Idols Jisoo of Blackpink and 2PM’s Nickhun Will Have Special Roles in tvN Sageuk Arthdal Chronicles

This is just weird casting news, both in timing and the stars selected, but then again the drama in question is super weird too so maybe it all makes sense in its own way. Idol Jisoo of the girl group Blackpink and boy group 2PM‘s Nickhun are revealed to have a special role in Arthdal Chronicles, which has also wrapped filming so their scenes are done as well. Nickhun is a laughably awful actor in all his previous attempts while this is Jisoo’s first acting role so neither gets me excited with this casting news. Arthdal has been doing only okay in ratings, staying in the 6% plus range for the first 3 episodes and episode 4 finally upticked noticeably to 7.7%.

I was bored and embarrassed watching the first 2 episodes with all the lame world building, to dark to make sense of the action scenes, and generally stilted acting. Mr. Koala never comments on my drama watching on the computer but even he chimed in from his side of the office asking what horrible drama I was watching from the dialogue alone lol. Episodes 3-4 were better but not enough to make this drama a good one (yet) and honestly I would not continue but for Song Joong Ki alone. Seeing these two rando idols tossed in later is more meh for the course.


Idols Jisoo of Blackpink and 2PM’s Nickhun Will Have Special Roles in tvN Sageuk Arthdal Chronicles — 41 Comments

  1. That’s pretty good for cable, tbh, and it would seem to be one of tvN’s highest rated dramas of 2019 (at least thus far). Even dramas that ended with +18% ratings (like Reply 1988) started off at 6-7%.

    I’m not saying it’s a great drama, qualitatively speaking, just that it’s definitely doing better than ‘only okay’ in the ratings (again, at least thus far – who knows what the future holds?).

    • The standard for good ratings is directly related to budget, cast and production team. By this time the ratings should already be in 10% but the reviews continue to be mixed leaning towards negative and this casting makes the drama appear even less appealing and frankly makes no sense. Even though their roles haven’t been explained but the fact that they made such a big announcement means it must be something relevant that contributes to the story in a strong manner. Smaller budget dramas like TCC pulled in much better ratings than Asdal is currently doing. The drama hasn’t done justice to its budget of 55 billion won that it claims to have spent since everything looks cheap and poorly constructed.

      • That’s a very good point; I hadn’t taken the budget into consideration. Thank you for the polite explanation!

  2. Gaspppppppp

    The biggest news I got from this is that there is a mr. Koala !!!!

    And you’re both working together in a office ??? Is it home office or office office???

    And that I assume that you’re both not Korean base on watching the drama with subtitles ???

    Please let us know more about you two <3 <3 <3

    • What I gathered was that Mr. Koala understood what was being said from hearing the dialogues from his space, so maybe they ARE Korean.

    • Our home office, we sit in an L shape with separate work stations. I work full time at my day job, drama watching is for passive chillaxing and blogging is for mental acuity and an active hobby.

      Mr. Koala is super shy so I don’t mention him. But he was so enthralled with how bad Arthdal episode 1 was that I had to share. When he got to the Neanthals he couldn’t watch anymore and went back to his NBA game.

      I guess Arthdal borrowed bits from Clan of the Cave Bear minus the copious amounts of sex and throwing in Game of Thrones politics. Trade Neanthal for Neanderthal and Saram (humans) for Cro-Magnon humans and add pinches of sorcery hoodoo.

      Mr. Koala is adorable, he’s my own K-drama male lead maybe as karma for writing so much stuff to share. 🙂

      • This is so sweet! Sugar on sugar sweet! Thank you for shedding some light of your daily life! 😀

        I would love to watch a We got Married of Mr. & Mrs. Koala.

        I’m a huge koala stan now! I wish you both 3000 blessings! Thank you for this blog and tolerating even readers who can be so trying at the time. Keep up the wonderful work!!!

      • Argh… U mentioned the neanthals. I was laughing so hard when I first heard their dialogue. I learnt that the language they speak is actually korean speaking in reverse but the way the actors conversing weren’t even half convincing (You can’t compare with Daenerys speaking Dothraki or Valerians or Neytiri speaking Navi here).

        Truly, watching Arthdal simply feel weird. It’s like a mash up version of Avatar + GOT wannabe.

        Anyway, from what I gathered, Ms. Koala is not a Korean. She’s a Taiwanese-American (my guess ofc).

      • I thank you for this blog, Ms Koala. I enjoyed everything that I have read here all these years. And best wishes to both of you!

  3. first time I read of your mentioning of Mr Koala 🙂 Very nice and please say Hi 🙂 Nickhun maybe just another purple blood eyecandy, no need for any acting skill… Jisoo can be Peebles with little fabric on. LOL.

