Cable Network tvN Sat-Sun Fantasy Drama Memories of Alhambra Premieres at High 7.5% Ratings

Congrats to tvN for premiering two high profile K-dramas in the same week and having both knock it out of the park in terms of ratings. Second to arrive Memories of Alhambra brought in 7.5% AGB nationwide ratings, the second highest Sat-Sun premiere after Mr. Sunshine which broke 8% with Goblin in third getting over 6% in its first episode. Reviews are also solid with audiences enjoying the fresh source narrative of an AR game and also the gorgeous location shoot in Spain, but of course it’s also the big star power pairing of Hyun Bin and Park Shin Hye that also brought in the viewers. But there is another competitor to note as the other cable network jTBC premiered a new drama Sky Castle last week, with episode 1 getting over 1% but episode 2 skyrocketed past 4%, and its third episode today came in neck-and-neck with Memories at 7.5%. I tend to see today’s ratings as having room for more viewers, really it’s bringing back to TV the viewers who have migrated to other mediums, so I see plenty of room for both cable dramas to do well without bastardizing each others ratings.


Cable Network tvN Sat-Sun Fantasy Drama Memories of Alhambra Premieres at High 7.5% Ratings — 71 Comments

  1. MoA and Sky Castle don’t air in same time slot so they are probably the same viewers. Both dramas have impressive ratings.
    Anyway solid first episode even though PSH didn’t have much screentime. I can’t wait to see how the AR mystery unveils because I still have no clue what the story is meant to be about.

  2. Congratulations binnie hope tomorrow this drama can break 10% rating. If not it’s will be wasted since budget was 25 billion won. And those all secret garden shipper can kill herself or jump to the sea.

    • Weren’t you shitting on Hyun Bin in previous articles and calling him flop ahjusshi? This drama has lower budget than Mr. Sunshine, Goblin or Dots though. And Suzy – Lee Seung Gi new drama is going to be the most expensive drama for now.

  3. Tbh honest not sure about the story doesn’t seem like what I would like but let see I guess and am happy for the ratings go psh

  4. I like ep 1. The cobbled streets remind me of the backstreets in Rome and Venice where I grew up…. I play games so I can understand the story.. but AR is not for everyone, certainly not the ajhummas. This is a very challenging genre, new and refreshing. I don’t think Bonita Hotel can operate with just Korean instructions posted in room/toilet/kitchen, why no Spanish? … I won’t argue with the script yet… Hope the suspense will keep up and I totally enjoy the cinematography and HB’s dimples 🙂

    • I can’t agree with you more. This is going to be virtual reality merging into reality. So refreshing. Couldn’t understand what the big deal about HB before but now totally understood. He hasn’t changed much from secret garden but I am now very susceptible to his dimples.

  5. MoA is so cool and so fun to watch, it has action, funny moments, and i love the otp already, the princess and the wolf LoL, love the ending scene and the ost, cant wait for episode 2, congratz for the rating and for good comments from korean netz

  6. The concept looks new even though I feel this drama is a mix of W and Pokemon Go. Halfway through the drama I had this dreaded feeling am I just going to continuously watch Hyun Bin go back and forth playing a game? He is a rich entrepreneur and he doesn’t have staff to test a game for him??? For both PSH and HB, I am seeing previous roles in both their characters. However, it is only the first episode. I will give them some time. I am more intrigued by the actor who was in Prison Playbook. I couldn’t recognise him initially.

    • It’s park hae soo! I’m surprised tht there is no news of his cameo or sth. It has been one yr since prison playbook premiered

      • Yes, yes, Park Hae Soo. Apologies for not remembering his name. He is good and I expect him to have an important and impactful role here.

      • Yeah I was surprised its his first drama project in almost a year.
        I hope his role is more than a cameo.

  7. I liked the first episode. The story is pretty innovative for a drama, it’s nice to see something different. Hyun Bin was fun to watch and Park Shin Hye didn’t have many scenes, so I will wait to get an idea of her character.

    Special effects look good 🙂

      • I’m watching it this drama,also surprised that they didn’t introduce character first before start battle hyun bin with virtual game. Also I fell like play Pokémon go and disappointed that park shin hye part was small because I’m watching drama for park shin hye.

    • I’m bored too.
      After two eps nothing much seems to be happening.
      I think I simply just don’t enjoy the genre. But PSH and HB are my fave, so hoping they have more scenes together so I can watch them.

  8. That’s an absolutely insane jump in ratings for SKY Castle. It’s very interesting so far so I’m not too surprised. There are suddenly more engaging dramas to watch and I’m just hoping and praying they stay that way at least most of their run. I’m just tired of being burned by dramas that start out well and fizzle out fairly quickly.

