W

W (2016)

8.8
Your Rating:
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Ratings: 8.8/10 from 11,443 users
Reviews: 80 users

Cardiothoracic surgeon Oh Yeon Joo's father mysteriously went missing while writing the last chapter of his webtoon "W". Yeon Joo goes to his office and is shocked to see a scene of a bloodied Kang Cheol, the main character of W, on her father's monitor. While reading something left behind by her father, a hand from the monitor pulled her in. She found herself on the rooftop of a building, next to read moreman lying down in blood. She manages to save him and realizes that the person she saved was Kang Cheol. She then found out that she can only enter and leave the webtoon based on Kang Cheol's change in feelings.

  • Native title:

    더블유
  • Also Known as:

    W – Two Worlds; W-두 개의 세계;

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Write a Review More Reviews (78) Reviews

Richel
93 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Sep 14, 2016
  • Overall 8.5
  • Story 8.0
  • Acting/Cast 9.5
  • Music 7.0
  • Rewatch Value 7.0
Ah, W. How I was looking forward to writing this review.

W was certainly one of the most anticipated dramas of the season, and for good reason: a creative storyline paired with an exemplary leading cast. I, like many others, was captivated by the idea of a webtoon coming to life. And Lee Jong Suk? Huehue. Say no more.

The writers of the show crafted a plot that is bound to keep read more you on your toes and send your brain into overdrive. It’s not the most intelligent story I’ve seen. At times it's confusing and borders on being nonsensical, but it’s logical enough to make it worth watching. W is especially intriguing because of its unpredictability - even if you grow used to the plot, each new problem creates an addicting mystery. You become determined to understand exactly what will happen next.

While I enjoyed W and the anxiety its suspense caused me, this drama is not perfect. A show amazing in concept, it fails to deliver in some of the most important aspects.

One thing I found particularly problematic was the romance. Some might disagree, but I found Kang Chul and Yeon Joo’s loveline to be one of the most poorly-written in any K-drama I’ve seen. I’ll admit that there was incredible potential in their relationship. However, the writers never give you any reason to like this couple except that they just are a couple - it’s the unspoken drama rule that because they’re the main characters, they have to be together. Fair enough, but that doesn’t get my heart racing.

Is the romance necessary? Yes - to an extent. Love is the easiest way to connect the two main characters. But trust me; that romance sucks badly. In the beginning episodes, you find it cute. What’s not adorable about a cool guy who’s curious about this ditzy girl? Then, you suddenly hit the point of doubt: but…but why, though? Why are they together? How? Sadly, there is no satisfying answer to these questions.

Yet, as much of a letdown as the romance was, what ultimately kept me from giving this show a higher score was its characters.

I have a burning passion for well-written characters, and I thought W would be the perfect drama to see it being done. The idea of the story is that the boundaries between reality and fiction are blurred, causing a mere created character to act and feel as a real human does. What we viewers deserve out of such a concept are heart-wrenching characters whose personalities you could find within a human in this world; who would persuade you that creations are self-aware. But disappointingly, nearly every single one of W’s characters are dull.

Strangely enough, the best example is Kang Chul. Our main character happens to be perfect. That sounds great! He’s rich, goodlooking, with an incredible sense of justice (this is where I swoon). He wants desperately to live, and you feel for him because…well, he’s not just a webtoon character; he’s a human being goddammit! Look at his perfect skin. And his eyes (oh his eyes). Also his backstory is so sad! But there’s something sadder than his backstory - his personality, which is as two-dimensional as the lines that were drawn to create him.

I’ve seen a lot of people share the same justification for why he has no real flaws: he’s a webtoon character, thus not real, thus does not have to be bound by the unspoken law that all people are imperfect. Fine; that makes sense. But isn’t that ironic? His whole gist is that he’s a human being. Where does he come off claiming such a thing if he’s so flawless? You’ll begrudgingly accept this character because of Lee Jong Suk, but that’ll be the extent of it.

And, the side characters are just that - side characters. Oh, sure, they exist. Yet I never really cared about them. Most of the time, they were convenient plot devices, not people. (I’ll say that I did very much like the role of Yeon Joo’s father - out of everyone, he feels the most realistic.)

