Why ‘Love Rain’ Failed to Relate to Its Viewers
KBS2’s new drama Love Rain, which stars the big hallyu names Jang Keun Suk and Yoona, is in danger of becoming a drama solely for overseas sale. The drama aired its first episode on March 26, and despite its top star stacked deck, it managed a mere 5.8 percent (AGB Nielsen Media Research) viewership rating, falling flat among the time slot’s other dramas. The number doesn’t even reach the 6.6 percent of the last episode of its predecessor Dream High 2.
Especially as Love Rain was produced by the hallyu producer Yoon Suk Ho, the man behind the popular four season series, many were looking forward to seeing a high quality drama.
The curtain finally rose, but the drama was abandoned with the evaluation that it was a vague piece that failed to relate to both the old and new generation.
Love Rain boasted it would be an analogue and traditional melodrama.
Producer Yoon Suk Ho aimed to revive the pure emotions that more recent generations never get to feel by drawing out a 1970s analogue and retro sensitivity. His attempt, however, came to be a failure.
Viewers showed they were let down, saying, ‘It’s just like a 70s tear-jerker’, ‘I think I’ve seen this before somewhere’ and ‘Even my mom could guess what was going to happen next’.
The reactions were completely different from how the film Sunny was received, as last year it succeeded in bringing together the old and new generation with a retro code, and also the evaluations of the more recent Architecture 101, which marked a success in the box office with a 90s mood that channeled the pureness of first love.
They’re all about the same analogue, retro and first love themes; why were they received so differently?
First of all, viewers pointed out that the story was too slow and was too centered on producing beautiful videos. Sunny and Architecture 101 quickly alternated between the past and the present, arousing the curiosity of their audience like the compact 100 minute pieces of art they were supposed to be, but Love Rain talked for a long hour about how the two leads continued to run into each other on campus and slowly fell in love with each other.
Viewers already used to disastrous and speedy stories said, ‘We know it’s supposed to be a nice drama, but it’s too slow’.
The characters also failed to reach the hearts of their viewers. The female lead was too wishy-washy, and the male lead was too timid, hiding his emotions and sulking over it by himself, making viewers feel suffocated by the lack of action.
In Ha (Jang Keun Suk) falls in love with Yoon Hee (Yoona) while he helps her avoid the rain with an umbrella he found, but he never confesses his love for her. He even gives her up when his friend Dong Wook (Kim Si Hoo) says he likes her.
This type of love will never draw any emotion from the new generation, while the older generations are already immersed in MBC’s Light and Shadow, which is about show business in the 70s, making them reluctant to turn their channels to Love Rain.
Love Rain could make a comeback by grabbing the attention of viewers when the story is passed to the sons and daughters of In Ha and Yoon Hee. More viewers could also fall for producer Yoon Suk Ho’s brand of slow stories and video-centered scenes.
It is true, however, that the results don’t live up to the name of a hallyu drama starring Jang Keun Suk and Yoona. As these two are hallyu stars who won many awards for their acting and for which viewers hold no doubt about their acting skills, the results are all the more disappointing. Whether Love Rain will become a mere overseas publication right selling drama is yet to be seen.
Its competitors, MBC’s Light and Shadow and SBS’ Fashion King, each scored 20.6 percent and 9.2 percent in viewership ratings.
Photo credit: KBS