This drama is about the conflicts, the wins, and losses one experiences when working. It will follow the story of 21st century women, who chose to not be a wife or a mother and successfully work without discrimination or impediments. Bae Ta Mi works as a director for a big web portal company. She is in her late 30's and is quite competitive. With her competitiveness, Ta Mi enjoys success. The methods she uses to win has her wondering if she is doing the right thing with her life. Has she sacrificed too much of her personal life for success? Park Mo Gun is a man in his 20's and is a gifted composer. He creates music for video games. Mo Gun meets Ta Mi at an arcade. He falls in love with her due to her competitive spirit. (Source: Koreandrama.org and AsianWiki) Edit Translation
Cast & Credits
It has the perfect blend of everything.
Extreme Women Empowerment. Spicy kisses and chemical romances. Badass Women. Charming Men. Excellent acting. Crisp story-telling. Adrenalin rushing fastpaced moments, complimented with slow and emotion-filled scenes. Brilliant OST. Epic Sismance. Bomb fashion sense. Stunning direction. An ending that tied all loose ends...
I mean really, at this point I'm wondering if there's anything this show didn't have?
It maintained quality from start to finish and had me hooked till the very end. There were some mildly annoying things about the main couple and the poorly timed product placement but they could be considered fairly negligible.
I already wrote a detailed article on this drama, so I'll keep this review short and sweet. Bottom line is that this show is excellent and you need to watch it right now!
Two smaller points I want to point out here because it does not really fit elsewhere. First, the camerawork creates some beautiful shots using the environment and open spaces (Who remembers Angel Ta Mi?). But, sometimes it butchers the emotional delivery of some scenes as it zooms and rotates into the actors’ faces. Second, the rich, experimental story immerses the viewer, and the PPL (product placement) becomes especially jarring as it breaks that deep immersion. Still, I will remember this drama for its highs, not lows, and easily recommend this to all drama viewers as a great example of a modern Korean drama.
The story is surprisingly refreshing given that the average age of its main characters skews older than the usual mini (16 ep kdrama). No young chaebol inheriting his director position from his grandfather, the women in Search: WWW clearly worked hard and sacrificed much to reach their positions. Given the main female leads’ maturity and high social position, it is a challenge to add believable conflicts, especially given its genre. Search: WWW overcomes this struggle and shows that everyone can grow, no matter how mature, and that there will always be a bigger fish, no matter how high you rise. So, its fallback to some typical kdrama conflicts is understandable and not a blemish.
I wish the same could be same about the main romance in the drama. I want to make a distinction between the content of the romance and the pacing of the romance. The pacing, like the overall story, is refreshing, and relationships grow and stumble at unique points. It weaves itself with the office plot to deliver entertainment in every episode, especially the secondary romances/relationships. However, the content of the main romance is a bit shallow upon closer examination. It attempts to highlight the age and ideological differences between the two leads, but they act like they are designed by the same aged person(s). Specifically, the male lead acts like how someone in their 30s/40s imagines someone in their 20s.
Ultimately, the main drivers of a slice-of-life drama is its characters and not its plot points nor romance. And I can go on and on about the depths and strengths of the entire crew of characters, even the slightly obnoxious Morgan. To keep this review a reasonable length, I will just say that the characters are 10/10, and I somehow found myself rooting for each one of them, protagonists and antagonists alike.
Starting with the actresses, the leads are a minimum 9/10. I hate (read “love”) to nitpick but Jeon Hye Jin could have shown slightly more range, given the nuance of her character, beyond the serious/contemplative facet. Also, Lee Da Hee is one of my favorite actresses, but she is almost getting typecast into the rash archetype. The main female lead, Im Soo Jung, is faultless, but don’t get me wrong, all three are amazing in their own ways and carry the show together.
Out of their male counterparts, Lee Jae Wook is the most memorable, and I look forward to his potential growth (he’s 21 when shooting this drama!). I am also impressed with Ji Seung Hyun, who I underrated because his profile shows that he’s mostly been on support/guest roles. As you can tell, expectations do color my judgement, and my expectation for Jang Ki Yong did not get met, but he does have some redeeming moments near the end.
Search: WWW has one of the best OSTs I’ve listened to in recent kdramas. “Well-rounded”, “In sync”, and “Complementary” all perfectly describe the musical core of Search: WWW. It is impossible to not like at least one of the songs in the OST and very likely that you’ll love them all. I usually write very short reviews of the music, but I need to take the time to rave about the musical cast.
First, shout out to the fierce women of Mamamoo, extra for Moonbyul with her writing credits. Could not have picked a better kpop act to mirror the strong female characters of the drama. Second, Jang Beom-Jun bringing that husky Busker Busker voice that was extremely popular in the early 2010s. Sam Kim was also popular around the same time, but I am not as big of a fan. Kudos to Sam Kim, Elaine , and O3ohn, even though I do not know much about them. Third, huge props to Lee Da Hee for fearlessly busting out her singing chops. Fourth, OST veteran, Kim Na-Young, who has been killing the music charts with her latest single, “To be Honest”. She delivers another great performance for Search:WWW.
Take it how you will, but the music is the strongest aspect of this drama. I didn’t even skip the parental advisory, so I could sing along with “show you a bad girl”. The OST flawlessly supports the drama and keeps true the show’s topics and themes, and all the songs are still worthy of a listen without knowing anything about the drama.
As high as the relisten value is for the OST, the rewatch falls a bit short, which I usually judge on story or cast. The story’s female-centricity is refreshing but no longer unique in kdramas. I find the women of “Because This is My First Life” more relatable and the women of “Sky Castle” to be more entertaining. In terms of cast, I’m a bigger fan of the previous works by the main cast, such as “Chicago Typewriter” and “Beauty Inside” (“Misty” is high on my “to watch” list). Jang Ki Young is equally mediocre in his past works (“Kill It” is low on my “to watch” list). Ji Seung Hyun mostly does support/guest roles. However, I do look forward to Lee Jae Wook’s next drama, “July Found by Chance”. So, it’ll be difficult to find time to rewatch Search: WWW.