The King: Eternal Monarch was perhaps one of the most anticipated dramas that were going to hit the screens in Korea, especially during the time of the pandemic. However, as most of us know today, a majority of us have not even heard about this drama, and we don’t even know what it is about. So why is something that was so anticipated now depressed under a pile of rubble? Why is it that the show did not perform to the standards that might have been expected of it. There are usually major reasons for something like this to happen. Sometimes there is a lot of false advertising, while at other times, it simply doesn’t work because of the expectations of the audience.
But perhaps the reasons behind the disappointing performance of The King: Eternal Monarch are deeper than that. How many of you here are fans of romance and drama? If you have come so far into this article, I think it is rudimentary to assume that you have at least some sort of investment into the genre, and if that is the case, then you would probably be able to tell what the real problem here is. But for that, you are going to need to watch the show. Now many of you might ask why I am recommending an unsuccessful show to you. But you must also remember that not every unpopular show is bad, and that there are a lot of shows which are actually hidden gems. So give this one a shot based on that. In the meanwhile, let us get into the real reasons for the failure of the show.
The King: Eternal Monarch: About The Show
The King: Eternal Monarch is a romantic drama, much like the many other romantic dramas out there, but with a Korean twist to it, and the fact that it involves the union of two people who may not be the best fit for each other, especially considering that they get in the way of each other, and might not be the best for each other’s plans. Written by the legendary show writer Kim Eun-sook, who is famous for her work on Goblin, or more famously in the international world, Descendants of the Sun. Kim has made quite the name for herself and done some really amazing collaborations over the years, and so, people were rightly very curious about this latest project from the writer, with a lot of expectations from it.
The show follows the story of a budding romance between two people who don’t even belong in the same room. The show revolves around the Korean emperor Lee Gon and the detective Jeong Tae-eul, who is out to protect her people and will eventually go against anything to save them. The two are a duo to reckon with, but they are not the most smooth gliding ones. The show follows a story that is as modern as it is old fashioned, and proceeds to tell a story of unlikely love. It is one that is definitely going to appeal to fans of old fashioned romantic movies, and those who appreciated the era of the 90s. It just has that particular vibe, and it is really hard to shrug it off.
Kim Eun-sook didn’t go easy with this project, and decided to get back together with fellow stars Lee Min-ho, who is quite a famous actor and known for his roles in Legend of the Blue Sea, Boys Over Flowers, and one that you might all have heard of, City Hunter. Needless to say, Lee has a stellar career behind him and came back for one more gig with his fellow writer. On the other hand, Kim also hired another one of her fellow actors for the role of Jeong. She got together with Kim Go-eun, a fellow star on the famous show Goblin, and proceeded on her new adventure with The King: Eternal Monarch. While people were particularly pleased about the presence of Lee on the show, the same couldn’t be said about Kim Go-eun, mainly due to the bad popularity that she gained over the course of her work on Goblin.
Why The King: Eternal Monarch Failed
Now, given that everything looked so good for the show, many might be wondering what exactly happened that the show flopped so hard. And the answer is not so simple. You see, before the show came out, the marketing for the show was really good and the teasers too were received with a lot of love and appreciation by the people. The show seemed to show no signs of being a flop, and the audiences were just loving it for what they had seen so far. However, after the show debuted on the network, it failed to garner enough viewership and the audience response was generally lukewarm. The show did not break any records and Netflix was really disappointed by its performance given the initial audience reaction to the teaser.
One reason seems to be that that the audiences were really excited about the return of the prolific writer with yet another great show, and so the expectations from the show were really high, except that they started working detrimentally to its success. Another seems to the be the fact that those who had watched the Goblin were not particularly pleased with the return of Kim Go-eun at first. They didn’t see her as worthy of playing a main character in the show and hence wrote her off. The actress did prove the people wrong with her performance in the show, but the bias against her could have definitely have had an impact on the initial performance of the show, putting a lot of people off from it before it even began. This is really not fair, but it is just the way it is.
The show seemed to have a good retention rate, with people generally watching it through to the end, but the growth rate for the show was quite abysmal and showed that the show wasn’t something that was particularly special in the grand scheme of things. Viewers complained about the prominent product placement and the genericity of it all. And it should be said that these things can definitely take away from the experience. Other criticisms included that the show was a rehash of Kim’s work that she had done before and there was definitely a repetition of patterns here. I think that is something that is really important to consider and could definitely have been a factor for the failure of the show.
In my own opinion though, the show is one that is really good and most people would enjoy it for what it is. In fact, the show has gone on to garner an international audience that appreciates it a lot more than the Korean audience, which is not usually the case. The show has been enjoying a healthy international viewership on Netflix and the people have really been enjoying watching it too, as is evident from the reviews and ratings that poured in from outside Korea. Perhaps there is a sort of cultural disconnect here, but whatever it is, the show is worth a shot despite all the negative press that it got.
The King: Eternal Monarch: Final Words
The King: Eternal Monarch is a show that I really liked, and despite the fact that it did not do well with the local audiences, I think that it is one that should definitely be on your list of TV shows to watch this year. Fans of romance and drama will feel at home with this, and so will fans of Korean dramas.
The King: Eternal Monarch is currently streaming on Netflix. You may check it out at the following link:
The show currently holds a rating of 8.3 out of 10 on IMDb, based on multiple user reviews. IMDb is our preferred platform for all movies and TV shows.
You may watch the trailer for the show here:
What are your thoughts on the show? Do you like it? Do you think that the show deserved more popularity? Or do you think that the negative press was well deserved? Let me know all your thoughts in the comments down below.
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