The Reasons Why “Melting Me Softly” Failed To Get Good Ratings In South Korea

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“Melting Me Softly” is a topic of interest to me, hence, why I am covering many stories about this drama. A good reason for that is my love for Ji Chang Wook.

I was interested in how his first drama post-military service does in South Korea, and hint… it’s doing well, AT ALL.

I can argue that it’s his lowest-performing drama in years since he gained massive popularity with the huge success of “Empress Ki.”





While Ji Chang Wook dramas following “Empress Ki” didn’t do amazingly in South Korea in terms of ratings, they still pulled good ratings, enough to make a hallyu star out of him. His fans adore him and would literally watch everything that has his face in it, me being one of those fans.

Today, I’d like to discuss with you guys the reasons why “Melting Me Softly” failed to live up to expectations and why it failed to get good ratings in South Korea.

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As the title reads, this article is obviously subjective and it’s about my own thoughts on this drama, take this with a grain of salt and if you mind people expressing critical opinions, please don’t proceed to read this article.

“Melting Me Softly” had rather lackluster ratings up until this point of the article writing. It’s safe to say that it’ll continue to waver around the 1-2% for the remaining of its run time.

“Melting Me Softly” started out with okay ratings and actually began to climb up and reached its highest 3.2% with its 4th episode but it’s been on a downhill ride ever since, it dropped below the 3% and continues to waver around the 1% and 2% ever since with its Sunday episodes doing better than its Saturday episodes.

Back in the day, 2% was considered great for Korean cable dramas. With the rise of tvN, OCN and JTBC, the norm became 4-6%, and these days there are many cable dramas that even surpass the 15% in viewership ratings and top its timeslot despite competition from free channels such as MBC, SBS, and KBS.





This is why “Melting Me Softly” ratings are considered lackluster because many had higher expectations and considering the shifting trend towards cable dramas and Ji Chang Wook massive popularity, many expected better, including me.

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But why did this happen? Here are some of the reason I came up with:

The competition

The weekend drama timeslot is extremely competitive, that’s when everyone is fighting for your eyeballs and people in South Korea can’t focus on million things at once, naturally.

MBC’s “Golden Garden” airs at the same timeslot and it’s been getting good ratings. Around the same timeslot [close to it], we have JTBC “My Country,” the hit blockbuster drama “Vagabond” and many other interesting dramas and TV shows.

People have many choices to pick from, they have the heavy sageuk drama, the blockbuster action drama “Vagabond” and they have family dramas to pick from as well.

When compared, “Melting Me Softly” isn’t anything too special. While; as I had previously written; I believe the core idea is very interesting and worth exploring, the writer definitely didn’t try to take advantage of the possibilities.

The slow start

“Melting Me Softly” could be in the eyes of some very intriguing and I understand why, but I think we can agree, to a certain extent, that the drama could’ve progressed faster.

As I had previously told you, episode 3 and 4 saw good rise in ratings but after that, the drama was continuously declining and it never managed to get back up.

The reason is; in my opinion; the slow start. Episode 1 and 2 of any drama are supposed to lay down the foundation for what’s to come, episode 3 and 4 should usually give us an indication of drama direction, the issue is, “Melting Me Softly” never gave away that in episode 3 and 4. Instead, it ponders on itself and creates unnecessary filler scenes that if subtracted wouldn’t influence the plot in any shape or form. The plot didn’t progress at the most crucial time.

At a time when the writer should’ve been trying her best to capture the audience attention, she instead did nothing to help with that but instead drove them away.

Audience attention span is very short; it’s just the reality of TV these days. You need to provide instant gratification and justification for your drama to exist; episode 1-4 should really be up to par with the competition if you want to retain audience and keep them glued to their screen waiting for the next episode.

This is why the drop happened at episode 5, more people tuned in on episode 3 and 4 but found nothing interesting or worthy of keeping up so they just ditched it at episode 5.

The script

I find the biggest issue with “Melting Me Softly” to be its script. I’ve spoken in great detail about that here, but I’ll sum it up again shortly for the sake of this article.

“Melting Me Softly” is a lacking script in my opinion, it’s a watered-down version of what could’ve been a way better more interesting script. Many characters are annoying or difficult to like, many character existence isn’t really important or detrimental to the plot, the plot goes nowhere for the first half of the drama and it only picks up around episode 7 and 8 which is around the time many had already dropped it.





