Top 5 KDramas Thought To Be FLOP But Got UNEXPECTEDLY FAMOUS


Top 5 KDramas Thought To Be FLOP But Got UNEXPECTEDLY FAMOUS

Hey guys!. In this post, I’ll be discussing a list of Top 5 KDramas Thought To Be FLOP But Got UNEXPECTEDLY FAMOUS. Sometimes it’s the hidden gems that catch the audience’s eyes, getting successful without a famous cast or high budget. 

And today, we are discussing dark horse K-dramas that basically came out of nowhere, super cheap to produce, thought to be flops, yet got overwhelmingly successful. Alright, let’s get this top list started.

1. Extraordinary You.

Take a look at the cast of Extraordinary You and you’d notice that none of the main cast were big names at the time. The male lead Rowoon had only played in some little-known web-dramas, while the female lead Hye Yoon only recently got some fame from her role in Sky Castle. What’s more, the drama is not exactly the most expensive to produce. 

Compared to other dramas about ‘rich students’, which are full of brand-name clothes, gorgeous settings, and overseas filming, ‘Extraordinary You’... is much more humble. We can see that its settings were just limited to a school, one camping field, around four houses, a palace, and a plain old cinema, while the characters were not exactly dressed in clothes of the best quality. 

There are also little variations, with most characters just wearing the same outfit over and over and over again. It’s obvious that ‘Extraordinary You’ was not exactly the most well-funded. Meanwhile, all of its competitors, from ‘When the Camellia Blooms’, ‘Tale of Nokdu’, ‘My Country’ to ‘Vagabond’, have famous casts, high budgets, and super beautiful outfits and settings to match. 

Yet, ‘Extraordinary You’ managed to shine in its own way. It didn’t secure the Korean audience, but has sure managed to attract a large amount of international fans. It introduces a unique plot about comic book characters trying to break free and decide their own fates, all the while including good humor and brilliant acting. 

At the end of the year, the drama had even snagged MBC’s ‘Drama of the Year’ award, and its main cast had all become stars. Rowoon, in particular, had grown to become one of the top idol-actors in the field, while Lee Jae Wook, who played the second male lead, was nominated for ‘Best New Actor’ at the prestigious Baeksang. 

2. True Beauty.

Alongside sharing the same director with ‘Extraordinary You’, it seems that ‘True Beauty’ also shares the same fate. First, since ‘True Beauty’ is a wildly popular webtoon in Korea, everyone was expecting its drama adaptation to have a cast full of famous actors and actresses, and thus, had expressed extreme disappointment when news of the cast was released. 

In particular, netizens believed that Cha Eun Woo, who played the male lead, was the only one correctly casted, and thus called actress Moon Gayoung a ‘total mismatch’ for the female lead role. They said that she was ‘too pretty’, that the production team ‘messed up’ by casting her, and that she should be “out of the drama” altogether. 

Even Hwang In Yeop, who played the second lead, suffered from the ire of angry fans, who believed that he ‘stole the role’ from Kwon Hyun Bin - an idol slash model that inspired the character Han Seo Jun. Worse though, was that basically everyone expected the drama to fail. 

‘The plot of True Beauty has nothing to offer’ - netizens said, believing that the story is too plain, that the character has no development, and their personality is as interesting as 8th grade algebra. And the negative response didn’t reduce even as the series was aired. ‘True Beauty’ was showered in spiteful comments, saying that “It’s too corny” “Especially cringey and disappointing”. 

Some even went as far as to question that “why are we even making dramas with 0.1% character growth in 2020?” But as the series progresses, ‘True Beauty’ had proven everyone wrong. It delivered a unique sense of humor, endearing characters that we can grow to love, and some iconic romances. 

Despite being called a flop in the beginning, the drama’s ratings eventually came first in its timeslot, and its international audience was also no joke. The cast also became hugely popular after the series ended, and actor Hwang In Yeop most notably gained a huge following. Outer appearance isn’t everything, and ‘True Beauty’ sure has proven this ;) 

3. A-teen.

The case of A-teen is perhaps all the more special, because this series was never even aired on television. With the total runtime of under 3 hours, the series is broadcasted on the web platform Naver Cast, and thus, was never intended for the international audience. A-teen is also super low-budget, simply because it cost next to nothing to make: literally everything happens inside a school and all the characters just wear school uniforms. 

