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KDRAMA REVIEW | TOMORROW: Stories of hope amidst school violence victims, of anorexia patients, the pains of the past, and social media bullying

Lately, in my effort to completely distance myself from the stress of Philippine politics and toxic social media posts, I made myself fully immersed in more Kdramas and almost all BTS reality shows online. Not that I’m not doing it before, but this time, it’s more intentional. Though I still take a glance at Facebook and Twitter, having daily schedules to follow (weekly episodes on Netflix and more Run BTS episodes) kept me preoccupied.

Recently been to a lot of interesting dramas and one of them is TOMORROW starring Rowoon of the South Korean boy band SF9 on his second Netflix Original after the incredibly popular romantic comedy, The King’s Affection.

“Tomorrow” (in Korean “내일”)  is another webtoon adaptation that tells the story of the job seeker Choi JunWoong who fell into a coma due to an accident and entered the Special Crises Management Team of the underworld. Their duty is to take care of humans with a high risk of suicide and to make them want to live. (with references from https://www.kpopmap.com/)

Tomorrow” is based on a webtoon of the same name by RaMa
RoWoon who played Choi JunWoong has been looking for a job for 3 years. While being under the influence of alcohol, he almost made an extreme choice by going to a bridge. However, he noticed and tried to save someone who came to commit suicide before him. He fought to save him but they ended up falling together in the water. The Special Crises Management Team came in late and by mistake put him in a coma of 3 years. He became a half-human and a half-spirit (his spirit left his human living body). He starts a job that is not possible in the living world by joining the Special Crises Management Team as the youngest employee.
Kim HeeSun who played Gu Ryeon is a grim reaper at the head of the Special Crises Management Team. She leads Choi JunWoong and Lim LyungKu to save the lives of people who are considering suicide. She is not the grim reaper we usually see as she does not come to pick up the dead people. Gu Ryeon is also charismatic and has a hidden story.

“TOMORROW” DEALS WITH PRESENT-DAY BATTLES

‘Tomorrow,’ though may not have faired well in S.Korean viewership, has a deeper meaning than the ratings. It may seem dragging and the intertwined events may be confusing… but a closer look at it will make you appreciate the message that they want to convey. I especially like the drama’s attempt to explore several social issues and raise awareness about it by helping concerned people change their mindsets and ways.

Some of the issues covered include stories of school violence victims and anorexia patients, who dread the end of the world and caused viewers to reconsider the power of words and value life. They even touched on the business of brokering for those who want to commit suicide in Korea as they investigate their previous cases.

Moreso, this drama is an eye-opening experience that allows us to see the inner battles of a person who takes one’s own life.

WHY EPISODES 13-15 ARE A “MUST-SEE”!

While tying loose ends on the main characters’ own stories toward the end of the drama, we saw more timely and relevant issues being brought up on the table: war veterans and the story of comfort women reminding us not to forget history, and social media bullying, especially among popular Kpop idols – which is becoming rampant nowadays and victimizing people for money, and worst is… for fun.

These are serious topics that hounded me towards the end, leaving a great impact on me – thus this special review. I applaud the producers for their courageous attempt to unravel all these realities in front of the general audience who doesn’t value history and who makes fun (even make money) out of the misery of these poor “idols” thru malicious comments and life-threatening posts on social media.

I especially like (though I hope this doesn’t sound morbid), while giving us that sense of revenge, the scenes where those social media bullies were punished severely in their afterlife.

The reality is that more and more people are losing hope for tomorrow, every day (rich or poor, normal or popular people). Most of them found themselves in a situation where they thought that the only way out is to take their own life. But the drama also taught us that “the only person who can free ourselves from the bondage of the past, of the pains, and all the struggles… is ourselves, too.” Help is available, and it’s teaching the viewers to see these victims as people who need us… for some understanding, for care and empathy, for inspiration. It also reminds us to be careful with our words (it hurts more than we think or imagine), to consider to be more compassionate, and to love others, genuinely.

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