The Reasons Why “The Red Sleeve” Exploded In Popularity And Became One Of The Biggest Success Stories Of 2021

Published Categorized as Kdrama Reviews

The Red Sleeve” has become one of the biggest success stories of a 2021 kdrama, but how was it able to achieve that and beat competition to surpass the 10% in ratings in such a short time?

Today, we’re here to discuss “The Red Sleeve,” the reason behind its rising popularity and why its been dominating the ratings race despite the stiff competition.

The Story- Familiar And Super Engaging

“The Red Sleeve” story might be a typical historical kdrama story but its nothing short of engaging and fun. The screenwriter behind the drama juggles the comedic and serious tones well together and it never feels forced.

“The Red Sleeve” dialogue has also been praised by fans. It is engaging, witty and beautiful. Lines spoken by Lee Se Young’s character specifically have gained much attention from viewers.

“The Red Sleeve” is based on the real-life historical figures King Jeongjo, the 22nd ruler of the Joseon dynasty and royal concubine Ui of the Seong clan (Seong Deok Im). The story has captivated fans and kept them hooked to the screen.

The Chemistry Between Lee Se Young And Junho

Among the many reasons why the drama has found massive success has to be the chemistry between its lead stars Junho and Lee Se Young.

“The Red Sleeve” is in part a romance drama and a romance drama can only find massive success if the chemistry between its lead actors is well received. If the lead actors share weak chemistry, viewers will sense it and it won’t be as well received.

Luckily for “The Red Sleeve” team, the chemistry between Junho and Lee Se Young is nothing short of beautiful. While fans had believed the on-screen couple will have good chemistry, they didn’t anticipate it would be this amazing.

A recent great example would be the bath scene between Lee Se Young and Junho’s characters which set the internet on fire. Take a look below!

Junho’s Superb Acting

“The Red Sleeve” marks Junho’s first project since his military discharge. Fans have been eager to see the idol-actor return to acting and anticipation for his next project was high.

Junho is known among k-netizens for his great acting chops and the idol-actor delivers yet another marvelous performance in “The Red Sleeve.” Junho has been receiving lots of praise for his great acting in the drama and a lot of people attribute some of the drama’s success to his acting and dedication to his role.

Demonstrating his massive popularity, Junho has also ranked at the top 5 spot for Drama Actor Popularity List for 2 weeks in a row.

Lee Se Young- Line Delivery And Charisma

Lee Se Young might be young but she’s a veteran in her own right, the actress has been working in the industry for close to 20 years, she started out as a child actress.

Her performance in the drama is a perfect example of how far she’s come and how stellar of an actress she is.

Lee Se Young was tasked with delivering difficult lines in “The Red Sleeve” and she does it flawlessly. Added to that, her character is expected to be an interesting storyteller and she makes sure to get that point across, when her character speaks you can’t help but be hooked.

As a result, Lee Se Young has ranked at the number one spot for Drama Actor Popularity List for 2 weeks in a row.

The Supporting Cast- Terrific Performances

“The Red Sleeve” boasts a star-studded cast and this extends to the supporting characters which include veteran actor Lee Deok-Hwa, actresses Kang Mal-Geum and Park Ji-Young.

The supporting cast also includes some rising talents such as Kang Hoon who takes on the role of crown prince right-hand man and many more.

The talented cast has elevated the drama with their performances, the entire cast being in-sync with their roles has helped the drama become the massive success it is now.

“The Red Sleeve” has become the first MBC drama in nearly 3 years to surpass the double digits in ratings and the drama has been steadily rising in popularity since its premiere to modest ratings.

Related: “The Red Sleeve” Episode 1 To 8 Review: So Typical But Sooo Much Fun

Are you currently watching “The Red Sleeve”? What do you think contributed to its success?

Whats your reaction to this article?

By Jass K.

Hi, I am Jass k. I discuss some of the hottest currently airing kdramas on this site in form of reviews an/or recaps, join me in the discussion~


  1. I would add a good cinematography (well, maybe except that one scene with a tiger where the special effects were zero let’s be honest), beautiful production sights/locations. There are many night scenes which adds some mystery. I also like the costumes of Deok Im – well thought out, she goes from pink to the light green to the dark green, underlying her transition from the innocent apprentice to a mature court lady in the future. And a female director of course. I feel like she was working a lot with all actors on how they should portray their emotions, it is all very precise, very deep. The main leads of course, but the others as well – the King grandpa, the Queen, crazy lady Jo, lady Seo – every dialogue is powerful. So all this contributed to the drama success. Praying that the ploy doesn’t let us down in the second half especially now when the series were extended by one more episode.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.