The cast also consisted of no one too popular at the time, and the plot is just about high school students and casual high school drama. And yet, A-Teen was a phenomenon upon release, even spawning a second season due to huge demand. Even now, people can’t seem to get over the A-teen fever, and a recent post on Korean forum pann had stated that the series was the ‘vibes of 2018’. 

‘Everyone at school was talking about A-teen, ‘Everyone was rushing to buy the lip gloss that the main character uses.’, ‘everyone listens to A-teen soundtracks', the comments went on and on. In fact, an OST of ‘A-teen’, sung by Kpop group Seventeen, had even topped the music charts in South Korea, while up against famous artists like Blackpink, Twice, and Red Velvet. 

What created such a huge charm, you may wonder. Well, why not find out for yourself? After all, it takes less than 3 hours to finish this entire famous series. 

4. SKY Castle.

You may wonder, what is the most successful drama of 2018 doing in this list? People actually thought that SKY Castle would be a total flop? Surprising, such was the truth, and if you look at the total budget of 2018 dramas, your jaw will be sure to drop. 

Because for a drama about the rich, SKY Castle only costed about 7 billion won to make, and that’s lower than romance comedies like ‘Clean with passion for now’, ‘My ID is Gangnam Beauty’, and ‘Beauty Inside’. Aired at 11pm on Friday and Saturday - a timeslot considered to be ‘terrible’ for cable TV, SKY Castle was basically an experimental series, and thus was given limited funding. 

The drama stars a cast full of rookie and lesser-known actors, and so was never considered watch-worthy - both by the regular viewers and actor fans. But SKY Castle had managed the impossible: its rating went from less than 2% in episode 1 to 23.7% in the final episode, making it the second most successful K-drama ever on a cable network. 

And the success of this intense series did not come out of nowhere. Its visuals are gorgeous, the plot is intricate and captivating, and the acting was absolutely perfect. SKY Castle can be considered a dark horse of the time, coming out of basically nowhere, expected to fail, and yet nailing all the year-end awards and boosting the careers of all its actors. A once-in-a-lifetime legend, it could be called. . 

5. Reply 1997. 

‘Reply 1997’ is not only the first drama in the ‘Reply’ trilogy, but also is the first work of director Shin Won Ho, who also produced the legendary series ‘Hospital Playlist’ and ‘Prison Playbook’. But little did people know, his works, or ‘Reply 1997’ in particular, was once thought to be a certain flop. 

In particular, the director himself shared that since he was a newbie director at the time, nobody trusted his first script, he struggled to get it aired, and no actors or actresses were willing to star in the series. “Reply 1997 was never thought to be popular, so none of them was interested. I sent the script to one actor after another, but never got any responses,” the director shared. 

The series’ budget was also super limited, so giving large paychecks for famous actors is completely out of the question. But this challenge had eventually led the director to Seo In Guk and APink’s Eunji - both of whom were only casting for supporting roles at the time.

And time has proven that the director was right in picking the two actors: their rookie mindset had brought a gust of fresh air - and ‘Reply 1997’ was innocent, natural, and so relatable that its viewership ratings tripled as the series progressed. It might not be the most perfect series out there, but it’s the imperfect charm of youth that keep our eyes glued to the screen. 

Were you surprises that these dramas were once thought to be flops? Do you know of any other dark horse K-dramas that got unexpectedly famous? 

That is it from today’s post on Top 5 KDramas Thought To Be FLOP But Got UNEXPECTEDLY FAMOUS. If you do not agree with the points in the post and have some of your own opinions, share them with us in the comments section down below. 

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Chandan is the writer of “Top 5 KDramas Thought To Be FLOP But Got UNEXPECTEDLY FAMOUS”. Also, Connect with me on Facebook and Twitter.


Hey there! I'm Chandan and I'm from India. I'm a writer and youtuber. You can contact me at: pinterest

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