The popularity of KBS2 TV drama series “Descendants of the Sun” in China apparently has the nation’s government on edge.
On Saturday, China’s Ministry of Public Security posted a warning against watching “Descendants of the Sun” on its official Weibo site.
“An enormous fandom of Korean drama ‘Descendants of the Sun’ starring Song Joong-ki has emerged as it began to air in Korea and China. It is easy to see that many have fallen in love with the male lead Song,” it said, warning that “watching Korean dramas could be dangerous, and even lead to legal troubles.”
Promotional image for KBS2 TV drama “Descendants of the Sun” (KBS)
“Descendants of the Sun,” a 16-episode KBS2 TV drama series set against the backdrop of military operations in a fictional country, starring actor Song Joong-ki and actress Song Hye-kyo, hit 440 million cumulative views on Chinese online video platform iQIYI.
The cumulative views of the TV drama outnumbered those of 2014 SBS hit drama “My Love from the Star,” Taiwanese newspaper China Times reported Sunday.
In its Weibo posting warning against the harmful effects of watching Korean dramas, the ministry offered several examples of extreme cases -- a couple who divorced due to Korean dramas and a man who went through extreme plastic surgery to reclaim his heart of his wife, who had become smitten by the male protagonist of a Korean drama -- to illustrate the “potential troubles” faced by those watching Korean dramas.
Song Hye-kyo (left) and Song Joong-ki star in KBS2 TV drama series “Descendants of the Sun.” (KBS)
“Descendants of the Sun,” was released simultaneously in Korea and China, where iQIYI has purchased the online rights.
The TV drama series is also gaining popularity in Korea, recording 14.4 percent viewership with its first episode on Feb. 24 and hitting 28.5 percent for its sixth episode, which aired March 10, according to AGB Nielsen, a television ratings company.
By Jung Eun-jin (firstname.lastname@example.org