The Demographics of Loving DAYS

As some of you know, I am a social statistician by trade and every now and then I try to quantify an ultimately unquantifiable phenomena – the wholly subjective act of liking, loving, hating or tolerating a drama.

Since the premiere of the new Korean drama, Doom At Your Service (DAYS), responses to the drama have been extremely polarising. Some people think it’s the best drama ever written, others think it’s terrible. What makes DAYS interesting is not that some people like it or some others hate it: it’s that some people think it’s objectively good and others objectively bad.

So I started wondering if there were some common elements around who liked or hated it, some element of demographics that could shed some light on dramatic preferences. So I did what I like to do now and then and ran a poll. There were 95 responses and, well, these are the results.

First a disclaimer: this sample is nowhere near representative. In fact, I could easily write a post instead on how we can’t infer anything from a unrepresentative sample. When it comes to statistics – especially the kind of sampling used for internet surveys – the results you get are often a reflection of who was motivated to answer the survey itself. Take for example the statistic that most people who finished highschool are in non-remote areas. Since most people live in non-remote areas then of course most school leavers do as well! The same applies to this kind of survey.

For this survey, the top three countries who responded were the USA, the Philippines and India. The top age group were 25-35 years (34%). So bear this in mind when looking at the results.

Enough with my boring stats lesson. Here are the results!

The two leads of DAYS swap meaningful looks on the beach while the endless ocean stretches out behind them

How do you feel about the Korean drama, DAYS?

For this question, I gave people four options: love, hate, neither or ambivalence (i.e. fence sitting). It’s possible that some of the 1 in 10 fence sitters (11%) may have fallen off that fence to either love or hate since they answered the poll and approximately 1 in 3 of the respondents are watching the show with their feelings in neutral (29%). Four in ten of the 95 people who responded to the survey loved the show (39%) and less than 1 in 5 hated it (17%). So that’s a pretty conclusive vote for love from this pool of respondents.

On the Fence12%

Who are you though?

If we break down the responses by type then the most love responses were from the Philippines. In fact, almost every Filipino respondent (with a couple of exceptions) were unequivocally in the love camp. Indians had the most On the Fence responses. But with only 12% of the sample on the fence, this one was most affected by the clustering of the sample as you’ll see below.

FeelsCountryAge group
On the FenceIndia16-24

There weren’t any clear lessons from the age groups either and, due to the distribution of responses, some of them had to be collapsed (the haters had equal numbers of 16-24, 24-34 and 35-44 age groups for example).

The character "Doom" offers his hand to the female lead offering to stop her from being hit by one of Korea's ubiquitous Trucks of Doom

Does geography matter?

Despite Indians making up most of the On the Fence results, those from India mostly loved this show. In fact, while some were on the fence or watching while neither loving or hating it, nobody from the subcontinent (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh) hated DAYS. Not one respondent.

In contrast, Antipodeans like myself hated it. And while a few of us from Australia, New Zealand or Middle Earth were sitting on the fence or chose Neither, hate was the main response from this part of the world.

While a chunk of Europeans said they loved DAYS (almost all for some reason from Italy), the continent as a whole neither loved nor hated it but were just enjoying watching it without any strong emotional response. As for the damp island off the coast of Europe (sorry Scotland, it’s a sample thing), there was slightly more hate for the show and a lot less love. But they’re mostly in the middle as well.

Over in South-east Asia and the Pacific, things were a lot more polarised. Filipinos, as I already mentioned, almost universally loved this show and, with Singaporeans and the odd Malaysian added to the mix, that’s a lot of love in this region. But Malaysian and Indonesian viewers mostly hate the show and there’s very little fence sitting going on in south-east Asia at all.

Finally, to the largest group in the survey – the North Americans. There’s an equally matched love/hate war going on in the USA and Canada, but most of them – as we can see above – neither hate nor love the show but are just enjoying watching for now*.


So what did we learn from this exercise? Well…. unfortunately not much. But it was fun!

And for the majority of those who responded, I hope you keep loving the show as much as you did when you responded. And for those of us who are hate watching – well, you know where we are waves across the Ditch.

*My apologies to the people who responded from South America, Africa or the Middle East. There simply weren’t enough of you for me to draw any conclusions for your part of the world. But I’m completely thrilled you took the time to fill out the survey and hope you got something from the write-up as well.


3 thoughts on “The Demographics of Loving DAYS

  1. Such an interesting exercise! I’m from Singapore, & I’m just done E5 and trying to make up my mind, so I guess I’m on the fence at the moment. 😅

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