jTBC Drama Snowdrop Controversy Appears to be Petering Out with K-netizens as the Series Starts to Gain Traction on Disney+ with Asian Viewers

It’s only the third week of airing for jTBC Fri-Sat period romance and spy drama Snowdrop but goodness it feels like a lifetime’s worth of controversy and news ink spilled on said controversy. There was even a lawsuit and an injunction ruling all in the span of one week! I haven’t heard anymore complaints from K-netizens domestically this week but we’re only halfway through the week so who knows. It appears that there isn’t much more to be done to try and force jTBC to stop airing, the network won’t budge and complaints/protests/lawsuits have had no effect. It also helps jTBC that while a few sponsors pulled out in the first week there hasn’t been more drop out since. With that said, the viewership of Snowdrop which streams on Disney+ hasn’t been great since it’s premiere but that’s changed this week. Starting on January 3, 2022 the drama went to #1 on Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, and South Korea, and up to #3 in Japan. If this holds, with the domestic controversy dying out on inertia and the streaming viewership staying high it may end up recouping the cost for the network.


jTBC Drama Snowdrop Controversy Appears to be Petering Out with K-netizens as the Series Starts to Gain Traction on Disney+ with Asian Viewers — 27 Comments

  1. Jung Hae-in looks hot in that top screencap.

    I think an important thing for the people who protested the drama was not for the audience to learn history from it. Their concerns were heard and it gained a lot of attention, even internationally. Their concerns weren’t buried or shushed. Sometimes that is all you need.

    i wonder if ratings would have been better and controversy would have been lessened if they had immediately released the first 8 episodes netflix-style?

  2. I dropped it. I tried watching through episode 4 but not my cup of tea. Now I know why JTBC insisted because it’s focus is on the NK spy being chased and hiding in dormitory and not on the student protests. Thus the ratings started to increase.

    I also dropped Bulgasal after 6 episodes. Passed on Rain’s new drama, too. Still watching Uncle, and maybe I’ll give Tracer a try when it’s available.

    Any recommendations to watch on TV?

    • Red Sleeve is really good if you have not watched it yet… K-dramas really don’t have much to offer for a long time, try branching out to J-dramas, C-dramas or even Thai.

    • Tbh I have avoided Penthouse like a plague after hearing how makjang it was. I tuned in solely to “educate’ my partner what makjang means then got sucked in to watch the entire first episode of S1. Have to say it’s not bad at all. No guarantee I will finish all eps of S1 though. This can all change. Lol. It’s strangely addictive. Got my attention right away, made me laugh, cry and toes curling in suspense. Heaps of twists and turns in ONE episode that trumped the entirety of all 16 episodes of turds like days or nwabu. The emotional resonance isn’t over the the top though one comedic scene did remind me of the gangster’s teeth flying out in strong woman bong-soon. If that’s your cup of tea dig in, if not scroll next.

    • kim so yeon was deliciously evil in all about eve. in ph she was playing evil in older form but damn she’s good. the screeching got too much for me though.

    • I decided to watch Ghost Doctor and it turns out fun..for now I only watch Uncle and Ghost Doctor..and I plan to check on Dr. Park’s Clinic.

    • To be honest, the first episode of Snowdrop was really boring for me, the thing that just really kept me going to episode 2 is Jisoo and Jung Hae In’s sweet moments, but after reaching episode 5, I came to love the series and the other characters. Anyways, Try watching Happiness, Rookie Historian, Doom at your service, Pinnochio, While you were sleeping and School 2015: Who are you?

  3. To be honest the show is very boring, and having watched till the most recent episode, I don’t even think it’s controversial. It’s more focused on spy stuff than anything else (your standard NK vs SK tensions). In any case, considering how badly a lot of JTBC dramas did this year, Snowdrop being mid-3% rating-wise is actually quite decent in context. So it seems that the controversy was more blown up online witchhunt and pile on than anything else.

    Jung Hae-in is wasted on this show imo, looking fw to his next, hopefully better, projects.

  4. I think all the controversy helped it get more publicity than it would have otherwise because controversy aside, the few people I have seen who are watching objectively (aka viewers that are not biased Jisoo stans) have said it’s not very interesting and the leads are boring.

  5. I wonder how much of the sudden surge in viewers is a rather ghoulish “ooh, one of the cast died let’s check it out”

    • Please show some respect. She has family and friends grieving over her death. And your statement is not even accurate. The show was already #1 in Disney in almost all regions where it aired before the tragedy happened.

      Please be more sensitive and mature with your comments.

      • Koala’s article said that it went to number 1 in 3 regions “yesterday”, that is after the news of the actor’s death. It’s a reality of this world that news of a death does generate publicity – authors’ books sell more, people watch films more, buy more paintings etc. It is neither immature nor unrealistic to comment on the possibility that the same sort of thing has happened here. I don’t condone such behaviour which is why I described it as ghoulish, but I am not out of line to remark on the possibility of it happening. And I VERY MUCH doubt that any of her friends and family will be reading Koala’s blog at this time.

