Bad Love ratings, rants and behind-the-scenes

Most of us know that the previously much anticipated KBS drama Bad Love received less than encouraging ratings when it was screened in South Korea earlier this year. It was Kwon Sang-woo‘s return to the small screen after a 2-year hiatus and many were expecting a good watch, but most were disappointed. They left the drama high and dry without so much as a backward glance.

I bet Kwon Sang-woo (KSW) was hoping that it will generate a lot of (good) hype in his homeland and this drama would be a vehicle to further secure his #1 spot as Korea’s most wanted actor. Alas, that did not happen. In fact, KSW has dropped from the #1 spot on HanCinema’s most wanted top 10 actors list to #5 (at the time i am writing this entry).

Even the much publicized sauna scene in episode 4 where Kwon Sang-woo and all his six-pack glory was revealed could not save the drama from its low ratings. Although we do not underestimate the power of those 6-packs as episode 4 had the highest ratings in all the 20 episodes.

Bad Love’s much talked about
sauna scene in episode 4

But it was not all bad for actor Kwon Sang-woo as he reportedly pocketed a cool KRW100 million (USD100,265) per episode for Bad Love. This makes him the second highest paid actor in a Korean drama after Bae Yong-joon in The Legend.

Personally, i think Kwon Sang-woo gave a powerful performance in this drama. From episode 1 right up to the end, he became the rejected and passionate lover Kang Yong-gi. It was everything else surrounding him that dragged the drama down.

A lifeless leading lady – i mean Lee Yo-won could have added more energy to her portrayal of the woman caught in the middle of a love triangle. She could have made the character more likable and less irritating. Her acting got so bad at one point, that i was wondering if it was partly the director’s fault.

Another major setback for this drama is that it had an inexperienced director and writer. Bad Love was directed by Kwon Gye-hong (pictured left) who is rather new and has only directed minor dramas since 2004. This is her first time directing a drama of this scale.

Writer Lee Yu-jin lacked the skill to come up with a plot that’s believable as well as moving. She has written dramas and films since 2001 but most of her work has been horror dramas and movies. Hmmm…maybe that’s why lead actress Na In-jung acts like a zombie most of the time. 😉

Without a great team behind the scenes, it would be hard to pull off a successful drama.

But enough of what i think about Bad Love, what did K-popped! readers think? We conducted a poll on this blog and here are the results. A total of 208 votes were received.

27% of our readers thought that the drama was bearable only because of leading man Kwon Sang-woo’s presense. Personally, i voted for this too and would have stopped watching long ago if it wasn’t for Kwon’s engaging performance. It was obvious the man gave his all to the character.

26% of K-popped!’s readers claimed that watching the 20-episode Korean drama was like a rollercoaster ride. It has its ups and downs. There are episodes where you would be very satisfied, and there are those episodes that which you’d want to wring the lead actress’ neck.

21% of readers really love the drama and said that it was one satisfying watch and it is one excellent drama. Some might even be waiting for the DVD box set to be released so they could purchase it and watch this drama again at their leisure. Yes? 🙂

15% totally dissed the drama saying that watching it is a waste of time, and 9% of our readers have not heard of it before.

Here i leave you with Bad Love out-takes and behind-the-scene photos.

The set of Bad Love where most of the in-door scenes were filmed


Tall and handsome KSW reviewing the scenes with director and crew


All friends: Everyone is chummy behind-the-scenes

KSW’s aide and wardrobe assistant follows him around.
Ahh…i wouldn’t mind that job.

It was freezing cold when they filmed the drama in winter

Lee Yo-won and KSW filming a scene and oppa’s
nose gets runny because it’s so cold


Bad Love cast and crew met up for a post
filming party on Feb 12, 2008