Saturday Dramas in Nov-Dec 2021 is a Murderers Row of Selection with Now, We are Breaking Up, Jirisan, Happiness, The Red Sleeve Cuff, and Inspector Koo

I remember when Wed-Thurs used to be THE most prestigious nights to air K-dramas and the ones that was used as a marker of high profile popularity. It’s now Saturdays with either bookend on Friday or Sunday. The remainder of the year in November through December this time slot is going to be jam packed with options for any K-drama viewer, and the key is that these dramas are not all airing in the same time slot so despite airing on the same night it’s not directly competing. But it’s indirectly competing I feel since if I watch one drama it may be enough and I don’t have the time or energy to watch another or even a third. The ratings are out and let’s start with the new arrivals: episode 2 of SBS drama Now, We are Breaking up increased in ratings to 8.0% while MBC sageuk The Red Sleeve Cuff stayed relatively flat at 5.6%. Everyone’s still wondering whether tvN drama Jirisan is a hit or miss when this is all over and this Saturday’s episode 7 came in at 7.879% which continues the trend of its Sat episodes being lower and then Sunday rising. tvN’s other drama the zombie outbreak Happiness stayed stead at 3.324%. jTBC‘s kooky police procedural Inspector Koo dropped again back down to 1.809% for episode 5, and OCN‘s other police offering Chimera continued it’s under the radar low rated airing with episode 5 at 1.002%. The biggest hit on weekend’s for the last month has been the standard family style weekend drama Gentleman and Young Lady which continues to bring in around 28% thereabout ratings.


Saturday Dramas in Nov-Dec 2021 is a Murderers Row of Selection with Now, We are Breaking Up, Jirisan, Happiness, The Red Sleeve Cuff, and Inspector Koo — 74 Comments

  1. Pingback: Saturday’s in Nov-Dec 2021 is a Murderers Row of K-drama Selection with Now, We are Breaking Up, Jirisan, Happiness, The Red Sleeve Cuff, and Inspector Koo - Kpopnchill - All About K-pop News

  2. Jirisan won’t be a hit. It’ll be lucky to hit Hometown CCC’s ratings at this point. I have not seen a bigger collection of talent under deliver and I’m scratching my head as to what happened.

    I’m going to go out on a limb and say NWABU won’t do well. Unless the story gets better and SHK has a come Jesus moment and starts emoting, its ratings will quickly regress. Ep2 was even worse than ep1.

    • Jirisan is insanely bad I have no words to express my disappointment with the drama. How did KEH of all people write this drama? Even KES didn’t make such a mess out of TKEM like what KEH has done with Jirisan. Even the PPL scenes for TKEM had better writing which anyone who watched the drama would know is a really low bar. I feel nothing for any of the character half way through the drama and the acting does not deliver any emotions. Thankfully iqiyi has 2x speed which lessens the suffering.

    • I think Breakup will do relatively well in rating because it’s a SHK’s drama and it’s on SBS which seems to be the channel most people choose this year. I still don’t understand the ratings for both The penthouse and OTW so I think no matter how the acting or the plot sucks, people will still watch.

  3. Before we talk about a drama being a hit or not we have to know the budget first.Jirisan is a 32 billion budgeted drama roughly 27.5 million USA dollars whiles now we are breaking up is roughly nearly 9 billion roughly 8 million USA dollars.that is it.

    • The last episode of Jirisan wasn’t bad actually. The fire action sequences were well done. Unfortunately at this point it’s a bit late for the show to garner more viewers so I guess the ratings will stay at this range.

      I saw good reviews on Happiness, but I don’t feel like starting it. I feel like SK’s made wayyyy too much zombie stuff in the past 2 years. I used to like it but I’m growing tired of it tbh. Maybe the general public feels the same way.

    • They even had a higher budget than Squid Game, which has a very elaborate set and such. For Jirisan, likely the majority of the budget was allocated on actor’s salary esp Jun Ji Hyun. She commands the highest salary amongst all actors. I’ve seen it till ep 7 and its just not gripping enough, as it seems to have no drama identity. I’m not even sure if it wants to be those profession slice of life drama like HP, or more like Signal or Kingdom with mystery to solve. I just find it bland.