If I compare this drama to any other weekend drama, it’s the weakest of the bunch by far.

The comedy aspect isn’t funny enough; the romance aspect isn’t developing fast enough, and the mix of the genres isn’t working too well.

If I had to pick Ji Chang Wook weakest project, I’d pick “Melting Me Softly” in an instance. I’ve seen almost all of his dramas and all of them had enough reason to exist but this drama.

“Melting Me Softly” is the safest project he could’ve chosen.

I would like to ask you this, would you still watch “Melting Me Softly” if the lead actors were unknown? A good indication of a good drama is how many would answer this question. To me personally, I wouldn’t have even made it past episode 3 if it wasn’t for Ji Chang Wook.





I also would dare say that many [not all,duh!] who are watching this drama are watching it because they terribly miss and love Ji Chang Wook, he’s the reason they came and stayed.

I don’t think anyone would’ve bothered with the drama if it weren’t for the main cast, which isn’t good.

High Expectations paired with extensive Marketing

tvN really went all out marketing Ji Chang Wook’s return with “Melting Me Softly.” I was extremely excited about this drama and had high expectations; I read the script outline and liked it. I saw potential and trusted Ji Chang Wook’s choice only to be disappointed.

Its just life, the more you expect, the more you’ll be disappointed. tvN marketed “Melting Me Softly” as the grand return of the hallyu star and a new drama that shall entertain everyone and take over, it cemented the idea inside fans’ heads and potentially led many to have higher expectations.

Related: “Melting Me Softly” Rating Drops To A New Low, “Golden Garden” Ends Strongly  

Many could have also had high expectations because they trust Ji Chang Wook’s choices, even if they didn’t pay attention to the marketing like I did, they immediately associate the name Ji Chang Wook with good projects.

Conclusion

“Melting Me Softly” is not an awful kdrama but it’s not anything special either. The writer had a chance to make this one of the most successful cable dramas of 2019 and she blew it away with her lazy writing. She depended too much on Ji Chang Wook’s status when the reality is that no matter how good an actor is, he’s only as good as the project he has.

This article isn’t done out of malicious intent but rather for the sake of discussion. This is not the end of the world nor is it for Ji Chang Wook. I wish him the best with his drama and would’ve loved for it to do better, I am not happy that it’s doing badly, but at the same time I understand why.

I would like to know your opinion guys; do you agree or disagree with me? Were you disappointed with “Melting Me Softly” or not?

50 COMMENTS

  1. Although it is developing slowly, it is exactly as you say.. I watch it and will keep watching it because of JCW 🙂 but I prefer him in action dramas, like Healer or the K2, which is his best presence ! Let’s see about tonight’s episode ! 🙂

  2. I will sit and watch repeatedly anything With Ji Chang Wook Omg He is the most incredible male
    species on the planet. Yea This script isnt the best and I hope that doesn’t reflect to offers for future scripts for him. But hey if I can sit through wirlwind girl just to Watch him Then I can watch anything just for him. However I think a law should be past banning Ji Chang Wook from ever wearing a shirt. My God that man makes me feel I am dying of thirst.

  3. The writer reaarange the drama staring from episode 9, but instead of me getting interested, i felt shortchanged bec i wasted my time in front of the small screen to a good for nothing drama.
    The writer shld take a hiatus and review her last work. No producer will waste their money on this writer if they cant get a return on their investment.

  4. I totally agree with you… script is really important.i didn’t watch at all because when I started to watch it…I don’t feel like to continue watching it.though I am a big fan of ji Chang wook….I rather watch his old dramas.

  5. When I first saw WJA in Just Between Lovers I wanted her to be cast against JCW as his leading lady.. and I was so damn happy when they announced this drama.. I keep watching it and will continue because of them as they are like my dream couple but TBH this is going nowhere.. I would rather JCW chose something different where he could have shown his amazing acting talent coz let’s face it.. he is not just a pretty face.. I just hope he doesn’t regret his choice later on.. and in near future I hope to see him in a beautiful and meaningful drama

  6. I was so eager to see JCK again on the screen…. And like most of the people I too had higher expectation from the show…. But I don’t care to bother About script and idea as long as I can watch JI CHANG WOOK..

  7. I do agreed with the writer,
    The script is suck.. when you state in your previous article who was the script writer, dang!
    (I’m relatively new to this kdramaland) but I’ve seen enough Kdrama to know what is good what is…. That strong woman drama.. i cannot understand why people like it..