If this were any other drama, I would let this go. I understand that a show can’t have everything, and characters are often the afterthought in the face of such a complex plot. However, I want to make it clear that if the writers are going to create a show based around the idea that these webtoon characters seem human, then they have to create characters that are human, and as a result, elicit my empathy. By the end, I should have been setting up a shrine in my house and counting prayer beads in hopes that they all get a happy ending! Uh…maybe that’s an exaggeration. But do you get me?

I know this review sounds bad, but I do want to get across that altogether, I did have a good time with W. Doesn’t sound like it, but it’s true! Its problems may be obvious, yet its strengths are enough to keep you going.

Its control over suspense had me hiding behind my hands at certain parts. And the cast itself is great - particularly the actor portraying Yeon Joo’s father; I cried womanly tears for you, sir. I’ve never watched Han Hyo Joo on screen before, but I did enjoy her role and thought she did a pretty good job with her character. I will also again emphasize my love for Lee Jong Suk: those emotive eyes. Gah. Almost made me like Kang Chul.

I recommend you to watch this drama, but simultaneously caution yourself against the blinding hype that it received. The end product of this show was nothing near to the perfection that I expected it to have, but it also wasn’t anything close to being bad.

Don’t expect a masterpiece. Watch it; have fun with it!
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Lumiere
94 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Sep 18, 2016
  • Overall 6.5
  • Story 5.5
  • Acting/Cast 6.0
  • Music 7.0
  • Rewatch Value 3.0
When I was little, I wished I was born a cartoon character or that I'll magically find myself inside my favorite story under the influence of an uncanny occurrence. Along came W with the scenario of my dreams and mostly ruined it.

But I learned my lesson: "Entering a cartoon is no child play!"; It's not a messy-writer's mission either.

Here's the problem: W aspired to be a lot of things: a read more mind-blowing, thought-provoking fantasy, a boundary-breaking love story, a thriller and a creeper, and perhaps a journey of finding oneself...

Unfortunately, it failed at most fronts, but I'm not surprised. First and foremost, we have to accredit the writer for tackling such fresh premise and attempting to explore the themes of creator/creation and free-will/predestination in such a creative way. However, unlike her previous works the writer failed to create clear and sound rules governing the travel between these two worlds. You might scream: "But, it's a FANTASY!" Then, I'll scream back: "Even fantasy has to have solid rules, otherwise it's magical realism or Deus ex Machina conveniently controlling events."

It's hard to highlight this part without giving up the story. One might claim that the rules of entering/leaving the world were clear from the beginning. It's not true, though! We were never told why and how Yoon Joo was going in when the tablet wasn't involved. Then, there's the fact that the rules changed over and over again! They worked only when it was appropriate for the narrative. Many times, major dangers could've been avoided by simply using the rules. In all honesty, I have attempted to rationalize the show's plot more than once; I always ended up with a severe headache. It's either the plot is a collection of holes bridged by Deus ex Machina or I'm too stupid to get it.

But I could've still enjoyed the show, lapses of logic and all, had the writer tried to make her characters realistic. Isn't it ironic that the writer who criticized other drama writers for resorting to cliches to move their stories, didn't bother to give her own characters identities of their own?!

Take Yoon Joo for example. What is she other than the love interest? What do we know about her other than she'll do anything to be with Chul? For the love of God, the girl had cotton candy for a brains and I was supposed to believe that she's a surgical intern. Yoon Joo was willing to desert her ENTIRE universe so she can play romance of the day with her fictional crush. How am I supposed to respect her? I'm a fangirl, mind you! But I still can tell the difference between fangirling and falling in love. The writer and Yoon Joo obviously couldn't. If I were to believe that Yoon Joo fell for Chul because he's her forever crush, why did he fall for her (over and over again)? There was a painful lack of buildup for that romance. The show ended and I was still wondering: Why were those two a couple? Why the hell I'm supposed to root for them?

They might've been cute together. But that was all they ever were!

