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"Great Temptation" Becomes the Lowest Rated K-Drama on MBC -- Will Its Unpopularity Affect Joy's Acting Career?
On Tuesday, April 9, 2018, Great Temptation, a melodramatic thriller airing on the Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), has become the lowest rated K-drama in the network's history.
According to the Korean television ratings provided by AGB Nielsen Korea, the 18th episode received a rating of 1.6 percent for the nation and 1.8 percent for the Seoul National Capital Area. It should also be reported that out of all K-dramas airing the same time as Great Temptation, it is in last place when compared to K-dramas airing on MBC's biggest competitors, Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) and Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS).
Historically, Great Temptation is now second in lowest rated K-dramas of all time. According to Allkpop, Manhole is the lowest rated K-drama of all time. The KBS K-drama airing back in 2017 recieved a record low viewership rating of 1.4 percent.
Why are viewership ratings so important for K-dramas?
Video-on-demand streaming sites have played a major role in increasing the popularity of K-dramas exponentially outside of Korea. However, domestic viewership ratings of a K-drama is the single most important factor in income for networks and all associated with a K-drama. The higher the viewership, the higher potential for sponsorship and investment. This in turn means more money for everyone involved.
When it comes to Great Temptation, the K-drama actually has all the makings of a popular K-drama as the plot concept has been very successful in past K-dramas. Starring Woo Do-hwan and Joy, it is about three heirs who are known for creating trouble especially to those around them. Kwon Shi-hyun (Do-hwan) bets his life to seduce Eun Tae-hee (Joy) to please the woman he claims to love, the revenge-seeking Choi Soo-ji. The only problem is, Eun Tae-hee believes people that are swayed by love are pathetic. After Eun Tae-hee meets Kwon Shi-hyun, her views on love start to shift. But when Kwon Shi-hyun starts to reciprocate those feelings, things get even messier.
With the backing of one of the major three Korean public networks, Great Temptation should have at least been decent in viewership. So what happened?
K-netizens blame Joy's acting for the K-drama's unpopularity
Many K-netizens watching Great Temptation have expressed their opinion that Joy's acting is the reason why the K-drama is failing. According to Koogle, Joy recieved harsh criticism for her "mediocre" acting. Critics claim her tone, expression, and gestures seem unnatural. They also say because of Joy's acting, it makes watching the Great Temptation "very disturbing."
The fact that K-netizens are criticizing Joy for her acting means she showed very little progress from her first lead role as Yoon So-rim her last K-drama, The Liar and His Lover.
The only difference between The Liar and His Lover and Great Temptation is that the former is recognized as a success domestically. Even though the viewership for The Liar and His Lover was between one to three percent per episode, it aired on the Total Variety Network (tvN), a Korean cable or pay network. Great Temptation is currently airing on a public or free-to-watch network. In general, viewership for K-dramas on the former are usually lower than those on the latter.
K-netizens claim Joy's acting is unnatural. For international fans, do you agree with them or not?
What's next for "Great Temptation" and Joy from this point onward?
Great Temptation has some time to really bring up its viewership rating. It still has 12 more episodes to air over the course of six weeks. As for Joy, this time period presents and opportunity to show improvement in her acting too. However, it is also possible that within that time period that Great Temptation will continue to drop in viewership and/or Joy will show no improvement in her acting.
For Joy, if her acting career doesn't work, she can at least depend on being a K-pop idol for Red Velvet. They are one of the most popular K-pop acts in the industry today. And just recently, they made headlines with the release of their latest album The Perfect Red Velvet featuring hit songs "Peek-a-Boo" and "Bad Boy."
Great Temptation is also known as Tempted, The Great Tempter, and The Great Seducer. It is currently airing on MBC on Mondays and Tuesdays at 10 p.m. KST. Viewers in the United States can watch it on Rakuten Viki.