Starting as a Child Actor in This Life Chapter 28

Chapter 28

The ratings for Praise weren’t particularly high.

The dismal cable distribution rate, limited coverage outside of metropolitan areas, the fact that it was a new channel, and the actors, decent in skill but lacking in recognition, were to blame.

No matter how much it was promoted, it lacked the power to beat terrestrial TV networks, so it was inevitable.

The production team knew this and aimed for success through the big picture rather than fleeting interest from the start.

Some might have scoffed at them for aiming for a sleeper hit with just a 16-episode series, but they were confident.

They had incorporated the best quality a small production company and cable broadcaster could offer, with a complete narrative structure, artistic cliffhangers that made viewers look forward to the next episode, and movie-like editing.

However, contrary to their pride, Praise was plagued by negative reviews from the first episode.

[Praise is what exactly?

Honestly, I don’t understand why they made this content into a 16-episode series.

I knew cable dramas were crazy about 19+ explicit content and buzz, but to hit that rating through crime…? ㅋㅋ

I don’t understand the intention behind re-examining a creepy incident from last year, nor can I understand abusing the child actor either.

With so many child abuse cases out there, why focus solely on the Seongsudong incident?]

Praise, inspired by the Seongsudong child abuse murder case, was a unique work even within the crime thriller genre.

While most works discussed mass murders involving sexual crimes, Praise highlighted the merciless violence poured onto a child and the miserable reality it depicted.

It was, after all, a story that could happen in any household, albeit with varying degrees of severity.

The portrayal was deep and horrific, and it contained content that viewers would want to look away from.

It was somewhat natural for viewers who stumbled upon it to feel repulsed and leave critiques that were close to denunciations.

[└That’s why Korean dramas don’t progress because of you

└There are movies and American dramas where the psycho killer is the protagonist, but I guess you only know about Korean dramas^^;; You haven’t been to a cinema, have you? It’s okay, I understand. It can happen if you’re poor

└Suhyeon’s abuse theory was debunked ages agoㅋㅋㅋ If you don’t know, the saying “study more” exists for a reason.

└Here’s some attention

└It’s not like the OP said anything weird; why is everyone going so hard?;; Honestly, it’s weird to focus on a child case among so many incidents.

└Didn’t the PD already explain that in an interview? It’s always the ones who don’t bother to find out who spew nonsense

└Seeing this post, I understand what it means when they say, “the dumb ones make a fuss.” The level of people clinging to a common post]

Despite such possible reactions, some people were overly defensive and attacked opposing views.

Since they were fans who had been waiting for Praise after seeing the teaser video, they did not tolerate the “troublemakers” who criticized the show from the first episode.

[Sniping at posts criticizing Praise below

The Seongsudong case was shocking, but in the end, nothing changed.

Are you guys not aware that the bastard who killed the kid got only two years in prison?

The damn human rights activists flipped the first trial verdict, calling the criminal a poor offender, but you didn’t know? ㅋㅋㅋ

You don’t even know what an exposé drama means.

The point of this genre is to shock you a bit more, so you’d pay attention to the socially weak, but you’re talking conspiracy theories.

The PD made this because they were neighbors at the time.

… (omitted)…

Even the child actors are acting while receiving lots of love.

You would know if you looked it up a bit, but you don’t think that way, do you?

Praise is pioneering a new genre in Korean dramas, and such genres are necessary to turn brain-dead pigs into enlightened beings.

└Summary, please

└I agree, my head hurts

└Disliked because of the last line. Enlightenment my ass.]

Many viewers aggressively responding to common criticism was due to the uniqueness of Praise.

After all, Praise was a drama watched and sought out only by those in the know.

Unlike mainstream terrestrial dramas with a broad middle ground, it had overwhelmingly more viewers who were positively vocal.

They were sensitive to any critical posts or comments about the drama, striving to protect their already small community.

It was a strategy of cohesion through rejection, as the evaluation in large communities could become the public opinion, so they did not tolerate negative views.

As radicals began to incite, even the casual fans were swept up in the atmosphere.

