When the Camellia Blooms Ends with Over 23% Ratings, Highest Prime Time Drama of 2019

I’m going on a limb and sharing a completely contradictory opinion – I think When the Camellia Blooms is a very cohesive and well-written and acted drama but it’s just not an engaging watch. I think a lot of South Korea disagrees because the final episode broke 23% ratings and honestly any prime time that drama breaks 10% nowadays is considered good so breaking 20% basically puts this drama in bona fide success territory. What I enjoyed was Kang Ha Neul‘s insanely committed performance, he disappeared into that role and never looked back. But conversely I always felt Gong Hyo Jin, a very talented actress, was Gong Hyo Jin doing a role she’s done times before, the timid and scared woman getting a second chance at life and love. He pulled me in and she pushed me out, the neighborhood and baseball stories pulled me in but the serial killer story pushed me out. It was this push and pull with this drama the entire time that never created a solid momentum so in the end I wanted to watch for completion but wished I loved it like I loved lesser quality fare that just happened to fully push my engage button.


When the Camellia Blooms Ends with Over 23% Ratings, Highest Prime Time Drama of 2019 — 27 Comments

  1. Congrats gong hye. Her drama success in only second to song hye kyo from her gen ( jjh is more movie actress superstat )You dont need overhyped visuals, cf hype etc to sell drama if acting is good and content is good. Vagaflop has double the hype but it flopped whereas this show worked big time and thr excuse used by woozie fans that noone watches drama on public channels , here is your answer. Good acting and content will bring ratings not the overhype. Gong hyo might not get hype like jjh or shk but she is up there for nearly 15 years at top. Wherevagaflop was divided into three parts but its average ratings r just 8%+ whereas this show is blockbuster. Keep going! This has been prpven by fiery priest before mr sunshine. Make good drama and it sells! Now woozie fans will come up with their bs thag she gets best offers but her drama is a flop and it is not even internationally big the new excuse by woozie fans. It is not my love from stars or dots lol! And domestic ratings matters. Camellia won n vagaflop

    • Didn’t watch Camellia but good on them however VB ends this weekend so game over it was fun whilst it lasted and everyone did well Suzy included regardless of how you feel@junjihyun Mt Baekdu is her next film so she’s trying so can you please give her a break and I know you don’t like her like a tonne of others but the film/drama doesn’t resolve around her character alone as she’s part of a bigger scheme of things but spare a thought for all the other players that contribute to the game they need to work hard and get paid as well so don’t let her presence infuriate you. She’s label mates with GHJ so they’ll be supporting each other l presume.

      • She is jo hong hye who is top actress for 2 decades now amd gong hye is known for her acting jor for plastic face like woozie. Her next novie is disaster movie where lee byung hun n ha jung woo will do all the work. She is playing flowerpot wife role of ha jung woo. No self respecting actress will sign such roles unless she is desperate like woozie. Fact remains vagaflop is a flop and suzy is in acting for 9 years. If she choosd flowerpot roles over and over with nothing much to show for, she will be called out for her limited acting skills and useless roles. Vagaflop didnt reach anywheere near this show in ratings . woozie fans can take a hit who were using excuse of public channels when so many shows did better than vagaflop without all thd overhype. woozie is rating poison whereas top star like gong hye brings ratings. @ ginger u can keep saying that that show was a hit when it was a flop. It has nthng to do with my feelings. If it was ratings flop , it is factm kee. It flopped. Even hotel iu show did better. So many aftresses has much better career than woozie from her gen but her arrogant fans needed this flop to show she was a flop movie actress now flop ratings disaster. Vagaflop is a flop and u can keep saying how it did good lol. Id that makes u happy!

    • I never said the show was a hit I just favoured it. Big difference and it does make me happy that I started it and will end it along with other international viewers who are like minded to follow the drama. I go for story and yes I can admit there was some stroppy parts and it wasn’t cohesive enough but it’s individual preference. For me VB was cool. Enough said. My opinion only.

      Now from your current and previous posts you are entitled to your opinion on Suzy because let’s admit it that’s really at the crux of your issue. You despise her to the max. I get that. However I don’t want to get personal but did this angst with Suzy start when she started dating Lee Min Ho?

