K-drama midseason recap: Snowdrop – controversial Disney+ drama, starring Blackpink's Jisoo, devolves into utter claptrap

the latest tech news, global tech news daily, tech news today, startups, usa tech, asia tech, china tech, eu tech, global tech, in-depth electronics reviews, 24h tech news, 24h tech news, top mobile apps, tech news daily, gaming hardware, big tech news, useful technology tips, expert interviews, reporting on the business of technology, venture capital funding, programing language


This article contains spoilers.

the latest tech news, global tech news daily, tech news today, startups, usa tech, asia tech, china tech, eu tech, global tech, in-depth electronics reviews, 24h tech news, 24h tech news, top mobile apps, tech news daily, gaming hardware, big tech news, useful technology tips, expert interviews, reporting on the business of technology, venture capital funding, programing language

An eventful year for the K-drama industry ended on an ignominious note last month with the launch of Snowdrop, the highly controversial Disney+/JTBC drama which sparked a furiously negative reaction among Korean viewers, over 300,000 of whom signed a government petition requesting its cancellation.

Though many skittish advertisers jumped shipped almost immediately, JTBC stood firm, issuing a statement to the effect that claims of historical distortion amounted to misunderstandings which would subsequently be cleared up naturally in the coming episodes.

Global Tech News Daily

It is true that the show airing now – nine episodes into its 16-episode run – is very different from the one we saw in the first pair of episodes aired before Christmas. When Snowdrop began, there were the makings of a halfway decent show beneath its political missteps.

However, this newfangled Snowdrop somehow manages to be even more misjudged, not to mention egregiously tedious as it quickly boxes itself into a narrow and repetitive storyline.

Global Tech News Daily

When we last saw Hosu Women’s University student Eun Young-ro (Blackpink’s Jisoo), she was nursing North Korean agent Lim Soo-ho (Jung Hae-in from D.P.) back to health in an abandoned attic after he had crashed into her dorm as he escaped agents from the Agency for National Security Planning (ANSP).

In episode three, Young-ro and her co-conspirators use the cover of an open house event at the dorm, the one time of year students are allowed to invite men over, to smuggle Soo-ho out. After a few close calls, Soo-ho escapes on a bicycle with Young-ro riding side-saddle behind him and they share an emotional goodbye as snow flutters over them.

Structurally, this approach makes a lot of sense. The protagonists have been forced into a critical suspense-filled situation which forces them to get to know each other quickly, and now they go out into the wide world, where the wider story can unfold.

However, Snowdrop isn’t an ordinary show. By episode four, following another botched spy operation, Soo-ho is once again on the run from the ANSP and dashes with his comrades into a secret passageway in a forest, which leads them … right back to the Hosu University dorm.


Jung Hae-in in a still from Snowdrop.

North Korean agents and ANSP operatives cause havoc in the dormitory and Soo-ho is forced to use Young-ro as a hostage at gunpoint, several times, to get the ANSP to back off. Soo-ho and his two comrades then take the whole dorm hostage, as well as ANSP agent Lee Gang-mu (Jang Seung-jo). The story has engineered its way right back to the dorm and this time it’s there to stay.

The coincidences then pile up pretty quickly. Young-ro is revealed to be the daughter of presidential hopeful Eun Chang-su (Heo Joon-ho), her naval brother dies in an altercation with the North Korean military directly related to the kidnapping, and Soo-ho turns out to be the son of the high-ranking North Korean official engaged in shady deal-making with Chang-su and Nam Tae-il (Park Sung-woong).

Meanwhile, Hosu dormitory matron Pi Seung-hee (Yoon Se-ah) is actually a sleeper spy for the South, and Kang Chung-ya (Yoo In-na), the doctor and lover to Tae-il who is sent into the hostage situation, turns out to be a legendary North Korean spy.

ANSP agent Gang-mu was at first painted as a villainous security agent, the kind that would have waterboarded student protesters in the Korea of the 1980s, but by the time he stands up to the North Korean spies he has morphed into a heroic character. Throughout the hostage situation he’s the only person the young captured girls can turn to for help.