      As for NWABU, acting-aside, I just find the cliche too unbearable. Chaebol ML, and candy-esque FL, one that is barely getting by (on that level – she’s a Team Lead in a company)and supporting her family. But she is deck from head to toe in brands, and she lives in a place that overlooks Hangang River with those high-ceiling apartments. Yeah, it makes sense. Then SHK and JKY, just seems to be pretty to look at actors – that’s it.

  4. Happiness deserves to be doing better. It is well made and acted.

    I was going to check out Now, We Are Breaking Up but the reviews are so bad it’s putting me off. I checked its Reddit thread and the feedback is universally negative, which is shocking because those commentators are usually pretty nice and diplomatic.

    • To put things in perspective, not even Doom At Your Service or Sisyphus got such universally bad feedback, and people were hate watching Sisyphus too.

    • I’m surprised at Happiness’s ratings, i just finished episode 4 and i’m wanting more. The story telling and pacing is excellent, it’s a shame this drama is not on netflix, i bet it will hit big worldwide if it was. Hope netflix will pick it up later.

      • Agree. Happiness is amazing show. The chemistry is way better than NWABU. Red sleeve is also good.

        I wish to see the main couple of happiness in a romcom!!! Acting and chemistry, they’re the best!

    • @Yzma – I saw that thread. That subreddit errs on the side of positivity, so it was indeed surprising to read negative feedback straight across-the-board.

  5. The ratings are not quite how it used to be really.

    8% for a public channel. At least 7% for a cable channel is decent. Not a mega hit for sure. Blame it on the director.

    I don’t get JTBC’s ratings, Korean audience doesn’t seem to want to see Lee Young Ae looking like she needed a shower. I thought it’s an interesting watch actually. The only problem is that the killer outsmarts the female lead.

    And why is Happiness only 3% is it because of the late broadcast or are people tired of zombies? Maybe they should have shown it in Netflix instead?

    • I think Happiness might have to do with time slot and we are still in a pandemic and people don’t want to watch a show about a pandemic. It’s a good show though. Yeah I also don’t know why it isn’t on Netflix.

      • Bec happiness, a tving original,is airing at tving and tvn at the same time. Viewers are divided. And fans will prefer to watch at tving if they have subscription because it has the uncut version compared to tvn.

    • @M – Are you saying 8% for public and 7% for cable are good? Or are they lower than what hit dramas could bring in previously?

      I used to put the blame of Jirisan’s wasted potential on solely the director, but after sitting through today’s episode I think the Kim Eunhee is also at fault. Her script is just dragging. Signal and Kingdom were so tightly written so IDK what happened. Dropping the show.

      • @peanutgallery

        8% for public channel is not good since OTW finale rating was at 17%.

        7% is definitely not a hit for cable but just okay.

        Problem with Jirisan is that it’s budget is sky high. With a well known PD, star writer, A list star, and solid well known cast. The rating one would expect is around 16-17%.

      • @M

        NWABU has only aired two episodes yet you make it sound like its finale got 8%.

        OTW didn’t start off with that 17% it ended with. It steadily climbed there with each episode. So we’ll just have to wait and see if NWABU can also climb up to those ratings or if it will flop completely.

      • Snowdrop is coming and it will save JTBC ratings. least that’s what they may be hoping for.

    • TVN also did not do very much promotion for Happiness at all before it started airing. In contrast, Yumi’s Cells was all over the place (same time slot, also TVING, just before Happiness). So people are just hearing about it and it’s spreading by word of mouth. Now TVN has woken up and started to promote, but they should have done it earlier.

      And yeah, it would have done better on Netflix.

  6. With regard to now we are breaking up, it’s next 2 episodes ratings will be it’s do or will reflect it’s word of mouth and indicates whether it will be a hit or not.figures crossed.

