KBS Sageuk Drama River Where the Moon Rises Ends with 6.8%, 8.3% Ratings, a Sweet Ending, and a Lot of What Could Have Beens

I feel like I just watched half a drama, but considering all the behind the scenes trials and tribulations that befell this production, I’ll give it as a glass half full scenario. KBS Mon-Tues sageuk River Where the Moon Rises ended today, the ratings were the same as the penultimate episode, and overall was in the high single digits but rarely broke 10%. The hopes that Kim So Hyun and a flashy sageuk would revive ratings did not come to pass, and after the first male lead Ji Soo was replaced by the much better Na In Woo it felt like firefighting more than conquering new ground. The drama ended with a telegraphed happy ending, Ondal pretends to be dead and gets to retire to the mountains where Ga Jin finds him after wrapping up her princess duties for Gorguyeo. The final episode was great, easily the best episode of the series after the premiere one. If the drama were the first and last episode it would be an A+ series, but everything in the middle dragged it down to what I could charitably average out to B overall.

Lee Ji Hoon‘s Go Geun went out in a blaze of glory, his brain lobotomy reversed and he dies to keep Ga Jin safe. He earned his 10 minute death scene, I actually teared up simply because Lee Ji Hoon is such an emotive actor with superb restraint. I wanted to shove Mo Young aside so I could just watch him die so beautifully lol, she was blocking my view. Similarly Kim So Hyun cried like a seasoned expert when she thought Ondal died, so sincere, so heartbroken, so simple in that she loves him without any emotional reserve. If ever K-ent wanted to remake this series into a long 50-episode sageuk proper, all the stepping stones are there and only needs to be fleshed out, including not spending 90% of the time on the Gorguyeo palace fighting and tribal power play, the more compelling villain and enemy was always the Shilla King and the threat of the other two kingdoms. Thanks a bunch to the cast and crew for powering through once, and then a second time to re-film, giving audiences a decent series to watch the last 10 weeks.


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KBS Sageuk Drama River Where the Moon Rises Ends with 6.8%, 8.3% Ratings, a Sweet Ending, and a Lot of What Could Have Beens — 64 Comments

  1. Pingback: KBS Sageuk Drama River Where the Moon Rises Ends with 6.8%, 8.3% Ratings, a Sweet Ending, and a Lot of What Could Have Beens - Kpopnchill - All About K-pop News

  2. I won’t rate this series but I loved it.
    I loved that it has enough stories to tell for 20 episodes and maybe more if it’s a longer series. Despite the casting change, they were able to complete it without compromising the acting and cinematography.
    I loved that the ending is their new beginning away from drama and politics.
    I loved that they gave us the emotional scene from the novel but also a happy ending.
    Kim So Hyun is brilliant. Thank you for making me recognized your talent through this series. I keep on saying female lead because I didn’t know her name but last night I looked into it. I will check her other dramas for sure.
    And Of course, Na In Woo for creating a whole new On Dal.
    Thank you for all the cast and crew who worked hard on this drama. This may not be the best drama with flaws and all but I loved it and I truly enjoyed it. This drama is nowhere forgettable ✊

  3. Just what I was saying- River should have been a longer series. The script is not perfection due to it being constricted with 20 episodes. The only thing that made me overlooked the rough parts was Kim So Hyun’s acting. She is just simply mind blowing and her performance here proved her high professionalism and composure despite the real life dramas going on. My eyes is still swollen even still emotional just by remembering the coffin scene. When pyeonggang cried, I cried as well. Oh gosh words are not enough to describe how Kim So Hyun is so good in carrying the feels and emotions of her character.

      • Actually when they released the coffin still cuts I knew it was a happy ending. But despite being aware it will end like that, this scene still wrecked me. I believe it’s all because of the acting prowess of the leads 👏🏻 how Kim So Hyun acted the last part is also impactful. I love the subtleness of her delivery there, she made me cry again although I should feel happy because of Pyeonggal and Ondal’s reunion.

      • I heard that the novel ending was bliss so I low key assume it was going to be a bliss in the drama too haha

        I absolutely concur, her acting in those scenes were so beautifully rendered. I cried until I was dry like a sponge.