Chang-su, as a high-ranking cog of the autocratic ruling party who is engaged in a plot to steal the upcoming election, is another villainous character that the show opts to humanise. We see him mourn his son, who was killed by North Koreans, and we bear witness to his attempts to save his daughter from the politically sensitive hostage situation.


Jisoo (left) and Yoo In-na in a still from Snowdrop.

In her landmark reporting on the Nazi war crime tribunals for The New Yorker, Hannah Arendt referred to the ‘banality of evil’, but it’s unlikely that this is what she meant.

In its handling of one of the most sensitive eras of Korea’s modern history, Snowdrop has repeatedly shown itself to be utterly tone-deaf as it patched together a fantastical story built on baffling moral arcs and informed by real events and real characters.


Jung Hae-in in a still from Snowdrop.

Snowdrop even manages to make a careless allusion to conspiracy theories relating to more recent political events. When Chang-su’s wife Hong Ae-ra (Kim Jung-nan) visits a famous one-eyed shaman, he tells her that her husband will become president if 13 virgin girls are sacrificed – a prophecy the hostage situation threatens to fulfil.

This is an allusion to an outrageous conspiracy theory that sought to explain what former President Park Geun-hye was doing during the infamous eight hours she disappeared on the day the Sewol ferry sank in 2014. The theory goes that she was taking part in a shaman ritual to sacrifice the lives of the teenagers aboard the ferry to revive her dead father, the assassinated President Park Chung-hee.

Yet even a theory as preposterous as that makes more sense than the story we’ve been subjected to so far in Snowdrop.


Jang Seung-jo (left) and Jisoo in a still from Snowdrop.

Snowdrop is streaming on Disney+.

News Related


Logistics start-up GoGoX's steps up Hong Kong IPO plan with investor education process after receiving HKEX approval

GoGoX, an Asian app-based logistics services provider, has started an investor education process for its initial public offering, according to a source familiar with the transaction. The IPO is reportedly ... Read more »

K-pop artists present special exhibitions that coincide with album releases

Girls’ Generation’s Taeyeon (left) and boy band Treasure (S.M. Entertainment, YG Entertainment)While gearing up for their big returns to the stage, K-pop musicians have been preparing special exhibitions where visitors ... Read more »

Couple fight boy's brain cancer with natural remedies, reiki and alternative medicine – we believed his body ‘would not take' more chemotherapy, Hong Kong mum says

Shirley Johnson faced the biggest test of her life when her 18-month-old son, Max, was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, a type of brain cancer in children, in November 2019. The Hong ... Read more »

Betting on tech firms like Nio and BOC pays off for communist officials in China's eastern city of Hefei

In early 2020, as the pandemic pushed it to the verge of bankruptcy, China’s highest-­profile rival to Tesla was shunned by the venture capital funds and foreign investors that had ... Read more »

Inside BTS members' US$1 million luxury watch collection: from Jungkook's Rolex Submariner, to Jimin's iconic Cartier Tank and the US$35,000 Jaeger-LeCoultre V's fans bought him for his birthday

There are perks to taking over the pop culture landscape – just ask BTS. As the richest group in K-pop with a net worth totalling around US$50 million between them, ... Read more »

Alibaba weighs on Hong Kong market on stock overhang concerns while China data disappoints

Hong Kong stocks fell as Alibaba Group Holding led losses in major Chinese technology companies amid concerns about stock overhang. A private report today showed China’s services industry grew at ... Read more »

BIGBANG to make a comeback in spring after four years

SEOUL, Feb. 7 (Yonhap) — Boy group BIGBANG will come back to the K-pop scene this spring after four years of hiatus due to the members’ mandatory military duties, the ... Read more »

Hong Kong developers are betting on London for its high rental yields amid BN (O) visa scheme, says K&K Properties boss

Hong Kong developers are increasing their investments in London, betting on higher yields as more Hongkongers head to the UK under the British National (Overseas) visa scheme. There has been ... Read more »

In Tesla-dominated Hong Kong, BMW eyes 50 per cent of its sales in the city to come from electric cars by 2024