    JWC is a good actor but this drama have too many unnecessary, cringey slapstick comedy.. almost make he looks just a clown,not an actor..

    My expectations vs reality… Not so good..

    That ‘frozen’ storyline is good but execution is bad.
    Too many loopholes in the drama..
    Pardon my English

  8. I really love this drama and Ji Chang Wool is my all time favourite. According to me his drama ‘Melting me softly’ is not at all a low rating drama..I really love this drama so keep on working hard as you do…

  9. I will literally watch him in anything, he is just that amazing. I don’t like the situation with ratings because it’s his first project after the military and I know he was very nervous about it. I hope he knows that many of us love him and this drama as well. Looking forward to watch him in more projects to come.

  10. I’m also watching it because of Ji Chang Wook. I’m starting to warm up to the love story but I feel like it started too late. The leads didn’t have enough scenes together.

  11. I agree with this piece 100% . its a good enough drama but man did it start sloooooooooooow. So slow. I like the leads so I kept trying but I waited a while to catch back up. I think last weeks episodes should have been at 5-6 instead of ten. There is plenty of story there without needing to hang the obvious romance in a romance drama out till episode ten. There is no believable triangle so it was just a matter of when….not will they?
    The SciFi part could have then taken center stage for excitement.
    But I’ll keep watching just for JCW, because his acting as usual even with a weak script is amazing. But yes this is easily his weakest drama of his career. Luckily he will bounce back with something awesome I’m sure.

  12. I will watch it only for Ji Chang Wook, and no matter how it is, I will binge watch it when I will have that much time with me.. I got too much smitten by JCW after “Healer”.. And I am sure there is no turning back on him anymore, at least not yet.. My last binge watched kdrama was “The K2”, and I had a lot of things which didn’t fit into my thought process and it too lacked a lot in writing and scripting, but I am being a loyal fan of his..

  13. This writer is absolutely right. I wouldn’t have bothered if not for JCW. Disappointing female cast, don’t like the female lead or the older ex gf. The core plot is good but writer is lazy and messes up the whole show. Angle of the shower kiss has room for improvement, it could have been more sexy iso just 2 persons under the shower with lips contact.

  14. Lots of great competition for viewers , maybe not the best project for Ji Chang Wook comeback, however it’s not a total bomb either.
    It will probably be something I will remember fondly as a fan but not one of his best

  15. Yes i agree to this article, if it’s not for ji chang wook I wouldnt watch the series either! I just really miss him and love to see him acting! Anyway I will continue watching this series…

  16. I agree! Although I watch it because of JCW, I’m not impressed by the storyline. I think this drama is just a waste of his talents! There’s no excitability in each episode, unlike his previous ones, wherein which you do not want to stop watching! It is a boring plot! Even the people that are in it are not as charismatic as the other stars that has worked with him! I was thinking that his agent rushed him into this drama without considering the entire script! I just hope that his next drama will be as exiting as his previous ones, something that will show his versatility!

      • Hmmmmm .. Hello look RATING dude !!! JCW high class actor but after scandal burning sun look impact RATING JCW drama .. Very Very low !!!

        HIGH CLASS ACTOR BUT RATING DRAMA LOOKS IDOL ACTOR get rating drama …

  17. Hi I am from India and have been following the actor and have loved in everything he has done. Apart from what you said the other most impt thing is the chemistry between the lead pair. From day one when i saw them during promotion they looked so out of place with each other . He looked like her elder sister’s friend who is on his way to get her lolypop. The girl is hopless as compaired to him . She lack charm and doesn’t have any charisma on screen . It seems that he is trying really hard with whatever is given to him . Even the kissing scene she looked like a dead person . Even if the script is average , if the lead pair have good tuning and look amazing with each other , no matter what they do on screen they will just melt your heart with their chemistry . Poor guy trying so hard . Having said so will still watch it with a heavy heart as i am in love with him .

    • Exactly this female lead I
      Has no emotions or expressions. She lacks charisma and she is not spontaneous. She is pretty but she can’t portray any emotion. She is flat and her outfits even they are from the 90s look bad on her. JCW is the only one who saves face for this drama. I wished JCW choose Vagabond instead of Meltme softly.

      • im also hoping vagabond for his comebacks but he did announce that he will never do action series again. sad. but melting me is good for me, it’s just only some people were expecting an actions series from him ^_^

        • I honestly didn’t know who JCW was when I started watching the drama. I mainly watched it because I saw many posts of it on Instagram. I left of at maybe episode 11-12 and I was looking forward to continuing watching but now I see that many people are disappointed….

