Article: Top 10 Highly Anticipated K-Dramas That Ended Up Disappointing Viewers

Recently, Korean media has established itself as one of the most watched globally. They have contributed through dramas, films, manhwas, pop bands, and other outlets. It isn’t an undeniable fact that South Korean dramas are top-rated and cater to a large audience. There are certain dramas that do not meet the expectations of the viewers the way they want. These are the top ten highly anticipated Kdramas that do meet the expectations and end up disappointing the viewers.

1. The Heavenly Idol

The Heavenly Idol is a fantasy drama based on a novel released in 2023, starring Go Bo-gyeol, Kim Min-Kyo, and Lee Jang-woo. Pontifex Rembrandt is a character who is known for his divine powers and gets transported to a new world while he is fighting the devil. There, he possesses the body of Woo Yeon Woo, a member of an idol group. It was not well received due to the difference between the novel and the series, particularly the love interest, which was not executed correctly in the drama.

2. Our Blooming Youth

Our Blooming Youth is a drama released in 2023 and directed by Lee Jong-Jane, starring Jeon So-nee, Yoon Jong-seek, Park Hyung-sik, Pyo Ye-jin, and Lee Tae-sun. Already under the suspicion of poisoning his older brother’s death, Crown Prince Lee Hwan receives a mysterious prophecy concerning his death; he chooses a path with Jae-Yi, a noblewoman who is on the run for being framed for her family's murder. It faced backlash as it was based on the Chinese novel, which features aspects unsuitable for Korean culture. It got criticized in China, too.

3. Mask Girl

Mask Girl is a black comedy drama released in 2023, starring Nana, Ahn Jae-hong, Lee Han-byeol, Go Hyun-Jung, and Yeom Hye-ran. Kim Mo-mi is an office worker who is insecure about her looks. At night, she becomes a masked Internet personality. Her coworker, Joo Oh Nam, has a crush on her. One day, an ill-fated event overtakes her life. The fans were disappointed because it didn’t meet the standards that were expected from it. Lack of promotion and less emphasis on marketing was the reason behind it not reaching its full potential.

4. Joseon Attorney

Joseon Attorney is a period drama based on a Webtoon starring Bona, Woo Do-Hwan, and Cha Hak-Yeon. The story is about a foreign branch attorney who is taking revenge on the person who killed his parents through trial. It was Wo Do-Hwan’s comeback from his military service and was expected to be a hit among the audience. However, it didn’t receive good reviews even though there weren’t flaws in the plot, but due to not having a good airing time it was aired with other popular shows, resulting in loss.

5. Bo-ra! Deborah

Bo-ra! Deborah is a rom-com drama starring Yoon Hyun-min, Hwang Chan-sung, Yoo In-na, Joo Sang-wook, and Park So-Jin. It tells the story of a successful love coach, an influencer and the changes she faces in her life. The show got low ratings, as it could not maintain its momentum. The show dragged on the presence of ex-partners till the very end, repetitive performances of the main lead, inaccurate representations of coincidences, and many more which disappointed the fans.

6. Doona

Doona is a romance drama released in 2023, starring Yang Se-Jong and Bae Suzy, directed by Lee Jeong-hypo. Won-un is a college student who becomes roommates with Doo-na. Do-na is a retired K-pop idol who has left behind her glamorous days. The main reason why the show didn’t become that popular was because of its plot climax. The show portrays its fair share of originality; however, the ambiguity at the end of their relationship, which took eight episodes to build, leaves the fans dismayed. In the end, when she is trying to find him in the crowd, they walk separate ways.

7. Pandora: Beneath The Paradise 

It is a revenge drama released in 2023, starring Lee Sang-Yoon, Park Ki-Woong, Lee Ji-ah, Jang Hee-Jin, and Bong Tae-gyu. Hong Tae-ra, after losing her memory and taking revenge, rises to the position of First Lady. It was labeled as a disappointment as it could not live up to its fans' hype. The audience critiqued the poor writing, which was completely unexpected, and the poor camera work.

8. D.P Season 2

D.P. is a military drama with its second season released in 2023, starring Jung Hae-in, Kim Sung-Kyun, Koo Kyo-Hwan, and Son Suk-ku. Season 2 focuses on the undesirable nature of the military and is done through the perspective of senior officers, by covering topics such as LGBTQ+, corruption, discrimination, etc. The first season was a huge success, and the audience had high hopes for the second season. Even though the episodes were engaging, the episodes were repetitive and did not offer much storyline.

9. Celebrity

Celebrity is a thriller drama released in 2023, starring Park Gu-young, Lee Chung-ah, Jun Hyo-seong, Kang Min-Hyuk, and Lee Dong-gun. Seo Ah-ri finds herself getting involved in a life of fame, desire, and wealth when she starts exploring the world of social media. As the show went on, it began to drift off from its main plot, as romantic scenes and hidden crime aspects were introduced, such as not knowing if she was alive or dead, even though her live-streams were going on throughout the series, making the viewers confused.

10. The Secret Romantic Guesthouse 

It is a period romantic drama released in 2023, starring Shin Ye-eun, Jung Gun-Joo, Ryeoun, and Kang Hoon. The story is about an incident when the owners of a guesthouse go against all the norms and break the border with secrets to find Lee Soul, a person who had disappeared 13 years ago. Initially, the drama had high ratings and catered to a vast audience, but it was not constant. It failed to keep the viewer's attention during the whole series and only did that for the first episodes, with an average storyline.