Stellar “The Painter of the Wind” brings in poor ratings

September 29, 2008 at 7:30 pm | Posted in Television | 24 Comments
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Despite its top notch cast, stellar script and near cinematic perfection, SBS’ new Wednesday and Thursday night series “The Painter of Wind” failed to win audiences over last week.

The period piece drew in nationwide viewer ratings of 10.6 percent (AGB Nielsen Media Research) following its first episode, which aired last Wednesday. Its low ratings placed it below rival dramas MBC’s “Beethoven Virus” and KBS’ “The Land of the Wind,” which scored nationwide ratings of 16.5 percent and 15.9 percent (AGB Nielsen Media Research) respectively.

The second episode of “The Painter of Wind” fared only slightly better, with a mere 0.5 percent increase in ratings (AGB Nielsen Media Research).

But the drama’s poor track record hardly does it justice. While ratings may reflect a viewer’s preferences, they do not represent a series’ level of quality. Nowhere is this more evident than in the case of “The Painter of Wind.”

Based on the bestselling novel of the same name, this drama — which reinterprets and rewrites the lives of leading Joseon Dynasty painters Kim Hong-do and Shin Yun-bok — manages to fuse the artistic and human beauty of rival series “Beethoven Virus” with the sweeping epic proportions of KBS’ “The Land of the Wind.”

Actor Park Shin-yang and co-star Moon Geun-young bring star power and acting prowess to the game, pulling off their leading roles as mentor and pupil, lovers and comrades, with stunning depth and complexity.

If “The Painter of Wind” possesses an Achilles’ heel, it is that it chooses to focus on art. For the average television viewer, the combination of art and history can come across as boring and long-winded.

“It is a difficult drama,” admitted director Jang Tae-yoo at a press conference held on Sept. 17. “It is challenging to make art interesting. I don’t know how much of it will get communicated to audiences.”

Judging from the first two episodes, Jang and his team have succeeded in breathing new life into a potentially stuffy genre. Soft and sweeping shots of aspiring court painters putting brush to paper and tipping back wine while ogling gisaeng (Korean geisha) paint an entirely new portrait of the Joseon Dynasty.

While the series retains the usual elements of intrigue and murder, politics and warfare take a back seat. Romance and the essence of the late Joseon Dynasty, of an era of reform and cultural renaissance, come to the forefront, imbibing the period piece with a strong sense of humanity and intimacy.

More importantly, the series takes on an approach reminiscent of lush period pieces like E. J-yong’s “Untold Scandal” (2003), by focusing on issues of sexuality and gender.

Posing the classically Shakespearian question: “What if the famed painter Shin Yun-bok had been a girl pretending to be a boy?” The drama — like the original novel — toys with themes of homosexuality and forbidden love while highlighting the inequalities of a male-dominant society.

Actress Moon took up the challenge of playing girl-turned-boy Shin Yun-bok. And she does a surprisingly good job of portraying a confident and rebellious girl struggling to make it in a world ruled by men.

“I tried to copy my older male co-stars,” said Moon, 21, at the press conference.

The precocious actress did more than just mimic her male colleagues. Within the first two episodes, she managed to convey the mischievous and anguished nature of her character, at times playing a sweet and innocent tomboy, at others a cocky and seductive painter.

Though there is no evidence to show that the real Shin was a woman, his talent at capturing the beauty of women and for creating exquisite intimate paintings remains undisputed.

Known by his pen name, Hyewon (b. 1758), he is remembered today as one of the “Three Wons” of Joseon-period painting.

The other two “Wons” include fellow genre painter Kim Hong-do a.k.a. Danwon (1745- c.1806) and 19th century painter Jang Seung-up (1843-1897) — otherwise known as Owon.

While Kim enjoyed a relatively prominent career as an artist, fellow painter Shin — who was expelled from the royal painting institute, Dohwaseo — lived a more obscure life.

“The Painter of Wind” takes historical liberties with the lives of Kim Hong-do and Shin Yun-bok, depicting a full-blown romance between Kim, played by Park Shin-yang, and Moon Geun-young’s character against the backdrop of 18th century Korea.

“The Painter of Wind” airs on Wednesday and Thursday nights on SBS at 9:55 p.m.

Source: Korea Herald
Picture Source: Review Star
Credit: seoulfull.wordpress.com
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24 Comments »

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  1. it has tough competition.
    BV is gotten to the point were they have established their fanbase and the landof the wind is a sa geuk so lots of families are watching it.

    there are wayy too manynew dramas to keep up with!

  2. I’m actually more interested in Kingdom of Winds and Painter of the Wind; sageuks done well without being boring is rare. Everyone I’ve talked to so far has said this is a stunner of a drama, so I’m definitely going to give it a try. The only thing that’s throwing me off is the Park Shin Yang/Moon Geun Young pairing. He’s old enough to be her father, omg. It’s kind of hard to forget that when you’re looking at them.

  3. I’m surprised that POTW has poor rating consider its top notch cast. PSY & MGY pairing turn me off this series as well.

  4. everyone has its own prerogative, own preference and appreciation of every thing. i like painter of the wind because of values it partakes. though i must say that was all korean dramas wanted to convey… i maybe into art so i want to see those of what happened during those era.

  5. i think painter of the wind is one of the best korean dramas because it inspires everyone who likes art and teaches art to everybody who don’t know art mush. so keep up……………..
    love this drama
    don’t care who is pairing with who
    they are really good at acting so ……….

  6. oh yea
    how do i give points to painter of the wind.
    …………I am not Korean..

  7. all i can say….painters of the wind is one of the best drama I have watch, great story line, great actors,great acting.I don’t care too who’s pairing with who. ….I really like this drama and this is coming from a non Korean.