BMW will launch at least three new electric car models in Hong Kong this year, as the German firm aims for battery-powered vehicles to account for 50 per cent of ... Read more »

Do right by foreign workers to preserve Hong Kong's competitive advantage

In recent decades, Hong Kong’s competitive advantage has been built upon diverse foundations. Some are obvious and repeated ad nauseam – low and simple tax rates, trusted legal system, unique ... Read more »

China's stock market is lacking one major ingredient to rebound from bear territory, US fund manager says

China’s policy-easing measures will need to go the distance to revive credit for businesses, before investors commit more money to the local stock market, according to US-based money manager Wang ... Read more »

A Channing Tatum-backed start-up reflects rise in manscaping – why shaving and waxing below the belt will continue to grow

Gone are the days when a quick jump in the shower followed by a brief spray of deodorant was all guys needed before heading out of the house. Male grooming ... Read more »

Chocolate, avocados, tacos – Mexico's culinary gifts to the world, and ways to use them in the kitchen

What would Italian food be without tomatoes, or Indian food without chillies? Imagine life without chocolate, or squash or beans. In México: The Beautiful Cookbook (1991), authors Marilyn Tausend and ... Read more »

As US stocks fall, a bear market is all but inevitable in 2022

Greed and fear are primal instincts, and greed has been red in tooth and claw in battling against fear during what amounts to the longest ever bull market in stocks. ... Read more »

Tencent restores Fight Club ending after censorship backlash in China on social media

China’s internet giant Tencent Holdings has restored the original ending of the popular dark satire Fight Club on its video streaming service after censorship of the final scene sparked widespread ... Read more »

How blockchain technology can help solve Asia's need for green finance

As the climate crisis worsens, governments and organisations are increasingly looking to green finance as a way to raise funds for sustainable projects and infrastructure. Yet despite growing investment in ... Read more »

What is the gut microbiome? How a diet high in fibre and plant-based foods helps keep yours healthy – experts explain

Looking after our gut health is important. Colorectal is the third most common cancer in men and the second most common in women worldwide. In Hong Kong it is the ... Read more »

How fake breasts, nipples, penis transformed Pam & Tommy stars Lily James, Sebastian Stan into iconic '90s couple for Hulu show

The task: transform actors known for playing Cinderella and Marvel’s Winter Soldier into a buxom blonde Playboy cover girl and her tattooed rock star husband. The resemblance of stars Lily ... Read more »

China signs up for treaty to protect industrial design IP

China has joined the World Intellectual Property Organization’s treaty on protecting industrial designs, which should help Chinese designers safeguard their work internationally, the UN agency said on Saturday. Beijing has ... Read more »

Year of the Tiger: Tesla's lead in China's EV market is whittled away by NIO, Xpeng, Li Auto and other home-grown brands

Tesla’s dominance in the world’s largest electric car market may come increasingly under pressure in the Year of the Tiger, as China’s home-grown brands develop new models to pick up ... Read more »

Hong Kong: haunting memoir of a fractured city and life on the edge

The Impossible City: A Hong Kong Memoir by Karen Cheung, pub. Penguin Random House Among the acknowledgements at the end of her first book, The Impossible City: A Hong Kong ... Read more »

Hong Kong's property market sinks to 17-month low in January as Omicron wreaks havoc with deals

Hong Kong’s property market is expected to see even fewer deals in the coming month amid a fifth coronavirus outbreak linked to the Omicron strain, with the overall number of ... Read more »

US Treasury warns of illicit money percolating in high-end art

The US Treasury Department is looking more closely at potential money laundering and the financing of terrorism through trading high-value art. The way art is bought and sold – and ... Read more »

How China plans to lead the world in sustainable food with latest five-year agricultural development plan

China’s decision to include alternative proteins in its five-year agricultural development plan shows Beijing’s desire to nurture home-grown technology to ensure sustainable food supply, industry watchers say. Lab-grown meat, plant-based ... Read more »

4 of Asia's richest celebrity power couples: from Bollywood's Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh to K-drama's Kim Tae-hee romance with K-pop's Rain

When an actor reaches a certain level of fame, their whole life becomes a movie – with fans as fascinated with their off-screen antics as their next screen role. And ... Read more »

