“The Undateables” Review- One Of The Most Disappointing Kdramas Of 2018

Published Categorized as Kdrama Reviews

As time goes by, I begin to understand viewership ratings numbers we see each week, us International fans are more dedicated and patient with the dramas we watch, we focus on supporting the lead actors and actresses, we can’t break their hearts by saying that their dramas suck!

I began to believe in Korean audience drama ratings about 70% of the time, when there is a time slot and you have to pick one drama to watch, you’ll probably choose the drama with the most interesting script, sadly this does not apply to “The Undateables.”

The drama has made headlines for it’s star-studded cast, it features Namgoong Min and Hwang Jung Eum, they’re reuniting once again in what was one of the most anticipated dramas of 2018.


It is sad because we have two powerhouse names together in one drama, instead of utilizing them to their best potential; they’re making another cliché stereotypical Kdrama that we have seen a thousand times already.

My problem with “The Undateables” is that it doesn’t bring anything new to the table, there’s nothing slightly innovative or different about it. Even When I take into consideration the unique ‘undateables touch’ the writer incorporated to the drama. He put his own spin on the overly consumed idea of rich handsome man and poor cute hardworking woman, but sadly it wasn’t enough!

The lead female is bright, optimistic hard-working and very polite. She ends up in a love triangle with two equally handsome capable men.


The first male lead is obnoxious, cocky and mean. He thinks he’s the best and he probably works as the CEO of some company.


She gets involved with him in a series of unfortunate events, he’s bothered with her mere presence.

Probably something that has to do with work forces them to interact more often and thus the relationship blossoms.


The second male lead is someone who is nice, probably has a very good job, is handsome and single.


He’s probably been friends with the female lead for a very long time and she friend-zoned him, they’re very close.

When he finds out that he has a competition, he realizes his feelings and the love triangle forms. He tries his best and is probably the best option she has, but her hearts wavers towards the cocky hot CEO.


This is “The Undateables” synopsis; very stereotypical. A lot of kdramas share the scenario you just read.

This is also similar to Hwang Jung Eum’s 2016 drama “Lucky Romance.” Which I struggled with as well!

She is someone who is hella talented, she can act well but sadly settles in for stereotypical dull scripts.

She is called a rom-com Queen. I can understand that because she has many funny entertaining light-hearted dramas, but I don’t understand whats going on with her these days.


I have noticed that for the past couple of years that she has been signing up for scripts that are below her acting abilities. I don’t know whether she’s settling in for rom-coms because they are friendly and make her more money, or because she truly believes its the better career choice.

I like that she was paired with Namgoong Min, they make such a nice couple and they have a good chemistry on and off the screen, their chemistry kept me going for the four episodes I have seen so far.


But it’s her constant annoying laughing and high-pitched voice that makes me wonder ‘why I’m tuning in for the drama?’


The problem is that sometimes in order for her to make a certain scene appear funny, she uses a high pitch voice and exaggerates, she screams and does some very weird movements with her face and whole body to make it appear funnier, but to me she looks like she’s been electrified.

This might make things fun for the first, second or third drama that you watched of her, but if you are at the fourth or fifth, it becomes a little bit annoying.

I’m not trying to rain on her parade at all, but it’s that I am really really disappointed.

Disappointed that Choi Tae Joon is still taking on second lead roles despite the fact that he is very talented, disappointed because Hwang Jung Eum keeps making those sounds and those movements with her hands and face even though she should be trying to do something that’s a bit different, disappointed because Namgoong Min took on such a stereotypical monotonous role.


This is why this article is titled the way it is, its because I am really disappointed.

With such a good cast you could have made the best drama out there, you could have taken advantage of their good acting capabilities, yet you play it safe with an average script that should be given to people or actors trying to jump-start their careers, not to seasoned older actors who have been around for a while.

I am so over the male lead character being a dick to the female lead character, just because he’s very smart, capable and handsome. It’s not nice to see a woman getting humiliated by the male lead at every possible chance because she’s ‘lacking.’

The link between them in the past and present was also used way too many times before. The fact that he refuses to date is also very likely implausible, where are those hot CEO men who refuse to date? I want one of them!

There might be a reason for it, I bet it has to do with him getting awfully rejected in the past or something that has to do with daddy/mommy issues.

And when he made her sign that infamous ‘blank/slave contract’ I wiped my eyes and repeated the scene just to make sure I saw that right!

When I read it again, I wanted to punch the screen so badly! He’s going to use that contract to enslave her and make her do all sort of the things, then he changes the way he treats her because he’s falling for her which will probably confuse her at first!



This drama first four episodes is like a guideline to things all kdrama writers usually use in rom-coms, a guideline that should be shown to new aspiring writers as in ‘what-not-to-write’ guideline.

The first episode started with 5.3% and the 8th episode rated 4.1%, with a low 3.7% for its 5th episode. The first episode ratings were the highest!

I understand these numbers, it makes sense because they’re up against other more interesting dramas. “Suits and “Come And Hug Me,”it makes sense that this drama will come in the last place.