  7. I’m enjoying Inspector Ko a lot. The script, acting, directing, and music are all good but why are the rating so low?
    After yesterday episode I’ve decided to drop Jirisan. The plot is all over the place, 7 eps in but it feels like nothing happens at all. I feel especially bad for the talented supporting cast, so far there is nothing for them to act on. I wonder why they choose to do this drama. Such a waste of their talents.
    I also watched the first two eps of breakup. Ep 1 is terrible, ep 2 is a little bit better but still not good. The acting of both shk and jky are bad but suprisingly jky is more brearable than shk for me. I’m usually ok with her acting but here it’s just plain bad. Also, she looks a lot older than she was in Dots, which is just natural but next to jky the age difference seems too apparent. I think 8% rating is still too high for this drama at this point. But then I didnt understand why One the woman got such high rating so maybe my taste is just different.

    • “But surprisingly JKY is more bearable than SHK for me.”

      That’s what I’ve been saying! JKY gets criticized alot, but compared to SHK in the show, he’s the more watchable of the 2 by a far margin.

      Look, I never thought SHK was a great actress, but she was always serviceable and didn’t detract from the viewing experience. I’m now downgrading her to downright terrible. She’s acting like someone is pointing a gun at her, and will shoot her if she doesn’t maintain a blank expression. I have no idea what she’s trying to convey with her acting style.

    • @Abc – Maybe people are watching Inspector Ko on Netflix? I saw it on my Netflix slate.

      Are ratings really the best barometer of performance nowadays? Kdramas are the only place where I see such fixation with ratings. TV ratings never even get mentioned in my country. I don’t know anyone who sits down at a pre-ordained time to watch a TV show (except Boomers and their talk shows). Everyone just streams at their own leisure, and all the good shows worth watching are on streaming services anyways.

      • I saw a lot of people on the qoo saying they watch Inspector Koo on Netflix but then other dramas like Vincenzo, HCCC,ect. have high ranking on netflix but the TV rating is still high. I dont expect Inspector Koo to have Vincenzo rating of course but it deserves at least 5%.

      • @Abc – Fair. I think Vincenzo and HCCC are unicorns and unless you get an all-kill show like those two, you’re going to have to take streaming numbers into account to evaluate a show’s success.

        I don’t live in Korea and don’t know Koreans’ watching habits, but it’s bizarre to me that such a technologically advanced country is still using ratings methodology from the 1950s. I don’t know anyone who sits down at a specific time to watch tv except Boomers, and Boomers are the last group you’d want dictating media consumption trends.

  8. A critically acclaimed drama encounter got roughly the same ratings as Jirisan is doing now and some believe it to be a flop(infact it was a success)encounter was budgeted at 12 million USA dollars. why is anyone insinuating that Jirisan is doing well.encounter was at tvn too

  9. Inspector Koo is the underrated drama out of all the airing dramas but I blame it more on JTBC than anything. Something is wrong with the PR of that channel because both Lost and Inspector Koo deserve much higher ratings and critical acclaim. Its strange seeing mediocre dramas with mediocre acting get higher ratings than actually good dramas like Lost and Koo. JTBC has had some very well written dramas this year barring Sisyphus and Monthly House. Law School and Beyond Evil should have had double digit ratings. TVN has put its really good dramas like Yumi Cells and Happiness at the worst time slot possible but all its mediocre dramas have prime time slots. This years ratings just feel like they’ve been faked or something because they don’t match the quality of the dramas.

    • I’ll add Nevertheless to their bad dramas this year but yes I’m with you, blaming it on JTBC too and their poor PR and scheduling of their dramas not to mention those weeks gap in between airing which kills time slot momentum. Maybe they’ve lost subscribers now

    • Seriously in agreement with everything. JTBC has some issues it needs to sort otherwise it’s dramas despite their superior quality will keep sinking in ratings. Let’s hope Snowdrop revives the public interest in JTBC but at this rate I’ll be happy with even 4% ratings. That said why is Disney+ only airing Snowdrop in a handful of SEA countries? You literally have a BP member but you won’t air the drama globally? What logic is that? Why are Disney+ and Apple Tv shooting themselves in the foot? Everyone needs to get their act together.

    • Agree so much with you, Ulev. Especially your last sentence. The tragedy is that if these underrated shows keep getting low ratings, they’ll most likely end up on the list of Worst Dramas by the Joy News pollsters next year. Just like what happened to Lost and Yumi’s Cells.