  4. There are a lot of flaws in the script but I still watched it till the end for Kim So Hyun. I have watched some of her dramas when she was still a child actress in the past but never follow any of her leading role dramas since I rarely watch K dramas in the past few years. Decided to watch this because I know who she is and the trailer seems interesting. Since then, she got me interested to check out her past projects and now I’m a fan. I really like her performance in Missing You that I recently watched. The sincerity in her acting just touches my heart and she has the ability to convey complex emotions and feelings, and it just gets better as she grows older.

  5. Flaws and all, this drama will remain a beautiful memory. It was a satisfying ending and I love how they kept the central female character strong throughout the drama. I was afraid they were going to make her a damsel in distress in the second half but thankfully they never did. It was an impactful, gorgeous drama that could had been developed better with more episodes but irregardless, I loved it. My personal favorite drama of 2021 so far. The entire roster of actors, well done! Acting was riveting and impressive throughout 🙂 I will miss it. Season 2? I would love for it to happen.

    • At last, it’s done but not over for me. Time to binge watch now. Thank you @Laura for wonderful reviews. I hope to see you on future dramas as well. Thank you for all the people who stayed. I enjoyed your reviews and comments too. (Except those who are just trolling). Thank you Ms. Koala for staying too although there was a moment you considered to stop watching lol. I will be grateful that this drama happened as a fan of segeuks. I will miss the whole RWTMR team dearly 🥲

      • You’re most welcome! Enjoy and have a fun time 🙂
        I miss them so much already, it’s difficult to move on.

    • RWTMR has delivered a good drama and all my thanks are to them.

      But I would also like to thank @joane for staying with us although just occasionally. After a heartbreaking finale, we very much need a clown right now to brighten the mood. And she never fails to deliver. Kudos 👍

      • LMAO You know this b**ch joane is a certified troll when she called RWTMR an “unknown drama” 😂
        RWTMR literally has always been in GoodData’s top 10 most popular/buzz-worthy dramas every week during its run, and the rights is now sold to 190 countries, TF she means “unknown”? 😂😂😂

    • Yeah. An unknown drama which is consistently as one of the top 3 most buzzed dramas during its run. It is really unknown.

      • Don’t forget constantly appearing on the HOT section of theqoo even now its trending.Video clips from the drama always filling up the 100 top trending videos list and appearing on the RACOI trend list every week. People will say anything when they can’t accept reality.

    • This is, it’s easy to reap awards with a “known drama”. The fact that she can do it with an “unknown” one shows how good she is so… good to know you’re acknowledging her talent. She doesn’t need your praise, but your honesty is refreshing anyway lmao.

  6. KSH and NIW were the whole drama and they owned their roles. They deserve all the love and praise being showered on them.

  7. I was leaning towards a sad ending when the monk made an appearance lol.

    Koala seems to have a strong aversion towards the herb lady, while you see a lot of praises towards her on MDL and Twitter.
    Imo, her character is actually the most intriguing among the supporting ones and yet on the latter part Idk what really happened to her character 😅 But I really felt bad for her, despite all her efforts to protect him, he still chose the princess. I guess the heart really wants what it wants lol.

    And also kudos to LJH’s acting. If only they made this drama a bit longer, they could have made him also PG’s first love and I think it’s more interesting. I was looking forward to that love line actually😅, i just hope they meet again in another drama, bec their chemistry was also🔥

    Also NIW for someone who was just a fill in, casted in half a day and without preparation, he did a tremendous job as Ondal.

    And KSH, girl you’re awesome and truly deserving of that Baeksang nomination. But I’m a greedy fan, I also hope you’ll get the year end Daesang🙌🏼❤️

  8. Yayy we got happy ending. I know this was not a perfect drama but I loved it. Ksh killed it in emotional scene. Ksh and Niw were perfect as a couple.

    • I am excited to see sohyun in baeksang award show. I hope this is not the only drama of ksh in 2021.I am seeing lots of drama casting so I hope we will also see ksh drama casting soon.

