When the Camellia Blooms

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When the Camellia Blooms
When the Camellia Blooms.jpg
Promotional poster
Hangul동백꽃 필 무렵
Written byLim Sang-choon
Directed byCha Yeong-hoon
Country of originSouth Korea
Original languageKorean
No. of episodes40[a] + 4 special episodes
ProducerKim Hie-yeol
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time35 minutes[a]
Production companyPan Entertainment
Original networkKBS2
Picture format1080i (HDTV)
Audio formatDolby Digital
Original releaseSeptember 18 (2019-09-18) –
November 21, 2019 (2019-11-21)
External links
Production website

When the Camellia Blooms (Korean동백꽃 필 무렵; RRDongbaek-kkot pil muryeop) is a 2019 South Korean television series starring Gong Hyo-jin, Kang Ha-neul, Kim Ji-seok, Son Dam-bi, Kim Kang-hoon. It aired on KBS2's Wednesdays and Thursdays at 22:00 (KST) time slot from September 18 to November 21, 2019.[4][5] Each episode was released on Netflix in South Korea and most Asia-Pacific and English speaking countries after their television broadcast.[b][6]

When the Camellia Blooms became the highest rated mini-series drama airing in 2019 with a single episode rating of 23.8%.[7] The series was met with praise by critics and audiences for its production and solid actors' performances. It also received favourable reviews for its realistic plot and unique genre combinations of romantic-comedy and thriller.[8] According to Nielsen Korea, the drama also became the second highest rated drama of 2019 with all episodes' average ratings of 14.83% behind SBS's The Fiery Priest.[9] It won multiple awards, including the prestigious Grand Prize for Television at the 56th Baeksang Arts Awards.


When the Camellia Blooms is the story of Oh Dong-baek, a single mother who moves to the fictional town of Ongsan and opens a bar named Camellia. Six years later, Dong-baek meets playful Yong-sik, who declares his love for her. Dong-baek does not reciprocate his love, but Yong-sik persists in wooing her. When Yong-sik's mother finds out about this, she strongly opposes it, as Dong-baek is a single mother with a son, as well as the fact that Dong-baek's past lover and father of her child is trying to win her back. Yong-sik eventually gets Dong-Baek to fall for him. Meanwhile, a notorious killer sets out to claim Dong-baek as his next victim, and Yong-sik protects her fiercely, doing his job as a policeman and figuring out who the killer is.



A single mother who runs a bar called "Camellia" in Ongsan. She is the mother of Pil-gu and ex-girlfriend to Jong-ryul. Although initially she does not reciprocate Yong-sik's feelings, she eventually grows to like him the more he spends time with her and her son.
A police officer with a strong instinct for finding and beating up criminals. He moves back to his hometown Ongsan after being demoted and there he meets and falls for Dong-baek. He vows to always be on her side and protect both her and her son, even at his mother's disapproval. He becomes focused on catching the serial killer known as "Joker" after Dong-baek becomes his next target.
A famous baseball player and ex-boyfriend to Dong-baek. He is shown to be continuous jealous of Yong-sik's relationship with Dong-baek and Pil-gu.
Wife to Jong-ryul who is self centered and mainly focuses on being a social media icon. She is mostly neglectful of her daughter and takes advantage of her relationship with Jong-ryul for fame.
Dong-baek's landlord, who repeatedly hits on her. He is unhappily married to Ja-young.
A very intelligent lawyer and wife to Guy-tae. She often talks down to her husband because of his incompetency.
A part time employee at Camellia and Dong-baek's friend. She is a kleptomaniac. She often talks about moving to Copenhagen and is always looking for ways to gain enough money, leading her to blackmail others.
Dong-baek's 8-year-old son, who plays baseball and is very protective of his mother.
Yong-sik's widowed mother who runs a marinated crab restaurant in Ongsan.
Dong Baek's mother who abandoned her as a child.
  • Jun Bae-soo as Byun Bae-soo
The chief police in Ongsan and Yong-sik's superior.


