‘Snowdrop’: K-drama hits low rating, distorts history AGAIN with iconic cathedral
‘Snowdrop’ creators had decided to air the next three episodes ahead of schedule in hopes to quell the uproar and clarify misunderstandings that they were distorting history. Well, it looks like they have failed as South Korean citizens were further angered with the way an iconic cathedral has been used for North Korean espionage. The K-drama starring Blackpink’s Jisoo and Jung Hae-in has been under fire since before its premiere for allegedly glorifying the brutal terror of the NSA during the pro-democratic uprising of South Korea in the 80s.
Memorials of martyrs further shared that the drama was like a second assault on victims as we also had Su-ho the male lead, a supposed North Korean spy being mistaken as an activist fighting for the democracy of South Korea. They compared the history revisionism in ‘Snowdrop’ the same as glorifying Nazis. The channel JTBC and the drama faces two lawsuits as citizens have sought cancelation of the show and for the channel to be shut down for showing anti-national content.
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Glorifying the NSA
In episodes 3 to 5, JTBC hoped to show that they were not glorifying the NSA but reprimanding the then rulers. We have the headmistress and even an NSA officer verbally affirming that the NSA frame innocent activists as North Korean spies. Furthermore, ‘Snowdrop’ shows Blackpink Jisoo’s character, Young-ro, feeling betrayed after she realizes that Su-ho, the male lead played by Jung Hae-in, is a North Korean spy and not an activist. It also shows that Su-ho’s father is not inspired by a tortured South Korean musician who was framed as a spy but a North Korean minister.
Unfortunately, we have new problems in the recent episodes that have overshadowed these rectifications. We have Su-ho and his North Korean team taking over the girls’ hostel as hostages. However, South Korean citizens are claiming that the NSA is romanticized since they are shown protecting the students and backing off from doing anything rash so as not to hurt any of the hostages. We also have the NSA leader taking the hot-headed Hana off the case since they have to take care of the citizens’ lives who are held hostage at the hostel.
Real victims and activists who suffered at the hands of the NSA claim that this is a mockery since the NSA allegedly did not follow any legal procedures or care for any casualties while on missions. We also have tender moments between Young-ro and the NSA officer Lee Kang-moo. Viewers find it insensitive as Young-ro’s real-life counterpart, Young-cho’s husband, was falsely accused of being a spy and reportedly killed by the NSA.
Espionage in a cathedral
The second problem is the way the Myeongdong Cathedral has been used in episode 4. The cathedral along with several other churches played an important role during the 80s uprising as they protected innocent student protestors from the NSA. The officers would often target cathedrals as they claimed that the ones they were hiding were spies. Archbishop Kim So-hwan is famous for his line that the officers would have to step over him and the nuns to get to the students. However, in the show, we have Su-ho contacting professor Han disguised as a priest at the Myeongdong Cathedral. This justifies the then NSA’s claims that North Korean activities took place in the church.
Professor Han’s inspiration
Additionally, the professor is based on professor Choi Jonggil, who was falsely accused of being a North Korean spy and killed by the NSA. In the show, Su-ho threatens professor Han and tries to make him defect to the North by holding his son hostage. The anger of the viewers is evident with the low ratings that the latest episodes have gotten. Episode 4 which aired on Christmas hit a new low with 1.6% viewership rating.
Episode 5 which aired on Sunday and did not have any other competing dramas in the same time slot only saw a 2.7% of viewership rating. In comparison, previous hit JTBC dramas were in double digits like ‘The World of the Married’s 28% and ‘Sky Castle’s 23% ratings.
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