tvN Sat-Sun Dystopian Legal Drama The Devil Judge Wraps Up Run Averaging 6% in Ratings with Mediocre Buzz

I would pick a crash and burn over just a meh project, at least when it comes to K-drama since the former is memorable and the latter part of the scrum of dramas that come and go. tvN this weekend saw the end of The Devil Judge (Demon Judge), totally primed for ratings and buzz thanks to the cast of veteran leads Ji Sung and Kim Min Jung and a topic that is about punishing the rich and powerful for their greed and misconduct. The drama dropped to mid-4% as its low ratings point and ended at 7.9% nearly breaking 8% at its high, which makes it a decent cable fare but nothing to write home about. I was super stoked about it but the first episode didn’t grab me and I think the lack of an OTP central romance just didn’t work for me as I love Ji Sung the best when he’s both scrambling to do the right thing AND it’s for the woman he loves. Those who watched the entire series, any final thoughts?


tvN Sat-Sun Dystopian Legal Drama The Devil Judge Wraps Up Run Averaging 6% in Ratings with Mediocre Buzz — 48 Comments

  1. Pingback: tvN Sat-Sun Dystopian Legal Drama The Devil Judge Wraps Up Run Averaging 6% in Ratings with Mediocre Buzz - Kpopnchill - All About K-pop News

  2. This drama should say a big fat thank you to MLDM S2 for ending when it did else the ratings would have most likely stayed in the 5-6% range for the remaining episodes. Man, tvN dramas aren’t killing it in ratings at all these days except for HP2 and even that has been fluctuating a bit. Maybe Yumi’s Cells will save the day.

  3. Ha! So much for 20% like some soothsayer here predicted this drama will get. Lol. It couldn’t even scratch 8-9%, much less hit double digits like its just-as-meh predecessor.

  4. Mostly underwhelming acting and a nonsensical plot jam-packed with caricature villains. Min-jung’s at-first intriguing character became just another lovesick psycho. And there’s the predictable fridging of Park Kyu-Young’s character who didn’t have much of a worthy storyline. Hopefully, her gamjatang drama will be kinder to her.

  5. I dropped it after the first 2 episodes. I wasn’t in the mood for this. I don’t understand what the point to be an ex-judge and writing this kind of drama…

  6. I quite like the drama for the court proceedings with surprise punishment.

    Basically the morale of the story is : Judges do you job well with integrity – turn stones upside down examine the evidence to get the truth don’t just look at the surface so that people cannot tweet the system to get away.

  7. I really liked it. It had its problems but it was the rare drama that entertained me for 16 straight episodes. Shrugs. I thought Ji Sung’s acting in particular was great. Really restrained and powerful. Everybody did a good job though.

    It and the actors actually got decent buzz in South Korea. I know it’s ratings weren’t as high as it’s predecessors but averaging 6% on cable is nothing to sneeze at these days. This wasn’t a bomb,at least. I’m actually disappointed it had to compete against the Olympics for three weeks as that halted it’s momentum.

    • @Mimi , totally agree with you . It entertained me . And 6% is good enough . Perhaps it would have made more buzz if the ratings were about 1% !

      • I don’t get the dragging of the ratings. Averaging 6% is no small feat considering the ratings landscape these days. If tvN expected it to be a big hit, I think they would have sold it to Netflix.

      • These days? Its predecessors Vincenzo and Mine are recent yet they still hit double digits. So it’s possible. No business expects their product not to do well. And people need to stop using Netflix as an excuse all the time. Commenting on ratings isn’t a drag. It’s simply stating facts.

      • The shade. Btw, that some sad reality. Either you becoming the number 1 of whole school or really bad student, just being good, like being in the rank is seems never good enough. That how I get from reading this article. People will never care about some good student that trying to improve little by little. Someone who only score 80 in final test didn’t deserve a praise even tho they scored 40 in the test before that. It is better if you score 10 so at least you will get attention 🙁

    • The Olympics are not the problem. It just happened to be pitted against Marriage Lyrics, Divorce Music. Hard to rate much higher when your rival cable show is consistently doing double digits.

      • That’s true about Marriage Lyrics, Divorce Lyrics but the drama had hit the 6% range before the Olympics started and then backslid during the Olympics. Marriage was pre-empted on a couple of those nights, like the one ratings for TDJ slid to the 4% range because S. Korea had soccer and baseball games that night. So I do think the Olympics halted momentum.

