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[HanCinema's News] "The Uncanny Counter" and "True Beauty" Show Dueling Visions for Cable Dramas

2020/12/14

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.

"True Beauty" and "The Uncanny Counter" also demonstrate increasing focus on cable dramas having preeminence, or at the very least parity, with their broadcast equivalents.

Written by William Schwartz

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