Having a similar context to Snowdrop, but this drama receives plenty of praise from Korean netizens.
In light of Snowdrop’s controversy, some other dramas that are set against similar historical backdrops also get dragged through the mud. However, Youth Of May, which aired earlier this year, gets plenty of praise from the audience and critics. Youth Of May is set in 1980 during the Gwangju Uprising. The main participants in the protest against the government were Chonnam University students. During that painful period, Youth Of May depicts a heartfelt love story between Hee Tae (Lee Do Hyun) and Myung Hee (Go Min Si). Both center on a romance in the midst of a turbulent period of Korean history, but Korean viewers’ reactions to Snowdrop and Youth Of May are completely opposite.
In a post criticizing Snowdrop, female presidential candidate Sim Sang Jung – a living witness of the pro-democracy movement, praised Youth Of May as an excellent precedent for Korean dramas set in the 80s.
According to Korean netizens, the biggest reason why Snowdrop draws criticism, while Youth Of May receives compliments lies in the way the Agency for National Security Planning (ANSP) is presented on screen. While Youth Of May realistically portrays the background of this government agency, Snowdrop is accused of “glorifying” the ANSP.
In addition, another major difference is the behavior of the cast and crew. Although it is a low-budget TV series produced with a team of rookies, Youth Of May leaves a good impression as a neat and concise work throughout 12 episodes. According to the screenwriter duo Sang Min Yeob and Lee Kang, Youth Of May focuses on telling stories about love and family more than the flow of history. However, since the drama is set in a sensitive period, the writers made sure to not write down even one single thing that is historically inaccurate.
Since the day the project was first introduced, Youth Of May’s cast members have been praised for their dedication. Both Lee Do Hyun and Go Min Si diligently prepared for the roles. They studied about the historical background before filming through books or visits to people who lived through that period.