Ongsan Crab Alley[edit]

  • Kim Sun-young as Park Chan-sook
  • Kim Dong-hyeon as Song Jin-bae
  • Kim Mi-hwa as Kim Jae-yeong
  • Lee Seon-hee as Jeong Gwi-ryeon
  • Han Ye-joo as Jo Ae-jeong
  • Lee Sang-yi as Yang Seung-yeop
  • Kim Mo-ah as Yang Seung-hee
  • Baek Hyeon-joo as Oh Ji-hyeon
  • Lee Joong-yeol as Han Tae-hee
  • Jin Yong-wook as Choi Jong-rok
  • Lee Kyu-sung as Park Heung-sik
  • Carson Allen as Helena

Ongsan Police[edit]

  • Lee Jae-woo as Kwon Oh-joon
  • Park Yeon-woo as Park Seong-min


  • Hwang Young-hee as Lee Hwa-ja
  • Baek Eun-hye as Sung-hee
  • Yoo Yeon as Lee Ji-ho
  • Jeon Guk-hyang as Hong Eun-sil
  • Kim Geon as Song Joon-gi
  • Yoon Seong-woo as Soo-bong
  • Seo Jang-hyeon as Dae-seong
  • Kim Dae-gon as Shaman performing funeral
  • Jang Ye-rim as restaurant employee
  • Jeong Eun-jeong as waitress
  • Park Bo-eun as staff
  • Kyeong Gi-hyeon as staff
  • Kim Han-na as Hye-in
  • Kang Tae-woong as Number 7
  • Kwon Eun-seong as Hye-hoon
  • Jeon Eun-mi as co-op member
  • Hong Seo-joon as Jeong Chan-geol
  • Kim Gi-cheon as Park Man-seop

Special appearances[edit]

  • Choi Dae-chul as Hwang Kyu-sik, Yong-sik's eldest brother (Ep. 26)
  • In Gyo-jin as Hwang Doo-sik, Yong-sik's second brother (Ep. 26)
  • Jung Ga-ram as adult Pil-gu (Ep. 36, 40)

Original soundtrack[edit]

When the Camellia Blooms OST
Soundtrack album by
Various artists

Part 1[edit]

Released on October 3, 2019 (2019-10-03)
1."Foolish Love" (이상한 사람)John Park3:45
2."Foolish Love" (Inst.) 3:45

Part 2[edit]

Released on October 9, 2019 (2019-10-09)
2."Loser" (Inst.) 4:04

Part 3[edit]

Released on October 10, 2019 (2019-10-10)
1."You Are My Vitamin" (너는 내게 비타민 같아)Motte (ft. Yongzoo)3:59
2."You Are My Vitamin" (Inst.) 3:59

Part 4[edit]

Released on October 16, 2019 (2019-10-16)
1."You Are As Pretty As A Flower" (꽃처럼 예쁜 그대)Onestar3:41
2."You Are As Pretty As A Flower" (Inst.) 3:41

Part 5[edit]

Released on October 23, 2019 (2019-10-23)
1."Good To Be With You" (괜찮나요)Soyou4:20
2."Good To Be With You" (Inst.) 4:20

Part 6[edit]

Released on October 31, 2019 (2019-10-31)
1."Like A Heroine In The Movie" (영화 속에 나오는 주인공처럼)Punch3:55
2."Like A Heroine In The Movie" (Inst.) 3:55

Part 7[edit]

Released on November 6, 2019 (2019-11-06)
1."At That Time" (그 무렵)Kim Na-young4:33
2."At That Time" (Inst.) 4:33

Part 8[edit]

Released on November 7, 2019 (2019-11-07)
1."When Winter Comes" (겨울이 오면)Kim Feel4:19
2."When Winter Comes" (Inst.) 4:19

Part 9[edit]

Released on November 13, 2019 (2019-11-13)
1."Destiny Tells Me" (운명이 내게 말해요)Heize3:12
2."Destiny Tells Me" (Inst.) 3:12

Part 10[edit]

Released on November 14, 2019 (2019-11-14)
1."I’ll Be With You"Ga Eun3:36
2."I’ll Be With You" (Inst.) 3:36

Part 11[edit]

Released on November 20, 2019 (2019-11-20)
1."Mom" (내 맘)Kim Yeon-ji3:15
2."Mom" (Inst.) 3:15

Special OST[edit]

Released on December 1, 2019 (2019-12-01)
1."The First Noel" (노엘)Kim Yeon-ji, Onestar, Yongzoo, Ga Eun, Ra.L, Lim Ji Eun, James Kang, Samma Choir6:19
2."The First Noel" (Inst.) 6:19

Pop OST[edit]

