The Red Sleeve Cuff Tops the Good Data Drama Buzz Rankings as Song Hye Kyo Leads the Actor/Actress List

Buzz sometimes translates into domestic television ratings but it’s still a good thing to get on the K-netizens radar even if not everyone interested tunes in to watch the drama. The second week of November was a veritable smorgasbord of newly premiered K-dramas joining the already meaty line up of recently started choices. The Good Data online buzz rankings are out and it’s a split decision between two recently premiered competitor dramas. MBC sageuk The Red Sleeve Cuff topped the drama followed by Now, We are Breaking Up. Next came The King’s Affection, Gentleman and Young Lady, Happiness, Jirisan in 6th spot, the other teacher-student romance Melancholia, idol drama Let Me Be Your Knight, then Secret Royal Inspector and Joy, and in 10th spot Reflection of You. But the rankings are swapped in the actor/actress category as Breaking Up’s Song Hye Kyo came in first followed by her costar Jang Ki Yong. Then it’s the sageuk crowd with Park Eun Bin, then Lee Se Young, Ji Hyun Woo from Gentleman, Ro Woon, Junho, Lee Do Hyun, Lee Se Hee, and Go Hyun Jung. The biggest surprise was the complete non-buzziness of Jirisan, coming in 6th and the leads Jeon Ji Hyun and Joo Ji Hoon not even making the top 10 in any way.


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The Red Sleeve Cuff Tops the Good Data Drama Buzz Rankings as Song Hye Kyo Leads the Actor/Actress List — 73 Comments

  1. Song Hye Kyo is attractive but god, t she can’t act. The one expressionless face seems more like she is worried for her make up going off. She and Suzie are no actors but models.

    Used to find Han Hyo Joo also bland but she tries at times. But Kyo and Suzie, boggles the mind they are called actresses.

    • Commenters here are so obsessed with bringing in Suzy into unrelated articles, it’s embarrassing. At least Suzy is an idol whereas SHK has been an actress for 25+ years and still bad at her job. Suzy’s next project is a female-centric thriller with a meaty character. She’s doing that at age 27 while SHK at 41 is still romancing younger men in the same cold, expressionless role lmfao.

      • SHk was way more successful than woozie at same age and shk was more acclaimed. woozie is a wooden showpiece good for nothing lady. who is used for glamour and to satisfy male audience ( she is still ugly ). suzy can never play blind and slay bcoz she is expressionless wooden piece of shitt. Shk has way more bigger projects. suzy will never have. suzy has countless flops

      • I agree with your comment.. shk acting still the same and most of her character potrayed are the same.. from autumn in my , TWTWB, ENCOUNTER even her movies Fetish, the Queens, the Grandmaster, Hwang yi jin.. the only new to her she’s becoming daring, fearless and agressive in bed scenes and kissing scenes with younger actor after her divorce.. i hope someday she will try to potray diff character and genre. She is middle aged woman now .. soon she will potray a mother role now. Just saying

    • suzy can at least bring spunk to a role. i am not sure what’s going on with shk but she just seems completely checked out. there is no life in her characters.

    • SHK have her own signature charactor..she nvr copycat others thats why she can stay in this industry for ages..regardless how viewers comment on her she is still the same SHK which always turn any of her project participated into gold..well said

    • If you don’t like her why slander her? Better focus on what you love. Song Hye Kyo is a very good actor by the way for a lot of people even outside Korea.

  2. I adore Secret Royal Inspector and Joy. I mean, its fun, light and time just flies by when I start it. Not surprised by the buzz Ranking though….glad to see Go Hyun Jung in top 10. It makes me happy everytime I see her secure a win. Poor woman fought hell to get her due.

  3. Happy for The Red Sleeve. From reviews so far it sounds like the most well-rounded drama in terms of writing, production, and cast. Hope it keeps that up (although I doubt it but one can hope).

  4. Song Hye Kyo’s has been playing the same sassy bossy fashionable girl since Descendants of The Sun. I actually feel like I already know what her next role will look like.

  5. I’m happy for The King’s Affection. Park Eun Bin and Rowoon are less famous but they’re doing good.

    I really like this drama. It’s so beautiful and very unpredictable.

    • Second that! They’re absolutely adorable and I’m so happy the drama is being loved domestically and internationally on Netflix. For TKA and the individual actors to beat Jirisan in the reputation polls is a seriously enormous feat and I hope they manage to top 10% in ratings soon too.

