The Greatest Love
|The Greatest Love|
Promotional Poster for The Greatest Love
|Also known as||Best Love|
|Written by||Hong Mi-ran
|Directed by||Park Hong-kyun
|Country of origin||South Korea|
|No. of episodes||16|
|Running time||60 minutes on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 21:55 (KST)|
|Original channel||Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation|
|Original run||4 May 2011– 23 June 2011|
|Preceded by||Royal Family|
|Revised Romanization||Choego-ui Sarang|
The Greatest Love (Hangul: 최고의 사랑; RR: Choego-ui Sarang; also known as Best Love) is a 2011 South Korean romantic comedy television series about true love in the fake world of entertainment. Starring Cha Seung-won, Gong Hyo-jin, Yoon Kye-sang and Yoo In-na, it aired on MBC from May 4 to June 23, 2011 on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 21:55 for 16 episodes.
Gu Ae-jung (Gong Hyo-jin) was the most popular member of girl group Kukbo Sonyeo, literally meaning "National Treasure Girls," some 10 years ago, but fell from grace after becoming embroiled in scandals. She makes appearances on television programs to eke out a living for her troublemaker father and brother. On the other hand Dokko Jin (Cha Seung-won) is the most beloved star in the nation, topping all kinds of popularity polls and appearing in many commercials, but has several character flaws. Ae-jung discovers a secret about Jin by chance and reveals it on a talk show, incurring his fury. However, their ill-fated relationship unfolds in an unexpected way as Jin falls for Ae-jung and tries to win her heart.
Another star Kang Se-ri (Yoo In-na), also used to be in Kukbo Sonyeo with Ae-jung. But whereas Ae-jung was more famous in her heyday and Se-ri was a nobody, now every girl wants to be just like Kang Se-ri. She dated Dokko Jin for a short time, but despite their breakup, they keep up the pretense that they’re still dating to avoid negative publicity. Se-ri is also the host of popular TV dating show Couple Making Season 3.
Yoon Pil-joo (Yoon Kye-sang) is a well-mannered, thoughtful and caring doctor of Oriental medicine. He has no interest in celebrities and their outrageous lives. Under pressure from his mother, he agrees to appear on a TV dating show, but after finding out that Ae-jung will also be appearing on the same show, he becomes very eager to meet her. Fictional dating show Couple Making Season 3 is based on MBC’s real variety program We Got Married, where they throw celebrities into fake relationships for the cameras. The concept is a competition-based mat-seon program, essentially setting up people on blind dates for the purposes of finding a marriage partner. The major difference is that in Couple Making, celebrity ladies compete over a non-celebrity eligible bachelor who gives them roses to prevent their elimination (a la The Bachelor), which is how Yoon Pil-joo ends up as a contestant on the show.
The mix of the main characters’ mismatched personalities with the necessity to maintain (or recoup in Ae-jung’s case) public sentiment makes for great hijinks and drama, not to mention an interesting meta social commentary on the entertainment industry and the star-making and -breaking power of image.
- Gong Hyo-jin as Gu Ae-jung
- Cha Seung-won as Dokko Jin
- Yoon Kye-sang as Yoon Pil-joo
- Yoo In-na as Kang Se-ri
- Yang Han-yeol as Gu Hyung-kyu (Ae-jung's nephew)
- Jung Joon-ha as Gu Ae-hwan (Ae-jung's brother/manager)
- Lee Hee-jin as Jenny
- Im Ji-kyu as Kim Jae-seok (Jin's manager)
- Choi Hwa-jung as Representative Moon (president of Jin's agency)
- Bae Seul-ki as Han Mi-na
- Jung Man-shik as Manager Jang
- Choi Sung-min as Kim Eun-ho (Couple Making PD)
- Kim Mi-jin as Han Myung-jung (Couple Making writer)
- Park Won-sook as Pil-joo's mother
- Han Jin-hee as Gu Ja-chul (Ae-jung's father)
- Jeong Gyu-soo as Cardiac surgeon
- Hyoyoung as Harumi
The series was written by Hong Jung-eun and Hong Mi-ran, known collectively as the "Hong Sisters", who also wrote other Korean dramas such as Delightful Girl Choon-Hyang (2005), My Girl (2005), Couple or Trouble (2006), Hong Gil-dong (2008), You’re Beautiful (2009) and My Girlfriend Is a Gumiho (2010). According to director Park Hong-kyun (who previously helmed Queen Seondeok), the Hong sisters' adeptness at character comedy is how The Greatest Love hoped to differentiate itself from other trendy dramas airing on Korean television in Spring 2011.