  9. River where the rating flops. So it couldn’t even rise or hit double digits (at the very least, 11%) for its finale? With all that alleged star power missy’s delusional fans won’t shut up about? Aigoo. Oh well, since hard work is a criteria for winning awards and not strictly quality, at least they’ll win for their performances. But thank f?ck this mediocre, boring as sh?t drama is over. On to the next. Toodle-loo!

    • Stay pressed that KSH can save an entire drama from destruction and still get nominated for prestigious awards and gain new fans. Nobody can do what she did and that is fact. That is star power it doesn’t need ratings to prove anything. 11 million followers is far from delusional that is reality and even the industry knows it. Now they’ll know it even more because what she did for the drama at the young age of 21.

    • So Hyun became a baeksang nominee for best actress with this what you so called flop drama. Very amazing right 😊. Who’s doing it like her.

      Just curious @IWroteWhatIWroteCryAllYouWant Does your username meant for yourself? It suits Daebak😮.

    • don’t joke with urself.. i see u r the one is crying right now… bhahahahahahahahahahhaha.. stay crying, slander bit*ch

  10. Couldn’t have asked for a more perfect ending. Nothing much to be said but how satisfied I was with the ending. A really beautiful drama (IMO) that I’ll surely rewatch in the future.

    Also, I came out of this drama loving Kim So Hyun! She’s the definition of a true leading lady, beautiful, full of gravitas and very charismatic onscreen, she totally drew all my attention whenever she’s on the screen. Her crying scene was AMAZING, one of the most realistic, heartbreaking crying scenes I’ve seen in KDramas.

    Thank you RWTMR team and good luck to our Baeksang-nominated couple!

  11. This is a drama that has drained many of my tears. Even after the ending scene ended, I was still crying. I am so grateful that this drama finally finished well. Kim So Hyun, she is amazing and she managed to show all her abilities in this drama. Seeing all the other co-stars’s testimonies about her kindness and cheerfulness, I am even happier to be a fan of her. She must have gotten a lot of awards this year. Good personality, brilliant and detailed acting, as well as good chemistry with co-stars, I think Kim So Hyun has all points as a great actress. I’m looking forward to news of Kim So Hyun’s next project. She already has a great acting and great agency, of course big projects await her.

    • River Where The Moon Rises will always remain in heart, beautiful drama. I still don’t want to say good bye…But I think that I will re-watch soon after eps 1-6 NaInWoo version has been published. I also support Na In Woo as Best New Actor Baeksang, he deserves it. I think he can win that award and many awards in this year.

  12. No more River Where the Moon Rises next Monday. I’m back to my Kdrama slump. I will miss my Gogoryeo leads so much. I am looking forward to their interaction at Baeksang Arts Awards. Fighting my PyeongOn couple. Please meet again in modern drama even if it’s just 2 or 3 episodes I will watch for you. I just can’t get enough of their chemistry 😭

    • Same! It’s the only airing drama I’m watching.
      I’ll miss the only good thing about Monday😭

      Until I’ll probably watch c-dramas as nowadays they are more entertaining.
      Ok gotta stop my viu subscription too😅

  13. You tried so hard to make it happen for KSH to finally have a drama with a homerun ratings hit, but its not this one. Jisoo, really did them a favor, as they did gain sympathy and it was talked about, but just a lot of weakness esp writing. Their predecessor sageuk drama, was able to pull a double digit towards their latter run, hence it is possible.

    • Yet they have Baeksang nominations. Who needs ratings when you get REAL acclaim for ACTUAL talent and not candy floss ratings. KSH is at the level where she doesn’t need ratings to get recognition. That’s the real deal and she is THE actress of her generation.

      • Who needs ratings??? Yet weren’t you and your fellow nutcases always tracking the ratings and crying in the recap posts about how disappointed you are in K-netz for the mediocre ratings? Now who needs ratings? Hahahahahahaha. What a hypocrite this one is. They got Baeksang noms? Right, the two undeserved nominations they only got out of pity and aren’t even going to win anyway? Hahahahahaha. It cracks me up how you jokers were foaming like rabid dogs when Koala wrote that fact in her Baeksang post. Hahahahaha. River where the rating flops indeed.