    • I’m happy too as Park Eun Bin is a good actress with interesting dramas under her belt . I’d like to see her again in a role a la ” Age of youth ” She aced the comedy too ! Happy about Lee Se Young too .

  6. This list surprised me not only is Jirisan all the way at 6th spot but Jun Ji Hyun and Joo Ji Hoon are both missing from this list as are Han Hyo Joo and Park Hyung Shik. Most of these people are making a comeback after a long time but they haven’t gained much public interest surprisingly. I’m also surprised at how popular Gentleman and Lady is with the amount of criticism it got in the first 2 weeks. Seeing Lee Do Hyun in the list over Im Soo Jung is also surprising but it basically goes to show this boy can act circles around even the best actresses. His screen presence alone is going to dominate The Glory. Let Me Be Your Knight is also surprisingly popular despite being similar to Imitation which flopped badly.

    • River, Bossam and Sleeve are classic sageuk while Queen, Inspector, Lover, Affection and Joy are fusion sageuk. Overall this has been the year of all kinds of sageuk. Upcoming are Taejong and Flowers which are again classic and fusion respectively. Interestingly every channel except jtbc has released a sageuk this year. 2022 has two sageuk dramas planned for now and that number may go up but I doubt we’ll have a sageuk heavy year like 2021 again anytime soon.

  7. Is all buzz good buzz? Or does this list mean just buzz? Because some of the buzz I’ve been seeing for certain peeps on this list have been loud, but not good.

    • Hold your horses its by the same writer as Ruler Master of The Mask. That drama had the same momentum in the first 4 episodes and then we all know what happened.

      • Ruler Master of the Mask was a high rated drama. It actually reached 20%. Though I didn’t like it much and it’s very rare to like drama on the first 4 episode but it’s not the case of Red Sleeves. I love it from the get go, even with child actors in the first episode. I also love Lee Jun-ho and Lee Se Young chemistry and they look good together. Such a well-match casting, I must say.

  8. I think shk needs a drama where she can show her abilities cause these one face no expression characters she keeps choosing is not doing well for her career but I believe she can act ,just needs a challenge

  9. Jjh should do a movie like assassination which was huge blockbuster or else its risky to go lee young ae way, even though she has earned money to last generations

    Song hye kyo always create buzz. First time saw her vs jjh in actual battle in buzz department. Shk coming at top. Bcoz of all top actresses from 80s gen. Jjh i always thought was number one overall ( both drama, movie success ), followed by shk ( hallyu face, going with presidemt to china is huge ) and son ye jin ( huge movie star, but her dramas really underperformed before sitr and cloy )
    So a successful comeback for shk and Netflix drama can even smash more

    • Gen question. Why do people consider jjh to be successful in dramas when she was in only 2 dramas that did well? Even LOTBS was met with criticism like Jirisan but atleast it was famous outside. And majority of the credit goes to probably lee min Ho cause he even made a train wreck like TKEM become a hit overseas.

      Imo, it is shk who has true star power to draw in audience for her dramas. People may criticise her acting but she always makes buzz. Also, even during Jirisan’s first week, Jun Ji hyun still peaked at no.4 . Meanwhile SHk ranked 1st despite stiff competition.

      • Maybe because My Love From Another Star was hugeeeeee and Cheong Songyi is an iconic kdrama character?

        SHK’s buzz isn’t translating to ratings though. And the way some of you talk about her makes her come off like a Korean Kardashian-Jenner. “Yes she’s not talented, but she’s pretty and people talk about her alot!”

      • So u agree jjh is just a one hit wonder in dramaland who is still leeching off of her cheon song yi role? People worship her for nothing.If we look at that, Lee young Ae >>>. Jjh got lucky her drama is not aired in Jtbc.

        And let’s not act as if shk doesn’t have multiple hits .
        Nwabu despite all the criticisms , it’s ratings increased in second episode.
        For comparison- One the woman epi 2: 7.1 pc , Nwabu epi 2: 8.0 pc .

        Meanwhile jirisan despite being the most anticipated drama of the year because of all the media play is going down with each passing episode. This Sunday ,it didn’t even cross 8 pc.

        Both nwabu and jirisan were met with bad reviews but only one went up. Shk making to the top of the buzz list means, the ratings will keep going up.

      • @Val, thought I was participating in an honest discussion instead of with someone who set out to drag down two actresses to hype up another, so I shall close this out here.

