Having proven onscreen chemistry will sometimes mean that k-drama actors get a second chance to sizzle. This year three k-drama couples that previously appeared in hit dramas had a reunion. The span of time that elapsed between their first and second dramas ranged from nine to 12 years.
Do reunion dramas work? Do they ever result in successful ratings?
So far only one of 2014’s reunions is airing and the ratings were half of the stars’ original drama.
“Hotel King” is a love story between an heiress, played by Lee Da Hae, trying to save a seven-star hotel and the hotel manager played by Lee Dong Wook. The pairing was much anticipated because the couple had previous onscreen success in “My Girl.” The 2005 drama “My Girl was about a poor girl who has to pretend to be cousins with a chaebol.” Average ratings for that drama were 24.9 percent but so far the “Hotel King” peaked at 11 percent. As the 32-episode drama began in April, there is still time to catch up.
It’s not the first time reunion ratings have been lower. In “You’re Beautiful” Jung Yong Hwa did not win Park Shin Hye even though he seemed like the nicer guy. Fans were pleased when he reunited with Park Shin Hye in “Heartstrings.” But despite his winning the girl in “Heartstrings,” “You’re Beautiful” won superior ratings. “You’re Beautiful reached a high of 10.9 percent as opposed to 7.1 for “Heartstrings.”
Viewers have to wait until July to see Jang Nara and Jang Hyuk reunited in “Fated To Love You.” But some have waited 12 years for the couple to reunite. They previously starred in the comedy “Successful Story of a Bright Girl.” She played a poor girl who becomes the servant of his rich brat character. She tries to teach him some manners and the results were hilarious. In “Fated To Love You,” which is a remake of a highly successful Taiwanese drama. “Fated To Love You” is another Cinderella sorty about an ordinary girl who meets the perfect man and just happens to be perfect for him.
It has been 11 years since Choi Ji Woo and Kwon Sang Woo became Hallyu stars in the hit drama “Stairway to Heaven.” That 2003 drama had average ratings of 38.8 percent and reached 45.3 for the final episode. The stars will reunite in this summer’s drama “Temptation.” He plays a married man with debt. She’s the woman who wants to pay off his debt in exchange for his body. What are the odds that “Temptation” will reach the ratings of “Stairway to Heaven?” It could happen.
“The Joseon Gunman,” which begins June 18, also features two actors who previously worked together. Lee Jun Ki and Nam Sang Mi appeared in the 2007 action thriller “The Time Between Dog and Wolf.”
The drama had average ratings of 15.2 percent. Rather than play characters in a present day setting, the actors will find themselves in a story set in the late years of the Joseon Dynasty. He will play a man who forsakes the sword and takes up the gun. But can their reunion raise the ratings?
Which onscreen couples would you like to see reunite?