I have watched “Suits” and “Come And Hug Me.” If I were to compare their plots to “The Undateables,” its obviously the weakest one. It is very dull.


I have watched 4 episodes (1 hour long) but have no regrets, I have seen Namgoong Min’s face, he looks dashing in the suits he wears but this is where I’m going to stop.

There’s no point in continuing to watch this drama because I know that nothing major or slightly entertaining will happen, its just like every other rom-com kdrama I have seen before. Between my day job, the blog as well as my social life, I have to be picky with kdramas I watch and recap or review.

There will be a dedicated kdrama club for this drama. I guess if you have time on your hands and you’re a huge fan of any of the lead actors you’ll stick around. Not that you’re wrong with your choice its your taste after all, if you decide to continue watching the drama, then I hope you enjoy it~

This is my review of the four episodes I watched, I know this might not be enough to tell whether the drama is worth the ride or not, but I don’t think that I’ll be missing too much if I didn’t tune in.

What do you guys think? Do you like it? Do you hate it? What do you think of the plot?

Let’s discuss in the comments section below.

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. Every year there’s a feel good typical storyline KDrama and this one is a good example. Your article reflects your opinion and there will be those who feel same as you do. However, there are those who recognize that this kind of drama is a staple and always will be. At least, this one is decently written no matter how cliche things are for the seasoned viewer. The actors have done a decent job so far as well. This will likely be a first drama for someone and hopefully they don’t come across anything similar to your article first.
    If a lot of long time viewers had read something like this before they watched their first drama, that would’ve probably been IT as far as venturing into that world.

    It’s a typical Rom Com, predicable and some people have their own opinions about the actors. For those of us who think that despite all that it’s a fun watch so far and look forward to more, it’s been well written and acted, actually a more interesting watch than some airing currently. We’ll continue enjoying it and encourage the actors on their social media.

    If this one’s not doing it for you and crave something different, by all means go for it. Just don’t forget all the hard work and effort by everyone involved even if you personally don’t like it. It’s called Shitting on their efforts if I may borrow one of your eloquent words.

  2. Yes I totally agree with you ! They could have done so much more with the whole “undateables” concept , but even the title theme has taken a backseat for the sake of a cliche romance.I guess I more disappointed because I had high expectations.

  3. Honestly I agree with you!! I was looking forward to Hwang Jung Eum’s return to the small screen but I got disappointed because she plays the same character as her last dramas. The only drama I have seen that showed a different side to her would be Secret (with Ji Sung). I would love to see a different side to her because I know she’s an amazing actress. I can’t keep seeing the same character. I just want to see her in a different genre other than rom-com.

  4. I totally agreed on everything u said. I started watching when it came out and stopped at epi 4 Bec I cant stand the lead actress. Too bad. I will carry on watching this when there is really nothing to watch.

  5. If it’s predictable, can anyone tell me how this is gonna end? The drama though “typical” is now on its 20th episode. Although I do agree that the “undateables” concept took a back seat in the storytelling it has picked up a bit beyond ep 10. Not saying this has a great script but if I were to compare it with rom-com K-Dramas that appeal to the intellectual discourse of life like “Because This is My First Life”, then The Undateables would pale in comparison.

  6. I agree that it is extremely disappointing. The writing is indeed very tired and cliché. I don’t necessarily mind clichés, if they are well-done (an example is Secretary Kim, a cliché story masterfully executed, so that I consider it the best Korean rom com of all times). But here they are not. It’s boring and unbelievable, and you always know what is going to happen next. Frankly, if I weren’t on the translation team I would have dropped the show like a hot potato.
    But I have to disagree on some other of your points.
    You find the leading actress good and the script below her abilities? You find these two have chemistry?
    This actress was very good in Secret Love where she had a dramatic weepy role. But in rom coms she sucks. She always does the same role: the goofy, awkward and kind-hearted character who, despite being ugly and dressing like a clown, gets the cool guy (handsome, rich, stylish, but inwardly carrying childhood drama).
    Her acting is cringe-worthy, with the exaggerated antics which can’t make me even smile. In “She was pretty”, luckily this stopped doing that after the first episodes, but it was the first time, so I was patient. This time being the second, my patience wore thin very quickly.
    I don’t like bashing actors for their mediocre looks, it’s not polite. But, trying to be considerate and choosing my words, I’ll just say that producers could choose a more suitable, more exciting partner to a first-rate actor and super-handsome man like Namgoong Min, who is now a star after his recent successes.
    Even Lee Sang-Yoon, who is also a mature man, gets a co-star like Lee Sung-Kyung. But there are older actresses too, who are good-looking, sweet and especially CAN ACT in a decent way. (Han Ye-seul is a name that comes to mind, but maybe for this role she’d be too glamorous).
    The clothes and hair designer didn’t help, they made her look even plainer. Not saying she should wear fashionable, designer clothes, but just something that would enhance her appearance, even if it’s cheaply bought from the street market. You don’t need lots of money to look good.

