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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River Where the Moon Rises Releases New Stills Gearing Up for Final Two Episodes This Coming Mon-Tues

I started my K-drama journey on a sageuk, years and years ago. A good and proper sageuk, all 55-episodes that was Seodongyo full of slow and meaningful developments interspersed with cliffhanger episode endings and plenty of meat to keep me … Continue reading

Ga Jin Tries To Hold Shit Together in Episode 18 of River Where the Moon Rises as All the Men Continue to Emo in Their Own Pit of Misery

I finally realized that Daddy King has turned into the progenitor of where all the male characters in River Where the Moon Rises is going, i.e. moping, drinking, seeing dead people, and generally being USELESS while the women keep shit … Continue reading

The Attempted Coup in Episode 17 of River Where the Moon Rises Deflates Like a Souffle as Both Male Leads Hie Off to Angst Afterwards

Remember when what happened to KBS drama River Where the Moon Rises was like the biggest news in K-ent? Oh what a month does to keep one upping another in terms of wild news and crazy scandals. River has now … Continue reading

River Where the Moon Rises Time Jumps in Upcoming Episode 17 with Kwon Hwa Woon’s Arrival and Production Apologizes for Incorrect Chinese Characters Used Onscreen

KBS Mon-Tues sageuk River Where the Moon Rises is rounding into the final stretch and everyone must be exhausted and deserving of that sigh of relief when it’s all done. Next week’s episode 17 is confirmed to have a time … Continue reading

Episode 16 of River Where the Moon Rises Stays at 6.0%, 7.8% Ratings as the Plot Barrels Ahead into Fighting, Deaths, and a Thwarted Coup

I’ve stopped digging too deeply into the why, where, how, whats of River Where the Moon Rises, the early episodes I was super excited about and tried to analyze only to realize stuff just sorta happened and the foundations were … Continue reading

Fractures Appear in the OTP as Episode 15 of River Where the Moon Rises Shows the Price of Playing the Political Game with Ratings of 6.7%, 7.8%

It’s the final stretch for KBS Mon-Tues sageuk River Where the Moon Rises, and that hubbub of the earlier real world distractions have abated and now it’s back to the same old shallow drawing board in terms of telling a … Continue reading

Production Company Behind River Where the Moon Rises Sues Ji Soo’s Agency KeyEast for $2.7M of Additional Costs to Re-film Drama With New Male Lead

In the annals of least surprising developments in K-ent, the lawsuit that was bound to happen is here. The production company behind River Where the Moon Rises has sued former male lead Ji Soo‘s agency KeyEast Entertainment. It’s a straight … Continue reading

A Smartly Won Battle Gets Ga Jin and Ondal Back to the Palace in Episode 13 of River Where the Moon Rises as Ratings Stay at 6.8%, 8.7%

It’s wild to think that a week ago the worst thing to befall K-dramas in 2021 was the male lead swap in River Where the Moon Rises, and then Joseon Exorcist came along and went “Hold my beer.”. Mon-Tues remains … Continue reading

Kwon Hwa Woon Goes From Being Shady in Mouse to Guest-starring in Last Two Episodes of River Where the Moon Rises as Kim So Hyun’s Grown Up Younger Brother

tvN Wed-Thurs drama Mouse has been offing characters left and with at will, zero hesitation. For example, Dr. Daniel is off to sell real estate and now Dr. Yo Han is donning his court hanbok and off to politicking in … Continue reading