Bystanders easily became activists, lightly flicking their fingers and mocking along the lines of “they don’t know.”

Emotional responses invited fights.

The number of posts targeting others instead of discussing the drama increased, and the level of aggression escalated.

[From now on, all disruptive posts related to Praise will be removed.]

Just then, as the forum atmosphere was getting muddied, the moderators stepped in to manage the traffic.

This response came just 5 minutes after the first negative review was posted.

Perhaps it was because the drama wasn’t dragged out for long, or maybe because it was a common incident that occurred every other day.

Among those who filtered through the fans and antis, one curiosity remained.

[└Where is “Praise” broadcasted?]

The very basic curiosity of what kind of drama Praise actually was.

* * *

“Ah, right. Suhyeon, it’s late, but congratulations.”

“Excuse me?”

“Although it’s limited only to the metropolitan area, the ratings have surpassed 3 percent. It’s quite the sensation, isn’t it?”

“Excuse me…?”

After class, an exhausted Suhyeon blinked at Siyeong, not comprehending her words.

“The ratings surpassed 3 percent…?”

Suhyeon looked at Siyeong with bewildered eyes.

It was frustrating not to have immediately known such important news, especially since he was always the first to hear even the slightest news and was able to anticipate them.

If only I had a laptop—no, even just a phone…

The evening after dining out with his family, Suhyeon was caught by Jiyeon hiding his mobile phone and laptop under the bed.

She discovered them while tidying up his bedding, which Suhyeon had carelessly covered up.

Jiyeon, a parent who believed electronic devices were harmful to a child’s emotional development, confiscated both items without mercy.

No matter how much Suhyeon pleaded, acted cute, or threw a tantrum, it was in vain this time.

If only Sangil-hyung were here… Why does he have to be sick at such a crucial time?

Without his phone, Sangil was the only source of external news for him.

Organizing the previous day’s events and necessary information during the drive was one of his main tasks.

However, even the crucial Sangil couldn’t meet with Suhyeon yesterday or today.

He was on leave because of a cold.

It’s just a cold…

Had Suhyeon been at least a middle schooler, there would have been no days off for Sangil.

However, Suhyeon was merely six years old, an age when even a common cold could be fatal for adults, let alone children.

Jiyeon, who loved her young son, would never allow him to accompany a sick manager.

It’s good news, but it’s suffocating to have to act like a six-year-old without Sangil-hyung around.

He didn’t resent his parents’ loving interference.

But for a mind accustomed to real-time information at twenty-five, receiving news at a delayed pace felt like torture, especially at his young age

The spike in ratings isn’t simply because the first episode was good. Ugh.

No matter how impressive the first episode was, the ratings couldn’t have jumped from 1.7 percent to 3 percent overnight.

There must have been some signs he missed.

The fact that he, a regressor, had overlooked such a thing depressed Suhyeon.

“The first episode’s ratings was 1.7… Did it really exceed 3 percent?”

“Yep. I read in an article something about noise marketing or whatever. Don’t worry. The response was good.”

“Really? And how about the nationwide ratings?”

“Oh, that.”

Perhaps out of consideration for the young Suhyeon, Siyeong explained the situation in a few simple and general words.

It was so simplistic that it almost drove him crazy with curiosity, but, in any case, the gesture was kind.

Ugh, computer… Can’t I just borrow it for a moment?

He restrained himself from rushing to the computer to search right away.

The label of “not acting his age” felt like a bigger shackle than he thought.

So, the overall viewership rating is still in the 1 percent range, at 1.9 percent, huh? Wow, the difference between the metropolitan area and the provinces… But what really happened?

For Suhyeon, who had lived through the era when internet TV had surpassed cable, talk of coverage rates sounded like tales from another world.

And he found himself missing Sangil, who was increasingly absent, even more.


“So, you were waiting for me. How materialistic.”

“Hey, you knew that.”

“Thanks to the actor getting caught with his laptop, I had to listen to a lecture with a distracted mind… But it’s really sad that the actor is only waiting for the information I have to deliver.”