  8. Pingback: tvN Sat-Sun Dystopian Legal Drama The Devil Judge Wraps Up Run Averaging 6% in Ratings with Mediocre Buzz – SanIsidro

  9. Devil Judge rating is much better vs koala’s recent favorite – My Roommate is a Gumiho.

    Both started at 5%+.
    Devil Judge ended at 8% while Roommate at 4%. (To be exact, 3.9%)

    Yet koala branded the 3.9% rating as “good”. Hmmm… talk of double standards. Both are cable so I guess you can’t use that as excuse.

    • Gumiho aired at 10:30 on Wednesday and Thursday. Devil Judge aired at 9:00 on weekends. Of course, expectations are higher for the latter.

      • Huh? Why it’s higher? Isn’t Wednesday-Thursday is should be higher because they like the Golden Time of Drama? Most important, expected to be hit drama, usually placed in that time slot, no?

    • I’m just calling out the writer’s extreme bias.

      In one show, 3.9% is “good” while in another, 8% is “mediocre”.

      You can talk about how much you love or hate a drama. This is perfectly ok. But don’t drag ratings to justifying your likes and dislikes, particularly when it doesn’t jive.

      • I don’t care much re ratings so long as i like the drama n yes this drama is entertaining one which i look forward to watching it n the other one is on the verge of instanity. I fully agree with your reasoning.

  10. The rating is OK and the acting was good but it felt empty, nothing memorable, not a rewatchable material and I will forget about it in the upcoming months. I surely prefer a 1% rating drama with a better story that leaves me with a feel of attachment to at least one character.

  11. Empty show, they had some great actors but plot was banal. Kim Min Jung’s villain for once didn’t need a childhood connection to the protagonist here. I haven’t been able to finish a Ji Sung show twice in a row now without fast forwarding. Shame!

  12. K-dramas nowadays suck ass… They are all pretentious, but at the end of the day are still conveyor-belt quality. There is no depth in their plots.

    • Some are trying too hard to be the next hit that it is noticeable. And some add too many genres to get to more audience and have rating, but sometimes is good to stick to something and please entirely your small audience.

      • @6amsol… Absolutely. I remember that there was a drama last year that I was really excited about called “Alice” – a perfect example of the current “trend” in kdramaworld. They really try to create a top-quality sci-fi story, but they are too lazy to do real research on it. Same with “The King” of Lee Min-ho. Or what about “When My Love Blooms”… They simply change the publication year of some movies. The main characters were smitten with the Japanese movie Love Letter, but because the drama took place some time earlier, they conventionally said that the movie came out in 1994 or some shit (whilst the movie actually came out in 1995). That is just plain lazy writing. Or what about Hospital Playlist episode 1, where the main character could not perform surgery because he had a Dark Vader mask stuck to his head… We have something called pliers and scissors for f-sake. Just cut it off and do not go to a hospital for that kind of minor shizzle.

        If you compare it to an average j-dorama, you realize the lack of depth. Their writers are specialised by genre and do not dumb down the story. So some writers are specialised in medical dramas and others in legal or business dramas. Meanwhile, Korea has a star-writer such as Kim Eun-sook trying to be a jack of all trades, but master of none. A faux pas such as Joseon Exorcist would not happen if they did some more research. Sure, they were hungry for Chinese money, but even so… you must understand that it is hella stretch to deliver that kind of a story. It is like re-writing the whole Bible and instead calling Jesus Jesus, you make him female and name the person Roseanne.

  13. I liked the drama. The young couple was the weakness not so much the acting but they were constantly fooled by evil people and learned nothing. They were typical goody two shoes that will get fooled their entire lives in the same situation
    Also their romance was not particularly moving and for the audience to feel a characters death the way the show wanted us to they should have made the female in the romance more likable.

  14. I was so excited to start it but it quickly went downhill. Not only the female characters were either caricatures or boring and irrelevant, but also the male characters didn’t find their groove at all. Ji Sung needed a strong partner to make it MAYBE work, and if they weren’t gonna bring the romance then at least the exchanges with his young partner should’ve been explosive. It’s my first time watching Jinyoung so maybe he did better in his other projects, but here his range went from wide eyed and boring to whiny and annoying. Ji Sung was passing the ball to a player who was looking the other way so they never scored. The story had enough material for a short 8 episode run, not a full 16 – as it has been a frequent issue with kdramas lately. From the very 1st episode, it was clear how most of the story would go, it was so predictable that I found myself laughing when the female cop bit it. What a waste.

