5 Reasons Why Missing Nine Is The Drama
You Should Be Watching Right Now
From the writer of 38 Task Force and Bad Guys comes Missing Nine. Missing Nine is a story about a woman called Ra Bong Hee, who returns home after being stranded on a deserted island following a plane crash with eight other survivors. During frequent flashbacks we watch the nine of them trying to survive on this island and slowly becoming closer.
Scratching on 4 % viewer ratings, Missing Nine isn't the most popular drama right now. That certainly doesn't mean that it isn't enjoyable. It's quite the opposite! Some may think that the writing could be too much for them, but I think it's a hidden gem, and I will tell you my reasons for why you should drop whatever you're doing and run to your platform of choice to start watching Missing Nine.
#1 - The Unknown Mystery
The plot is unique in a way that we start off in the present time, with our main lead Ra Bong Hee returning home to Korea as supposedly the only survivor of a plane crash, and then trying to figure out what happened in the past. What actually happened on the island they were stranded on?
Bong Hee was in a group of eight other survivors on the island, which means something must have happened there in order for her being the only one returning safe and sound. Perhaps they got separated from each other at some point, or perhaps they went a little "Lord of the Flies" style and started to turn on each other, possibly killing each other. We just don't know. We follow the perspective of what's in Bong Hee's memories of the island after she returns home. Since she, at the beginning, doesn't remember everything correctly, it either leaves us in the unknown and extremely curious, or it leaves us being deceived, which leads to even more curiosity! It's up to the viewer to find out about the answers to these questions. Just where are the other survivors?!
Even more mysteries include what the actual bologna happened on the island before the 9 Squad crash-landed there. There are traces of humans living there before them, but how did they leave... or die? Then there's the mystery of what secrets the characters from the present, in Korea, are hiding from everyone else. Some people want to hide things from others, and it's all up to us to figure out why that is. This drama really makes your brain work (which might be something I need, to be honest).
#2 - All Characters Have Personality
There is not a single character in this drama that is there for no reason or without their own personality. Of course, we have our absolute favorite group of island survivors, but then there are a bunch of different characters back on the mainland, ready to either gobble up on your love or hate... It's mostly hate, though.
So as mentioned before, Ra Bong Hee (Baek Jin Hee) is our female lead. She thought that the first day of work as our male lead's stylist would be the happiest day of her life... Until, you know, the crash happened.
Once on the island, everything revolves around making the most out of the few resources they have, and this is something Bong Hee is very skilled in! If only one of them were stranded like this in a deserted location, she would 100 % be the one most likely to survive.
She is a woman with innocence who strives to make sure everyone else is safe before looking after herself. In the present, she is at first in agony because of the plane crash but is later determined to reveal the truth of what really happened.
Combined with our lead male, ex-singer Seo Joon Oh (Jung Hyung Ho), this makes for a hilarious but cute match up. Of course, he is the one who is just a big dummy when it comes survival skills. At first, he seems to be the kind of guy who's stuck up and acts as a big ol' bag of rotten tomatoes, only caring for himself. As he ends up in this peculiar situation, we see he that is not a bad person and certainly not selfish. With a group of people slowly losing hope of getting back home, he stays strong and glues the group back together and we see he is a kind soul with aching pain inside of him.
The hilarious scenes are with the two of our leads showing how comfortable they are with each other when Joon Oh is either completely incompetent or scared for his life while Bong Hee has to protect this clumsy man.
Then we, of course, have the other Squad 9 members, who are all part of the same entertainment company:
Actress Ha Ji Ah (Lee Seon Bin) is a woman who isn't afraid to speak her mind and stand up for herself in the name of justice. She doesn't let anyone else affect what she thinks is right... I wish I could be more like her.
Manager Jung Gi Joon (Oh Jung Se) is a kindhearted and awkward kind of guy, who wouldn't even kill a bunny for its meat even though he was starving to death. With his crush on Ji Ah, there are lots of fantastic and awkward moments between them (with him in charge of the "awkward" part).
Singer Lee Yeol (Chanyeol) is kind of like the maknae of the group, even though I don't think he's the youngest survivor. He's a gentle guy who wishes the best for everyone.
Actress Yoon So Hee (Ryu Won) is a young woman who may seem hostile and naive at first, but in reality, she is probably the one hurt the most internally by this situation and just needs support.
Both Hwang Jae Gook (Kim Sang Ho) and Tae Ho Hang (Tae Hang Ho) work for the company as well, with Jae Gook being the president. He is also one of those misunderstood characters, thinking he's your typical boot-like president, but then we see how much he cares for his company's stars. Meanwhile, Ho Hang is the scaredy cat, being frightened by almost everything, the poor guy.
Then... We have Choi Tae Ho (Choi Tae Joon), described as the villain. Right from the start, he's this unlikable goon towards our crew. On the island, we get to know how his nature is to prioritize his own survival over everyone else's lives. He seems to be darker than one could have imagined... The question is, what do you do if you are in the same place as a villain in a non-civilized location, meaning there's no police, prison, or other authorities, when they start getting dangerous? What would be morally right to do?
