One of the representative that set off the first wave of Hallyu a decade ago, Ahn Jae Wook has his popularity resurged through MBC drama Lights and Shadows. From the single-digit ratings when the drama debuted and gradually climb to current double-digit ratings to become the champion in ratings ranking among dramas broadcast on the same time slot, Ahn Jae Wook is one of the main contributor. Both the media and the audience have been praised him constantly.
The MBC anniversary commemorative drama Lights and Shadows starring Ahn Jae Wook, Nam Sang Mi, Son Dam Bi and others can be described as the dark horse in ratings. At the beginning, the first few episodes only managed to get single-digit ratings, which hovered around 9%, and was also suppressed by other dramas of same time slot to the bottom of ranking. But the drama silently accelerates under the efforts of actors and writers. Its ratings take advantage of the week of year end awards ceremony to have a sudden leap ahead, and on episode 16 broadcast on January 17th, 2012, the rating even surged to the national average of 17.6%, and the rating was even better in Seoul metropolitan area, which exceeded 20%, not only defeated two opponents namely KBS2 “Brain” and SBS “Salaryman,” it’s also breaking own highest ratings record.
And many South Korean media have pointed out the success of “Lights and Shadows” has a close relationship with actor Ahn Jae Wook, in which he plays a son of wealthy family during the 1960s, Kang Ji Tae, who is born playful, and at 30s, he lives a happy and worry-free life depending on his father, and eventually been punished by his father after screwed up a business. Consequently through creating popular dance hall and personally becomes sensible and grows up. It is reported that when the drama was at the conceiving stage, it’s already settled on Ahn Jae Wook to play the role. But Ahn Jae Wook who was a little timid at the time declared that he has no intention to film TV series again, because the ratings of SBS’s Saranghae-I Love You in 2008 dropped to the rock bottom, receiving criticism everywhere. Later he concentrated on the backstage of radio program “Mr. Radio.” The low ratings during the initial broadcast of Lights and Shadows raised the worry that the drama may be another failed project, but Ahn Jae Wook told media after joining the filming, “The drama is getting more interesting, at that time I thought of no need to feel anxious about the ratings, I believe in the scriptwriter and director of the drama, and in the drama itself, so I choose to continue putting my efforts for it.”
Indeed, the drama that is shot with self-confidence eventually gone through all sorts of ordeal and been recognized by the audience. Ahn Jae Wook is showing a different charisma through the drama, and can be said as coming back in his acting career through Lights and Shadows. The drama that is expected to have 50 episodes have just broadcast 16 episodes, and already been praised and applauded, so it has real potential to breakthrough.