SBS pinned high hopes on Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo following in the tradition of its popular predecessor Doctors. However, poor ratings marred the period K-drama since it debuted last August 30. Consequently, it questioned the talent of some cast members as the likely cause behind it.
Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo offered a different theme from Doctors. SBS likely hoped the change would catch the attention of viewers. Set in the 10th century, the story of a 21st century woman going back in time could very well attract even those without an interest in history.
Moreover, it cast two popular K-pop stars who would certainly draw in fans. However, did this move of SBS to get singers Lee Ji-eun or IU to play the lead female role and EXO K-Pop member Baekhyun to play Eun, the 10th prince, backfire?
The response from viewers after only a few episodes is not as favorable as hoped. The reviews posted at Netizen Buzz following the pilot episode offered mixed reactions to both. One comment questioned the continued casting of IU as a lead star given her acting. Another viewer pleaded to have writers trim down the dialogue of Baekhyun. allkpop also noted the advice from fans for both singers to stick to singing.
Could there be hope for Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo after all this? Perhaps there is. Along with the criticism of IU and Baekhyun, Lee Jun Ki received high praises for his acting as the fourth prince. Yet would this be enough to save the period K-drama?
“Please do something about IU’s eyeliner ㅋㅋ is this really a historical drama? Everyone is so bad aside from Lee Jun Ki,” commented by Netizen Buzz.
The period K-drama is not the only series whose ratings are down. Even the KBS drama Uncontrollably Fond was also met with a lukewarm response. The acting of its female lead might have come into question. However, relevant sources noted the worn-out storyline could be a major factor.