After the smashing success that was “Goblin: The Great and Lonely God,” tvN was gunning for a fantasy drama that would replicate the ratings' dynamo starred by Gong Yoo and Lee Dong Wook. Hopes were high that “Bride of Habaek,” a drama adapted from a popular webtoon would keep up the momentum. But instead of breaking rating records, it has achieved the opposite and posted the lowest rating for any Korean Drama at 2.7 percent.

Epic flop

There was a lot of hype leading up to the airing of “Bride of Habaek,” originally titled “Bride of the Water God 2017.” The cast was nothing to scoff at.

Nam Joo Hyuk, fresh from the success of “Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo” was immediately signed on as the male lead. “The Girl Who Can See Smells” star Shin Se Kyung was cast as the bride of the water god.

The supporting cast includes popular stars like Uncontrollably Fond’s Lim Ju Wan, Drinking Solo’s Gong Myung and K-pop idol Krystal of f(x) which should have added to the star power of the show. However, the drama continued to drag in the ratings.

Bride of Habaek” started off with only 3.2 percent for its first episode. But in its recent episode, it slipped to 2.7 percent, which is the lowest drama ratings record ever. According to Koreaboo, the previous record for lowest ratings was at 2.9 percent.

What went wrong?

Based on many fan theories, “Bride of Habaek” suffered greatly from a poor script and its departure the original webtoon. Some fans complained that while they do not think that there is anything wrong with the acting of lead stars Nam Joo Hyuk and Shin Se Kyung, the way their characters were written makes them unlikeable and un-rootable.

Fans missed the spunk of Soah from the webtoon and compared it to the version portrayed by Shin Se Kyung who is always strapped for cash and acting stupid. Nam Joo Hyuk’s character Habaek, on the other hand, lacked powers that his webtoon counterpart had and also the personality that endeared him to fans of the franchise.

There were also fans who blamed the lack of chemistry between the two stars as the reason for the poor ratings.

Others felt that the script was failing to sustain the audience interest because writers were forgetting the important parts of the story.

While there have been a lot of dissatisfaction among the viewers, there are also those who continue to defend the drama and expressed enjoyment over how the story was progressing. The drama has received a 90 percent rating on Asianwiki and 7.8 on MyDramaList.