Netflixs new Korean show Tomorrow is the perfect stepping stone from Hellbound

Already this year, Netflix has spoilt us with a great number of original shows from South Korea. First, there was the high school zombie thriller All of Us are Dead, quickly followed by romantic comedy Twenty Five Twenty One, and now we’re being treated to a new dark fantasy drama series, Tomorrow. 

Emitting a similar vibe to the much-talked-about Hellbound, Tomorrow delves into the inner workings of the afterlife, showing the daily lives of a group of grim reapers who work in the crisis management team. The series stars K-pop idol-turned-actor Rowoon, alongside The Lady in Dignity’s Kim Hee-seon, and High School King of Savvy’s Lee Soo Hyuk.

The following mentions sensitive topics that appear in the show including death, suicide, and bullying so reader discretion is advised

Tomorrow Kim Hee-Seon

(Image credit: Netflix)

The story starts with job seeker Choi Jun-woong (Rowoon) who, after another failed interview, gets tangled up with a homeless man attempting to take his own life. Whilst trying to stop the man from jumping off a bridge, Jun-woong falls off the bridge himself and meets two grim reapers working for Jumadeung – an organisation that guides the dead into the afterlife and aids with suicide prevention in South Korea. Following this encounter, Jun-woong is offered a position at Jumadeung to work alongside the angels of death in exchange for less time in a hospital bed, where he currently resides after the incident. 

Unlike Hellbound, which gave viewers a much more sinister view of death, Tomorrow offers a bureaucratic perspective of the afterlife as Jumadeung is essentially just a large office block full of different departments and workers. The organisation contains all the usual suspects including IT support, administration, sales, risk management, and more. The only difference is, this company is dealing with the dead and those stuck in limbo. 

Compared to the violent and twisted storyline of Hellbound, Tomorrow feels much lighter in tone thanks to some comedic relief and a generally more positive outlook. However, the series also contains some tense and heartbreaking scenes; in fact, each episode begins by showing a mental health disclaimer and offers a helpline for people struggling with the kind of issues presented in the series.  

In the opening episodes, we are introduced to a TV writer who, after coming face to face with her school bully later in life, loses the will to live. This scenario results in several difficult flashbacks and ends with the woman being so distressed, that she tries to jump off a building. Jun-woong and the rest of the team arrive on the scene to try and convince her that life is worth living, and it’s edge of your seat watching.

Tomorrow Lee Soo-Hyuk

(Image credit: Netflix)

Tomorrow’s focus on saving people from dying – whereas Hellbound was happier condemning its characters to hell – makes the show that more optimistic. In places, the series is even light-hearted, as is evidenced by its main characters. Jung-woong is a breath of fresh air compared to his colleagues at Jumadeung, worn down by spending their time around dead people, due to the newcomers goofy personality and general zest for life. In the role, Rowoon also brings genuinely funny moments. 

Whether it’s Jung-woong blackmailing someone by removing the toilet paper from their cubicle, or him just being constantly clueless about the whole situation he’s in, you’re never bogged down by the sad moments for very long. Despite this being one of Rowoon’s more mature roles to date (he previously appeared in other Netflix shows such as Extraordinary You and The King’s Affection), he injects so much charm into what could have been a pretty depressing show.

There’s also a major visual difference between Hellbound and Tomorrow. The former dabbled in fantasy, the show’s version of the ‘angel of death’ being intimidating monsters that pulverise their victims. Tomorrow seamlessly blends the real world with imagination and offers stunning scenes where the world distorts around the characters and blurs the line between reality and fantasy. 

Tomorrow ends up having enough tense moments to keep you hitting that next episode button whilst also having enough humour so that you can catch a breath. If you’re not quite sold on the story of the daily grim reaper grind, Tomorrow’s visual splendour and loveable characters are definitely enough of a reason to give this series a try. 

New episodes of Tomorrow are available on Netflix every Friday. For more, check out the best Netflix shows available right now. 

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