    • same thoughts on Ji Sung’s acting at a different level that unfortunately, Jinyoung was not able to match, so there was a lost connection there somewhere… now I suddenly thought if Ga On’s character was played by Yeo Jin-goo who I think has depth in his acting at such a young age, maybe he’s a better match for Ji Sung.

  15. Welp, I take back my enthusiasm about TVN “killing it” in 2021. They (and every other channel, tbh) have been lackluster for the last few months.

    Was going to wait for DJ to be fully subbed before starting, but given the mediocre reviews, I’ll pass. Hoping for Q4 to bring in some needed kdrama hits.

    • As someone who in short of drama slump before TDJ (I can’t even finished Vincenzo! Last drama I had finished probably…Signal? Misaeng? While You Are Sleeping?) I will say it’s worth a try. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea but not in the way a mediocre drama. If it’s that mediocre, it will never pull me out from my drama slump. This drama actually make me want to check another dramas that deemed ‘mediocre’ by others

  16. I would call it a guilty pleasure. The script and plot were bad, even terrible. But it was crazy and entertaining enough to watch…plus the good acting and lots of eye candy provided by Ji Sung and Jinyoung. 🙂

    • I am agree with you, it’s not a best possible drama and it’s has a lot of flaw and questionable logic (like how easy Yohan counter attack whatever plan the villains had). But it indeed a guilty please, it’s just like when you read some dog-blood slap-facing c-webnovel. You know it’s really not that good but you can’t stop read it.

  17. Acting was good, Ji Sung awesome as always. I really liked it though it was crazy it reflects many things that are happening these days.. sometimes it didn’t feel dystopian at all. It grabbed my interest from start to end. And even when I wasn’t sure what to expect about the ending I liked the ending. It was kinda satisfying

  18. No surprises from DJ. It started with much hype & finished decently. Apart from Vincenzo, 2021 seems to be a lacklustre year for tvN. Maybe Jirisan can end it on a high note. Other than that, I don’t see Hometown Chachacha or Yumi’s Cells can create buzz. A scorched earth policy is needed to re-energize the network. I’m sorely disappointed that The Witch’s Diner is not shown in Netflix despite being produced by Studio Dragons. It is well-written, acted and stylishly produced. Being 8 episodes, it fleshed out the characters and storylines adequately leaving the viewers wanting more. I’m surprised it wasn’t promoted more widely. Just the kind of new trend that Korean cable networks should adopt. I actually took a pause on k-dramas this year coz the writing quality is so bad. A Singporean-Netflix collab The Last Madame surprised me with its storyline. Ok, I admit the acting is amateurish at times but at least the story captivated me. At 12 episodes in 35 mins, it’s wasy to watch. Heck, even The Naked Director season 2 wasn’t that bad.

  19. Almost 8% is just ‘decent’ for cable nowadays, eh? I remembered in the past how people will celebrate and praise a drama for get, like 4% rating in cable. And it’s actually good for something that start from 4%. Vincenzo actually start at 7-8%, so it’s not realIy comparable. Afterall, TDJ seems have smaller niche than Vincenzo. Vincenzo is anti-hero drama with normal elements story that can be enjoyed by alot of viewers, cool and smart male lead, beautiful and funny female lead, some queerbating moment, little bit bromance, funny side characters. TDJ is never have any of that.

    Instead they have a devil as male lead, villainess as female lead, second male lead that more like female lead in any other drama, and second female lead that…you can guess,is more like a second male lead in the triangle love drama. They actually feel more like BL drama that trying to clamuflased as normal drama with sloopy-just for one episode-love story between the youngsters.

    Of course it’s not perfect drama. It’s have some flaws. But it’s entertaining and if you didn’t watch drama for male-female romance trophe, and love bromance type of drama, then this is quite a ride.

  20. To me, Devil’s Judge is an awesome show, thanks to Ji Sung outstanding performance. There is always a new twist in the show. Thank you so much for producing such an excellent show!

  21. I found it interesting at first, but there were scenes that just bored me, so to be honest, I fast forwarded and even skipped some episodes. Ji Sung is no doubt a great actor, he can carry any scene. Jinyoung was a little bit stiff and looked lost sometimes, like he doesn’t know what emotion to show, but I suppose the director should have guided him better. He’s still young, so plenty of opportunities for him to grow as an actor.

  22. It’s an over the top, nonsensical, shut-your-brain-off and enjoy the ride type of drama. For these type of dramas unless there’s something in it that attracts you on irrational/emotional level, then it’s not worth it.

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