K-drama midseason recap: Ghost Doctor – medical drama starring Rain and Kim Beom delivers comic banter and smooth emotional beats

This article contains spoilers. Sometimes all a show needs is enough of a story to fuel a fun concept. This is exactly the balance that Korean medical comedy-drama Ghost Doctor, ... Read more »

‘No money, no new year': Chinese developers remain mired in debt even after financial lifeline

As millions of Chinese headed home last week to celebrate the Lunar New Year, Michael Lin had to break the bad news to his 7-year-old daughter: she would not be ... Read more »

Stress, anxiety, trauma: how Hong Kong Covid-19 travel curbs affect the mental health of expat families, for whom there are few upsides to isolation

An ambulance pulls up outside one of the austere blocks at Penny’s Bay, Hong Kong’s quarantine camp, where arrivals to the city and close contacts of Covid-19 cases are confined ... Read more »

Who is Irene Zhao, the Singapore Instagram influencer who made over US$5 million selling her photos as NFTs – and caught Logan Paul's attention in the process?

NFTs continue to take the world by storm and social media influencers are starting to catch on to the trend. Case in point: for Irene Zhao, one of Singapore’s biggest ... Read more »

Why Federal Reserve's hard pivot over inflation has stock markets spooked

Capital markets have had a turbulent start to the new year as they adjust to more active central banks and tighter monetary policy. The US Federal Reserve has kick-started the ... Read more »

Covid-19 looms large over Hong Kong's office market as companies implement work-from-home

The office market in Hong Kong will continue to be disrupted by the work-from-home trend this year as the coronavirus pandemic rages on, a UBS real estate analyst said. With ... Read more »

US-China tech war: Top Chinese university pulls report that concluded China would suffer more from tech decoupling with US

A think-tank at China’s prestigious Peking University has pulled a report that concluded China would likely suffer more in a tech decoupling from the US. The 7,600-character report was published ... Read more »

Disbandment not the end: GFriend members to redebut as Viviz

Concept image of Viviz’s first EP “Beam of Prism” (BPM Entertainment)Putting behind their years as GFriend, members SinB, Eunha and Umji are embarking on a new journey together. As ironic ... Read more »

Hong Kong approves spin-off of Chinese metals and plastics firm Karrie International's property arm, paves way for listing

KRP Development, the real estate business of Chinese metal and plastics manufacturer Karrie International Holdings, is heading for a listing in Hong Kong after the city’s bourse approved the unit’s ... Read more »

Beijing 2022: the best and worst Winter Olympics outfits to look out for from Adidas, Columbia, Uniqlo, The North Face, Kim Kardashian's Skims and more

Millions of people around the world will be turning their eyes to the Chinese capital for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and the Paralympic Winter Games that follow soon after. ... Read more »

[Today's K-pop] Dawn proposes, HyunAh says ‘yes'

(Credit: P Nation)HyunAh and Dawn announced via Instagram that they are tying the knot. Late Thursday, Dawn wrote “Marry Me” with a heart, uploading a short video that showed the ... Read more »

Why era of self-driving cars is still far off despite Elon Musk's big talk

It was almost six years ago that I harrumphed against the exuberant predictions about the imminent autonomous vehicle takeover of our roads. Today, quietly and without hubris, I can sneak ... Read more »

How shows like Single's Inferno reveal the dark side of reality TV fame for non-celebrities

By Kwak Yeon-soo In the past, non-celebrities with unique skills and expertise could become celebrities by showing off their talents in the media – but that trend is slowly dying. ... Read more »

iPhone screen maker, Li Ning-backed blank-cheque company file for Hong Kong IPOs, betting on rebound in demand for new listings

Biel Crystal, the world’s largest maker of smartphone screens, is among a host of companies betting that demand for initial public offerings will improve after a dismal January that saw ... Read more »

K-pop stars HyunA and Dawn get engaged, four years after romance upended their musical careers

K-pop sweethearts HyunA and Dawn announced their plans to marry on February 3. The couple shared their plans through a series of Instagram posts featuring a pair of matching opal ... Read more »