K-media Blames Blood’s Dismal Debut Ratings on the Poor Acting of the Leads

The mainstream media is typically diplomatic when it comes to covering entertainment, especially in K-ent when so much is written with the involvement and consent of the subjects. You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours two-way street. Critiques tend to be softer and more roundabout, and even the flops can get a write up solely on the things that did work. With that said, the news media feedback on the the just premiered new KBS drama Blood have been pretty bloody in very direct ways that is rare to see. I’ll just translate one of many Korean newspaper articles discussing the reasons for the ratings flop of the premiere two episode with the same critique. Click here for the original article if you read Korean.

The article analyzes why Blood was met with such low ratings and directly lays the blame with the poor acting of the two leads Gu Hye Sun and Ahn Jae Hyun. First the article discusses Gu Hye Sun’s bad acting, specifically describing the problem being her limited overacting expressions and dialogue spoken like she reciting memorized lines. It then goes into a discussion of how Gu Hye Sun became famous after the back-to-back successes of Pure 19 and Boys Before Flowers, leading her to both act was well as do many other types of projects such as singing, directing, art, etc. Since it’s just the first two episodes, the article leaves possibility for improvement to come, whether her irritating character develops better or Gu Hye Sun’s acting improves in this role.

The article then discusses newbie leading man Ahn Jae Hyun, first mentioning his meteoric quick rise to leading man status within a year of debuting as an actor in You From Another Star. Unfortunately his acting in Blood has been met with near universal audience disdain, especially the scene in episode 1 when he was shot, the feedback has been mockery of his poor affected acting. The article discusses a positive with the casting of Ahn Jae Hyun as a vampire in that his looks make him a perfect visual for a vampire, skinny and tall with very white complexion and red lips.

The article then quotes the PD of Blood responding to the torrent of criticism of the acting of the two leads – the PD understands that it’s risky to cast a relative unknown like Ahn Jae Hyun in the lead and finds the criticism of bad acting acceptable, about what Gu Hye Sun was criticized for when she first debuted nearly 12 years ago. I wish the PD could say more about what the production is going to do to address the criticism going forward. With just 2 episodes aired out of 18, statistically it’s too early to call it quits and just let this drama stay in the ratings crap hole. The production has the responsibility to right a sinking ship, if it’s possible to do so.

Since the leads can’t be switched out and it’s too late for acting lessons, I suggest greatly toning down the terribly abrasive and smug personality of Gu Hye Sun’s character. Calm her down so she’s not shrieky, which will also calm down Gu Hye Sun’s overacting if her character starts acting like a professional doctor would and not a petulant valley girl. The PD also needs to cut the posturing filming around Ahn Jae Hyun, make it more natural rather than capturing every shot of him like he’s posing on a runway. It amplifies his limitations and makes him look even more preposterously unqualified to be a male lead at this stage in his acting experience. Of course, a big boost would be to make sure the script has more plausible medical story lines with less surgery battles. Just my 2 cents.


K-media Blames Blood’s Dismal Debut Ratings on the Poor Acting of the Leads — 55 Comments

  1. Gu Hye Sun’s problem lie with the fact that she is over compensating. I read somewhere that she took to heart criticism about how she pronounces things and she tries to make her pronounciation better. The results is she over pronounciate and it sounds like she is reading the phone book. They critisized the way she walks now she changed her walk to a point it is awkward. The critisized her eye movement and so on.

    I think all actors should want constructive critisim, but in her case I would say it is best that she ignores all critisims and just do what works for her. Trying to please too many people leaves her confused and it shows on screen.

    • Yeah, agree. Maybe she’s trying a bit too hard and it’s coming off unnaturally. Ahn Jae Hyun doesn’t looks like a vampire to me. He looks like he belongs in Junior High. No fault of his own, but he was definitely miscast. This role just isn’t for him.

  2. I’m really starting to like this two leads.. Just because they have become the victims of all this mess.

    I disagree with Koala before watching the episodes but after watching I was not convinced because thought episode 1 was great until I reached the true mess that is episode 2 and seriously just walked away from that episode but however I think we should give them another chance and wait until something changes..

    I say lets support this show and show them great support despite everything

      • Seriously i pity the writer and the pd nim. This drama isn’t that bas but the apparent embarrassing acting is the main problem here

      • haha yeah it’s like they killed the drama but get to play the victim because they got criticised.

      • I agree with you somehow but they are not at fault as much as the director, producer and the writter because there is something NGs. why dosen’t they just use that over and over again until they remove these cringeworthy moments and unnecessary over acting.

        Seriously they should be called out for there lack of judgement. I have no film-director experience but I know what is awesome and what is not. The director is at fault here guys for basically lack of judgement and providing us scenes that should have been No-Gos

    • I agree with you on this. It seems as if the 2 leads have become convenient scapegoats for the shortcomings of the drama.

      Viewers will notice only the bad acting of the leads but they won’t question what the production is doing in terms of quality control to prevent such scenes from being put on screen.