  4. I gathered Miss Koala likes romcoms so much that she called Her Private Life’s dismal ratings of 2-3% as decent whereas Arthdal Chronicles’ 1st 4 episodes’ ratings of 6-7% as ok?! Gosh, so biased!

  5. We should applaud the daring venture to undertake this challenging project of new genre never attempted in South Korea.

    Believe we grow up with Greek and Chinese mythology but SK is trying to create that now so please have a little faith in Arthdal Chronicles. In 4 episodes so far, the cinematography, directing and acting have been impressive thought we may be confused by the unfamiliar tribal types and sector names but hang on. I was initially confused over the many houses in GOT.

    Don’t we have enough of usual formats of cringed romcoms and ever predictable tales of legal, medical, crime, horror and chaebol business battles.

    Thus, please appreciate the efforts persevered by the Arth Team – scripting, directing, acting, supporting, etc.

  6. I love arthdal. Obviously for the story. The first two episodes were EPIC! But then, it’s preference. Ep 3 and 4 were good too.

    It’s one of my fave current airing dramas, next to search www.

    Duh,reading about private life, em..a no no for me. Obviously for the cheesy storyline. But then, once again, preference.

  7. I am enjoying this show. It has many flaw but then this is completely new genre in kdrama. Overall its fun and adventurous if I overlooked some aspects of show which does bother me specifically choppy editing. But I find it strange reviews are mostly negative yet it has good ratings of 7% which isn’t bad if we don’t include budget in context.

    • 30% for cable drama is impossible no matter what. Even sky castle with rave reviews couldn’t reach 30. At most they should cross 10% to deemed success.

      • Why you compare low to big budget drama. If sky castle with low budget drama can get 23% rating. Arthdal must be get 25 to 30%. Cable or public tv is no diff now for viewers, if the drama have a great story they will enjoy for watching.

  8. This drama is meh. They created a new world but based on historic events that made no sens. They have a lot characters, a lot of politics but 18 episodes is not enough to develop all of that. I can’t take time to learn how this world works, what are the motives of everyone, to like the characters. It feels rushed. I feel anything watching this drama, it lacks emotion.

  9. Typically, family melodramas appeal to women; with KBS Mother of Mine dominating the weekend drama ratings, it’s tough for Arthdal Chronicles to break through. Seems that the older folks prefer the traditional melos while the younger netizens love to compare with Western productions and nit picked.

    Nevertheless, AC is definitely refreshing and engaging with its storyline, visuals and cinematography. Believe it will cross 10% mark soon.

    • Making excuses for failing ratings a drama yet again. It becomes a habit for fans to defend mediocre content and ratings by blaming it on the audience and their so called preference. These dramas don’t even air at the same time. AC is not refreshing it is merely a failed rip off with no logic or conclusion to the plot it aims to tell. The mediocre acting by SJK and KJW is another factor for the failure of the drama. Even One out acted JDY in his short appearance. Now they are hyping up 2 idols who can’t act to promote a drama they know is not well received in hopes of boosting ratings. One year of promotions with a massive budget and this is all they have to show for it.

      • It’s just 4 episodes so don’t be too swift in judging negatively. Everyone tends to be inspired by someone/something – The east used to emulate the west in movies till the west turned around for HK ideas (Infernal Affairs) and SK (My Sassy Girl and Il Mare-both by Gianna Jun).

      • It’s not just 4 episodes in though is it. Part 1 ends this week that means Part 2 starts soon which means they should already have things figured out. The narrative for the drama is very mediocre.

      • Part 1 – The Children of Prophecy – Apart from introductory, believe it’s about Eunseom and Tanya awakening to their destined purpose after a carefree childhood so the tumultuous events should lead to Part 2.

        Think the AC production’s main issue is that they have overlooked viewers’ inability to relate to the characters and power struggles by the various political Arth tribes as there was no preceding novel, unlike GOT and LotR, where viewers can refer to. I even had to refer to Wikipedia to understand more about AC characters. Think TvN should intercept by releasing special episodes on that topic.

        I personally enjoyed ep 2 & 4 for SJK & KJW.

    • I agree, it doesn’t have same adrenaline rush like kingdom or solid plot like skycastle. But it’s engaging and fun. I do think it will cross 10% due to audience curiosity about what this drama has to offer despite negative comments.

  10. Long time Kdrama watcher here and like ppl have said people have preferences on what drama they like and what not. I get that this drama may not be for everyone but I am enjoying it very much. It is refreshing and aiming to create a mythological legend of sorts. Finally not another typical or recycled plot. Like Kingdom, I give it credit for originality. I actually like this one more than Kingdom because I can relate more to the story (identity vs zombies lol). Will still watch both shows. First two episodes were just primers to explain the world and set up the foundations of the story and I think they did it well. Episodes 3 and 4 now gets to the character developments, relationships and conflicts and it was a solid and satisfying episode. I got chills watching the Tanya’s curse scene. I also think that the ratings will increase when people decide for themselves to give this drama a chance. I think it’s too soon to write this drama off as a failure.

