What went wrong with Kim Soo Hyun and Kim Ji Won’s Queen of Tears? Decoding K-drama's inconsistencies

Queen of Tears although ended on a high note with splendid ratings, the plot did not live up to the expectations at times. Let’s find out why.

Updated on Apr 30, 2024  |  05:30 PM IST |  760.4K
Park Sung Hoon, Kim Ji Won, Kim Soo Hyun: courtesy of tvN
Park Sung Hoon, Kim Ji Won, Kim Soo Hyun: courtesy of tvN

Queen of Tears, starring Kim Soo Hyun and Kim Ji Won in the lead roles, has managed to become one of the most popular K-dramas of 2024. The show has garnered the highest ratings in tvN’s history, with a whopping 24.9 percent nationwide in South Korea. Furthermore, the K-drama has also consistently maintained the top spot on Netflix’s list of most viewed non-English shows. 

Despite garnering significant attention from viewers, the storyline occasionally fell short of expectations. Authored by Park Ji Eun, renowned for her exceptional K-dramas like The Producers, The Legend of the Blue Sea, and Crash Landing on You, this series naturally shares similarities in its storytelling approach and delivers heart-wrenching moments that will undoubtedly leave audiences in anguish. However, certain elements of the plot seemed slightly inconsistent, so let's delve deeper into these aspects.

Everything wrong with Queen of Tears

Deviation from the main plot

The plot of the show follows Baek Hyun Woo, who belongs to an ordinary family from a small town in South Korea. However, he falls in love with a girl Hong Hae In, who he initially thinks belongs to a low-income household but turns out to be the heiress of the company he worked for. Eventually, they fell in love and got married but problems in their relationship followed. Slowly, they started to grow apart and their marriage was on the brink of divorce. However, after she was diagnosed with a rare tumor, their relationship started to bloom again.


Initially, what was intended to showcase the love story of a couple who lost their ways and fell in love again turned into a complicated inheritance drama. From losing their company to getting kicked out of their house and finding secret funds, the plot takes a 360-degree turn in the last few episodes. The audience is deprived of the much-needed development of the lead couple’s relationship, which leaves a void. Moreover, the inclusion of an obsessive ex-lover further derails the show from the intended display of growing love and understanding between the lead couple. 

Underdeveloped characters

Yoon Eun Seong, played by Park Soong Hoon, is portrayed as the main villain of the story, trying to pull the couple apart. However, the backstory of the character is left vague and the audience never fully understands the intentions behind his evil actions. His cool and calm demeanor soon turns into that of a psychotic stalker who can go to any extent to get Hong Hae In. Needless to say, the actor did a commendable job at pulling off the role. But even his efforts were not enough to make the character entirely relevant to the plot. 


Additionally, Lee Mi Suk’s character is also revealed to be a greedy and power-hungry woman who goes as far as poisoning the very owner of the company to steal his wealth. However, the backstory of the character is never fully explored for the audience to grasp her motives.

Recycled tropes 

Childhood tropes are a wonderful addition to a plot when well done but in Queen of Tears, it felt forced. The added layer of the lead couple's relationship played no significance to the plot. As we reach the last episode, expecting something substantial, the story takes a predictable turn. The plotline lacks originality and often comes across as any other series we have watched in the past. 

Overall, the show was entertaining and has several instances that will leave one in actual tears. However, the needless drama and overdone tropes could have definitely been avoided. Furthermore, the credit for the success of the show mainly goes to the stellar cast, who portrayed each character wonderfully, elevating the storytelling process.

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Journalist. Perennially hungry for entertainment. Carefully listens to everything that start with "so, last night...". Currently making web more


Credits: tvN

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