“Snowdrop” starring Jisoo and Jung Hae-in recorded low ratings amid history distortion scandal

“Snowdrop” is giving the audience an explanation for its plot by having 3 episodes broadcast in a row.

Snowdrop low ratings
The fifth episode of JTBC’s weekend drama “Snowdrop.” Photo = Capture of JTBC’s broadcast.

The broadcaster has shown its willingness to break through the unprecedented controversy. It might surpass the scandal, but there is another problem. JTBC’s weekend drama “Snowdrop,” which heated up the broadcasting industry due to controversy over history distortion, had its third consecutive episode broadcast over the weekend last week. The drama, which originally airs only on Saturdays and Sundays, was broadcast on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, showing its intention to dispel misunderstandings as controversy over the drama’s synopsis recently expanded.

From the 3rd to the 5th episodes, a dramatic story that led to the betrayal and wounds was unfolded as the main characters in the drama started to have feelings for each other. Eun Young-ro (Jisoo), who helped Lim Soo-ho (Jeong Hae-in), a college student who was hurt, hid in her university dormitory, succeeded in taking him out to the university dormitory’s open house (3rd episode), but Lim Soo-ho, who went out, reappeared armed in the dormitory during an operation (4th episode), creating an urgent situation where Suho turned out to be a spy and Youngro became a hostage (5th episode).

Snowdrop low ratings

Viewers can understand the intention of the production team to quickly show a turnaround in the drama’s plot in the fifth episode by broadcasting three episodes consecutively. “Snowdrop” has been embroiled in a history distortion scandal since its synopsis was leaked last spring, and a key part of it was linked to the story of the heroine misunderstanding the male protagonist as an activist student and saving him, while he was actually a spy. The Ministry of Security and Planning being glorified and the male protagonist being a spy were linked to the Korean democratization movement set in 1987.

This turned into a controversy that the production team disparaged the value of the democratization movement in 1987 in connection with its historical facts. In the end, the Blue House National Petition came up, recording more than 200,000 recommendations. In addition, sponsorships and advertisements were canceled due to boycott movements against sponsors and advertisers. It was a reenactment of SBS’s “Joseon Exorcist”, which became a hot issue in March.

Snowdrop low ratings

However, “Snowdrop” showed a development that distanced itself from allegations except for the part that it misunderstood spies as activists. In the drama, the National Security Agency was depicted as a power-oriented organization that did not hesitate to work with North Korea for elections. As the work continued with the hostage situation and shooting scenes from episode 5, it was less likely to be linked to the democratization movement as it took on thriller rather than romance.

Of course, the suspicions raised in the beginning are fading as the development progresses, but the drama’s concerns have arisen elsewhere. Compared to controversies, it is receiving overly cynical responses from viewers. According to Nielsen Korea, its nationwide ratings fell from 3% in episode 1 to 1.9% and 1.7% in episodes 3 and 4, respectively. Although it rose to the late 2% range in episode 5, the ratings of less than 3% was out of people’s attention, becoming a dark cloud for the drama’s performance.

Snowdrop low ratings

Although the unconventional programming to avoid controversy eased the burden of historical distortion to some extent, it failed to rebound ratings. In the end, whether the box office will fail with only controversies left, the real crisis of “Snowdrop” begins now.


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