Every K-Drama Netflix REJECTED That Became a HIT!

Netflix regrets missing out on these K-Dramas that became huge hits elsewhere.
Every K-Drama Netflix Rejected That Became A Hit!

In recent years, Netflix has become a major platform for K-Dramas, helping to spread their popularity worldwide. However, even this streaming giant has missed out on some major hits, leaving room for other platforms to scoop up these gems. Let’s explore some of the most notable K-Dramas that Netflix rejected, only to see them become incredibly successful elsewhere.

Twinkling Watermelon – A Musical Time-Travel Delight

Twinkling Watermelon

Despite the massive success of series like Crash Landing on You, Squid Game, and Queen of Tears, Netflix missed out on Twinkling Watermelon. This unique series tells the story of Ha Eun-gyeol, the only hearing person in a family of deaf individuals. By day, he’s a model high school student, but by night, he’s part of a rock band.

The twist comes when his father discovers his passion for music, leading to an argument that sends Ha Eun-gyeol back in time to 1995. In this past era, he meets his parents as teenagers and strives to improve their lives using music. The drama captivated audiences with its heartwarming storyline and the excellent performances of its cast, especially in portraying characters using sign language and playing musical instruments.

Viewers praised the lovable characters and the endearing relationships, making it a top-rated show by fans. Unlike many school dramas filled with violence and disturbing themes, Twinkling Watermelon offered a refreshing, wholesome experience. Although Netflix had a chance to host this series, they passed, allowing platforms like Rakuten Viki and Viu to benefit from its success.

Lovely Runner – A Tale of Time Travel and Redemption

Byeon Woo-Seok, K-Drama “Lovely Runner“

Another K-Drama that slipped through Netflix’s fingers was Lovely Runner. This series follows Imol, an aspiring film director whose dreams are shattered by an injury. She finds solace in the music of K-pop idol Ryu Sun-jae, who tragically passes away. Imol unexpectedly travels back to 2008, meeting Sun-jae and attempting to alter their fates.

The series charmed viewers with its compelling storyline and the undeniable chemistry between leads Kim Hyun and Bong Woo. It broke numerous records, becoming the most popular K-Drama in over a hundred regions and launching its actors to global fame.

While it’s not confirmed if Netflix rejected Lovely Runner, the show’s production faced a three-year delay due to skepticism from various streaming platforms. Fans speculated that Netflix might have passed on it for similar reasons. As the drama gained traction, Netflix tried to ride its wave of success by promoting other shows featuring its stars, but fans quickly pointed out the missed opportunity. Platforms like TVN and international streaming sites reaped the benefits of hosting this hit.

Extraordinary Attorney Woo – A Groundbreaking Legal Drama

Watch Extraordinary Attorney Woo | Netflix Official Site

The case of Extraordinary Attorney Woo is a bit different. This 2022 series, which follows Woo Young-woo, a young attorney with autism, became a massive hit both domestically and internationally. Despite her social struggles, Woo Young-woo’s photographic memory and intelligence win her respect and admiration.

The series aired on the South Korean channel ENA and became the channel’s most viewed drama ever. It was lauded for its portrayal of an autistic main character and its efforts to raise awareness about mental health and societal issues. Netflix did not reject this series outright; instead, production company AStory chose to retain the intellectual property rights after learning from their experience with Kingdom, which they had sold to Netflix.

AStory allowed Netflix to stream Extraordinary Attorney Woo in some regions, but kept other rights, enabling them to create a webtoon adaptation, a possible musical, a second season, and international remakes. This strategic move ensured that AStory reaped the benefits of the drama’s success while leveraging Netflix’s vast audience for broader exposure.

Netflix’s Regrets and the Future of K-Dramas

These examples illustrate that even a powerhouse like Netflix can miss out on potential hits. While Twinkling Watermelon and Lovely Runner found success on other platforms, Extraordinary Attorney Woo showcases a different strategy where the production company chose to maintain more control over their IP.

In the world of K-Dramas, these decisions are crucial. As K-Dramas continue to captivate global audiences, the choices made by streaming platforms and production companies will shape the future landscape of entertainment. Netflix’s losses with these shows are a testament to the unpredictable nature of television hits and the evolving strategies of content distribution.

By understanding these dynamics, fans can appreciate the complexities behind their favorite dramas and anticipate more exciting content in the future.

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