s character is so badly written it makes it hard to create chemistry with HJE. He looked stiff and uninterested in the earlier episodes but after going on a few dates he is head over heels in love with her…seriously like how? Yes HJE overacted in the first few episodes but putting the entire blame on her is not fair either. She also needs a new hairstyle desperately!

      • @Rosie Exactly. Couldn’t agree more! The plot is very weak and I got bored quite fast. I also agree with someone above who said the quality of Kdrama writing has deteriorated quite drastically these days and I too wonder if it’s a budget issue or something else. I don’t think you will find many dramas with rewatchable factors. And you’re right. Since this is a drama blog we should stick to constructive criticism and not just project our opinions here. Saying a script is bad isn’t bashing IMO, since there is a reason we say that’s the case. There’s nothing new in the story, NGM’s character has a gallery which sells toys but we see half of the day he’s busy in solving the heroine’s problems of selling relationships. Also for what, a mere piece of toy. Ridiculous at its best. You would have to leave your logic at the door while watching this drama.

  4. I totally understand people being turned off by HJE in the first episode. I barely stuck with it myself. I don’t know why they make her so screechy and OTT at the beginning, and then suddenly turn her into a nice, normal person for the rest of the drama. The same thing happened in Kill Me, Heal Me.

    While HJE’s character improved a lot after the beginning (and her acting has been quite natural after that awful beginning), I agree with those who say the writer is really to blame for the low ratings in this show. What a waste of potential.

    But yeah, HJE really needs to stop playing such similar roles. She shines when she’s showing her sincerity, but alienates most of us when she’s being OTT.

    • I agree. She calmed down quite a bit and rather quickly. The writing just is not anything special. I also agree that she should do a different genre. Maybe after She Is Pretty she is getting a lot of romcoms offers.

  5. You are right @Ruby Red, the first 3 episodes creates an entire impression for the drama,which is the case for “The Undatables” but I think the blame are not entirely on the actors.I watch the entire series together with Secretary Kim because I love the actors in She Was Pretty, and to be honest, the Undatables is so boring when it is being sold as Rom Com, the funny scenes are not even funny as compared to Secretary Kim which is witty funny and on point,so I think the intensity of comedy plus the characters main story are what made this two dramas different.

  6. Choi Tae Joon looks so good in the wrap up party picture!
    I hope he gets a better role and drama next time around.
    Hoping but probably no chance working with girlfriend Park Shin Hye in a same drama.

    • ? I knew it, there’s no way you could miss making a comment about PSH’s dating life. It’s like you’re obsessed with it.

  7. I honstly agree about HJE’s acting. She’s got this specific style she does in romcoms. But to say she ruined the drama would be too much because the drama sucked ass regardless of HJE’s over the top foot acting.

  8. I personally think it’s Koalas opinion and that’s that. She’s entitled to it. Sometimes I agree and sometimes I disagree. Maybe she’s influencing a lot of readers to dislike HJE’s screechy acting but I highly doubt that. I think all of us readers don’t just blindly follow her – but who knows… maybe they do but I sure don’t. She commented on her acting not her real life personality. I think it’s fair game in this industry.

    In the first few episodes, it was rough. But I agree, it really wasn’t just her. I loved her in She was Pretty – it’s one of my favorite rom coms. I was really rooting for her. But something is off about this drama, maybe lack of chemistry, maybe the storyline, maybe the acting all around – somewhere it didn’t connect with me and it seems from the ratings that the general Korean audience thought the same. I really felt like with nMG and HJE that they could have elevated the weak storyline. They are both great and capable actors. I guess this drama I kinda reminds me of the travesty that was HYde Jekyll and me. Good lead actors but over the top first few episodesand terrible story.

    I am also watching Secretary Kim and the storyline is weak at best. It’s nothing new and super cheesy. But I do feel like the chemistry between the leads make me care about the characters. Totally just my opinion though. I guess the web toon is popular in Korea? It seems to have good ratings.

  9. yeah i agree, a not so well-written script should be blamed, not the actress/ actor, they’re just doing what is written on the script.

  10. It’s a shame that the first two episodes made such a bad impression on people, because after that Hwang Jung Eum’s shriekiness totally disappeared and I found her character to be refreshingly mature for the female lead of a rom-com (I’m thinking about her handling of the two 2nd leads in particular). I haven’t been watching kdramas for that long so this was actually my first one with Namgoong Min and I was totally charmed by his suave-on-the-outside, marshmellow-on-the-inside character. Overall I found the drama sweet and healing and a perfect summertime watch.

  11. Those expecting this playground to be written “fair and careful” simply does not know this blogger’s style. I think you are in the wrong site. Whether or not this is a drama blog or personal blog is irrelevant because there is always only one writer and she is free to write anything she wants (unlike DB with multiple writers). Reading various articles can broaden my view but not necessarily will change my perception. If a person is so weak to be swayed by an opinion, then this person should stop reading.

  12. I do hope HJE will start doing more melos. She was great in Secret. I kinda liked her in Lucky Romance too, she made me feel for her character. So far i’ve been liking NGM as the bad (see Girl Who Sees Smells and Remember) or weird guy (Chief Kim) more too. While I do agree, too, that both leads did act well in this drama, I feel that it has really been a cast mis-match. And don’t even get me started on the script.

  13. can any one explain what was said during the wedding scene when namgong min’s character was reading the poem he had a hard time continuing it because the poet had written something but i couldn’t understand.

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