‘Matrimonial Chaos’ hints at challenges of localization

October 17, 2018

SEOUL, Oct. 17 (Yonhap) — The new television series “Matrimonial Chaos” showed a strong performance, despite some critical reviews about localization, by landing at No. 2 in its debut week on the weekly TV chart, data showed Wednesday.

The KBS romantic comedy, which is the Korean remake of the popular Japanese series on Fuji TV from 2013, recorded a Content Power Index (CPI) score of 257.9 for Oct. 8-14.

The Monday-Tuesday series, also known as “The Bes Divorce,” revolves around a couple whose marriage ends in divorce but decides to live under one roof for the time being for a smooth legal separation.

The lead female actor Bae Doo-na, who plays the wife, Kang Hui-ru, made a welcoming comeback to a terrestrial TV network after an almost eight-year hiatus.

A poster of the upcoming television show "The Best Divorce," provided by KBS (Yonhap)

A poster of the upcoming television show “The Best Divorce,” provided by KBS (Yonhap)

During a recent media event to promote the series, she said despite some reservations she had before shooting about how to remake the already successful Japanese series, she became confident that the drama has been adapted successfully to reflect the Korean culture about marriage.

That conviction, however, has yet to resonate with some viewers who complain about the lead male character’s lack of depth compared with that of the original series and one-dimensional supporting characters. The story is also developing too slowly and is close to being boring, others point out. The Korean one has been extended to 16 episodes from the original 10.

To be fair, it is still too early to judge the show’s level of localization and performance, as it has just begun and there are still 14 more episodes to go.

The CPI, created by CJ E&M and Nielsen Korea, measures the level of popularity, social media presence and influence on consumer behavior of entertainment TV programs aired on three major terrestrial networks — MBC, SBS and KBS — and seven cable channels owned by CJ E&M — including tvN, Mnet and OCN — during prime time. JTBC, another cable network that airs some highly popular entertainment shows and dramas, is not included in the measurement.