K-netizens Rightfully Peeved at KBS for Forgetting Solid Ratings Hit Secret Royal Inspector for Year End Awards in 2020 and Likely 2021

When a K-drama bisects a year during its airing period it does create potential for year end network award gaps. Case in point Secret Royal Inspector, the KBS sageuk that started airing in December 2020 and finished in early February 2021. The drama was low rated per usual for KBS dramas when it started airing at 5.0% but slowly went up in ratings for the second half and reached a high of 14.0% for its final episode. It averaged 8.119% and the small success is no small feat since the drama wasn’t really promoted and doesn’t have super big name leads with L, Kwon Nara, and Lee Tae Hwan. The two leads attended the 2020 KBS Drama Awards to present but wasn’t up for anything, makes sense as the drama just started airing. But since it got a decent wrap up it should get recognized at this year’s 2021 Drama Awards but when KBS opened the website for the year end awards nominations the list for Best Drama does not include Secret Royal Inspector and actual includes dramas with lower ratings. Netizens are upset for the drama cast and crew and wonder if it’s because L is in the army and can’t attend and the other leads are off on other projects. Either way, it’s nice to see a drama being overlooked get recognition by the public.


K-netizens Rightfully Peeved at KBS for Forgetting Solid Ratings Hit Secret Royal Inspector for Year End Awards in 2020 and Likely 2021 — 21 Comments

  1. Not that it matter even remotely since best drama will be youth of may and nothing else. Netizens aren’t even that peeved about it sure its sad KBS overlooked it but that’s because neither Nara nor L are attending the award ceremony does not seem like the supporting actors will attend either. Despite having ratings RSA never had much buzz online so KBS must have decided to dump the drama. Hardly matters when youth of may exists.

    • YOM is critically acclaimed so it will walk away with the most awards including best drama as you rightfully pointed out. LDH can win either excellence or top excellence but GMS will only win best new actress and maybe a special actress award.

  2. Honestly, broadcasting stations in Korea need to stop handing out awards for dramas with good ratings and nothing else. Even Baeksang is guilty of this. I don’t think Secret Inspector is a good drama anyway and its good ratings are a mystery to me. That aside, KBS only has eyes for their weekend dramas; the other dramas are just also-rans.

    • Baeksang is the highest level of drama award ceremony in Korea so if you want to invalidate that then no award ceremony in Korea has relevance. It isn’t only tv dramas even movies have the same category for winning awards. The biggest ticket holder gets all the awards irrespective of performance. You can’t keep invalidating every single ceremony.

      • Well, you are also acknowledging that that Baeksang gives awards based on ratings. I’m just saying that there needs to be better judging that’s based on performance and actual depth of the work itself. Anyway, even if this “invalidates” all awards ceremonies in Korea, that doesn’t mean that it’s right to give awards based on popularity of the work rather that good performances.

  3. Exactly which KBS drama was promoted this year aside from Dear M which never aired. None of the dramas from this channel have had decent promos so if you’re gonna pretend this drama got despite the lack of promotion then it applied to literally every single drama on KBS.

  4. The quality should win over star actors and ratings and overall over the presence or not of the actors at their ceremony.

    But KBS did one thing good, they gave opportunities to young actors.

    If I didn’t really liked At a Distance, Spring is Green, Police University, Imitation, River where the Moon Rises, Dali and the Cocky Prince or Youth May (that had good moments, but the story starting by the present was weird and the death of the character badly written), it was not star actors but young ones who were given the opportunity to shine too. It’s nice to see new faces 🙂

    This year, I liked Sell Your Haunted House, JNR was great and The King’s Affection, Park Eun-Bin is killing in this role. Women power \o/

    • Same for SBS LOTRS and NWABU should win nothing because they are both nonsense with mediocre to bad acting but of course SBS will invent dumb awards just to give the prestige. Bad actors always win undeserved awards is nothing new.