    • Why should a poorly made show be supported? If it’s bad, it’s bad and it should NOT be supported so that dramaland would not make similar bad dramas again.

  3. I just started to look into k-media recently (few months), having fallen in love with BigBang and was looking through tons of old and new articles. I realized that k media and k netizens are much harsher and unforgiving compared to what I was used to when I read other countries’s entertainment news. This made me appreciate how necessary Pinnocchio was in terms of social commentary in Korea, and I’ve also learned to respect some korean celebrities more for fighting their way through these hardships in pursuit of their dreams. Just my two cents.

    Disclaimer: I have not and will probably not watch Blood, so I’m not trying to say who’s right or who’s wrong here on this topic.

  4. The actings are terrible along with the non sensical medial terms. There are still 18 eps to go and i hope they will improve. GHS needs to loosen up…,she is not that bad. Idk what’ s gotten into her in this drama

  5. Even though I didn’t understand korea, ghs acting is quite cringeworthy when she speak. How to believe this drama when the acting is not believable

  6. I am actually really enjoying Blood. It’s not THAT bad. GHS and AJH are mediocre at best, but if you ignore their scenes together the show itself really is quite entertaining. Ji Jin Hee is definitely this show’s strength, so hopefully it will beef up his storyline and lay off of the scenes with the two leads together. I realize that GHS and AJH’s characters are supposed to fall in love, but at this point that would just be torture for the viewers.

  7. 20 episodes is way too ambitious for this drama. I have a strong feeling it’s going to get cut shorter.

    I feel like I don’t really have a right to comment since I only saw clips. From what I’ve seen… it’s terrible, really terrible. Suffering hard from second hand embarrassment. I thought Goo Hye Sun finally improved after Angel Eyes. But then after this I knew it was just her character that saved her.

    Generally speaking, do horrible actors/actresses ever watch themselves? Like… Don’t they know how awful they look on screen? I’ve been following Kill Me Heal Me real close. I often watch BTS takes. Jisung is an amazing actor, not only does he ask to make another take if he doesn’t like the previous one, he’ll even give suggestions to the director on how he thinks that scene should be laid out. Blood needs a Jisung.

    • My God. if it’s jisung who act in Blood, it’d turn out to be awesome. Shin se gi alone makes me melted, how i’m supposed to deal with him as a vampire doctor? lololol
      but as long as there’s ghs as his partner, i’m glad that it’s not him who’s act in that cringe-worthy drama. xD

    • Yeah, when I saw every BTS I got a feeling that JS is directing LOL. But Ji Sung has been acting since 16 years ago, AJH is still very green in terms of acting though that’s not an excuse to be bad at it.

  8. They could just work her overreacting as an advantage I guess.. That’s what they did with Suzy… Go Hye Mi wasn’t supposed to be robotic they just made her robotic because Suzy’s acting can only go that far at the time…

    • yeah, episode 1 and 2 had Hye Mi in scenes where she had to emote and Suzy was just blank. But Dream High had a writer who was good enough to adjust to the poor skills of the actress as best as she could, I don’t know if Blood has the same.

  9. The production thought it landed a good thing with the cast for marketing to other Asian countries. The story should be the center stage, then the setting, and lastly the acting to bring it all to life imho. This turkey falls on the shoulders of the PD and writer. Cut the losses and reduce this lemon by four eps. And stop having a dignified surgeon chew gum in meetings unless it is known WHY he’s chewing gum. You know like, “it’s a special gum he created”, to curtail the desire for blood sucking or something. A viral infection, gum, whatever…..

  10. im wondering how would the blood filming site be especially the poor acting issue between the leads surfacing around ?? awkward?! tense?

    • The PD may not be able to draw out (by instructions) of the leads what he wants to see in the eye of his camera. They do not have “it”.

  11. So the big mystery is, with all the K media pretty much unanimous with with criticism of KHS’s abilities, WHY CAST HER?

    Are there no other breathing actresses out there on the unemployment line?
    Did they not do auditions? Screen test with the two leads?
    It just seems so basic, and how many times have we heard “the director saw 200 actors before choosing ‘X.'”


    • I don’t understand why either of them was cast. He’s not fit for a lead, she just can’t do comic scenes at all.

      When kmedia or PD/costars talk about how perfect someone’s “visual’ is for a role or how “bright” they are on set with no mention of the actual acting, it usually means they have literally nothing but a pretty face to offer.

    • they cast her because they thought she improves in angel’s eyes..but it seems that she went again to her awful acting .. hopefully, she picks up in the next episodes.

    • if the pre-MK horrible Lee Yeon Hee could get roles after roles because of SM, GHS can and will get more roles with YG-cloud. However, even before MK, LYH was more watchable than GHS.

    • I agree completely Jomo.. I was wondering the same thing. Don’t they do auditions for the roles? I would understand a production sending an offer to well established actors/actresses that have proved their abilities.

