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Encounter finale: tvN series starring Park Bo-Gum and Song Hye-Kyo concludes like most romantic K-Dramas, earns high viewership

Encounter K-drama stars  Song Hye-kyo and Park Bo-gum
Encounter, the K-drama starring Song Hye-kyo and Park Bo-gum, recently concluded. Image Credit: Total Variety Network (tvN)

Encounter (also known as Boyfriend), the popular romantic K-drama that was airing on the Total Variety Network (tvN), recently aired its penultimate and final episodes. It ended similarly to the typical trope of other romance K-dramas, which in turn, resulted in high viewership.

Distance makes the heart grow fonder

WARNING: Spoilers ahead! Skip to the first paragraph after the second video to avoid!

Even though Encounter played to the typical tropes reminiscent of romance K-dramas, how it was executed was well-done.

In the course of two episodes, Cha Soo Hyun (Song Hye-Kyo) and Kim Jin-Hyuk (Park Bo-Gum) breakup and end up together again all within the series’ real time. This means there wasn’t any time jump between the two.

Having two significant moments in Cha Soo-Hyun and Kim Jin-Hyuk’s relationship happen back-to-back would have resulted in rushed writing, but instead, it was produced and directed to actually fit.

The breakup happens in the penultimate episode in which Soo-Hyun breaks up with Jin-Hyuk as she cannot bear dragging her boyfriend and his family through the media circus pertaining to her family. Jin-Hyuk clearly shows how upset he is resulting in some of Park Bo-Gum’s best acting.

Park Bo-Gum did an amazing job showing his character’s sadness and anguish after a breakup.

In the final episode, Kim Jin-Hyuk does all he can to win back Cha Soo-Hyun saying that Soo-Hyun can “break up with him” but he won’t “break up with her” and that he’ll keep his promise to protect her.

Eventually, Cha Soo-Hyun realizes that she is happiest being with Kim Jin-Hyuk and comes back to him. One year later, both Soo-Hyun and Jin-Hyuk are going strong, eating out at restaurants, spending time together, and at that point, discussing marriage.

Cha Soo-Hyun and Kim Jin-Hyuk are still going strong after one year. This time, Jin-Hyuk is even thinking about marriage.

Happy ending for the network as well as the K-drama

Most K-drama fans are happy that Encounter ended the way it did (happily ever after). As for tvN, they are happy too as the K-drama ended on a high note both domestically and internationally.

According to the viewership ratings provided by AGB Nielsen Korea, the final episode earned 11.161 percent viewership for Seoul and 8.678 percent for Korea. The series on average was 10.704 percent for Seoul and 8.475 percent for Korea.

Once again, tvN is a Korean cable (pay) network so viewership would relatively be lower than free-to-watch networks like SBS, KBS, or MBC. Anything scoring over two percent is considered good and the fact this K-drama hit double-digit viewership for Seoul means it was a major success.

Internationally, Encounter did very well at least in the Americas. Exclusive to streaming site Rakuten Viki, it is the second most-popular/trending K-drama. The only K-drama to be more popular/trending is Thirty But Seventeen.

What is next now that Encounter has concluded?

Since Encounter just recently concluded, we have no news on what the cast and crew will be doing next.

As for the time slot, it will be occupied by upcoming tvN K-drama Touch Your Heart. Even though the K-drama has yet to air, it is already getting plenty of attention among fans as it reunites Goblin co-stars Yoo In-Na and Lee Dong-Wook.

For K-drama fans who are interested in see why Encounter was so popular, the entire series is available to watch, for free with ads, on Rakuten Viki.


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