      • Her 2 dramas did blockbuster business and when she entered drama, it was such huge news. Mlfts impact was huge and she has the movie actress label and prestige. I love shk and son ye jin too. But it is said on almost every forum by korean fans, jun ji hyun was absolute top actress for 2 deacdes and took over lee young ae’s position when she retired. Jjh criticism was she did less projects than cfs. Shk was hallyu queen but overall 2nd to jjh. Son ye jin was huge movie star, but her lack of hallyu fame affected her. Kim tae hae had beauty and cfs, but she lacked the success of other 3 overall

      • @Val
        It is still too early to tell on how NWABU will fare.
        Btw, Jirisan’s rating increased by a lot too for its 2nd episode from 9% to 10.7% and on a cable channel at that. So for now, Rating wise, Jirisan is ahead of NWABU.
        FYI, I am not a fan of either SHK or JJH. Just stating facts.

    • It’s crazy that out of the 80s gen stars, it’s SYJ who has been getting buzz, ratings, and positive reviews for her dramas since SITR. She was top of the Good Data rankings for the entire run of both SITR and CLOY. Guess it’s all a matter of timing and luck. She and JJH were doing blockbuster films when SHK hit her hallyu peak with DOTS. Now all 3 have dramas premiering within months of each other and thanks to Netflix all 3 are pretty much on the same level of hallyu popularity now. SHK’s big comeback is getting criticisms left and right even from knetz because of her acting. JJH’s own larger than life celebrity status in SK is being blamed for Jirisan’s middling performance. SYJ’s drama will be on JTBC which could very well mean low ratings even with her domestic star power like Lee Young Ae and Jeon Do Yeon.

      • @Popgo – I tend to think of Son Ye-jin as an actor’s actor. Meaning she values the craft itself and honing her craft over topping buzz charts and drama ratings. Some of the films she’s done are an artistic choice.

        At the end of the day, are these people actors or influencers? Surprised people haven’t trotted out # of tweets or likes yet as supporting evidence.

      • @Amarnath Not going to say syj doesn’t want to chase stats because after all she is a celebrity and they need good numbers for their project. But she does take her craft seriously.
        If you read her interviews , she has said this multiple times that her priority is the script. If she likes it ,she just goes for it without paying attention to other factors like who is the director or writer.
        She also once expressed in the past that she wanted to do a women centric project and she indeed was honest because we are getting 39 next year. After a blockbuster like cloy, she must have got tonnes of love calls from big names. Still she chose to come back with a drama like 39. Not trying to divide a wedge because both are amazing women. But u can see the diff between her and Jjh who chose to do Legend of the blue sea after MLftS .

      • @Anon – Hear, hear! That’s the same impression I got from Son Ye-jin.

        Re: Jun Ji-hyun, I know some people are celebrating that Jirisan isn’t doing so well, but I actually commend her for choosing the project. It is a departure from her previous romcoms, which shows she wants to branch out. Those action scenes are also not easy to film. I hope she continues trying other stuff. Crossing fingers that Kingdom 3 comes soon. Ashin was great.

      • @Amaranth
        Well jjh tried to do something diff with Jirisan but I still think she was mainly attracted to the writer than the script itself. It was reported that she asked Kim eun Hee for a role in Kingdom. So there’s that.
        On top of that the director of jirisan is quite successful too.
        Hope her next project she prioritises the script .

        As for Ashin, she was criticised by knetz and even me personally felt the child actor did better.

      • @Anon – Kim Eun-hee has had a good track record as a writer, so I don’t blame any actor for trusting her. Kingdom is so cool that I too, would’ve asked for a role in it.

        People keep saying “prioritize the script”, but Sisyphus supposedly had such amazing script that people fought over it in court, and look what happened. Sometimes in life you make an educated bet and the stars just don’t align.

  10. So happy The Red Sleeve is being talked about. It’s early days but I’m feeling the sheer quality and care with which its been made. The reaction in SK seems to have been pretty good. Hopefully this translates to viewership this week because last week’s ratings were disappointing (granted, the competition is very fierce).

  11. tbh i don’t take the good data buzz ranking as any indication of rating success or popularity amongst fans. days was in same good data buzz top ten drama & actor list for weeks yet it was a critical & rating flop. savaged by all and sundry except for diehard fans. as someone above said, any publicity is good publicity. buzz could be due to both negative and positive news.

