K-drama ‘Thirty-Nine’ with Son Ye-jin, Jeon Mi-do, Kim Ji-hyun premieres on JTBC, Netflix

The Korean drama “Thirty-Nine” starring actresses Son Ye-jin, Jeon Mi-do and Kim Ji-hyun premiered on JTBC and Netflix on Feb. 16.

“Thirty-Nine” tells the story of three “best friends and their romance on the brink of turning 40, but it is more about how their lives develop with lovers, families and relatives,” said director Kim Sang-ho during the press conference for the drama on Feb. 16, according to the Korea Herald.

In South Korea, he said, age 39 is “a little special.”

"I think 39 is a bit too early to have something special accomplished, but too late to start something new,” he said, referring to the significance of the drama’s title.

“Thirty-Nine” stars (from left) Kim Ji-hyun, Son Ye-jin and Jeon Mi-do (JTBC)

“Thirty-Nine” (from left) Lee Tae-Hwan, Kim Ji-hyun, Son Ye-jin, Yeon Woo-Jin, Jeon Mi-do and Lee Moo-Saeng (JTBC)

According to Nielsen Korea, episode 1 of “Thirty-Nine” on Feb. 16 received a rating of 4.406 percent to place third among the general programming cable TV shows for the day.

Based on the number of viewers, “Thirty-Nine” placed first with 1.05 million people nationwide who watched the drama in South Korea.

In the Seoul metropolitan area, “Thirty-Nine” got a rating of 4.453 percent and placed third. Based on the number of viewers, the drama was watched by 504,000 people and placed first.

On the other hand, the Feb. 16 episode of the tvN entertainment show “You Quiz on the Block,” which featured Son Ye-jin as one of the guests, grabbed first place on cable TV with 3.418 percent nationwide.

It was watched by 766,000 people nationwide and placed first based on the number of viewers in South Korea.

In the Seoul metropolitan area, “You Quiz on the Block” also placed first in the ratings with 3.689 percent and 402,000 people (first place) who watched the show. The time slot of the talk show was adjusted and overlapped with “Thirty-Nine.”

During the press conference, Son Ye-jin, who plays a dermatologist in “Thirty-Nine,” said, “I enjoyed every part of the script. I was in the similar age as Mi-jo and there were many things I could easily empathize with the character. I was shocked as I was reading the scripts, because some of Mi-jo’s lines were identical to how I speak in my real life.”

She joked, “I even wondered whether the screenwriter Yoo Young-a had installed a CCTV camera in my house.”

Jeon Mi-do, who starred in “Hospital Playlist,” is an acting trainer in “Thirty-Nine.”

“I am aware of some drama fans’ concern about me, because of the performances as a doctor in my previous work. By becoming a terminally ill patient, my character drastically changed in ‘Thirty-Nine.’ I am certain that different sides will be presented and hope the viewers show love and support just like they did in ‘Hospital Playlist,’” she said.

Kim Ji-hyun, who plays the role of a cosmetic brand manager, said, “Though Jeon and I knew each other for 10 years, this was my first time working with Son. We were not able to spend much private time together during the COVID-19 pandemic, like having a dinner. But I was surprised how quickly we became close with each other and created amazing synergy in real life.”

During the press conference, Son Ye-jin also talked about her upcoming marriage to Hyun Bin, her co-star in “Crash Landing on You,” saying it is like destiny.

“Thirty-Nine” will have 12 episodes and will air two episodes per week every Wednesday and Thursday.