Jung Hae In is the Main Good Thing in a Perplexingly Mediocre Drama Catching Up on jTBC’s Snowdrop Through Episode 9

So I’m all caught up on Snowdrop through this weekend’s episodes 8-9, which helps now to review the drama on its actual narrative, acting, and directorial merits rather than following along with the controversy. Main takeaways are that Jisoo is not good enough at acting to carry a serious drama as the female lead but nowhere near abysmally awful, her agency screwed her over by accepting this role and she would have really benefitted from a few dramas as the supporting to second female lead and give her time to work on the enunciation problems which are very evident and would annoy native Korean viewers for sure. But conversely I LOVE Jung Hae In in this drama, not his bipolar written North Korean spy posing as a South Korean college student character but when he went full soldier his charisma explodes onscreen with such controlled tension. I wish the girl he loves in the drama was less light weight and girly than Young Ro but at least he hard carries the OTP boat for this drama with his secret pining. As for the drama proper, my sense is that the writer took at look at the North Korean soldier with the golden soft heart in Crash Landing on You and wanted to do it in a period drama, and somehow landed on 1987 and combined it with the government assertions back then that North Korean spies were infiltrating colleges. I don’t sense a purposely whitewashing or revisionist take on history but a dumb clueless attempt as being clever with tying historical periods with a trendy element such as hot North Korean soldiers in love. I have zero interest in the greater story proper because it feels overly manufactured and the dorm hostage situation has now taken 4 episodes and half the aired drama so clearly this story with no real end goal in sight other than Soo Ho likely dying at the end. Snowdrop is basically an overly complicated dish that is half baked out of the oven.


Jung Hae In is the Main Good Thing in a Perplexingly Mediocre Drama Catching Up on jTBC’s Snowdrop Through Episode 9 — 34 Comments

  1. Yes Jung Haein is the main attraction and the only reason I’ve stuck with this drama. His acting makes his character compelling in spite of all the downfalls of the writing. He’s really hard carrying the show. The controversy is a non issue at this point, but I still wonder if the ratings would’ve been higher if it didn’t take place. Imo, had the controversy not scared so many away after the first week, many would’ve tuned on solely for Haein’s tight black shirt and distracting biceps lol. He’s really shed his soft romantic male lead image and moved on from being the ideal son-in-law to dangerous red flag that you can’t help falling for. His new tanned skin and bulked up figure is really working for him. Can’t believe this is the same cute lil guy from SitR

    • Finally! Someone said it. His tight black t-shirt and beautiful biceps ARE distracting. Gosh, I don’t even know what I’m watching when he shows up. But besides that, I do agree that Jung Hae In is hard carrying the show. Excited for DP season 2.

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  3. You know how everyone was saying the teasers are focusing too heavily on the romance and ignoring the political environment well the drama only focuses on the idiocity of the ANSP and a laughable hostage situation and the romance is no where to be seen. Honestly the best part of the drama is when JHI and JS share screen space together because all though JS isn’t remotely close to being good they have pretty good chemistry and I feel for their complicated emotions for each. Why are we wasting time watching PSW acting like a monkey and screaming at everyone, or the extremely awful wives club with their petty politics and fortune teller obsessions when we could spend all that time focusing on the push and pull relationship of the main leads. I’m also tired of all the overacting by the two NSA agents who are the equivalent of headless chicken. Its laughable the amount of time he’s cut through the ropes and escaped and gotten caught. Rinse and repeat every episode. The hostage situation is utterly boring and honestly I would rather just watch JHI pinning for JS while she watches her world fall apart because of him but still can’t stop loving him. This could have been the whole drama and it would be 100x better than whatever nonsense plot they’ve come up with in the name of black comedy and social satire.

    • THIS. Every word.

      At this point even if Jisoo is replaced with a cardboard cutout and Jung Hae In just pines for her being all emo tortured I’m good with it.

      I can’t believe the sole saving grace for a drama billed as meaty and narratively “important” with a story to tell has turned out to be good at only doing the young lovers kept apart by their North-South Korean identity trope.

    • What I don’t understand is why there was no real build up to the romance. I expected real conflict but I had hope we’d get atleast first 8 episodes of solid romance buildup layered with politics before things ramped up. This considering each episode is around 90 minutes just feels weird to me. I don’t understand the decisions made and story progression.

      • Exactly! One would expect at least 4 episodes of the spy hiding where feelings develop slowly then 3-4 episodes of romance building up properly where she almost discovers his real identity but not really and finally the last arc would be the hostage situation as a desperate escape attempt not the entire plot!

    • This comment perfectly sums up all the real issues with the drama outside of the controversies. The plot is weak and not well done. Even if you leave logic at the door everything else about the drama is plain boring. The romance which we are supposed to root for has been given almost no build up so props to the leads for still making it believable and worth watching. Honestly everyone in the hostage situation looks like they’re in the middle of a very long pajama party and Jisoo is the only one who looks rightfully distraught. The amount of times the spies have been betrayed must be a record and it makes no sense why any of them still needs any proof that both sides want them gone. They could have done so much more with the drama because they managed to bring together this diverse cast but the screen time for the characters especially the girls from dorm 207 who should have been a bigger part of the drama is almost non existent. I don’t even remember a character is still in the drama till they get a one liner every other episode and then promptly forget them till their next one liner. Character development isn’t even a concept in this drama.