1."Wrong Ideology"Kae Mi2:20
2."Omg"Park Jeong Hwan2:02
3."Why Are You Looking At Me Like That?"Yoo Min Ho2:10
4."Bloom"Lee Geon Yeong3:08
5."Ong-san, Spring"Park Mi Seon1:44
6."Tiki Tiki"Park Yun Seo2:15
7."Rash"Lee Seong Gu2:06
9."Righteous Yongsik"Yoo Min Ho1:39
10."Smell Like Something Fishy"Park Jeong Hwan1:46
11."Sleepyhead"Lee Geon Yeong2:11
12."Don't Stop Mess"Ra.L2:02
13."I Mean, It's Almost"Park Mi Seon1:36
14."What's wrong with you, Hyangmi?"Kae Mi1:46
15."Jayeong"Park Mi Seon2:51
16."Good Old Days"Park Jeong Hwan2:02
17."Dongbaek and Yongsik"Park Mi Seon1:34
18."Divorce Lawyer"Yoo Min Ho2:03
19."Camellia"Yoo Min Ho4:55
20."Dazzling"Lee Geon Yeong4:07
21."Mom, My Mom"Kae Mi3:00
22."Shadow"Lee Seong Gu1:29
23."Hillside"Lee Geon Yeong4:16
24."Why Tiptoeing Around"Park Yun Seo2:58
25."Don't Mess With Me"Park Yun Seo3:41
26."I said, Don't mess with me"Park Yun Seo3:12
27."Neighbor"Lee Seong Gu1:22
28."When the Camellia Blooms"Kae Mi1:50

Chart performance[edit]

Title Year Peak
Remarks Ref.
"Like A Heroine In The Movie"
(영화 속에 나오는 주인공처럼) (Punch)
2019 55 Part 6 [13]


When the Camellia Blooms : South Korea viewers per episode (millions)
EpisodesEpisode number
Source: Audience measurement performed nationwide by Nielsen Media Research.[14]
Average TV viewership ratings
Ep. Original broadcast date Title Average audience share
AGB Nielsen[15] TNmS
Nationwide Seoul Nationwide
1 September 18, 2019 The Woman with the Germanium Bracelet 6.3% (11th) 6.7% (8th) 7.4%
2 7.4% (6th) 7.6% (7th) 8.7%
3 September 19, 2019 The Good, the Bad, and the Cheap 6.7% (9th) 7.0% (8th) 6.4%
4 8.3% (6th) 8.7% (5th) 7.9%
5 September 25, 2019 The Mutt's Strategy 8.6% (7th) 9.4% (5th) 7.5%
6 10.0% (4th) 11.0% (3rd) 8.7%
7 September 26, 2019 The Country Boy 7.7% (8th) 7.4% (7th) 7.5%
8 10.0% (5th) 10.0% (4th) 9.2%
9 October 2, 2019 A Wish, an Affair, and Turmoil 9.3% (7th) 10.1% (3rd) 8.4%
10 11.5% (2nd) 12.4% (2nd) 9.3%
11 October 3, 2019 1986.08.29. Born to Be a Hippo 10.2% (5th) 10.6% (5th) N/A
12 12.9% (4th) 13.7% (3rd)
13 October 9, 2019 The Ongsan Fairy 11.0% (5th) 12.5% (4th) 9.4%
14 13.1% (2nd) 14.9% (2nd) 11.0%
15 October 10, 2019 The Lynx of This Area 11.0% (4th) 11.6% (4th) 10.7%
16 14.5% (3rd) 15.2% (2nd) 12.9%
17 October 16, 2019 I Will Welcome Everyone 11.0% (5th) 11.8% (4th) 10.2%
18 13.4% (3rd) 14.7% (2nd) 11.5%
19 October 17, 2019 Nice People Can't Get Lucky 12.1% (5th) 13.3% (3rd) 10.0%
20 14.9% (2nd) 16.1% (2nd) 12.8%
21 October 23, 2019 The Hero Appears at the Last Minute 12.9% (4th) 13.3% (3rd) 10.3%
22 16.9% (2nd) 17.5% (2nd) 14.0%
23 October 24, 2019 Don't Forget Me 13.3% (4th) 13.3% (3rd) 12.7%
24 16.2% (2nd) 16.1% (2nd) 15.1%
25 October 30, 2019 The End Of All The Flirting 14.3% (2nd) 15.3% (2nd) 12.8%
26 16.9% (1st) 17.9% (1st) 14.9%
27 October 31, 2019 My Mom's Age Lines
"And That Is How My Mom Aged"
15.0% (3rd) 15.5% (2nd) 14.3%
28 18.4% (1st) 18.8% (1st) 16.9%
29 November 6, 2019 Mother 15.2% (2nd) 15.5% (2nd) 14.1%
30 18.2% (1st) 18.7% (1st) 16.0%
31 November 7, 2019 Switching Offense and Defense
(Feat. One Who Steps On the Accelerator)
15.7% (2nd) 16.5% (2nd) 14.1%
32 18.8% (1st) 19.7% (1st) 17.0%
33 November 13, 2019 The Ongsan Avengers 17.9% (2nd) 18.8% (2nd) 14.5%
34 20.7% (1st) 22.1% (1st) 16.3%
35 November 14, 2019 Life of an 8-year-old 14.0% (3rd) 14.6% (3rd) 13.4%
36 18.1% (1st) 19.3% (1st) 16.7%
37 November 20, 2019 7 Years and 3 Months of Motherhood 18.1% (2nd) 18.6% (2nd) 16.1%
38 20.4% (1st) 21.2% (1st) 19.1%
39 November 21, 2019 Do Miracles Happen? 19.7% (2nd) 20.8% (2nd) 16.6%
40 23.8% (1st) 24.9% (1st) 19.8%
Average 13.9% 14.6% [c]
Special Episodes
1 November 27, 2019 The Camellia Has Bloomed 8.8% (8th) 8.8% (7th) 9.1%
2 9.1% (7th) 9.4% (6th) 9.0%
3 November 28, 2019 6.6% (12th) 7.0% (11th) 7.5%
4 7.6% (9th) 8.1% (6th) 8.2%
  • In this table, the blue numbers represent the lowest ratings
    and the red numbers represent the highest ratings.
  • N/A denotes that the rating is not known.
  • Each night's broadcast is divided into two 35-minute episodes with a commercial break in between.

