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‘Backstreet Rookie’ Starts with Moderate Viewership, But Is Embroiled in a Controversy over Its Sexually Suggestive Content

Credit: SBS

SBS’s new Friday-Saturday drama Backstreet Rookie, which dramatized adult webtoon, started off with 6.3 percent viewership.

According to Nielsen Korea, the first episode of SBS’s Backstreet Rookie, which aired on June 19, recorded 4.8 percent and 6.3 percent viewership.

The drama caught the attention even before the first broadcast with the meeting of star actors, Ji Chang Wook and Kim Yoo Jung, and producer Lee Myung Woo, who made a huge hit last year with The Fiery Priest.

However, there were also many concerns. Since the original webtoon of the same name is an adult male-oriented cartoon, some worried about dramatizing such content.

As if to ease concerns, producer Lee stressed at a press conference that Backstreet Rookie is a family drama that conveys small happiness and warm stories.

However, despite it being a family drama, there were many compromising scenes. For example, when high school student Saet Byul (Kim Yoo Jung) acted cute to ask naive Choi Dae Hyun (Ji Chang Wook) to buy cigarettes, the “male fantasy” depicted in the original webtoon was portrayed exactly the same.

Also, officetel (studio apartment) prostitution used as a laughing point, and the scene where an adult webtoon writer draws cartoons was excessively described, causing complaints that it is unpleasant to see with family.

Also, comical visual effects received opposite reactions. Some pointed out that visual effects that seem to be an homage to the movies like Sunny and The Matrix only made the scene more awkward.

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