      • Koala’s info is wrong (as it usually is). It didn’t go to number 1 yesterday but over 5 days ago and has maintained a high rank on disney plus since then. Its also set to be released in more countries soon (rn its only being shown in 5 Asian countries). The cable ratings also jumped up in the last episode. Overall it has been rebounding since last week and this has nothing to do with the actress’ sudden death.

  6. Having watched all the episodes so far, I agree with people saying that the controversy is ridiculous and exaggerated. It was based on incorrect assumptions and sensationalised by netizens for drama. Now that the witch hunt is dying down, hopefully people will discuss the drama for what it is instead of what some moron that hasn’t seen a single episode says it is, and judge it based on its merits…. or its many, many demerits.
    The drama itself is highly inconsistent. The storytelling is all over the place, the writer is unable to settle on one single tone. The romance is shoved in and the leads barely have any chemistry, by no fault of jung haein’s bcs the dude’s trying his best, it’s just his terrible luck to be paired with an absolute beginner that can barely enunciate a line properly. I agree with another comment that Haein is wasted on this drama. He’s giving his all and his scenes with other veterans, like Yoo Inna or Jang Seungjo, make me wish he had picked another role in the same vein that wasn’t created for the main purpose of shoving a mediocre kpop idol into the acting sphere. Anything his character does gets overshadowed by delusional fangirls creaming themselves over the female lead’s latest bland screeching. Most of the regular drama watchers have been scared away by the controversy, so blackpink fanatics have taken over the discussions and that doesn’t endear the show to any normal watchers.
    Jisoo’s acting was terrible, downright unwatchable for the first few episodes. After the hostage situation started, she showed slight improvement, mostly because she barely had any lines and the only emotion she had to show was a sad teary face. Thankfully, she was better at the quiet crying scenes compared to any other emoting demanded of her character. Unfortunately the character herself is tiring beyond help. The writer tried to make the switch between naive girl with a crush to defiant hostage but the performance has fallen flat. The FL tries to trick the ML in the latest ep, and the scene was so bad and predictable I felt embarrassed for the entire cast and crew.
    Overall, I just feel very sorry for the decent actors and crew that thought this would be a worthy show deserving of their hard work. I hope they pick better scripts in the future, and wish them success. As for jisoo, I hope she sticks to being an idol and doesn’t subject any other veteran actors to this nonsense.

  7. I too sensed that the plot is actually very wishy-washy. I actually find some of their dialogues and lines very lacklustre, apathetic and particularly the FL’s, very amateurish. From a literary POV, the story is trying to run on two conflicting genres – romantic tragedy and dark comedy as a historically fictional piece. While romantic tragedy (around the 2 leads) has a more dramatic, serious undertone, the tone for dark humour (for the rest of the cast) is in fact the opposite. It’s like watching two different but incoherent mini dramas in a single production. Some of the cast caricaturesque acting conflicted with the leads’ serious melodramatic tone and the subject matter. When dark comedy is weak and dismissible, the story can actually be misleading and read as offensive or boring.

    To also mix dark humour and historical fiction is such sticky business. The drama is indeed historical fiction and not just simply fiction. This means that the narrative can be made up but has to revolve around the actual history while the facts concerning the events, the beliefs and sentiments of the people as well as figures of that particular time have to stay true and uncontaminated. It is a literary ‘rule’. Dark humour is meant to parody a ‘dark’ event in humanity to pass it off as absurd or something to ‘laugh at’. I can understand why the Koreans were up in arms over this. When black comedy and historical fiction are not done well, the literary work can pass off as manipulative and revisionist. When certain key figures have been presented under a different light, it’s deemed as alternate history, serving a larger underlying purpose. Koreans will feel the impact of it more because they are still emotionally attached to that history by time and by space. Most international viewers might not be discerning enough to empathize. Still, you only wonder why even attempt to satirize the presidential elections in the first place, a symbol of democracy? Or why pick 1987 specifically, a time period marking the inception of SK’s democracy and delicate to the Koreans? The more recent or the more sensitive the history is, the more obligated the creator has to be in exercising care and ‘sticking to the facts’. I wanna leave this to the Koreans to be the best of judge for what’s best for their country

  8. Chemistry between Jung hae in and Jisoo is so strong! Just eye contact between them thoroughout the episodes already hits like lightning and you can actually see what their heart desires in the story. Jung hae in is really a great actor as he already was! Jisoo is showing superb acting skills even though she is just a newbie,it doesn’t even seem like it’s her first leading role as she is showing great strengths in her acting alongside with her veteran co-actors. Very proud of them and to the whole production of Snow drop! It is really a great drama if you would appreciate it without letting the controversies that surrounds it get in to you and without judging the actor’s personal lives! All the love to SNOWDROP! FIGHTING!

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