  5. L will be forever all time visual. I remmber him putting big 3 company idols to shame with his visuals

  6. This is completely unfair… It doesn’t make any sense to me. Is it because Myungsoo is in the military? Royal Secret Agent deserves better than the other dramas on this channel. The drama received the highest rating even surpassing the double-digit rating after more than 3 years for the Monday-Tuesday drama of KBS. Myungsoo and the rest of the casts and staff worked really hard. He is doing his military service or the drama starting at the end of December 2020 is not the reason.
    With the film reaching the highest rating, it is the recognition and love of the viewers, and obviously the drama of the year. What’s the reason behind their having to take it off the list? Do they have an internal arrangement to remove the drama with the highest rating and plan to give a grand prize to the others with the lower rating? ridiculous? :))
    Do they think international fans and Koreans are blind so they can cover our eyes? Something is not right here.

    • @MaySunflower Highest ratings drama don’t always win best drama it depends on popularity and other factors. Youth of May will win Best Drama at KBS this is fact because it is the better drama.

      • Ok if they are sure that YOM will get this award? So why exclude RSA from the list? I’m talking about the motive behind this action. I don’t need you to compare some factors and criteria or put your favorite drama in? Why do you think RSA is not popular? Based on what? Based on rating? =))))

      • Didn’t someone already say that RSA didn’t have high buzz ranking? I know its unfair the drama isn’t on the list and they will possibly fix it soon but agreed best drama is YOM hands down. The industry picked it out as one of the best dramas in 2021 so kbs isn’t crazy to ignore that.

      • @peacher

        there’s no best drama category in kbs drama award. only acting and popularity award. sorry

    • I seriously think it s because Myung Soo is in military and cant attend the event, which isnt fair. Not expecting RSA to win but to totally excluded out from the list? It s a better drama than Angel Last Mission ( horribly written) yet ALM got more nominations back in 2019 (with all cast attendance), doesnt make sense.

  7. So the daesang is up in the air for now but it’ll come down to either one of the weekender leads (YJH or JHW) or KSH and maybe JNR but current news seems to suggest JNR might not get the nomination but they could give it for seniority sake. What needs to be seen is if KBS will go back to the pattern of handing 2 daesang or give out just one like 2019-20. MBC is guaranteed to be NGM and SBS will be KSY both ceremonies are a joke because of the complete absence of dramas especially MBC with just 4 mini dramas of which only 2 are relevant.

    • 2019 only because Gong Hyojin was winning Daesang they gave it to one person and 2020 was the worst drama year for KBS saved only by their weekend dramas so obviously again just one Daesang. This year was better for them so the chances of 2 winners is very high. The toughest awards for KBS this year is the best new actor/actress. Almost all of their dramas were youth dramas with fresh faces.

    • i root for lee junho for mbc daesang. but u r right abt sbs and mbc drama to be a joke. i think some categories are an easy win. like in sbs, i think lotrs only compete with nwabu coz they fall under the same category: romance/fantasy drama series. the only fierce competition is for the daesang slot: kim soyeon /lee jihoon/lee honey. then two of these three will get the producer award and top excellent award. and the rest main leads from other dramas can get top excellent award respectively. but knowing it is sbs, i think they change the category again and put many top excellent categories lol.

      as for mbc, i bet they’ll get headache on how to distribute the category.. haha

  8. Well it’s true that only the most popular ones get awards . Quality doesn’t matter anymore . The same goes for movies . But sometimes both match . When Parasite won the Oscar of the best movie for example . If Leonardo Di Caprio was a korean actor it would be great as he is the perfect combo ( popular + good actor). He would be by now covered by awards , the same for J Depp . In France, the movies who get awards at the most prestigious ceremony ( Les Césars ) aren’t the popular ones . We are snobs ! It’s movies that citizens merely know about . But it gives them a chance , as people want to know why they won . So yes , quality should win over popularity or ratings .

  9. Unfortunately Secret Royal Inspector had an awkward airing period: airing too late for 2020 awards and airing too early for 2021. Despite the good ratings it didn’t have any buzz or linger in people’s minds the way that an exceptional drama like Stove League did which also had a similarly awkward late 2019 to early 2020 airing.

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