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Lee Seung Gi, Why is he a top box office star?

Source: MyDaily via Nate
English translation: LSGfan.wordpress.com

Lee Seung Gi, Why is he a top box office star?

Lee Seung Gi is an undeniable box office power star. SBS new Wednesday-Thursday drama My Girlfriend is a Gumiho aired its first episode on the 11th and recorded a two digit viewership ratings. The first episode showed a favorable start with a TNS Media 12.7% and AGB Nielsen 10.2% ratings.

The 10% and above ratings can be explained by two primary aspects.  One, in comparision to the previous drama Bad Guy’s 6-8% ratings, My Girlfriend is a Gumiho can be viewed as starting out as a commercial success considering this was its first broadcast.  Also, going up against the mighty rival drama Baker King that has already hit over 40% ratings…

it is meaningful that it came out with a two digit viewership ratings.  The fact that it was able to have a two digit ratings can be largely attributed to the strength of the two main leads of My Girlfriend is a Gumiho, Lee Seung Gi and Shin Min Ah.  In particular, having had daebak results with his previous dramas, Lee Seung Gi’s box office power was again demonstrated through My Girlfriend is a Gumiho.

Through his participation in the highly rated Brilliant Legacy last year, Lee Seung Gi has amassed a lot of popularity.  The first episode for Brilliant Legacy started wtih a 5% [Korean article mis-reported the initial rating; should be 15%] viewership ratings and over time ultimately hit 47% ratings with Lee Seung Gi’s effective performance.

Also, having transitioned from sitcom to his first drama acting role in the 2006-07 Famous Princesses, the drama was a box office hit recording a 47% viewership ratings.  Also because of the high ratings associated with his participation in real variety program 1 Night 2 Days and talk show Strong Heart, Lee Seung Gi is considered one of the strong box office stars on TV.

Going up against the 45%+ ratings Baker King, there is already great anticipation from all around that the 10%+ ratings My Girlfriend is a Gumiho will be on an upward trend and that Lee Seung Gi will demonstrate his box office power once again.

There is a reason outside of the drama that can account for Lee Seung Gi as box office star. After debuting as a singer while still in high school, his humble, sincere, and heart-warming image has endeared fans of all ages, both male and female.

Also many people give him points for managing his private life well and feel that he has a friendly and approachable appearance.  Further, whether it’s singing on stage, appearing on variety shows, or acting in dramas, seeing his diligence and hard work ethic has also contributed to him being a star.  Also, his detailed preparation for all of his individual projects has played a role in Lee Seung Gi as box office star.

According to Rep. Kwon Jin Young from his management company, Hook Entertainment, “Lee Seung Gi has been preparing in relation to My Girlfriend is a Gumiho for close to year. Having met with the writers and after confirming his participation, he worked on preparing for his character and the comedic acting.”  Seeing Lee Seung Gi’s thorough preparation for his project is one of the things that has made him a guaranteed ratings success.

Actually, his acting partner Shin Min Ah said, “I was shocked when Lee Seung Gi came to the script reading with all his lines memorized as well as the lines of the other actors.”  Of course there are those who point out that he is still lacking in his acting.  However, because of his effort to improve those areas in which he he is lacking, there is more anticipation on any given day compared to that of the previous days.

Thus, there is already a lot of interest as to whether Lee Seung Gi’s just broadcasted My Girlfriend is a Gumiho can have increased viewership ratings and once again show his effectiveness as a box office star.


There were tons of articles that came out the morning after Wednesdsay night’s first episode of My Girlfriend is a Gumiho; almost all were favorable both in terms of the ratings outcome and the drama production itself.  It seems that everyone understands that it’s not easy going up against the unexpected hit 44% ratings Baker King.  And evident in the above article, it’s really hard to not look upon SeungGi favorably.

Even as a SeungGi fan, I can admit that because SeungGi is so beloved in Korea by people of all ages, as well as within the entertainment industry, aside from the few critical articles here and there, a lot of the press seem to be pretty enamored with him as well.  And that is pretty typical in that celebs are associated with certain images early on and there are those that are generally well liked and others that are not.  And the above article, along with all the other articles and interviews about him, really get at why people can’t help but to not like Seung Gi.  Aside from his many other talents as a singer, actor, mc, cf star — his hard work ethic, humble/sincere attitude, and model image are his golden uhm-chin-ah traits highly coveted by Koreans.