      • Lmao no. I m not that fangurl who wants my fave to stay single. His personal life is none of my business. I just love his dramas as i grewup with them. Thats it. My problem with woozie is she has no improvement as an actress in 9 years now. Compared her to iu who carried her drama on her shoulders nd has improved by miles. Woozy shows no growth and the that arrogant woozie fan that keep saying she gets best offers whe she doesnt. Doing flowerpot role in big dramas are not best offers. A skmilar drama iris was much better back in 2009
        Even kim tse hee had a better role back then in iris. A top actress will not sign such role to play useless roles. Woozie takes many roles where she has nthng to do but if her fans keep saykng that she is so big, then where r the ratings? They cant have it both ways where they claim she is the top most of her gen and then make excuse for bad ratings. Vagaflop is no my love from stars or dots internationally and doesnt even have 10% of the hype. Domestic ratings matters to producers n channels. Wher. camellia became one of biggest bb of the year and vagaflop flopped. Anyways my ppint was hong hye n this drama didnt create oveehype and still did kuch better than vagaflop. Shows what is difference between actual star , starpower and media play by big companies.

      • Okay fair point and thank you for the reply @adyjunjihyun so it’s her star power, popularity and her non improvement in acting to generate hit dramas I get it now so if VB hadn’t cast Suzy then there would be no issue because that’s how I’ve read it.

      • ginger its ok but sorry where r hit dramas? her last movie was a flop and her dramas with lee jong suk and kim woo bin was average in ratings at best and vagabond is flop, Its not 2012 anymore, Even in cfs on hiatus actress like jjh shot more cfs than her and iu also has shot more cfs than her which was suzy’s strength.. Suzy was never a big star overseas compared to senior actresses like shk and jjh. Also many actresses of her gen r bigger overseas than her and likes of kim tae ri kim go eun has already better movie careers, Suzy’s next drama with new actor isnt even big budget. Doing 1000s of drama to keep career afloat isnt same as getting best offers,. Riding on male leads ti gets hits was her strength and it isnt working anymore. Her only hit movie was sold in han ga in name who was having best year in 2012 with moon embracing the sun..

  2. I like the drama but I don’t like how meek her character can be at times. She gets on my nerves at times.

    Congrats to the show and crew for their success! They deserve it!

    • I think a lot of people didn’t like that her character wasn’t sassy or spunky and was most often meek. It’s quite understandable. We don’t want a female lead who let others just walked all over them. I got frustrated,too.

      But then I thought about the many dramas I’ve seen with female leads, who are shown to be fierce or spunky in the beginning of the story. But midway thru the drama becomes a crying mess, helpless, and unable to do anything at all and just rely on the male lead to rescue her.

      So I would rather have Dongbaek, who seemed like a doormat, but slowly started to grow strong as she builds her confidence with the support of family and friends.

      She may be frustratingly slow in changing her meek ways. I’m okay with it because in reality to change is hard, it usually easier to just continue with old habits.

      Her character was abandoned at the age of 7. That was a life changing event and scarred her for life. She felt unwanted and unlucky. It didn’t help that later on, she became a single mom and even opened a bar. Actually, it looked more like a restaurant which just served beer to me. The fact that she remained a good person is already admirable, and it is because of this that the local people grudgingly accepted her as their own later on.

      I don’t think her acting is similar to her past work. At least from what I could remember with her Master Sun’s portrayal. I didn’t get to watch Jealousy Incarnate so maybe that role is similarly close with Dongbaek character. I have to watch it to judge for myself.

      Miss Koala: thanks for posting an article about Camellia. And that
      you praised it for being well written and well acted. But it’s too obvious that you didn’t like it at all. I think it would have been much better to write about Nokdu or EY, which you clearly love. You have a wonderful way with words which is why I always come here to read your posts about dramas which interest you. Please write more about stuff you are passionate about. It’s what you’re good at.

      @Casey Glad that you like the drama,too. The cast and crew truly deserves the success.

      • That’s a good way to look at it in regards of meek or strong characters! Good explanation and viewpoint.

      • I tend to agree with @Koala on this one, and I think it is okay for her to offer her opinion on the drama just not working for her. She wasn’t to the level of hate watching since some things worked and some didn’t.