Then, there was Chul. His life, his whole existence was a tragedy but he was a protagonist who had free-will in a predestined world. In his journey of finding himself, Kang Chul was supposed to prove his humanity. Curiously enough, I found his reactions to the world and to everything to be humane in the first half of the story. However, the more he approaches the real world, the more he becomes robotic.. Ultimately, he became so bland it was dull to watch him, much less to care for him. (again it's hard to explain without spoiling).

The most interesting and the only well-acted character was Oh Song Moon. I want to take a moment to applaud the acting. The levels of darkness and petty he fell into were very well acted. Unfortunately, the depth of this character was never fathomed. He was shoved away in favor of the stupid never-was-romance. His relationship with his daughter, his fears, his failures, his love were all thrown into the drain. He became a walking plot-device himself.

The acting in the show was uneven. Kim Eui Seong did wonders with his characters where Han Hyo Joo moves around with 3 annoying facial expressions (maybe four if you count her sleeping face :P). W certainly uncovered Lee Jong Suk's acting limitations. He fairs well in cute and playboy,but other than some particular scenes, his acting grew cumbersome to watch, even cringe-worthy at the end. Those crying scenes anyone?!

A shout out to Crazy Dog and Soo Bong: those two were my rays of sunshine in the dark! Crazy Dog spoke my mind and Soo Bong was the only one who played bewilderment and every other shocked emotion well.


In short, visually captivating, definitely mind-boggling and occasionally a bit creepy, W might have started with a promise but ended with a let down. Watch it if you're a fan of the actors or of twisty-twisted plots that leave you with more questions than answers, but don't expect any character to come off as human.
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Make a Recommendation More recs (10)Recommendations

Both of the stories are really unpredictable. W and Liar Game (Korean Remake) Keep you hanging, although W has 16 episodes and Liar game has 12 episodes.. which is really sad because I wished it was longer...
Recommended by IreneChen
It is time travelling and Hero are smart and make usage of this ability in interesting ways. It's lovely Heroine to root for. Cute couple, cute chemistry!!!
Recommended by bamsa

Comments (2945)

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  • Reply
    XiaoZhanoppa 2 days ago
    Reveal Spoiler »
  • Reply
    XiaoZhanoppa 2 days ago

    I love the story line of this drama. Actually they fit together. This is a recommended K-DRAMA. I also loves to see when "Lee Jong Suk" smiles, I mean (it made me blush). I love this k-drama. Saranghae oppa!

  • Reply
    Rinske 5 days ago

    The very first episode was so intriguing, but honestly I'm halfway through and I really have to push myself to watch the next episode. A lot of the things that happen seem ridiculous and not believable, and the chemistry between Oh Yeon Joo and Kang Chul hardly exists. I think I'll still try to finish it just to see how they'll try to save this drama in the last couple episodes. Really, the concept is so cool and interesting, but the way it's played out is very messy.

  • Reply
    Faa 8 days ago

    I dropped this one because it's too complicated /? and that time, there were many other dramas that more interesting. Beside, i don't get the chemistry between LJS and HHJ. Idk is it because of my shipper feeling for darling couple (LJS and PSH) or they're truly don't have the chemistry i want. Sorry not sorry my darl LJS :(

  • Reply
    tequilaloo029 11 days ago - edited

    This had so much potential. :( For the first half, it was almost perfect I thought this was going to be one of my favorites until it became so cheesy and cringe-y I had to drop it.

    • Reply
      flarofl 11 days ago

      did you drop goblin too?

    • Reply
      tequilaloo029 11 days ago

      Haven't watched it yet... :) I've only heard good things about it so far, so I hope I like it. :)

    • Reply
      flarofl 11 days ago

      I enjoyed W very much.. but i dropped goblin haha

    • Reply
      tequilaloo029 10 days ago

      Oh no... haha... Why'd you drop it though? :))

  • Reply
    zza 14 days ago - edited

    ridiculous story, i could not suspend my disbelief.I was laughing at some point at how absurd the whole thing is.

  • Reply
    brownkidSWAG 21 days ago - edited

    does it have a happy ending?