  9. It was fun but I was distracted by the fact that most of the time it was not Granada at all. That square with the Moorish warrior statue is not there for sure and I even doubt that is Spain, the architecture looks more Central-European. The streets, the hostel and the bar where the sword was hidden, that didn´t look like Granada either, and certainly Spanish people were talking with Madrid’s accent…the train station just opened this week after a lot of time being closed so that part was fake too…whatever, I will leave that aside and try to enjoy since the set-up seems promising.

    • Granada is just the setting. The train station is at Budapest, I remember some fans saw Chanyeol there. Hostel should be at Girona (not 100% sure though).

  10. I love that it’s entertaining and the concept is a bit different compared to the usual drama I’ve seen everytime. Since I’m not a gamer so like it. Somehow I’m not sold with Park Shin Hye’s acting although her screentime is very short. Her crying scene at the end is cringey and bad. I miss Hyun Bin on screen so much but is disappointed that I’m seeing Goo Seo-Jin in this new character. Not so good Hyun Bin sii, hopefully today’s episode I won’t see Goo Seo-Jin again or else it’s another let down. The same for Park Shin Hye hoping her acting for today’s episode is less cringey. Getting excited to see today’s episode. OMG love the cinematographic too, so beautiful.

  11. I love the first episode already and the ost at the end. Haha at first when watching the trailer I thought it’s gonna be a Goblin tpye of genre but it’s not so I’m glad too. The cinematographic is beautiful make me wanna go visit Europe sometime even I’m not sure if it’s really Granada Spain. It’s still beautiful. Hyun Bin is soo funny, he carried this first episode well because Park Shin Hye screen time is too short. Hyun Bin is funny and super handsome, his smile is love. I agree that Park Shin Hye did come off cringey with that last crying scene. I really wish she get better with her facial expressions because it’s not convincing. Anyway I’m thrilled to see today’s episode so congrats to the ratings. Rooting for episode 2 to receive well ratings as well. Fighting Hyun Bin and Park Shin Hye.

  12. Omg I’m happy both my bias is back with two strong comeback drama. Go Hyun Bin Memories of Alhambra with Park Shin Hye and Song Hye Kyo Encounter with Park Bo Gum. ❤❤❤?? please receive well for both dramas.

  13. It’s worth the wait, i love everything so far alone with the cinematographic. Hyun Bin is amazing as always and Park Shin Hye did well. I recommend this drama because it’s really good. Am not the type to drool over lovely romantic where both leads have to tons of heart warming scene so finally found a script i love. Please director and producer don’t let me down on this one. Now the wait for next week episodes is killing. I’m impressed with the ratings so hopefully it’ll continue to receive good reviews.

  14. Both MOA and Encounter are pretty close in ratings for Ep 1, 7+% and 8+% respectively.

    Encounter Ep 2 is 10+%, curious to know how MOA does for Ep 2.

  15. I get that PSH fans want to rejoice her comeback but to be VERY honest, PSH’s acting is bit off. All I saw was her previous characters from Pinocchio and Heirs, not to mention the bad crying. This time, the story is hard carrying the drama and Hyun Bin seems more interesting. It’s weird how other actors seem more natural but only PSH seems so caricature like and bit annoying at times too. Song Jae Jung did the same thing to Han Hyo Joo, made her exaggerate too much. I hope she won’t be like that the entire drama because it’s bothersome

  16. Wow just finished episode 2 and glad Hyun Bin finally sold his character for me but still need more from Park Shin Hye. She’s kinda off on her expressions but at least it got better. I’m loving this drama now and waiting patiently for next week episodes. Quite impressive that this is the very first drama that actually got all my non Asian friends watching it. Fighting Hyun Bin and Park Shin Hye make this a good comeback for both.

  17. Dam as much as I love Hyun Bin i got to admit this drama don’t really make sense. It’s also too predictable and sloppy. But at least they tried to make it entertaining. The whole story about Seju being the real game programmer is not convincing because how can he be that advanced when Jun Woo (Hyun Bin) character just released the lenses, a high tech CEO? Well I’ll still watch it for you Binnie. You’re performance is not the best but I’m still impressed. Park Shin Hye still need a lot to be convincing because her performance is quite bad. Good that the ratings is not bad but true honesty this drama is okay. Too hard to find a great drama nowadays.

  18. i love the first episode of MOA Hyun-bin cute smile and shin hye pretty face i agree that her crying scene is annoying a little she cries like a little child. But still i know she’s good in acting hoping for her character improvement. Fighting MOA.

  19. Sorry binnie you trying so hard but I can’t understand the story. The action game make me falling sleep I thought I have high expectations expectations on this drama but very boring. Oh why the writer didn’t focus on romance that’s was favourite for ahjumma on the home.

      • I will eat my mouth if this drama was hit but after look at rating 1st and 2nd ep. I was pessimistic that rating will soar since no story or explanation about character. I’m feel park shin hye so annoying like in heirs drama.