    Chemistry? I found they have zero chemistry, and it was obvious they were just going through the motions. I could never suspend disbelief and think that they were or could be a real couple. Their kisses were wooden unnatural and awkward (presumably because she is married in real life?).

    I am a Namgoong Min fan, but this must be one of his worst leading roles. Even his acting didn’t convince me for much of the time. He was trying for a cool, restrained persona, but he comes off as wooden. There are some scenes where he shines, and in the last episodes, when he lets his feelings free, he’s much better, but this series will be a blot on his resumé, something he wished he didn’t agree to. Major mistake.

    1. Irma you’ve covered ALL of my perspectives about Hwang Jung Eum. I actually loved her performance in Secret with Ji Sung and then liked Kill Me Heal Me (mainly because of Ji Sung’s amazing multiple characters) but I do agree that she’s been chosing the easy rather than challenging roles ever since. Will be dropping this drama, which s too bad because unlike some, I am enjoying Nam Goong Min’s laid-back understated character. He did enough smiling in Chief Kim. Loved his serious side when he did the cameo as a single Dad with two boys who needed surgery in ‘Doctors’.

  7. After reading your article you make me wanna stop watching the drama because you have a point. I was supposed to search how many episodes Undateables is and now find your article and i guess.. I’ll reconsider this article.

  8. Yo Lucky romance was good the story wasn’t anything I had seen before. I highly disagree, and I don’t discourage anyone from watching it.

  9. i love it. different people may have different point of views but as far as i have seen it, i love the story. it may have a common plot but the journey of the characters on how they get there has its spice to the storyline. i just continued watching because i was curious how would it end.with regards to the actors and actresses, they did justice to their roles… it would seem to be unnatural if they overdo it, because the story is not heavy drama… so all in all, i love it.

  10. Thanks for the review. I would rather not watch it as well coz I’m tired of these types of cliches and unrealistic plots/characters. I had a feeling that it has the same disappointing vibe like Unpretty Gong Shim.

  11. I felt the same way too for the first few episodes, but my main focus was the lead actor, so i did not drop the series. I am currently watching episode 28, and guess what guys? To me, this show is worth watching. love the sweet moments so much especially the kisses and cute cheesy scenes! And the way hoon nam stares at jeong eum, shows how much he loves jeong eum. 🙂 Its when hoon nam started to realize his real feeling for jeong eum, that makes everything worthwhile. Try giving it a go .. watch how their relationship blossom..
    some spoilers ahead,

    they did broke up at one point due to the ridiculous bet, but Hoon Nam never gives up on Jeong eum. The way he tried to woo the father and daughter just because of his love for Jeong eum. You guys shld really give this series a try. But yeah, everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion, but hey .. dont be too hard on yourself, or expecting too much from this series.. the plot is quite typical, yes, but isn’t it common for korean serials these days? its a romcom, so just relax.. and enjoy the show.. 🙂 cheers!

  12. Lol like the comment above me its a romcom an not a heavy heavy drama drama lol if that makes sense yes i love these characters an theyve had better roles. But i actually liked this drama people have differnet taste an i actually like the rich man poor working women cliche as long as its different people playing these roles im okay with it. If you want some heavy drama with good charecters an suspense go look for it then. this you wont get that in a rom com.

  13. Had the same sentiments! I was so excited when I learned about the cast of this drama. Knowing that they’re so good with every drama that they’ve done so far. I even downloaded the 1st episode as soon as it’s available. But after few episodes, I (sorry for the word(s)) got bored. I’m the kind of viewer who’s in to dramas that catches me from the very first episode. (Of course, this does not apply to everyone.) Anyway, I think they deserve a better script. I hope they’ll choose they’re script carefully next time.

  14. I stopped watching ‘cause of the same reasons you discussed – literally paused and googled: who does she end up with – the undateables. I ended up here and this will seal the decision of not continuing it anymore. I just wanted to know how it ended. I love Jung Eum (‘cause of She Was Pretty, didn’t like Kill Me, Heal Me’s flashbacks galore though)) and also Namgoong Min (‘cause of Chief Kim) and Choi Tae Joon (Suspicious Partner) but yes, nothing’s making me go on with The Undateables. Totally agree, this should’ve been for those starting to act.

  15. I will complete the show because I don’t like to leave it half way but I so agree with you. The actress has a typical high pitch overacting thing that she does which becomes overbearing at times hence I normally fast forward those part. I love the main lead and that’s what got me to this drama, however I can say that the second lead was the one whose acting was so good, he now has a lead show so I definetly would be checking that out soon 🙂
    But I so agree to all of your points above and so happy to have found a like minded soul.
    Take care

  16. I love it. I think it did have a lot of the cliche story line but i think most Rom com have them. Namkoong Min was wonderful in it. Just because the rating was low, I don’t think it should be noted as a blot. I think it is another great piece of work where he demonstrated his wonderful versatile acting skills of which enable him to play any role and BE that role. Most, if not all actors/actress have their non-hits no matter how good and popular they are! I love the cool and restrained character he played where he also exhibited so well the inner child like feelings.

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