    • @Ulev – Inspector Koo might be doing well on Netflix, and Yumi’s Cells did well on whatever TVN’s streaming app is. Law School and Beyond Evil did well on Netflix (I think, but don’t quote me on it).

      Networks are taking streaming data into account, and they should start releasing those figures soon, else people are just going to continue hand-wringing over incomplete data.

  10. It’s an indication of an aging Korean population enjoying makjang dramas, popular names, rich family intrigues, over-the-top comedy. If anything, this makjang/chaebol obsession reflects their exact taste. I think ratings would continue to be this way, leading to more experimental works shifting to streaming services. For example, Work later drink now is the talk of the town but it would’ve flopped for sure if it aired on network television.

      • Yes, it’s very popular among Knetz right now. Multiple clips went viral on social media and many are saying it reminds them of their younger selves. The success of the series has resulted in a 117 percent or so growth in subscribers for Tving.

    • I wish TVING would go global because the content they have outranks Netflix easily. Their subscription rate would be lower too and the subtitles would be better.

  11. Watching Jirisan is pure torture. Why does this drama even exist? Give us Kingdom 3 instead. How did casting agents even sell this drama to the actors? There is nothing in this drama not plot nor characterization. The initial synopsis was vague and the teasers were a mess. Nothing about it was appealing from the start.

  12. Completely like the first 2 episode of Now we are breaking up, and surprisingly this 2 episode is not solely focus on romance and the two leads dynamic at all. More they really doing a good job what world these character would live in and what we would see on 14 episode onwards . Quite western approach and showbiz industry, But that’s Korea in reality. Quite like it our leads is not exactly hold the worlds or CEO …. But not poor either and quite hold an important roles in her worlds. .

  13. I dropped Jirisan. TT TT I can’t take to watch it any longer. I still love the actors and the writers tho but wayo? What happened?

    I am currently watching Happiness. So far so good. I like both leads’ characters. And I just love zombies related shows [if done right]. ^^

  14. Am I weird for still enjoying Jirisan? Lol. Only watch it from all weekend drama. Altough if I have the time and mood I want to check Happiness, but not now.
    Also, I have a feeling that NWBU ratings will go steady or rising. Because koreans still like SHK. Whatever you say about it, it’s them Koreans who make this ratings. I myself is not interested at all on romance drama. For now I like thrilller, mystery, and comedy.

    • Koreans also like everything SBS this year. That godawful mess Lover of the Red Sky did well too, then there was Penthouse, OTW and Taxi Driver. It’s not any particular actor, it’s the channel. JTBC is sliding down despite having superstars for reference.

  15. Red Sleeve Cuff deserves the highest ratings out of them all. Then Inspector Ku. And Happiness.

    Finally got around to watching NWABU. My interest in the drama from the beginning was the fashion industry backdrop as part of research so I’ll keep watching. SHK can be frustratingly blank in some scenes but I didn’t find her as god-awful as some did. So far, I see a single older woman who works hard yet is underappreciated and has some baggage from her past love life.

    JKY’s character actually annoys me most with how he’s always hovering around the ‘uninterested’ FL and constantly inserting himself in her business like he’s entitled to. Ki Yong is also doing that irritating mumble-talk thing he does in all his dramas. Visually, I found his styling in MRIAG more appealing than here.

    The second FL is infuriating, as most second FLs are written to be. I’m guessing she’ll later have a love line with the second ML. But from the way things are going now, she and JKY’s character will annoy me even more going forward.

    Rooting for Ha Young-Eun, her hardworking junior designers who put up with so much sh/t and her seemingly depressed, married friend who’s struggling with adulting.

    Jirisan is a no for me.

  16. I quite like the second female leads in Nwabu. she is flawed but quite close with the female lead. more over, the actress is quite charming and I love her acting.

  17. Watch 2 eps of NWABU and I enjoy them. It has a fast paced but I like that the fl had that work hard and mean business with her work&not some princess in damsel needed to be saved by ML. I do kinda think that ML kinda creepy, I mean he eaedrops, always but in uninvited in fl business.
    SHK need to upgrade her acting is trus but not that bad either. Jky’s mumbling reading his line is getting bit annoying here and I like his style in MRIG more than here.