  8. I love this drama too! One of the best drama of 008 for me ~ 🙂

  9. i love this (POTW) more than the other two coz of the story line and the intesity of the drama. the cast did a great job so it doesn’t matter to me if geun-yang is too young for shin-yang, the only thing i can see it they both convince me how great of an artist they are portraying.

  10. I really like the drama coz I love paintings and painting philosophy. But I’m really upset not to find out the novel in English translatio. Can anybody help me ???

  11. Wow, I’m surprised that POTW did poorly in ratings, I was expecting exactly the opposite. I really love the drama and it is one of the period dramas I had been recommending to many colleagues. Yes, some find period dramas boring and hard to understand but I wont miss the chance in watching such superb drama because of this kind of stereotyping (or so…).

  12. Painter of the winds is famous in other parts of Asia even tough it is not that famous in korea like kindom of the wind. I do not like kindom of the wind cuz actor and actress are so UGLY my friends as well they do not like Kindom of the wind. You know what is action and arts Painter of the wind detail decribe what is art. That is the point that i like.

  13. Painter of the Wind is totally good drama compare to those drama Girl wearing a guy outfit, in my opinion actress Moon is suit for the guy outfit as well she seems like a cute guy. She do not like other actress when wearing a guy outfit is so unfit but for Moon it is really handsome or something like cute she act as a guy is more practical compare to those other female actress don’t you all agree??? one more thing is her eyes her eyes are totally beautiful yah, especially eyes sight are so realistic make people feel the real Arts. Thanks that is my comments for Painter of the WInd. Love it. Ha ja.

  14. for me.. this is a good drama new theme. maybe some audience are dissap. because moongeun is still a man not to mention the her love for same gender.. but its good for me.

  15. This is the best Korean drama I have seen. I have to say the 4 main characters Hye Won,Dan Won,King & Jun Hyang played so beautiful in this drama. Even all extended casts did a good job too. It totally changed my image about Korea. Thanks so much for producing such a wonderful drama.

  16. You have no idea how much I am into this drama!
    I think Moon Geun-young did a terrific job in portraying the boyish character. She is in my opinion the most talented actress I have ever seen, especially at such young age. I am happy to see that she got honored by SBS acting award. She deserves it!
    As to why such good production got so poor ratings, I personally couldn’t think of any reason but perhaps “the pairing strategy” from the very beginning. Have you seen the flow of love between Yun-bok and Jeong Hyang? Such amazing chemistry between the two that makes me hardly pay attention on any other characters in the drama. Besides, I would suggest Mr. Park to play his character in more gentle way if they really intend to pair Kim and Yun-bok.

    Just my 2 cent…lol

  17. I am a fan of this drama. Before I saw the POTW, i hadn’t intendtion to enjoy this drama. Because I knew the drama got poor rating. However, I saw the clip about Yun Bok and Jeong Hang. I tried to see ep 1 and ep 2. And i was intrested in this drana. I really like Yun Bok, Jeong Hang and their love…..I change my mind, the drama get poor rating Which isn’t bad. It may be good. Moon Geon Young played the Shin Yun Bok very successfully that why I didn’ t suprised When she got Dasaeng SBS and Dasang Drama

  18. Great drama, one my favorite.

    The relationships between Yun Bok and Jeong Hyang, “his” mentor, and brother are the main draw for me. I am surprised to see such a breakthrough in a Korean drama.

    The arts factors, musics, all paintings displayed and the stories behind them, love it. The chemistry between the Moons were great and I am especially impressed by MGY’s performance. Under her portrayal SBY was so cute, natural yet not over the top.

  19. I do really wonder why everyone is caring so much about the age gap between the two main characters and lovers of the drama; especially when their love is so beautifully bloomed. Its ending however did really give me a shock since their parting had no actual reason except for the fact that they were both too badly devoting towards each other.
    …would really like to think of their star-crossed fates leading them to a different, happier path…

  20. yhat’s realy a wondrrful drama

  21. thats a wonderful drama

  22. i am from indonesia and i never interested to watch korean drama but this POTW really got me!!!! i like joon hyang and yoon bok acting…
    altho in the end this drama is abit confusing ssooo i think the producer should make a POTW sequel and i want yoon bok (by the same actress moon geung and moon chaeo )play in this drama again!!! they both made me watch the drama!!! i want the producer potrait yoon book as real man so he can get married with joon hyang!!!!
    HEY PRODUCER MAKE THE SEQUEL PLEASE from INDONESIA

  23. Honestly, I never actually got into Korean Dramas until I saw this (POTW). It made me cry everytime I watched it. To me, it’s one of the best dramas I’ve ever watched.

  24. This was the very first korean drama i’ve ever watched. The best one i’ve watched. Because of POTW, i got into watching more korean dramas. The storyline in this drama is just superb! Every time when i re-watch this drama, that ‘feeling’ kicks in. The ‘feeling’ i felt when i first watched this drama. Really heartwarming! One of the highlights in this drama that really touched me was the love & chemistry between Yun Bok and Jeong Hyang. Great acting! Even though Yun Bok is a girl, but what makes this pairing so special is the chemistry between Yun Bok & Jeong Hyang. Plus the way they portray it is just so (y)!!! Daebak drama! Till this day, to me this is the best drama i’ve ever watched and i really hope the PDs who filmed this drama will make a 2nd sequel of POTW even though it has been about 6 years. Haha! All and all, awesome drama!

    P/S: My mum who is not a fan of korean dramas watched POTW. Until today, she still hasn’t forgotten about it. This shows good the drama is. Whoever is reading this comment, i highly recommend you to go and watch POTW! Great drama! 🙂


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