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    South Korean viewers split over surprise ending of hit K-drama ‘Reborn Rich’

    ANN/KOREA HERALD – South Korean viewers had mixed responses over the ending of the hit K-drama Reborn Rich, which departed drastically from the conclusion of the original web novel of the same title by author San Kyung, from which it was adapted.

    The last episode of the 16-part JTBC series starring South Korean actor Song Joong-ki aired on December 25, with a 26.9-per-cent viewership rating, according to ratings firm Nielsen Korea on Monday.

    The figure is the all-time second highest rating for a JTBC drama, following The World Of The Married (2020), which was recorded at 28.4 per cent.

    The story revolves around Yoon Hyeon-woo (Song), a personal secretary to the family of top conglomerate Soonyang, who is betrayed and killed by an unknown family member.

    Yoon is reincarnated in the body of Jin Do-jun, the youngest grandson of the Soonyang empire, with his memories as Yoon intact, and seeks revenge on the clan.

    Over the course of the show, viewers speculated on whether Yoon, in Jin’s body, would succeed in his mission and become chairman of the group, as the character did in the web novel.

    South Korean actor Song Joong-ki stars as Yoon Hyeon-woo, a personal secretary to the family of top conglomerate Soonyang, who is betrayed and killed by an unknown family member in K-drama ‘Reborn Rich’.
    PHOTO: KOREA HERALD

    Commenting on the finale on web portal Naver, they were, however, less than happy with the eventual differences.

    One comment read: “I’ve followed the series since the first episode and I see all my time was in vain.”

    Other viewers were more understanding.

    “People are angry right now, but I think (they) will understand later that this is a realistic conclusion,” one comment said.

    Another added: “For someone who didn’t see the original Web novel, I was (gripped) by the story until the end. (Adaptations) don’t have to follow the original ending.”

    After the final episode aired, Song said through his agency: “I am grateful for the responses that said this drama helped family and friends to empathise and communicate with each other.”

    South Korean actor Lee Sung-min, who played Soonyang Group’s chairman, also said through his agency: “I didn’t expect the series would be such a huge hit. I have nothing to say except thank you.

    “I don’t know exactly why chairman Jin was so popular, but I think it’s because the viewers saw in him a father or grandfather figure who gave his all and empathised with him.”

    Reborn Rich was one of the most anticipated series of the year.

    It became increasingly popular for its cathartic revenge plot mixed with the fantastical concept of having a second chance at life, along with the iconic tales of chaebol leaders and South Korea’s modern history.

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