jTBC 10th Anniversary Drama Sisyphus: The Myth Ends Disappointing Ratings Run and Exits into Drama Hell Holding Dead Tight to its Nonsensical “Sci-fi” Writing

Drama friends, we have the first K-drama turd of 2021 and the first holder of the crown is unsurprisingly Sisyphus: The Myth. A sole source of comfort for fans of both leads is that it might get lucky and pass it on soon depending on what Mouse keeps pulling out of its Doraemon pocket of serial killer tricks. But I digress, because Sisyphus did indeed keep on writing and executing one nonsensical and absurd development after another, almost like it was trying to double down on itself. So I think the first few episodes were stupid even within the broad reaches of sci-fi or even broader reaches of fantasy, each new episode kept telling the previous episode of Sisyphus to “Hold my beer, bitch!” I actually didn’t FF through the second half of the drama as much as I should of, I didn’t want to miss dialogue that would finally explain shit. But when it did try, all I thought was “huh?” and most of the time it didn’t even make further effort and just left it at that. It’s like a flat earther saying the earth is flat and then not actually bothering with the rationale behind it.

I feel like Jo Seung Woo must’ve done this project as a favor to someone higher up or else he only read the first episode script and signed on. Park Shin Hye I could see taking this on because her character has agency, is kickass, and after Memories of Alhambra she must be annoyed at playing basically an RPG character or a weepy Candy. Sadly this was a terrible career move for her because I spent 16 episodes actively frustrated with her every action/line of dialogue. The entire Sisyphus plot was about one mentally unhinged boy turned man who nuclear annihilates the Korean peninsula, then uses the time-travel machine Uploader to go back in the past and make sure all the events happen so he can annihilate the Korean peninsula and also go back in time. No matter what anyone does, the cycle continues even after the leads pull a time heist to go back in time to become their future saviors (someone watched Endgame too many times). Cycle seems to be broken before Eddie f*%king useless Kim suddenly shows up as the new bad guy and male lead Tae Sul decides to off himself. In the end, Sisyphus took the time travel conceit and managed to end even more stupid than Alice (congrats, Alice you’re off my shit list because you were at least good for 8-episodes), and it somehow ends in a way even less coherent and even more frustrating than Memories of Alhambra? Remember how MOH ended people?!? Let’s never forget trauma lest we are bound to repeat it.


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jTBC 10th Anniversary Drama Sisyphus: The Myth Ends Disappointing Ratings Run and Exits into Drama Hell Holding Dead Tight to its Nonsensical “Sci-fi” Writing — 34 Comments

  1. Pingback: jTBC 10th Anniversary Drama Sisyphus: The Myth Ends Disappointing Ratings Run and Exits into Drama Hell Holding Dead Tight to its Nonsensical “Sci-fi” Writing - Kpopnchill - All About K-pop News

  2. i have not watched the last two episodes yet but your statement koala makes me a little disappointed. For MOA aghhh, i couldn’t even explain how frustrating the ending is. Indeed,
    Sci-fi genre in drama is hard to convey and end. I have not watched Alice yet but it is on my watch list. However, disappointing though, still I am grateful the Cho Seung Woo did another drama. The fact that I could see him on TV made me thankful.For Shinhye,more dramas to make. Hehehe.

    • I hear the Secret Forest writer is coming up with a drama called Zero which might star SKJ. Of course, it’s too early to tell if it will be any good but maybe CSW shoulda held on for that drama instead? Since the writer’s track record is good so far. Hope this turd doesn’t scare him off dramaland, though.

      • Honestly yeah. SKJ is not in the same league as CSW, and CSW has worked with FoS writer before on that and Life. I wish he had waited for a better offer of his talents for Zero.

        But he said he read Ep 1-6 before signing on, I guess those were the only scripts available to him when he first offered it. Still, he did show why he’s an amazing talent still 20 yrs later. He did say that at the end of the day, if he gave it his all, he has no regrets. Disappointed drama yes, but train wreck, no but definitely could’ve been way way better esp. given cast/crew involved.

