Turns out the drama Hyde, Jekyll, Me is nothing like the story of the webtoon Dr. Jekyll Is Mr. Hyde even though it was licensed from that work. Begs the question of why bother, or if it was just to license the concept only without running afoul of copyright laws, then who in their right mind at SBS gave the HJM screenwriter free reign to make up her own story. Residing in the ratings crapper is a disappointment for the cast and crew of HJM but it’s even sadder to see further negative attention placed on the production aside from the drama not being very good.
The webtoon writer Lee Choong Ho launched the first salvo three weeks ago – after HJM’s less than stellar first episode, he suddenly voiced an opinion that rival same time slot drama Kill Me Heal Me was plagiarized off his webtoon. The timing was so self-pandering it backfired on him and the netizens piled on for his timed attack on a competition drama that is getting better ratings and reviews. I have to agree, KMHM was in the works for months and even aired four episodes prior to HJM’s premiere. If Lee Choong Ho was certain the drama plagiarized him then he could have spoken out anytime prior to trying to get attention for HJM. Unfortunately the foot in mouth disease continues further along with the ratings slide for HJM.
The latest brouhaha came when the publisher of the original webtoon Dr. Jekyll Is Mr. Hyde placed an ad online that read “Kill Me Heal Me and Hyde, Jekyll, Me, neither is as entertaining as original webtoon Dr. Jekyll Is Mr. Hyde.” Understandably audience response to the ad has been overwhelmingly negative and the writer is coming under fire for yet again trying to attack KMHM while promoting his own work. The publishing company immediately took down the ad and explained that the ad was the work of its marketing department and unrelated to the webtoon writer, nor was the ad intended as an attack on KMHM.
The publishing company claims the reference to KMHM was because of the similar subject matter to the webtoon hence there was just a comparison ad and not one that was shading KMHM. Whatever the reason or intent, the result has been more negative press for the HJM webtoon and drama. Speaking of which, apparently the terrible ratings have SBS scrambling to save a sinking ship by doing what amounts to trying to scoop water out with a tinny teacup. The scripts for episodes 7 and 8 were massively rewritten and the cast has been filming nearly 24/7 to do the newly written scenes to make it for this week’s airing of those two episodes.