    • Haha! My thoughts exactly. Seriously? How many times is that guy going to escape? On his last escape he seriously just pulled himself out of that rope. If it weren’t for Jung Hae-In’s superb acting and freaking good looks I would not even bother watch it. I am not even Korean, but I do watch plenty of Korean dramas enough to notice Jisoo’s enunciation. It’s like she’s eating her words. I can say she can act, I hope she can work on her diction more. Thankfully, she and Haein have good chemistry.

  4. Jung hae in looks irresistible in these stills. He is playing a totally diff character for the first time. Red flag but still a softie. This is his best look out of all his works imo.
    I have just started the drama but like everyone else, i too think he is hard carrying. Female lead is passable acting wise and her enunciation does prick me a lot. Sometimes the plot feels all over the place as if they are trying to squeeze in too many things at the same time.

  5. Yeah, he fine af , too bad he picked this drama though cause idk how the Korean public is going to view him after this .
    His imagine was doing so well after D.P smh .

    • Don’t worry the Korean public is fickle af and the controversy is dying down. Hope his next drama is good enough to erase all the nonsense that went down with snowdrop

      • He will still be remembered as an airhead on his recent interview. I came to like him in DP, but his recent interview really turned me off.

  6. Jisoo’s acting controversies aside, I’m still pissed at how all the armchair historians decided to conduct a witch hunt based on hearsay & claims of random twitter clowns instead of waiting for the drama to air and judging for themselves whether it warranted this much vitriol. This whole nonsense has been a prime example of the sort of bandwagon hate trains that are becoming increasingly common in k-ent. The amount of harassment all the actors and staff had to go through for the past few weeks is disgusting. The way some of these rats specifically targeted some small business owners that were linked to the drama or the main actors and bullied them was downright criminal. All this just so they could feel “woke” and have the degenerate rush of excitement for tearing strangers down. And many of them were just in it for fkn kpop fanwars. What a circus full of sickos.

    • Armchair historians lmao?? No doubt some are doing it for the clout, but that’s a sick generalization you’re making there, considering:
      a) the estate/foundation of the students who DIED at the hands of the NSA in the 1987 June Democratic movement have come forward and denounced this drama’s historical inaccuracies.
      b) Literally today, a group of scholars/historians/researchers/professors from some of the most prestigious universities in the US, including multiple from Harvard, Princeton, UChicago, UCLA, etc. drafted an open letter to the president of Disney Asia-Pacific petitioning for Disney to drop the drama from its platform because of historical inaccuracies. I’m pretty sure those professors who have literally studied this shit all their lives know more about Korean history than you.
      c) There’s a Twitter account whose parents suffered through torture through the NSA that’s pointing problems and inaccuracies in the drama’s plot episode-by-episode and giving detailed analyses on WHY these points are problematic. Ever read that yet?

      Oh, btw, while you’re denouncing these “rats” for targeting small business owners linked to the drama, why aren’t you mentioning at all the Blinks who straight up bombarded the estates of these dead students who dared to come out against the dramas with spams and hate mails? And honestly, if you’re going to align your business with something that tries to distort an event that greatly hurts many Koreans, an event that even allows you to have the freedom and democratic government you enjoy today, then there are good reasons for why your businesses get boycotted. It’s cute though, that you tried to brush all of this under the rug so you can quiet your conscience as you watch your Jung Hae In-oppa lmaooo.

      • I have watched until ep 4 then dropped it. Weak storyline, contrived chemistry, and overacting scenes. Cringy as hell.

      • Armchair historians then explained the scholars from Ivy League who now joined this disagreement now. Think you know better them in terms of history, Ugh?

  7. A group of 26 scholars/historians from ivy league universities has written an open letter to the G.M of Disney+ Asia Pacific requesting the snowdrop drama to be dropped from their platform. The letter is detailing the major issues and why it should stop broadcast.
    I am getting my popcorn.lol

  8. Sorry Blinks but i kinda expected this… jisoo not being able to carry the drama as she doesnt have the acting chops required to be the lead. She also isn’t that great in acting in their blink music videos too… what was her agency thinking? She’s a great kpop performer but needs more training and experience in acting though. Her acting is not thaaat bad but she shouldnt have gone as the lead. A big mistake.

  9. ‘Good reason for businesses to be boycotted’ lmaoooooooo Y’all sure do show your true colours in bs like this. If you or the geniuses that decided to do a new publicity stunt and make an open letter (to DISNEY the wokest franchise that cares So Much for individual liberty lmao) had instead taken a few hours out of your invaluable social activism to actually watch the show you’re inciting mob lynching over, you’d also conclude that there is no distortion of the democratic movement in this drama and how extremely embarrassing it is to even make such claims over such a slapstick cracky show. The sheer discrepancy between the tall claims and accusations you keyboard warriors are making and the ridiculous silliness of what the actual drama is portraying is so jarring it’s unbelievable how you lot are humiliating yourselves like this.