        I think it’ll scare him off dreamland, but I don’t think FoS S3 is the answer either sigh 🙁 I want to see him do more expressive/romantic roles or what not like the past. But as we know, musicals is his first love so he might take an extended break for a while (2-3 yrs again) before doing another drama and/or film. Feels like deja vu with God’s Gift ending again…and we all know that scared him off drama-land for a while.

  3. Hahahaha… damn. So glad I dropped this. I see the ratings hit its lowest in EP15 with 3.3%. Yikes. Not much to say here except: So long, Sisy. Wish I could say it was nice knowing ya.

  4. I dropped this after 3 or 4 episodes and just felt really bad for the leads. I don’t know what they were thinking signing up for this. I wonder if anyone in the production honestly thinks that they did an OK drama. I’ll always have a soft-spot for PSH since she was one of the first FLs that drew me in k-dramas but with all the new FLs with great acting talents and charm making good choices on their projects, she might have limited choices going forward. I wish both of them will get to work on new, better projects soon so I can forget about this mess lol.

  5. These dramas need to stop using “it’s not where but when” line from German series Dark. That just sounds too unoriginal.

  6. Everything about the drama is unoriginal and was copied from WAY better Western sci-fi works. K-dramas have proven over and over that they just can’t handle the genre. They’d best stick to their weepy melos and romcoms where grown-ass folks bawl like babies. They pull that off really well.

    • Kim Byung Chul played the baddie in Goblin and here in Sigma, K-netizens did that meme saying he’s going to keep on living forever to bring the pain mwahahahaha!

  7. First LMH flopped with TKEM and now PSH with Sisyphus. At least TKEM had the Netflix popularity but Sisyphus doesn’t even have that. Vincenzo out performed it by a big margin. Hallyu stars can’t rely on name brand popularity anymore but this is also why the old school hallyu has been fading recently. K content is popular but specific actors aren’t the cause for their popularity. Not a bad thing but it has diminished the popularity of individual stars.

  8. Worst kdrama in the history of kdramas. Couldn’t even watch it to pass out time.
    What were they thinking????!!

    P.s…i think its high time PSH quit acting. Girl’s acting is so mediocre and cringe-worthy

  9. So glad I dropped it halfway after realizing that it’s not going to make any sense but completely the opposite. Congratulations Koala you managed to finish it despite everything. That’s impressive.

  10. So the MYTH here was believing/expecting that this high-budget, overhyped drama with its A-list leads would deliver a brilliant story with top-notch acting, directing, writing, editing, high ratings, rave reviews, the whole shebang. But it failed spectacularly on all fronts. Nobody gimme the overused “trending on Netflix” excuse. Netflix is the real Hallyu Star these days, taking K-dramas to the zenith and beyond. I’d be more surprised, horrified even, if this garbage didn’t trend. I said what I said. Any salty fan should just go cry in their corner.

  11. worst drama for the 1st quarter of the year…. Park Shin Hye is Another overrated actress in the kdramaland. How come she’s popular, the girl cant act

  12. Really, Sisyphus? I gave up trying to make sense out of it. The time lines are so confusing. I’m not even talking about the logic. But I was hoping for a good ending, at least. It was a bummer. Felt like I wasted 16 hours of my life.

  13. thanks so much. I’ve had a frustrating day. After I read this and had a good laugh I feel so much better. There’s nothing funnier than the truth.
    I appreciate your daily time and effort more than I can express. Especially in these crazy times I look forward to my coffee and Koala each day. I’m sending you a psychic hug.

  14. PSH is really only good at crying scenes which is why she was a great child actress but a pretty mediocre grown up one.

    • Oh I’m not the biggest fan of PSH, but trust me she nor were any of the actors bad here. I think they all did their job well. She’s great at the emotional scenes. That’s why endings to a show are highly important, its what remains in people’s heads long after.

  15. Park Shinhye’s first flop…dropped at episode 2 actually but I didn’t expect the ratings to go downhill along with the story LOL

  16. Alice was awful b/c the ending ew, mother and son relationship?! So Sisyphus didn’t have any incest like stuff so its still way better than Alice. That being said, Eddie shooting Tae-sul, was fine, I got it. Was it annoying yeah lol, but still. But the whole epilogue at the end was annoying, why?! Just end it clean and have the ML and FL meet up again, or just end it when he shot himself. So many questions yet remain, tsk tsk..