  12. tbh i don’t take the good data buzz ranking as any indication of rating success or popularity amongst fans. days was in same good data buzz top ten drama & actor list for weeks yet it was a critical & rating failure. savaged by all and sundry except for diehard fans. as someone above said, any publicity is good publicity. buzz could be due to both negative and positive news.

  13. Changing taste of the local demographics. Younger fans no longer captivated by JJH double act hence no buzz anywhere especially twitter and tik tok. Once a female celeb hit 40, married with kids, no matter how cool she was in the past will go straight to ajumma list. Streaming apps change the buzz landscape too. Even Park Hyung Sik can no longer draw the buzz factor. Very telling trend going forward. A warning no one can rest on their laurels forever.

    • Interesting you would say that. SYJ was very buzzy when CLOY came out. She’s nearly 40 but it could be due to “is she dating HB or not” hype. I bet that once 39 drama comes out next year with no big ML, OTP or dating news, it will be a another rating dud for jtbc like Lost.

      • Female centric dramas unless it’s Sky Castle or makjang powerhouses seldom draw buzz. Lee Young Ae and Jeon Do Yeon’s dramas simply don’t generate buzz amongst teens & 20s who are prolific socmed users. SHK, SYJ & JJH could all head towards non buzz trend in a couple of years regardless of acting prowess or pretty face. It’s just a natural aging progression.

      • I wouldn’t be so sure. SYJ attracts viewers whether its drama ratings or at the box office. Might not be CLOY level but people will tune in, and you add Jeon Mido who people love and a mature female centric plot and people will watch. But whether its actually good and maintains solid ratings until the end of its run is another story. JJH and Jirisan shows us people will tune in for star power but if the plot is a mess it won’t hit its full potential.

  14. Once a drama doesn’t have romance in it it becomes significantly less buzzworthy. Unless the plot is really that outstanding but none of the recent dramas have achieved that imo. Even LYA’s inspector koo feels underwhelming for me.

    I generally don’t think this list equates to an actual popularity ranking but it’s a good indicator that SHK still has her star power. Because let’s be honest, no matter how much she gets criticised people are still very interested in her, and they check out her works everytime.

    For Jirisan, let’s just say it’s a miracle the ratings are still above 7%. How does one even generate buzz when the plot is advancing slower than a snail. Wrong choice for a comeback by JJH, time to look at the script instead of just trusting big name writers.

    • Non romance dramas are also buzzworthy like Signal and Voice1 when they came out were extremely popular. Having said that the buzzworthy ranking isn’t the most reliable because it takes into account the number of articles that have been published about X drama which depends more on the PR machine of the drama. If a channel wants to heavily promote a drama it’ll release a large volume of articles but if the drama starts to get negative commentary it will cut it’s losses and release fewer articles. Agree with you about JJH and script choice but I think it applies to both JJH and SHK who only pick projects based on the star power of the writer and PD rather than the quality of the script. Unlike SYJ who picks dramas based on script and character quality.

      • Good point about the PR part. The initial buzz for Jirisan was basically dominated by articles mocking the production so maybe they decided less buzz would be better instead. In fact I feel kind of bad for them because it looks like an absolute hell to film. I actually think SYJ’s drama may have a better chance to be a hit after all. At the very least, it’s a given that the cast have good acting skills. Blockbusters nowadays are becoming less and less reliable (and much more common after Netflix entered the scene.)

    • Signal, Taxi Driver, Prison Playbook, Itaewon Class all did well with no romance. Earlier in the year, the prevailing narrative was that viewers were tired of romance and wanted anti-hero dramas.

      Everyone’s trying to establish a pattern but there might not be one. Sometimes audience tastes are just fickle.

      • It still looks to me that the general kdrama audience (not the wider netflix audience) generate the most online buzz about OTPs, the leads’ chemistry etc. It’s just what ppl are used to talking about, but buzz ranking also doesn’t equate to the actual popularity ranking as I said.

        But I agree that audience’s tastes change all the time. At this point ppl might be tired of zombie shows (including me), so Happiness isn’t that high on the list despite good reviews. It is soooo overdone for me.