      • Me too, I’m so pressed they get a Baeksang nomination despite the drama not a hit and also got affected by a scandal but was able to manage their ratings. They got nominated but my faves aren’t so I will just gonna say they’re undeserving and got nominated out of pity. I was gonna laugh at your fandom because of the ratings but getting Baeksang nomination doesn’t give me the rights to do so.

      • @j

        Funny thing is, they were discrediting SRI’s success by claiming it only got high ratings because Penthouse 1 was done airing. Yet when people point out how River never had any real competition since it started airing but still got piss-poor ratings, they go apeshit. During River’s run, Luca ended, JE was exorcised to hell and 2% Navillera was no threat. So according to them, if SRI only got high ratings because Penthouse 1 ended, what was River’s excuse? Hahahahaha. Over and out, kiddies!

      • @IWrote

        Didn’t someone from that fandom say MCW deserved the nom more than their idol? 😂😂😂 And as for NIW, let’s be real. He wouldn’t have made the cut if JBG (TUC) and KDH (Extracurricular) hadn’t gotten themselves embroiled in scandals. Those two would’ve/should’ve been right up there with LDH, SK and KYD. Classic case of one man’s misfortune, another man’s blessing. Wait a second. RoY with its crappy writing et al got nominated for Best Screenplay? {side-eyes Baeksang}

      • How I miss this two trolls because they disappeared for like forever. @IWroteWhatIWrote.CryAllYouWant and @😎
        And now they’re back, what an honor we have here. They are also with us since episode 1. But the gang is not complete without Lai Pei Yee. They sort of back up each other’s pathetic claims to look like they have supporters. But seriously guys, why do you keep on changing your username when we know that it’s you? Whatever, I’ll help Laura apply fresh paint 🙂

      • Oh! You guys were there reading comments on @Koala’s Baeksang Nomination post but didn’t drop a comment and now you’re in this post throwing tantrums. I see you can’t comment on that post because you’re afraid you will be called out a lot. Even non fans disagree that their nominations are just for hardwork. Ew! You can only rant on a post with just her fans. If that will tame down your bitterness just for a little then keep doing so.

    • @ everyone
      Ignore this user while I apply a fresh coat of paint on the wall, their constant nonsense chatter makes the paint peel so often haha

      • yes.. let them have fun with their hatredness as it is untreatable 😂 we should pity them as they must be so irritate right now with the good news revolving around river where the moon rises

    • It is no wonder this saeguk didn’t get more than 10%. Lame writing to the core. And so what if she gets nominated? It is not that any of you here are the baeksang judges.

      • And the gang is complete just in time after I mentioned her. How cute! I’ll choose a bright color paint for their dark souls. Her appearance alone peeled half of the wall. LMFAO!!!

      • @Rolly

        wait a minute… let me call exorcist first as it seems that the gang members also were possessed by devils 🤣 then u can paint them 🤭

      • The jealousy the baeksang nomination is bringing out in all the of them. Exactly those judges know better than either of you that’s why they chose her over your idol for the nomination. She will always be the better actor than your idol and can get nominations without ratings. Poor you can’t even get nominations with ratings.

    • the rating wasn’t stellar, and i admit that it contained a lot of plot holes. but despite of that, it’s a high critical acclaimed drama as it’s reception in korea was great. numerous kmedias and knetz (go read naver articles, navertv and theqoo comments) as well as historian professors had praised highly this drama and the casts acted in it.

      so, this drama will not be remembered for its rating like other dramas. but instead, it will be remembered as a drama who survived and soar higher from the controversy. some even said that this drama is a pride of korea for its reinterpretation of princess pyeonggang and general ondal in goguryeo dynasty.

      besides that, when ppl talk abt river where the moon rises, they’ll remember how great and wonderful the casts’ acting are, how great the lead’s chemistry is even given a short amount of time, and how wonderful for this drama to survive from its controvesy. as the pd said, it’s actually difficult to reshoot a 95% complete drama due to the nature of sageuk, they can choose to cancel it. but the teamwork made this drama success despite reshooting.

      as the fan of the drama, i admit the rating isn’t actually great. but I felt touched and happy reading that almost all of the articles in naver praised this drama and considered this drama as a success and had a solid rating. so there would be no way fo haters to say this drama as a flop.

