When "The King: Eternal Monarch" was first announced, the widely anticipated return project for Lee Min-ho following the end of his mandatory military service was expected to easily dominate the spring season of dramas. The arrival of COVID-19 seemed to virtually guarantee this, as live shot dramas couldn't hope to compete with the preproduced "The King: Eternal Monarch". But "The World of the Married" is now seeding doubts to this apparent inevitability.
With its latest episode cracking 18% ratings, "The World of the Married" is already well on its way to outperforming "Crash Landing on You", another high-powered high concept drama with major stars. Kim Hee-ae of "The World of the Married" is, by contrast, well-known, but in her forties and several years removed from her latest hit. The concept of "The World of the Married" is also a relatively simple one, dealing with two spouses in a furious struggle of mutual revenge.
"The King: Eternal Monarch", with its younger, more marketable stars and highly fanciful fantasy premise of multiple worlds and demons, is about as far removed from "The World of the Married" as is reasonably possible. How the two dramas will coexist in the market is a mystery. It's possible that the target audiences for the two are so different there may not be much direct competition for viewers. However, the metrics will inevitably crown one or the other a winner.
The long-term success of either drama is not necessarily assured. "The World of the Married" could lose viewers should its story take an undesirable turn, and "The King: Eternal Monarch" could easily fail to live up to its own extreme hype. But for now, a massive clash between the two dramas seems inevitable when "The King: Eternal Monarch" begins airing this coming Friday on April 17th.
Written by William Schwartz
"The King: Eternal Monarch" is directed by Baek Sang-hoon, Jung Ji-hyun, written by Kim Eun-sook, and features Lee Min-ho, Kim Go-eun, Woo Do-hwan, Kim Kyung-nam-II, Jung Eun-chae, Lee Jung-jin. Broadcasting information in Korea: 2020/04/17~Upcoming, Fri, Sat 22:00 on SBS.
"The World of the Married" is directed by Mo Wan-il, written by Joo Hyeon-I, and features Kim Hee-ae, Park Hae-joon, Han So-hee, Park Sun-young, Kim Young-min, Chae Gook-hee. Broadcasting information in Korea: 2020/03/27~Now airing, Fri, Sat 23:00 on jTBC.
Staff writer. Has been writing articles for HanCinema since 2012, having lived in South Korea since 2011. Started out in Gyeongju, then to Daegu, then to Ansan, then to Yeongju, then to Seoul, lived on the road for HanCinema's travel diaries series in the summer of 2016, and is currently settled in Anyang. Has good tips for utilizing South Korea's public bus system. William Schwartz can be contacted via email@example.com.
"[HanCinema's News] "The King: Eternal Monarch" to Face Unexpected Competition From "The World of the Married""
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