Episode 1 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 2 -| Review Score – 3/5
Episode 3 -| Review Score – 3/5
Episode 4 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 5 -| Review Score – 2.5/5
Episode 6-| Review Score – 4.5/5
Episode 7-| Review Score – 3/5
Episode 8 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 9 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 10 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 11 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 12 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 13 -| Review Score – 4.5/5
Episode 14-| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 15 -| Review Score – 3/5
Episode 16 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Tomorrow is somewhat of an enigma. On the one hand, this sci-fi K-drama is a kooky episodic thriller, tackling numerous different cases and diving into everything from mental health and depression through to workplace bullying and corruption. There are some genuine tear-jerking moments dotted throughout the series and a lot of imaginative ideas played with.
At the same time, Tomorrow not only botches its worldbuilding, it does so with so many questions that – if you stop and think about any of it – highlight serious flaws that undermine what’s happening. And to make matters worse, the central cast don’t really have all that much chemistry and feel awkwardly contrived together across the run-time.
But what is Tomorrow actually about? Well, the show centers on a guy called Choi Jun-Woong who bumps into a couple of Grim reapers one night, called Koo Ryeon and Ryung-Gu. They’re part of a team specializing in saving suicidal people. When their latest target jumps off a bridge, Jun-Woong follows, only to find himself slipping into a coma. His unconscious spirit ends up joining the Crisis Management team, where he’s whipped up on this adventure to save different suicidal people.
The actual premise isn’t too bad but as the episodes progress, Tomorrow throws up a number of different plot devices that have serious ramifications for the rest of the show. In one of the episodes, Ryeon uses a key to go back in time and stop someone’s death in order to save a suicidal man in the present… and then never uses that again. It’s akin to the Time Turner in Harry Potter being thrown in and then completely abandoned.
Time travel is a tricky element to add to a story at the best of times, and unless you have something super simple like Again My Life or deep and intricate like Dark, it feels completely unnecessary. It also diminishes all the tension because these guys can just jump back in time and try again if they fail.
Not only that, but the Reapers have a strict code of conduct that they break, constantly. One of their rules is to “not intervene in human affairs.” which is a contradiction unto itself given they’re stopping people from committing suicide. Ignoring that for a second though, one case is resolved by seeing Ryeon curse a boss by giving him stomach problems for the rest of his life every time he badmouths others. While amusing, it also breaks that aforementioned rule about human affairs. Wouldn’t it be ironic if it actually made him suicidal in the future? But just like the magic time travel device, it’s never mentioned again.
While some of the cases are resolved beautifully – especially one highlight involving a war vet – others feel disingenuous and at its worst, lack a fundamental understanding of different issues. One case sees a bulimic woman “cured” by eating cake with a slightly overweight woman, who claims that “eating isn’t bad, I love my body and you should too!” Look, suicide is an incredibly complex subject and fair play to the writers for trying but sometimes the show feels like it bludgeons its way into a magical solution. Oh and there’s also a suicidal dog that can talk to the Reapers, because of course there is.
These parts of the show are incredibly frustrating and it’s not helped that Tomorrow’s central cast don’t gel well together at all. There are some really poor attempts at injected comedy to lighten the mood, sometimes right in the middle of a tense or poignant moment. They also almost always fail to hit their mark. Not only that, but when the show finally does show the backstory for these characters, it almost feels like a different story altogether and arrives way too late in the game, with the final 3 or 4 chapters exploring this.
There are glimmers of brilliance in this series and some genuinely well-worked segments that deserve to be watched. The aforementioned war vet episode is arguably the best chapter of the whole show. In fact, the writing here is actually on par with My Liberation Notes, one of 2022’s best K-dramas. These moments though are drowned out by inconsistent worldbuilding, plot contrivances and poor characters.
Ultimately, Tomorrow is a bit of a mixed bag. Yes there are some golden moments but overall, as a collective whole, this one is disappointingly shallow and could have been so much more.
Verdict - 5.5/10