Lee Young Ae’s Comeback Drama Saimdang: Light’s Diary Premieres Two Episodes Solid High Teen Ratings

SBS must be feeling a huge sigh of relief, and sharing a proverbial high five for continuing its prime time drama ratings dominance. Newly premiered Mon-Tues drama Defendant came in the ratings leader with around 14% ratings for the first two episodes, and now the first two episodes of Wed-Thurs new arrival Saimdang: Light’s Diary is also a winner for the network. SBS aired the first two episodes back-to-back on Thursday night after Legend of the Blue Sea finished up on a Wednesday, and that turned out to be a smart move as episode 1 notched 15.6% AGB nationwide ratings and episode 2 brought in 16.3% in second hour. Chief Kim on KBS dropped slightly to 7.2% and Missing 9 on MBC continues to miss out on viewers bringing in only 5.3% ratings. Congrats to the continued dominance of SBS as it transitioned out two high rated dramas in Romantic Doctor, Teacher Kim and Legend of the Blue Sea, it’s hard enough to have a hit drama but to do it in both prime time slots and then continue it on subsequent dramas is quite a feat.

For those who watched Saimdang, any first thoughts? Lee Young Ae is impeccably classy but how does she fare in her first acting role in thirteen years. And does male lead Song Seung Heon actually deliver a decent and engaging performance to match up. How does the drama fare in writing and execution – nicely understated or a tad overwrought, which was my concern when I watched the previews.


Lee Young Ae’s Comeback Drama Saimdang: Light’s Diary Premieres Two Episodes Solid High Teen Ratings — 16 Comments

  1. Jjang!!! Lee Young Ae’s comeback drama!!!! Double Jjang and it’s another sageuk! YASSS!!! Eggzoited! ☺ Hello Unnie! Hamishuuuuu It’s been 14 years since I last watched you on my favorite sageuk of all time #JewelInThePalace

  2. I adore lee Young Ae. But as an actress I think she’s lack of one thing. Chemistry with her lead males. Other than that, her acting is superb.

  3. The first two episodes are fast-paced and packed with story. LYA is superb and who can believe she has been in hiatus for 14 years? The modern story of a professional woman struggling with work and family speaks to a lot of women, while the sageuk part is evocatively beautiful. The two young actors are so cute and strike up a touching chemistry with each other. The only drawback is that the editing seems a bit rushed in some places, especially where the modern story meshes with the ancient. Perhaps the writer is in a hurry to pack a lot of stories into the first two episodes. Song sung neon has not appeared yet so still waiting to see the love story unfold. The cinematography, especially in the modern part, tilts a bit toward what is often used in family dramas so not so sleek, but the sageuk part is wonderful.

  4. comments from korea netizens are negative unfortunatly.praying that it does not affect the ratings next week.lee young ae fighting.

  5. If u love history then i think u will appreciate this drama more. It’s not an idol packed drama so teenagers might find it quite boring. But for me, it’s quite engaging. I wonder how she get so beautiful and aging so gracefully. I want her skin! In term of acting, she’s great. She carried the whole plot without needing lead male to be in it. Haha.

    • I appreciate that you’re trying to bring down people with different opinion from you, but calling them teenagers is just as low, since people (K-netz) who criticise the drama were mostly as ‘boring’ in their 30s to 40s, yeah shocking


  6. This is a really good drama. It’s engaging and very well acted. It is the first time I have seen Lee Young Ae act and I’m quite impressed. I am also enjoying the art history theme. Every character so far has been necessary to the plot and thankfully no bad idol actors cast. I am genuinely curious as to why some people might describe it as boring.

  7. The plot itself seems interesting, though I personally would probably prefer it as a movie rather than a drama. But the cinematography, choice of visual rendering, and static shots feel so oudated. The rendering makes the colors appear very cold and flat. The editing is also very outdated. There are more creative ways to show someone is in a dream sequence than simply blurring the screen. I have mixed feelings about this drama.

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