I feel like I've written a whole report in this section now, but let me just talk about one more character: Jo Hee Kyung (Song Ok Sook). As head of the Special Investigation Commission, she tries to get Ra Bong Hee to spill the beans on what went on after the plane crash. One can question her motives for this. It doesn't seem to be so that she can seek justice but instead trying to find out what the easiest and safest explanation would be to give to the public so that the image of their company stays clear. One could compare this to real life occurrences if one likes.
#3 - The Comical Relief
Missing Nine is neither a comedy nor a rom-com drama. But having us being on edge because of the suspension and mystery can make anyone go insane, whatever drama one is watching. How often have you watched a melodrama, action drama or whatever, and you're just slowly losing your sanity because of all the dramatic things happening without any breaks? Pretty often, right? I've been there myself, just walking away from my monitor in an overwhelmed state.
The solution: throw in some comical relief, some funny scenes, here and there! I see many dramas that try to do this, but end up failing on the comedy part. Missing Nine succeeds in this, and could be on the same level as a comedy drama. It's that brilliant! The funny scenes are well timed and downright hilarious, it often makes me actually laugh out loud. Jung Kyung Ho is especially good at this, and I often wonder whether his character Joon Oh was actually a comedian disguised as a singer. The way that they edit the scenes and have this fantastically great "intentionally awkward" background music, for example, someone just snapping their fingers, creates some hilarious scenes.
And how can anyone ever forget the fantastic land mine scene? You who have seen it know what I'm talking about.
#4 - Beautiful Cinematography/Editing and Scenery
The lovely and appealing cinematography might be the very first thing you notice when starting Missing Nine. Putting the story, the characters, the comedy, just about everything aside, and just looking at how everything is filmed and edited, it is obvious that this is also something well thought out and important to the creators of this drama.
When the flashbacks occur, it's similar to the Goryeo flashbacks in Goblin. These parts make it seem like we are seeing something out of a higher budget movie, with the wide screen illusions and the pretty, clear colors. At the same time, it has a very undramatic tone to it, at times even melancholic. This helps to make you feel calmer without any unnecessary added drama. All of your feelings come from the story and what is actually happening to the characters.
Then we have the switches between the past (aka island time) and the present, which also continues to show that there was a lot of thinking put into every scene filmed. Not a single scene feels sloppy and some really enhance both the inner and outer beauty of the drama. It's not often at all that I take notice of a drama's cinematography and editing, but this one captured me after the very first scene. I'm not even kidding. Jinjja.
The most impressive thing yet was watching the scene when the plane crashes to the ground. How we see the characters thinking back to the past, with the beautiful transitions from the present to the past and vice versa, while they are in a total state of panic, is just... Ahhh, my eyes felt like they had seen the most delicious dessert after watching that. Worth noting is also that they filmed the island parts on Jeju Island, so of course, we are up for some beautiful scenery as well. The landscape and nature can be so beautiful in a deserted location. Who would have known?
#5 - A Unique OST
If I simply mention the word "OST" to you, what do you think of? I'm sure it's all those songs from dramas that are played frequently and made in such a way that you simply can't get the melody (and some words that we just guess they sound like because we (often) don't know the language) out of your head. In case you haven't caught on to my drift yet, Missing Nine isn't a drama that would do this to you (no disrespect to the dramas that do)!
Jokes aside, it isn't really the actual vocal songs that make this drama's OST so very special. It's the BGM (Background Music). It's something I've never heard before in a drama. When I think about typical BGM, I think of the ol' classical instruments, or some ensemble of a piano and different instruments and all that stuff (no, I don't know musical terms).
Missing Nine switches it up and makes it very minimalistic while still having a great effect on the scenes, and probably even a greater one than if they had gone for the ol' instrument ensemble. By minimalistic, I mean that they only add an instrument or two to a particular scene, making it simplistic, and I feel as if it's like a piece of art.
When there's a sadder scene, a simple piano, nothing else, might be playing a few keys and it brings beautiful gloominess. If a scene that has peacefulness or even peaceful drama (I know it sounds weird but you will understand), you may hear the soft voice of a person singing angelically for a few notes, with no words spoken, or trumpets that calm your mind.
My personal favorite BGM however, is when there is a comedy scene. I briefly mentioned it earlier, but when a funny scene shows up, there's always these funky instruments playing in the background that just make everything even funnier. These could be, for example, the simple action of one snapping their fingers, or it may be this whistle instrument making strange tunes that instantly raises the characters' awkwardness and humor in the moment.
Another thing to mention is when they choose to not play any song or BGM during a scene. I sure know some scenes in dramas that have been ruined because an overly emotional or dramatic song was playing. Someone really good at creating impacts knows when not to play anything. By doing this, it has under several occasions left me completely shook. In a way, it adds to the drama by not adding anything else to it... Know what I mean?
I can't ignore an actual OST from the drama, though. The first song is sung by the one and only Punch, with her beautiful vocals, and it's just wonderful and calming.
Alright, this list turned out to be a little longer than I expected. Hopefully it wasn't too painful to read it all... After all, it's my very first article.
If you're also watching Missing Nine, do you agree with my points? Is there anything else that you would add to this list? If you haven't started it, did I spark your interest?
TL;DR: Missing Nine is a beautiful drama, and you are a beautiful person, so why not watch it?
Oh and also: No, it isn't like the American show "Lost". Trust me on this, I've seen all episodes of Lost more than three times and I do not think about it while watching Missing Nine.