    When people talk about how shk try to look young, mind you she and jky had decade age difference. Of course you can see the age gap, If this is shk decade ago then we can see different appearance.

    Amongst all dramas that airing right now in a week, I like NWABU more.

    • I thought i was the only one enjoying the drama. The last scene of episode 2 justify the first scene of Episode 1. Why she was instantly attracted to JKY which was unlike her character.

  18. Do not wonder too much about Inspector Koo and Happiness (and Chimera, if anyone is even aware that it is airing). These cable dramas have a substantial overlap with the timeslots of Breaking Up and Red Sleeve. The last two end at 11:10 p.m., so that is a good 40 minutes of competition.

  19. What’s more amazing is, Viki has most of these dramas, The Red Sleeves, NWABU, Jirisan and Chimera.

    The Red Sleeves is so good. It’s about time to have a nice Romance Saguek drama and of course with elements of olden day politics. OTP is perfect match.

  20. Happiness is surprising pretty good. I like the couple, they form a good team.

    I dropped Jirisan, the inaccuracies for rangers are so blatant…

    Red Sleeves, I wasn’t totally sold by the 2 episodes. I had some difficulties to recognize the young actress when she was in a group of maids, she didn’t really stand out. I’m curious why they chose such light tons, for a real sageuk, I imagined something less romanticized. The different places were beautiful.

    NWABU was kinda boring. SHK’s monologues were boring. I still wonder why spoke in French when they’re both Korean…

  21. Can Kim Eun Hee just go back to writing Signal 2? Both Jirisan and Kingdom: Ashin are painfully boring. Happiness is the only show I’m watching from the Friday line-up.

  22. I will be curious how snowdrop will perform competing with these weekend dramas. Jtbc has not had a good year so they are praying for snowdrop success. Also, snowdrop is 19+ tv rating, how will this be aired on Disney+?? The highest TV rating on Disney+ is TV14.

  23. Well i don’t think jirisan will get 10% rating because now they stuck in 7-8%. Also i have prediction bulgasal will be another flop big budget drama.Why tvn wasted money for big budget drama?Its not working anymore. If they want high rating tvn need to make makjang drama cause knetz still love to watching makjang.

    • There’s still hope to sell streaming rights? Like Moon Lovers it’s rating was not reallly good but popular with international viewers.

    • “If they want high rating tvn need to make makjang drama cause knetz still love to watch makjang.”

      CLOY, Itaewon Class, HCCC, Vincenzo were all not makjang and did very well.

      • And yet none of those dramas could beat makjang superstars World of the Married and Sky Castle in ratings. So OP has a point.

        Itaewon Class is from jtbc, not TVN. Dumbass peabrain.

      • If you check out the viewership stats, Crash Landing On You actually had more viewers than World of married despite the over all ratings being lower than WOM. And sky castle had more episodes.

  24. Well after itaewon class ended jtbc drama back flop after flop. Love married and divorced got 16% rating higher rating than hccc and vicenzo.

    • And World of Married got much higher rating than CLOY and Itaewon and every other drama. So what? It doesn’t mean CLOY and Itaewon were not successes.

      Popular makjang will do better with TV ratings because all the older people are tuning in, while younger people are going to be watching online.

      • “Popular makjang will do better with TV ratings because all the older people are tuning in…”

        Yes, peabrain. That’s exactly the point being made which your peabrain can’t understand. That if the struggling network wants to get high ratings again, then makjang will help. Now fuq off and stop making a nuisance of yourself in this comments section!

  25. What happened to song hye Kyo face?She even can’t move her mouth,nose.I thought they make cgi effects to remove her wrinkle like tom cruise did in his movie.Even her press conference get photoshopped and she was fresh and perfect in photo magazine lol.Wonder when she wearing no make up her look will be even worse.She can’t eating male actor with that wrinkle Lols.

  26. Of the weekend dramas, I’m only watching The Red Sleeve as it airs. NWABU looks same old, same old. I can’t face watching a show about viruses so Happiness is out. I was going to start Jirisan in the middle of its run, but the reviews so far are putting me off.

    Usually I leave crime shows to binge watch once they’ve finished since I find it difficult to keep track of the plot from week to week. Inspector Koo looks like it might be good for that.

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