Kim Hyun-joong just made his return to K-dramas in When Time Stopped. Despite his popularity from past roles in K-dramas like Boys Over Flowers, will his past assault charges and pregnancy scandal doom his comeback?
According to the synopsis provided by the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) for the K-drama, When Time Stopped — also known as At the Moment, That Moment When Time Stops, and The Gift — is a romance starring Kim Hyun-joong and Ahn Ji-hyun. Moon Joon-woo (Hyun-joong) has the ability to stop time which causes him to lead a lonely life. When he needs a place to live, he rents a basement apartment owned by Kim Sun-ah (Ji-hyun). Despite being hardworking and a building owner, she is financially struggling because all her money goes to her father’s debt.
Moon Joon-woo soon discovers that when he stops time, Kim Sun-ah is unaffected and can move freely around. This revelation gives Joon-woo an opportunity to appreciate time and his fluid life.
Kim Hyun-joong’s past catches up to him in his K-drama return
Unfortunately for Kim Hyun-joong, he is now paying for his past in his new K-drama. Domestically in South Korea, When Time Stopped is unbelievably unpopular as Nielsen Korea records a viewership rating lower than 0.1 percent.
South Koreans have left scathing comments of criticism bringing up Kim Hyun-joong’s domestic assault charges and his pregnancy scandal. Back in August of 2014, his ex-girlfriend filed assault charges against him. In the end, he was fined five million KRW for it. One year later, his ex-girlfriend took Hyun-joong to court again this time for mental distress and that his assault caused her to miscarry. On top of all of that, Kim Hyun-joong was also in trouble for drunk driving in 2017.
International K-drama fans are being more lenient towards Kim Hyun-joong as the overall rating for When Time Stopped is currently at 9.8. Still, the K-drama has not been able to make a mark against other currently-airing K-dramas like When Stars Fall and the Smile Has Left Your Eyes.
Only time will tell if South Koreans can turn the other cheek and give Kim Hyun-joong’s return a chance. If they don’t, KBS and Hyun-joong will have to depend on the international fan base in hopes of being successful.
When Time Stopped is currently airing on KBS on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 11 p.m. KST. It will run a total of 12 episodes. For international fans, it is available to watch on Rakuten Viki. The first two episodes are free-to-watch while subsequent episodes are available only to Viki Pass subscribers.