    • the rating wasn’t stellar, and i admit that it contained a lot of plot holes. but despite of that, it’s a high critical acclaimed drama as it’s reception in korea was great. numerous kmedias and knetz (go read naver articles, navertv and theqoo comments) as well as historian professors had praised highly this drama and the casts acted in it.

      so, this drama will not be remembered for its rating like other dramas. but instead, it will be remembered as a drama who survived and soar higher from the controversy. some even said that this drama is a pride of korea for its reinterpretation of princess pyeonggang and general ondal in goguryeo dynasty.

      • besides that, when ppl talk abt river where the moon rises, they’ll remember how great and wonderful the casts’ acting are, how great the lead’s chemistry is even given a short amount of time, and how wonderful for this drama to survive from its controvesy. as the pd said, it’s actually difficult to reshoot a 95% complete drama due to the nature of sageuk, they can choose to cancel it. but the teamwork made this drama success despite reshooting.

        as the fan of the drama, i admit the rating isn’t actually great. but I felt touched and happy reading that almost all of the articles in naver praised this drama and considered this drama as a success and had a solid rating. so there would be no way fo haters to say this drama as a flop.

      • besides that, when ppl talk abt river where the moon rises, they’ll remember how great and wonderful the casts’ acting are, how great the lead’s chemistry is even given a short amount of time, and how wonderful for this drama to survive from its controvesy. as the pd said, it’s actually difficult to reshoot a 95% complete drama due to the nature of sageuk, they can choose to cancel it. but the teamwork made this drama success despite reshooting.

      • as the fan of the drama, i admit the rating isn’t actually great. but I felt touched and happy reading that almost all of the articles in naver praised this drama and considered this drama as a success and had a solid rating. so there would be no way fo haters to say this drama as a flop.

        p/s: so apparently need to separate the paragraph so that it can be posted 🤣

      • as the fan of the drama, i admit the rating isn’t actually great. but I felt touched and happy reading that almost all of the articles in naver praised this drama and considered this drama as a success and had a solid rating. so there would be no way no haters to say this drama as a fl*p.

        p/s: so apparently need to separate the paragraph so that it can be posted 🤣

  14. I am glad this drama ended at 20 episodes. I like the sageuk genre and had enjoyed the first 6 episodes and continue to watch it till the end only because I want to watch the superb acting of Kim So Hyun. For me, this drama is very uninteresting…no intrigue, everybody speaks and moves slowly, the sole villain (Gochuga dad and son duo) is a lousy procrastinator, and the others are incompetent (assassins) or just cruising along fleeting in and out of the scenes. Na In Woo is as good as it gets under difficult circumstances but other than the last two episodes, 90% of his scenes are closed ups of his face (unavoidably). Hence the romance part of the story is not engaging at all. Nevertheless, there will be a lot of praises for this drama from the large fandom of KSH as she was in almost every other scene, truly brilliant; and there will surely be many more new KSH fans after this. I personally hope that there will not be another drama like this one.

  15. So Hyun became the youngest 57th Baeksang nominee with this flop drama. Very Amazing right 😊. Who’s doing it like her? This project was confirmed when she’s still in E&T entertainment. Looking forward for her next project under her new agency. If So Hyun got nominated because of her hardwork then so be it. There’s nothing everyone can do about that 😁.

  16. I have been lowkey reading comments on this blog. And I have been curious for a while now, if these people hate this drama so much why do they bother keeping tabs like they know the ratings, news about nominations, this drama being submitted to an international awards, and they even remember the fans past comments. I’m not a fan just a curious nobody. If I hate something I tried my best to stay away from it to keep myself from being annoyed or irritated. I can see they sound just like that. So why? And I want to watch this drama but I want the Na In Woo version. Are the refilmed episodes 1-6 already released yet? Can’t find it.

    • These KSH/RWTMR haters on this site couldn’t help it, they’re too obsessed to stay away from KSH/RWTMR articles lmao 😂
      I’m not even mad about it now, it’s just too funny to me how KSH lives rent-free in their minds 😂😂😂

    • @alexis coz they’re masochist? hurmmm.. anyway the reshoot veesion isn’t out yet in the international platform. let’s wait together 😂

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