And so with that said, now that we’re past the nervousness of episode 1 and we got to see how well-produced, well-acted, and well-scripted the drama, and we know for sure that ratings aside, the drama alone can stand as a proud piece of work…

I think it’s pretty fair to say that the ratings for the first episode for My Girlfriend is a Gumiho was definitely lower than expected.  Any fan with a pulse, if honest, can say that there was a mood of disappointment although not necessarily said publicly.  I did my best to focus on the positive aspect of the ratings, as did many of SeungGi’s other fans, as did the press in using the byline “2-digit viership ratings,” and even SeungGi when he tweeted…

sbschadaewoong (aka SeungGi)’s tweet #87 (Thursday morning)
(Eng translation: tryp96 tumblr)

Good morning~ Cheered up by everyone’s written words of support everywhere, filming of the first scene has wrapped up! Having a morning beer really uplifted my spirits. ^^ I’m still very lacking! I will try harder. By the time the drama ends, will we see everyone losing their mind over MGIG?

It is definitely true that the drama is going up against a goliath in Baker King and that the ratings are great for a first episode, but what makes it feel disappointing is that there was no “management of expectations” from Rep. Kwon and Hook Entertainment.  Exactly the reason why I’ve repeatedly said that I’d like her to go and revisit some basic Business school and Public Relations classes, or hire someone who can effectively do PR for SeungGi for the 21st century world!

This was felt even more because the drama had been so heavily promoted – Strong Heart special (which the show has not done for other dramas), the release of SeungGi’s OST track early on, the Cha Dae Woong (aka SeungGi) twitter feed, the annoying tweets from Captain Hook, and the overall initial buzz and anticipation for the drama.  So within this context, any smart company wouldn’t have spent their time tweeting in a manner as to build over-the-top expectatons.  Hello Captain Hook, your job is to manage expectations so that the outcomes are not displaced!

Again, I think it’s great that the drama was promoted and that for once Hook actually seemed to take an active role in that.  But once again, per usual, Captain Hook shows why she’s not ready to play in the big leagues… from the snafu with SeungGi having to change his twitter account losing a lot of initial followers, to her annoying tweets that didn’t sit well with many fans, and most of all, her inability to manage expectations.

I’m just pissed because per the article above, there’s been so much pressure on SeungGi to repeat his Brilliant Legacy ratings again with My Girlfriend is a Gumiho, and any thinking person knows that comparing the two is not really logical as they are different genres and occurred wtihin different contexts.  Thus, that’s the job of the management company to put out the talking points beforehand as to why the ratings anticipation and comparisons need to be held in check!

Thankfully, SeungGi like usual makes up for all of that by coming through and doing a great job in the drama. And with the drama overall being such a good production and well-received, SeungGi and fans can be super proud of this drama.  Even some of his over-the-top bits were still cute considering his character’s personality, but knowing SeungGi, he’s probably already monitored ep 1 and is working to make improvements. :)  Can’t wait to see episode 2!

SeungGi~~ Airens support you all the way!  Fighting!!

My Girlfriend is a Gumiho~~ Continued Daebak!!

8 Responses

  1. I’m ready for the D-Cut DVD of this drama…can i pay and reserved my copy first?? hahaha…

    My Girlfriend is a Gumiho, Fighting!!!
    Seung Gi -ah, Fighting!!!!

  2. omg yon, i was thinking the exact same thing after watching ep 1 like 3 times! and i’ll pay to get the real version too instead of some pirated cd!

    i’m totally surprised at how much i’m already loving this drama. Dae-Mi is just too cute and i see why they say they’re going to become a fave drama couple!

    makes me even think about putting aside my biases and checking out hong sisters you’re beautiful!

  3. ann…thanks for the translation..i’m reassured back again…I also watched the ep 1, 3 times now…its getting better each time…im ready for round two…yayyyyy~~

  4. Ann, thanks for the translation! Haha! I’m only on my 2 round on ep.1 but have to laugh quietly coz’ I was watching it in my office. haha! So I’m planning to watch 1 & 2 with chinese sub this weekend.

  5. seung gi ya fighting till d’ end!!

  6. yeah gurls i agree this drama is one of a kind hilarious..just like yon & ann i love to have them (DVD-copy w/eng sub) to land on my hand..

    DeMi couple is just adorable..

  7. Seung-gi fighting!! Don’t care about what others think! You’ve done a very good job! We’ll always support you!

  8. i love LEE SEUNG GI so much

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