The first episode of the Ji Chang Wook and Kim Yoo Jung starrer Backstreet Rookie opened to 6.3 percent viewership. Ji Chang Wook's second drama after his discharge from military won some brownie points with its first episode, but also drew criticism and some scenes in the drama were not taken well by the audience.
The trailer showed Backstreet Rookie, also known as Convenience Store Jung Saet Byeol, as a love story between a kindhearted and soft spoken Choi Dae Hyun (played by Ji Chang Wook) who runs a convenience store and a fierce, rebellious Jung Saet Byeol (played by Kim Yoo Jung) who joins the store as a part-time employee. But after watching the first episode, netizens said some scenes were objectionable and not fit for watching with the family.
The drama written by Song Geun Joo is based on the webtoon Convenience Store Saet Byul by Hwalhwasan and Geumsagong. The popular webtoon was termed raunchy and its adaptation as drama too has been criticized by netizens who called it adultish.
Prostitution, Plagiarism and Objectionable Scenes
There is a scene of the lead character ending up in the room of a prostitute, but the way Dae Hyun reacts to it has disappointed viewers. The scene is used to give a dash of humor to the drama, which has not gone down well with some viewers.
In another scene where Dae Hyun's best friend who is a webtoon artiste is not only shown drawing objectionable scenes, but also being naked himself was quite uncomfortable to watch with the family, said many fans on social media.
Besides, the part of the drama where the webtoon artiste draws is shown, is exactly the same as a scene from the Japanese movie Bakuman, drawing accusations of plagiarism.
However, fans of Ji Chang Wook and Kim Yoo Jung have said that they cannot judge the drama by watching just one episode and expected that the drama will live up to its promise as shown in the trailers and teasers.
Another disturbing factor for some viewers is Saet Byeol approaching a man much older to her (Ji Chang Wook) randomly and asking him to buy cigarettes and ends up kissing him, just like that. The act was termed inappropriate by a minor towards an absolute stranger.
Spoilers: Episode 2 to Decide The Future of Drama
New stills released by SBS show Backstreet Rookie Ji Chang Wook despite being on his toes all the time, falling deeper for his part-time employee. After being fooled by Saet Byeol and friends three years ago, it looks like the simple-minded man will be fooled again by the trio.
The teaser of episode 2 also shows an issue while selling cigarettes to minors and Dae Hyun rushing in to rescue Saet Byeol. Answers to questions including if these incidents lead to more misunderstandings between the two leads or bring them closer is what is mainly in store for the second episode of Backstreet Rookie.
The episode is also decisive as the audience is waiting to see if SBS will live up to its promise that it is a family-oriented, romantic drama or continue to have adult webtoon sections.
The second episode airs on Saturday (June 20) at 10 p.m. KST on SBS.