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Recipient Result Note
13th Korean Media Awards
Best TV Show on Digital Terrestrial Television When the Camellia Blooms Won [16]
18th Korea First Brand Awards
Best Actor Kang Ha-neul Won [17]
2019 KBS Drama Awards
Grand Prize (Daesang) Gong Hyo-jin Won [18]
Top Excellence Award, Actor Kang Ha-neul Won
Top Excellence Award, Actress Go Doo-shim Nominated
Gong Hyo-jin Nominated
Excellence Award, Actor in a Mid-length Drama Kang Ha-neul Nominated
Kim Ji-suk Won
Excellence Award, Actress in a Mid-length Drama Go Doo-shim Nominated
Gong Hyo-jin Nominated
Lee Jung-eun Won
Best Supporting Actor Jeon Bae-soo Nominated
Oh Jung-se Won
Best Supporting Actress Kim Sun-young Nominated
Yeom Hye-ran Won
Best Child Actor Kim Kang-hoon Won
Best Child Actress Kim Dan-woo Nominated
Seo Yi-soo Nominated
Best New Actress Son Dam-bi Won
Netizen Award, Actor Kang Ha-neul Won
Kim Ji-seok Nominated
Oh Jung-se Nominated
Netizen Award, Actress Gong Hyo-jin Nominated
Lee Jung-eun Nominated
Son Dam-bi Nominated
Best Couple Award Gong Hyo-jin and Kang Ha-neul Won
Oh Jung-se and Yeom Hye-ran Won
Kim Ji-seok and Kim Kang-hoon Nominated
Best Writer Lim Sang-choon Won
32nd Korea Producer Awards
Best Drama When the Camellia Blooms Won [19]
56th Baeksang Arts Awards
Grand Prize (Daesang) Won [20][21]
Best Drama Nominated
Best Director Cha Yeong-hoon Nominated
Best Screenplay Lim Sang-choon Won
Best Actor Kang Ha-neul Won
Best Actress Gong Hyo-jin Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Oh Jung-se Won
Best Supporting Actress Son Dam-bi Nominated
Yeom Hye-ran Nominated
Best New Actor Kim Kang-hoon Nominated
47th Korea Broadcasting Awards
Best TV Drama When the Camellia Blooms Won
Best Screenwriter Lim Sang-choon Won
Best Actor Kang Ha-neul Won
15th Seoul International Drama Awards
Best Mini-Series When the Camellia Blooms Nominated [22]
Top Excellence Award for Korean Drama Won
Best Screenwriter Lim Sang-choon Won
Best Actor Kang Ha-neul Nominated
Outstanding Korean Actor Won
Best Actress Gong Hyo-jin Won
Outstanding Korean Drama OST Punch (Like a Heroine in the Movie) Won
2nd Asia Content Awards Best Asian Drama When The Camellia Blooms Won [23]
Best Actor Kang Ha-neul Nominated
2021 7th APAN Star Awards Grand Prize (Daesang) Gong Hyo-jin Nominated
Top Excellence Award, Actor in Miniseries Kang Ha-neul Won
Drama of the Year When The Camellia Blooms Nominated
Best Director Cha Young-hoon Won
Best Supporting Actress Lee Jung-eun Nominated
Yeom Hye-ran Nominated
Son Dam-bi Nominated
Popular Star Award, Actor Kang Ha-neul Nominated
Popular Star Award, Actress Gong Hyo-jin Nominated


