A little over a half way into The King: Eternal Monarch, this thought-to-be a mega hit K-Drama now continues to drop in viewer rating.
Averaging between 6-8% per episode, and receiving some sort of viewer criticism after each one, K-Drama fans are cautiously calling it “The end of the screenwriter Kim Eun Sook‘s reign.”
- “You know, Kim Eun Sook is a named screenwriter who can pump out series that get over 20%. So… the fact that The King: Eternal Monarch is averaging 6-8 shows it’s the end of her era. Even her most loyal fans are turning their backs. It’s over.”
- “It’s a failure, there is no arguing that. The product placements are ridiculous. I can’t imagine what the international fans will think of it when they watch on Netflix.”
- “The series flopped. There are too many characters, with too little background. The plot is all over the place. And at most, I can accept Lee Min Ho’s acting. The rest, like Jung Eun Chae and Woo Do Hwan… It’s mind blowing. How are they even cast? Their characters are literally bouncing off the walls.”
- “The screenwriter, the director, and the cast have all failed this series. This isn’t a slip. This is a colossal flop and everyone involved deserves the critique.”
- “The whole parallel universe thing has been quite the stretch. And all the characters playing two roles? It’s a greedy series…”
- “… There is no way this series could have done well. There is absolutely no chemistry between the lead roles. They all suck at acting too.”
And to this unexpected public response, Korean drama producers and TV critics have chimed in — pointing out that “No amount of money can force a drama to be successful.”
Both screenwriter Kim Eun Sook and actor Lee Min Ho come with high price tags. They’re, per se, ‘Tier S’ figures in the Korean drama world. But the result of their teamwork has clearly not been worth any of the money that went in.
— Industry Insider to Hankyung News
The King: Eternal Monarch is estimated to have cost over 25 million US dollars to produce as a whole. With the cost for each episode marked to be around 1.5 to 2 million US dollars, it may be concerning that the series is struggling.
An anonymous K-Drama insider shared, though, “Speaking solely of the numbers, the producers of The King: Eternal Monarch is not necessarily losing any money.” The insider suggested, “Selling the title to SBS and Netflix has actually paid off most of the production costs already.”
Unfortunately, as the insider commented, “The more concerning aspect should be that such an influential screenwriter and a top tier actor have come together to only put out such a disappointing result.”
The King: Eternal Monarch‘s failure is inevitably going to change things for all future K-Drama productions.
— Industry Insider to Hankyung News
To its defense, viewers who have been and still are loyal to The King: Eternal Monarch snapped back at the harsh reviews — and claimed “There is nothing more rash about labeling something a failure when it still has weeks more left to go.”
- “Yes, Kim Eun Sook wrote a half as*ed one this time. But stop mocking her, for f*ck’s sake. People can’t be perfect. Some of us are still watching and supporting.”
- “I don’t know, am I the only one who has a blast watching the series? To call it a flop is kind of rash, isn’t it? The series has 3 weeks left to air, guys.”
- “Um… Thanks for calling my favorite series a failure. What a heartbreak.”
- “If you don’t like it, stop watching it. Kim Eun Sook tried her best and the cast are putting out their best efforts. Way to be supportive for your industry, Mr. Insider.”
- “Who are these producers? Why are they bashing their own colleague?”
To read more about The King: Eternal Monarch‘s “struggles“, check out the series’s latest viewer criticism below.