When Shin Joon Young and No Eul were younger, they were separated and became heartbroken. As adults, they meet again. Shin Joon Young is now a top actor and singer. He is intelligent and attractive. No Eul is the PD of documentaries. She values money over justice and kisses up to those with more power than her.
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Cast & Credits
Introduction to melodrama. One character is a self-hating guy with mommy and daddy issues who is dying from a terminal illness, one character is seemingly the knight in the shining armor who is a coward and makes the wrong choices for noble reasons, one is a bad raging bitch who things she owns the world, and lastly one is a fighting hero who tries her best to stay sane and survive but fails miserably furthering the overdramatic nature of the whole thing.
The backstory and plot here is probably the best thing this drama has to offer but will probably be appreciated only by the melo fans; others will find it rather stretched and too fake and I won’t say it isn’t. However, in all its greatness it is nothing new. It gathers all the clichés, car crashes, illegitimate children, hit and runs, terminal illnesses, rich vs poor people, and lastly the legendary –at this point- cycle of the leads chasing each other. Female lead wants male lead but he’s a bastard and 5 episodes later male lead wants female lead but she’s a bitch while they love each other like crazy and they have barely any reasons to act this way. This is probably the worst part of the drama imo but then again it takes a special viewer to appreciate it.
The story has nothing new to offer, and the plot gets heavily dragged midway due to the chasing around, but does this mean this is the worst drama ever? No. Does this mean this is totally unwatchable? No. It is just addressed to a certain type of viewer who will love it and its flaws completely. That’s all. If you like usual melodrama you’ll like this, there is no funny side character, there is no comedic relief, there is scarcely any rationality in the writing, and the whole plot is over the top, but to be honest that is melodrama’s charm. Take it or leave it.
Stellar performances by everyone; however Kim Woo Bin is probably the only memorable actor in this one. His acting was very emotional and he was very pleasant to look at.
Syzy won’t be winning any awards for her performance but her acting was way better than expected and didn’t bring the show down at all.
We all know what melodrama means. If you like overly emotional and depressing stories, you want to cry and watch a doomed romance then go ahead. This not the best melodrama i've ever watched but it isn’t bad at all, on the contrary i'd say. However if you expect smiles, fluffiness, butterflies and funny cute situations give this a pass. I will never rewatch this.
In general, the drama had a lot of similar themes and storylines to the writer’s earlier work: “I’m Sorry, I Love You”; with a tragic romance, love rivalries, revenge stories, links between various characters, the lead male having issues with his mother and themes of abandonment, the lead female working as a tv crew member, and a lead male character being an actor/singer (although it was the second lead in “I’m Sorry, I Love You”). It was also very melodramatic and filled with makjang storylines, themes and character-types throughout.
On the plus side, I really liked how character-centric the drama was; the dark themes were generally captivating; there were some beautifully emotionally moving moments; even though I know it is unbelievable being so coincidental, but I generally find secret links between characters in dramas intriguing storylines, and they were so in this drama; I also liked the revenge themes; I found the drama was rather unpredictable throughout; and I liked the slow pace of the drama.
I also liked how they sometimes showed how a scene appeared to one character, where it seemed a certain way (usually showed at the end of one episode), but then (usually the beginning of the next episode) they showed it from the point of view of the other, which gave a good insight into showing that things really weren't all they seemed at first on the surface.
On the negative side, I found it too over-the-top with the makjang and melodrama, with throwing in too many extra illnesses and accidents for dramatic effect as well as to keep the drama going for all its episodes; various characters seemed far too irrational and a bit too unbelievable at times; I found it really off-putting all the shouting, screaming, and fake comedy crying in parts of the drama; and I didn’t find it had the emotional impact as it did for others during those last episodes.
Acting and Characters:
I started this drama due to the storylines and the writer, as I wasn’t a fan of Kim Woo Bin before nor Bae Suzy, so wasn’t sure whether I would be continuing for long with the drama, and whether I’d change my mind about the actors.
From the dramas I watched previously that Kim Woo Bin has been in, I only knew of him playing rather one-dimensional and somewhat smug type characters; but I was really impressed with his acting in this. Whilst his character: Shin Joon Yeong, on the surface in this had a similar type of personality to those previous dramas, and he certainly plays those extra-confident somewhat bad-boy type characters well, but it was great to see him playing a character with more depth, and showing a wider variety of acting skills. It was especially nice seeing his softer gentler side, and also it’s rare that I find actors cry realistically, as most just seem fake or they go over-the-top, but his emotional performances in this were some of the most heartbreakingly realistic I’ve seen in K-Dramas, so made for some really sad moments.
However with Bae Suzy, like previously, I wasn’t impressed with her acting in this either, as it just seemed unnatural at parts and with some rather blank expressions during certain moments such as certain romantic ones. There was also a lot of painfully noisy shouting and screaming from her and the character: Noh Eul, particularly earlier in the drama, which was rather off-putting. However I did warm to her as the drama went on.
Regarding the supporting characters, they were very much the usual K-Drama characters, and some were likeable others dislikeable, but all had their part in the story; and I thought the actors mostly did well and were appropriate to their roles.
However, one that really stood out for me was Yoo Oh Sung’s role as Choi Hyun Joon, as whilst there were various bad things his character did throughout in the story; he was otherwise such a refreshing character for a K-Drama rich guy’s father, as he wasn’t the usual one-dimensional and stuffy type; but instead had more depth of character, and seemed more like a normal father to his immediate family, and spending time with them and letting them have their say in what they wanted, at times in the drama; and putting more thought into various issues also, rather than just being adamantly stubborn, as are K-Drama fathers usually. There were some heartbreaking scenes later on as well, that I thought the actor did well.
Jin Kyung’s character: Shin Yeong Ok (Joon Yeong’s mother), however, was such an unbelievable character, and I couldn’t believe that a grown woman and a mother could act in such a way (the character, not the actress), and particularly over something that seemed so trivial. So I couldn’t like or feel sorry for her character at all, and there was a lot of overly melodramatic and completely irrational moments with her.
Whilst reflecting the scenes that are occurring in a drama, music has such an influence on creating a certain mood and atmosphere. For example, for a sad themed drama, the type of music used can really make it either emotionally moving, depressing or sickly sweet.
The majority of the music in this didn’t really capture my attention much but I thought it generally reflected the various events well; however there were moments that the music playing didn’t go with what was happening, such as a more lively piece playing over a sad moment; plus there was one total dirge of a song that I found totally ruined various parts as it was so miserable and unfeeling, so made such moments really depressing; however there were a few beautiful instrumental pieces, and a lovely heartfelt song, that I thought were perfect additions to the drama, and really made it more emotionally moving during the parts they were played.
Some of the other pieces I started liking more as the drama went on also.
Whilst I’ve probably mentioned as many bad things as good things about this drama, overall, up until the last episodes, I found it a generally enjoyable drama, and whilst there were a lot of cliches, it was mostly unpredictable; plus there were a few likeable characters and ones that I got somewhat emotionally attached to throughout for the most part; and Kim Woo Bin’s acting particularly impressed me in this. Also, the cinematography was done nicely, and a few of the pieces of music played were beautiful and went well during certain moments. However, I found the drama got too melodramatic and depressing later on, but I thought it generally closed off the various stories well, and with some nice, although cliche and predictable extras at the end.
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