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The King 2 Hearts: Real-time vs Official average rating??!!

I really tried not to care about ratings after Ep 2, but when I first saw the official rating listed as 14.5% on AGB Nielsen, that it dropped 2% points, my heart sank.  Was super busy and hadn’t even watched TK2H Ep 3 at that point.  I didn’t get it because the response after Ep 3 from fans, netizens and the press afterward almost unanimously was major DAEBAK, especially the acting and chemistry.  So WTF?!  Well, then I saw the real-time ratings…

I watched Ep 3, checking when the dips in viewership occurred (omg is that way too stats nerdy?!) Based on the real-time ratings graph, it appears viewers turn away when:  1) Crazy magician guy BongKu appears. 2) Jaeha-Hanga are in danger.

Are we really that surprised?  See red asterisks/comments indicating the dips.

I’m sure the production team has already noted this, as it’s pretty obvious based on the green line pattern over time.  This is not a diss to BongKu’s acting (he’s definitely doing a great job of creeping all of us out!).  And the intense bomb action scenes are suspenseful.

This suggests the average Kdrama viewer (rom-com liking, older female; not trying to be sexist or ageist!) wants to change channels when Bongku appears (it’s scary) and when our beloved couple is in danger (it’s too saddening).  And turn back a few minutes later, hoping we get to see our Jaeha-Hangah and the cast being happy or fighting (because we know they really love each other), or kissing~~~!!!



I can totally attest to this phenomena, having watched dramas with my mom and her friends.  Omg, whenever a scene comes on that they don’t like because it’s some scary dude or situation, they turn to the other Kdrama channel briefly, and then check back to see if said scene is over!

Plus, with the amazing Jaeha-Hangah chemistry EVERYONE’s been raving about, it’s hard not to want our main couple, or at least one of them on screen most of the time… and being cute together, whether fighting or being in love.  One of the reasons fans are hoping for change of scenery to the palace very soon (with Jaeha and Hangah and the cast in royal and modern chic fashion and setting).

Hehehe… (fanmade images)…

This doesn’t mean TK2H is perfect.  Aside from the PD and writer’s dilemma in properly inserting and telling the story of madman magician Bongku, the editing has bothered me since Ep 2, which I already mentioned.  Like cutting short great scenes, while unnecessarily drawing out other ones.  Hope to see adjustments made asap.  We all know ratings is NOT everything, that it should be about the acting and the quality of the project, but unfortunately ratings DO dictate/control the public media narrative.

Black comedy romantic genre for K-dramas (versus K-films) is not the easiest sell, even with Ha Jiwon and Seunggi starring.  I mentioned in previous post how I was just happy the ratings came in first for Eps 1 and 2.  This type of offbeat genre and storyline are not the usual, more conservative K-viewers’ cup of tea; this kind of genre/topic stuffs tends to be more K-film fare.

But aside from the viewership dips, the bigger question I had was…

How did TK2H end up with an official average 14.5% ratings when the real-time ratings stayed above the 15% line throughout Ep 3, minus the first 5 mins?!

I didn’t watch the live stream.  But K-fans said TK2H Ep 3 started earlier or was shorter than previous eps and compared to the other dramas airing at the same time slot.  (sorta like why with Sunday variety show ratings, you see higher ratings compared to official listings, when time slots and commercials are accounted for).  The real-time ratings suggest that could be the reason.

Anyway, with all that said… there’s always room for improvement all around.  And since we know the team is ahead in filming schedule, hope to see them spend some major time on better effective editing (which makes all the difference!) and tying in the other stories better to the main Jaeha-Hangah love story.

Watched Ep 3 again, and LOL’d again like crazy!  I’m so in love with this drama, Jaeha-Hangah, and cast.  And of course, pissed off, cussing Actor Lee Seunggi.  And of course the much needed jealousy of a third person, Shikyung, in the mix with Jaeha and Hangah.  Can’t wait to see the 3 of them and Jaeshin all living in the palace soon!

Can’t wait for Ep 4 to air~~~!!!!



Images: MBC, DCLSG, LSGfan

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5 Responses

  1. That’s an interesting graph. Maybe the producer will learn from it and not end the show earlier than the competitors LOL. yesterday the king 2 hearts ended early than rooftop prince which resulted in 2%. and rise in rooftop prince ratings.hope the producers realize their mistake and end the drama on same time

  2. Thank you so much for this post, Ann and your detailed analysis about the rating. May I ask how does the rating system work? Do TNS Media & AGB Nielsen calculate the rating from a particular timeslot (ie. for this case, from 10PM – 11.10PM KST)? Because if that’s the case, it explains the reason why TK2H rating dropped below 15%. In around 11.03PM, the rating dipped from 17% to almost 5% so if they calculate the average rating from 10 – 11.10PM, of course the rating would fall below 15%.

    Honestly, episode 3 was great. About the chemistry of Seunggi & Jiwon, I lurked into few drama sites and most of the viewers say that the reason they watch TK2H is because of the sizzling chemistry of Seunggi & Jiwon. The unique brave sensitive black comedy storyline is also the main selling point of TK2H. I hope the writer will look at the rating trend and even though this is a black comedy drama, maybe they can cut down BK scene until we have real reason to really hate his character (at the moment, we have enough introduction of his crazy character).

  3. Thanks for the analysis Ann. I have to say it’s kind of difficult to understand the reaction though. I like the ‘bomb mill’ segment very much and think it was done just right – not too melodramatic or indulgent but setting up the first mutual understanding & togetherness between JH and HA very well. It did not occur to me that people would turn away when they were afraid for the fate of the hero/heroine. (They should know that nothing dreadful would befall the leads with so many more episodes to go!) Anyway, I decide to just enjoy the ride, since worrying about ratings does not help at all. And TK2H is so enjoyable too. Can’t wait for ep. 4.

  4. I have to admit that this episode is better than yesterday’s episode! this drama is surely getting more intense! they even pointed guns to each other! I got the screenshot pretty quick from http://www.vingle.net/posts/3135-The-King-2-Hearts-Episode-4-Screenshots-Part-1

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