It’s been a little over three weeks since the premiere of tvN’s drama Tomorrow With You. Prior to that day, many fans were excited; after all, the drama is pre-produced and includes in its cast Lee Je-hoon (Signal) and Shin Min-a (Oh My Venus). By cable standards, it started just fine with 3.18% viewership ratings. But that number has been dropping since then.
The latest episode of the drama recorded a disappointing 1.12%, which is 2.06 percentage points lower than the first episode rating. It means the number of Korean viewers watching the drama on television is getting less and less for every succeeding episode. But why? I recently stumbled upon a Reddit discussion that asks the same question. The list below is a summary of the comments. I find it ironic that this list of negative responses below, for me, are actually what make Tomorrow With You a good drama that deserves a higher audience share.
This remark stems from the time travel element of the drama. The male lead character, Yoo So-joon, can travel through time via a subway. As the CEO of a real estate company, he travels to the future to ensure the success of the company and his well-being in general. This aspect of the story has somehow brought about a negative effect to the drama as some viewers find the switch between the present and future times confusing. Plus, the future gives them a glimpse of a terrible event that possibly suggests a sad ending. There are also flashbacks that narrate some past events of So-joon’s life. So basically, the present and future scenes mainly comprise its episodes with past events inserted in some, particularly in episodes 1 and 2. If a viewer can’t easily distinguish which scenes are from the past, present, or future, the drama can actually be confusing.
On the contrary, the time travel premise makes Tomorrow With You an interesting drama. I agree that some plots are complicated, but the story in general is not very complicated to cause confusion among the viewers to the point that they give up watching the drama. A viewer just need to watch it intently so he could understand what’s happening. Time travel is a tricky and baffling concept but so far the drama has used it effectively to drive the major developments in So-joon’s life. Without it, the drama could have been just a mere romantic comedy that would need a different title.
Unlikable lead characters
In a desperate attempt to change his future, So-joon marries Song Ma-rin (the female lead character) despite not knowing her enough. Some viewers dislike his selfishness and insincere feelings towards her. Ma-rin, meanwhile, receives criticism from others for her drinking problems. These two are the main faces of the drama but there are viewers out there who just don’t like their characters and cannot relate to them.
They are not perfect, but that makes the drama realistic in its approach to tell an unconventional romantic plot that ends up with marriage. Just like everyone else in the real world, So-joon fears for his life, and so it is natural for him to find a way to stay alive. His marriage to Ma-rin is just to avoid his tragic future, but his intention to save her is actually real, whether he loves her or not. The viewers have to understand that So-joon’s character was made exactly like that, but in the end his feelings for her would change into something genuine. As for Ma-rin’s drinking problems, yeah, that’s disgusting so people would rather want her to stop drinking at once. But she can’t (until he married So-joon). She bears the burden of her dark past that causes her so much embarrassment in the present, and like other people, she somehow finds relief in drinking. As a failed child actress and a not-so-competent photographer, she’s living a difficult life. In fact, because of this, many fans can relate to her character.
“Boring as f**k”
I’m sorry for the word above, but I quoted the sentence that strongly reflects a sort of agreement among the fans who dislike the drama. Their concern (that it is boring) can be blamed for episode 1 which failed to deliver a solid premiere. The dark colors of the scenes, their “calmness,” background music, slow pacing, among other things, all contribute to a melancholic mode of that episode. When one considers the fact that the cliffhangers are not suspenseful enough to keep the audience’s interest, the “Boring as f**k” statement becomes inevitable.
The melancholic mode of the first episode, however, is a constant theme throughout the drama. Tomorrow With You utilizes this theme in a way that makes it unconventional and unique. Unfortunately, some viewers probably failed to appreciate this and just dropped the drama outright.
The drama’s viewership ratings have been dropping since its premiere at an average rate of 0.29 percentage points. If these numbers don’t improve significantly until the end (assuming its quality remains good enough), Tomorrow With You would have to register for the Underrated Drama Club whose recent members include Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-jo and Beautiful Mind.
Source of Images: TVING
(A FANBOY’S PERSPECTIVE is a weekly feature in Kdramapal about anything related to Korean dramas, from a man’s point of view. For your feedback and questions, you can email the author at [email protected], message us on our Facebook page, or comment on this post below.)