      • Watched it, saw some erroneous historical inaccuracies based on the twitter account I linked below and my own readings + shit plot so dropped it after 4.5 episodes or so lmaooo. But don’t believe me, here is someone on Twitter whose parents were fucking tortured by the NSA telling you all the inaccuracies/distortions you want: https://twitter.com/gatamchun. Oh, and yesterday a bunch professors and researchers from Harvard and Princeton and many other top schools in the US just literally sent an open-letter petition to the head of Disney+ Pan-Asia asking them to drop Snowdrop from their platform because of historical inaccuracies LMAOOO. But I guess you Blinks know more about Korean history than literally people who has experienced it (the Twitter account I linked) and LITERALLY PROFESSORS AND RESEARCHERS who have dedicate THEIR ENTIRE LIVES to studying these things, who both say there are multiple unacceptable inaccuracies in the drama LMAO. But yes, keep making up lies to defend your precious Jisoo.

  10. Huh, no historical inaccuracies? So explain why some of the top professors and researchers in the world on this subject from Harvard, Princeton, and some other top universities just sent a letter to the head of Disney Pan-Asia yesterday asking for them to drop the Snowdrop from Disney+ platforms? Perhaps you know more than these professors about Korean history? Then can you link some post-grad publications and papers that you have done on this subject?
    Also, there’s this Twitter account: https://twitter.com/gatamchun, who painstakingly lists details of inaccuracies from the plots in an easy-to-follow format for people like you. But I guess you’re more comfortable making up lies to defend your bias Jisoo right lmaoooo?

  11. Like what I have mentioned before – that the drama has been heavily promoted as a romantic tragedy where you would expect the core of the story to be revolving around the leads with the politics in the background pacing the development of the romance between the 2 of them that would eventually lead to their downfalls. So far, no international article has promoted and categorized this drama as dark comedy, only melodrama or romance. I am a fan of historical fiction myself so it irked me so much when the posters only focused on the visuals of the two leads (no relevant content) and I received no sketchy outline or hints of their character profiles in their interviews at all as a preview to the story. The only time it was affirmed as dark satire was a verbal confession by the director himself. The rate at which it is going, seems as if the romance segment is over, serving only as subplot and the plot has evolved into something so grim and political that it’s taking centre stage. Literarily speaking, it’s also impossible to do both tragedy and comedy in one narrative so I’m getting this sense that the writer may have wanted a romantic story but the director may have wanted a more politically satirical approach. Consequently, the plot ended up really messy, misleading and confusing. FL character has no depth (through her acting and even her lines) as opposed to ML character heavy-lifting the story now (even to the point I think he’s also schooling her on some acting skills). Even I think ML’s acting for this type of persona is only passable because it’s his first time taking on such a bleak character. However, the writing plays a huge role.

    I do understand where the controversy is coming from because I do find some things that are unsettling and historically dissonant as well. It is either you (wanna) see it or you don’t.

    • Thanks for the review especially your comments regarding the tonal issues. The decision to attempt dark satire for such a recent and sensitive time period is so baffling. That takes a very skilled writer and director at the best of times and its clear the team on this drama are nowhere near that.

  12. Basically even if the controversy is disregarded, this drama is a total misfire and would still have flopped anyway.

    All the actors associated with this must be ruing the day they signed on because it really wasn’t worth it. Even Jung Hae in who will likely escape unscathed-thanks to the good reviews from D.P and because he has a penis-made himself look like an ignorant airhead when promoting this mess. As for Jisoo…YG totally set their idol up to fail with this half-baked drama. She won’t be leading any dramas again anytime soon.

  13. Heck I can’t take Jung Hae-in seriously anymore after that interview. Everytime I see his face all I can think of is that title knets have given him. Damn this drama ruined so many good things.

    • The fact that the 1987 democracy was just a backdrop of the story and has nothing to do with the actual storyline, I really don’t see the big deal of him not paying attention to the history of it. He knew from the start what part he’d portray on the series. If the actual story line focuses on the democratic event then I’d definitely be concerned of him not trying to know more about its history. I think it was the mistake of the person that asked the question who assumed it focuses on the democratic event.

      • My point isn’t related to whether or not his drama is related to critical events of 1987 or whether or not he cares about his history. You know when you don’t care about a subject but you can still manage to give an answer with some relevance? Also this isn’t the only time he got called an airhead. He already had that reputation. He’s probably not but he’s kinda slow and it’s just my personal preference but it turned me off. That’s just me. Same with JKY. I noticed in several mriag interviews he’s always lost or slow on the uptake and Hyeri had to help him get back on track or feed him with substantial answer otherwise he is so boring in the interviews.

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