      • If you notice the Korean side articles and comments they don’t actually obsess that much about OTP and chemistry unless its something amazing like CLOY was. The thing the fan translations and articles by soompi and such always only translate articles about chemistry and OTP just to prove the popularity of their drama or that their OTP is the best ever. The point of these translations is to prove that so-and-so actor is chemistry queen or king even when the chemistry is mediocre and the audience isn’t even obsessing over it. Mostly people watch a drama for enjoyment it having a romance or not does not deter the audience from watching as long as the plot, acting and directing keep them engaged. There are also time when dramas just play in the background while people go about doing their work because the drama doesn’t need a lot of concentration. The OTP buzz comes mostly from international audiences and fanatics.

  15. I see buzz worthy sageuks in 2021 the stepping stone for rising stars to snag new roles in modern dramas. This switching of genres bodes well for new talent. Instead of being stuck in stereotyped roles, actors trying a new genre is refreshing and career enhancing. Kwak Si Yang of Lovers of Red Sky and Kang Mina of When Flowers Bloom have just confirmed as cast of Minamdang Case Note. They segue really well from sags to comedy mystery.

    • I see it as the opposite actors know these dramas are crap and are escaping to the next project before they get dragged down by their badly written characters. Its to leave a different impression from the very bad one their past drama gave them. Whenever I see actors get cast in a drama even before their current one has finished filming or airing I know for sure the drama is going to be a trainwreck. Case in point AHS running away from LOTRS just 4 months into filming by signing onto the new drama with KSJ. Turns out LOTRS was really a flaming pile of mess. KM running away makes me think that drama is going to be a mess too.

      • @rosey, you do have an intriguing theory. If that’s the case, I do feel sorry for KM and Yoo Seung Ho who’s also in WFB. Being supporting actors, KSY & KM get less of the negative publicity and able to quickly jump into new roles. I’m also hoping Minamdang can banish the nightmarish DAYS for SIG. I’m very fond of KSY since he was the chef in Oh My Ghost. Like him with PBY more than JJS. Lol. Looking forward to see him playing a barista and KM playing NIS agent & SIG’s little sister. First time seeing his character having a sister. This drama has potential but we’ll see.

      • @rosey Do you even know how many actors are cast while still filming a drama which is currently airing? lol Some casting news don’t even hit news officially but are well-known to insiders. It’s not like actors are waiting for their dramas to end when they get attractive offers. Therefore your reasoning makes no sense.

      • @Sila Most actors when they know a drama is going to hit big actually do wait to see the results and enjoy the fame and wait for bigger and better offers. Take CLOY for example SYJ and HB waited quite a bit before picking new projects and SJK with Vincenzo. Even KTR after Mr Sunshine waited a while before choosing her next movie. In a way what @rosey says does make sense most actors do wait it out. I remember when PSH signed for Call even before MOA finished filming her fans were very surprised because it was out of character later after MOA aired it all made sense. If the role is a small supporting role then it makes sense to pick multiple projects but if its a big lead or second lead role mostly they wait it out to see what offers they can get. HIY also took a long time after this popularity boost from TB to pick his next role.

  16. I forgot that KSY is in Disney+ Rookies and currently airing Idol The Coup. I really like KM in MRIAG. Who knows maybe in 2022 new blood may well be dominating the buzz worthy list. I love to see fresh talent challenging the established ones.

  17. Love SHK no matter what people try to shit on her, comparing her to SYJ or JJH. SHK is the reason I started to watched Korean drama and will still only be her. Every celebrities chased fame and the spotlight for a reason but it’s funny how all these poster claim that their favorite doesn’t have interest in chasing fame. Also talk as if SHK has no brain or any talent at all and just randomly choose anything that is thrown at her. No wonder people always say women hate on women is the most scariest thing ever… SHK is one of the strongest public figures I’ve seen in the Korean showbiz. She’s always herself no matter how much rocks people thrown at her. The only actress I like in the showbiz. Hopefully this drama does good, I don’t care about the rating. I appreciate her works and every other actresses and actor’s efforts they put into their characters.

    • Well said
      no matter how much the haters want to bring her down…the fact is that her name is still flying in K Entertainment….have to admit, mentioning the korean wave you will definitely mention SHK name…I firmly believe NWBU will become one of the blockbuster works before it will burn the audience through THe Glory ….SHK + KES + Netflix will be the next legendary work

    • I love SHK. but she is really underwhelming here. quite shocking. she deserved criticsm this time. We chase fame. but it doesn’t mean she isn’t trying her best after getting luck of fame for years. we audience deserve getting good performances from her.

      hopefully she will be in her A game in the glory, or else, it will be underwhelming if she act like this in revenge drama.

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