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Korean romance King the Land is the biggest Netflix show in the world right now

Published Aug 7th, 2023 2:58PM EDT
King the Land on Netflix
Image: Netflix

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On the basis of raw hours viewed, the biggest Netflix TV show in the world right now is not The Witcher, Sweet Magnolias, The Lincoln Lawyer, or any of the other usual suspects that you might assume. That distinction, instead, belongs to King the Land, a Korean rom-com that racked up 64.5 million total hours viewed from July 24-July 30, compared to 59 million hours of viewership racked up by The Witcher Season 3 (the top English-language Netflix show in the world right now).

And in addition to that eye-popping performance making King the Land temporarily the biggest Netflix show in the world, here’s another impressive achievement. The show, which stars two K-pop celebrities, has spent a total of seven weeks so far on the Netflix global Top 10 (the non-English TV show ranking, one of four charts the streamer updates each week).

Should you check this one out if you’re a fan of the genre? That depends on if you love feel-good stories and captivating characters you’ll quickly find yourself rooting for from one episode to the next. One of the reasons fans watch K-dramas like King the Land is also for the swoon-worthy romance, and that’s certainly present here (in the form of an “opposites attract” kind of situation).

The two K-pop stars I mentioned above are YoonA from Girls’ Generation and Junho of 2PM, the latter of whom plays a super-wealthy hotelier trying to establish himself within his family’s business. YoonA, meanwhile, plays a gleeful, always-smiling employee who’s devoted to her work — and while these two butt heads at first, you don’t actually have to be a seasoned TV critic to figure out where this is headed.

“At King Hotel, King the Land is a VVIP business lounge owned by King Group, a chaebol (basically, a family-owned mega-conglomerate),” Netflix explains. “Won is the lucky heir to the company, but he’s not too thrilled about it. While Won’s worked hard to study and land a good gig within his family’s company, he lacks a sense of humor and never cracks a smile.”

The disappearance of his mom years ago factors into Won’s seeming aloofness. Meanwhile, Sa-rang is described as King Hotel’s “most enthusiastic staff member.” What she lacks in experience and education she makes up for with her delightful attitude, working at the hotel that has a special place in her heart (since she visited it with her mom as a child).

So, to recap: He’s a nepo child, while she’s all sweetness and smiles. Neither can stand the other (at first). Slowly, though, they become better acquainted. The walls come down. And — well, I don’t need to tell you what happens next that’s helped make this delightful series the biggest Netflix show in the world for the time being.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.