supernatural spirits form suicide prevention team in sensitive drama

JThe Korean television industry makes supernatural-themed dramas better than most, using the country’s history to find new interpretations of the genre. tomorrowNetflix’s new arrival with SF9’s Rowoon, seems to be its new ace, offering a unique spin on the idea of ​​the afterlife and how our souls slip from one world to another.

Based on the webtoon of the same name, tomorrow follows a team of Grim Reapers whose job is not to usher the spirits into the next realm, but to prevent the humans still alive from committing suicide. The “Risk Management” team is led by Goo-ryeon (played by Kim Hee-sun), a cold and intimidating woman with pink hair who once resided in Hell. Although she may seem frosty, she clearly cares about her task at hand, willing to do anything to help. Alongside him is Lim Rung-gu (Yoon Ji-on), who is also invested in work, but only during his regular hours and balks at the thought of breaking the rules.

Choi Joon-woong (Rowoon), meanwhile, is a man trapped in a cycle of job-hunting frustration, always the bridesmaid of the recruiting world but never the bride. When we first meet him, his hopes are dashed again and tries to drink his emotions outside a convenience store. On his way back he crosses a bridge and encounters a man trying to jump over the railings and tries to stop him. His good intentions backfire, however, when Goo-ryeon and Rung-gu arrive and, despite their warnings, he refuses to let them handle things.

His mortal body stuck in a coma, Joon-woong’s spirit is taken to Jumadeung, the Reaper Company, where he meets the director (Kim Hae-sook) and is offered a deal – to work as a Reaper and be able to return to its a normal life in months rather than years. It may not be the job he was hoping for, but it’s a position that seems likely to teach him a lot more about humanity and the world around him than the last position he took on. interviewed at a fertilizer company.

As a newbie to the world of harvesting, Joon-woong is a mixture of naivety and compassion, and Rowoon brilliantly plays his immersion into the job, making it feel like you’re on a journey with him. While the show’s subject matter is heavy, the script and its cast inject lighter moments of humor into the proceedings without making the plots feel undermined.

tomorrow approaches suicide with gentleness and empathy, although early examples of the phrase “commit suicide” seem shocking. However, as the show progresses, you realize it’s only spoken by Park Joong-gil (Lee Soo-hyuk), the leader of the more traditional Reaper Squad who rules ruthlessly over the recently deceased spirits. The fourth episode gives more context to the parsimonious use of the phrase as we are shown a flashback to Joong-gil and Goo-ryeon embroiled in a heated argument over whether those who die by suicide should be treated like criminals or like people who couldn’t. endure longer the pain they felt.

The drama is clearly on Goo-ryeon’s side, exploring people’s different stories and struggles with sensitivity, gently drawing a line through their past traumas to the breaking points they find themselves at. Nor does it claim that those who are suicidal can be cured simply and quickly – while the risk management team monitors their “negative energy” levels on an app called Red Light, they recognize that each person can easily be submerged again in the future. .

Four episodes in, tomorrow shows a lot of promise for being an almost flawless series. So far it does a good job of balancing dark and light, opening up important conversations about mental health and how we deal with those who feel like they can’t go on while adding a new creativity to the host of supernaturals in the world of K-drama. shows.

“Tomorrow” is available to stream on Netflix.