    Also fyi, CSW signed on for this drama b/c the role was different than what he would usually get. Also, he read Ep 1-6 and decided to star in the drama. So he didn’t read 7-16 before he signed on (I guess he wasn’t offered). So I guess, the actors aren’t at fault. I think the writers and JTBC got ahead of themselves, and made something that could’ve been a top hit. Hoping the next K-drama science show can succeed where this one didn’t.

  17. Love-hate relationship with this series. At first, i think the story was slow and dragy with no much plot, but then in eps 15-16, it was good!! The ending is SAD, TRAGIC, but BEAUTIFUL! Big applause to park shin hye and cho seung woo for potraying their character so well. Thank you kanghan couple for your hardwork and please live happily ever after in hawai ♡

  18. The ending of this drama was Sh!tty and illogical. I feel like I wasted 16 hours of my life watching this drama which began markedly declining from about mid-way through the series. Still, I stuck it through because I love CSW, his acting, and for once he plays a lively, fun character. And let’s be honest, folks, the reason this drama sucks is because of the writing and the script. Period. It’s not due to anyone’s acting. All the actors were fairly decent to very good, but if the script is illogical and sucks – what can they do? If the drama was going to end by CSW blowing his brains out, then he should’ve done it in the 8th episode and spared us viewers from watching repetitive scenes of trying to keep him alive, when the answer was staring anyone remotely intelligent in the face: kill the creator of the uploader, then it doesn’t get built and voila! Problem Solved. Another pet peeve of mine, when a main character dies in the end – let him stay dead. WTF was with that last epilogue of CSW and PSH in the plane? I can deal with happy or sad endings, but I seriously dislike endings that make no sense. End rant.

  19. Sisyphus is an essential drama. A pivotal point in the history of kdramas. There is a before and an after to this drama. Good thing for JTBC to made this their 10th anniversary drama, they knew what they were doing. And like other great dramas of this genre, we can expect repercussions in the kdrama industry. Sisyphus redefines several elements, the list of which is :
    – The direction: big scenes never seen in a drama. Refer to a Korean blockbuster like Ashfall, for example. A very large number of different sets, often with a cinema quality.
    – The fight scenes : it’s the first time (with the elevator scene in LUCA) that Gunfu is used, with the way of filming it in sequence or dynamic camera. It’s a bit less succesfull on Gunfight scenes, even if we feel they tried too.
    – The intelligence of the script : the scriptwriters have the respect of the spectators. They refuse to consider the audience as stupid people and they know that the spectators are now used to understand this kind of story. They take up the challenge to surprise and to anticipate what we can guess, to propose a real challenge. On the other hand, it requires a certain investment and it is not the kind of drama that we could bingewatch every week. A new step has been taken in this field, fortunately, with a great narrative clarity.
    – The structure of the script: a structure of tremendous complexity, based on hyperlinks, multiple timelines. An incredible work considering the number of details and elements that had to be defined in advance. Not to mention the juxtaposition effects. Each scene has a meaning and feeds the story in multiple ways, nothing is ever lost or useless. We can just note some scenes made a little longer, probably to adjust the length of the episode. Here, it is a strong signal to the other writers, on the density and preparation of outline that we are entitled to expect.
    – The trompe l’oeil effects: an illogical scene should catch the audience’s attention, and signal that something else justifies it. Unfortunately, and in spite of obvious insistence, some viewers fell into the trap instead of believing the writers. I don’t recall anyone deciding to play on this in the history of dramas.
    – An innovative time travel concept: the first movie to go this far was Primer. But the concept of Sisyphus is even more original, and credible on some aspects of quantum physics (not on the totality of the concepts developed later). The inclusion of paradoxes and self-propelled events have a mind-blowing effect. The drama offers a content suitable to satisfy hardcore SF fans. Again, this is rare.

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