Though the drama draws from gossip people hear about celebrities, Cha Seung-won said during the drama's press conference that he also wanted to show a bright, healthy side of the entertainment scene in Korea. He admitted that entertainers do hide behind their image due to their job. "However, this drama will show they are just genuine people off-camera," Cha said. Yoon Kye-sang added that, "The script is very realistic, giving a fun sneak peek into what is going on behind the scenes." Cha has described his comedic acting as technical while his co-star Gong Hyo-jin's is more naturalistic and reactive. They believe they struck a good balance between their two acting styles, which benefited the drama greatly.
Several of the locations used in the drama are Cafe Monet in Pyeongchang-dong (ostensibly run by Gu Ae-jung's friend Jenny), Kim Jong Young Museum (which served as Dokko Jin's luxurious house), Lotte World Magic Island (setting of Dokko Jin's love confession), D Square Gallery in Nonhyeon-dong (as Dokko Jin's management agency), and Choonwondang Museum of Korean Medicine in Jongno-gu (as Yoon Pil-joo's clinic).
Product placement (PPL) were integrated into the characters' storylines, and the drama's popularity resulted in increased sales of products such as smartphones LG Optimus Black and Optimus Big, social networking service Me2day, and energy drink VitaminWater. But the production received a warning from the Broadcasting Commission for what it termed the drama's "egregious" use of PPL.
The Greatest Love posted an average viewership rating of 16.6 percent on Total National Multimedia Statistics' (TNmS) chart and 19.5 percent on AGB Nielsen Media Research's (AGB) poll, with its final episode reaching 21 percent on AGB's survey to surpass the 20 percent mark for the first time. It topped the Wednesdays and Thursdays primetime TV chart for five consecutive weeks.
|Episode #||Original broadcast date||Average audience share|
|TNmS Ratings (%)||AGB Nielsen (%)|
|Nationwide||Seoul National Capital Area||Nationwide||Seoul National Capital Area|
|1||4 May 2011||6.5%||8.6%||8.4%||10.0%|
|2||5 May 2011||7.1%||9.6%||9.7%||11.5%|
|3||11 May 2011||8.6%||11.2%||12.1%||13.6%|
|4||12 May 2011||9.7%||12.3%||13.9%||17.1%|
|5||18 May 2011||10.4%||13.9%||14.0%||16.2%|
|6||19 May 2011||10.2%||12.7%||15.1%||17.5%|
|7||25 May 2011||14.4%||17.9%||17.4%||19.8%|
|8||26 May 2011||15.2%||18.0%||17.9%||20.2%|
|9||1 June 2011||14.4%||17.0%||17.8%||20.3%|
|10||2 June 2011||13.8%||17.4%||18.4%||21.2%|
|11||8 June 2011||14.3%||17.3%||18.4%||21.3%|
|12||9 June 2011||14.6%||18.5%||18.4%||20.9%|
|13||15 June 2011||13.1%||17.7%||17.8%||20.4%|
|14||16 June 2011||14.5%||18.1%||17.9%||20.1%|
|15||22 June 2011||15.9%||19.3%||18.0%||21.3%|
|16||23 June 2011||17.4%||21.2%||21.0%||23.7%|
- " 리얼러브송" (Real Love Song) - K.Will
- "내 사람이라서" (Because You're My Man) - G.NA
- "두근두근" (Thump Thump - original version)1 - Sunny Hill
- "내 손을 잡아" (Hold My Hand) – IU
- "나를 잊지 말아요" (Don't Forget Me) - Huh Gak
- "눈물나게 사랑해" (Gee, I Love You) – Big Mama Soul
- "아이캔’t 드링크" (I Can't Drink) - Baek Ji-young
- "LOVE LOVE" - Choi Sujin
- "Hero" (inst)
- "Destiny" (inst)
- "네잎클로버" (Four-leaf Clover) (inst)
- "Good boy" (inst)
- "사랑은" (Love) (inst)
The Greatest Love swept the 2011 MBC Drama Awards, winning seven awards, namely Drama of the Year, Top Excellence Awards for Acting in a Miniseries for Cha Seung-won and Gong Hyo-jin, Best Writer for Hong Mi-ran and Hong Jung-eun, Best Child Actor for Yang Han-yeol, Popularity Award for Gong, and Best Couple Award for Cha and Gong.
- Japan - Aired on Fuji TV beginning May 22, 2012. To promote the drama's simultaneous DVD release, a giant truck displaying an ad for the show roamed the streets of Tokyo. Lead actor Cha Seung-won also held a fan meeting in Tokyo titled "The Greatest Love for You" on July 28, 2012.
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- "AGB Daily Ratings: this links to current day-select the date from drop down menu". AGB Nielsen Media Research (in Korean). Retrieved 2013-01-23.
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- Suk, Monica (27 August 2012). "6 TV series that were inches away from clinching SDA nomination". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-11-24.
- Suk, Monica (17 April 2012). "MBC's The Greatest Love, The Moon Embracing the Sun to be produced into comic book". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-11-24.
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