      • She hate Hyun Bin so much because she’s a greedy Sega shipper. She go dropped comments everywhere telling people Hyun Bin can’t be like Secret Garden ever again. Salty anti who can’t accept reality. Move on already because you’re a hypocrite. Even if MOA was a hit or not no one asking you to watch.

  20. The ratings for episode 1 & 2 is as expected because it’s not the best yet still good. I hope the writer keep the story interesting and don’t focused too much on the romance side or it’ll be boring and too cheesy. A good drama doesn’t need to include all sorts of lovely-dubby scene fromboth leads… I find those type of drama more unique and meaningful. I’m glad it did well on the time slots. I love both episodes and both performance from Hyun Bin and Park Shin Hye though Park Shin Hye do need a little bit improvement but all is good. I look forward to read more critics from viewers about the good and bad side.

  21. Tbh I don’t think Hyun Bin fit the drama… he’s too old for this kind of genre. Game? Tsk the plot is good but maybe knetz doesn’t feel it?

  22. Boring first two episodes…
    PSH don’t really have much screentime.
    Maybe they want to introduce the AR? Some scenes are really random and dragged out.
    Hope to see PSH and her other identity next week, and the romance to start.

  23. This genre is not for everyone. I am enjoying it so far. But if ajhummas expect lots of romance, better move to another drama… I don’t think HB is too old for gaming, he is in his 30’s and is rich which is the prime age to play high-tech games, and he fits the role of CEO. PSH screentime is still quite limited so it is too early to evaluate her acting, but tbh this drama’s focus is not on the female lead so any actress with a pretty face and decent popularity will fit her role. I hope the story will make sense to maintain current rating, it will be difficult to exceed 10% unless miracle happens.

    • Indeed… i love this concept a lot and find it very entertaining so the drama don’t have to hit big it’s good already. Depend on who ever enjoy it. Hyun Bin and Park Shin Hye did great.

  24. Call me pessimistic but I don’t think the ratings will get any higher. It doesn’t seem like the type of drama Koreans like to watch. It’s totally my style though! I hope it gets more exciting in the future bc it’s kind of slow right now. I want more action more romance! I know it’s only 2 episodes. I have high hopes for this drama.

  25. So far it’s not too bad I have more questions then answers but if you’re a gamer that plays games like WOW or LORD then this drama will be in your lane. I like the leads so I’ll give them 6 episodes to flush them out. The ML is the right age a lot of gamers are older, it costs a lot to play.

  26. Sky Castle is the dark horse?? from 1% to 7.5%.No “A-list actors, no “hallyu queens”.Just raw good acting skill and script and the ratings come through.

  27. MOA is different and I like that. The opening scene is wow. Reminds me a bit of one of the Xmen with the night crawler. Bang! Can’t understand why the rating is high for Encounter for many reasons. Story – nuna and dongsaeng… hmmm is that new? Just because recently there is a hot on this theme. And, the pairing of SHK and PBG… screams marketing, capitalising on BFF.

    • Noona romance is like weekend makjang dramas. They cater to older women and thats the group that watches television the most. So this genre will always be profitable no matter how overly done it is.
      Science fiction in K-dramas is risky because the genre is so niche.

      • I feel bad for song joong ki next drama since that was big budget and fantasy drama didn’t really appealing for ahjumma. Very risky for writer and pd doing fantasy genre. I hope I was wrong and MOA can surprised me comeback with huge hit. Go hyun bin even this was flop he can redeem himself with good project and good script.

      • @Veliox not really the viewers stats of encounter in Sk and international audiene are teens to adults so you cant claim its just the older women who watch it. Saw a couple of comments from men too they enjoy the show.

      • I hope you mean Mr Sunshine and not MOA. Who is the arrogant older male lead? PSH character is not innocent. The concept of AR is certainly not overdone. We have not seen any romance at this point yet. I think you are in the wrong article. LOL.

  28. LMFAO when people can’t seem to learn to watch anything in piece without making comparisons. I understand people who actually make critics the correct way but not those that can’t take any by the heart. MOA is a great drama for those who love it but not for those who’s not interest in the genre.

  29. Poor hyun bin and park shin hye since this was pre-production drama they can’t change story or genre for help rating. Fantasy and sci-fi was not familiar for ahjumma in the home. They just want melow romance with young handsome oppa and middle age ahjumma. I don’t understand why ahjumma viewer so hype with noona romance. Another flop big budget drama was go for song joong ki next drama since this was genre fantasy very risky that viewer didn’t like political or male centric drama. I hope that six flying dragon writer take lessons from flop MOA and didn’t late for them change story.

  30. can’t believe I say this, it’s boring, even on the 2nd ep, not exactly boring, it’s like bland even when they tried with the visual

  31. This drama flop because the writer only focus on hyun bin character. The writer didn’t remember last time hb drama was flop they should take where stars land for sure. Even Kim rae won was better actor than hb. Just like w the writer was losing focus and drag every where.

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