  • Reply
    PabboStell 22 days ago

    I have seen all of Jongsuk's dramas and this one was definitely the WORST!!! I'm usually a big fan of Jongsuk's acting, but here he was a bit annoying. All he did was flirt with the camera and I did not like it at all.
    There were too many plot holes and that romance was so cringy.
    Their "love"... was there any? I couldn't feel a thing, while watching them.
    All those time skips ruined it a bit.
    The going between the 2 worlds was something I was looking forward to, but it turned out not as great.
    The story had so much potential, it was very original, but they couldn't pull it off.
    I do not recommend it, even if you are a fan of the actors. Watch the 2 specials and save yourself some time for better things.

  • Reply
    michin_girl 28 days ago

    It was great until Kangchul changed the past and became totally different person, then it went downhill but I still love it
    To me it's one of the best k-dramas though it's probably more bc of my idea of it than what it really is

  • Reply
    Kromesta 28 days ago

    The beginning was great, but towards ep 7-8 it got to serious and more of a thriller. I had to drop this.

  • Reply
    mary grace coronel Jan 23, 2017

    I love this drama but I didn't finish it yet because the internet was so slow :(

  • Reply
    Annam Jan 22, 2017 - edited
    Reveal Spoiler »
    • Reply
      Kromesta 28 days ago
      Reveal Spoiler »
    • Reply
      Annam 24 days ago
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  • Reply
    Jasmine Zhou Jan 19, 2017

    I love this drama and Kangchul.

  • Reply
    cherry Jan 17, 2017 - edited

    The starting is pretty engrossing...but it became quite draggy in between and in the end as well.....but I seriously loved the staring ( atleast 5 episode)Can anybody recommend me more romantic drams....even web dramas would do!

    • Reply
      cherry 19 days ago - edited

      Yeah the ending is weird....but its a happy ending!
      And you should definitely watch heartstrings! its really good!

    • Reply
      Faa 8 days ago

      definitely Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo :3

    • Reply
      cherry 8 days ago

      Thanks!

    • Reply
      LuckySo 5 days ago

      yeah weightlifting, the best couple for me.. I really love this drama.

  • Reply
    mrwyoo Jan 8, 2017 - edited

    does it contain action, suspence, trill,
    can I get a short review. those are way too long!!!!!

    • Reply
      mrwyoo Jan 16, 2017 - edited

      thanks for the reply. and this one is a no watch for me...

    • Reply
      Mia_Chan Jan 16, 2017

      yeah. But this is my opinion, I hope you aren't the kind that would love this and I stopped you from watching it xD

    • Reply
      mrwyoo Jan 17, 2017

      no not at all. it's just that I've had enough of lovey dovey dream-like-slow drama's or because that typical actor is starring in it, that's why it becomes a hit while the drama sucks big time. I like Lee Jong Suk, but the story seems to weak..

    • Reply
      Mia_Chan Jan 17, 2017

      exactly xD if you don't like lovey doveys couple forget this. They are good actors (the actress not that much), and gave a great kiss, but the writter developed the characters so badly... I couldn't feel their chemistry at all, cause she fell in love really fast, just because she was his fan, and I still can't tell when he fell in love. It looked like he found a girl that liked him, and he was like "I don't care about anything, let's just have a relationship because it's the only way you'll be free."
      Seriously. And when he confessed his love, I roled my eyes cause i couldn't feel any sincerity from him. It's probably the first time it happenned to me, while watching a k-drama... Roling eyes after the "I love you" scene lol

    • Reply
      mrwyoo Jan 18, 2017 - edited

      yep, like they are forced to do the acting and a lot of fluffy special effects. It can't get more annoying than that.

Details

  • Country:

    South Korea
  • Type:

    Drama
  • Episodes:

    16
  • Aired:

    Jul 20, 2016 to Sep 14, 2016
  • Aired On:

    Wednesday, Thursday
  • Network:

    MBC
  • Duration:

    1 hr. 10 min.

Statistics

  • Score:

    8.8 (scored by 11,443 users)
  • Ranked:

    #55
  • Popularity:

    #15

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