        I actually had the same issue with GHJ who I really like, but I would say her performance in some ways was similar to the early Masters Sun episodes but, even moreso, Greatest Love. GL is one of my favorite rom/coms and I love MS as well so it’s not that I can’t handle a certain type character. I’ve just seen GHJ play it the same way one too many times. Still love her and will check out anything she is in….I dropped Jealousy Incarnate…not my cup of tea re: the story.

        I didn’t get past the first 6 episodes of this drama so I might decide to jump back in someday. Maybe it will grow onme.

      • @Kat Everyone has differing views and I’m okay with it. I just would like Miss Koala to write more about dramas she’s excited about, or of celebrities she truly adores.

        And my reason is because when when she’s really into a drama or fangirling about a particular celebrity, I really like the way she phrases her words. I can’t explain it clearly but her style of writing is very effusive.

        So that even when I’m not particularly too interested in the drama she’s gushing about, it made me want to check it out. Whether it’s a K,C, or even a J drama.

        I know it’s her blog and all. But it makes me happier to read her posts about a drama which she finds fascinating and detailed explanation as to why it was so engaging to begin with. And even when the drama fizzled by the end, I as a reader, would still appreciate knowing what exactly disappointed her.

      • Ahhh! I get what you are saying. I think, sadly, @Koala isn’t really loving that many dramas these days. I’m actually struggling with that myself. Got halfway done with NokDu which I like a lot but still having trouble sticking with it. It’s why I might jump back into Camellia. I just might be in a slump and things that I would normally not mind much are bugging me more.

  3. It is good? Still didn’t anyone drama this year. But maybe, Camellia that proof to get high rating drama. Doesn’t need big budget, filming overseas and branded clothes. You just need good script, good acting and best chemistry.

  4. Everyone have different taste, Miss koala. The drama rating is high and created a big buzz in Korea. Such a pity int fan not give the same respon. Maybe its because the male lead not a super rich guy, or a bad boy type?
    For me watching this drama make me realized how I miss the senior actors. Kdrama these days is full with a new face. They are handsome and pretty. But their acting is not perfect. Sometimes I got tired with it.

    • I dropped the drama but actually stuck with it because of KHN’s performance. I think the story was a bit all over the place, but I’m so happy for his post military success. It’s always a bummer if the first drama doesn’t work when you’ve been out of it for a few years.

  5. This drama is really about the various parent- child relationships. How different people love their child in different ways.
    Even the relationship between Dongbaek and Hyangmi is that of family.
    I really like the 2nd half of the drama when all the different parent-child relationships became centre stage.

    The romance is not the focus nor is the murder mystery.

    Lee Jung Eun, as Dongbaek’s mum, is the best actress in the drama.
    Kang Ha Neul really owns his role.
    Gong Gyo Jin is very competent but I do agree her acting does somehow have shades of her previous roles.

  6. In my humble opinion, apart from good script, unique directing and stellar actor performances, one key reason is that Camellia is a family melodrama (like Mother of Mine, My Only One, Father is Strange, Sky Castle, etc) which tugs at heartstrings-this type will typically entice ahjummas to tune in faithfully, thus, strong ratings are assured.

    I personally loved Camellia, though I was initially skeptical over the noona pairing, but knew that GHJ will endear with her natural acting and KHN really nailed the dorky lovesick role as well as the heartwarming moments and hilarity brought on by the ahjummas and other supporting characters.

  7. I watched the first 6 episodes and then found I didn’t have the motivation to stick with it, especially when I heard they extended it. I have to agree with the poster on this one. KHN was really good and GHJ, who I have liked in the past, seemed to be playing herself playing her past performances. I am glad to see good ratings for everyone involved.

  8. ITA. Gong Hyo Jin played a stretch of meek characters with the back to back dramas ‘Pasta’, ‘The Greatest Love’, and ‘Master’s Sun’ and those types of characters are just hard to watch for me. It was great to see her departure from those type of roles with ‘It’s Okay, It’s Love’, and ‘Producer’. So to see her return to playing another meek character paired with KHN playing a very convincing country bumpkin was not easy, but both characters truly grew on me. The strength of the show was truly the ensemble. Son Dam Bi truly has her breakthrough role in this project and Kim Kang Hoon as Pil Goo stole many viewers hearts.

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