      The PD wanting to use newbies/fresh faces is okay, but at least test them before you seal the deal. Now this is just my personal opinion but I just don’t like GHS since I first saw her in Boys Over Flowers.. just seeing her makes me want not to watch the drama.

      • I’m with you Daisy. I saw her in the musical and the one where she played a pilot and it was too painful. She’s not good. It’s kind of sad but I can’t bring myself to watch anything she’s starring in. But power to all who are going to watch this show! Enjoy!

  12. The funny thing is I read she’s trying to act like this? On purpose? The way she’s speaking is deliberate. I don’t totally blame her since the PD should have told her to knock it off. She’s not a good actor, but she’s not as BAD as she’s playing right now. AJH is hopeless and needs guidance acting since he’s such a newbie.

    Though I will say idk if it’s fair to blame acting when it’s probably a lot of things. It’s not like ratings this low is really THAT uncommon nowadays.

    • I liked her a lot in BOF and thought the exaggerated acting was intentional because the drama was based on a manga. But what I’ve seen from this drama is just purely awful. Her interpretation and execution of this character is so cheesy and cringey. I mean kudos to her for wanting to step out of her comfort zone and try a new acting style, but she should have seriously tested it out first away from the prying eyes of millions. I don’t want her career to go down in flames so I really hope the acting gets better.

  13. Her last drama, Angel Eyes, became tedious for me, and this one never intrigued me anyway, so dismal ratings could be just plain disinterest.

  14. A sucker for vampire stories, I’m quite intrigued with the Blood virus. GHS embarrassing acting is definitely hard to watch. Just ignore her and enjoy the story.

  15. Oh, too bad, I love vampire themed stories. Anyways, out of all the model turned actors, I would pick AJH the LAST in terms of casting as lead actor. But I am glad though that the others decided to stay away from this hot mess.

  16. I do think AJH was actually worse that GHS as i saw GHS in pure 29 and she is quite adorable. Idk what happened to her here….. She is very very bad that’s why it even critized publicly ( except her oen company YG who releazed how good her acting is… Kinda pathetic)

  17. Goodness until now i can’t believed this K CULT doesn’t stopped criticizing GHS and AJH,you’re not even watching the drama how can you make comments about them..what did GHS and AJH did to you peple for you to hate them that much..just don’t watch it for your piece of mind and also for BLOOD fans peace of mind.
    Just leave BLOOD alone they don’t need you and you don’t even need them too to make you happy..it just make you look miserable,haters and jealous.They don’t need your 2 cents or your blog and your senseless BLAH BLAH BLAH

      • if you call it an advice then that is for you who does not know what they’re saying…get a life instead and be happy like us..we don’t concern ourselves with dramas that we don’t like that is why we are happy..again if you don’t like BLOOD then don’t watch it that’s it

    • Then don’t read this blog… Koala is just stating what the news said. It’s fact and it’s not like she is creating lies…
      Don’t be blinded by your bias.. Criticism is needed for improvement which these two actors desperately need

    • Yes. Just stop criticising people who perform poorly on their jobs. I mean, you might hurt their FEEEEEEELING! *sad puppy face*

      Yeah. There’s the door, bye.

    • Also, what did they do? How about getting jobs that would have belonged to BETTER actors just because they are represented by some big companies. That is wrong. We could have proper actors doing good work but instead we have these two throwing their horrible performances at us. It is wrong when an incompetent person is chosen to the job just because of the corporate manouverings. So they deserve all criticism they got so that they’ll either take it to their hearts and go to acting school or they will not be cast again. Seriously, there is nothing wrong in not casting people who cannot ACT. If you are bad at your current line of employment, get a new job.

  18. They both complimented each othe really well. What if one of them acts really well, the hates toward one party will be super harsh. At least they are sharing the burden of poor acting together… Lol. I can’t deny watching blood is like pur comedy to me. It’s worth the buzz because both leads acting are horrible that can be used as parody.
    Jinjinhee as a senior will need to teach them some acting chops to sav this drama

  19. Like what GHS fans said that GHs is only staying true to herself… Lmao. Staying true and respond to criticism tombe better are two different things. I’ve no words ror her acting seriously, just hopeless.
    She has the artistic talent and directing. Why doesn’t she concentrate on those cos acting is just not her thing.

  20. Ahn Je Hyun is young, I don’t see why he couldn’t explore smaller meaty roles to establish his acting better before undertaking a huge responsibility of being a first lead. Whoever was advising him probably didn’t do the right thing. He could have easily avoided this mess.

  21. Simply to leave a chance to the main actors , you should not forget that there remain 18 episodes , for my part I really liked two episodes, that’s true i felt a pain with the game of GHS but waits to see still!

  22. It seems to me that Gu Hye Sun hasn’t learned to immerse herself in her character to “become” that character. I always see her as herself trying to act. I have never lost myself in her character where I could forget that it’s her playing a part. Her tendency to overact doesn’t help.

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