While "True Beauty" has attracted the bulk of recent attention in its inaugural release as a drama based on a webtoon, "The Uncanny Counter" has slowly built itself into a sleeper hit. From a modest ratings premiere of 2.7%, "The Uncanny Counter" had ratings of 7.7% in its most recent episode. Fans have been impressed with the supernaturally themed drama's characterization and overall structure, despite "The Uncanny Counter" superficially falling into team-based superhero tropes.
The contrast with "True Beauty" is particularly striking because while "True Beauty" has been well-liked by fans of the webtoon and the target 10-20 something demographic, elsewhere response to the drama has been tepid. While "The Uncanny Counter" jumped 1.5% in ratings from its first to second episode, "True Beauty" only improved by .05%. The embrace by "True Beauty" of genre clichés where "The Uncanny Counter" wove around has limited the drama's reach.
Both dramas are indicative of the different kinds of successes and approaches employed in the South Korean drama industry in recent years. Indeed, while much criticism of "True Beauty" has described the drama as antiquated and relying heavily on old-fashioned flower boy tropes, this trend is only passé in a critical sense. Few recent dramas have engaged with these tropes despite the undeniable popularity of the pretty flower boy archetype.
Written by William Schwartz
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. He also has a substack at williamschwartz.substack.com where he discusses the South Korean film industry in broader terms and takes suggestions for future movies to review.
"[HanCinema's News] "The Uncanny Counter" and "True Beauty" Show Dueling Visions for Cable Dramas"
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[HanCinema's News] Director Kim Yang-seob Commentary Released for "True Beauty"
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