Snubbed in Seoul: 8 flop K-dramas that became huge Netflix hits | Web Series - Hindustan Times
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Snubbed in Seoul: Nevertheless to Hwarang, 8 flop K-dramas that became huge Netflix hits

ByAditi Srivastava
Jan 21, 2024 02:15 PM IST

Hwarang, Nevertheless, True beauty and more: K-dramas that found success on Netflix

In the world of K-dramas, there's a special kind of flop: shows that send global audiences into a frenzy while leaving their domestic turf completely unimpressed. From the sizzling romance of Nevertheless to the historical spectacle of Hwarang, these dramas were met with lukewarm shrugs in Korea, only to explode in popularity on streaming platforms like Netflix drawing in a million crowd. Here are the top 8 K-dramas that were snubbed in their home country but became a major hit on the OTT platform.

Netflix K-dramas flopped in Korea but became hits globally(Netflix)
Netflix K-dramas flopped in Korea but became hits globally(Netflix)

Netflix K-dramas flopped in Korea but became global hits

Also read: Canceled: Netflix axes second seasons for popular K-dramas; Is your fav on the list?

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Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth

Situated in the ancient Silla kingdom of Korea, Hwarang narrates the tale of a select group of young men training to serve as the king's guardians and trusted companions.

Despite featuring a star-studded cast with Park Hyung Sik, Park Seo Joon, Go A Ra, Shinee’s Minho, and BTS’ V, these K-dramas initially faced domestic market failure. However, following the international success of BTS and the surge in popularity of K-dramas, global fans discovered this hidden gem and let fly Hwarang to become a Netflix hit.

Nevertheless

Starring Han So Hee and Song Kang in the leading roles Nevertheless follows the story of Na Bi, a college student who gets cheated on by her older boyfriend. She gets tangled with Jae, a charming bad boy who only wants to play. The duo despite discovering red flags in the relationship keeps getting drawn to each other. The show became a major hit on Netflix and Song Kang’s charm exploded, however in the domestic market it was met with backlash owing to its excessive skinship.

Tempted

Titled Love Game: The Great Seduction in South Korea, the narrative unfolds as a tale of revenge transforming into a love story. The official synopsis of the show reads, “Love is just a game for Chaebol heir who agrees to a petty bet with his friends to seduce a college student - until he starts to fall for her.” Featuring Woo Do Hwan, Park Soo Young, Kim Min Jae, Joy, and Moon Ga Young, the series faced disappointment in South Korea. Yet, when Netflix rebranded it as Tempted, the show transformed into a major success.

Also read: My Demon ending explained: Did Song Kang & Kim Yoo Jung cheat hell for a happy ending?

Uncontrollably fond

Boasting an exceptional ensemble including Kim Woo Bin and Lim Ju Hwan, the show was initially poised to be a major success. Uncontrollably Fond tells the story of two former lovers who reunite in the later stages of life, with the male lead being a successful actor and the female lead a documentary filmmaker. Despite the initial anticipation, the series faced a drop in ratings among Korean viewers. However, it went on to achieve substantial success in Asia, ultimately becoming the most-viewed K-Drama in the region.

True beauty

The K-drama featuring Chae Eun Woo and Moon Ga Young experienced an unexpected boost in ratings and viewership after its release on Netflix. Centered around the challenges of South Korea's beauty standards and the fight against racism, the series resonated with a global audience, leading to a surge in demand for Astro's Cha Eun Woo in the K-drama industry. However, despite its international success, the show faced disappointment in South Korea.

It's Okay to Not Be Okay

It's Okay to Not Be Okay is credited with paving the way for several previously unsuccessful K-dramas on Netflix, transforming them into hits. Featuring Kim Soo Hyun as Moon Gang Tae and Seo Yea Ji as Ko Moon-young, the series sought to bring attention to mental health issues and earned acclaim as a therapeutic K-drama. Despite its international success, the show encountered a substantial setback in South Korea, marked by notably low ratings. Many fans claimed that Kim So Hyun’s acting seemed forced.

Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo

Do you like Messi? Ask any K-drama fan and they will instantly name what K-drama we are talking about. As much as this Nam Joo Hyuk and Lee Sung Kung’s K-drama resonated with global fans it failed to impress the domestic fans. The synopsis of the show reads, “A coming-of-age story about a group of college athletes who are fighting for their dreams, experiencing and finding love in the process, and growing every step of the way.” Many South Korean fans found the series unrealistic making it hit the lowest 4.9 rating.

Welcome To Waikiki

Welcome To Waikiki is a delightful and heartwarming comedy that follows the journey of three friends trying to manage a guest house. While international fans found solace and enjoyment in the series, providing a welcome escape from their daily routines, the reception was not as positive among domestic viewers. The show received a low rating of 1.7, marking it as one of the least favorably ranked K-dramas.

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