The dismal reception of Scarlet Heart Ryeo is in stark contrast to the favorable reviews of its lead star Lee Joon Gi’s acting. Yet can he single-handedly improve the period K-drama’s ratings despite his own struggles with his character?

Alas, the ratings of Scarlet Heart Ryeo have yet to improve since its debut. It would appear casting popular K-Pop celebrities in key roles backfired, hence the number of viewer criticisms about the acting of IU and Baekhyun. Nevertheless, the period K-drama has a silver lining in fan favorite Lee Joon Gi. The actor plays the role of the fourth prince. The mask his character wears is integral to his story.

However, it also became bothersome for him so much so he experienced dizziness during certain scenes. Yet the challenge presented by the mask did not discourage him. Instead, he endeavored to adapt as quickly as possible to be able to convey his character best to the audience.

“More than anything, the key point was figuring out how to adjust and communicate Wang So’s emotions to the viewers using my eyes. If I put too much intensity behind my eyes, it could cover Wang So’s story or his pain, and so I put effort in finding the boundaries,” Lee Joon Gi revealed. His efforts are not in vain, as audiences continue to praise him for his performance, according to Soompi.

However, their appreciation has yet to translate into favorable ratings for Scarlet Heart Ryeo. Thus, SBS failed to duplicate the success of Doctors with their latest period K-drama offering. Then again, the network’s poor viewership rankings in Korea might be a trade-off for its resounding profit in the Chinese market. Apparently, international fans love the show. Hence, it would seem not all is lost for Scarlet Heart Ryeo.

Can the international profit earned by Scarlet Heart Ryeo  make up for its poor national TV ratings?