    • Well said! Agree that KJW really slayed that emotional scene well (even SJK publicly praised her) – she is always the feisty and sassy type, never damsel in distress. Love the natural chemistry between her & SJK (thought they look more compatible in DOTS).

      Looking forward to both their roles evolving from carefree spirits, then overcoming obstacles and challenges to finally embracing their destined authoritative figures in this epic!

  11. Believe the massive budget goes towards CGI utilization and construction of the filming sets – a pity since there are only 18 episodes, which are too few to depict the epic tale well; Unless they have plans to add more seasons, depending on the response.

    My main grouse lies with the gals’ costumes, especially Taelhar, whose fur cloak looked so tailored, toga and halter gowns with embellished clinched waistline were too modern of that era. Also, the white cape gowns with embellished neckline and clinched waistline, of the Asa clan women, look so out. Gosh!

  12. I think what made Knetz outlook worse were those screenshot of GOT and AC comparison post, because if you played out that scene you won’t notice e any similarities between two show. Fantasy genre usually have same kind of costume especially when it’s involved wars. Those armors, heavy fur are pretty much common in most of historical fantasy genrs so I don’t understands where this cheap rip off references come from? Cgi is pretty goodfor kdrama standard, if anyone was expecting got nd LOTR cgi then you are bound to get disappointed since thei budget is 10 times higher than AC. But then at the end of the dy it’s all about preference. As some one who haven’t saw too many fantasy drama. So far I am enjoying this show and hope it gets better from here on.

    • Except that Korea had none of those armours and heavy fur coats. That styling is completely inappropriate to the continent and time period. GOT in its first season didn’t have the same budget that AC has clearly everyone is misinformed about that. They only started to get bigger budgets once they started winning those Emmy Awards. There is no denying this drama is super meh and a wanna rip off. The epic tales of fantasy genre have been made a complete mockery in the drama. The big budget doesn’t show in the quality anywhere in the drama.

  13. I like AC so far, and yes its about preference. I find the story to be fun and refreshing, I’ll pick it over most of the airing rom coms anyday (again, its preference). Acting-wise, IMO, SJK powerfully delivers as well as KJW, and their chemistry is great. I hope more from JDG and KOB as the series grow. However, I agree that since this concept is new, more eps is needed to dig and flesh out our characters in order for the viewers to get engaged. The power struggles is interesting, but it needs more groundwork on the char to make it more riveting.

    Adding idols? I think the scenes must have been shot, its only the news that is leaked further down the road to keep viewers attracted and incite curiosity as well as – if they got lucky – the fandom of those idols to watch. Jisoo is big as in, Blackpink is trendy right now, but Khunnie works mostly out of Korea for his acting portofolio and 2pm is in hiatus, so I think him being chosen to participate as something interesting. There are plenty other idol actors outside with active promotions, and this is his first (CMIIW) serious K-drama role (other than cameos or comedy parts) after a while, maybe after his debut. So why him? He is famous in China, Japan, Thailand, and other parts of Asian countries yes, but so is SJK. If the producer want to attract more viewers from those parts, even SJK alone is enough IMO. So lets see what he can bring to the series, and no matter what his previous attempt count in other people’s eyes, I’ll wish him many luck.

    • Agree I don’t understands how this is going to help AC? Knetz hates idol actor and i am sure they are going to drag them down further when these two will make their appearance, so far, international fans are loving this show and this news might help AC to give more boost but then the cast itself is huge enough to sell this show in Asia.

    • Why him? Coz he looks foreign I guess. Arth tribes can look different so Khunnie will fit in easily. I doubt if 2pm will reunite with TY being in another agency. Nickhun somehow has to explore on his own if he wants to continue working in SK. Just like halfu in Japan, it’s not as easy as one thinks.

  14. If I only watched K-dramas, perhaps AC would have piqued my interest, since not many K-dramas tackle fantasy themes. However, I watch a ton of C-dramas as well, of which many are fantasy, some high-budget, some low-budget. So I have my expectations when watching fantasy dramas. AC to me feels like a low-budget fantasy drama trying to look like a high-budget drama, when in fact it IS a high-budget drama. Story-wise, it reads like a Korean folklore fanfiction written by a foreigner.
    I suppose NK and JS are playing significant cameo roles? Because JS has been busy with her group since last year so I reckon her appearance can’t be a long one.

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