“…Hyung was waiting too. If not for hyung, who else would I have this kind of conversation with?”

Kang Suhyeon’s attempt to soothe him with a bright smile made Choi Sangil burst into hollow laughter.

His way of fixing his slip of the tongue resembled a cat that had messed something up and was now sweet-talking its butler.

Having lost his will, he turned his gaze away from the rearview mirror and shared the information Suhyeon had been waiting for.

“It seems there was a big fight over Praise in a major drama community, making it quite the topic.”

“Lucky us.”

“Indeed, very fortunate. The first episode started off too dark, so I was very worried, but then the viewership ratings for the second episode went up…”

Listening to Sangil’s explanation, Suhyeon nodded.

He also thought the first episode of Praise was grim and severe.

It started with a child being slapped across the face while their hair was being pulled, and the lines were no joke either.

The PD had hoped the viewers would not turn away from the seriousness of child abuse.

It was a common “obsession with the message” mistake that newbie directors made, yet the script he wrote, critical as it was, was approved without any changes.

It meant gambling rather than playing it safe in a do-or-die situation

I was worried because although it’s common in movies, this was a drama.

In the case of movies, people stayed till the end since they paid for it.

However, Praise was a drama that viewers could switch off at any time, and the reviews of the first episode determined the success or failure of the early viewership ratings.

In that sense, it’s fortunate that many started watching from the second episode.

Unlike the bleak first episode, from the second episode, the relationship between “Ha Kichan” and “Jang Yeonwu” truly began.

A passionate and conscientious first-time teacher and a child so pitifully abused.

Their relationship was like syrup sprinkled on a bitter Americano, a device revealing that the main character “Yeonwu,” as pitiful as he was, deserved to be as cute and loved as any other child.

“After the second episode ended, most people went crazy saying Yeonwu is cute. Thanks to that, the viewership ratings for the third episode should be smooth.”


“Well, you cried so well, didn’t you? It was a big deal even on set.”

Flattered by Sangil’s praise, Suhyeon recalled the scene with a pleased smile.

He thought he had been perfect at that moment.

Right. I was the cutest and the best.

At the end of the second episode, “Yeonwu,” who received affectionate kindness from an adult for the first time, unknowingly teared up in front of “Kichan.”

It was because he was so filled with joy by just being gently patted.

“Yeonwu,” not knowing what to do, was shown the kindness of an adult by “Kichan,” and “Yeonwu,” with tear-glazed, peculiar eyes, momentarily diverted his gaze from “Kichan” only to secretly grasp the hem of his clothes as a way to express trust without anyone noticing.

It was the highlight that captured the viewers’ hearts in the second episode.

“Is there a lot of talk about Praise in public communities?”

“Yes. Articles are coming out on their own… and the rewatch rate for the first episode is said to be quite high, so you can look forward to it.”

“Oh… But hyung, I wanted to check the reactions in detail, can I have my phone and….”

“That’s not happening. Just listen to what I tell you and bear with it. Until things calm down a bit, you can’t have your phone or computer. Considering I got an earful from your mom because of that… Take this chance to engrave in your bones that you should never let your guard down.”

“Yeah… I’m sorry. But I’m still only six years old.”

“You only bring up your age at times like this.”

Suhyeon, who had been eagerly trying to reclaim his confiscated devices, meekly backed down, feeling the sting of Sangil’s scolding.

He knew he was in the wrong

If only I were ten… no, even eight years old.

Six years old, an age more fitting for playing with blocks than computer games.

He felt bitter about being at an age not even accepted by PC cafés.

Starting as a Child Actor in This Life

Starting as a Child Actor in This Life

Score 9.6
Status: Ongoing Type: Author: , Released: 2020
While returning from a late-night shoot, Suhyeon collides with a tow truck driving in the wrong direction with its headlights on... When he regains consciousness, his reflection in the mirror is... a little kid? Even I can see that I'm cute. An unknown idol has become a popular child actor! Get ready, as the captivating performance of actor Kang Suhyeon is about to begin.
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