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



12 thoughts on “Bad Love ratings, rants and behind-the-scenes

  • June 19, 2008 at 7:51 am

    I want to thank you ladies (the trio) for doing an episode by episode review of this drama.

    I saw the first two episodes and was not going to watch it (but you’re always curious, on if you missed out on anything). I realized after the first two episodes that this was going to be a screaming/crying drama and I don’t like dramas like this, at all. I mean if your going to cry, then cry (tastefully) and if your going to scream then scream but don’t do both at the top of your lungs every episode (female leads). It really gets on my nerves, and I’m a big Kwon Sang-woo fan from when he did Make It Big w/ Song Seung-heon.

    I actually got tired of reading the review (the drama was so crazy) but I thank you for doing the review and sure enough, it was not a drama I would have been able to endure.

  • March 19, 2008 at 9:22 pm

    Thanks, anonymous

    I will chk it out the next time i go to the video rental store

  • March 19, 2008 at 8:05 pm

    😛 i voted for it was bearable because of KSW too…i think he’s like my first korean guy crush..

    well, this drama is rather was ok in the beginning..but towards the started to be boring…

    i think i’m not into sad korean stories’s always a repeat plot..and easy to predict the, all i’m into is sitcom and comedy drama(are they the same?) like Unstoppable Wedding!

    how about reviewing the newest drama “single daddy in love”? Shin dong of SuJu is in the drama!!

    i regretted reading summary in KBS World website..TT_TT too much spoiler..i can already predict the ending of this drama..

  • March 19, 2008 at 6:32 am

    A Moment To Remember is a 2004 Korean drama which stars Jung Woo Sung, Son Ye Jin, and Baek Jong Hak. It’s about this young girl who gets married and develops alzheimers disease. You can see it on that’s how I watch majority of my korean shows! They also have japanese and taiwanese shows. I heard through an interview with a korean plastic surgeon that 80% of korean actresses get plastic surgery. They are all beginning to look the same. LYW looks different, almost dorky at times. She looks much better in her real life pictures. Much cuter.

  • March 19, 2008 at 1:02 am

    I love the sauna scene pic in this entry alot! Thanks Orchid!

  • March 19, 2008 at 12:57 am


    what is a Moment to Remember about & who’s in it?

    I watched parts of Surgeon Bong Dal Hee and found LYW’s acting ok. She’s not stunningly pretty like some of her peers but she’s pretty enough, I guess. Attractive in her own way.

    I’d have to watch one or two more of her productions to judge her acting

  • March 18, 2008 at 7:37 pm

    I saw Fashion 70s which was my first korean drama. I enjoyed it because it was partially based on a true story. I liked LYW. I also liked her main love interest in that story. I watched Bad Love because of LYW but I got hooked on KSW. I think he is a good actor and am amazed how korean actors and actresses can cry on cue! Although I like KSW I feel like I’m getting a little tired of him. I too liked My Lovely Samsoon. Did anyone see A Moment To Remember? It was so sad and different…I enjoyed that movie. It made me cry so hard I was sobbing.

  • March 18, 2008 at 10:54 am

    to Anonymous:

    i think you should watch Fashion 70s coz LYW was brilliant… she’s also the lead actress in Surgeon Bong Dal Hee and i kind of like her coz she’s into dramas where she may be the pathetic heroine but she shows she can fight in her own way…

    for me, bad love didnt rate well coz the Korean audience has been seeing this plot for several times already.. one thing more it’s really quite sad and people really look forward to being entertained, to be able to sit back, relax and enjoy…

    i liked K-popped! recaps though coz i really love lee yo won…she’s already married right but compared to other actresses her age and who are still single, producers still go for her coz of her depth as an actress…

  • March 18, 2008 at 8:36 am

    i’m 1 of the 15% who think bad love is a waste of time.. i watch many kdramas before and this is the only one i felt like strangling one’s neck and it’s the lead actress some more!!!and that’s bad omen i tell think i actually spend (or waste) my time watching the final episode…*sigh* i was hoping a good ending, one that have some oomph to tie all loose ends but it failed to deliver.. i hv intention watching fashion 70’s but after LYW’s performance in bad love, i’m not sure anymore..

  • March 18, 2008 at 12:16 am

    Sorry to post again
    If the sauna scene was the reason why ep 4 topped the rating, I am sad.

    I like to think it was the point where ppl’s interest was still piqued and did not know where the drama was heading. I know the show lost some viewers around ep 10 – 12 because it became unbelievable.

  • March 18, 2008 at 12:14 am

    I really that that pic = )
    ” All friends: Everyone is chummy behind-the-scenes”

  • March 17, 2008 at 7:57 pm

    Bad Love was my 1st KSW show. I think he is more convincing than most newbies. I’ve heard his forte is crying on cue and doing it convincingly. But even as a fan, I have to say he did adopt the same facial expression after some time.

    It ranks in my all-time top 3 (My Lovely Samsoon, Full House, Bad Love) in that order. But only because it ended well.

    I do not know why it fared so badly. Maybe the Korean audience is sick of the trite melodramas plots they churn out in such huge quantities. The audience is becoming increasingly discerning, hence hard to please ; they want something that’s different from the norm, that’s probably why MLSS was such a runaway hit.

    Or maybe people are getting sick of KSW and think it’s time for a new face to ascend the Hallyu wave.

    Me ? I just got on the KSW bandwagon and I’m not about to leave. Not just yet ; )

    In conclusion, although some parts left me puzzled, I liked Bad Love a lot.

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