      • I’m start thinking what if Ji Chang Wook accept drama City Of Stars (I dunno which one channel) !!!But Must awesome !!! When i see JCW accept this drama Story so WEIRD !!!

        Please be smart next time jcw if you get offer new drama your food is Action … Not Comedy Romantic !!!

  18. I love JCW…i had high hopes in his first drama after his service..unfortunately..i dropped it after EP3…the story itself was a lousy one with no definite plot…looking forward on JCW next project

  19. I have exactly the same thought as the the commenter (ana). I prefer ji chan wook in action dramas. Although, i am managing through melting me softly just because of him. I hope he chooses better scripts next time.

  20. To answer commentators question: I strongly believe, not more than 20% would look this poor drama if it weren’t for JWC (me included, being a big fan of him). He has to choose better if he doesn’t want to be outdated by the upcoming excellent rookie talents.

  21. Omg I feel the same way. There is no chemistry between JCW and the female lead at all. I read your previous article about; the one about the writer being the same writer of strong woman do bong soon. The major reason I enjoyed that drama was because of their chemistry, although the drama was completely unrealistic:-(
    I really don’t know what else to say about this drama but it’s not worth the hype.
    P.S: JCW is just a major hottie:-)

    • I watch this drama but struggle to keep going.I keep thinking about the female lead fashion. It irritating and annoy me so much. I just hate everything she wear specially that wide denim.

  22. Same. I never got past ep 9. There were so many cringe-worthy scenes. I hope JCW reads comments, may it be english or korean or other language so he gets what we think of this drama. And be careful on his next project choice. He cannot always depend on his good looks only, though he has proven himself to be a good actor in some of his dramas. My opinion. Peace.

  23. Second your opinion!
    Great cast for this drama but a bad script!
    Good that they tuned down the horrible comedy parts in the second half of the drama.
    Made this mess more watchable.
    I found the acting of JCW a little bit off in this drama. Because of the bad script? Because of his army hiatus? Does he needs time to find his footing in acting back? Or had the army time some greater impact and something changed in him and he isn’t done adjusting yet?

  24. I don’t consider Melting me softly a failure. I don’t know why in South Korea was not so well rated, but for me it was ok , and I enjoyed it. I am a Ji Chang Wook fan for life, he is an amazing actor!I will watch all his dramas!

  25. I dont think JCW only suited film an action series.. l love him in Suspicious Partner.. I think JCW is great in comedy-romance too eventhough he looks awesome in action genre. But i agree, that Melting Me Softly is one of his ‘not so impressive’ piece..

  26. Hahaha two women fight for one man … Damn !!! Same like THEK2 when Song Yoona and Yoona fight to get JCW and Fans fight just for who the best chemistery with JCW !!

    Pity JCW this year you have very very bad drama , your acting weird i dont know maybe cos too much long hiatus army !!!

  27. I am an actor and I have to tell you, in all honesty, that some of the comments on this thread are either ill-informed garbage or bizarre speculation, the Blazing Sun remarks quite possibly defamatory. Take it from me, Ji Chang Wook is an outstanding actor. I for one hope that he continues to hone his craft by exploring interesting new ideas and subject matter, rather than give in to demands from some for lazy, instant gratification via formulaic, join the dots projects.

  28. tbh i really liked melting me softly but i really thought it would have more episode, i agree ih the lack of script writing, but overall the drama is great, i also don’t know why some of y’all don’t like the drama.

  29. I know it’s too late to post this, but I’ve just finished watching the Melting Me Softly and I think this is still a good drama. I admitthat at first I don’t like it because the leading lady isn’t familiar to me but each episodes that passed by I started to like her and noticed that they also have chemistry.

    For me, this drama is not a flop.

  30. Only watched it through and did not get bored because of JCW but imo the leading actress made it a flop. Like watching a robot force emotions. No chemistry. Have to say the shower kissing scene was spectacular though. Pick whatever drama makes you happy JCW, your true fans will always watch you. Unfortunately your international fans have to watch it late and can’t impact your ratings.

  31. I got bored with the first 5 episodes and disappointed with Ji Chang wook’s choice of project, maybe of my high expectation, but for the episode 6-16 are good. I love JCW more, but still nothing beats his Healer drama. <3

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