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Why the rising ratings of the Yongpal drama isn’t all hype

Youngpal drama poster

9%.

12%.

15%.

18%.

They keep on going up. Just what are these numbers?

They are ratings, the ones that drive this world. They either make or break a show.

  1. Poor ratings, the program gets canceled.
  2. Great ratings means people are watching and it gets extended.

I admit that I check what a show’s rating is to see if it’s worth seeing. If not, then I watch something else.

I got these numbers from a Korean drama.

To be fair, Korean ratings are not what they used to be. Up to the year 2010, if a drama received

  • up to 20% ratings, it was considered an average drama,
  • 21% to 30% a good one and
  • from 31% onwards a great show.

Nowadays, with viewers getting their content from other sources such as online sites, TV ratings have been affected drastically. It is harder to get the same number of viewers as before and the numbers don’t have the same value as before.

Everybody raved about “The Producers” from KBS because it pulled in 11.7% but it wasn’t all that. Those numbers made it appear to be more of a success than it actually was. It was a good drama, not a great one. A 10% rating today is considered a 20% yesterday.

Now these rising numbers with each new episode caught my eye. I wanted to see what the buzz was all about with Youngpal” (the Gang Doctor).

Recap of the Gang Doctor drama

With the first episode, I was immediately gripped from the opening car chase scene that led to the driver’s death when his car crashed into another one while he had his loved one, Yeojin, along with him in the passenger seat. Even though she survived, she couldn’t handle his death and in the next scene she jumped through a high story glass window, which later showed her in a coma in a hospital, meaning that she had survived the fall.

I felt sadness and pity for Yeojin since she was led to that situation.

The drama now transitioned to the main storyline.

I learned that Taehyun is a young low level resident doctor who has to pay back his student loan because his medical school tuition is expensive and to cover for the surgery of his ailing sister. Because he needs so much money, he asks for “tips”. i.e. money on the side from the families of the patients he’s operated on after the main surgeons, who are past their prime, botch the surgeries.

By night, he secretly helps the mafia by quickly healing their members after their scuffle with the police or other gangsters and gets paid for each person that he operates on.

One night, the mafia calls Taehyun and when he arrives inside the casino, he finds the mafia boss being supported by his members because he is bleeding from a bullet wound in his stomach.

Just as he is putting the finishing stitches after closing the wound, the police storm the place full of the casino customers. Taehyun is able to sneak from the back along with the limping boss.

Even after getting into a car, the police still give chase. They are eventually cornered at a bridge and he takes the boss out of the car.

With no other means of escape, he has no choice but to inject epinephrine into both of their legs. The episode ends with Taehyun jumping into the water below along with the reluctant mafia chief.

Review of the first episode

After seeing just the first episode of “Yongpal”, I can now understand why it is continuing to climb in the ratings.

  • I was immersed with the solid plot, fast paced action scenes and the great acting from Taehyun.
  • I was left wondering what was to become of Yeojin and how she was connected to Taehyun’s storyline.
  • There were no fillers and it moved forward at a steady pace.
  • I liked how the episode ended with that cliffhanger, making me anticipate the next one.

Hopefully I’ve convinced you with these ratings and high praises. I would highly recommend this unique drama.

BTW, what were your impressions when you first watched the k-drama Youngpal?

I don't know. Sometimes it feels like my writing & thoughts are way off. Who knows if it'll help anyone or if it means anything.

Written by Ben

Silence means 100% agreement