  1. ^ a b In order to circumvent Korean laws that prevent commercial breaks in the middle of an episode, what would previously have been aired as single 70 minute episodes are now being repackaged as two 35 minute episodes, with two episodes being shown each night with a commercial break between the two.[2]
  2. ^ For Japan, all episodes were launched at once on November 15, while for the rest of the world it was launched weekly from September 28.
  3. ^ Due to some ratings not recorded, the exact average rating is unknown.


  1. ^ a b Kim, Na-hwi (June 12, 2019). "[단독] 모델 지이수, '동백꽃 필 무렵' 출연..김지석 아내+SNS 스타 役". Osen (in Korean). News Chosun. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  2. ^ Park, Jin-hai (May 16, 2017). "Drama viewers angry over commercial breaks". The Korea Times. PressReader. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
  3. ^ When the Camellia Blooms - Official Trailer - Netflix (ENG SUB). YouTube (in Korean). The Swoon (Netflix Korea). Retrieved September 10, 2019.
  4. ^ Kang, Seo-jung (July 22, 2019). "'동백꽃 필 무렵' 공효진강하늘김지석오정세염혜란지이수 라인업 완성[공식]". Osen (in Korean). News Chosun. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  5. ^ "Kong Hyo-jin to Pair with Kang Ha-neul in Upcoming TV Series". The Chosun Ilbo. July 13, 2019. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  7. ^ "웃음·눈물 동시에 잡은 '동백꽃 필 무렵', 시청률 20% 돌파···'풍상씨' 넘을까". Naver.
  8. ^ "'동백꽃 필 무렵' 꽉 막힌 해피엔딩♥…자체 최고 '23.8%' 유종의 미". Top Daily News.
  9. ^ 최재경. "'열혈사제' 2019년 미니시리즈 단연 1위...기승전열혈사제". 서울경제 (in Korean). Retrieved 29 November 2019.
  10. ^ a b Kim, Min-ji (July 9, 2019). "[공식입장] 공효진X강하늘, '동백꽃 필 무렵' 출연…9월 첫방". News1 (in Korean). Naver. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  11. ^ Lee, So-dam (July 10, 2019). "김지석, '동백꽃 필 무렵' 출연 확정.."공효진 첫사랑 스타야구선수 된다" [공식]". Osen (in Korean). Naver. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  12. ^ Moon, Ji-yeon (July 23, 2019). "[공식] 손담비, '동백꽃 필 무렵' 합류..공효진X강하늘과 호흡". Sports Chosun (in Korean). Naver. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  13. ^ "Week 45, 2019 Digital Chart". November 3–9, 2019. Retrieved November 15, 2019.
  14. ^ "Nielsen Korea". AGB Nielsen Media Research (in Korean). Retrieved September 18, 2019.
  15. ^ "Nielsen Korea". AGB Nielsen Media Research (in Korean). Archived from the original on March 17, 2017. Retrieved September 18, 2019.
  16. ^ "2019 신뢰받는 미디어 'JTBC'…영향력 미디어 '유튜브' 신규진입".
  17. ^ "Winners Of 2020 Korea First Brand Awards".
  18. ^ Jang, Woo-young (January 1, 2020). "공효진, 생애 첫 연기 대상…'동백꽃' 트로피 싹쓸이 (종합) [2019 KBS 연기대상]". Osen (in Korean). Archived from the original on December 31, 2019. Retrieved January 1, 2020 – via Naver.
  19. ^ ""When The Camellia Blooms," Kim Nam Gil, Yang Se Hyung, And More Win At 32nd Korea PD Awards".
  20. ^ MacDonald, Joan (May 8, 2020). "Baeksang Arts Awards Announces Nominees And Plans To Proceed Without An Audience". Forbes. Archived from the original on May 10, 2020. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
  21. ^ MacDonald, Joan (June 5, 2020). "2020 Baeksang Arts Awards Honor The Best Korean Dramas And Films". Forbes. Archived from the original on June 5, 2020. Retrieved June 6, 2020.
  22. ^ "'Seoul International Drama Awards 2020 Nominees Announcement'". seouldrama.org. Archived from the original on August 7, 2020. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  23. ^ "Asia Contents Awards". asiacontentsawards.com (in Korean). Retrieved 2020-10-28.

External links[edit]