Island Kdrama starring Kim Nam Gil, Cha Eun Woo, and Lee Da Hee was among the most anticipated drama in 2023. However, following its release date, Island Kdrama showed weak initial responses from viewers. So, what happened, and why Island new drama receives such disappointing responses despite Cha Eun Woo impressive and commendable acting? Check out the following reasons according to various Korean media.
ISLAND Kdrama Receives WEAK Initial Responses
TVING new drama starring Kim Nam Gil, Cha Eun Woo, and Lee Da Hee, Island Kdrama, has received relatively weak initial responses.
On January 4, Korean media reported that some viewers had apparently pushed out Island Kdrama simply after watching its early episodes.
Despite the fact that the new drama had involved over 20 million KRW of investment, the viewers’ responses were relatively weak during the first week after its release date on December 30, 2022.
Unlike the previous anticipation it received during the pre-release, viewers expressed their disappointment towards the narrative, the scenes, and the cast’s acting within Island Kdrama.
ISLAND New Drama and Lee Da Hee Received Criticism – Why?
Further in the report, Korean media Ten Asia also stated that Island Kdrama started with early episodes that failed to draw viewers’ interest. Despite the impressive performance of Cha Eun Woo, viewers still were not convinced to keep watching the new drama after watching its disappointing initial episodes.
And here are the complete reasons why Island new drama starring Kim Nam Gil, Cha Eun Woo, and Lee Da Hee received weak responses from the viewers.
1. Island Kdrama Failed to Build Overall Narrative – Kim Nam Gi’s Very Little Screen Time
The first reason why Island Kdrama received such weak responses was because of Kim Nam Gil’s very little screen time.
Kim Nam Gil played Van, the main character of the webtoon-adapted new drama, Island. However, despite being the center of the whole series, the screen time in which Kim Nam Gil appeared in Island Kdrama was only approximately 5 minutes.
Instead, the first episode of the new drama showed Lee Da Hee character, Won Mi Ho, and her entire story. Kim Nam Gil only returns at the end of the first episode to kill Jung Yeom Gwi.
As the first episode that plays the crucial role in building the foundation of the whole story, Island drama reportedly started off weak. It has failed to attract viewers’ immersion in the story’s narrative.
2. Kim Nam Gil and Lee Da Hee Weak Impression
Second of all, although they are basically the main characters in Island new drama, Kim Nam Gil and Lee Da Hee gave considerably weak impressions of the characters.
Since the first episode was all about Won Mi Ho, actress Lee Da Hee became the main focus of the new drama. However, Ten Asia reported that Lee Da Hee had failed to show creativity in her acting as Won Mi Ho. Instead, her performance was strongly similar to all her previous chaebol-heiress characters, including in The Beauty Inside and Search: WWW.
Meanwhile, the report also claimed that her expressions and appearances in the chasing scenes were basically the same as what she did in Luca: the Beginning.
Nothing has changed or improved from Lee Da Hee performance in Island Kdrama. That is why this TVING project failed to attract viewers.
At the same time, even though his first impression came out strong, Kim Nam Gil performance was not as good as viewers’ previous expectations. So far, Korean media has reported no significance in his overall performance in Island Kdrama. But they all hope that Kim Nam Gil will be able to carry the drama to success. After all, that is his primary job as the one playing Van, the main character of the legendary webtoon, Island.
3. Release Date is The Same as THE GLORY – A Failed Competition?
Finally, the media also reported that another possible reason for Island Kdrama weak responses was because of its untimely release date.
TVING released Island Kdrama on December 30, 2022. It was the same release date as Netflix’s new hit Korean series, The Glory. Compared to Island, Netflix The Glory received more exciting responses due to the combination of Kim Eun Sook’s masterpiece and Song Hye Kyo’s acting in a dramatic noir theme.
This untimely release date forced viewers to choose between binge-watching the whole season of The Glory, or watching bits or pieces of Island early episodes. Normally, viewers would choose to binge-watching the entire series of The Glory first. Then, after they finish watching and expressing their immersions and comments about the completed series, then they would start watching Island.
And this is the reported reason why Island Kdrama started off weak.
Cha Eun Woo Received Praises for His Transformation as a Young Priest in ISLAND Kdrama
Despite all the weak initial responses towards Island new drama, Cha Eun Woo has impressed the viewers with his complete transformation as a young priest.
Years after his acting debut amidst the controversy surrounding idol-actors, Cha Eun Woo performed a massive improvement in his acting skills. Unlike his previous characters that showed his duality of a cold or cute boy next door, this time Cha Eun Woo returns with a stronger character that is completely unique: a young Catholic priest of the Vatican.
Dashing in a long black robe, with a cross in hands and speaking gorgeous Latin from his mouth, Cha Eun Woo transforms into a completely different person. Even alongside Kim Nam Gil and Lee Da Hee, Cha Eun Woo managed to showcase a high-level acting performance on par with the experienced actors. His transformation was so drastic we even forget what his smile looks like as an idol sometimes.
Why? Because in Island Kdrama, idol-actor Cha Eun Woo perfectly embodied the role of Priest John. He showcased his stunning acting improvement and magnificent action skills to the point of owning the character that is completely far from his persona as a celebrity.
Still, the only things that do not change from Cha Eun Woo are his genius visual and charming eyes.
We’re witnessing the birth of action star Cha Eunwoo in #Island 🔥— christy | 최차 (@christyroha) January 6, 2023
I especially love the way he expressed Yohan’s playfulness in the action scenes too with his little smiles/smirks.
Both Eunwoo & Namgil are so damn good at action scenes I need more!pic.twitter.com/aptQVCHaGL
The Future of ISLAND New Drama Starring Kim Nam Gil, Lee Da Hee, and Cha Eun Woo
Finally, it has only been 4 episodes ongoing of Cha Eun Woo and Lee Da Hee new drama, Island. Although the Kdrama may start off with weak responses, it does NOT mean that Island will end the same way.
After all, on January 7 local time, Flix Patrol recorded Island to have entered #10 of Amazon Prime Top TV Shows.
With 12 episodes in total, Island Kdrama still shows promising storyline, especially knowing that it comes from a legendary manhwa. We all hope that within the remaining episodes, all the characters can equally carry the drama toward success and higher ratings.
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